Friday, October 28, 2011

Home built CNC Router (part 1)

Monster Ghost and a CNC machine. Yeah, they are related!For as long as I can remember, I've been fascinated by the concept of remote control. Not the sit on the couch and flip through the channel kind, the make something move over there by controlling it from here kind.

Even the early disappointment of the "Scary, Life Size FLYING ghost" didn't dim my desire to operate things from afar. The ghost in question was purchased from the back of a comic book in the '70's for about a dollar and a half. Turns out a buck fifty didn't buy much in the way of 70's remote control technology--Basically a balloon that you draped a white plastic sheet over and tied a thread to so you could "remotely" control it. Yeah, ok, technically that is remote control...

I think of that ghost--which lasted all of about 8 minutes in the garage hanging from a rafter while being "remotely controlled" by yours truly--almost every time I encounter some other (and likely, vastly superior) remotely control device.

Recently, I embarked on the "Build your CNC router" train--you can get your ticket online by Goggling "Build your own CNC router". The list is long and the choices are vast, but after a few weeks of carefully examining the different approaches used by others I decided to buy a kit of pre-cut parts, an electronics package, a router, and a cheap PC to see if I could overcome the curse of the flying ghost. My next few posts will detail the process.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sr. Studio Fellow Brian Reid working at his bench

Senior Studio Fellow, Brian Reid, working at his bench in the Jackson building at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport Maine.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fall leaves and the end of the workshop season

This week is the final week of summer workshops at the school and the beginning of the end of the fall leaves. The past few days we've had great weather and I've explored future fly fishing sites along the St. George river. With all of the leaf color and light from the setting sun, it's been a spectacular way to spend a couple of afternoons.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Woodworking in America

John Economaki demonstrates the JMP2 at WIAI just got back from Cincinnatti where I attended the Woodworking in America conference. It was great to see old friends and to discover a few new ones too.

The conference was well run and the classes they had scheduled were interesting and varied. They ran all the way from "Your first Dovetails" to "Using the Stanley 45/55 Multiplane" to "Veneer in Contemporary Furniture". They had a little bit for everyone.

One area where they could improve would be in the tech/video of the classes. The screens were in brightly lit rooms and the projectors just didn't have enough lumens to overcome the ambient light. Also, the skill of those filming was pretty hit and miss with some doing a fantasitc job and others moving and shifting so much that you were better off just ignoring the screen.

While I was there, I also passed out a few post cards for the school to folks who asked me what I did. After telling them where I worked, most would want to know about the school so I had a stack of post cards from the school in my pack and I'd hand them out. I think we'll get a few students out of it!