Sunday, June 18, 2017

Weekend fun, not

One whole day off this week, and I spent it packing. Rented a small rental unit to store some of the clutter so the house looks nicer for showing. Today, disassemble treadmill and bowflex and take to rental unit, which is not close to home now, but really close to new house, so it works out. Then, tore my reloading table apart, packed up my Dillon press and all supplies, and took them to the unit. Came back and packed up some more boxes, loaded the truck so I can drop them off after work tomorrow. Have to have house ready by next weekend. Should be doable if I keep busy. I want to clear some of the garage as well. Lots of stuff out there. Break down the workbenches, knock down the mill for moving. Box up all the loose stuff. I can't wait for this to be over. Move into new house august first. If I sell this place fast enough, may see if I can schedule garage construction to start.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

New home, and soon, a much bigger garage.



Finally found my new home. A little over half an acre. Nice neighborhood. Only a 1950s era one car garage, but, I have a quote for the soon to be three car garage that will be going up in the back yard. Six weeks of nightmare while I sell the current abode, but I move in august first. I can't wait. Don't have to paint or remodel, short of some electrical work. Being out of the 50s, it has a few rooms that lack ceiling lighting. I will be crawling through the attic putting in ceiling boxes and installing ceiling fans in the living room and bedrooms. Short of that, I shouldn't have to do much. Walk out basement finished in knotty pine, with a bar and full kitchen, half bath, bedroom and family room. Kitchen has wall oven, which I like. Has a nice breezeway between garage and house with a ceiling fan. I am counting the days :)

Friday, April 14, 2017

New respect for the traveling pros

I have a few friends that work on the road all the time, only home on weekends for the most part. I always respected that, as it is a trait I lack. I like being home in the evenings and on weekends. I hate hotels and can never really and truly sleep well in one. I had to travel for work this week. Spent the week in the Dayton area of Ohio training on the new machine. It was very interesting to say the least. We went over grinding threads and non-rounds, being any odd shape. Totally amazing what the machine is capable of. Got to see the many styles of machines Studer makes. Awesome to say the least.
As par usual, my company did manage to purchase an odd configuration on many levels. The boss, who doesn't machine or grind at all, took it upon himself to order the machine in the configuration we need using the information he thought he had. God forbid management involve the lowly worker in important decisions, like what they need or want in a machine.
Our machine uses an older and less often used software pack than the new machines do. Non round is not a really popularly used item, kind of a specialty niche. Our machine has an older and slower version installed, even though it is a brand new $600,000 machine. They wanted to save a few bucks. The more popular up to date software uses offline programming, so I got to learn how to do it through a computer instead of on the controller I use, because the school didn't have one, since it is not popular. So I did learn how to program, sort of. They are very similar, but it will take some playing with to get use to it on the machine. Also, my version doesn't include some of the features that allow you to import and modify DXF files, which I need to do, so I will have to figure out how to accomplish that. Had work send a couple DXF files for us to practice with. They sent some very poor prints that were done in a weird format, not the one my company uses, so we had to waste time redrawing the threads, which are not normal threads, on a cad system so we could actually import them. Wasted countless hours on stuff we didn't buy and trying to use prints that were useless. Very frustrating week. It is going to be fun playing with, but I would have liked it better if they would have paid for the trainer to come to our place and work with us on our machine with our software. It does look like it is going to be very easy to use once I get use to it though. I just wish management would take the input of it's workers into account. Never going to happen though.

I am very glad to be back home. The dog and I are relaxing a bit. I knocked out the lawn work right after I got home to get it out of the way. I can now relax for the weekend. I am going to start packing things I don't need. and stacking in the guest room. I am hoping a house I went through last week will come down on price. I want to be ready for the next house I find. That one may be it if I can get them to drop price. Has a full basement, an acre of land, two car attached garage and a pole barn. It is perfect. Has more bedrooms than I need, but that won't hurt anything. This weekend is holiday weekend and I intend to rest and enjoy a bit of down time.

 Hope to line up financing for house next week. My bank, which is one of the big ones, is about useless. All they could tell me about bridge loans was "most people don't like them". In other words, the kid I was talking to, their mortgage expert, didn't know enough about them and didn't want to find out. I had taken time to do what you had to do in the old days, printed out last few paystubs, brought in last years tax return, etc. He didn't even look at them or run a credit check. Told me best bet was to sell house and then I should be able to buy the other house. He didn't even check my accounts to see how great my credit is or the fact that I have my mortgage and all accounts there, as well as direct deposit of paychecks. That will be changing very soon, and I will be glad to tell them when I close as to why they lost a customer and multiple accounts.

 My subdivision is very popular and houses generally sell within a week or two of listing. I want the bridge loan so I can get the dog out of the old house, as well as a lot of the stuff in the house and garage to make the house look better and less cluttered. With the dog out of the house, they can put a key box on house and show anytime they want without the dog to worry about. I would also like the extra time to move gradually and put stuff away as I move and paint and ready new house as I go rather than trying to work around stuff. Hopefully this will be my last move.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

MIni vacation

It is almost time for the machine gun shoot. Starts Friday. Tomorrow, get some work done around the house. Friday, watch mayhem and destruction at the shoot. Been a while. I got off work today and picked up a load of river rock and got it laid out around the house. One more trip should do it. Hopefully the rain blows past us tomorrow and I can get it done. Got rid of most of the moles. Smoke bombs choked them out pretty good, so far. No new tunnels. I am trying to get the grass fixed. Hope to get the house on market next month. I have found a few houses of interest.

Getting use to the new machine at work. I absolutely hate the safety interlocks as they do make setup unnecessarily hard. Haven't crashed it yet. It is a sweet machine. Get to train next week on grinding threads and non-rounds. It is going to be interesting grinding square stuff in an OD grinder. I have seen videos, get to see it first hand. Should be able to crash the machine really good with a 14 inch square block of steel spinning on the chuck :)

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Mole patrol

Moles have moved in, and I am having fun evicting the vermin. Smoke bombs and spades are making some progress. Poor elderly gentleman that live behind me has the Scotts yard of the neighborhood, and they are tunneling through his yard as well. His cat is helping out. He gives the cat treats for every dead mole he brings him. Said cat likes to torment my dog. He sits under the bushes just outside the fence and it drives Spike nuts. I am taking a nap on the couch, generally happens after I eat whether I mean to or not, and the dog starts going insane. He is throwing himself against the screen door and frothing at the mouth. I jump up thinking intruder. I wish I had a camera handy at the time. The stupid cat was sitting a couple inches on the other side of the screen door, staring the dog  in the eyes. I went to open the door, the cat leaped on top of the fence and stared down at the door. Silly cat loves tormenting the dog. Smart little critter.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Gun auction was a bust

I went to the preview for the gun auction yesterday. The Garand sniper rifle was a hack job. Homemade, and you could tell. It still pulled $1700 out the door. The Rocola M1 carbine was in horrid shape. No finish left. Sights damaged and partly missing. Mismatched components. It went for $1000. Even some of the lower end plinkers I had a slight interest in went high. When I saw the shape the main guns I wanted were in, I just stayed home today. I was able to see the selling prices online. My buddy texted me that it was a madhouse. I did go to the gunshow. It was a bust as well. More cheap Chinese knife booths than gun booths. Nothing even remotely interesting there. I did manage to get in and get my haircut, so I did accomplish something today.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

New machine

The new CNC grinder is awesome. I love how it grinds, except, being brand new, it has all the new OSHA safety devices functional. Thus making the machine a real pain. Having a brain, I tend not to place my appendages into harms way, so having access to the machine while running so I can do minor adjustments to the coolant lines is nice. Being able to test the machine motions out with the wheel off and seeing everything is nice as well. New machine, you have to have the doors locked before anything moves. Total pain. Have not crashed it yet, but that is because I am overly cautious. She is sure to have a misadventure somewhere in the near future.
I get to go to school to learn how to thread grind and do non-rounds. It is only a three day condensed course. I have seen videos on you-tube of threads and form grinding. It is really cool to watch. Not sure how fun it will be to actually grind and check the finished product. Everything we grind we have to hold a .0002 tolerance on. Not much room for error. Ridiculous tolerances seeing as how the molds make single use containers which are thrown out once product is consumed. But, you have to hold tolerances set by your customers. All parts are checked and documented through our CMM's. I still prefer working on the round containers as they are very simple to rebuild compared to the square tooling. Glad I am closer to the retirement age than just starting out. Making the molds odd shapes is making the job much harder than it needs to be.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

I think winter is done, if it even started

I have seen two days where a few snow flakes were in the air. None survived the ground. Perfect winter. Perfect. No ice. No snow. Awesome. Almost made it through the season with no ailments, almost. They have been passing a bug back and forth at work all season long. I managed to get it last week, but am finally on the verge of feeling human again.
New machine at work is freaking awesome. Took a bit to get the menus down. It has a CAD feature built in so I can draw the components out, or import them. I can then turn them into 3D images. You can click on an object line and pick what you want to grind. Programming is a breeze. I love it. Best of all, it isn't twenty plus years old, so it doesn't alarm out and need attention all the time. It does require extra care as there are an infinite amount of ways to crash it, but the challenge is fun. New CEO isn't afraid to spend money. Hopefully this is just the beginning and we see more new equipment in the future. Keeps me updated as well should I decide I need to find employment elsewhere. Nice to be able to run the new controls. 
A couple more weeks until the gun auction. They have a Garrand sniper rifle setup on the block. An M1D complete. Also have a Rockola M1 carbine and a few other treasures. All at the beginning, so I don't have to sit through several hours of auction for the five items I want. Hopefully I won't come home empty handed. The other good thing about all the items up front is, I don't have to wait in a long line waiting for the firearm to get called in. Most people will wait until the end of the auction to check out. I hope to be home by ten in the morning, instead of afternoon.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Very rough school week

Had a condensed course on running the brand spanking new grinder last week. It is a brand new studer S33 CNC grinder with all the bells and whistles. She has an OD head and two ID heads on it. Costs about $600,000. And the silly people in management are letting me run it :)  It is a bit more complicated than the old G code machines we have currently. It is down right amazing what it can do. Eventually, I will be grinding threads and non rounds. Non rounds being anything not round. In the grocery aisles, margarine containers and such are all going square or rectangular shape. We make the molds that make those containers. We also rebuild those molds when they wear out. Those are examples of non rounds. It can also grind the threads that form the inside thread on the medicine bottles and caps we manufacture. It is going to get a lot more interesting than just round stuff.

It has a built in CAD/CAM set up as well. I can either draw the parts from prints, or, import them as dxf files and pick what I want to grind. It really is an incredible machine. A ton of menus and commands to learn. Hopefully get her set up and running on jobs tomorrow. It is fun trying to train people on the old grinders while learning the new one. And, trying to put together machines that got moved to make room for the new one. Very busy at work. I can't believe I actually got the weekend off with all the work going on. I am enjoying the 60 degree weather. GO Global Warming :) :) :)

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Busy Busy Busy

Been back to work and very busy. They actually bought me a brand new CNC grinder with all the bells and whistles. Came in last week. We moved a whole lot of machinery around to make room for it. Suppose to start training this week. Should be interesting. I am use to older equipment. All G code driven. This one is suppose to grind threads, non rounds, ID and OD. Pretty much anything you can throw at it . Personnel is going to be interesting as well. Obama is out, Trump is in. Industry in the area is picking back up by leaps and bounds. A lot of the people we picked up last year through other companies cutting back, are now going back to their old better paying jobs. Going to be fun learning new and trying to train replacement kids on equipment at the same time. It is good to see the industries rebounding already. Obama did a lot of damage in eight years. Looks like overtime will stay in the foreseeable future. Every time I feel we are catching up personnel wise, we lose some more. Money is great, but I am getting to where time off sounds better.