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A Day In The Life

Typical day at the Makerspace

For some reason, last Thursday, July 20, 2017, I kept track of most of the stuff that I did at the Dallas Makerspace. Some trivial stuff fell through the cracks of my mind, but mostly what follows is stream-of-consciousness, as it happened.

Arriving on the bike in the morning, I met a guy out front who looked confused. Said he was with a janitorial company, and someone called for a price to clean the surface of our parking lot. Sent him out back. He was concerned about cleaning all the oil off the concrete.

I was concerned that the Landlord was going to start trouble about the condition of the lot. Posted about it on Discord (discussion board for people at the Space), and sent an email to the Board of Directors. Later one of the Board members replied that he had called the janitorial company for a price because the parking lot is a mess from all the crappy, leaky cars out there.

A guy stopped in to see me about forming some 1/4"x1" aluminum bars. Discussed making a MDF buck, or just free bending, as all he needs is a 3" radius. He left to go try it.

A person asked about whether fiberglass could be clear. As that won't work, I asked what she was trying to do. She is going for the “Guinness Book of World Records: Largest Pair of Googily Eyes”. Record is like 24", so not too hard. She wants to use acrylic and thermo-form it, but a sheet 48" wide is $400. I suggested looking at styrene. .12" styrene 48"x96" is about $100, and would make two eyes. She is now working on how to heat it. This showed up on the discussion forums later as an “amazing suggestion”, though without attribution.

Met with Rett The Motorcycle Guy about what tools we need for doing motorcycle service in the shop (he works in a cycle shop). Major thing we need is a lift, 30” high, drop panel for rear wheel, good front chock, air operated hydraulic, not too wide. Paddock stands are useless, so don't bother. A tire mounter would be a good addition, too. Also talked about cooling systems, voltmeters, and chain lube. He uses PJ1 Blue Label, I use Liquid Wrench Chain Lube, which is 1/3 the cost. Chain seems to last a long time so, eh, good enough.

Lunch; Chinese take-out. Crap, but cheap and only a short motorbike ride to get it.

Andrew the Wood Shop Chair came by to ask about threading stainless parts for the art piece he is finishing up for a client. We found a tap, but it is beat. He is probably going to get a new one.

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Andrew and his art. Visualize this in a rock-and-roll-themed restaurant, in Hawai, with 30 foot tall flames shooting up inside it. He has to go there to set it up, poor bastard.

Tried to tap the hole in Andrew's project, and destroyed two drill bits and a tap before giving up and using epoxy. Stainless steel is tough stuff. You win some, you lose some.

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¼-20 tap. Note broken teeth on the tip. We also melted and fused a drill bit in the hole.

Downloaded the proposed logos for the new Motor Sports Committee. We need something to put on the side of the bus and for t-shirts. This is the leader so far:

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We need to change the helmet so it is more racer-like and less biker-gang-like.

Cleaned out the pan under the plasma cutter. Again. Made a sign for the for the plasma cutter that reads:

ATTENTION: REMOVE ALL SCRAP FROM INSIDE THE PLASMA CUTTER PAN. IF YOU LEAVE CUTTINGS IN THE PAN WE WILL REVIEW THE VIDEO AND FIND YOU. WE WILL BAN YOU. WE WILL FART IN YOUR GENERAL DIRECTION.

DO NOT LEAVE ANY SCRAP METAL IN THE METAL SHOP. VERY SMALL AMOUNTS MAY BE LEFT IN THE SCRAP BIN AND ONLY IN THE SCRAP BIN. WE WILL BAN YOU. WE WILL FART IN YOUR GENERAL DIRECTION.

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The PlasmaCam, thoroughly cleaned; NOT what it looked like today.

Helped a guy cut a bunch of 1” square tubing to length on the cold saw. Saw is kind of scary looking, but it is automated, so you just put your piece in place, hit the button and stand back. It clamps the piece, pukes emulsified oil all over everything, lowers the saw blade through the part, then retracts and releases the vise. You just kind of have to keep any fingers that you want to keep well out of the way.

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The cold saw, doing its thing.

So now the LeMons race car guys are due to meet and work on the Motor SportsBus. It is a SportsBus. Like a sports car, except it is a bus. We are going to use it as a tow vehicle (7 liters, yea!) and fill it with tools for use at the track. Maybe sleep in it too. This is what it looks like:

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Visualize this thing lowered, with wide wheels and racing stripes.

It started life as a people carrier for an airport or hotel, with seating for 20+. Then a rock band bought it, stripped out the seats, and used it for transport to gigs in New York. They wanted to get rid of it, so they donated it to the Plano Makerspace, where it sat for a year in their back parking lot. A homeless guy noticed the open window, broke in, moved a futon into it, and was happily living there when the Landlord came by one day. The Plano guys were given 24 hours to get it off the lot, so they donated it to us.

When I started the Motor Sports Committee the Board foisted the thing off on us. It needs power steering and the ABS systems fixed, then someone needs to sort out the title so we can get it inspected and registered. Someone=me.

So I spent the next six hours working on the SportsBus with the LeMons Racing Team. Replaced the power steering pump, but the system still does not work. Made one parts run on the bike to get fluid. Got home at 1AM, showered off the grease, and fell into bed, where I died until the next morning.

I don't really know why I do this stuff, except it keeps my brain going. Some of it is annoying (people making messes) and some of it is rewarding (seeing something new created). Probably will do this for a while until I get tired of it and find something else to do.

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