Wow, I finally made it back

You ever have one of those things where you know you have to do it, and you mean to do it, and you plan to do it, but when it comes time to do it you just don’t do it? That has been posting here for the past here. I’ve planned on writting a post catching up with everything but when I get some time to write a post I feel like it’s too much to post and end up doing something else. But now I’m forcing myself to do it.

Update 1 – I’ve got my electronics workbench to a state where I feel comfortable working on stuff. I have a soldering and reflow station, a nice overhead light, a work holder, a controllable power supply and a lot of little screwdrivers and pliers. I’ve fixed a couple of computers and even a Game Cube (the nintendo console) at the workbench so far and I have a couple of projects I’m working on for fun. One of those is a universal remote for my house. I have ceiling fans in every room that are controlled with RF remotes and I want to control them from anywhere in the house, along with the IR controls for my TVs and Apple TVs. Another project is a programmable light controller for my wife’s shadow boxes. I still have a queue of projects to fix for family too, so I have plenty of use for this hobby.

Update 2 – Using my electronics workbench I’ve finally fixed my 3d printer and have gotten back into that. My wife has given me a queue of things to print that’s probably going to take me a year and hundreds of dollars in fillament to finish, and between those I’m working with FreeCAD to design my own parts for various needs around the house. Nothing big, just a tray for some electronics projects, some spacers for a computer stand and things like that. But I guess learning to design parts in CAD software is another skill that I can further develop.

I’ve also cleaned up and recalibrated my resin printer. Prints still seem to be failing after a few layers of supports, and that’s frustrating, but I’ve been reading and it looks like maybe if I lay out my prints a little better that problem could be resolved. It sure would be nice to have this printer back up and running so that I can print high resolution models. But right now it’s a lot of stink and a lot of mess for a lot of frustration.

Update 3 – I’m back into book making. I decided to make books as some gifts for Christmas and it reminded me of how much I love doing it. My mom asked me what I mean when I say I make books. I cut and fold the paper. I sew it together and build a spine before attaching end papers. I cut a material for the cover (mostly leather remnants but I’ve been looking at expanding to cloths). Then I cut some backing board, which usually ends up being chipboard but I’ve also used thin wood boards too, before gluing the cover to. I turn in the cover and then attach it to the book end pages, super (a cloth part of the spine that sticks out far enough to glue to the backing boards) and spine. So I tell my mom that when I say I make books, I mean I make books. And I love doing it. I have decided though that I need a few tools. I’ve been doing this with just a stack of books, a hammer, and a razor. I have begun building some of those tools with my clumsy excuse for woodworking.

Update 4 – I’m building a CNC mill from my first 3d printer. My first 3d printer was a delta printer. That’s the kind with 3 arms and no horizontal moving parts. It uses a bunch of triginometric transformations to determine where to move the arms to push a center piece to a point that you want to print. But of course with my little tweaks here and “upgrades” there it became mostly unusable. I’ve harvested some parts for other projects but still have the 3 motors and control board and various other pully parts. So I’ve decided to build myself a 3 (or is it 4?) axis cnc mill for cutting aluminum parts out for projects that need something stronger than a plastic 3d print. For now I’m working with only parts I have in the house, of which I have a lot because I take apart any electronic or mechanical thing my wife wants to throw away. I can also 3d print many of the parts I need and don’t have until the mill is working and I can mill replacements from aluminum. The only parts I know I’ll need to buy for sure is a motor for the spindle and the milling bits. I also have to figure out how to get the RAMPS board to handle CNC GRBL code instead of 3d printer G code (which is a repurposed and non-standardized GCODE).

Update 5 – I’ve taken up jewelery making. Well I guess for now it’s only lapidary work. I started with a 2 lb rock tumbler and then moved on to hand grinding stones with sandpaper while those tumble. Oh god that takes for ever. I’ve made a teardrop shaped cabichon from pink opal and a 4 sided die from some gray stone that I’ve not identified yet. My wife bought me a wire wrapping kit and I’ve been drawing up my own designs and trying those out. Just last night I finally got the okay from my wife to get a cabachon cutting machine and I’m excited for that to get here. I’ve found a couple of places online where I can get some cool rough rock for cheep and can’t wait to get some of those made into jewelery. Maybe this summer I’ll even get a hat and go out finding rocks locally. That’s a challenge because I break out in hives with too much sun, on top of burning within half an hour. Still, with some spf 9million and a wide hat and long sleeved clothes I should be good. We have some really cool places to find minerals here.

Misc – My wife still plans on doing her etsy store this summer, and I’m planning on using some of my hobbies to help her populate it. So my job is to build up some inventory of books and jewelery. Once my skills get more refined I may open my own shop, but right now I have no interest in that.

I’ve promised my wife to focus on these hobbies: writing, jewelery making, book making, and tinkering to support other tasks. That means no more working on my car, no more music production stuff, no more film making stuff, and no more flittering to new hobbies… for now. Let’s see if I can make that stick.

I’ve also promised to take my narcolepsy treatments seriously. That means taking my meds in the morning and really trying to sleep at night. How hard this is is really underestimated by anyone who doesn’t have to deal with it. But I’m going to give it my best.

Oh, I mentioned writing above. I actually managed to bang out about half a book over NaNoWriMo. It’s a decent start. I’m not happy with it yet, but once I finish and begin re-writing and editing the real magic happens.

Well, I feel like that’s a pretty decent update. I’m going to post more frequently, though I can’t promise daily or weekly.

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