Motorcycles, tools, and garages! A little bit of everything mechanical and technical.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Do I get a gold star?!


I will have made it through 4 years of teaching.

This year has been pretty interesting. I started off with a few goals for the first trimester- fairly large for me and requiring a lot of organization / preparation / lesson planning. I for the most part achieved my goals to the benefit of my curriculum and students. 2nd tri was a brand new experience, with the purchase, assembly, testing, and finally implementation of a brand new piece of technology- a 3D printer. STILL having fun with that one. Third tri was a blur of projects and activities but we made it through.

For me, it's kind of a crossroads. Mrs. Punch, my wonderful wife, graduated in January. A few weeks ago she officially was offered a job as a teacher starting this fall. While we will love the much needed extra income (remember, Idaho is still the second lowest paid state, and now we are BOTH teachers...) I'm hoping and planning that its MY turn to get some more education.

Here's the problem. What does someone like me, who has no desire to get a masters in administration, do!? I love working with my hands. I love showing others how to work with their hands and MAKE. I would love to make myself a better teacher but overall, I want to know more about the how, why and why-nots of making. There are so many things I want to try- blacksmithing, jewelry making, industrial design and all that goes with that, metallurgy seems fun, and anything that sucks fuel in, blows it up, and makes wheels spin is always at the top of my charts- the older the better.

Figure I've got a year to figure out the WHAT, then comes the how- how do I do that while hanging on to a job I love, how to do it from here in the place we love, how to make it work.

Just what I need, ANOTHER project.

In the meantime, a pic from today. Final shop cleanup. Spent all day doing this- felt like hearding 120 ducks from point A to point B, all the while trying to get them to leave a SMALLER mess behind...

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Custom Built Hotwheels- The second attempt.

Had so much fun the first time I thought I'd try it one more time.  Got a little overboard with this one though...  you can see a ton more pics here:  http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=880643&page=3

This one I'm entering into a "competition".

Dang purple paint was a royal pain to get off... 

Made some beds,

and got 'em sorta fitting...


Sort of how it'll sit.






Trying out all kinds of new things on this one... The thumbtack air cleaner is probably my favorite so far though.  Have a long ways to go still, and not much time to do it.  I entered this one in a "competition" just for fun.  Not planning on winning anything but I figured it would keep me motivated to finish it.  

Monday, May 20, 2013

Mendelmax 2.0- Updated to the "Birdstruder"

I downloaded and printed my first "thingy" from thingiverse the other day- the "birdstruder".  Noticed my extruder idler was cracking!

It was still working, but occasionally the filament would slip and the print would skip.  Here's where thingiverse comes in- downloaded and printed this little gizmo to replace the Maker Gear plastruder.  The new one is even quick change capable!

Parts freshly printed:

Assembly (you can probably see why its called the birdstruder):



Installed, tested, and working!

Pretty happy with it so far, seems to be much better designed and I love the tool-less filament change now. Took a tad bit of dremel-ing to get things to fit perfect but overall it was pretty darn close.Had to buy 2 longer screws and nuts to go with them, for a grand total of something like 78 cents.  Can't argue with that!

Tech 2 has been working on their "big" projects.  Went back and forth with a few different ideas of what they could do but in the end here's what we decided. 

I gave them some real basic guidelines- must have at least 3 different parts, one of which must "move". So far we have 3 Ipone / Ipod cases, a pair of glasses, a boat anchor and winch, 2 lego people, a folding lawn chair, and an airplane. This oughta be interesting...  Hoping to start a batch printing tomorrow, because we've only got a week and a half of school left!!!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Dans's Chariot #4- Axle.

Took me long enough, but I finally got a belt for the lathe so I could run it in the higher RPM range and got the axle turned down. I'm using a Smithy CB1220-XL.  It's pretty beat- lotsa chatter but it works okay.  It's got a weird belt setup for changing the spindle speed- 2 short belts with an idler in the middle for the lower RPM's, or one long belt and remove the idler for higher RPM.  Long belt has been looong gone since before I started teaching here but I managed to find one that fits.  Took forever to get the idler loose enough that it came off the shaft too.  Got it all figured out and we're in business.

The axle started out as "sucker rod"... Not exactly sure what that is but I'm guessing it has something to do with well drilling.

After I hacked off the end and the goofy plastic piece, time to start spinning.

Haven't quite figured out how to change the crossfeed speed... It looks like there are a few gears that interchange but the other gears are missing.  With the spindle spinning about the correct RPM, the cross feed would fly down the metal.  Got a little warm, as you may be able to tell by the chips.

Finally got both sides turned down enough!

Looking good, although I think I may have to unbend a few of the curves to make the tongue higher of the ground. Right now, by my estimates the lowest point is 3-4 inches off the ground.

Picked up some castleated nuts, bushings, and washers so next week it should be a little more permanent.  Need to brush up on my welding and get the joints finished off too, then I can cut out the hitch end, make the seat brackets and mount the seat, and do some testing.  Long ways to go still and not enough time to do it!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mendelmax 2.0- First batch of Student Projects!

Finally got around to finishing up the wheels for the student cars.  Think they turned out pretty nice!

Started out just running 4 at a time but got to where I did 8 in one fell swoop.

4 down, 33 to go.

Printed wheels of in batches of 100.  Looks like I finally got my bed pretty darn level.

Pile of wheels and my sample with 'em glued on.

And the finished products!

Some of them followed the instructions great, a few didn't and their wheels didn't fit in the wheel wells... Mostly they turned out pretty good! 

My Tech 2 class (Grade 8) has been playing with the printer this week, here are a couple of their "practice" prints.

They drew them up, exported the .stl, repaired it in Netfabb, and a few of them played a bit with Repetier. Couldn't get it to install on all of the computers though so we loaded them all in one file to generate the code.

We started on their big projects- have a couple students attempt ipod / iphone cases, one pair of glasses, an airplane, a couple of "lego" people, a trailer jack (?!?!?), a boat anchor and winch...  The things kids come up with.  Should be fun!