Machine Shop

Side jobs (Pizza, not anything dirty)

So, I’ve been busy the last few months with a side job. Not a CNC related one; just a regular ol’ extra job. Mainly because money continues to be a thing I need if I don’t want to live in a box. I have been slinging pizza for the man, because I can’t sling rocks.

Still, crummy side jobs do have the added benefit of the sheer entertainment value and humor. Take this scene from the other day:


Our hero is standing on the porch of a trailer.
Knock knock!
After a minute I hear from inside, “Shut up, you assholes!!”
Me, “Pizza!”
Pause. “Shut up you assholes!!” Pause. “Wait a minute, dude!”
There’s the sound of a LOT of empty bottles falling, which goes on for a minute or more.
“Hold on, dude!”
More bottles falling. Pause. More bottles falling.
Is this guy running a recycling center in there?
More bottles falling. “Hold on, dude!”

The waiting. It’s the hardest part.

It’s a single wide. How long can it take to get to the door?
“Hold on, dude!”
More bottles falling. Finally, the door opens. Surprisingly, he is not wearing a shirt.
“It’s 19 bucks, ” I say. He stares blankly for a while.
“The total is 19 dollars. For the pizza.” Still more staring.
“Didn’t I pay online?”
“No, you called in, and said you wanted to pay cash.”
More staring. Then he goes back inside. There’s the sound of even more bottles falling. How could there be any NOT on the floor already? A couple minutes later he returns, and pays. Of course, there’s no tip, unless you count that I finally could leave.
Keep in mind, it’s 12:45 in the afternoon.

Take away

So, what the job doesn’t pay in money, it makes up for in humor! But I’d rather have money.

Machine Shop

Made in LA

Haas DT1 CNCAs it turns out, we here in the LA-area aren’t *just* better looking than all of you: we make lots and lots of stuff here. And not just movies. Planes. Clothes. Bombs. Tortillas. All of the stuff you need for daily life. Er, and then some.


NPR just did a really good profile on manufacturing in the LA area.


“There is certainly no greater joy for a manufacturer [than] to walk through the factory and hear the noises and sounds of machines turning and people doing work,” says Jeff Hynes, CEO of Composites Horizons.

I couldn’t agree more: there’s nothing like the sound of stuff being made.


Hurco Manufacturing Announces Major CNC Acquisitions

Hurco Manufacturing┬áHurco Manufacturing announced two big acquisitions today. They are taking over Milltronics, from Minnesota, and Takumi, from Taiwan. Purchasing these two companies should make for a big leap forward for Hurco. That, combined with Hurco manufacturing’s very easy to use control should expand Hurco’s horizons. Personally, I have never used a Hurco CNC, but my uncle has. He is also a machinist (and a much better one, at that), and used them quite a bit when he was a toolmaker. He always spoke highly of the controls.

You can read more about Hurco manufacturing acquiring  these two companies here.

Machine Shop

Offerings? Chips, more like!

So, it looks like scientists don’t know what lathe chips look like. I’ve swept up a lot of these offerings to the gods! “Oh thank you, Leblond, lord of the spinning metal, for another good turn. Ooommmmmmmmm….”
Metal chips of the gods;


DIY Suspension Trainer | DIY Project

DIY_supension_trainerI thought it might be nice of me to offer some of the projects I make for other people to follow. Not everything I do is CNC related. That explains this first project, which is a DIY Suspension trainer. This is a type of exercise equipment, popularized by the company┬áTRX. The basic concept is nylon webbing sewn together, which are used to do various bodyweight exercises. Now, I will say, the name-brand version of this is probably better made, but they are pricey. And I am cheap. So I decided to make my own. I should point out that this is not a thoroughly tested design. It is a design I came up with browsing other designs on the interwebs. I can’t say if it will hold you, I don’t claim it is safe, and I don’t recommend you do this at home. This is just a blurb about what I did, for me.

For materials, I got a pair of tie down straps, a ratchet strap, and two pieces of 3/4 inch PVC pipe (nipples), 6-inches long. Total cost, $14.26 at Home Depot. pipes straps_1 tie_down_strap

Step one: I took the tie down straps, and made a loop about long enough so the buckles would be past my arms (behind me) while doing push-up type motions. I cut the excess off, and used a butane lighter to fuse the ends where I cut the straps.  I fed the material through my pipe nipples, then pinned it together. I used my 1968 thrift store Singer sewing machine ($11.25, I kid you not) to sew a series of wide stitches, one about every inch and a half. I had seen other guides suggest just tying the  straps, but that lowers their load capacity.

Step two: I took the excess material, looped it through the PVC pipe handles, and sewed that several times. These form the foot loops. The final step, I just took the long strap part of the ratchet strap, snipped off the hook, and fed it into the buckles of the tie downs.┬áI could have just gotten plain webbing at a fabric or camping store, but that would have been another trip.┬áThis part will be looped over a tree or whatever I can hang it from. I have an idea about making a shorter, knob on a strap thing that could be wedged into a door, but I haven’t done that yet.

And that’s it. Not too complicated, which is the whole idea behind this kind of trainer. It’s simple, portable, no muss no fuss.