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Machine Shop!!!

So, in physics graduate school, you have your quantum mechanics, and your EM, and your statistical mechanics, and classical mechanics, and so on, and all of this is very well and good.  And then, if you're very, very lucky, there's machine shop class and it's awesome!!!  Obstensibly, the class is to teach you to be a better communicator with machine shops, but you still get to learn how to use the tools!  You actually get to learn how to build scientific instruments.  It's not for everyone though.  Heisenberg for example almost didn't get his PhD because of issues with his experimental lab grades.

Machine shop started for me today after missing the first two meetings for an engineering conference last week.  Today we started in with the tools.  If you'd told me last week that an hour long lecture on saws would be interesting, I might have rolled my eyes, but not anymore!  We learned about a few different kinds of saws.  Then, we learned that with the vast majority of saws in the States, you should always push the saw across the material and never pull.  By pulling, you'll run the saw teeth over the material in their least reinforced direction and they'll break off, (picture 1).

It turns out there is one saw that you pull across the material, the Japanese dozuki saw.

We learned about the three tooth rule.  Ideally, you want to select the pitch, (number of teeth per inch), of your saw blade so you can have no fewer than three teeth, and no less than nine in contact with the material at all times.  Any fewer and the blade gets stuck, any more, and it becomes harder to push across the material and less efficient.

Oh, and we learned a new word: kerf.  Kerf is the width across your saw teeth.  The dozuki saw has teeth that are flush with the blade, so it makes a very good saw for trimming nubs off of parts.  Most saws have teeth that extend out from the body of the blade, making for a wider kerf, (picture 2).

More of the pretty, yet oh so cool notes from machine shop!


Jenny Noble said…
It seems like you are quite thrilled about being able to take a machine shop class! I've actually been looking for a machine shop to help me, but I don't know what to look for. You might be able to help me. What qualifications should I be looking for in a machine shop?
Seth Ashford said…
It is really cool to see people taking an interest in machine shops! As someone who works them all the time, I love to enthusiasm around them. I wonder if I could help teach the local community college's machine shop class.
Hamilton Carter said…
Seems like it would be fun!
Jim Tracy said…
I think that machine shops can be so helpful. My car needs some improvements, and all the parts are probably at that machine shop. I like to have everything in one place. It makes things better.
Jacob Reed said…
There are more and more online boutiques popping up each day. But how many of these gives you the freedom to design your own dress?

online Shoping
Cynthia Rhose said…
My cousin is trying to build a rotisserie style barbecue, but some of the parts he is using seemed to have either cracked or stripped out. He is looking for a machine shop to fix the items so he can use them again. It will be nice to find a place that can help him with this little road bump in his project.
Cynthia |

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