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I make toys for kids who don't want to grow up. I'm on the lookout for new projects. If you're interested in commissioning me to build something ridiculous, shoot me an email.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Kid's-Eye View of the Workshop

From time to time my nephew Lincoln stops by to visit in the shop.  He's four.

Most of the time he does a good job of keeping himself busy playing with a box of Star Wars action figures I've accumulated under one of the benches.  But when they stop being interesting, the questions start...

"What's that?"

"What movie was this guy in?"

"What does this thing do?"

"Can I wear that helmet?"

"Can I hold that gun?"

For a while it's charming, but sooner or later I have to find something else to entertain him.  Fortunately for me, I have a pretty sturdy little point and click digital camera that I keep in the shop to document projects.  So it's really easy to hand it to him and ask him to take pictures.  

The best ones happen when I just tell him I need him to get photos of all of the important things in the shop.  It's always fascinating to see what a small child does with instructions like that.  He does not disappoint.  The sum total of technical training he was given was "push this button to take a picture."  The rest of the magic was all his:

Lincoln Shop pic a4

So here's a few of my favorites out of the dozens of images he captured.  They haven't been altered in any way in order to maintain the artist's original intent as purely as possible.  I just had to be selective to make sure there wasn't any NDA material that showed up in the pictures.

Here's his impressionist image of the "noisy/dusty room" where my Carvewright CNCs, belt sander, and rotary tools live:
Lincoln Shop Pic 1

The rafters are full of all kinds of interesting things, but apparently none of them are as interesting as this cardboard Captain Phasma mask someone gave me a few years ago as a joke:
Lincoln Shop Pic 2

Tucked away in another corner is this box fan, one of the very few things that was worth focusing on:
Lincoln Shop Pic 3

In this corner is...  probably something cool behind his finger:
Lincoln Shop pic a3

This is a bucket seat, a padded lid to convert a standard 5-gallon bucket into a comfy stool:
Lincoln Shop Pic 4

Back to the rafters, in the middle of this pic you can almost make out the boxed set of Republic Commando action figures I consistently won't let him open and play with:
Lincoln Shop Pic 5

Then there's a couple more helmets he recognizes:
Lincoln Shop Pic 6

Back at eye level, here's some of the molds currently in use:
Lincoln Shop Pic 7

And another useful stool to forgo kneeling:
Lincoln Shop Pic 8

Also qualifying as "important things in the shop:" an unopened pack of Priority Mail boxes:
Lincoln Shop Pic 9

This picture was probably framed much differently, but it seems he got some unwanted help from Tiki the chocolate lab (aka "Moop the Spastic Dog Noodle"):
Lincoln Shop pic a2

Then there's this collection of vacformed parts and an empty Amazon box:
Lincoln Shop Pic 10

And another shot of molds because they're twice as important:
Lincoln Shop Pic 11

I think this is the view from the same spot, but in the opposite direction.  Maybe:
Lincoln Shop pic a1

So there it is, a few snapshots from the point of view of a four year old.  Good times.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

High-Speed Solution to Prepping Printed Plastic Parts for Paint

I don't tend to do video tutorials, but I've seen enough stupid #sandinghacks to convince me that there's a lot of amateurs out there teaching what they don't know how. Here's my high-speed, low-drag, fool-proof method for rapidly prepping printed parts for primer and paint:

Forgot to mention: this method will only work with ABS printed parts. The low melting point of PLA parts make them a bad idea in the clothes dryer and the higher pH value of the vegetable-based plastic counteracts the effects of the citric acid. Don't even ask me about PETG printed parts. If you insist on using PETG, you've got your own problems and I can't help you. Also, I need a damned haircut.