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February 20th, 2011

gfish: (Default)
Sunday, February 20th, 2011 11:13 pm
I got some great metal drawers for organizing my random hardware. The top two have nuts and bolts sorted into the following bins: tiny (1-64, 2-56, 4-40), 6-32, 8-24/8-32, 10-24, 1/4-20, and large (5/16, 3/8, whatever). This is not just me being OCD -- this makes them all a lot more useful, as I'll actually be able to find what I need instead of just going to buy more. And now, ever when things fall out of their little plastic sacks, they'll just be collected in the appropriate bin, still useful! So much better than pawing through a series of greasy cardboard boxes. Lower drawers have wood screws, random hardware like hinges and springs, and then the bottom two are all small bits of stock metal. Lots of brass. This replaced about 6 cardboard boxes in a much more aesthetically pleasing and functional way.

I put up a new Attoparsec blog entry, with video of the hydraulic arm running with a AS5040 rotary encoder driving it. So much better than that stupid flex sensor! Many thanks to [ profile] randomdreams for loaning me the test board. It's not for certain until I get a fullsize prototype running at full speed and carrying representative weight, but for now I'm not worried about the control side of the hexapod.

Today I spent cutting metal and welding it together. I wanted to experiment with making space frames, and I learned several important things. Most importantly, I just can't cut angles precisely enough with my angles grinder. (And I fancy myself pretty skilled with an angle grinder!) So after thinking about it for a couple of hours, I broke down and finally bought a chop saw. I love it! Totally overpowered, fast, and very, very repeatable. Took quite a few tests to get the fence set at a 45 degree angle properly, but once it was there I was able to blast out cut after cut, no problem. Even getting the correct length wasn't all that hard. Cleaning up the cuts made me wish for a belt sander, though...