Monday, August 31, 2015
Saturday, August 29, 2015
Shop Teacher Bob linked to this following artist/craftsman Sott Raade and his welding skills. Crazy awesome!! It makes you want to go practice for ten years so you can even feel like you have the right to approach him with a simple question. RESPECT!
It also makes me want to sink into a hole when I hear art instructors talk about welding and compare the process to "hot glue but with metal". I think we might want to admit to our art students that there's a bit more to welding than that. Just saying'...
Thursday, August 27, 2015
Thursday, August 20, 2015
I just put the FJ tub back on the frame yesterday. I welded in threaded insets for all of the missing roll bar, rear heater, seat attachments a few weeks ago. I did a ton of grinding and welding in the last few weeks on the underside of the body. I painted POR 15 on the underside of the body two weeks ago and just did a quick paint job on the interior body panels and front cowl this week. Yesterday I started installing the steering column and foot pedal cluster. The front has new tires that I had mounted a week ago, but I’m waiting on new tires for the rear as well as new poly body mounts. In the meantime I've been stripping paint from all of the misc. parts. I have all of the other sheetmetal stripped (doors, hood, hardtop, front fenders), but still need to prime and paint them. Today, I also installed the rear frame braces with new stainless hardware. I'm using primarily stainless hardware other than the original Toyota cadmium plated stuff that is still in good condition (some of it looks brand new from the previous restoration). Engine will require new headers and exhaust, but should be good to run after adding fluids and tweaking the carb. The FJ has actually been coming together quickly, but I’ve been spending a lot of time out in the garage late at night. I’m sure progress will come to a halt when school starts.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
If you've been reading this blog for a while, you'll remember my great friend, Eric Larson.
Eric and I met at the U of I and where he was getting his dual major in Industrial Design and Metals. He was even in one of the Metals classes I taught as a grad student and we both enrolled in one of the best classes I ever took in school, that covered welding (in the Agriculture Department). But we've been great friends ever since school and he is probably one of the people who I know directly that "really gets it" when it comes to work ethic, design, making, functional objects, etc. He's always been someone who I respect greatly for his talent, his heart, and his ability to learn. As some of you may know, he and I worked together for the first couple years when I first moved to Milwaukee as we both built some hot rod VW's and some Single Cab VW trucks. Over the years we have worked on several side projects and I can't even count the number of times that we got together to make something. I don't know what it is exactly, but Eric is a joy to work with. I can honestly say that I have had some of my most productive moments when we've been working together. As I said, "he just gets it".
Well anyway, Eric has worked in the Industrial Design field ever since graduation, and he has learned the ropes by working several years for DiMonte Group and growing in his design skills, Solidworks skills, and working as project manager for several big name clients. He has really developed into a great business man as well as continuing to grow as a designer and maker. I was stoked a few years ago when he said that he was going to make the leap and start his own business called Clear Irons. Eric has been killing it lately with his new business and consistent work with Paratech as well as wheelchair design work for ADI.
Eric recently hired a super talented guy (Robby Sachs) and they've been working on the new website as well as rolling out a line of products that you can purchase from their store. Eric recently launched the new website and he has several things happening over there that my blog readers will be interested in. You have to go check out the great work they have for sale in addition to their design and prototype work. Also, bookmark the site as you'll want to be sure and follow their work as they are utilizing CAM software to run their beautiful Haas CNC milling machine to make new tooling and prototypes. Make sure to follow Eric and Robby on Instagram as I know they will have frequent updates there.
Eric's been busting his tail to make the business happen so I'm thrilled to see the progress he's making. I haven't seen him as much as I used to, as life has just been speeding out of control for us both. I miss working with Eric out at the Seward Speed Shop or on The Farm; we most definitely miss Eric's family too, as his Mom and Dad have always been special to my immediate family. I miss our super awesome conversations and working together, but I love that I can always keep tabs on what Eric's up to and how he's using his skills to make a difference. Super inspiring to see him "making his way" too; I'm so proud to be able to call him a friend. Now go check out his site and buy a cool hand-stictched wallet or sketchbook cover
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Aaron just sent this to me. I'm still looking for the film so I can watch the entire documentary. This trailer speaks to me though. Reminds me of the the design build stuff that Matt and Jim used to talk about and Eric's grain silo house that we used to talk about. It also makes me realize how important it is for my students to understand the importance of designing and building for others and their needs. Makes me question work/objects for the 1% of people who can afford or relate to things.
Monday, August 17, 2015
A former UWM Graphic Design student, Zak Smeltzer, came by the studio on Saturday so I could design and make a wedding band for his upcoming wedding. I knocked this titanium ring out in two hours while he watched the lathe turn and we talked about what he has been up to since he graduated. It was good to see him and good to be able to make this for him for his special day.
Thursday, August 13, 2015
Caitlin's Enable Fellowship is wrapping up. She has been working on a trumpet holder for Karuna. She has done an amazing job with this project.
The piece that fits on the trumpet fits so nicely. To secure the piece, it's just a matter of snapping the large plate onto the valve and then sliding a bottom piece on that locks it to the trumpet. She then designed a hand and gauntlet that have a multi-postion dovetail disc that interfaces with the trumpet dovetail. We will be able to make other attachments that interface with this dovetail.
Karuna wants a swim fin for the dovetail hand in addition to the trumpet device. The nice thing about the trumpet component is that Karuna can leave the trumpet dovetail attached to the trumpet even while the trumpet is in his trumpet case. He is able to put on the new hand and gauntlet and then he pull out his trumpet and simply slide the trumpet onto his hand. I hope to redesign Shea's bow holder so she doesn't always have to have the bow and arm piece permanently attached to each other. It should cut down on her running it into things or it sticking out of a bag in an awkward way.
We did a test fitting two weeks ago and it seems to work really well. Caitlin has strengthened some of the hinge pivots and she should be able to release the files on the DCRL Thingiverse page soon.
One of the Makerbot 2X's had a faulty "M" button. I ended up cutting and gluing a little piece of aluminum to the back of the button. It's worked so far! It's kind of funny that the back of the board had the washers to keep the board from making contact with the back plate. Must have been a last minute design fix...