Saturday, February 21, 2009

Plan Ahea


When making things, I have a bad habit of flying by the seat of my pants. I'll get the idea in my head, visualize how it will look / work when finished, and just start working - no formal plans or drawings. This works fine more often than you would think.


Once in a while, I will realize that I should have thought something out more carefully, perhaps even made drawings and come up with a plan for fabrication (especially the order in which to perform certain operations) ...after it's too late.

Last night, I nearly fabricated myself right into a corner.

I now have two nicely machined pieces of PVC which in retrospect I realize should have been made from a single piece. The current plan of (corrective) action is to glue them together, but they are round and I really need want them to be concentric, mainly for cosmetic reasons. I think I can get the job done, but it's going to be annoying and finicky.

Also, I am beginning to appreciate / understand how the Jake Von Slatts, Herr Doktors, and the various Professor So-And-Sos of this world get shit done. It has to be OCD, perhaps fueled by more caffeine than I am willing to ingest. I've got the OCD handled, but I don't do much caffeine any more, and what I don't have are loads of ambition, money for parts, and free time.

And I recently learned that at least one of those guys doesn't have to work for a living, which must help a lot. I could get a lot done too if I were an eccentric inventor of independent means.

So anyway, the light switch project proceeds apace, but is probably going to take a bit longer than it originally would have because the envisioned aesthetic has evolved away from "Frankenstein ala Ken Strickfaden" into a decidedly more art deco steampunk aesthetic. And I keep coming up with good excuses to add more gewgaws, bells and whistles, and frippery to the damned thing.

BTW fellow scroungers: I am still on the lookout for a nice old-fashioned, round-faced meter (electrical - not a gauge) for the front of the main control box, preferably the sort with an arrowhead on the end of the pointer, and of necessity not more than 3" in diameter, for cheap. I was quite certain I had one, but so far it is nowhere to be found, certainly not in the assigned box of meters. There are a few at J. B. Saunders, and there's always some on eBay, but I'm cheap. I don't want to spend $20 + shipping on it. The labeling of the scale / face is insignificant, as I will almost certainly replace it.

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