Sunday, May 31, 2020

How Did I Get Here? - Playing with Wires

Radio Shack Crystal Radio

Last week I chatted about how I developed my interest in creating a large amount of sawdust,

But if you have taken a look at my projects, you would also see a good number of items that either lit up or did some sort of display.  Often these electrical projects were located in close proximately of materials that suspiciously looked like wood. 

My interest in electronics was somewhat related to my chosen career in IT.

However, my career has been focused on building the software that are run on computers, which typically doesn't really require much in-depth knowledge of the innards of a computer. 

But of course, wanting to know how random bits of electrons can make the software that I've developed come to life has always intrigued me. 

I suppose my first exposure to the mysteries of electronics came one Christmas morning when I was around 9 years old. That year I got a "Science Fair" Crystal Radio from Radio Shack as a gift. 

Sunday, May 24, 2020

How Did I Get Here? - A Woodworking Journey

Let it be said that I never claimed to be an expert

A little while ago I was asked by a reader how I got to where I am today - puttering around with wood and electronic bits and posting about my misadventures for the world to see. 

That did give me a bit of a pause to be honest, mainly because my journey into the shop has been a bit of a meandering one with lots of curves and dead ends.

I guess my interest in things wood and electronics had separate points of origin with the two interests meeting because of a very basic reason - being as cheap as possible, I was forced to use what I had on hand because I didn't really want to spend a lot of money. 

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Building a Garden Tractor Out of Wood - Building the Chassis

I'm really intrigued by this tractor

In my last post, I discussed that there seemed to be a lot of neat projects published in the "How-To" magazines that were put out over 50 years ago.

While I marveled at the sheer number of cool projects that there was, I was immediately drawn to one particular project that was published in an issue of Mechanix Illustrated from the late 1940s.

That particular project was for a small garden tractor. While that in of itself wasn't too unique, what made this particular project leap out at me was that it was constructed completely out of wood (well, except for the engine and some small mechanical parts).

Sunday, May 10, 2020

An Idle Mind is a Dangerous Thing

I usually strive to stay busy, whether it being at the day job, or puttering away in the shop during the evenings and weekends or doing the other obligations that I have on the plate.

However, when I do have an odd moment when I have absolutely nothing on the go I often find that my mind tends to wander on what sorts of things I could try out. Often these flights of fancy turn into projects that I have posted here,

Sometimes the pondering sends me down a rabbit hole - with some help from my good friend Google.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Kitchen Hand Mixer Autopsy

One Hand Mixer - Deceased

The other night I heard a great deal of fuss emanating from the kitchen.

Poking my head around the corner, I noticed my spouse was in the midst of mixing a batch of chocolate chip cookies (yum), however, after 10 years of faithful service, the electric mixer that she was using had decided at that moment to cease functioning. 

The mixer was still making the appropriate noises that you would expect, but the beaters were definitely not beating anymore. 

Initial diagnosis - stripped gears

After finishing mixing the cookie dough the old fashion way and doing some quality control testing of the resulting cookies, I decided it was time to take a look at the mixer and find out what really killed it.