Sunday, January 25, 2015
Saturday, January 24, 2015
I put some new tires on the Ural this past weekend. The old tires were a mix of various tread styles in Russian and Duro brand tires that had serious cracks in the sidewalls. I knew when I purchased the Ural that I would need to address this. I ordered up some Duro 307's since they have a little more aggressive tread than the stock 308's. I figured they should be better for winter riding and that the snow shouldn't clog them like the 308's. I don't mind changing the occasional tire, but honestly, I was dreading doing four tire/tube changes. I happen to have some heavy duty tire irons as well as my stock BMW set that came with my R60/5. Again, I wasn't looking forward to this as I have been having some back pain due to a pulled muscle, but this weekend was supposed to be nice in terms of the weather. I knew that if it didn't happen this weekend that it never would. I didn't have any trouble getting the Ural jacked up and the wheels off. The center stand allowed teasy access to the rear and a previous owner happened to have included a v notched 2x4 to prop under the engine to allow the front to slip off. A jack under the sidecar and all three wheels were off in addition to the spare. (I bit the bullet and started demounting work after bringing the tires/wheels inside to warm up next to the space heater in the basement. I cleaned the rims and did a little grinding inside the rims as the original weld seam was left un-ground in a few areas (proof of the rough finishing that these early rigs had). One all of the surface rust was cleaned up, I steel wooled the outer rim, put new rim strips on and prepared for mounting the new tires. Again, I softened these up by placing them next to my space heater. I repeated this process four times and by the end of the afternoon, I had all new rubber on the Ural rims. I went outside to complete the mounting job and made sure to re-grease the axles and torque things down. I also installed new fuel lines, adjusted the clutch, checked the lights and starter relays, installed a battery tender connection, and fixed the intermittent electric start issue. It was a good ride to work today with fresh tread and piece of mind.
I made some shortened turn signal mounts for the Ural two weeks ago. I've seen these sold through Ural shops, but it just seemed to easy to fabricate. This allows me to "tuck" the signals in tight to the bike. It's hard enough keeping an eye out for the sidecar, that extends on the right, to keep from running into parked cars along the side of the road. I'm just not used to being offset to the left when riding. Regardless, of the cylinders sticking out, the signals seem to snagged more easily by things when I park the Ural in the crowded garage and when I'm getting on and off of the bike. I started with some stainless steel bolts: I cut the heads off, center drilled and drilled a hole down the middle for the signal wiring and then remounted the signal. Easy job!
Fred and I made some shelving units for the DCRL this past week. I spent an afternoon cutting wood and Fred and I tag-teamed the assembly with Fred gluing and me brad nailing the following morning. We haven't connected the separate units yet, but we threw the hexagonal units all together to see how things might take shape. We plan on making more of these, as they will become storage spaces for students to store their class materials and tools. We have around 30 units made and I think we could probably fit around 100 on the wall in the DCRL. We plan on treating the inside of the hexagonal units with polyurethane and then we'll paint the front edge either red or black. I probably will also encourage students to make a front acrylic cover that we can engrave and fit so that they have a "door" on their storage unit. I know we could probably have made a more simple shelving unit, but this will look good and allow us to reconfigure.
This animation was created solely by Rose Brauner. Rose is the daughter of Marna Brauner who is one of my retired colleagues in fibers at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. Marna enrolled in my Drawing for Digital Fabrication course this past semester and we have had such a good time sharing process and teaching ideas, and working with the students in the course. It has been such a pleasure to have Marna present in the course as she has helped me to see how the things I am teaching, and we are doing in the DCRL can translate into all Craft fields of study. This hybrid practice and idea of Digital Craft has been at the forefront of my mind since creating the DCRL. I would love to see ceramics, fibers, metals, and print, unite and bring their respective knowledge, material, and process knowledge to the table within the DCRL. The students are already doing this on their own and this is the direction I see things going as the institution tries to catch up.
Marna brought Rose to the DCRL one day over break so we could discuss zBrush and we ended up having great discussions on computer modeling, animation, the implications of social media, Cal Arts, artists that Rose has worked with, and the future work that Rose plans on pursuing. I had such a great time. At the end of our time together Marna shared this animation with me and I thought it would be nice to share it all with you. I can simply say that I wouldn't even know where to begin technically speaking to create something such as this, let alone make something that is visually interesting and compelling. Rose is currently looking for an animation or illustration job, so please share if any of you out there know of any positions (on the West coast most likely).
"Library" by Rose Brauner.
I completed the e-NABLE dog tags, packaged them, and sent those to Jen Owen last week. She should be able to get an Easy site up soon so she can raise some money for e-NABLE. Send her an email if you're interested in purchasing some e-NABLE stuff.
In addition to getting ready for the new semester to begin and preparing new course stuff over break, I've been working on a new hand for Weston. Weston's father Matt contacted me earlier last year after seeing our work with Shea. Weston was a bit too small to fit a proper five finger hand to, but I had sent an Ody hand to him. No that Weston has grown a bit, we're going to work with him and his family to see how a new five finger hand might work for him. He's still a bit young for a hand, but Matthew is going to work with their doctors to make sure everything is proper. I have parts printed for this Star Wars inspired white and black scheme, and I am wrapping up assembly so I can get this out to Weston in Center Moriches, NY asap. I thought some process photos might be nice so you can see the scaling in Rhino and the comparison to Weston's unaffected right hand. This hand will be a bit larger and longer than Weston's unaffected hand, but this seems to be par for the course with most of our designs. This is something I hope to address in the near future. Stay tuned for some assembly shots soon!