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MachinistBlog.com

Plans, projects and how-to's for home machinists

There just aren’t enough hours in the day

I know I haven’t added much content to MachinistBlog lately. I haven’t lost interest or permanently abandoned my self-imposed goal of trying to add at least one new post to the front page each week (on average). It’s just that I’ve been really busy and I have to make this web site a lower priority for now.

I’d love it if you could help me keep it from getting stale by becoming a guest blogger. You can write about almost anything that is metalworking, tool, or workshop related as long as you’re not doing it to promote a product or service. And don’t worry if you’re not a great writer because Nate, our copy editor, just told me he needs more to do. You could also do a photo essay if you want.

I’ve been busy for a quite a few reasons. The biggest one is that I’ve become very passionate about getting a maker space started and I built a web site for one. RochesterMakerSpace.org still has a lot of rough edges and it needs some more meat on its bones. So I wasn’t planning on publicly rolling it out this week but that’s what I did when a discussion about maker and hacker spaces came up in a discussion group I run. And now, ready or not, I need to keep moving forward with the project until we either get something going or determine that there’s not enough interest right now.

I’ve also been busy working on my CNC router again. I neglected it for at least several months and I wasn’t happy with myself for letting that happen. So I’ve been trying, not always successfully, to get at least one small thing done on it each day.

On most days I only have enough spare time to work on either it, this web site or some other project. I usually choose the router because I want to be someone who does things and not someone who just talks about doing things. I’ve finished making nearly all the parts for it and pretty soon it’ll just a matter of putting them all together, like a kit. So you should at least see some pictures of it later this month.

I’ve also been trying to find 6 hours each week for exercise. I ran or biked regularly until about 2 years ago when I quit almost completely because I was too busy with other things. Well, in early December I realized that I felt like crap, looked like crap and was risking serious health issues because I wasn’t exercising.

So I started going to the YMCA 3 times a week and mostly just walked as fast as I could around an indoor track. But it made a big difference in how I felt and a few months ago I started running again.

I’ve been a runner almost all my life but I gave it up about 5 years ago and switched to bicycling because I was afraid running would eventually ruin my knees. I’d never had any problems or injuries but I’m very tall so I already had a poor power-to-weight ratio to begin with, and like most people I was getting heavier as I got older.

But bicycling didn’t do it for me and I really missed running, especially each Spring when the weather began to get warm. So I pre-registered for my favorite 10K and started training on treadmills and cinder tracks because they put less stress on your knees than pavement.

Five years ago I could go out for a long fast run and it wouldn’t affect me very much afterwards. But that’s not true any more because I’m still out of shape, still at least 10 pounds heavier than I used to be and of course I’m older. Now a hard run can ruin me for the rest of the day, tiring me out so much that I spend my evening goofing off instead of trying to accomplish something useful. Hopefully I’ll get into better shape soon and that won’t be as much of a problem.

And finally, the arrival of warm weather brought more opportunities to spend time with friends and family. And I’ve always made doing that a top priority.

10 comments to There just aren’t enough hours in the day

  • pjz
    May 4, 2012 at 11:35 AM | Reply

    Re: running, if you enjoy it, great, but the optimax that I’ve found is promulgated in the book _Body By Science_, and is a <30min/week weightlifting workout. It's kept me fit since I acquired kids who took away the luxury of free time :)

  • Andy from Workshopshed
    May 17, 2012 at 5:43 AM | Reply

    Yes, it’s hard work to keep a blog updated, I’ve had a few months where I’ve only a handful of posts as I’ve been working on a new website.

    One quick and easy way to create an interesting blog post is a “photo story” a series of photos on a topic rather than writing prose. I did that recently when off in Denmark with a collection of bike pictures which was a surprisingly popular post.

  • rleete
    May 17, 2012 at 8:29 AM | Reply

    Rob, I haven’t forgotten about that article I promised. It’s just that, well, there just aren’t enough hours…

    I have 2 or 3 projects that would make nice write-ups, but I haven’t gotten into the shop much lately. Fixing cars, lawn work, home maintenance, etc. have kept playtime to a minimum.

  • Rob
    May 17, 2012 at 1:10 PM | Reply

    Roger, you’ve done/made some cool things and you’re a better and more experienced machinist than I am. You’ve also been very generous about sharing your knowledge here and on other web sites and forums. So, I’d be honored and grateful to publish something from you.

  • rleete
    May 22, 2012 at 1:04 PM | Reply

    Better? I doubt it. More experienced? Well, I have created more scrap than you have…

    I’ll get to it eventually. Shop time is limited for now, but I’ll get back when the weather outside gets too hot.

  • CNC EDM
    July 27, 2012 at 3:04 PM | Reply

    I think we can all would sign off on a petition for more hours in a day. Life is so hectic as is, I can’t imagine maintaining a blog/website, full time job, family and attempt to have any hobbies. My hats off to you for maintaining balance.

  • michaelR
    October 4, 2012 at 12:10 AM | Reply

    hi i need help.. does anyone know how drill chucks are made?? like how are they machined, turned, etc? PLEASEEE… i need this so bad, :(

  • rleete
    October 5, 2012 at 7:39 AM | Reply

    Drill chucks are usually machined out of solid stock. Some of the better ones have forged parts, which are then ground to final size.

  • rleete
    October 15, 2012 at 9:21 AM | Reply

    I have a small article I’d like to post. How do I go about submitting it?

  • Rob
    October 15, 2012 at 3:00 PM | Reply

    Email it. I still read my emails although I’m not always very good about replying to them.

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