Saturday, May 31, 2014

The weekend

Worked today, got off, cut grass, then died on couch, after making perogis for dinner. I am now ready to enjoy the weekend. During the week, after work, I managed to cut off and square up stock for the fixture I will use in machining the AR lower. Got one plate done, just have to do a bit of cutting on the other plate and I will be ready to start my lower. Hopefully get started tomorrow. Laundry is caught up, and lawn is caught up, so, I should be able to play tomorrow. Starting to get my tools in order. Still can't find my indexable cutting tools for the lathe. Need to pick up a few mics at the next Indy show I go to. The guy usually has a few Starretts for sale. I don't buy the cheap chinese junk, even for home. You can usually get quality used mics for what new mititoya junk costs. Most of what I do at home can be measured with calipers, but there are times accuracy matters. I do have an extra depth mic at work as well as an extra one inch Brown and Sharpe mic. Brought one of my precision angle plates home to clamp to. Garage is actually looking pretty good. Want to get a little boring bar for the lathe. Indexable ID threading bar would be even better. There is a huge flea market in a few weeks where there are tool vendors selling used, quality tools of all sorts. Have to see what they have.

Monday, May 26, 2014

crash and burn day

Absolutely no ambition at all today. I shamefully napped most of the day away. I hate doing that with so much to do, but I feel a whole lot better. Did manage to cook up part of a pork butt, which made for a nice dinner, other than that, not much of anything.

Back to work tomorrow. I managed to resurrect the CNC grinder that died six months ago. Got her going end of the day Friday. They planned on junking it, but, after dealing without it for a few months and seeing how much it does, I got the ok to fix it. More importantly, they ok'ed  the funds to fix it. They seem to think you can get rid of a machine that you use all the time, and not worry about replacing it. I swear they require a full frontal lobotomy to qualify for upper management around here. That, or they just look for the Obama stickers on their cars. It should take a huge load off of the manual side of the shop and increase output back to normal again. We have a huge backlog of work waiting on it. Have a feeling there will be some serious overtime in the future catching up on jobs.

Suppose to have parts for the other CNC OD grinder next week. That one should have been taken out and made into an artificial reef somewhere. It has been waiting on parts for a few months. Months. I told management they are probably digging through the local dump looking for where they buried the parts for them when they discontinued them back in the 70's. Ancient inefficient slow and very limited machine. I can grind the components twice as fast in my machine, thus, get rid of it.They are stripping it, repainting it, and repairing it. It is getting new ball screws and nuts for the second time since I have been down here. They also have to repair the ways which they tore all to hell. They replaced most of the controller earlier this year. A normal outfit would have sent it to the yard. I sometimes wonder if management owns stock in a competing company. It is the only reasoning I can come up with for some of the blatant stupidity and lack of common sense. Ahh, Monday, Wahhhhhh.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Much progress

Worked on the mill most of the day, not counting laundry and other chores. Managed to get the housing made for all the individual displays. The scales ship with the small displays, so that is what I will use for now. I did find blueprints for a cheap breakout board I can put together and an android app that would allow me to use an android tablet or phone to display all axis at once. It also allows you to program in bolt circles and grid points like on the fancier true digital read outs. It is quite amazing what is out on the net if you look. Extremely cheap to build. So far, the scales with stock readouts came in at about seventy bucks total. Took a bit to figure out how to go about mounting them, but I think it came out pretty passible and quite useable. The breakout board including Bluetooth adaptor will cost in the neighborhood of sixty bucks to build. I will keep an eye out for a cheapo android tablet at big lots or similar. Figure I will do the same on the lathe. I can use the same tablet and breakout board, just unplug from one machine and plug into other, or make a switch box.

Mill as it is stock. Alright for a starter, wish I had room for a knee mill. Couldn't beat the price as it was about the price of a decent drill press. Little used but not abused.

Here is where I left off yesterday. Had the digitals installed, but not really ready for prime time. The mini displays come with a magnet built into the housing so it will sort of hold on a steel surface.

Here is one of the scales mounted. This one was the easiest out of the three. Still need to put a guard to keep chips and oil off of it. Figure a thin sheet of rubber will do.

This is the finished product. I built a case to hold all the displays so I don't have to worry about them moving around. Didn't turn out to shabby. May engrave the rail with the axis letters, but probably not. I am leaning hard on converting to the android tablet. The scales would plug into the breakout board instead of the displays. With Bluetooth, cables would disappear under the machine and wirelessly connect to display. It would make display easier to read, neaten it up a bit and give me all the added capabilities of the fancier readouts. When I upgrade my phone, I may be able to use my old one for the display.This will do very well until then.

Need to hit the store and pick up some zip tie mounts to get the cables organized and some rubber to put over the lower scales.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Busy day

After making myself (and Spike of course), some breakfast, I got  busy on some projects. I totally emptied and reorganized the shed. Everything is now accessible and organized. The wheels on the lawnmower were really wobbly. Upon disassembling, I found they used plastic bushings instead of bearings. One plastic bushing came out in two pieces, the other side was really sloppy. I was going to turn up bushings to go in, but, I checked ace hardware miscellaneous bearings. I found a bearing with a flange that was the exact size I needed. $4.40 each. So, for under eighteen dollars, the mower is rolling better than new. Less than the price of one of the cheapie all plastic one size fits none replacement wheels available at Ace. And, with greased steel bearings, they should outlast the motor.

After that, I played in the garage the rest of the day. I finally got the digital readout installed on the z-axis on my mill. Tomorrow, I will route the wires out of the way and trim out the readouts. May have time in the evening to make the clamp plates for machining the AR lower. I have the material, just trying to get everything organized first. May check out ceiling  fans as well. The one in my room is acting up, and I want to put one in over the kitchen table. Have easy walk up access to the attic so installing a new box for the fan will be a piece of cake. Absolutely perfect weather out there. Suppose to keep up too.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Got to thinking....

I got to thinking about the idiots carrying and posing with rifles in a restaurant. They were exercising their rights, legally? I have a carry permit, and the good sense not wave a gun around like said morons. That being said, why were these rejects not arrested. If I were to walk into an establishment with my legal to own and carry pistol, and start parading it around and posing with it, I would be arrested, and justifiably so. It is called brandishing a weapon. Why were these rejects allowed to leave the establishment with their hands not cuffed behind their backs. May put a stop to the idiocy.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Well, another restaurant pushed over the edge by blatant stupidity

Bloomberg can pocket his money. With mentally challenged idiots such as the ones pictured with their AR's slung Rambo style while at a Mexican restaurant really doesn't help the gun rights people, at all. Bloomberg's new "mothers" group is claiming a win, and they didn't really have to try all that hard. What is wrong with these nimrods. Do they really think they are helping the cause. Can't blame the restaurant one bit. Big difference between open carry, and being an idiot. Sometimes I wonder if these idiots don't work for the gun control groups. Most people I hang with have more sense than to do, or want to do, something that idiotic.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

This weather can stay year around

I went out and did the lawn work today. It was in the 50's outside. No sweating. Nice and comfy. No AC bill, no heating the house, perfect. Finally got all the weed whacking done and the last of the little loose twigs picked up from the tree removal the week before last. The yard is looking clean and green. That out of the way, off to the gun show. Picked up a lower hardware kit for the AR. I now have most of the materials I need to start my lower. I picked up a buffer tube as well so I can verify the threads on the lower when I cut them. Plan on cutting them on the lathe instead of buying an expensive tap for a limited use. The guy had some rather cool stocks as well. Probably pick one up at the show next month. It has a slot for storing an extra magazine. It also comes with a ten round magazine. Has some nice cushioned pistol grips for it as well.

Once done there, off to the butcher shop. Picked up a smoked pork butt and other assorted meats. The smell of a real butcher shop would make a great air freshener for the car. The whole place smells like a smokehouse. It is a bit of a drive, but well worth it. With the chest freezer, I stock up now so trips aren't too often. Their bacon is fantastic. Picked up bulk veggies as well. Love stir fry, and they have a bulk frozen veggie mix that is perfect. May have to hit the show again tomorrow. For the life of me I can't figure out what I did with my pocket knife. Meant to pick one up while I was there and forgot. It will show up once I have a replacement, but that just means I will have a spare.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Quick day off

Day was pretty much shot by the time I got the laundry under control and the yard work done. Spike doesn't have to hop through the tall grass anymore though, so he is happy. Doesn't like grass touching his belly. Hilarious to watch. Really nice today other than a little sprinkle. It was suppose to storm all day. Glad they got that one wrong. Back to work tomorrow, but it will be a short week with a gun show at the end. Get Friday off for my birthday. Weird perk through work. Falls on a weekend this year so it will be a three day weekend, with another three day weekend later in the month.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

They were busy

I can't believe the progress made overnight. I got off of work, and headed back to try grocery shopping again. Most of the trees are chopped and gone. There are a few staged at the side of the road waiting on a truck. Power company has most of the poles replaced already. They were in the process of changing the wires over from the broken pole I drove under yesterday, onto the new one they erected next to it. Unbelievable how fast they moved and how much they got done in a brief period of time.

A couple of the guys from work are volunteer firemen. They spent most of last night out clearing downed trees after working all day at the shop, and then, came back for more fun at work today. They were headed back out after work to help some more. Good bunch of guys. Booneville, which is the next town over, declared a state of emergency while they continue to try and undo some of the damage. They will be without power for a couple more days. Hopefully the worst of the weather is behind us now.

Friday, May 9, 2014

That was fasssssst

Got off of work and headed to the grocery to pick up a few items. Radio says there is a thunderstorm watch for the area. A watch, for a thunderstorm. This is as I am parking my truck. I enter the building, the sky starts to darken. I make it through two aisles, it is now black outside. I start the third aisle, the lights flicker, then go out. Apparently, they don't have a backup generator, and their backup light system consists of a few employees with flashlights and a coupe of the two dim light bulbs on a pole backup lights. That is it. I calmly make it to the front of the store, it is raining hard, sideways. So, I wait for the storm to lighten up, or the power to return. After about five minutes, the storm subsides. No sign of power coming back on, so, it was time to hit the road. Apparently, when the power fails, the electric doors automatically open, wide. The entry way looks like a wading pool. There is water everywhere, along with debris of all types.
 I make it out to the truck. The streets are under water. The storm drains are spewing water into the streets at a very high rate. Looks like open fire hydrants. There are trees and power poles uprooted. There is a cement park bench uprooted and flipped upside down a short way down the street. It took several attempts to get home. I would make it about halfway, and have to U-turn and try another way as the roads are completely blocked by down trees, not branches, trees. The whole time I am worried about what kind of mess I was going to arrive home to. Figured bare minimum, no power for the foreseeable future as there are many, many power poles down and some simply uprooted and leaning against neighboring power lines. Had to drive under a couple of them as there was no turning back. Very nerve wracking.
 They just reported 50,000 without power so far with little chance for restoration until late weekend or early in week with the massive damage to the lines, poles and downed trees in the way. Upon arriving home, I find I am extremely fortunate. House is untouched as is most of my neighborhood. I live on higher ground, so the water drained away from our area. There were garbage cans and debris about, but no roofing to be seen, or other serious damage. Looked like the main concentration of the storm moved through like a tornado. The path went past the store and looked like it followed a straight path. No news of a tornado, but I have never seen a storm do this much damage, and definitely not in the short timespan that it hit. They still have a watch going for a few more hours. It cooled the area off by about twenty degrees in a matter of minutes.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Finally done, with that part anyway

Got home and cut up the last dead tree I took down. It is now curbside waiting on the garbage pickup. Still have a little work to do on the stump, and some more rock to put down, but the ugliest part is done. The stump I can work with a little at a time. Hope to get the worst of the labor done before the summer heat gets here. Been rather pleasant out for the last few weeks.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

With a lot of luck, maybe it will help nail the benghazi bitches coffin shut

But I doubt it. She is shooting her mouth off about guns. I really, really, really hope she keeps it up. I do believe the vast majority of people (not just the select people the liberal media weed out to interview) have had quite enough of the anti gunners. May it be the death of her political career. Otherwise, I foresee another Clinton gun ban coming. Wonder if clueless is aware the texting in a theater shooting was done by an ex law enforcement officer. Usually the democrats like to exclude law enforcement from their gun grabbing tactics. Not too sure about whether guns were allowed in that particular theater either. So, what short of grabbing all the evil guns could she possibly have in mind.
To me, sex and race have no bearing at all on who I vote for. That being said, I hope if she runs, the republicans have a worthy female to throw into the ring. If she runs, there will be a lot of people voting for her simply to have the first female in the white house. Electing an official on that basis is just as stupid as the idiots that put Obama in because he was black, or half black anyway. The only thing worse than having Obama for eight years, having Hillary for another eight.

Sunday, May 4, 2014


Why do knees not come with zerk fittings so you can lube them up. After two days of moving rock, my knees feel like hell and I swear I can just about hear them crunch. They seem to have gone to hell once I hit 50. Good part is the back yard is just about done. A few extra bags here and there to thicken it up a bit. The front yard, I intend on backing the truck up to each location and offloading what is needed at each spot.

After fussing with the rock this morning, I spent the rest of the day messing about in the garage. I installed digitals to the x and y axis on the mill. I am making a bracket to mount one on the z axis. Just ran out of time for the day. Have a plan for where and how to install. Made a couple of the bracket parts and installed them. Just have to machine a couple more pieces. want to make a small enclosure for the small units as well. Not as accurate as the high end ones, but for home use, they will be more than adequate. Suppose to be accurate to within .002 per six inches of travel.

Not ready to go back to work. It has been great working outdoors for a few days. Could use a few more days off, but that would just lead to wanting a few more.

Truck empty

Got up and made breakfast, then out to the yard. Pulled the section of fence and backed the truck up to the last big patch where rock was going. Much, much easier. Laid the last of the skid down. Need to make another trip. If I am off next weekend, I will pick up another skid. Back yard could use a few more bags and the front still needs doing. Have to finish cutting up the dead tree and hauling it off. The fun just never stops. Still, got a lot done for so early in the morning. May play in the garage most of the rest of the day.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Not so much fun after all....

Planned on playing around in the garage all day. That last surviving brain cell I have remembered last night that they have a sale on gravel at Home Depot. Seeing how today was the last day for their weekly sales, I had to get over there today. Truck comes in handy. Pulled into the garden area and had them load a pallet full on the back. Wish I had a fork truck on my end to unload it, but, got about half of it unloaded and placed, as well as the lawn mowed and trimmed. Still have a half skid on back. Going to remove a section of the fence in back yard so I can back the truck up to the last section of backyard I have to do. Next weekend, I will try and do the front. Trying to get it done while we have the cooler spring weather. Don't want to be doing it in the summer heat. Looks great where I have it down. Tired of doing mulch. Keep having to replace it. Gravel is more work, but should last.

Friday, May 2, 2014

It's the weekend, Yeaaaaaa

Worked lots of hours during the week and the weekend off. Perfect. Like the overtime, and the weekends off. Hope to play in the garage all weekend. Most of it is cleaned up and I can now get some stuff done. Fun stuff. Suppose to be nice out all weekend as well. During the week, I took parts of the mill apart and cleaned and lubed it well. Also got most of the backlash out of it. This weekend, I will install some digital readouts on it. Want to make my fixture for holding my AR forging for machining as well. Just got the material in today. Be nice to play with my toys and relax for a while.