Monday, June 30, 2014

One more day

Going to try and make it in tomorrow thus saving a personal day for a later date. Today was incredibly long. They didn't fare well in my area over the weekend. The guy scheduled for Saturday decided not to come in. He turned his two week notice last week, so I didn't think he would be in. Two of the remaining people in my department called in. So, work was about where I left off when I went home Friday. Eight more hours until freedom. Some down time is long overdue. Plan on playing in the garage most of Wednesday. Not even planning any short trips as of yet. Leaning more towards just playing with some of my tools and toys and maybe hitting the range several times to produce some empty brass.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Not much of a show

Went to the tractor show this morning. Huge let down. Have a hard time believing they would even advertise something so small. The flea market consisted of two booths with junk I would throw out. No steam anything, which would not have been an issue had they not advertised such. The tractors? A total of maybe forty of them. Parking lot looked to have about twenty cars. Oh well, at least I know not to bother next year. I did get hold of my buddy from work and waved him off of wasting his time.

Went to stores afterwards. Menards was out of their advertised rock, so I don't need to rush to get it by tomorrow. I usually don't shop there, but the price would have been good, had they actually had any. Headed over to Home Depot. Once again, I am left with a bad taste in my mouth. They raised the price of the rock I used in the back yard. This was no big deal. What I really dislike intensely is what they have done to check out. They have eliminated all cashiers except for the garden area and contractor check out. They have those self check out counters everywhere else. They blocked the regular cashier lanes off with displays. No, I am not against progress. I am against eliminating entry level jobs for kids starting out. I go out of my way to avoid them as I see them as a way of eliminating needed jobs for lower skilled labor. Home Depot just made my no go list. Just have to make do with Lowes, which is my first choice anyhow.

Rest of the day was just groceries and chores. Trying to work up the ambition to go to Louisville tomorrow. It's always a fun show, just not really feeling like driving. May just play in the garage for a while tomorrow.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Ahhh, the weekend, a full weekend

Made it to the weekend, all two days. Tomorrow, I do believe, weather permitting, I will be attending the Princeton Indiana tractor show. Suppose to have a big flea market, steam powered saw mill, old tractors and lots of neat stuff to look at. Should make for a nice day. Have a gun show in Louisville to hit, and then, only two workdays next week. Vacation is looming in the not so distant future. I need to pick up some stone before the weekend is over as the sale ends Sunday. Not sure where to fit that in on the schedule. Two loads should finish off the landscaping. Going to go with river rock in the front yard. Need a few more bags of gravel for the back. Figure I can cripple myself at the beginning of vacation so I have a couple weeks to recover.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Time is slowing down to a crawl

The work part of the day anyway. The closer vacation gets, the longer the days. This weekend is the JAG show at the Louisville convention center, so that will be a mini break before vacation begins. It is a huge military gun show. Lots to see. They usually have several booths that look like they are straight out of a firearms museum. Totally awesome displays. They have some regular firearm dealers there, but it leans heavy on the military side. If I work Saturday, I will probably take one of my personal days Monday, which would make next week a one day work week. I could deal with that.

Machines are doing their very best to irritate me before I get out of there. I have been doing more machine repair than machining at work. Get one going, and the neighboring machine eats something. Blew a power supply on the drives on the one machine. Don't luck out like that very often, but our automations department had a suitable replacement on hand and we were back up and running again. I need to get away for a while.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Gonna be a busy weekend

Got off work and went to an antique auction with a buddy from work. Todays stuff wasn't really anything I am interested in, but tomorrow, a whole assortment of electronic parts and equipment. All kinds of components and gear. Figure if it goes cheap and hopefully when I am there, as I have to work tomorrow, I may pick some items up. They have tabletops full of boxes of old tubes, wire of all sorts, boxes of resistors, capacitors and some cool old radios. Have to work until afternoon, so I don't know if I can catch any of it or not. Have to wait until Sunday to go to the gun show. Only one full week left until vacation. Suppose to work Monday and Tuesday of the following week, but, I may just take a couple of personal days to fill the void. Two whole weeks out of that rat race would be awesome. Lord knows I can find all kinds of stuff to do.

I got my Bluetooth module in the mail today. Just have to solder all the parts together, flash the chip and my new display for the mill will be ready to try. Wish my Kindle fire had Bluetooth as it would make a really nice display monitor. Connecting through Bluetooth, I can use it and then carry the phone or tablet away when I am not using the mill. I already downloaded the app to my phone. I will use the phone for a display until I can find a cheap tablet to replace it. May take time, but I know I will find an outdated tablet at a fleamarket or clearance store somewhere on sale cheap. Don't need a high end one for a display.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Looking a little more like a lower,

and less like a paperweight. Finally got out and did a little bit of work on the AR lower. Hope to get more done tomorrow. Like to get the milling on the sides done, and hopefully, drill and cut the threads for the buffer tube over the weekend. Going to single point the threads in the lathe as I don't have the right size tap, and don't care to spend the money on something I won't use too often. If I keep on track, hopefully be starting to mill magazine and trigger group area out during the week. See how things go. Work has been pretty brutal lately. Energy lacking by evening as a rule.

Don't intend on rushing it. If I don't feel like doing it after work, vacation is just around the corner. Want to run the electric for my powder coat oven while I am off as well. Garage is really looking up. Intend on getting a little shooting in on vacation as well. Not really planning on going anywhere, just some relaxing and playing.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Decisions, decisions....

I get home to find my set of end mills, reamers and a few other tools sitting at my door. Do I play, or cut the grass. It was hard, but I did the chores. All weeds are whacked, grass mowed and everything cleaned up. Should have some play time tomorrow. If it is another day like today, it will be my Friday, because I will use a personal day to finish the week out. I swear it seems like the monkeys are running the zoo at work. Besides, a three day weekend sounds pretty good to me.

Monday, June 16, 2014

About time

After a week, they finally mailed my order. Should get my tools mid to late week. It doesn't usually take them this long. I did get my chemicals for bluing the finished product, but, I am a bit away from that yet. It's a skeleton crew at work. A good number of them went to Friendship Indiana for a huge muzzleloader shoot. It is huge. I went last year. They have a giant flea market that sells anything and everything. It's not the type of flea market with the cheap Chinese junk for sale. It is like a huge yard sale. They have some cool tool shops set up where you can get good deals on used quality tools. They have guns and all the shooting supplies you would need (black powder type that is). Animal pelts, wood for stocks, and all types of fun stuff. Most of the kids go there, camp out, shoot and party most of the week.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Fathers Day

I forgot all about it. Dad's been gone for a bit over a decade now. Hard to believe it has been that long.  My son remembered though. Talked to him for a couple hours. He is doing well. He went to a big Hot Rod show in Lake County fair grounds. Sounded like a lot of fun. They usually have a few good shows out there. Can't beat it for cheap entertainment. He had a fender bender with his bike a couple months back and is still waiting on it to get put back together. Fortunately he wasn't harmed beyond a few bruises. He was hoping on doing Sturgis this year. His girlfriends family likes to ride and they were talking about a nice road trip out there. Cool family outing. It is always good to hear from him. Happy Fathers Day to all the dads out there.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Steam show day....

Spike got to go get coddled by a bunch of young ladies, while I went to the iron and steam show. He is very popular at the vets office. They love him. I drop him in the morning and they do his vaccinations, blood work and dental cleaning, and I pick him up in the evening. The steam show was awesome as usual. They have a working saw mill set up. A steam powered rock crusher where they turn busted up concrete into gravel. A steam powered hot rod type car that looked way cool. It was a very enjoyable day. Ate junk food. Went to the flea market. Picked up some used tools while there. The weather was perfect. Cool, sunny and breezy. I thought the gun show was this weekend, but it is next weekend. They have Shriner fest going on down town. Must have had an airshow as I got quite a show in my back yard watching them fly to and from the event. It is quite enjoyable watching from your own back yard. I would go, but I hate crowds. I hate downtown and I hate parking down town, so, steam show will suffice for weekend excursions. Picked up Spike and got him home. He sleeps pretty deep after a stressful day at the vets.

 I cut out to pick up a pizza for dinner. Had a really close call. Someone not watching their dog, almost became dogless. Dog came out from behind a bush into the road right in front of me, and stands there looking at me. Both feet on brake skidding to a stop. I swear I have never seen an animal other than a deer sit in front of an oncoming car and not move at all. I stopped and had to wait for the stupid dog to get up and move on back to his yard where the owner must have heard the screech and come out to rescue his dog. I would have been sick if I had hit the dog. Don't know why people think it is OK to let their dogs wander their front yards unattended. It is a very busy street.

Still waiting on tools I ordered to arrive. Usually they ship quick. Not so this time. Rather anxious to get back on my project. Missing the reamers for the AR, and the Bluetooth module for the readout. I can live without the module as I have the temporary readouts in the meanwhile. Reamers would be nice though. I want to finish the holes before milling pockets out. May play with the lathe a bit tomorrow. See how ambitious I get. May just relax a bit.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Bonus day tomorrow...

Then, I get two whole days off, two, in a row. They have a steam and iron show in town all weekend, along with a gun show at the armory. I am still waiting for the reamers I ordered to come in so I can continue on my AR lower. I did get most of the parts for my display for the mill. I will solder together what I have. Still waiting on the Bluetooth modules I ordered. Rather anxious to see how it works. I was hoping my tool order would arrive in time for the weekend. They usually ship rather promptly. Looking forward to a little down time. Need to recoup a bit.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Well, that was a long week

But this coming has looks of possibly being better. With the bosses out of the picture, we were able to catch up on the hot job and hopefully have the hottest of the three out the door in the morning. Three more due by Wednesday, but we have a big start on them. Nothing like doing a two week job in a couple of days. Massive short cuts were taken, but the product will get out the door and should function well enough  to get the customers orders running again. It will feel good to get back to just plain hectic state again.

Five AM start time today. Don't like mornings, and five in the AM just makes them a bit worse. It is nice getting off early though. Saturday was enjoyable as they play old country music on the radio, today however, was best of the 80's and 90's. I do believe that is an oxymoron type statement there as I don't care for much out of the 80's and 90's. I would much rather have the 60's and 70's music.

Hopefully, I will be back to normal hours starting tomorrow. I got all my chores done, so I hope to be able to play in the garage after work tomorrow. Been way too stressed out as of late to do much after work. Still have a few weeks to go before vacation, I can't wait. Need some down time.

Friday, June 6, 2014

What a week, and it goes on and on.....

Everyday so far has been an uphill battle at work. By the time I get home, there is just no ambition left. Weekend list is up, and I am on it for both days, which is good. It's suppose to be rain all weekend, so may as well get paid. Hope to get back to working on the AR again. I kept forgetting a couple of my tools from work. Pain when I use the same tools in two places. Need to break down and buy a few more tools for home.

 I ordered the parts I need to build the interface for the digital readouts. I downloaded the android app for my phone and it looks pretty cool. When the interface is done, the phone will display all axis on mill. I will be installing one on lathe later in the summer. The interface board was only ten bucks. I had to buy some other components, all inexpensive. A bit of soldering and a bit of programming and I will have a very nice display. Figure when I upgrade my phone, the old phone will make a nice backup, and will become a permanent display for my lathe and mill.

We really got hammered at work. Back to six and seven day work weeks. At least the weekends are relatively peaceful. Bosses stay home so you can usually get a lot more done as there is no one to change the game plan. Saturday is classic country music on the radio which is also a perk. Day goes pretty good. Just makes for a long week. I only have three weeks until vacation, so I will have plenty of time to relax. May try to play with my AR lower tomorrow after work. Should be able to get out on time, and with no bosses to aggravate me, I should be a little more ambitious tomorrow. Got the laundry and lawn out of the way today. Only seven or eight more days until the weekend, yippee.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Made good progress on the AR lower

I got one fixture made during the week. The second one I finished today and then started on the AR lower. I figured why spend money on a 80% when a blank is cheaper and both require milling. I picked up two forgings at the machine gun shoot. They were $20 a piece. Guy wanted a decent chunk of cash for a fixture. The fixture is aluminum. No drill bushings, nothing fancy, and cost the price of a lower. So, I ordered a chunk of aluminum plate off of fleabay, and made my own fixtures. I found a print on the web for some fixture plates which allow you to clamp the forging in a vise or to the table where it is stable. The aluminum stock was around $15. I will drill holes without the use of an aluminum plate with holes thank you.

Start with a slab of aluminum, cut her down, and true it up into two pieces.

Here they are with clearance cuts so forging will fit flat. Still need the ten degree cut to clear magazine well.

Here, the ten degree has been milled into pieces. They are now ready for use.

Later on, both clamp plates will be used in vise for milling the magazine well as well as the trigger group.

But for now, I use one so I can clamp it to table and indicate it true. It took three shots for me to get it in the spot where I could hit all sides without running out of travel as my mill isn't huge, and my brain fails to look too far ahead. This picture show the first time I clamped it. I wouldn't have been able to mill more than the surface I am indicating if I hadn't of moved it.

Here, I have milled the the area the upper shall sit in. I managed to acquire a 1 1/2 inch diameter end mill off fleabay for six bucks, eleven if you count shipping, so I didn't have to fudge with getting the .750 radius right. It also made quick work of milling the area out. I also did the flat on top of where buffer tube goes.

Next cut, milled area where buffer tube enters to print. This is it for this set up. Now to make it where I can clamp it to drill holes.

Brought home one of my angle plates from work. I used one of the clamp plates to hold it parallel. I put a flat spot where the mag well will be milled out. This will give me a flat place to clamp to for next setup.

Tomorrow, if work doesn't beat all the life out of me as Mondays tend to do, I will start drilling holes in side, but for now, I will mope in front of the TV dreading Monday morning. At least I got a good start on it.