Week 10, 2015 – Embuggerances

(Credit for this week’s post title goes to the late Sir Terry Pratchett.)

Just so we’re clear, I’m not off to as bad a start this year as it looks; I actually have every weekly post sitting in the queue in draft form, but various Embuggerances have prevented me from providing the visuals that were to be associated with the posts…  (Don’t spend too much time thinking about the fact that this post is dated the 8th, and Terry Pratchett passed away on the 12th.) And the biggest problem is, that the first of the posts that is held up is the reveal for the big secret that pretty much every post after that touches upon… So I’m hard-pressed to make the posts individually, without media, or any other possible stopgap measure.

Anyway, I hope to have things sorted in time for this week’s post.

Week 04, 2015 – SPAAAAAAAACE!

So, two days until my birthday! (Who am I kidding? We all know I’m posting this way after my birthday because ‘procrastination’ is my default mode of operation.) Something big is in the works!  Of course, to keep me from literally climbing the damned walls in anticipation– waiting ironically not going hand-in-hand with procrastination –I bought a game to pacify myself; Elite: Dangerous… It is, to say the least, pretty freakin’ awesome.  And I just had to bust out the Saitek X36 stick and throttle…even though the bloody thing doesn’t work under Windows 7 64-bit, and I’m literally using a Saitek X45 driver that I edited the USB VID/PID for to match the X36’s…

And I needed it, because this is a hardcore space sim. You’ve got control over everything.  I’ve seen video of a guy slipping contraband past station customs by making a docking request 7km out from the docking perimeter, accelerating straight at the station’s dock, and then cutting power to all his ship’s systems to reduce his heat signature below the customs ships’ detection threshold, and taking it into the dock on inertia with near-zero visibility– because his cockpit iced up from the cold –bringing everything back online, and throwing it into reverse inside the station. This is basically porn for anyone who’s ever wanted to be a space pirate or something.

Anyway, it got me thinking that, given the new awesomeness I’ve got arriving soon, maybe I should start thinking about making my own stick and throttle? Maybe even some control panels.  And I’m not the only one interested; I’ve already got somebody willing to throw in for one.

ヽ(。∀゚)ノ彡 SPAAAAAAAACE!!!

Week 03, 2015 – Big Things

2015-01-21 *Sigh* Yes, I’m back-dating these posts because I didn’t want to start the year off badly when the reason I kept being unable to sit down and write them was because I had so much cool stuff going on!!!

So I got a small investment from my mother, for my birthday. It’s going to buy something very, very, very, spiffy.

When I show off what it is, I’ll also be announcing what I hope to become a new feature of the site, as well as listing some projects I want to undertake.  Other than that, I’m still waiting on the screen printing article because I’ve got a few small but important items coming in, and because there’s a lot of photos I’d need to take that I haven’t yet.

Speaking of screen printing, I found a cheap IR-based flash dryer for $400 that some guy sells…builds them himself and it’s basically just the panel with a metal box built around it and a light switch to flip it on and off.  So I went straight to Intek and they quoted me a price under $200 for the same panel. (Way under.) Between that, and building my own 36-inch-long exposure unit– so I can do all the way up to 36×31 frames –for about $200…  I’d say I’m good on that front, it just might take me a couple months unless I come up with another source of funding.

Anyway, just over a week until my birthday!

 

Week 02, 2015 – On The Horizon

2015-01-21 *Sigh* Yes, I’m back-dating these posts because I didn’t want to start the year off badly when the reason I kept being unable to sit down and write them was because I had so much cool stuff going on!!!

For starters, I spotted this in the Adafruit Twitter feed: A DIY PCB ‘printer’ built around the laser pickup out of an Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive.  Oh man, to have one of those…

Second, I bought some fabulous stuff from Silkscreeningsupplies.com again: Several new colors of ink, a roll of pallet tape, spatulas, ink clean-up cards, and more… Plus I never detailed the items I picked up on Black Friday… And there’s still more ahead, so I’m going to do a couple big Screen Printing posts to cover it all! (Probably the beginning of February.)

That’s about it for now… I’m trying to get the house in order for various things that’re going on…

Week 01, 2015 – Simple Instructions…?

  1. Place ball on downward slope.
  2. Give gentle push.
  3. Watch ball roll.
  4. ????
  5. Follow through!

But of course, this is me we’re talking about; it’s never enough to get the ball rolling on just one project at a time… So let’s assume there’s a “Repeat as necessary.” in there somewhere.  It’s the last step in these instructions that’s the hard part for me, as anyone who knows me will tell you.  Not gonna lie.

Nonetheless, here it is, the New Year…again.  What’s going on?  Well, for starters, I’m hip-deep in screenprinting stuff, and approaching where I need to be to start making shirts.  I’m close to doing the CNC conversion on my milling machine…which I really should probably do the page for, as that’s just been a blank space ever since I started this site and that’s kind of sad. (Same with the lathe, for that matter.)  I put some Ability Points into some very interesting items on the Skill Tree…which I’ll go into detail about in a future post.

Right now, I’m mostly checking in, doing a little ‘station identification’, if you get me– no, probably not, you probably don’t know what broadcast television was… –next week I’ll get down to business, as I’ve got shipments of neat-o stuff arriving in the interim. Stay tuned!

Week 43, 2014 – Make Cool Shirts, Phase One

Screenprinting Workspace

My Ryonet DIY Starter Press, bolted to table in the kitchen. With a 20×26″ t-shirt/sign platen, and 20×24″ 156 mesh screen.

Well, I finally got my ass in gear and started working on things. It wasn’t easy. The apartment is still congested, and I can’t get to anything (Seriously, you don’t even want to know what it looked like behind the camera, let alone in any other room.)

Before I give you a tour of the gear, lemme run you through a quick print I did.  This screen didn’t turn out well, it was under-exposed for whatever reason, but since I knew this wasn’t really a ‘keeper’, I mostly did this to buck myself up by doing something productive, as well as to show my mother– who had come by –the process (Not that she didn’t know, both my parents had been making silkscreens long before they’d made me), and finally, to take photos for a montage to use as banners on the MAKE COOL SHIRTS YouTube channel and Twitter account. Read more…

Week 40, 2014 – MAKE COOL…whats?

Hey, welcome back!  I’m still alive somehow!  First bit of news I have to report is that I’m almost to the point where I can begin commercially screenprinting!  Progress has been slow, because I’m still recovering from all the calamities that seem to befall me with alarming regularity. However, I’m close enough that it has warranted a domain purchase!  So, say hello to MAKE COOL SHIRTS!

In keeping with my usual shenanigans, I wanted the name to be tongue-in-cheek, so originally I was going to go with ‘Shirtstorm’. (Because, for starters, I thought the fact that it sounded like ‘shitstorm’ was funny… I am a simple creature.) And the logo would be a tornado of t-shirts… But apparently that name is already in use, so I said to hell with it.  ‘MAKE COOL SHIRTS’, using a t-shirt as the T literally came to me first thing in the morning, and by the end of the day I had the domain, and the domain had a splash-page with the logo.  Looking back now, it seems like the natural extension of this site, given that developing my ability to screenprint to such a degree was a direct result of my need to MAKE COOL THINGS.  :D

Second bit of news besides the fact that I’ve drastically expanded my screenprinting capabilities, is that I bought a sheet metal bending brake from Harbor Freight.  I’m going to detail all the screenprinting stuff in the next post, because I still have one more order coming in that actually serves to really enable my press.  I also haven’t even unboxed the brake yet, it arrived Friday, and it’s still all bagged and slathered in what I’ve come to call ‘slow-boat grease’, as it’s what anything rust-prone and Made In China arrives from Harbor Freight utterly drowned in… So that will have to wait for later, too.  I should note that I got it– and ordered some aluminium from ’80/20 Garage Sale’ on eBay –in preparation for making my own flash-drying unit for curing ink on the shirts, because a heat gun was not cutting it.

Week 32, 2014 – Well, That Escalated Quickly…

In the middle of the night on July 31st, the motherboard in my workstation burst into flames.  Things just sorta went downhill from there… Read more…

Week 01, 2014 – Restatement of Objectives

Happy New Year, everyone!

Yeah, I stopped updating…  Some family trouble and the shuffling around of people and things put the kibosh on my workspaces for a while.  Everything is cluttered to high hell as the apartment is choked with other peoples’ things.  (Not that it was all that orderly before…)

Over the holidays I managed to pick up something cool; a real silkscreening press from Ryonet, thanks to their reduced holiday pricing.  I also picked up a dozen blank shirts in various colors from Amazon when I found a seller that had good Fruit of the Loom t-shirts in a roomy 4XL for $5.90 a piece. (Amazon Prime, even!) Unfortunately, they’ve since upped their prices.

I’ve really been faced with sort of a neverending cavalcade of clustastrophuckery (Catastrophe+Clusterfuck+Fuckery) lately, but I try not to let it get the best of me, and slowly but surely I acquire more of the tools I need to do the things I’m trying to do and hopefully I’ll manage to do them before things get too far out of whack.

Anyway, here’s what I hope to be posting in the coming days, weeks, and months:

  • Review the silkscreening press, including results.
  • Disclosures regarding my heretofore fairly hush-hush drone projects.
  • Extremely past-due update on the state of my IndieGoGo fundraiser.

Week 44, 2013 – Touch of The Plague

Spent most of the week battling an utterly horrendous chest cold complete with coughing up blood and everything, it was grand.  Still riding the tail-end of it now, with lumps of disgusting goo rattling around in the ol’ pipes, but mostly it’s cleared up.

Couldn’t think of any links or anything to add…maybe later.

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