On Friday, Maya needed a piece of wood that she was going to use for school to build a topographical map of the US. I ran to school and laser etched this and then ran it over to school for her.
Monday, May 16, 2022
They were getting rid of a palette jack at school the other day because it wouldn't hold its height or pump beyond a certain point. I figured it was probably a simple fix. I brought it home and figured out it was low on fluid and had a cracked o-ring. A little fluid and a new o-ring from my stash had it back up and working with very little effort. I've been needing a palette jack for a long time and Jill and I were talking about buying one when we moved the shop equipment. I ended up borrowing one at the time , but now I have my own and the price was right.
I made this little brass and silver married metal star for one of my colleague's new banjo before the semester ended. Josh asked me to make this so the luthier could inlay it into the neck. I think it turned out pretty good.
First day of Summer 2022: My grades were due today. I met up with one of my students, Maggie, who needed to finish a teapot for the Metal Forming class I taught. Students only had a couple of weeks to work on this and so we started with a found object for a handle. Maggie chose a chrome side mirror base from an antique store. The rest of the teapot was shaped from copper and TIG welded. I told Maggie to just focus on getting the form created and we'd worry about the base and finish after the semester was over. We met up today to powder coat and then she'll have to figure out how to make the base (which is currently in plasticine). This is going to be a sweet little teapot when it's complete.
I'm not teaching this summer; for the first time since I started teaching. I made a list of things I want to accomplish. It's a monster sized list but the first week will be good for wrapping up loose ends. Stay tuned...
Sunday, January 9, 2022
Have you ever learned about something and wonder... "why haven't I seen this or been told about this before this point in my life?". Well today I stumbled onto information about artist, designer, architect, computer scientist, Ron Resch.
The video Paper and Stick above is stellar. He received his B.A. and M.F.A. from the University of Iowa in the mid sixties and later to went on to teach at the University of Illinois-UC (Art and Computer Science) and later the University of Iowa (Computer Science) and Boston University (Computer Science). He later did consulting work and worked with NASA and on Star Trek the Motion Picture. What a career!
The egg he built above was a major undertaking. As the end of the film denotes, he started developing some of his calculations via computer. The feedback that he got from each development in his work and how he later applies it blows me away. He was so steady in his pursuit and again I assume this lead to the computer science gigs as a result of continuing to develop his work via computer.
Think about this... this is the beginning of algorithmic computer based design at this time. It gets better though...He modified a plotter to score and cut sheets of aluminum for the giant egg. Yes, that's right he modified/built a custom CNC machine to digitally fabricate the egg in 1975. The list of experts on his website and what they say about him is impressive.
I know there are many people folding paper and much research at MIT being done on the topic. I also know this was the basis of a lot of the early design work I was taught in college. The Bauhaus work was obviously a big influence of the Foundations program I went through. I also know a lot of Buckminster Fuller's work was influential to my Foundations education probably due to proximity of SIU-C to where I grew up and attended college. It's just interesting that this seems to be the "missing link" between my early education and my interests in technology, tools, craft, architecture, design, art , and digital fabrication. Well, this was just too good to not post about. Fascinating!! Ron Resch was the real deal!
Wednesday, December 8, 2021
Tuesday, November 30, 2021
I had a few days off for Thanksgiving. Jill wanted to get a Christmas tree the day after, so we drove over to the patch and picked up the tree she had a tagged a week or two before. The Tacoma has been squeaking like crazy and I knew the lower ball joints were going out. Luckily, I bought all the parts needed for replacing the entire front end when I originally bought the truck, so I had everything I needed sitting in boxes in the shop.
At first I thought I would just do the lower ball joints as it should have been a quick replacement job. As I was taking things apart, I snapped a couple bolts off in one of the knuckles on the driver's side, so things quickly turned into a full replacement. It made sense to change the upper ball joints anyway and this would allow me to remove the entire knuckle to make getting the snapped bolts out. Everything came apart easily after this and the only issue was going to be the reinstall of the upper ball joints since I didn't have a large enough press. Jill and i ended up taking a quick trip to Harbor Freight in Lenoir. They were having a sale anyway and the ball joint tool was considerably cheaper. The next day, I spent the day getting things back together and slapping some fresh paint on the new parts. I was glad I replaced the inner and outer tie rod ends. The passenger side inner was shot. I don't know how I didn't notice it in the steering. I have an upgraded Tundra brake kit that I probably should have installed, but I ended up just putting the old rotors and calipers back on, since they are still good. I'll wait for another day to do this job. At least I broke all the bolts loose in taking things apart, so it should come apart easier when I decide to do this.
I spent some time doing a "garage alignment" so I could rive to work the next day, but I'll have the professionals do a proper job very soon. I always wish I could do these jobs faster so I had more time to do things I really want to be doing, but this is what ends up happening when your cheap and your labor is cheaper. That said, it's good to be rid of the squeak and worry about ball joint failure.