Saturday, February 4, 2017

lasergist


My other parts from a different laser cutter came in the mail yesterday. I am VERY happy with these parts. I used a company called lasergist. Much like Shapeways they are very cheap, provide a great service but have almost non existent customer service.  They only laser cut stainless steel. They only cut 304 polished and 316 brushed. They only cut in 1mm, 1.5mm, 2mm or 3mm thicknesses. But....the cutting is fairly cheep. I cut enough parts to make four knives for $168.00 (13 parts with lots of holes). $170.00 is super reasonable considering how beautiful the parts are. As far as knife making, the type of stainless they are using is not very useful. Their website is pretty bare with no indication of where they are located or how long my order would take. Honestly I thought it was fake. I took the gamble and I am very happy I did. Just for the record they are located in Greece. I order on Jan 28th and received all of my parts Feb 3rd. If I had one complaint I would argue that the parts are just slightly off. I have not yet slapped a caliper but some of the small straight cuts seem to be off by a mm or so.  Again, it is hard to complain. 

I just placed an order for a large, tab and slot stainless shelf that I will TIG weld together. It was $130.00, measuring around 10" across the top. (renders at the bottom)













Thursday, February 2, 2017

parts are in

The semester is about to begin here which means almost everything studio will be put on pause till the summer.  I am frantically trying to finish up this folding knife project which is something I have wanted to do for a long long long time. It has turned into a hell of a project. I am learning so much! 

Honestly, I really do not have the proper equipment to do all of the work. I dream of owning or having access to a KMG belt grinder (maybe I should just make my own). It would make sharpening blades and finishing parts a snap. Also a metal band saw would be handy. I would love to be able to chunk out some of the parts in order to then file and grind them down. While we are at it a mini milling machine would be nice and surface grinder and a screw press....... yeah. 

I also have discovered that blade steel alloys can be insaneThere is a wide range of steels that can be used to make the blades but only a few that I could actually temper using what I have. Think heating in an enameling kiln then air, water or oil cooling compared to cryogenic quenching

I have been doing some test cuts on some different types of steels in order to see what might work for me. Luckily there is a laser cutter right down the road that will do test cuts for almost nothing. He is a super nice guy and willing to experiment which is RARE. I am trying to take full advantage of this in order to get some parts cut as fast as possible to get through some design iterations. Laser cutting is not great for tool steel because it basically tempers as it cuts.  Also one side is perfect and the other is garbage and requires some serious grinding (this is where the belt grinder would come in handy). I am looking into waterjet cutting for the blades but that gets pricy. As in $500 per blade. If anyone has a hookup please let me know. Until then, I have a few changes that need to happen and I will keep designing and cutting until it works. I almost have a working prototype. 








Tuesday, January 24, 2017

More projects!

So many things! 

I have been trying to pack in the projects this winter break. I recently got my ring and bracelet back from Shapeways. I have also been trying to get some other projects buttoned up including a folding knife design that I have been working on for a while now. I laser cut a prototype in acrylic and it is almost there. I will have some tool steel and stainless waterjet cut to speed things up a bit. My access to precision steel working equipment is limited so the waterjet cutting should helpt. I also got my copy of the Imagine Peace Now exhibition catalog. It is very nice!  You can purchase a copy here:  http://www.imaginepeacenow.org/supportus