Sunday, March 20, 2016

Spring and Springs in Alaska

So we are a few days away from the vernal equinox, AKA spring. Strangely, I have been working on some projects that involve springs. And we have a surprise ending.

First we have the spiffy new handle on the dividing head.

This is a spring loaded plunger that pushes the prong into the dividing head and holds it steady. The plunger is pulled back to go to the next hole on the plate. It took quite a lot of messing around to get it right. I kept getting the spring backwards! I had to change springs several times; my supply of springs is limited. So that is one spring.

Next idea I had was a vertically adjustable Dremel holder. My first try looked like this:

The Dremel is held in the chainsaw attachment, already described elsewhere. This worked but it was very sloppy, so I spring-loaded the screws.

It works a lot better that way. The Dremel tends to lever it because this stuff is all Aluminum form Lowe's. A casting would be much better but I'm not set up for that. Bit too much slop. Have to think about that. As it is it is a hand-held Dremel router.

Well, that's three springs. While I was at it I clamped the thing to my homemade pantograph.

This worked surprisingly well. I realize now I have a pantograph with adjustable ratios, depending on where I clamp it. Bonus. It is nice to have a vertical adjustment. I hand-made a set of templates, seen at left. I am holding everything down with two-faced tape. Not ideal, but it works. I m encouraged. Springs are  wonderful.

Finally, "spring" also means a season of the year. The Vernal Equinox is March 21 or 22 depending on a lot of things. This is an astronomical datum. Alaska has its own ideas:

About 10 cm or 4" snow yesterday. Biggest snow of the year. Of course we were (still are) in the El Nino hotspot. No snow to speak of, until yesterday. A day late and a dollar short. No skiing. But it was nice to have the snow, and a fire welcome. Observe Miss Mocha curled up on her tuffet at the right of the picture. Right out of Currier and Ives.

And today the temperature went way up, +6C or so I do not expect winter wonderland to last very long. Spring, one way or another, is here.

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