Wednesday, March 15, 2006

What's the Point of Having a Blog...

If you're not going to brag?

Those are the pieces I made in the machine shop class. Two sets of bookends, four candle-stick holders, a plumb bob, and a paperweight/pencil holder. The silvery ones are aluminum, and the goldish ones are brass. We used a grinder, a horizontal band saw, a vertical band saw, a milling machine, and an oxyacetalene torch, to solder the tubes on the candlestick holders to their bases. It was not, technically, welding. But I did have to light the torch myself.

One of my bookends has an extra set of holes on the bottom. That's because, in trying to make the holes threaded so that I could put a screw in them, I accidentally broke a tap off in one of them. Also, one of the ring-shaped handles on the candlesticks is loose, because they too are held on by little screws, but I went too deep with the center drill and made my hole a little too big for the tap, so that there are only one or two threads in the hole, and the screw doesn't tighten well.

Still, I did better than I thought I would, considering my general level of clumsiness, and the inability to erase mistakes.

The guy who taught the class, Jim, is retiring this quarter after forty-something years of doing this. He has infinite patience and is good at explaing things without making you feel stupid, even if it's the fourth or fifth time you've asked. I feel lucky to have gotten to take the class with him.

All in all an experience I am grateful to have had. Even if I'm also grateful not to have to get up so early on Tuesday mornings anymore...

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