Saturday, November 21, 2015

Going with the flow... plus a pat on the back makes it even easier !

The last year has been so awesome... Everything has been moving right along with the shop set up and jobs... I love my craft just as much as I always have and its been rewarding mentally and financially.... well as long as people don't want their parts to be made the next day, as they seem to come to expect more then they should.... But overall its been awesome and the projects have been very fulfilling and meaningful so its easy to let yourself go the extra mile.

There is nothing better feeling that feeling of satisfaction in what you do and then to put the cherry on top, having someone notice it and want to let you know that you doing a good job.

One of these little rewards/pats on the back came in the mail the other day from the Swiss company Optrel Welding Helmets , the makers of in my opinion the best welding helmet I have used in my 10+ years of professional aerospace welding experience. I figured its kinda a neat little to show some of my old Optrel helmets in this post and thank Optrel for noticing me and my love for my craft and making sure my eyes are safe and I am stylized with their super sick helmets. People always ask me why I have so many helmets and a lot has to do with my field of work and traveling so much, it was always easier for me to have a traveling helmet and a shop helmet and over time one or more extra helmets popped up and I would give it to Gabe, Austin or some other helper, I have had a lot of Optrel hemets... heres just some of them main 3
A brand new Optrel e684 helmet .... 
Yeah I am smiling!

heres some of the line up and some stories....

This baby has so many miles.... Helmet #2
Shes been with me a long time...
This is a Optrel Satalite helmet before they went to numbering the models
The sticker on the side is the Good Sam insurance logo but modified to be a Bad Sam 
My MLS logo stickers I designed to fit over the Made in the USA stickers because I was cheap and didn't want to pay someone to make me a fancy sticker.... I just scaled it and made it clear to fit over the top of another USA flag sticker and it worked!

Helmet #2 other side had some sweet cat stickers and the Exploratorium Science museum decals

This is Helmet #3 which has about 1,000 hours on it so far
Its a Optrel 680 , I beat this thing up to no end and travel with it. I have been doing a ton of Flux and heave steel Mig welding so its got some grime on it... 
Who doesn't love Wyoming !!!
Red Bull rampage stickers because I make the decals for the event so hell yeah I am going to put one on!

The otherside of helmet #3 is plain with just my friends flower stickers...
I love flowers... Maybe if I ever leave my shop I will have a garden with some real ones...

Oh man.... 
This baby is Helmet #1 I got maybe in 2005 when Optrel was making the helmets for Lincoln Electric. This baby has seen a good amount of air time on Discovery channel and TLC welding on shows like Biker Build off and so on. 
Awesome story is in 2007 while filming on Discovery, the producers of the show made me put a piece of tape over the Hanna Montana sticker because they didn't want to pay royalies if it appeared in clear shot. Dirty Kings sticker was my buddies band... they broke up ... as all bands do..
My best friend Thick pinstriped up my name because everyone in the shop while filming had the same helmets as a sponsorship deal so if you didn't want sweat from someone else ... you put your name on it... Some of the other decals came later when this helmet became the loner like the flower and the Oakland sticker. 

Looking on helmet #1 other side you see the beloved shovelman sticker, this is a crazy dude that made a crazy amazing sounding guitar out of a scoop shovel... hell yeah I am going to put his sticker on my helmet, who makes a shovel your main instrument. Peter Fonda up top for the win!
Again.... do I need to say it... Wyoming rocks !!! 

Here she is.... the newest and most badass helmet out there...
For you Tig guys its goes way down and for you Mig guys it goes way up....
For you lazy guys... it does it automatically based on the arc intensity! 

Heres the side view of the Optrel e684 welding helmet  .... its badass... I don't think I need to write anymore...

I can't thank Optrel enough for protecting my eyes in style for 10+ years and being a industry leader in the helmets with still enough heart to notice a young dude so stoked about sticking metal together that they feel they need send out their Rolls Royce of helmets just to make him smile even more!


Saturday, October 3, 2015

The biggest little bridge built by a awesome guy named Dave

I wrote this a while back and put it in my drafts to publish some day, for some reason it just felt like a good time to post something I wrote maybe a year or two ago....  I really wrote it about a special guy Dave who works at the museum, because he is one of the cornerstones of hands on science museums and its been amazing calling him a mentor of mine. - JT



The things that make the world go round, I think....

Its the reasons I wake up every day and do what I do, I love to use my talents to share with others and open their mind to use their talents and explore farther.

What better place to work and combine all my loves then at the Exploratorium Science Center located in San Francisco... A dream job.... even sweeping the floors at that place is a pleasure... because you can't go a day working there without a smile and a laugh.

We get to build amazing exhibits for people to enjoy and learn about science.

I always tell people " I know I won't get to walk on Mars in my lifetime... but I know that something that I will do in my lifetime will help the person or persons that will do it... I feel like the person that will be part of that landing is a little kid knee high right now, walking around the museum laughing having fun and something that I had a part in will trigger their young minds to love science and when they grow up their love for science will help unlock questions we all wonder and push the envelope of understanding."

I think that if you don't think like that and have some sort of dream or pride of what your doing and how your helping in the overall scheme of things you will never feel the true worth in your work and have the drive to create things that will push the limits... Its to easy to look at the majority and say disheartening things about where we as a human race are headed... but remember their is one in a millions out there... young Elon Musks and young Henry Fords ready to take on the world and change it for the better... dreaming of them learning from your passion will give you a satisfaction you can't describe.

One person that has some sort of a understanding and drive to make the future bright is a guy not many people get to see because hes got his head down and hes working hard to make it happen...

That dude at the Exploratorium I am talking about has almost been there since day one.... that's late 1960s and his name is Dave Fleming the San Francisco legendary exhibit builder and mastermind.
Dave has these goals of building amazing projects and exhibits that not only teach but display and interact in ways of having fun with science that keep kids and adults spending hours and days at science centers across the world...

I don't really know how many exhibits worldwide Dave has made in his lifetime ( but I want to guess 300+) since he started in his late teens at the Exploratorium while still in college working under Frank Oppenheimer . The concept of doing hands on science center for all ages was not even thought of in the 1960s.... as some know this early group of builders get the credit of saying they really build the model of " hands on, interactive science exhibits in a museum environment".

If the Exploratorium would have not planted the science museum seed in the 1960s for the whole world, its makes me wonder what would be different??... This museum was and still is a building block of the San Francisco tech industry that we know around the world today... I think that's a good example to think about. What if there was no young minds learning about relays and magnets at the museum... would we have Iphones today.... would we have Silicon Valleys famous wafers that brought us in to a crazy era of computing.... something to think about.....

The crew like Dave can still be found working around the clock, with his awesome drive and passion for teaching science... Its amazing, I only hope when I have worked 25+ years in a career I have an overwhelming drive like this crew still has for their passion.
This is a normal view of Dave working in the shop around the clock...
From machining to wiring to designing, hes flying around the shop some times power walking because hes so excited to get to the next thing...

One of the cool projects for the new location of the Exploratorium that I got to team up with Dave on was a really neat Bay Bridge model to teach about how the bridge moves. As you can see up above that's Dave and I standing next to the bridge concepts in the movie below.

Dave's concept was to build a small 1/500 sized scale of the bay bridge and it was to be designed to be outside in the salty air on the end of the museum's pier running parallel to the real bay bridge so people could look and shake the model and compare it to the real thing only a mile away to get a better understanding how it moves in the wind and how it moves with load on it. 

Here is a video showing the concepts based on the Golden Gate bridge to understand how to build the bridge and some info about the real bridge, you will get a good idea of the crew of minds behind this project. 

From day one I was pushing for Dave to design some really neat laser cut 316 stainless pieces with lots of details in them, so he did and thanks to Ryan at Seaport stainless it was totally a possibility to make complex little part to look like the real bridge.

The next project was to bend up all the little pieces on my press brake and run them thru the tumbler to make sure everything was kid safe and no sharp parts.

My little DiAcro press brake bending up the laser cut bridge decks.. 

it was a good Saturday afternoon of bending all the decks at my shop.

Once they were all bent up it was time to work on the other parts...
One of Dave's major ideas on the mini Bay Bridge was to show how important the center cement anchorage support is on the bridge so he decided to build a interactive piece to show with and without the support.

Open ( without support )

Closed ( with support as the bridge is in real life )

At the time I had so many exhibits being built in my shop...
But enjoying every second of it...
As you can see, it creates a great picture with the real bridge in the background.

Here is a quick fly by to see all the mini decks once we had it all together

I would defiantly recommend anyone visiting San Francisco to make a stop by the Exploratorium Museum and really see the 400+ interactive exhibits you can play with, truly a awesome a worthwhile experience and trip for all ages.


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

test shoot for Autodesk Fusion 360, quick video around the shop.....

The crew from Autodesk wanted to come over and shoot a quick little video on using Fusion 360 for making some parts I was working on, turned out neat for about 3 hours of them following me around.

Fusion 360 is integrated - It’s CAD, CAM & CAE all in one.
Posted by Autodesk Fusion 360 on Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Friday, August 14, 2015

Busy... Busy... Busy....

Its been a busy summer like I expected moving in to the new shop....
Between traveling around and working with High schools and various other projects to traveling for Haas/Autodesk for tradeshows its been a blast and with all these social media things its sometimes hard to get back to the blog and keep it updated so I figured its about time. 
I was pretty stoked about his photo...
I got a new Miller Dynasty 350 ( pictured in the back) for welding because once you use one you know how damn nice it is.... well I started to use it all the time and realized I got an idea... I am going to ship my older ( not really older) Miller Syncrowave back to my high school in New Ulm Minnesota without them knowing and see if they figure it out... 
Ha Ha.... Well my shop teacher knew right away it wasn't any mistake and called me crying in joy... 
That welder build me as an Aerospace welder and about 5 other top level fabricators I have trained as apprentices I can only hope it builds a few more being at the high school back in Minnesota.  

I was cleaning the 5 axis Haas UMC750 machine at Autodesk University out in Las Vegas.
Thats the "Kelly Handlebars/Stem combo" that we decided to use as a demo for cutting. ( see last post on the blog for some details about the kelly stem)
Gotta make that window picture perfect. 

I got a call out of the blue from some kids in a small community college in Hawaii asking for help....
They needed machining help on a project they were selected to be funded for, the project is super cool and called RockSat. Google it up and take a look, basically is a very simple version of satellites that shoot up to low orbit but fall back down to the earth without making an orbit, its more to teach students about getting every thing just right before you step in the next level which is Cubesats. 

I offered to machine up the housing for them out of that giant block of Aluminum pictured above..
I love just cutting massive blocks of aluminium, what I don't love is having to haul my metal chip recycling in and dealing with the meth heads and weirdos of oakland that hang at the scrap place. its a give and take i guess....

Just a lot of great things in this photo.... 
USA made Doringer saw and the best beer out there Grain Belt from my home town in Minnesota!

I am super pumped about this....
I was asked about 6 months ago if I wanted to be an advisor and part of a group that would write the next level of Nation Standards for high schools and college students looking to get in to metal working. To give you an idea the other people on the board are Nasa, Google X, Sandia National Labs, Mori DMG, Autodesk and myself along with 4 other teachers. Its a great honor to be able to be part of that and know my questions are making kids scratch their head across North America.. 

Just some good old Stainless Tig work.... I love building this stuff, this is my parts for my coffee maker for the shop but I do a ton of stuff like it for Ultra High Vacuum work for science labs and government labs. 

Well its up and running.... It was the first big machine in to the shop and the last running.
Getting the right 480v power from the city was a pain in the ass but its done now!
Its a 6 axis waterjet that uses 50,000 psi of water pressure to be able to cut up to about 12" (1 foot!!!!) thick metal with one pass, it also has a rotary for doing advanced level tubing notching and cutting. 
Such an amazing machine from Omax 

My little babies... yesterday the one in the front when to scrap.... I cried for a bit... well not really but i felt like i should.
The cool story is the machine in the front was used at the NHS skateboard factory in Santa Cruz since the beginnings and it was so cool to see that its whole life it spent cutting off the mold flashing on the skateboard wheels and the machine had all kinds of programs for cutting the wheels still in the computer. The little machine in the rear is my little Mori SL-0h, both of these machines for the last 3+ years have been making hip replacement parts so its neat to see that an old Mori like that can still make great parts.

I turned 28 this year... Old bastard... behind me is my baby blanchard grinder, its the crazy machine that puts that wild spiral grind you see on bicycle disc brake rotors and really flat metal parts. It can be scary to run because shit flys off all the time and hits you in the stomach.... Watch out !

One of the really cool projects I have been proud to be part of is the develoment and testing of Autodesk Fusion 360, its so need to be able to be the guy on the ground running testing the new CAM side of the program used for machining and manufacturing. The program is so awesome and Carl has made it a push to give it away to all students, teachers and start up companies to make sure innovation keeps happening!!

I will leave you with a video.... 
You know I love Aerospace.... Well heres a really cool concept and I have poured so much of my last year in to this awesome project because they scaled it up and are building a massive air borne wind turbine for generating this video is of the prototype small version, the new one is massive and generates about 600+ KW, watch the video and see what you think? Is it a pipe dream or will it work for a new way to generate wind power! I love it!

Well back to the madness... I will make some more blog updates soon, I got some really cool projects to show everyone. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Its been a busy last few months - Autodesk University and MLS Shop madness

Its been a while since a post, I have been slammed traveling and working on getting the MLS shop ready. Its been such an adventure the last months of moving, setting up and traveling for projects, so glad to be around such amazing people all the time pushing for the future and how we make it happen.

I want to start off with some MLS shop stuff to give you an idea of to madness leading up to Autodesk university and the holidays so we will do it in photos because who doesn't like photos.
well we still wait for the water jet to get set up...
its going to be so rad !

Gabe trying to figure out what kind of tooling to order
think he just wanted a cool picture for his online dating profile.

Carl made this sweet rack to hold all the tooling for the Bluco welding table
The carts they make suck so much, I guess they cant do everything perfect.
Love this guy, that my dad Casper.
He has been building this 1929 ford A for so long, looks like spring time dreams are going to happen for this guy, hes so close! 

Went back to Minnesota for my best friend Jared's wedding because I was best man.. I made a trip to the Science Museum of Minnesota, this is a great place where a lot of magic started for me being a beta test kid for Lego Mindstorms V1 in the late 1990s. I was working with the Putting Green of New Ulm,MN designing a mini golf coarse that is now located in New Ulm and matching 18 holes behind the Science Museum of Minnesota located in St. Paul. So rad to be so young and given amazing opportunities to do something no one had tried yet... teach science using mini golf


Getting all these emails about how big the new Cincinnati press had me worried so days before it was to show up we decided we should beef up the floor for the machine and lock it down, always a good idea in California with earthquakes.  
Move the kitchen table out of the way. We built this beast, Gabe and I did the welding, I designed it with Carl, Arthur cut the parts on the waterjet out of 1/2 steel plate left over from an old Exploratorium exhibit and Carl and Betz did the wood work. Any 1400 lb kitchen table needs lifting hooks, the green ends started its life as a old Rouselle straight frame punch press used for stamping steel sheet metal, the machine looked like it tipped over and cracked the frame and I found it at the scrap yard, put some life back in this old machine and enjoy USA in its sheet metal glory days.

Gabe and I broke out the floor and Austin finished it by putting in the 1/2 steel rod to tie it all together. We do a lot of the work ourselves because for Gabe and Austin its important they learn how to do it and were all not afraid to just get in there and work a lot.

I machined and welded up these crazy cement inserts to hold the press to the floor.
Cincinnati has all kinds of specs you have to follow.


I think I spoke too soon about people droppin presses because only days after moving my press table I got a call from a friend saying sorry he had dropped one of my machines I was hiding druing the move, he had tried to do the move alone and rigged it wrong and dropped it, cracking, bending and throwing the machine out of alignment so I decided that the legs would be a perfect match for my lunch table. Austin pictured here taking the machine apart for scrap and to keep the legs.

all this moving has had me going crazy because I havn't really done anything for me so I decided to make the love seat right away, plus we got a new Baileigh bender that I have wanted to use so bad.

if you look above at that picture of Austin taking the machine apart you see on the legs that I can swing the machine for angle. People often ask why machines like this tilted? The reason was in a factory punching small parts tilt is not a big deal but in a factory that does long pieces like 10+ foot parts where the operators are swinging them around, you either put 15+ feet beween all the machines to allow swing around or you tilt the machines up to the sky and feed the material at a 20+ deg angle so all the long pieces stick up in the air.

Somedays I just sit around and watch Gabe teach pretty girls how to weld... I use to be 20 years old and did the same thing...

 machined up bungs to allow for the loveseat to swing like the machine, I had the frame done in just a few hours.

Break time with Greg... ha ha anything that's like 160 proof and has gold flakes in it is a bad deal... you can see it on his face hes hurting.

Wires everywhere... with the new Miller Dynasty 350 and the 350p mig the shop is unstoppable.
I got the maxstar and syncrowave as backup but then I started to think from when I was back in Minnesota... What if I sent the Syncrowave back to my high school as a gift to the metal shop for opening up the door to me????

Cincinnati press brake at the factory before paint, this factory is crazy.
look at the floor 4x4 hard wood turned on end. Cincinnati was stoked to build this wild machine for me, first one like it in 10+ years.

yep... my new shirts and lab coats.

you can see on the love seat I put a uniball on it and used the old adjuster so I can angle the whole seat.

Shes almost ready to leave Cincinnati !!!
they send all these teaser photos to me..
Extended Ram, Stroke, 5 Axis backgauge... 135 tons !!!
AHHHHHHH shes beautiful ...
my dream machine !!

Myself, John Ott from Autodesk and Bob Haas from Haas CNCs at the Titan American built TV show VIP

Austin thinks hes as tough as Titan....
I figured I best stay out of this and just be the judge.

Back on the Autodesk Fusion 360 to design a concept bicycle crank

Just wait for a few posts below... I am still stoked on this thing !

Around the clock we build... using the past to build the future.

I had to sell my International Scout because I don't have the space I use to for parking.
It went to a guy that will give her lots of love... still a bit sad.

Gabe moving the Mori SL-0h around...
again another picture for his dating website profile... gotta keep that shit fresh if your going to win the top San Francisco Bay area tech ladies with your working man profile.

The calm before the storm of machine deliveries.
All the machines that were in the shop had to be pushed up to the wall to make room for the forklifts and machines that were showing up the next day.  

after months of waiting for this custom machine to be built !

Tom Lipton from OXtool Youtube channel and Mike my Cincinnati sales man chatting
These 2 guys go 20 years back in the San Francisco bay area metal fabrication world. Its cool that I could bring them together for an exciting time in my metal fab career.

Oh man... I have dreamed of this machine for years and years and now its crazy I actually have one.
Exactly like I wanted it.

Lawson rigging moving her in...

Tom and I unloading the Haas machines extra goodies in boxes.
Tom was filming for his OxTool's youtube channel.

5 simi truck that day showed up... it was amazing to see how fast all of the moving happened.
This is the Haas ST-30ssy lathe

We shut down the street... why not so Tom was chilling waiting for lunch.

Betz got food for all the crew... such a rad shot of everyone just working and enjoying the sun.

while all the moving was happening we had no more room for the 6th simi to show up which was an autoloader to pick up the scout...

In one day... my life changed so much...
From things I loved going to new things I have longed to love showing up...
its crazy how things work sometimes....
In this photo there is so much about my life... people that are close to me, helped me, and friends that have passed... its one of those photos that's you will look at your whole life and see the beauty that no one else sees.

Only 3 years ago on the MLS blog I was doing backflips for this little DiAcro press and how it changed my life and opened doors to concept projects changing the world... Now the madness starts, this thing has a fresh history record... someone needs to write history with it so when I get old and pass it down someone says " this machine built ___________ and its changed the world of ________"

This is the cornerstone of MLS.... for 10 years this syncrowave has sculpted me in to a aerospace fabricator and its made a lot of people in to amazing people they are today like Gabe and Art that can give me a run for my money as a welder. Figured there is only one thing to do like I said above in the welder picture... Send it to my favorite high school shop teacher Mr. Stuckey of New Ulm, Minnesota Public high school and tell him to let it build the next amazing fabricators.... tools are the key to success and sometimes that's all it takes because your heart and hands do the rest.

We bought a mag drill and now hes getting lazy on me...

I work around the clock, my normal 16 hour work days catch up with me sometimes..
I feel asleep at the Exploratorium Children's museum while working on a concept project.
My work was done and my boss was stoked, then I vanished and they came to look for me... hours later my boss sent me this on my drive home.... this is a rare photo of me sleeping, I rarely do it.

A USA fabricator.... faith is in his skills and tools, oh and baby Jesus.

With my exhibit done for the museum I could focus on Autodesk University projects and stuff for myself so I figured why not just combine them so I decieded to make that crazy crank set for the high speed bicycle.

whatttttt !! those tool paths !


Inspired by a photo of a dove flying and not doing something anyone has done yet I came up with this madness.

The next project was to build a custom bike 7 days before leaving for Vegas
I started with a Trek to take all the parts and use that stuff.

Wheels with those sweet Shimano Roller Brakes and belt drive.

Using Autodesk Fusion 360 I designed the fork crown to be machined.

We have no air and high amp 220 so we decided to just run all the parts on my Bridgeport Boss 10 CNC. Gabe became the coolent guy and was scared of hot chips.

I needed to design some other parts to make at the show on the 5th Axis Haas cnc machine so diving back in my history books I remembered the old Kelly bars.

Adjustable bars with about 3 different positions for riding by loosening up the front bolt on the stem and moving the bars.

Heres some of the drawings of the different placements.

I got some new boots and was so stoked I needed to show them off while I machined the fork crown.

we called in Spencer to shoot video and photos of Gabe working for his online dating profile, these photos need to capture the "working man " that Gabe is so the Google employeed girls melt seeing him working with " metal "

Machining the fork crown out of a solid block of 4130 chromoly using Autodesk Fusion for driving the Bridgeport cnc.
Designing and doing cnc tool paths on Autodesk Fusion 360 - photo by spencer
Machining away... -  photo by spencer.

so cool, had to look at it over a tire so I threw it on my 1938 Schwinn I ride everyday to get a look at what it will look like with forkblades.

so cool... its like a steel tongue

I finished the sprocket concept enough to get it on the bike but then classic the bottom bracket showed up as a empty box with a hole in the corner, aka " losting in shipping " so for the show it looked like it would be zip ties to attach it.

The frame for the urban assault bike coming along

I called in Adam Esposito from the Exploratorium to help me kick out the Kelly Bar concept.
Hes really good at Autodesk Inventor so it was perfect person to call for help in a time crunch.

Top view showing the 1.125 steer and the adjustable positions

Side view.. I was so stoked, the parts on the front are stainless steel 17-4 weld ons and the rear main stem body is 7075 aluminum

The rear hollow chainstay wish bone I sculpted in Autodesk Fusion turned out really cool
From concept to design and to machining in under 6 hours.

time to weld in the wishbone and chainstays
If anyone ever wonders yes MLS is sponsored... Yes we are - by the Liquor store down the street from the shop...
ha ha, we took Spencer there with us and did a photo shoot in the store, it was epic. With it being the last day of the build on the stuff before we leave for Vegas it was so important to be fueled up so I was getting some Mt. Dew and gummy bears.  

Thanks to Artist in Residence at Pier 9 Autodesk named Paolo, he quickly printed out my Kelly Stem to take to Vegas. The print was done hours before we were suppose to leave for Autodesk University.
I needed them for my classes I was teaching at about 3d printing to machining to explain the benefits of 3d printing before running a job on the cnc machines.  

Gabe and I built this custom tool box for going out on the road teaching Machining.
Its got a Kennedy tool box filled with MariTool CNC holders, 5th Axis vise and 2 Orange Vises mounted on it. It also carries all the material for demos and a 42" flat screen that mounts to the back of the cart to show what were doing on the computer. its the swiss army knife of tool boxes.

Our luck it started raining.

hammering thru the night in the ratty shop truck, we got to see the sun rising over Vegas..
Well I did... Gabe was sleeping dreaming of dancing girls....

Setting up for the show with Gabe, getting all the bikes out and setting up the Haas with tools.

I was flattered to see my face on the Autodesk posters cover the trade show !
here is my prototype 3d print of the MLS Kelly Stem/bar combo in front of the booth.
Ken from Haas getting the UMC750 ready to cut... me thinking about what I can eat and the bikes ready for the show, the booth was to look like my workshop with unfinished projects all over...
They nailed it.!
As soon as were ready setting up the booth we had to run across the place to make it in time to see Carl talk to over 10,000 people about the future of making and where Autodesk is going in the years to come. pictured behind Carl is a crazy Kuka Robotic arm with a Mig welder and it can " 3d Print " metal structures like bridges and sculptures using tacks as build material, SO RAD ! If you remember last year Carl talked about MLS during this talk in front of 10,000 about the leg that Bill and I designed for the a girl injured in war while serving the US Military.
I gave a few talks about manufacturing to groups and taught a few classes at Autodesk University.
Pretty neat to get to see what other machinist and designers are doing around the world to make sure I am up to speed on the current industry happenings.
TJ from the 3dRV was there so we did a filming of how 5 axis cnc machines work and understanding 5 axis movements. Pretty cool because these are videos that focus on education.

During the show some of the kids that were part of the Autodesk Education Robotics contest had a breakdown on their robot, had Anthony from Autodesk not heard about this and brought the kid to us the team would have been out of the completion. Ken from Haas and I were able to chuck up the part and do a second operation clean up pass on it and fix it. This is truly a amazing photo showing the next generation of machinist being made because of the willing ness of a few people to shut down and break down the tradeshow demo to do a repair and make some kids really happy.
Later that night I was invited to a cool VIP party for the crew from Made In Space which is a group that has built the 3d printer that's on the space station. At the party they had the back up printer sitting on the table so I could use it as a place to rest on and put my beer on top for style points, ha ha. It was super cool to see the challenges they had to overcome because of no gravity and how extruding hot plastic doesn't just lay down without gravity. Good group of people working on this project, glad to get invited to the party and drink all night.
maybe next year I will get one of these for my MLS Aerospace name badge at Autodesk University.
ha ha, its funny to see people at the event with like 15 or more of these hanging off their chest... at a point doesn't it get so long that you can't go to the bathroom without having to take it off. Annoying....

I was sooo stoked to get to hang with my favorite crew from the Autodesk 3dRV
Also stoked to see old friends and meet soo many people and thanks to all the people that came up to me and said they love the MLS blog and Instagram feed, that made my day !

Back to the shop...
First day back, Gabe smelled like vanilla because of the girls at Little Darlings...
He was heart broken and finically broken too.

Carl was making motorcycle parts at Pier 9 on the Haas, we just got back from lunch so that's why he doesn't have glasses on. Pretty cool to see the CEO working to break his own software products.... this is how America was built kids, the push to always be better ! 
The whole Santa Cruz Syndicate race team showed up at the shop to say high and pose for a photo.
Always rad to show Marshie - Gregs mechanic and inventor of the Marsh mud guard and long time hero and Mountain bike legend Steve Pete the shop and the projects.

Back to working... during the holidays so no one bugs me...

Waterjet and Cincinnati press still wait for 480v power for the 7 months.
The classic thing of dealing with people in Berkeley and the power company... don't even get me started.

Thanks to Wilton for the F-clamps.. they are so nice and make life so easy.
not just staying it because they gave me stuff but they make the best Clamps and Vises...

This little 4.5 inch Wilton Tradesman is such a great little vise for general work plus its made in the USA still and built off their famous Bullet vise.

I made Carl a Christmas gift...
Sputnik flying around the world, I call it...
" Baby on Board "

The flow is starting to get good in the shop...
except the shin buster Ammco Shaper that sits in the middle of nowhere for the last 4 months.

Eric over at Orange Vise setting up my VM3 with some sweet working holding.

I am sitting here right now typing on this table...

The phone booth in the shop is the little 1992 Mori SL-0h
this thing is so neat with a 6k spindle, chuck and 5c nose.
you can run it 24/7 and it just doesn't give up.

Lucky for us that Haas machines run on 220v and not 480v because we hooked them up over the holidays so we can keep going!
The big dog lathe - The Haas ST-30ssy with 3" thru spindle for working huge round bars, it has 24 tool stations inside 12 which are live which means I can, drill, mill, saw or anything you can dream of doing inside just like a mill, this thing is so sweet!

My new baby - Haas VM-3 mold maker cnc machine... shes got all the bells and ready for madness...
Its ready for 4th and 5th axis work, its 40x26x 25 high work area and has very tight ball screws for extremely tight work, we got special memory for all my wild ideas on both machines and everything option in the book basically because we have goals for 2015 so get ready world !!!!!!!
Enjoy everyone
Happy 2015 from the Monkeys here at MLS