CNC Part 2

It’s been a busy weekend and I got quite a bit of work done on the machine. I completed the lower torsion box as well as completed the adjustment blocks.

I’ll be posting a bill of materials, but for those that are interested I started this project with a 4×8 sheet of 1/2 MDF from local Menards as well as 4×8 sheet of 3/4 MDF (about $35 total). After cutting the parts, I have plenty left over for testing the machine. As others have suggested on the CNC Zone, I made the adjustment blocks out of cutting board material.

I found a great deal on scrap material from The Cutting Board Factory’s Specials Page. This was a great site and they delivered exactly what I needed with lots to spare for about $20.

Cutting the MDF was pretty easy. Just took my time and carefuly cut all of the pieces in the plan with a table saw. Having a table saw makes this a pretty quick process, but the great thing about this plan is it can easily be done with a few clamps, good straight edge, and a circular saw.

I also cut the HDPE (Cutting board) material on the table saw as well. To make the Adjustment blocks I carefully measured, marked, and center punched all of the holes. In retrospect this was wasted work as eventually I just went to my Dad’s house and used his Drill Press. Having a drill press makes this really easy as you can setup the fence so that you can just slide the part in and drill all the repetitive holes quickly. If you don’t have access to a drill press, I suggest you carefully measure and center punch the holes so you drill doesn’t wander much.

According to the plans I tapped all of the Adjustment holes with a tap and die set that I bought at the local Harbor Freight. This was a really inexpensive kit and it has paid for itself the very first use. I was able to buy all the bolts and nuts at my local Menards, but also considered buying them at Bolt Depot.

Please check back often as I’ll be posting more pictures and things I’ve learned along the way.

CNC Router Part 1

I’ve been studying this for quite some time, but I’ve finally decided to build my own CNC Router. It combines many of my hobbies; Woodworking, Computers, and Electronics. It is by far the geekiest thing that I have ever done.

My thanks go to all the kind folks at The CNC Zone. I’ve been lurking there for months now, and information there has given me the confidence to go forward. I’ll be building the JGRO machine.

Why Angry Cider?

Why Angry Cider?

Angry Cider actually refers to a home-brewed beer (more like a concoction than a beer) that my college roommates and I attempted sometime in 1996/97. There were four of us living in a condo while going to the Indiana University Business School. All of us were fifth-year seniors with very little actual course work.

Needless to say it was a pretty fun year while we wrapped up our degrees and relaxed a bit before going out into the corporate world. I think that year I took some very challenging courses such as: Racquetball, Basketball, and Fencing. At some point we started brewing our own beer and actually had a couple of very good batches.

For our third batch we attempted a Razz-Wheat recipe based on various requests from girlfriends wanting a sweeter beer…girls. Anyway, as we sampled the Razz-Wheat throughout the brewing process…it never was sweet enough for us. Being the home-brewing amateurs we were, we naturally kept adding sugar to sweeten the taste. Well, knowing what I know now after several years of beer/wine making, adding more sugar only causes the yeast to convert the sugar to more alcohol. We ended up with a very strong and bitter beer that we estimated to be around 12-15% alcohol….well into the cider and wine range.

Being the frugal college alcoholics we were, we certainly were not going to throw it out, but instead bottled it in wine bottles and our cider was born.

Honestly the cider became quite popular as we would open a bottle prior to going out and pass it around as we all guffawed at the bitter faces everybody made as they took a swig. Eventually we realized the cider had a tendency to turn people into angry drunks. For some reason it caused some people to just get pissed and kind of angry at the world. Therefore it was eventually re-dubbed the “Angry Cider.”

A few years ago I started fermenting my own wine. When it came time to name some of my wines, I turned to the Angry Cider as a name. In my basement, I currently have about a hundred bottles of various varieties. Angry Cider Chianti, Angry Cider Shiraz, etc.

I originally started this website so I could just post the labels that I created, but eventually I figured it would just make a good personal webpage.