limited production :: hand crafted :: high performance :: rechargeable :: premium flashlights

This is my blog about creating a startup LED flashlight business. I'm a designer, fabricator, and strategist and I'm passionate about making ideas real. I believe that products are about people, that they should be built to last, deliver real value, and that we need to do a better job than we have in the recent past.

Most of my career has been contract or freelance work and I've crafted products and strategies for both big international companies and startups. I also used to work in the "industry" fabricating special effects for film and TV, along with the occasional hot rod. Bottom line, I love making things.

I'm starting this blog so you can follow along, from day one, and see what it's like to start a business, or fail in the process. Only time will tell, but I hope you find this interesting enough to stay tuned, comment, link, like, tweet, and (most importantly) participate in turning this idea into something tangible and valuable.

For a good place to get started with general info about who, what, why, etc., check out the "Stickies" on the left side of the page. Thanks for stopping by and please don't hesitate to ask questions and get involved!

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Getting There!

Doing some finish machining on bodies today. In the photo, I've just finished grooving a stone washed shorty body. I have to do about 80 bodies total in this run. Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

When in doubt, MacGyver it

So yes, I did look up the spelling of MacGyver and it's corret. Weird right? Anyway, I don't mean to give myself too much credit with that title but I couldn't come up with anything else. Recently I had to install a phillips screw inside the control panel of my CNC machine. The trick was it was between two circuit boards that are mounted on end. Think of sliced bread with a 1/2" gap in between and about 6 inches deep and who knows what kind of sensitive electrical components on each side. Remember that game "Operation?" Zap!

Yeeep, right in between those drive cards.
Oh and don't touch the capacitors. 
What to do? I rolled some painter's tape into a tube so it would be sticky on both sides and jammed it all together. Enough grip to keep the screw on the driver but can be removed easily enough. Pretty good eh? It worked beautifully.
It ain't purdy but it worked

Friday, November 16, 2012

How it's made

I had a few people ask about seeing more of the process, so I thought I'd post some random photos from time to time. I also had someone ask what the "chips" were that I referred to in my last post. Chips are what machinist's call the little bits that get shaved off by the actual machining. While sawing isn't really machining (or is it?) the shot below is the best "chip shot" that I had on hand. This is after cutting off a batch of raw stock to length. That's a lot of chips in case you were wondering.

The deck of my chop saw..the lip on the pan is about 2" deep. 
 After all of the parts get cut to length they get piled into boxes and it's on to the next step. The saw cut edges are quite sharp and have "burrs" on them. I need to debur one end before it goes into the CNC mill so the parts sit nice and square. Otherwise, the burrs would make them tip one way or the other.

Cutting the stock to length is not my favorite job. Earplugs and annoyed neighbors required

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Chips on the floor means parts out the door...

An old machinist's adage. Of course this photo is of the parts, not the chips :) These are fresh off the mill and now need to be transferred to the manual lathe for the tedious process of machining the outside of the cylinder by hand.