Making – BIG: Spring and Fall Project Sizing

Haven’t really been doing much in the 3D, CNC, and FDM side of the shop, lately.  Although here last week, SainSmart had an email offer that looked pretty good.

What they offered was a 5.5 watt blue laser to fit the 3018 series CNC machine. We have one, though still in the box, along with a new expanded controller for it. Seemed like a good deal (regularlly $149) so I fell for it.  We’ll see.

Project Sizing

The real point of this post today is to remark on how there are some times of the year when BIG outdoor projects of Making Stuff is a lot more pleasant than other.

Readers of the website will appreciate that we live on a tree farm in rural East Texas.  So, our idea on “big” can become pretty grandiose, given that we have 30-acres to play with.  As a bonus, enough tall pines to sell off a lot of wood.  Beyond what is used in projects.  In fact, so much, that we hauled 30-tons of biomass out last week.  Think of this as out helping with the toilet paper shortage.

Sunday’s “Make” around here will be changing around the greenhouse and garden fence lines to simplify ingress and egress.  Not a super-big project, just enough to keep 71-year old muscles in shape.

Thing is, spring, especially when it’s a cool one in East Texas as this year is, and fall, are when you want to schedule your “big Makings” outdoors.

Summer’s for Printing Items!

Heat of summer?  Yeah, love to play with the plasma cutter and all, but I’ve about set my tennis shoes on fire now – a couple of times.  Stomping ou the small grass fires that pop up from the steel and iron spray falling on dry grass…

After about 10 AM, when the “heat’s on” (East Texas is hell on Earth from May 25 to September 20, most years) there’s no point even dragging a rig outside to attempt real projects.

What I’m getting to is that spring and fall are ideal “honey do” periods.  Clean up the projects the wife wants done and tune up that never-ending Making Project – doing the yard.  Landscaping, like fence line work, is a bitch in the summer.

Winter, it can get too cold in the shop, so you’ll want machine for making inside.

So look for a what to site your machines for both winter and summer use.

Around here, a big attic fan and a window-replacing swamp cooler keep things habitable (high shop temp around 82 degrees F.  Which, while on the warm side, is still workable in cut-offs and a golf shirt, has the bonus of turning out pretty nice FDM prints because they don’t cool off quite as fast. Warmer air, smoother fusing.

Near as I can figure it, 75 to 80 F is ideal printing temp, so we can with this combo of fan and swamp cooler, crank out prints from mid-May all the way until September and not have to worry about temperature shock.

Well, back to the BIG Making projects outside.  We will get back into the CNC’ness of it all when the outdoor heat drives us out of the garden.

Making food’s a good thing, too, though.  We’ll be trying a big drip rig this year Only planning a small hydroponics set-up for a hot-weather Romaine that was developed in Israel.  For just such conditions as found here in East Texas.

Have fun – and do right in…