Friday, August 9, 2013


With the arrival of the sewing machine, my tool collection has grown once again.

Problem is, I have no space to deploy what I have.  I'm trying to put a small workbench together to hold the Dremel Scrollsaw, the Central Machinery (bah!) Drill Press, and the woefully underpowered Ace Bench Grinder.  At the moment, I'm using the Bernina 830 (the 57 Cadillac of sewing machines) on my drafting table, which also holds computer, the Krytronic Soldering Station, and serves as dinner table as well.  Oh, yes, and sometimes I draft there as well.

I dream of a lathe.  Doesn't everyone?  Not that a CNC mill would be a bad thing either.  Or a laser cutter/engraver.  I'm happy enough with sending out for 3d prints, though!  Some day when I'm feeling flush I mean to pick up a membership at the local Tech Shop, where I can finally get some lathe, mill, and shop-bot time in.  Welding, too, is something I'm unlikely to do much more of at home.  I reserve the right to braze some more brass and copper, though.  After all, I have the gas, and a box of fire bricks...

So here's a couple of other tools that have caught my eye of late;

Cordless soldering iron.  The last show was informative about how much of a fuss it can be sometimes to get power to a soldering iron out to where the work is.  I'm not sure this is quite recurring enough to carry a cordless iron with me everywhere, though.

Router attachment for the Dremel (the rotary tool, not the scrollsaw).  I have been itching to make a replica prop with the MDF technique, and slots and panel lines of those really call for a mini-router.  The router attachment Dremel makes is horrible.  Stew-Mac has a much better one but the base kit is $54.  Another tool I may have to wait a while on.

Wood/mini lathe.  When I say it is smarter to save metal working for Tech Shop, that doesn't mean there isn't a lot of useful stuff I could do with a lightweight lathe with a mere four inches between centers.  There are however very few in this category, and most of them are seriously underbuilt; you are better off constructing your own.  Which ends up being a few hundred bucks in parts.  Also, the thought of dust control, in my small space, is a nightmare.

I keep meaning to have a duplicate set of electronics repair tools so I don't have to pack and unpack my gig bag.  And now that I have a machine of my own, I could make a nice little tool roll for them as well.  Of course me being me, the temptation is far too high to spend the money on some silly fabric for it like a Sailor Moon print...

Especially because I have two different resources now for custom-printed fabric.

Ah, that's the problem with tools.  When you have a hammer, you start finding nails everywhere just longing to be hit.  Right now, everything looks like small flexible squares of woven material.  I've already loaded up a second bobbin, and I'm reading up on embroidery stitches...

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