Boys need their toys.
I’m sure girls do to, but since I’m a boy and have worked with my hands (and my head and heart) for my entire adult life, I must grin at the old saying about boys. This post will highlight three interesting tools in the Gary Dawson Designs studio.
I bought my first laser welder (which stayed with my old company when I sold it) quite a few years ago. It was manufactured by Rofin whose logo is represented with a small r. Being the prankster, and with the opportunity allowed by individual stick-on letters, I inverted the r vertically and extended the base a bit such that it then said… Lofin’. I may have been the only one in my shop that got a kick out of that pun but it helped me drive home the point to my employees at that time that I felt it too easy to get sucked into the vortex of new technology and over-rely on the laser in the manufacturing process.
Honestly, I still feel that way about it though I can’t imagine going back to not having a laser in my shop. Laser welds are, by nature of the micro-structure left by the rapid melting and cooling of the weld puddle, brittle. I’ve seen the micrographs from a presentation at the Santa Fe Symposium addressing this specific issue. Not so good for welding earring posts, for example. One can compensate for the brittleness of the initial weld in at least a couple of ways, but both add
precious time to the manufacturing process and many small manufactures either do not understand the metallurgy well enough, or take the time to remedy this potentially large problem. The results are too many returns of broken welded parts. Fortunately, we don’t have that problem at Gary Dawson Designs!
And I love, really love my newest laser welder.
It’s not much bigger than several gray squirrels in a bag and at least as much fun…oh, and USEFUL! (When used properly) When assembling components in a traditional fashion a lot of time is normally spent jigging (aligning and holding objects) prior to soldering. With the laser, one can simply hold the objects together, pop them with the laser and then go solder assemble traditionally for the quickest and most reliable assemblage!
So we need a name for this baby! Since it’s an Nd:YAG (neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet) laser we’re toying with both Neo or Dopey. Hyperion has also been suggested. Any votes? Other ideas welcome!
Inside Ring Engraver:
This great tool is essentially a vertical pantograph machine. It allows me to precision engrave words, dates or phrases on the inside of the rings I make for you. There is no charge for this additional service if I’m making the ring!
Electronic Wax Pen:
Actually my newest toy, er, tool, this little powerhouse built by Foredom and sold to me by Otto Frei has made my wax carving life much easier than before it arrived. Small footprint, infinite heat control and a large array of modifiable tips make this my new favorite!
Just have to mention the Oakridge Hostel’s first annual Mushroom Foray. A full day of mushroom foraging led by local mushroom experts was followed by an excellent meal. Check out this menu, prepared by Sous Chef Benjamin Nadolny of the King Estate Winery and served after a mushroom cooking demonstration. This was an awesome event!