At the last meeting, I was challenged to see what I could do to synergize my interest in metalworking with the Hive. So, seeing as I am employed nearby, and am working on that whole membership thing, here goes.
Yeah okay, I gotta figure out paypal and make a few payments…
Community: Currently, a few facebook metalworking groups have mentioned a cinci area club or gathering… the hive has the space for a meeting. And a few tools too All other things aside, I cannot emphasize enough how having a regular meeting of interested people is. Everything builds up from that. Hive’s got the community, its a strong point.
Web presence: One of the things about web pages are many of the best informational sources are transitory, a few years and poof! They vanish to whoever owns 404.
Location: Heck, an hr drive covers a lot of area…
It’s hard to recapture the spirit and flow of the conversation… but there are a few things we can do without a massive expansion. Some gee-wiz projects.
I do have a hand crank planer (circa 1875) It is unique enough that a web blurb with squaring holes for the wood lathe holders would likely garner some attention. We’d likely need to figure out some workholding tools and grind some hss to make it work… but hey, that is what projects are for.
I do have a cnc desktop lathe, from a vocational school. I have not had the time to reassemble it. It’s a Denford with a slant bed and likely would make a a heck of a web page on a rebirth.
We could also ask Tormach to trade in the old desktop cnc in storage for a upgrade… Tormach likes positive press, we likely would like Tormach products Throw in a few bucks and everybody is happy!
Mill Drill mods: This fellow has a few videos on the machine at the Hive, and how to tweak and run it for really good results: http://www.thatlazymachinist.com/. I’ve been thinking on the round column conundrum for some time, a precision rack mounted on the collum with a gib and dovetail cut in the head might be the way to go, and able to be accomplished by epoxy granite and some creative mounting. Yeah, that’s a big project, likely best done on a donor machine Ah well.
Nims: There is a metalworking certification, but finding a public proctor outside of a high school vocational program is darn near impossible. I have tried, and not had much luck, other than advise to go ahead and pay in, and take what courses need no proctor. The metrology (measuring), safety, benchwork, lathe, basic cnc, and basic milling likely can all be covered at the hive. Sure, there might be bottlenecks, but hey… if it is possible at all, it would be something not available elsewhere.
Building blocks (for lack of a better term): Welding… we’ve some interest in welding. Now, large c clamps are expensive… and c clamps are a traditional trade school favorite learning project :_) Also, for some projects, welding things together then machining seems to be more feasible than casting… So, the discussion of using training time to facilitate other projects (laser) at the meeting was spot on, and timely. We’d just need to figure out things needed. Say a new t-nut for the table saw instead of a flat square for the slide so it cannot be drawn out of the machine except at the ends? I was running a saw (somewhere else) and wanted that. A squared post to fence the bandsaw for large cuts? Sky’s the limit if we get a wish list up and chip away at it gradually.
Anyway, all kinds of stuff to do. But… balance and philosophy. Growth and sustainable effort. Needs vs Wants. Practical vs Impractical. One of the things about the metalworking is learning manual is almost a hobby in itself, and then the hacking… well if you look at it as a shortcut to get to a goal, outsourcing or going straight to cnc is the hack. One of my struggles has been accepting people want the parts and lots of them rather than focus on the craftsmanship… but hey… I’d like a 5 axis mill too
Anyway, thanks for bearing with me… the paperback version should be out in a bit.