Monday, December 19, 2005


Progress on the filament extruder...

Just to keep everybody in the loop on the filament extruder project, the heavens opened yesterday and we got about 75 mm of rain so I stayed in for Sunday rather than trekking out to my brother-in-law's workshop in Carmel Valley. I also found myself facing the old maxim that says that the first 90% of a project takes 90% of the time and the last 10% takes 90% of the time.

I have to cut a new piston alignment block, buy a rat-tailed file to sort out a bolt connection hole in the frame that slipped while I was drilling it with the drill press and finally make another expedition to the hardware store to get a few drills and threading taps that I hadn't bought before.

A trek to the electronics supply shop across the peninsula to buy some ceramic wire nuts, a circuit fuse holder, an indicator light, a length of power cord and a plug is also on today's schedule. This thing has a lot of bits.

I will also be buying a half-inch threading tap to see if it is feasable to use a brass plumbing plug for the extruder die. That will mean that I can screw into the extruder block rather than brazing it in as per the plans. If that works I can swap out extruder dies instead of having to make a new block and heater cartridge for each time I want to make a different diameter filament. After having drilled one of those blocks I am not anxious to have to make them as a regular occupation with the WWII era Navy drill press that I have.

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