Here we are. The last installment of The Background series is upon us. This series took longer than expected, but it was nice to get what I had in my head and put it on paper. If anything, I can see myself going back and reading through what I wrote to remind myself what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. A refresher for the days when I need it.
Plus, this means the real work is coming up next! Yikes, I hope I’m ready….
The Where is an open ended question. I have a starting place, but as far as the end goal goes or even the halfway goal, I just don’t have the answer. I have dreamt about running a storefront business or driving to a small industrial warehouse that is full of tools and materials that are just waiting to be used. Both are exciting, but honestly they are not goals I need to be setting at this time. I have everything I need to excel right in front of me. I have a computer, a desk, the Internet, and my small little shop in the basement. These locations are the “Where”s.
Computer and desk aren’t revolutionary and are pretty much self explanatory. Maybe I’ll go into what I use as for software, but I’ll save that for a later date. I like to sketch sometimes. A desk is good for that. As for the Internet, it’s incredible. It will be critical that I use to effectively. This blog being a part of that. Then there is my workshop.
I love my basement. It’s small and awkward. It’s nothing to write home about. But it’s what I like to call my mechanical sanctuary. When my wife and I first moved into our house over 5 years ago, our basement was a weird, weird place. There was a makeshift room enclosed by plywood covered in white paint. Concrete floors, water damaged walls, and 4″x 4″ vent to the outside. The only things inside the room were a pullstring light and a rearview mirror mounted to the western most wall. Futhermore, a single latch for a padlock was mounted on the outside of the door. The very first time I pulled the string to turn on the light, the bulb shattered…. Let’s just say this room was one of the first things to get torn down. (I still have the rearview mirror if you want to borrow it)
Today, we have a usable laundry room and more importantly the workshop in the basement.
All my initial work is going to be done here (I give you permission to use the picture like an I Spy book). At least that is the plan. Of course I will have to outsource some things like3D printing (I will get one eventually. It’s inevitable) or welding if it comes to that, but to keep costs down I hope to do my initial testing and prototyping here.
I have slowly accumulated tools as well as built tools during many different projects or hobbies I have worked on. Remodeling our house gave me a good excuse for obtaining general tools like saws and drills, but I’ve also salvaged a few things and turned them into some fun, useful tools. Let’s take a look at a couple of the unique ones:
CNC (computer numerical control) Router:
(As pictured I’m replacing a bum z-axis motor)
24″ x 24″ x 4″ work envelope
Can cut woods and plastics
Running Linux CNC
51″ x 21″ x 32″ Oval envelope
Max temp of 350degF
Repurposed 250gallon oil tank
Powder coating and composite curing
Mini Foundary -(Future) I haven’t made this yet, but it is on my “To Build” list. (I think it was Ryan H. who shared this. Kudos.)
Tools. I love tools. There is even a website for cool tools. Oh shoot, I got distracted. Where was I? Oh yes, workshop. The place where I build stuff.
So the “Where”s in summary: computer, desk, Internet, and workshop.
And now an Epiphany. After writing all of this, I have realized that up until this year The Where has technically been in my mind. My ideas, thoughts, designs, passions (i.e. The What and The Why) also in my head. The time has come to stop dreaming and pull The Where out of my mind and into the physical. And it’s going to happen through this writing (blog), the sharing of ideas/designs and the workshop blood, sweat, and tears (hopefully not from pain)…
“The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge while an ordinary man takes everything either as a blessing or a curse” – Carlos Casteneda