A new Grinder: setting up with patience

Today is January 7th, 2015; writing that date makes me feel old because I learned how to write dates back in the 80’s.

Being an entrepreneur is tough, but it would be much tougher if I didn’t have a great support system to keep me fed and sheltered.   I live on my parent property in the apartment above the garage.  I helped build it, so I feel a fair bit of ownership even though my equity in the project is just a bit of teenage sweat, blood and perhaps a few hammered thumbs.  It is because of all the projects I’ve worked on with my dad that I know so much about how things are put together.

Today I did several things.  I got up, put on clothes, went outside and fetched my dog out of his pen so he could wake up and go for a morning “poopy patrol”.  He’s only 4 months old, and I think that he’s finally learning not to poop in his pen.  His name is “Rigs”, short for “Rigor mortis Puppy” (a name my dad came up with while he was studying biology in college back in the sixties).  The name is also sometimes modified to “Rigger” (as in one who ties knots or puts sails up and down on a ship).  I’m hoping to teach him to tie knots.  He’s quite smart and his diet consists mostly of venison, collard greens and kale, oatmeal, grits, or rice.  I don’t really like the principles by which most commercial dog food is manufactured, so as long as I can afford to shoot and butcher deer, and feed myself whatever else, I reckon that Rigs can eat pretty much what I eat.

On a typical day, I get up, take care of breakfast for myself, my dad and Rigs, and then get started on the work day.  Usually, deciding what to do is laid out for me by customer demand, so I peck away at projects in such a way that I don’t get bored or tired enough to hurt myself through carelessness or as a way to spice up the day.  Even so, there are plenty of days when fingers are split, knuckles torn open, or at least feet tired at the end of the evening.

Staying physically fit is important to me, so I try to do some sort of exercise every day.  I have a trail cut through the woods that loops around and switches back over a creek and up and down hills to give me a full mile for walking or “extreme” trail running.  There are big jumps over the creek, steep banks to scramble up and down, and lots of logs to jump over.  Eventually I hope to run a 5k race against myself with the goal of maintaining a 8 and a half minute mile for all three laps around the course.   I also have some exercise apparatus in the shop.  There’s a heavy, muy thai bag in my rear office, and some hand holds I fastened to the floor joists of my second floor so I can practice dangling and improve my grip strength.

I don’t often eat lunch, but instead I snack on leftovers my mom has prepared, or drink quality beer which seems to be an effective meal replacement.   This year I hope to make a habit of eating a real lunch, taking a nap, and having more productive afternoons.

Some days I get visitors.  They distract me from what I should be doing for production goals, and so I don’t like that, but I also probably need to loose focus so I don’t get bored with some of the drudgery involved with manufacturing.

Todays’ endeavors involved drilling and tapping the two drive wheels I bought for my new Wilmont grinders.  I had to order the wheels special from SunRay Inc. because I couldn’t find a wheel in stock anywhere that would exactly mount properly to my motor/chassis arrangement.   Drilling and tapping was a straight forward process, but I had to mill a flat spot on the body of the wheel before I drilled so I could find the center of the keyway slot and ensure that the drill wouldn’t walk off location on the otherwise cylindrical surface.  After that, I set up the grinder so it would track perfectly by adding a washer to the tracking wheel so the belt would run on the center of all the wheels.  Now, in order to get one of the two grinders operational, I just need to wire the motor with a cutoff switch between the motor and a phase converter/frequency drive that I already use to run two other motors.   Here’s a link to a video I made today after getting the grinder set up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcZOpYtr3mM

I also used the milling machine today to countersink some holes in the heads of some not so perfect tomahawk blanks

My evening activity was cutting an jointing some cedar logs to use as bunk bed posts in my apartment.  I sawed one flat side on two logs, then cut that in half and trimmed the other side so I have 3 milled sides, and one natural side.  I’ll take a picture of this project when it’s all done.

Tonight after dinner, I added a wire to the frequency drive leading toward the new grinder, and put a new plug on the main power for the freq drive so I can use a different outlet that will keep me from tripping over things.

Tomorrow I expect to get the new grinder fully operational as soon as my cutoff switch arrives, and then start some real production metalworking.   I’ll also make a couple of sheaths so I can ship some stuff people have been waiting for.

That’s all I want to share for this post, since it’s really just an experiment in blogging