Sunday, November 24, 2019

Selling What You Make

The truest test for anyone that makes anything, whether it's woodworking, nick knacks or knitting  is finding out if what you make is good enough that an average person would be willing to have one of your creations for themselves.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not into making things just to get recognition and praise from others.

To me creating stuff is a form of therapy - the act of having something that started out as an idea in the back of my head turn into something that I could touch and interact with is highly rewarding and helps stoke my need for self actualization.

While I enjoy puttering with wood and electronic bits, I also consider what I am doing as developing a skill, something that I can grow into and improve as time goes on.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Fooling Around With The NEJE DK8KZ Laser Engraver

NEJE DK8KZ laser engraver

It all stemmed from a desire to make a clock look better.

Over the past month, I've been experimenting with building wall clocks out of some hardwood that I had salvaged from the pallets that I have been collecting.

The idea was to glue the wooden pieces together and turn them down on my lathe so that they had a nice circular shape and a smooth clock face.

While I was pretty happy with how things turned out on the lathe, I was faced with a bit of a dilemma on how to best put the face on the clock.

In the past, I would have gone the easy way and stuck on those plastic numbers that you can find in any craft supply store, but I felt that is would really detract from the look of the hardwood.

I really wanted to engrave the numbers into the clock face, but to be honest, I am not really artistic enough to properly etch the numbers onto the clock's face with my router.

This left me with going with some sort of automated way to etch in the numbers. In the end, I ordered an inexpensive CNC router (which I will talk about in a future post). But while I was doing my research online to figure out what router to get, the internet elves keep showing me this rather small laser engraver as an alternative suggestion.

While I did order a router,  I was gradually becoming more intrigued by this little laser engraver that was being pushed on me.

Eventually, I was taken in by a sale price of less than $70 so I figured, what the heck, and pushed the Order Now button.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Searching for Gliders with the Open Glider Network

Many gliders in the air

It all started with a rather mysterious message on my answering machine.

When I came home from work a few weeks ago, I noticed the little red light on my answering machine was blinking, indicating that a new message had arrived.

The message was from a gentleman from Ottawa wondering if I was the person that was running a FlightAware receiving station, and if so, would I be interested in helping to track some gliders for an upcoming international soaring competition that would be occurring in my area soon.

Intrigued, I phoned back and after a nice long conversation, I got a quick education on a system that the glider community has been using in Europe for several years and they were very keen on getting firmly established in North America and were wanting to have it in place for the competition,

The underlying goal of this system is safety - in Europe, flying gliders is quite popular which has created situations where several gliders can occupy the same airspace, creating an increased potential of mid-air collisions.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Table Saw Stand from Pallets

A stand fit for my new table saw

As I may have mentioned in previous posts, things have been going under a bit of a transformation in the shop. 

This summer marked a move to some better (albeit still "small") shop space. As part of this move, I decided to treat myself to an upgrade to my old table saw. 

In my past couple of posts, I've discovered and have been experimenting a little with that outcast of the shipping world, the lowly pallet. 

Since I was impressed on how well my new workbench had turned out. I wanted to continue my experience of using pallets to further improve conditions in the new shop space. 

My new table saw is classed as a compact table saw which is meant for use at construction sites. While a very capable saw, in order for it to be used properly, it really needs to be set securely on a stand or a tabletop. 

When I looked at what a store-bought stand would cost, I realized that I was looking at least a couple of hundred dollars for a custom stand for the saw. 

Since I had a few leftover pallets from my workbench project sitting in the corner of the shop, something told me that I could probably build something similar for a lot less money.