Monday, October 24, 2011

Operation Light Tent

I decided this weekend I needed to get a bit more serious when it comes to taking pictures of projects, and looking around it seems that decent macro pictures require better lighting, aka.. A Light Tent. So I threw one together and without even trying very hard, got some decent pics.

Wish I'd done this sooner as it was pretty easy and a great return on the investment, some 1/2" PVC, a few fittings, some white stiff cloth and some shop lights are really all it took.. I still need to play around with different full-spectrum "daylight" bulbs, but I'm 90% there already.

It's clear that this sort of photography requires LOTS of light and 3-75watt bulbs aren't quite enough, but that's easy to fix and with a digital SLR camera, software and a bit of patience, I should be able to get 100% better photographs!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Custom Wedding Rings

My wife and I aren't wealthy, shoot not even close, but we both have high standards and getting married in Switzerland this year really cost a bundle.. So what to do about wedding rings?
Solution: Make them myself!
My normal M.O. is to research extensively, design and then prototype and only then make the final product, well this time was no different, sure I'd made jewelry in the past but this was a huge step up, I mean I'm working with materials I can't afford to replace if I mess up!
An added complication was I had a fairly tight time frame plus the fact that I needed to school myself on some techniques I'd never used before, namely inlaying precious metal and setting gems. Needless to say, it was nervous work. I spent a month or so coming up with designs and honing them down to something do-able, then buying Ballas diamonds, Mokume Gane and Titanium, not to mention a few special tools.

Then I got to work cutting the ring blanks:
 Cutting the main features on a CNC mill:
Fitting the Mokume-Gane inlays:
Assembled components:
After all that, I finished them off with lots of sanding, acid etching and polishing. It was something close to 40hrs of cutting and finishing, which really gives me a new appreciation for custom made jewelry, I thought Mokune-Gane rings seemed over priced before but now they seem like a bargain!
Link to more photos and video--> OUR CUSTOM RINGS 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Cushman Head

I just finished machined aluminum Cushman cylinder head for Groff Machine.
Made from Mic6 cast tooling plate for it's dimensional stability and low inherent stresses, it also has a relocated spark plug position, 14mmx1.25 plug threads, increased cooling fin area and a revised combustion chamber shape to accommodate larger valves and cylinder bore. 

I used a long .125"dia. ball-end mill with a lot of patience to get the fins cut, run time on the fin side was at least 6hrs. Despite the blocky appearance, there is a whole lot of free-form machining but it turned out well, cant wait to see it at home on an engine now. Just for kicks, I made an RP 1:3rd scale model for posterity using and Objet Eden 260v.
More Projects Coming!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Slow and steady progress

I've been working on what seems like 10 concurrent projects the last few months, trying not to neglect any one project, consequently I've only gone so far with each but whatev.. It's progress!

As far as the Jackhammer Scooter goes, I finally bought the front fork tubing and had it bent, I gotta' say there is a HUGE difference in price between .062" wall welded SS tube and .083" wall Seamless tube, Yowza.
I bought replacements for wrecked parts like a tire, wheel, bearings, ect. so I'm hoping to have a rolling chassis again fairly soon

Made a few bits for Speed Shop Design, which pretty damn cool to do I must say, And totally gratifying knowing that someone else with real skills trusts me enough to make something.

I really like my day job too, I just can't talk about it or show cool pics of parts or I'll be fired, jailed or worse hehe.. But here is a Sketchup version of my work environment: Something I just recently started playing around with and like A LOT.
I've recently committed myself to designing a high-flow, super$$$ race fuel petcock for the Vespa P. Silly I know, But I NEED it. No more leaning-out at WOT. All other mitigating solutions are null and void now(I'm looking at you "float bowl spacer" and SIP fuel valve!)

And lastly, work continues on the supercharger as well as my plan to redo the P.