Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

January 18, 2017 rj5156 0

Chain guards. 1/4″ formed stainless. It is a kit! Reminds me of my childhood erector set, most beloved along with my electronics kit and chemistry lab set:) Give the children the joy of discovery and let them do it all by themselves if you want them to get an education. Progress continues.

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Getting close to shipping out now! Over 40 feet long. It has wheels on! Recall it moves in two directions during operation – and has that trolley from the start of this series that moves within the bigger assembly.

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One of the control panels on the machine.

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Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Wed Jan 18, 2017 2:44 pm


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Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

January 18, 2017 rj5156 0

Brian and I were talking about how to teach engineers to make drawings that actually give us the information we require to build the things we share about here – and why WE end up having to do the job our education system got paid to do. In other words why it costs so much to buy American products;)

The arts develop brain structures we need to do math and to envision things in 3 dimension. They are the foundation needed to build the fabrication arts upon. Actual hands-on building in shop classes by middle school at the very latest is the only way to raise engineers who can learn to produce build drawings that are useful to fabricators, and designs that are actually functional.

We can’t even TEACH many “engineers” because they lack critical background and skills to build on. We have turned down far more work than we have taken because we can’t help stupid, it irritates us and makes US look bad if we try. Costs us more time than the job is worth too.

I suggested Brian ask them if they have EVER built anything themselves and how they might go about building a simple bookcase. He can offer useful tips like measuring from corner to corner on a diagonal, if it measures the same both directions in a plane it is square.

A bookcase is a good way to talk about how to properly dimension a drawing and lay out a build. If we measure from one shelf to the next and make a 1/32″ error on each shelf we could easily be off by 7/32″ by the time we make a six shelf unit (counting the top we have seven opportunities to get it wrong). That is nearly a quarter inch in overall cumulative error – and we are working to machinist’s tolerances!

It is necessary to dimension from the same point for each shelf to minimize this. So if shelves are 10 inches apart we can measure 10 inches from the bottom. Then we can measure 20 inches from the bottom plus say a half inch for the wood thickness. Then 30 inches plus an inch for TWO shelves material thickness and so on.

If we are given only 10 inches between shelves we have to do the math as above. Our opportunity for error is increased. And WE are doing the engineers job… If we wanted to make pretty drawings on computers and all that math we would be doing it already! We do it when we need to but we do not love it.

We have to have dimensions that are physically possible to measure on the actual build. CAD can measure through steel plates but we sure can’t! We need centerline dimensions to check our work – and too often to check the engineers work.

We have dumbed down the technologies and we sure are paying for it. Knowing how to operate CAD or a computer programmable machine is a very small part of the whole. SOMEONE involved in design and build has got to understand the whole process for it to be possible! We cannot begin to teach all this in a four year program with no foundation to build on. We are horrified that often WE are the ones who see this and we can’t even explain the problem to the “experts” because they have no frame of reference.

Brian got to explain to the steel company that did machine cutting on those big rectangle tubes and missed critical dimensions by a quarter inch exactly how and where the person operating the machine went wrong. They were amazed we did a number of those by hand and got it dead-on right. We are amazed they cannot even get two holes cut through the sides of a rectangle tube lined up with each other! He said the rep did take notes…

This is a BIG company too. Recall they set us back over a week on a bid job with that mistake. We had to wait for them to do it over and do a better job to finish OUR job and we are not paid until the job is complete and we hit the billing cycle. And then wait for the guy at our address 56 EAST to get our mail and bring it to us because the post office just cannot get that right…
Nothing like doing business with American companies.

This does go on and on but you get the idea…

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Wed Jan 18, 2017 2:36 pm


Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

January 18, 2017 rj5156 0

Brian’s welding gloves for scale, he special orders to get them big enough. For limited runs (4 of these units if I recall) or fast turnaround it always pays to make a tool to get the job done. Turnaround time sending stuff out and getting it back cramps already tight schedules.

Fit problems can set us back hard. Recall the week lost to tolerance issues recently. Not sure anyone even has bending dies with a 2 1/2 inch radius either. Often takes longer to find someone to send stuff like this to than it takes to make a tool and get ‘er done.

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The earlier model looks kind of small beside this one!

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What the mounts in this series go on. Recall this beast is over 40 feet long! Won’t fit in our shop.

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Chain guards. Brackets mounted on the structure.

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Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Wed Jan 18, 2017 2:31 pm


Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

January 18, 2017 rj5156 0

Making tools. Lot of jobs start with making the tools to do them. A simple bending jig here.

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Perfect fit! Too heavy for “weld forming”. The torch is our friend for this kind of job. Got to be careful not to overdo it and cook the carbon out.

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Almost there! Two batches of these, one bunch of these had 3/8″ thick sides and the formed bars were 4 1/2″ wide by 1/4″ thick. This one has 5/8″ thick sides and the formed bars are 5″ wide by 3/8″ thick. I may have the pictures of the two batches mixed up together, trying to show the process in order.

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Haven’t got every clamp in the shop on it yet!

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Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Wed Jan 18, 2017 2:21 pm


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Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

January 18, 2017 rj5156 0

It is a puzzle!

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Actually it is a motor mount. Looks big…

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Until you see what it goes on. Back to the foam forming machine again. It goes on and on and on. For many months now.

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The completed unit will weigh 88,000 pounds. There are two of the component shown here. This section is mobile, mounted on a number of linear slides. There are two rails that slide too, only one on the right is in place here. Inch and a half thick aluminum plate on the rails. Top plate on the rails is 3/4″ thick steel. This one is a MONSTER! 12 feet wide and longer than our house! Over 40 feet long.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:52 pm


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Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

January 18, 2017 rj5156 0

Weld shot. Still part of the base for the walking beam. Quarter for scale.

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Ahhh… Gotta love a good weld picture! Brian does gorgeous work. He turned this upside down and set his meatloaf lunch (in an aluminium pan) on it to warm it up when he finished the welding. Said he left it there a little too long and had to wait for it to cool. This is part of the base for the walking beam. Nickel for scale.

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Freshly welded, it’s HOT! Warming up lunch. Brian said he got some funny looks… Waste not, want not;)

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Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:46 pm


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Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

January 18, 2017 rj5156 0

Right. Number crunching.

30 billion dollars per walking beam assembly is being referred outside our tax base despite our best ongoing efforts. Five of these units equals 150 billion dollars gross in fabrication work referred outside our tax base. The average fabrication business profit of 35% of the total cost would generate 52.5 billion taxable business profit dollars – at 34% tax rate. So 17.85 billion U.S. tax dollars were lost to our community tax base in spite of our best efforts.

Labor costs in fabrication run at about 22% of the cost. That’s about 32 billion dollars in payroll we did not get in our community – income to people working jobs. At a tax rate of 3.23% income tax in Indiana, that’s $1.0659 billion our tax base did NOT get to support our community. And nearly 32 billion dollars that aren’t being made by workers in our tax base are certainly not being spent in our tax base, supporting other local businesses and generating further tax revenue. The tax rate in Washington County is 2%. So that’s $660 MILLION TAX DOLLARS LOST TO OUR COUNTY in payroll taxes we didn’t get.

We might not have been able to get all the work done in our community – but I do know we have the capacity to do most or all of it. Individual shops might have higher or lower costs and profit margins. It represents my best effort though, and this is only work we have referred out on ONE JOB we have tracked over time, the walking beams.

I sure wish I could figure out how to interest our community, local business owners, or politicians in addressing Equal Opportunity law violations and sexual harassment problems brought to us by our local businesses that are preventing us from being able to refer the jobs we worked so hard to bring here to businesses in our local tax base.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:11 pm


Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

January 18, 2017 rj5156 0

Looks like the long rectangular tube is bowed down. Nice setup to boost it up straight. We have a big collection of metal shims in many thicknesses from a little thicker than a piece of paper to big hunks of metal we use to tuck here and there and keep it all perfect. Power tools are nice but a big floor jack works great for this too. Often the floor jack or a hydraulic bottle jack are the only thing that will fit where we need the force applied.

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Solid model of the details on a laptop. We never got a full set of prints on this but the model has every detail we actually NEED, that CAD operators don’t put on prints so this is an improvement! This is a direct fail of our education system. People who design and detail things to be built have generally never actually built ANYTHING themselves. Gotta love it when they ask things like “What DOES a bearing do?” Yup. That’s American education at work for ya!

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The walking beam with covers fitted up. They did fit this round. Last time we made one of these we never got the covers at our shop to try them on. When all the components came together the covers did not fit. Can’t recall who is making the covers, never heard if they had to make them over or were able to slot stuff out to make it go.

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The walking beam is DONE! It is only one component of a very large structure but it is now a billable offense. The cover get nickel plated. And it is lifting off! Ready to move on to the next phase of work. Happy dances! These are so elegant to build. I was not involved in this one, but we have built four of them in our shop so I know exactly how much work it has been. Brian sends me pictures so I feel included. He sure knows how to make me feel special. He is my sweetheart.

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Sorry there is some back and forth on builds – yes – it is all happening at the same time, over time. I’ve fallen way behind so it’s been possible to get it in much better order than it would have been if I’d posted regularly on the build shots. Still more to come but we’re closing in on it.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:45 am


Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

January 18, 2017 rj5156 0

A shot through the hole locations in the uprights, all the way through.

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Moving the rails in. When the fit-up was complete Brian hung the welding feeder from the gantry crane overhead for the heavy finish welding. Lot easier than dragging it all around and tripping over it. We need one of those at our shop!

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This is why that dead-on measurement shown in the previous post matters. The long rails rest on those crosspieces and form the base of this part of the assembly. Gotta get the foundation flat, square and true if we want the building right. Lot of time in the setup to this point. Every single step that follows will go far faster for it. The time-saving impact is as cumulative as the accuracy impact of getting it all right to start with.

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Yeah. That IS the optical builder’s level we spent most of a weekend trying to buy locally – and failed to find… Little too specialized for general stores? Just a very good scope on a tripod with leveling feet. Got to be plumb, square and true in all three planes. Little easier to do with appropriate tools. Laser beams spread fast, over distance they keep getting bigger. That kind of error just won’t cut it here.

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The big holes in the long tubes were off location by 1/8 inch or more. We cut those by hand on previous units and managed to get it dead on.

Tolerance is +/- .015 or .030 total. .125 is not even in the ballpark. “Precision automated machines” did these. They got to try again.

Set the job back a week and that sucks eggs on a bid job that is paid when it is finished. Plus 30 days billing cycle. And the week it takes for the guy the post office gives our business mail to, to bring it to us. (He is our address 56 west instead of east and they just cannot get it right.) If he is not on vacation. Just a day in small business life. We are fine with it. Educational offering, not a complaint.

We’ve already built 4 of these in the barn. This series is taken at Stamler Machine in Louisville. Brian is needed on-site for other work there right now. Before all is said and done we will doubtless be crammed full at the barn again. I love the people we are working with. Bohnert is FANTASTIC! If something needs done they make it happen. When our Dads were ill they said “Take care of family first!” and asked how they were doing.

I am comfortable that I am safe from discrimination, harassment and physical attack working with them. This is not even the case in my own shop if I let the public in, other fab shops in our community we have tried to do business with and has never been the case in most workplaces during my working life in fabrication. There have been a couple notable exceptions in other areas. Our schools and our military were not exceptions by the way.

Dreams come true. Been years of unbelievably hard work to get here but we love building to machinist’s tolerances for businesses in several countries besides our own! We feel appreciated, valued and respected. We do know not many people get this and are so thankful. It is still a lot of very hard work. We are choosing to be pleased we have created jobs even though we have not been able to bring many of them to our own community as we had hoped due to men who think I belong at home barefoot and pregnant – not working a fab shop – and will tell me so. What is five units times 30 million dollars? That is how much each of these units makes shops not in our economy due to discrimination against me. Every time you see a display of a woman as sexual object in an area business stop and think about that money it has cost our tax base please. Those displays are a great indicator of how women are truly viewed and can expect to be treated in a professional capacity.

If you get tired of hearing about what discrimination and harassment and equal opportunity law violations cost us in real dollars, I can assure you sincerely that I am absolutely exhausted living and working with it. I am thankful I can succeed personally in SPITE of it, but we apparently need a lot more public education if I am to hope to help our community generate jobs, tax monies and a future for our children. I’ve done the work to get the opportunity. I do intend to keep right on hammering on the problems that keep my community from benefiting from my efforts, talking about it, educating people, writing politicians and so on.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:30 am


Stories and Fiction • close tolerance fabrication

January 18, 2017 rj5156 0

Setting the I-beam the unit will be welded to during fit-up and finish welding. This holds alignment through the process. It does NOT compensate for poor welding patterns that cause warpage! Properly balanced weld sequences are the only way to keep it from turning in to a pretzel when it is cut free from the supporting structure.

Just try laying two pieces of sheet metal together and welding straight from one end to the other for a vivid demonstration of why this matters. Doesn’t matter how hard it is clamped down, as soon as it is released the strains resulting from the continuous weld will contort the metal. FYI pounding around on the warped piece (well supported on the back side) with a hammer, rivet gun or needle scaler will help a great deal if you’ve already got the warped mess and need to fix it. Putting it on a really hot wood stove does too but temperature impacts temper and that often matters in the finished piece.

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Here you can see it is only tacked together. This makes corrections on the fly possible.

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You can see the Mig wire clamped to the uprights on each end here. This allows perfect alignment where it actually matters.

Square tube is not really square. Raw materials vary in thickness and size and long sections are often twisted and / or bowed along the entire length. It takes considerable care and ongoing communication about what dimensions are critical and which way to throw the slop brought to us by manufacturing processes. Good bit of that slop is unavoidable by the way.

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Dead-on level. This is the only digital tool we use routinely. We find it is not only more accurate in extremely fine measurements, it allows us to measure places we can either see OR hold a level but not both. It is much easier to get things aligned perfectly with the right tools. Every small error at the start of a build of this complexity will multiply as each component is added and it really adds up. We use a big collection of shims in thicknesses from less than a sheet of paper to big blocks of solid metal to get stuff like this EXACTLY right.

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Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:02 am


Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

January 18, 2017 rj5156 0

Brian was asked to move in at the Stamler Machine location for a while. This has involved moving quite a lot of the shop there, even the natural gas torpedo heater has visited there. We’re effectively shut down at the home shop while all this is going on. Looking at how we might use this to our benefit until work hits the shop floor again. Insulating could be done now and would make a great investment of time and money, that always pays out forever in reduced climate control costs.

He’s making himself at home here, getting ready for another walking beam build. We’ve posted pictures of that before but setting up from nothing is a good thing to show we think. Here’s the workbench. A tidy, organized work area improves productivity. Far less time wasted hunting for your coffee cup! Also keeps folks from tripping over stuff strung out on the floor and knocking things off a table, damaging tools or people:)

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“Before” picture of the walking beam build. Brian’s work stool he modified with real castors. Always more complicated to retrofit something but it came out well.

It is most important to be completely comfortable working. This helps productivity by preventing spilled coffee and is an important safety feature in not getting scalded when drinking hot coffee;) Kidding here.

Fatigue and strain lead to accident and injury. We are far more productive for being able to choose our work positioning as appropriate. Industry has missed this boat altogether in my personal experience and it costs us all more than we can calculate.

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There are metal rails poured in the concrete of the barn / shop floor. Builds are welded to these rails to hold alignment as work is done. This one is being done at Stamler Machine. The big I beam will be used to hold alignment this round.

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Started on the workbench. Putting legs on it here, no fun getting down on the ground to build stuff if it can be avoided. Takes longer to get up and down every time something is done. Setup time like this is always well-spent and pays off many times over during the course of a job.

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Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:44 am


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Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

January 18, 2017 rj5156 0

Nice job on the guard. It was formed by bending just a little bit, moving the metal sheet out a tad, bending just a little bit, wash, rinse, repeat. So it is a series of little angles and flat spots, not rolled in a continuous curve. 11 gauge stainless steel, that is 1/8 inch thick. Yuck. Do not even know what state it was made in. That is heavy forming!

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Steps fitted up, drilled, painted and mounted.

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Electrical panel is all done! No. We do not do electrical. Never trust anything that hums for no good reason.

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Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:25 am


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Stories and Fiction • close tolerance fabrication

January 18, 2017 rj5156 0

Some more pictures of that rework job. An operator will stand in the yellow guarded area and drives this back and forth in the larger assembly. Naturally there are limits and stops in case the driver forgets to stop;)

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Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:40 am


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Stories and Fiction • close tolerance fabrication

January 18, 2017 rj5156 0

Math, science and the industrial arts, the real economic impacts.

The job Brian re-worked was not done by us because we simply did not have time to do it. We were building other things. The company that did the work said “This is not the kind of work we do.” They were asked if they were willing to try. They did pretty well all things considered.
It still took a good while for Brian to tear it all down, slot holes, align all the parts and get it back together in working condition. That’s a lot of money in rework and it is typical in what we experience with American fabrication. We just don’t see the skills to do this work and we have spent a lot more time than we like doing a job over because another shop’s best didn’t even come close to the tolerances specified.

Manufacturing is in big trouble at a time when taxes on imports might give us yet another shot at building jobs for our country. We are not in any position to take advantage of the potential opportunities.

The big question is “Why are there no shops who can do close tolerance work to build machines to drive our industrial economy?” A closely related economical question is “Why are we still allowing discrimination and unenforced equal opportunity laws to cripple our local economies?” We have made local shops that play fairly an incredible amount of money when they work with us.

We can and do help, advise and teach to keep money from referred jobs in our state economy. Blatant Equal Opportunity law violations and our state EOC commission’s refusal to process our complaints have robbed us of our ability to do this in most cases.

America is not doing well with math and science. Perhaps this is why we are not teaching the industrial arts, which are founded on math and science? Female students begin to fall behind after middle school and are still underrepresented in the scientific, engineering and fabrication communities. I wonder why we are not taking examples from countries that are doing a better job with this instead of importing engineers from those countries.

Bohnert recently hired an engineer from Germany and Brian reports she is very competent. Brian has been doing extensive training with the crew of engineers at Bohnert, helping them with the background they need to design well and they’re coming right along – but how come the schools these engineers paid to educate them did not teach them what they need to know? The problems with American education start far sooner than higher education.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti … st-barely/

Maybe we need to focus more on teaching kids HOW to think instead of WHAT to think – and how to score well on standardized tests?

https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti … ests-miss/

Maybe we need to audit businesses for compliance with equal opportunity laws so everyone can contribute – even a girl like me…? Closing the discrimination and wage gaps would make jobs in the technical fields more attractive to minorities. With over half our population effectively denied the opportunity to participate at a meaningful level – if at all, we cheat our nation of her people’s true combined potential. At our cost…

Another 30 million dollars bites the dust in work we sent out of our tax base on the round of work beginning now. That is times five just on this particular build now. That is not just lost tax revenue. It is JOBS, money not earned and spent in our local economy too. Wonder how many shop classes those lost tax dollars might have funded…

In contrast here us a summary of what our new Walmart does to local economies. Note that trade deficits and money not reinvested in the local economy by chain stores is not discussed here.

http://archive.advocate.nyc.gov/news/20 … -taxpayers

Discussion of the trade deficit and lost American jobs brought to us by Walmart:

http://www.epi.org/publication/the-wal-mart-effect/

I am having trouble organizing the complex, interrelated issues of education, discrimination, and our current political climate that are destroying our manufacturing and fabrication economic base. I have read that our government now employs more Americans than our industry does.

This is not sustainable for very long. I am afraid for your children and thankful we do not have any ourselves at this point. I will come back to this later and try to do better with it. I REALLY want to ask our new crop of politicians about this.

When I get it collected I might ask those of you who are friends with someone holding a political office in my district to share my post with them since they do not accept my friend requests to them.

I believe the single biggest loss at our community level in all this is that I am no longer teaching the fabrication technologies to our children. I was the last one standing who even cared enough to try in our community so no one is teaching the basics of fabrication technologies in our community at all now. This post explains why:

http://www.backwoodshome.com/forum/vb/s … tcount=269

I have lost my heart on this. I do still hope to find it again. Just can’t see how to get there from here right now.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:26 am


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Stories and Fiction • close tolerance fabrication

January 18, 2017 rj5156 0

Drive screw. Square thread. Maybe about one thread per inch.
This series is all rework by the way, we didn’t do the build. Nothing like paying for it twice. More on that in the next post.

It is a “unicorn”. A sub-assembly of a one of a kind machine, built to make foam. And it is blue.

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OK. If you REALLY want details. It operates at around 360 degrees at 10,000 PSI (Pounds per Square Inch) and processes plastic foam. It is the only non-chemical foam fabrication process, uses very old technology and they are not telling the details of that! The lightest part on it is one of the pillow block bearings that weighs over 40 pounds, not counting hardware.

There are plenty more parts, not shown. Guards and platforms and such. It ALL has to fit. Brian tore it completely down, referenced multiple floating points to a single point in three dimensions and built it back within a critical tolerance of 0.008 (eight thousandths of an inch). IIR a piece of paper is 0.003 thick. It is almost always cheaper and easier if we just build it ourselves to begin with.

There are four penetrations with 0.002 clearance in twelve planes. That is how the 0.008 tolerance per side is arrived at. Perpendicular and parallel over 14 inches per torque tube on a 10 foot long piece of equipment. Now take each of the four by 360 degrees. With four 90 degree gearboxes. Close does not even come – close – to counting here.

Steps heading for the platform. Might as well do it the easy way. Hole locations have to be transferred and drilled. Then it’s off to paint!

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This one is a clean build, not re-work. This frame is longer than our HOUSE. It all has to play nicely together, from the superstructure (which we have not shown) through the build shown in the previous post series, and this one.

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End view.

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There are over 25 shops contributing to this particular build in locations from Louisville to Alabama and one in Indiana. Pity none of those are in our county, though we have sure tried to build relationships with our local fabrication shops over the years. See my post on “Math, Science and the Industrial Arts, the real economic impacts.” for the background here (following post). This is all related.

Brian was asked to run an assembly crew in addition to his usual work. He was also asked to please bring that crew with him. He may have that worked out? I did post the following on facebook about this and got a list of people we can call who might be able to help on an as-needed basis.

We really need a short list of people who might be interested in working on this as needed too. Folks who will show up, follow simple instructions and get the job done. Brian says “no egos invited.” We are in the remarkable position of being able to choose not to work with prima donnas who won’t play well with others. We earned that. Complex builds on this scale are only possible with committed team players.

Basic mechanical abilities are all that is really needed here. There is always a good chance it could lead to a nice opportunity long-term. Any of our apprentices want a call when help is needed? Nate Pierce might you like a shot at some work in slow winter months? Couple folks have asked if we might use their help, if that’s you, you are already on the list:)

It would be working for Bohnert, not us. This is still essentially a start-up operation and we are VERY impressed with how well they are managing their growth. It’s a foot in the door.

Note. This should not need to be said – but unfortunately experience has shown me it usually has to be said at some point so here we go. I am at the top of that call-in list. If you or anyone you might suggest for this has a problem with my gender in this work environment please do not waste our time. I’ve had all of that attitude I am ever going to deal with already. If you actually know me this is old news. If not, don’t take it personally. I don’t.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:12 am


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Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

January 18, 2017 rj5156 0

Build shots taken at Stamler Machine shop wouldn’t be complete without some of the boss! Checkers says all packing quilts belong to the cat! He was missing for a week or so some time ago, then he showed up howling, sparkling clean – and reeking of perfume. His people have installed a cat flap for him so he can get in and out of the machine shop but he’s been staying in pretty much since his last adventure.

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This is a component of a much larger build. You can kind of make out the frame for the assembly in the background on the right, be some build pics of that in this series too. I will get in to what it does as we go.

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That’s a gearbox!

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Coming together nicely.

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Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:28 am


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Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

January 18, 2017 rj5156 0

Not sure if this will work but I am trying to post a very short video of the problems we are having getting video of Syd. She used to be really good about pictures and videos. Not sure what changed, except she sure loved getting hold of that TV remote and picking it into tiny little pieces. Big thanks to Beep for caring about a cockatoo’s troubles and hunting down a replacement remote for Syd, she suffered without it

Those of you on facebook may have seen it already. We have been watching videos of cockatoos on youtube with Syd, trying to show her how to do more interesting videos. We do NOT watch any of the “brat bird” stuff with her, screaming, cussing, stomping around, etc. but we do watch things like “Spa Day” featuring Gotcha, the cockatoo getting the full bath, hose down in the shower, blow dry and moisturizing services. Syd can say “spa day” now and we might get to make our own video of Syd having a spa. Works great for us!

This is what we’re starting with. We have a ways to go.

http://vid1242.photobucket.com/albums/g … usx7zd.mp4

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:24 pm


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Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

January 17, 2017 rj5156 0

We have been enjoying quiet time for a while. We make fine hermits. Been doing boring stuff too. Getting eye exams, glasses, finally got our mattress replaced from that fire a couple years ago. (We bagged it so it was not as bad as it sounds, lot more important stuff on our list for a long time.) Got tires on the truck. Finished stocking dry goods. Not very exciting to share…

We are still working to live our lives at a less frantic pace. It has been difficult for us to stop living like we are in crisis after so long a time when everything was a crisis! Not going to fight weather. We hope to use this winter to complete projects at home, get ourselves in the best shape to take on the work that needs done to make the best use of our shop resources.

I am actually getting out with my Mom lately. We hope to do more with Brian’s Mom too. Got some ideas for that and we have been getting by to visit with her and enjoying it tremendously!

We do have some nice things to share from our time out, and everyone’s news to catch up on:) It has been wonderful to have a real break. Brian got two 4 day weekends in a row, and a 5 day weekend the following week! We’ve slept a lot, eaten well and just enjoyed each other’s company.

We feel optimistic about the coming year. We almost feel like we are back to “normal” again, or at least our version of normal. Feels pretty good too.

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:06 pm


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Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

January 17, 2017 rj5156 0

Our other news is mud. It is getting deep enough to be a problem for me to get out. Already been stuck in the driveway lately but at least I missed the old outhouse when I lost all traction and gravity took my downhill.

At least it isn’t ice. I might park closer to the road as soon as it is reasonable to do that. The truck does fine with mud but it does not leave a nice driving area for anything else. We are going to have a mess when it finally dries out! Be getting more gravel as soon as we can.

We did get enough ice and snow recently to help us appreciate the mud. Poor old Gabby hit a slick spot and went down badly. Back legs sticking out both sides, flat on her belly. She couldn’t get back up. I lifted her carefully under the chest and tummy and carried her in the house. Set her on her feet and supported her while she caught her breath. Terrified she had damaged her hips and it might be the beginning of the end. 

She had a couple rounds of not being able to get up the next day and a couple more the next few days. I heard her left hip pop back in the socket when I lifted her as before and she said it was no fun at all. (Often this works to slide a hip joint back in place, which is the point of my sharing about it.) We rarely crate the dogs outside feeding time and when we have company or need to keep them safe but Gabby fared so much better in the crate I did latch her in when we could not be here to help her if she got down. She had the crate sides to help her and it seemed to speed her recovery a lot.

We knew our vet would not be excited about trying surgery on her given her age and we sure did not want to put her through it. Thank goodness she is fine now! Apparently no major damage. She moved fine with no discomfort and her hind legs tracked properly as soon as I got her up so we did not drag her in to get stressed further at the vet’s office. She was already so upset she was vomiting all over. (Love concrete and tile floors!) Figured there was nothing to be gained by making it worse for her.

We’ll take the mud. 

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:01 pm


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Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

January 17, 2017 rj5156 0

I am still battling with computers. Got the new desktop model in decent shape. Since Brian got a laptop I latched on to that notebook we picked up some time ago. I had hoped he could use it for work but he never took to it. Can’t say I love it yet but I do see the portability is going to be wonderful when it is fit to be out again so I have been working to get it customized to suit me and updated as I can stand it.

I like to set up my file structures with folders and add them to the “sendto” so when I start USING the device it is ready to go. It is easy to find stuff when everything has a place and I can just put things in their places as I go. I would not even have icons on my desktop if it could be avoided. I did change the recycle bin icon to one I like.

Got everything talking together with bluetooth. Want to set up a network and get ALL of our devices introduced to that yet. I get tired of computer maintenance pretty quickly so it goes slowly.

Guess I am a geek but I do not enjoy using a computer that is not fully functional with the tools, organization and conveniences I am accustomed to. 

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:00 pm


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Stories and Fiction • Re: Homeless? Life After a House Fire.

January 17, 2017 rj5156 0

Thank you Gunns, and to you too!

I do backups as well and am starting to think about using thumb drives directly for storage of files. Not sure I trust anything that much though. Seems to be my nature to back up my backups! I keep my hard drives when I retire machines too. *Just in case.*

Statistics: Posted by rj5156 — Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:59 pm