Mistakes, New Machines and YouTube
It’s been so long since I showed you any new designs or such.
And, truthfully, I’ve not really been working on designs for a month or two (yes, that really is the simple and elegant reason for not having any new designs! :-D).
I am starting to design more again and so I’ll be bringing you some “sneak previews” soon.
But, in the meantime, I thought I’d cover a little of what I’ve been doing for the last few months.
If you’re not already subscribed to my YouTube Channel, then I urge you to jump on board before “the masses” join in and you end up feel like just another “me too” like every one else.
Here’s the thing:
I upload a short video to YouTube every day (yes, EVERY day!).
Here’s the sort of stuff I’m putting up there:
I’m slowly-but-surely getting better at these videos (seriously, I am).
I’m going to start doing the “making of” and other stuff soon. So, yeah, click here to subscribe so you don’t miss out.
Higher Levels Of Quality?
For the last 5 or 6 weeks I’ve been working on the surface finishing of a project that was not mine (but I was part of the design process and the Kickstarter campaign for it).
I’ve mentioned the Titanium Cheese Slicer a couple of times in the past.
Oh, actually, before I continue…
I should point out that my father (William) is over here in New Zealand from Scotland. He helps me out a LOT in the workshop. In fact, that’s not quite true, he actually does a power of work (he’s “the bearded man” you occasionally see in the background in some of my YouTube videos …he doesn’t like the camera …but he will one day :-D).
Now… these Titanium Cheese Slicers… we did the pre-processing of the titanium plate and the water-jet cutting. My machinist (it was his project) did the mind-blowing machining of them. And we did the horribly-involved finishing processes.
Now, I’m not going to lie to you:
This finishing of these Titanium Cheese Slicers was the toughest finishing job we’ve ever done. And that’s by a long shot!
It was meant to take a week or two. It took nearly 6 weeks (and those were not 40-hour weeks …more like 80+).
Here’s what the process looked like towards the end:
There was a lot of work, stress, unexpected-costs and finally relief delivering these Titanium Cheese Slicers.
And here’s the cool thing…
This project forced us to take our various finishing processes to new levels of quality. Sanding. Tumbling. Grinding. Everything!
Even the final quality control we do just got even stricter. If there was even the slightest hint of a hair-line scratch on a Titanium Cheese Slicer …we went all the way back to the beginning on that one (yes, we really did have to go back to the start and spend another 4 hours on it!).
While I was knee-deep in this stressful project …it was tough …yet, looking back on it, it’s been an incredible boost for the quality and workmanship in all future products.
I posted a couple of videos on YouTube recently about this machine:
It’s a big sander for getting a better surface finish on titanium.
Now, truthfully, I’m not as excited about this machine as you might think.
And here’s why:
I bought this machine used from the USA around 9 or so months ago.
Since then — and after various discussions with various people who have each been in business longer than I’ve been alive — I’ve come to appreciate the benefits it buying NEW.
The only benefit of buying used is price. Nothing else. And, as one wise fellow said to me the other day, “If you can’t afford a good, new machine …then there’s something wrong with your business”.
“If you can’t afford a good, new machine
…then there’s something wrong with your business.”
I don’t think he realised how much of an effect that statement had on me.
This machine, by the time I paid to have it shipped here, was around half the price of a new one.
BUT, there are parts of it that will not function again (such as the pump that sprays water on the sand-paper to keep the almost-certain-to-go-on-fire titanium dust down!). So I already have to buy new parts.
It’s fine. I’m just dealing with the “fall out” of a decision I made last year.
We’re going to get it fired-up and tested later this week.
I’ll let you know how it goes (most likely on YouTube first :-D).