We all know about the proto bully: A big kid that beats on a small boy. That's the typical picture. Bullies come in all sorts of flavors. Some are overt and more are covert. They don't physically attack. They mentally abuse their victims and their goal is to terrorize, demoralize, and demean their targets. I don't know what drives a bully to this kind of behavior but I can imagine it is essentially nature or nurture. Nature in regard to maybe being dropped on their head as a toddler and nurture in that their home life wasn't very pleasant. Whatever the reason, they are poisonous to a civil society. All bullies have one thing in common: Unfiltered meanness. When they say or do something cutting and demoralizing, they aren't joking. They aren't fooling around. They mean exactly what they say because they have no ability to filter out the meanness. People make excuses for bullies all the time. They say "He was only joking" or "You took it the w


Whenever I see the name STIHL, I think back to the early 90's, when STIHL hired me to do a month long complex data conversion project. Upon delivery of the finished product, they told me I did a great job and were happy. I asked for my check and I was told it was going to be mailed from corporate. My terms for one time customers have always been payment upon delivery. I made an exception because STIHL was a national brand. 30 days later, no check. I called their office and they told me they changed the specifications and my work was no longer relevant. I wasn't going to be paid. Well, that was an $8,000 mistake on my part. About three months later, I get a panicked call from a VP regarding the tapes they gave me that I used in the project. The tapes I had were their only copies and they needed them back fast. I told the VP that yes, I had the tapes. He asked how quickly I could get them down to their office. I replied "I can see them from where I sit and they a

Precise Cutting of Heavy Brass Tube

I had a need to make bearings out of a brass tube and each piece had to be within a thousandth of spec. I had a brainstorm to use my ShopBot CNC as a measuring device and came up with this contraption. The rod is 1/2" diameter with a 1/4" inside diameter. The multitool is level and square to the machine and locked to a piece of 2x4 by landscaping tape and hot glue. Not exactly a permanent fixture but good enough for the job. To actually cut the rod, I used the keyboard function, "D" set at 0.001" and set the zero position within 0.02" of the multitool blade. Then I just arrow keyed the tube into the rod with the RPM's at 6,000. The wire runs up the tube a short distance and catches the rings as they separate. To repeat, I move Y to zero, zero Z and lowered the Z to the desired depth for the next cut. I made a couple of test cuts to calculate kerf and see how good the cut quality was and then subsequent cuts were good. I needed 1

Copying a Profile Using Liquid Urethane Foam

I needed to copy the basic shape of a part of my car so I could work with it without damaging the original. It's part of the rollbar which is covered in leather. If I had a fancy scanner and 3D printer, I could have easily done this. Instead, I did it the manual way using aluminum foil and liquid urethane foam. Roll bar Liquid urethane foam comes in two parts that are mixed together in equal measures. The amount of rise from the foam is dependent on the weight per cubic foot. The range of densities goes from a very light half pound per cubic foot to a very hard and dense sixteen pounds per cubic foot and even more. The more dense the foam, the harder it is and the more abuse it will take to damage it. Once mixed, the foam rises very fast, in the order of a few minutes, and then sets to a very hard material in about twenty minutes total. While it is rising, the foam itself exerts very little force on the material constraining it if it is allowed room to rise complete

Four Sided Machining With an Indexer

I'm working on a project that requires hundreds of precisely machined components. Most of them can be produced easily from sheet stock or scrap lumber using 2D cutting methods. A few I've made by hand as they were just a one off. One part I need for the project, a piece about nine inches by three inches by one inch thick, is machined on four sides. The shape is a trapezoid, or more correctly, a parallelogram with two sides offset by six degrees. Two nearly vertical slices chopped out of one side are also offset by six degrees. Various holes are drilled for pegs and other things. It's also 3D shaped on the top and bottom (three inch sides). The "Part" crudely represented in Rhino. The problem with multi-side machining is registration. A part is accurately registered if it is placed on the machining bed exactly in the place it should be. Knowing where the part is physically located is critical when attempting to machine it. The machining tool has no idea wh

First Day at IO 2019

This picture pretty much sums up my first day at IO 2019: Why? Because I brought these back to the hotel. The capsule is a headache killer and the large circular one is a Tums. So IO day one was pretty smooth, no headache and the food didn't cause me heartburn. Great sessions and information. Going to take a while to digest it all. Inside IO:

Funny Story

I recently went through the PreCheck line at an airport and instead of the usual thirty second security screening, they singled me out because they wanted to check my nuts. The officer implied they exceeded tolerance and wanted to check my "bag". Naturally, I complied like any citizen would and when the officer was satisfied that my nuts, although excessive, were no threat to the flying safety of the general public, he left me with my nuts on the examination table without so much as a goodbye.