"One Perfect Part at a Time"


North Texas Open Invitation

I made a plea over in the TEDEX forum for local North Texas home workshop enthusiasts (hobbyists) to rise from the chips and identify. I receive inquiries from usually beginners who are seaking a place to go to associate and learn about their new interest.

Yes, I have been in many such organizations and the new folks can sometimes be a pain to the old curmudgeons. But the new folks bring life to these organizations. The fear is sometimes, “I am not good enough to teach the new folks.” Well, that’s not really true. I do my best with this web site and I always claim not to be the expert. A few locals sometimes get invited to my shop.

There are many forums out on the Internet. I don’t intend to compete with them for good information. I also don’t get a prize for number of members. 🙂 If you can drive to or are within the North Texas area (and if you are from here, you know what means) go visit TEDEX and sign in. Thanks!

ShopDog VAC

Bingo VACHere is a new use for the old, “man’s best friend”. I call it the Shopdog VAC. Here “Bingo” is busy cleaning up all the bits of aluminum “swarf” created by drilling and tapping 75 holes in an aluminum plate. The best part is he is very quite, so I don’t have to listen to the whine of the high powered electrical version. He does get in the way at times, being underfoot such as you see here. A good kick gets him started in a new direction though. His “poo” reflects sunlight out in the yard so it is easy to find and clean up. I have been thinking of recycling it but I can’t find a scrap yard that will take it. They keep telling me, “We don’t have to take that kind of sh.. from you!” Oh well…

🙂 Dan’l

P.S. Neither do you…

No dogs or humans were injured in the making of this story.

Missing RhinoCAM

I received the update to Rhinoceros 4.0 yesterday. It loaded into the MS Vista OS just fine. When first booted that worked fine. However, after clicking on a few axis quadrant displays (this is a 3D drawing program) there was an obvious problem. Various quadrant screens would black out. Ugh! I was sure this was a known problem and I expect first releases will usually have some bugs. Vista is certainly no easy beast to tame first time out. There were already two updates to Rhino version 4.0. A quick trip to the Rhino website and after what seemed like umpteen times asking me to enter my registration code, I obtained the updates.

A painless update install followed and I also updated Flamingo (update included with Rhino 4.0 package) to run with the new Rhino 4.0. Flamingo is a graphic ray tracing plug-in I purchased for Rhino 3.0. After a bit of work it makes drawn objects look real after rendering. I am glad I didn’t have to replace or pay to upgrade Flamingo.

Rhino 4.0 now starts quickly and flawlessly as compared to Rhino 3.0. The screen looks the same as my earlier version but perhaps the tool icons are a bit larger. Don’t know… It just seems “easier” to look at. That’s not very quantitative, but my impression. A tool you are going to use when drawing for hours on end needs to have a good “look” 🙂

I obtained the update through MecSoftat a very good discount. I also ordered and was to receive the update to RhinoCAM, another plug-in to run with Rhino 4.0. but for some reason the RhinoCAM update was not in the package. MecSoft is the producer of RhinoCAM (and Visual Mill) so I think they just forgot to put it… Continue reading

Rolled Away

The cheapo slip roll from Grizzly (written about previously) is well on its way back to the bear’s den. I received a reply back from another company that is offering a USA made 1″ x 12″ slip roll. They confirm that their product will not handle over 0.040″ thick material. Trying to roll thicker material the gears become too far out of mesh and may strip. Looks like I will have to explore using bigger rolls. The 1″x 12″ is a very good looking machine and will be good for light stuff. So some day I may have a need, but not now. I may put one in the store if I get a good price. ~ Dan’l

What I Saw

I see lots of things, sometimes more than I wish. The same goes for hearing but I can feign deafness like Walter Mitty (ta-pocketa-pocketa-pocketa) and drift into a 2nd life fantasy world. Some folks may understand… I think they call it a hobby. (Just kidding, honest!)

What I saw is wood. Just another comment here of what woodworking is like when one uses a very accurate and powerful table saw. The Powermatic almost makes me want to give up metal work and build furniture. Well, I still do that without giving up anything.

I ripped some wood for the remodel project last weekend. What a joy, no fuss, no strain from the saw. One piece of Poplar I needed was a 2 inch wide board 1/2 inch thick. After the cut both the board and the 1/16 waste looked like they came out of a surface plainer. No saw marks what-so-ever! I am now officially spoiled.

If I can stand the initial cost, top line tools are worth every cent. They won’t make me a better craftsperson. I still have to measure twice cut once, but they do save me a lot of extra finish work.

Life is good…


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