Thursday, July 16, 2020

Pocket knives etc.

I am still on a quest to find/make the ultimate pocket knife/folder. I have tried to make a few in my time but I have failed miserably (see images below)

I need to take a class. If anyone knows a good one to take or wants to do an online hangout or something I am on board!!

In the mean time I lost my last pocket knife. I never break them I always loose them which sucks because they are getting expensive. So my last knife was a kershaw launch 4 which is a nice auto open knife. My only complaint was the blade shape. Not my favorite (Spear point/drop point wedge thing). That all being said I would often forget I had it on me....again not a great feature. Also the spring was so tight it would often fly out of my hand and I would often stab myself trying to recover it. 

So I recently discovered the James Brand knife company based out of Portland Oregon. Love them. I ended up buying a Folsom with a half serrated drop point (The serrated edge is a must for me). I will have to report back on the how the knife works "in the field" AKA my studio/rando house tasks. I am a big fan of the packaging and the small attention to detail with the green lanyard hole and the triangular thumb hole. The packaging was CNC'd and lasered and it came with a nice felt pouch which I probably will never use.

This is just a quick plug... probably. This product review stuff might not be a regular thing but.... I just thought I would plug a small company that is making a nice product. So if you are in the market for a nice knife.....

Monday, July 13, 2020

dust collection and things

A while back Liz and I were trying to solve our dust collection problem. Liz sands a lot with her flex-shaft and I often grind things at the bench. We both end up wearing dust-masks/respirators (often for hours). With the current shortage we have been trying to solve it with "at the bench" dust collection systems. A while back I bought an under bench system off of ebay to use with the Jooltool (more on that later).  It more or less looks like this:

It actually works like a dream when I remember to use it (the rheostat switch it a little awkward). I bought it for two reasons: one, it was cheap and two because it collects the dust in a bag and we can refine it (the bags are all paper with one little rubber part that you can rip off before you throw everything in your refining barrel). This one was $100 but they sell some with foot pedal switches (I should have bought one of those). The one serious design flaw is that the hose is way too short for it to be practical. The good news is that is it the same size as a small ShopVac hose ($33 with couplers from Lowes). The other problem is that I needed a mount for my bench to hold the hose down and add more "in-take cone-age" to direct the dust.

Off to Rhino and the Cetus MKIII extended FDM printer. I also need to make another bracket to hold down the hose on the back of the bench.  

Cetus MKIII extended

New studio setup with printer and mini split

Measurements laid out in the software. 

Version one

Friday, July 10, 2020

Random ramblings and more

So many many many things to talk about.  

First, I can't thank the students enough. I have have now taught six online Rhino workshops with over seventy students! I have only had one "unhappy"student but think it was more of a miscommunication/understanding. As in....they thought they were gonna get X and I was delivering Y and we ended up settling on me going the extra mile and giving them Z.  

For example (not the actual conversation):  
Student: "I signed up for your baking class....."  
Me: Well the workshop is not a baking class, I am teaching an overview on cooking."
Student: "I read somewhere it is on Baking! Why is it not on baking!? Could you change the class to baking so I can take the class!?" 
Me:  Well, no because the other nineteen students signed up for a cooking class not baking."  
Student: "Well that is total bull and I demand more focus on baking!! or I will tell everyone you suck AND another thing it is false advertising! You said it would be on baking!!! I read somewhere it was on baking! I am writing a lengthy email to your host school complaining that it is not on baking...." (there was more) 
Me: " Well actually if you read the course description it quite plainly says cooking! I am so sorry you were confused. I will do my best to talk more about baking for the remainder of the class and maybe I could use baking examples to help explain cooking in general. Will that help you!?"  

They spent the rest of the class with their camera off and their microphone off. 

Oh well. 

While we are talking about being generous! I have been donating some of the profits from the workshops to a number of organizations. The first is Crafting the Future a great organization that...."supports the careers of young, underrepresented artists by connecting them to opportunities that will help them thrive." I believe education should be available to all not just the people that can afford it (it is the whole reason I started this blog and why I became an educator and why I am so generous with my time). The other is of course the ACLU. I try to auction a piece off twice a year on my instagram page (sometimes for the ASPCA). If you have money and you want to

Soon I will be making more donations in part because of the students and in part because it is the only thing I can physically do in this moment (I am literally working 12 hour days and come home exhausted).

In other unrelated news I am in love with my new headphones. I almost never do product reviews but I LOVE these headphones/earbuds?. They fit nicely under my hearing protection (muffs) and they have built in touch technology so I can quickly pause when Liz is yelling at me AND I can wear them at work and you can hardly tell (that way I can catch up on some Perceived Value or Making It podcasts)

Here is a link to the headphones/earbuds/doodads (TOZO).  They do have a microphone for zooming and wireless phone calls but I haven't yet tested it.

Soon I will post some new images of the studio which is finished-ish. We still have to paint the outside and get build a shed to house the mower and other yard gear!