Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Last day at the day job

The last 2 years I have been up here in the San Francisco bay area I have been under contract from a company called Creative Viewpoint Machinery and the jobs have been amazing.

Its a really cool company of about 12 of the most efficient fabricators and crafters working on projects for Clorox's Research and development, Medical companies and Government labs.

Where else do you get to make crazy AIDs research projects, Xray machine prototypes, concept machines to test water around the world, concept machines for making the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and just straight inventing cool things, Its been a good time.

MLS has become so busy over the last year doing prototype work, that the time came to tell the boss it was time to roll solo again.

2 years of service completed at 100% of my skill level - Mission Complete

The project that I worked on when I was hired almost 2 years ago, was the project I modified on my last day.... How weird is that? feels like 2 years didn't even exist that day.

Found my old blog post of when I moved up here with Brie 2 years ago - kinda funny to have the blog for this reason, its my jornal.

MLS 2 years ago moving to San Francisco under contract to party and build stuff

Made in the USA with Pride !

Purge welding set up for doing threaded connectors with a .005 tolerance over all 

Still Got It!
Can't break that edge!
Proud to say I am a D17.1 Aerospace welder 

If your a craftsman, mechanic or what ever then you know this picture well.
Its the classic last day line up....
Truck - Tool box - and the Forklift 

Stay tuned to MLS we have some really exciting stuff happening.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

For my Birthday I went to school

Between doing crazy concept jobs around the clock for companies changing the world... I happened to slip out the back gate for a bit to grab some new knowledge from some old sources, were talking really old....

I have always been hooked on metal forging and its possibilities for making things are. Just the idea of taking a piece of 4140 chromoly steel and moving the structural graining in the metal to make it stronger then the way the steel mill made it, just twist your mind because you can't see it move...

Its all in the brain of the person holding the red hot block of metal..... all pure metal-crafter knowledge with every hit of the hammer.

The whole blacksmith / forger thing is very new to me and its super hard to sit in class because my brain runs wild with prototype parts I have always dreamed of making.....

 Being in class also has it draw backs.... One of the main ones is I am always the youngest by about 40 years so using an Iphone in class is really not really cool or talking about building things that blow up or go fast isn't really either...

 So most of the time, you won't hear this ever again... I hide from my MLS identity for safety of harassment and over questions of why I am here...

Trust me, being an Aerospace kid at a Blacksmith class doesn't go down well.... Its like cats and dogs sometimes....

come along for a quick run of the last weeks, I wish I could show you some of the concept things I have been working on.... don't worry you will very soon.

This is Toby the teacher of the class
This is a round bar (1.5 inch dia.) piece of 4140 he was making square, that could later be used for 
a press brake die or another forging tool. The idea is to move the grain structure from running long wise down the bar as its made or "drawn" at the steel mill, to grain that now runs in all kinds of directions in the now square blick, making this piece of 4140 chromoly steel very strong in all directions when at room temp. Thats kind of my quick in a nut shell description. 

This class is SOOOO loud
Class had 6 giant forging power hammers running all day

Ready for the MLS forging project?

Here we go....

Quick projects for my buddy Rodney and one for Sarah.

Rodney's gift is a exchange for a custom MLS brass head badge he made for my speed bike.
My buddy Matt had these rad bottle opener blanks all cut out so it was a great starting point. 
I had a cheap adjustable wrench ready to help in the project. 

I cut a few inches off both of them and Tig them together 
If you have an MLS t-Shirt with a vise on the sleeve.... Thats what you helped me get, and thank you...
A classic USA made " Pattern-makers vise or sheet metal vise ". If you love sheet metal like I do then you know all about these vises and you know why they are the best. ( do your research they are really cool )

I did this over at my buddy Matt's shop and all by hand
Small parts like these really don't require a power hammer for blending the metal.
Its a weird one to hold with the tongs to get the shape you want. 
One broken hammer and a Dads root beer later ..
We had a custom MLS bottle opener.
Also works great for taking off those hard to reach bolts on your hotrod or home appliance.
Enjoy a beer for getting those bolt off.

Made Sarah a custom Kissing Lockness Monster opener 
This shows a few techniques such as splitting the metal to form 2 legs and then rounding and curving.
This is how pitch forks are made from a solid piece, they are flattened, then split in to 4 sections which are made into small rounds. This is why they are so strong because of the metal grain structure. You never removed metal you just moved it around. 

Ok, back to the shop. I need to toughen up, damn my arm is sore....
Making light titanium parts all the time doesn't make you very strong.