"One Perfect Part at a Time"


Where is it made?

I received an email from a person who had been viewing my ecommerce web site. He asked me where (what country) a certain product I sell was made. The product is sold from Germany but the first thing I replied was, “with today’s world economy, he should have asked where the product was assembled.”

I didn’t know the answer so I gave this person the toll free number of the distributor in the USA and also the email for the same. I also made a remark (maybe unfairly, sorry) that it is far easier to dial a free number and ask, than to read three mindless guys posting pure speculation in a forum like somehow the answer was a secret and none of them had a telephone.

At least my guy wrote to me (a dealer) to ask. I wasn’t chiding him. It’s OK to ask the horse for the answer and hear it directly from its mouth… Ha!

That is as far as my response went, but it did set me off to thinking. Asking where (what country) something is made is a fair question. It is interesting information. I use that kind of information to influence or create an image of quality or sometimes lack of quality. It’s a common marketing ploy.

Today it is more smoke and mirrors than helpful decision making information. Leaving politics out, we are truly in a world economy. Many things are much better made and lower cost because of this fact. Even the American (Made in the USA) slogan where some people here in the USA demand 100% USA parts, seldom get it. The bauxite used to make the aluminum I machined on my Asian lathe to create the Made in Texas, USA component might have been imported from Canada.  Yeah,… Continue reading

Weighty Subject

A fellow ham radio operator Dennis (KI4DW) was in need  of replacement weights for his Brown Brothers “bug” keyer. The weights are the easy part. I thought he needed the thumb screws duplicated too. Turns out he has the screws.

The weights I turned from a 3/4 in leaded steel bar on the PD400. The slots are cut with a 3/32 end mill on the X3. The digital readout was a real big help in free handing the slots. (CNC automation spoils me.) In the picture, the slots still need a bit of internal filing to square the inside corners.

The 8-32 thumb screws would be a lot more work to make exact copies. I was afraid of the time (and cost) I would spend on two of them. I have since discovered a good source for these at McMaster-Carr.

If I make any more weights, about a half hour in BobCAD should make the slot cutting easy work starting from dead center. Heck, the G-code would be easy to write from scratch.

Just a few hours work on developing these parts. CNCing the slot would make it much faster to produce more.

NOTE: Log in is for admin and members only, not required to post comments.