Friday, December 11, 2015

Factory Seed Update

Got word yesterday that everything from China has arrived except the stepper motors.

Next week, in between assembling a CNC plasma table, and other tasks, I will get the local made parts done.    I got one set of hardware, one power supply, and one frame already in stock. 

Picked up the CNC plasma parts from water jet yesterday.  It was a sprint across the metro on various modes of transport.  

Saturday (today) I got to attend a Christmas party and of course consume large quantities of alcohol, most likely Johhny Walker.  I promised to bring my Mexican tamales to the party, it being a potluck and all.

I find it interesting that Filipinos go wild for authentic Mexican food but there is only ONE restaurant in a city of nearly 30 million that actually makes the real stuff.  Sadly they do not make tamales.

So whenever I got my Mexican food craving.  I gotta make it totally from scratch.  

When I want tamales, I have to buy whole corn from the feed store, clean it by hand, and then make hominy.

Hominy is corn treated with a base like lye or lime.  I do the wood ash lye method.

Then it is making the broth, masa, and shredded pork, assembling them and steaming.  In south Mexico they use banana leaves.  North Mexico and US they use corn husk.  Since I got a stand of banana trees in the neighborhood, I use the banana leaf.

Filipinos eat hot chile but not all so I made a separate chile sauce again from scratch by grinding dry chile flakes and cooking the powder down into a sauce thickened with a little corn starch.

Interesting to note the social conversations amongst Filipinos and political thought is rather libertarian vs the US and political Correctness is reserved for the disgusting commies who hide in the jungle and rob people or attend a couple Catholic college campus.

I joke that Filipinos are Asian rednecks because of the similarly in many cultural aspects including  Christian conservatism and libertarian thought not to mention a fondness for boiled peanuts and fried pork rinds.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Liberal Lies Undermining America

Another one from the Col.

I wrote this analysis in total frustration with the stupefied  vacuous group-think that is griping America.

The Liberal Lies Undermining America

 In Order To Stop The Liberal-Engineered National Stagnation And Decline, Americans Desperately Need To Recognize Basic, Undeniable Truths And Return To Honest National Discourse

By Col. Tom Snodgrass (Ret.), Right Side News

The Liberal Lies

The Years Worst Tech Article

Saw this linked to on Drudge.  Reading the article there is no credible source as to research in to this AI tech, rather is is a online survey of random Internet people who guess or think it will happen.

Wow.  This is what passes for news...



Bear with me on some of the articles being brief.  

I usually don't have a lot of time to write posts especially long detailed articles.  

I started out on this adventure while I was still in Iraq.  Bought my first pro machine 6 months before I went home.  Had the software sent to me in the middle east and taught myself how to draw 2D CAD.

I went home and opened up a small CNC plasma cutting shop.  I mainly cut structural steel and signs. It was OK, not great money.  Then bout 2 years later circumstances changed and I had a lot of competition.  So I had to totally up my game and re-invent my business.

I started out working with someone else whom I thought had the necessary skills. However after 5 months and a lot of fail, I kicked him out.  I then restarted from near zero.  All my savings gone.  It was very difficult.  My electricity at my house was turned off for 4 months while I kept the shop lights on and rent paid there.  I managed to scratch and crawl my way back up out of the hole I was in.  

I learned how to do 3d CAD, designed and built a bunch of working 3D printers and basically spent 12-15 hours a day on this.  Let me tell you, you gain a lot of experience working that many hours every day.

Earlier this year, I had my big professional printer finally done.  Prototypes were working, and production documentation was complete.  It was the first time I ever took a raw design all the way to a sellable commercial product.  

However life threw me a monkey wrench.  The first batch of production parts from the machinist took 3 months to arrive.  3 months of worry and watching my finances drain away.  

In a fit of frustration, I took some of my meager funds and built my first CNC mill.  I posted the pictures.  It looks like crap, but it only cost me $300.  It takes a lot of constant adjustment to make it work properly but it does work and is fairly accurate.  I used that machine to prototype and make other machines including printers and mills.

I do have access to CNC lasers, CNC benders and other full machine shop equipment, however just to prototype an idea means a ton of travel time so I use those machines for final parts only.

I did use the plywood mill to make a better mill, and then I made an even better machine. Now I am making some fairly nice stuff, although I am always striving to make it better.

Next month I open a store front to sell CNC routers and CNC plasma cutters. I have made a few already and they work.

I also will be carrying the steel frame mills made by my Chinese buddy for the local market.  

I am pretty excited bout it. Considering how bad things got last year, I have come a long way and learned a lot of lessons about bootstrapping from hard experience.

Eventually I would like to build more heavy duty machines as my skill level grows.  

My new shop opening next month will have a CNC laser cutter, CNC plasma table (for demo and production work), a router for production and a couple demo machines along with my printers.

I will keep you informed of my adventures.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Build Your Own House With This

One of the biggest costs people have in their lives is the cost of shelter. 

In the USA it has become in a situation that we have been brainwashed all our lives by the banksters and gov as to how we procure our housing.

The socially accepted scenario is that we go to a realtor and worry about getting a loan, and a 30-40 year mortgage that most will never live to pay off.  We will toil our lives to pay for a home that wil in essence with the bankers fees on top of every thing turn a 20,000 dollar order from a lumber yard into a 500,000 dollar transaction.  Every month the bankers taking their interest.

We have been brainwashed since at least my time in school in the 80's and early 90's that the trades and making stuff was for losers.  Shop rats and other assorted druggies, dropout wannabe, low IQ types take vocational courses.  Smart kids go to college like their teachers and become good little corporate drones in a cubicle farm that eventually gets outsourced to the Philippines.

Meanwhile in other countries people with no cash are coming up with other methods to build stuff.

It used to be that compressed earth blocks were the domain of hippie dippy types and other assorted non producing trash, at least in the USA.

However a funny thing along the way happened.  The Brazilians decided that clay fired bricks were too expensive to make even when the fuel to fire them was free with firewood.

So the CEB (compressed earth block) was adapted and processes refined to be used to create housing.

Basically a CEB machine can take the soil from the very ground the house will be built, combine it with some portland cement as a binder, compress it with a couple tons of pressure, and you got a building block.  Combine that with making the blocks interlocking like a childs lego set and you got a building method that even the lowest skilled barefoot construction worker in the third world will be able to create something that does not look slapdash thrown together like the rest of the turd world.

What got me interested in this was years ago I was involved in the Open Source Ecology Civilization development kit.  However with the brick making machine their solution was this big monstrosity of a machine that while nice, was totally un-affordable.

So me and another guy got together and researched into the thing and found what the Brazillians were doing.  We found the original source documents from the 60's online. 

Using solidworks CAD we drew new blueprints and released them as open source

Here they are:
To download file click the link below:OSRL CEB Press Drawings 1-1.pdf

Filesize: 0.825 MB
File upload date: 2015-12-08 08:17:46

To make the blocks I could re write a guide or I can send you to a Brazillian manufacturer of these machines to explain it better

Here are a few photos from the Brazillians.

Make it yourself.  Do not pay the tax, finance the banksters. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Wiring Your Own CNC. Yes It IS That Stupidly Easy

There are plenty of dedicated shields and boards on the market to set up our machine. 

Some are harder to figure out than others.  I only wish I had the benefit of these diagrams when I started this adventure a couple years ago.

First of all we will start with the board.

You can build it on the Arduino UNO board.  I just checked and the price for the original Ardunio (not China clone which I will explain why later) and it is $27USD delivered to my door here on the tropical island.  That includes shipping, customs and overnight air freight.

Pretty basic stuff.

Next you need to flash the firmware on the thing.

Get the firmware here for the GRBL controller

Home · grbl/grbl Wiki · GitHub
Aug 17, 2015 - Please feel free to modify these pages to help keep grbl up-to-date! ... retained between different versions of Grbl as you upgrade the firmware.
Configuring Grbl v0.9 - ‎Compiling Grbl - ‎Connecting Grbl - ‎Interfacing with Grbl

You will have to follow the instructions to upload it but it is pretty simple.

Unzip the firmware folder and open the main file in Arduino.  Do not worry about all the other files they will all open at the same time.

Here is the Arduino software


Arduino IDE that can be used with any Arduino board, including ...

You select the type of board you got in the menu.  For this tutorial it is Arduino Uno and the com port.  This is the same as selecting the com port for a paper printer.  No biggie.

Now you need to get something called a stepper driver.  Actually 3 of them.

What the board does is send signals over 3 wires to the stepper driver that amplifies the power and drives a motor.  The stepper motor is basically 2 DC motors inside one case.  But right now you dont need to know much more than that.  All you need to know is that there are 2 sets of wires. to each motor.  The trick is to make sure that you are not wiring it up so one motor pushes against the other or it will not work.

Here is an example of a dead simple stepper motor driver.

Ok now it is 3 wires from the board to the driver.  Some require 4 wires and there are 4 wire inputs but for this setup it is just 3 wires.

Here is how you wire it up

On the other side of the board there are 4 wires.  A+ A- B+ B- and power supply.  For this driver you can use anywhere between 12 and 36 volts.  I use 24v.  10 amp power supply at 24v is $30.  Now you can hack an old laptop power supply like one of those 19v ones or 21v supplies and it will also work provided you can get enough amps out of it.

Now you got that done and your motors hooked up, here is the software:

Grbl Controller - ShapeOko
Apr 13, 2015 - Grbl Controller 3.6.1 for Mac, Windows and Linux - by Zapmaker ... Grbl Controller is a piece of software which is used to send GCode to CNC

And there you go.  2 years of study boiled down to one blog post.

Obviously you will have to read the info at the links provided.

Now you can build a precision machine and use that to make your own mischief and mayhem.

Side note:

You should get the original Arduino instead of the Cheap China clones not because they are pirated.  They are not cause Arduino is open source.  It is because often times China boards use a counterfeit USB driver chip and the standard windows drivers will not work with it or will work one day and not the next.  All to save a few cents for the original chip that is not open source.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Boot Strapping Machine Shop

Ok so you have a burning desire (or need) to make stuff and you got no cash to hire it out.  Face it machinists are expensive and rightly so. 

The equipment itself is relatively low cost vs other trades like hiring a semi truck to haul something half way across the country in a truck that costs over 150k dollars and sucks fuel at 5-7mpg

However other costs make machining services expensive.  For one thing the amount of concentration required to machine something is a great order of magnitude more than driving a truck.  

I should know, I have done both.

A machinist is seriously wiped out exhausted at the end of 8 hours of fabrication and 12-13 hour day will put them so tired as to affect the next days productivity substantially.  Whereas as a truck driver I regularly put in 15-18 hour days, day after day.

So what's a guy to do?

Here are a few methods that will enable you to make it yourself.

1 cross slide vice in a drill press.  $60-150 dollars and a $50 harbor freight drill press.  It will work but it will take a ton of practice and tuning up of the vice.  It will also require you to go thru probably the entire store inventory to find a vice that sides smoothly and does not suffer from backlash.

2 DIY manual mill.  In my previous posts, I posted plans for my DIY plywood CNC mill.  It can also substitute manual cranks for stepper motors.  If you know the pitch of the thread rod. (mine was 1.25mm for every turn) then you can reasonably machine something manually with a decent marked crank and dial.  

3 Hand files, Dremel and grinder.  Long the favorite of bubba the gun smith and turd world fabricators. These machines while cheap take a lot of practice to use accurately. Years of practice are required. Good quality grinders are a must, because cheap ones vibrate too much for use more than 10-15 min at a time. Been there done that.

4 Buy a cheap China or equivalent CNC.  Why do I emphasize CNC so much?  Because it is the fastest way to make intricate parts and accurately in the shortest time.  You can pick up a text book or Internet guide and machine manually or CNC fast.  But the amount of hand coordination needed to run the mill takes a long time to develop. I see even long time manual machine operators make rookie mistakes.

About 6 months ago I sent a job out for machining.  The charge was $500.  It took the machinist 3 months to deliver.  In desperation I built my own CNC machine because I needed the parts.  I had the know-how to build it, and experience running 3d printers and CNC plasma cutters.  When I look back on it now, I think to myself that I really screwed myself by not buying or building one of these machines a year ago or more with all the money I spent on outside shops. So I boot strapped it myself.

I started with a crap machine made from plywood, hardware store bearings, stainless steel pipe, threaded rod and 3D printer Electronics.  My design and learning progress has since grown exponentially to the point where I am impressing even experienced machinists with my work output.

My work table.

Seems Legit

Latest CNC

Had event to go to yesterday, so today finished up this project.  Looks almost too pretty to use.

In this pic I still have to re-connect the stepper motors, and tidy the wiring which has now been done but the battery died so no pic.

Seems to work, well.