Thursday, July 31, 2008

The dispersal god is smiling

I'd been trying to sell my car for a month on Craigslist. There were tons of cars for sale, people would call, never show up, then no one would call. Discouraging. Then the gods smiled, four people called, one showed up with cash. Done, done, done.

What does this have to do with metalwork? I've been trying to clean up my shop because I want to invite some fellow machinists to visit and one of them has an immaculate shop. I, on the other hand, have leaves on the floor, half finished projects all over, piles of tools, and even more piles of stuff. I know it is like cleaning before your in-laws visit, but I feel I need to do something before I have them over. And, truth to tell, I want to get a bigger mill and do not have the space.

So under the smiling deity in short order I sold an old welder I never used, sold my old foundry furnace, and sold my old mill. I've got all the space and half the money I need for the new mill. Seems like I am on a roll - but we'll see.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Greeks, Romans, and my welding

I might be making this up but I recall from somewhere that the Greeks sculpted figures so they could be viewed on all sides - even if the figure could not be possibly seen from all sides. For example, the figures on the sides of temples could not be seen from the back but the sculpture was done completely. It had to do with some idea of beauty or perfection.

Not so for the Romans. If a Roman sculpture could not be seen from one angle, they simply stopped carving at the point where it could not be visible. Perhaps practical rather than perfect.

This came to mind when fixing the stand to my 4 x 6 el cheapo horizontal bandsaw from Harbor Freight. There I was sitting on the shop floor trying to weld a brace into a sheet metal corner. My new knee was throbbing, I could not see very well, and I did some of the ugliest welds possible. The welds will hold OK, but they sure are ugly. On the other hand, they were in a position where they will not be visible - unless someone turns the whole saw upside down.

I am a believer in perfection but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do and move on.