Thursday, January 2, 2014

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

hardy tools

After much wishing I had some hardy tools, I made some hardy tools.  These tools fit in the square hole in an anvil.  Hole sizes are nonstandard, so it's often worthwhile to make your own.  Smiths typically make their own tools anyway.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

"Device For Converting Motion"

I got a railroad forge from craigslist a few years ago.  beautiful flywheel, but rather rusty.  I ran the blower on an electric motor for a while instead.  I decided I wanted less noise and more control.  There are a few variations out there for people powered blowers, one of the most common being the hand-crank blower.
This one is a bit rarer as far as I can tell.  Perhaps that's because of its relative mechanical complexity.  However, unlike all of the hand-crank blowers that I've seen, it does not require gears.  It's all belt driven.
the flywheel assembly was all rusted together, all one with the steel shaft.  I was certain that it was some kind of clutch, just not entirely sure what of it was meant to spin independently on the shaft.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

summer at Sandhill Farm, Rutledge MO

This post has been a long time coming.  Guess I've got some phase lag to deal with.

I never did set up an engineering job for this summer.  Instead, I worked at Sandhill Farm, an agrarian cooperative and community in rural northeast Missouri.  I went there to learn about small scale food production.  Folks at Sandhill grow upwards of 80% of the food that they consume.  To pull in some income, they produce and sell condiments (horseradish, mustard) and sweeteners (honey, maple, and sorghum syrup).  I also went to learn about modern alternative culture.  It's been a while since the 1970s and 80s, when many books on natural building, alternative living situations and homesteading were published.
front to back: echinacea, green beans, and salad greens

Monday, November 25, 2013

overtone flute

Here's a video from June 2013 of an overtone flute I made.  It's a fipple flute (like a recorder or pennywhistle).  This one had a bore of 7/8" and was almost three feet long.  I regret having drilled holes in it to make it into a low whistle.

kitelandboard part two: the saga continues

after not one, not two, but three complete failures at composite layup, I decided to switch approaches.  Using some high-tech material which appeared in MITERS after a neighboring shop was being cleaned, I made a new deck.  The material is aluminum honeycomb.  It appears to be bonded with some sort of epoxy (does well under heat) to two sheets of ~2mm thickness.

I debated for a while whether it was worth bending up the ends to give the trucks the necessary angle, or if I should just leave the deck flat and machine some angle brackets to go between the trucks and the deck.  Bending the deck beyond its 'elastic' region crimps the material, leaving a very weak joint.