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
personal obsession as big as working in my shop on “hardware” projects.
I suspect that creative work is never finished as almost any design engineer, graphic artist or programmer will admit they usually come to a stopping point rather than a finish. There is always that one more little tweak that can be added. At least I find that is true for me. What it becomes is a point of diminishing return and a decision is made that the mission (project) has been accomplished. There is no obsession to keep going.
I think I am at that stopping point in updating my blogs and website displays. Well, maybe it is more of a resting point. I am satisfied with design at the moment. I hope that for my sake it is a rather long rest. Ha! Now I can just need to train myself to just add content material and stop playing with design of the box.
There is an aura of obsessive perfection about a machine shop and the people who enjoy machining. It stems from the general knowledge we work in the realm of one thousandths of an inch (or 0.0254mm). Not so well known is we sometimes get into one ten-thousandths of an inch, thankfully not often.
Some machinists, especially the newer untrained hobbyist types have an overwhelming creative desire or obsession for dimensional (± 0.000) precision. That is not the meaning of my THMS slogan, “One Perfect Part at a Time”.
I know there are times to be critical of exact dimension but that most of the time there is an important thing called tolerance. Good design includes and specifies tolerance.… Continue reading
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 way as Joomla.
My secret weapon to building CMS templates is Artisteer.
Bottom… Continue reading
I keep judging my shop’s quality. I consider, “Is this as professional as it should be? What are the right tools for me?” I feel it is so much a personal decision; I will never see or believe an answer from anywhere but within my own desires. If I am doing machining just for the challenge and personal pleasure to myself, no one else can tell me what’s right for me. One thing a personal machine shop is… is that it is personal. So be it… it is then a personal machine shop.
Is there a difference between a hobbyist’s machine shop and a personal machine shop? I think it is mostly just a difference in title, but that little change in thought from hobby to personal does make some subtle change in impression. To me it removes the vision of play and non serious application of time. It sounds a bit more “professional”. Maybe even to the imagined ability of producing professional grade work. The roles and actions have not changed at all. It is just word crafting to create subtle changes in how some people relate words to meaning. It is the basis of how “political correctness” works. What’s the difference between garbage man and sanitary engineer?
I have never had a hobby where quality wasn’t important. Many hobbyists find a way to maintain the very highest standards and output from the skills and equipment they have and can afford. Hobby machinists for example, can generally produce with a far better standard than is needed for professional work. Even with “hobbyist” machines.
I feel describing my shop as a “personal machine shop” can be an image enhancement to the non hobby person. The same reason the personal computer (PC) is now seen as a professional tool. The… Continue reading
I just spent the Father’s Day week end wanting to start a project in the workshop. I say wanting because nothing quite got started that I would call a machining project. The old road to Hades is paved with good intentions.
There were a lot of other things that got done though. Even with the intensely hot (100+F) Texas temperature I did get some shop cleanup work accomplished. I did think I was in Hades while I was working in all the heat. Ha! This is my annual rant about the Texas heat.
I envy but do not quite covet those folks who work in conditioned spaces. I know what it cost to maintain the temperature differential of 20 to 30 degrees. I think if I had a full time shop (not just a weekend warrior) I could justify maintaining the space temperature at a more human bearable setting.
However, the problem with intermittent cooling of a garage workshop with steel and iron tooling is the temperature variation with adjustments and calibrations constantly changing. Worse is the cooled down shop suddenly exposed, through opening a double garage overhead door, to the inrush of very hot and humid outdoor air. Instant condensation and rust on all cold metal surfaces. All the built up expensive cool air will simply dump down the driveway.
My tools have very minimal surface rust as their surfaces never get below the dew point of the outside air. So moisture in the air doesn’t condense. I take a cold Dr. Pepper to the shop in the summer and the can immediately begins to sweat. It is well below the dew point of the air.
I never set a cold beverage can on a metal tool surface or directly on the workbench. I don’t enjoy cleaning… Continue reading