"One Perfect Part at a Time"

Musing

Plastic Rut

Man Sitting In deep rut.

Gosh! Haven’t posted here in a while. Got derailed and off track by playing with the demon of three-dimensional printing. You know, push a button and out pops a three-dimensional PLASTIC component.

Pretty much a sit back and watch effort. Similar but different than CNC machining. No chips flying around, or mist cooling required. Additive rather than subtractive manufacturing. It has its place but IMHO not for durable goods. Great for prototyping and making plastic models.

It is not the printing that is the most value. The printer is just another tool. The most value for me is the amount of CAD drawing (and mastering) acquired in designing parts for printing. The same skills that instantly transfer to good old fashion CNC machining.

The point is Plastic 3D printing is here. I have learned how to use it at a hobbyist level. But for making real, functional items, subtractive machining is still holding its own.

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The Hobbyist’s Machine Studio?

I have been wondering if I should call my workshop a “studio”. Sounds more “artsy” doesn’t it? Since I am not working like a production shop just making one thing over and over, maybe the new description is more accurate. However, it doesn’t seem as hard core and “man cave” sounding like “workshop” or “machine shop” so maybe I should leave it as is. Is there an image to protect?

I’m just funning of course as I don’t really have an image I am concerned about. I just do what I do because it is stuff I like to do. I don’t care what the place is called where I do it. If you want to know the truth, it is a garage. The Aussie’s (and probably others) call it a shed or shedding. Go figure, but I kind of like their term. Another example; I call the location of my ham radio station my “shack”, but it really isn’t.

As far as the number of projects, I do have more than one under way. I am guilty about jumping around between them because there are so many things I want to try and so many things I can do. I just don’t seem to have enough time to do everything one at a time. I have to have something else to do when the glue is drying or parts are on order.

So maybe I need to be more “studious” with my projects? That infers more attention to detail and higher quality, right? I am thinking a studio is where you are more studious with your work and therefore your work is of higher quality. A workshop is where you simply pound things together with a hammer until they fit – more caveman style.… Continue reading

The Keys to TEDEX

I re-enabled TEDEX for open self-registration about a week ago. It has been closed for over a year. Note, this registration does not include automatic approval.

After several hours of being open the registrations started coming in again. There must be some sort of search engine discovering new open registration on line.

Approximately  99.99524 percent are from the Ukraine, Russia, China and other non English countries half way around the globe from the USA. Yes, I can trace every IP address. I allowed the first dozen access to the BBS to see what would happen. It only took a day for the first garbage post to be placed.

I blew away those first “dirty dozen” and have rejected hundreds of applications since. Some one failed the test and spoiled it for everyone.

All of them choose some mambo-jumbo user name mostly just a series of random looking letters. I don’t know who they are but I imagine they are kiddies playing with their computers and like to see if they can pass the “entrance examine”. Some are real spammers.

Mostly they just join, but the spam is what sets up the security fence. If they all look like a duck, walk like a duck, quack like a duck, swim like a duck and smell like a duck… well guess what… I am a firm believer in profiling.

I welcome real interested on-topic members from any country/nationality to join. However, I am not providing a blank wall for any internet hoodlum anywhere to display graffiti. There is no internet “right” for anyone to post whatever they please, only the opportunity. I control that opportunity.

There is a way into TEDEX and I provide keys in the welcome message, but it will remain difficult for the ducks. So if you wonder… Continue reading

Look Fast

Not always this clean.Here is a picture seldom seen in a workshop. A totally empty workbench!

After expending too many hours revising the THMS website, I got into the mood to get out in the shop and really start detailing the place. Several hours earlier before this picture was taken, this bench looked nothing like this. I am in a “put away” “tidy up” mood.

Actually I just put a new coat of polyurethane  on the top since I had it so cleared off. I do that occasionally. The surface gets rubbed and scrapped off when I am working on things on the bench. You can see some old stain marks and where the X3 took a chunk out of the leading edge in “The Great Wreck”.

The red vice has swapped ends (some time ago). the original location was on the right side but then I built the Taig CNC mill bench. Both benches are extremely stable. The dark main bench is free standing and the CNC bench (light grey) is built in.

When I get a work in progress back on this bench, it will seem more like a workshop. Empty benches (like beaches) attract all sorts of non project flotsam and jetsam* if left in this present barren state too long. (*Yeah, I am a US Navy vet. I love nautical terms.)

Time For Change

Zeitmeister

Time For Change

The Hobbyist Machine Shop website has served well on the Internet as encouragement for new home machinist getting started in the hobby. The ton of email (if it could be weighed) sent to me confirms this statement.

The web site was built through the years with several HTML editing tools. First was HoTMetaL Pro which many years ago went out of existence. I switched to Adobe GoLive and then to Macromedia Dreamweaver. Adobe purchased Macromedia and there was an inside battle between GoLive and Dreamweaver as to which program would be Adobe’s HTML flagship.  Dreamweaver won out and is still my WYSIWYG HTML editor.

HTML5 is the newest version of HTML, created to do battle mostly against Adobe Flash. Adobe counters with Adobe Edge, a new HTML5 animation editor. I don’t do much direct FLASH editing so HTML5 is not a big deal with me (yet).

I’m getting off track, back to my story. I have been using a freeware CMS (Content Management System) web publishing tool known as Joomla. It is a graphic intensive creative and web display product written in PHP . With today’s high speed backbone and much faster user computer systems this high overhead system has been working well for me on many web sites I manage. It stores information in a MySQL database and builds the pages dynamically. Enough black magic, it just works.

Joomla and all CMS systems have a very good “back end” management system that doesn’t exist with standard HTML web sites. It is much easier to maintain all the information in a standard form. This THMS BLOG website (using WordPress and my own template) is a CMS system and works in very much the same… Continue reading

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