Warning: this is not about Ham Radio

Mike O'Dell mo at ccr.org
Sun May 6 08:58:13 CDT 2012

My dad's favorite uncle was a Tool & Die Maker
back when having a dedicated motor on your lathe
was Tall Cotton (as opposed to a belt up to
a shared ceiling jackshaft running the length
of the barn). He had insane powers of what
we'd now call 3D visualization - to see how
pieces fit together and to figure out how
to remove all the metal that's in the way.

In high school, much to the annoyance of my
"guidance counselor", I took Metal Shop where
i learned to weld (gas & arc), run a lathe, and
rebuilt a reciprocating shaper. of the 15 people
in the class, two of us had GPAs greater than
a 2-point. more interesting, the other guys
were the jerks who gave me massive
grief since first grade. but in the shop, it was
like it never happened. respect was earned with
a good puddle, a clean bead, and a smooth
cutting pass. the other guys had been fixing
motorcycles since they could stand and automatically
grabbed the right wrench the way other people

Of all the classes I took in high school, that one had
the furthest-reaching impact of any outside math.
Even if I don't have the fabrication chops to do it myself,
knowing what it takes to bend metal and make something
real from incoming stock, has saved the bacon
any number of times. Some software git looks
at something with moving parts and displays his
complete clue vacuum by asking, "It's only metal - how
hard can that be?" Harumph.

      - mo

On 5/6/12 1:03 AM, Joseph Bento wrote:
> That is truly a work of love.  He is quite a machinist, and obviously 
> comfortable with traditional micrometers and tools rather than the 
> newer digital variety.
> Joe, N6DGY
> On 5/5/2012 8:08 PM, Andre Kesteloot wrote:
>> Tacoistas,
>> *Warning*, this is not about Ham Radio, but it is a bout engineering 
>> achievements nevertheless.
>> And, since some of you are also mechanically inclined,
>> you may be interested in watching this video
>> 73
>> André
>> **
>>     This is not CNC technology; this guy made everything at home on
>>     his lathe and drill press. Took 1220 hours (a year and a half?)
>>     to make the 261 pieces.Note the end-loaded crankshaft into the
>>     block (like an Offy), 12 individual cylinder heads, TINY rods and
>>     pistons, dual "underhead" cams with push-rods to rockers in the
>>     heads.And, he did break-in using an electric drill driving the
>>     crankshaft! Even if you're not an engineer, you'll love this!
>>     http://www.wimp.com/tiniestengine/
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