Lasersaur, the new open source laser cutter from Nortd Labs. Finally a precision cutting machine within reach… (a long reach, but at an order of magnitude less than prior costs for an equal sized machine). Check it out at at http://labs.nortd.com/lasersaur/
Now I’m off to the laser cutting class at TechLab SF.
First visit to TechShop San Francisco yesterday for the Angular Sheetmetal class. Got checked out on the 50 inch hydraulic shear, the similarly sized bending brake, a Beverly and straight manual shear, turret punch and spot welder. Part of the long trail of getting a better source of plates. TechShop is a fantastic resource. I’m not sure I have enough free time to make membership worthwhile yet, but I do plan to keep taking classes and perhaps going on a day-use basis if that is allowed. TechShop only has a few locataions in the US, but it is well worth checking out if you are anywhere near one. The URL is http://www.techshop.ws/index.html
Continuing my progress on preparing to do 4×5 daguerreotypes. The camera currently only has a “hat shutter” so I have been looking at available shutters for my large lens – the only new one available seems to be the Packard shutter. This item, still made by the son of the creator is available for $850 in the size of interest to me. Time to save up, time to watch ebay, time to let the design ideas start disturbing my sleep again.
I also made a trip to Home Depot today for a domestic repair item and picked up some JB weld for bromine testing. Maybe that will be rugged enough to line fuming boxes with sheet glass. I’m also planning on testing some for adhesion to a scrap of textured PTFE I have left over.
Three day weekends are great.
Spent my time on the holiday break finishing a conversion of my equipment to take 35 mm plates. I decided that smaller is better for now – it let’s me work using much less expensive plates, and use a better lens than I have in my large format camera. I made enough keepers to justify getting a scanner which I set up tonight. Only time to scan one, but I will post more soon.
Nutcrackers (Plate 1006)
Thanks to the meltdown of the California state budget this last year, Governor Schwartzenegger has given all California State University workers (including me) a gift of 24 days off without pay in the next eleven months. Rather than moping around about the loss of income, I have decided to devote each of my “extra” days off to attaining my ongoing goal of becoming a daguerreotypist.
Any of you who have followed my writing know that I have been conducting a rather slow motion quest – due mostly to lack of adequate free time. Excruciatingly slow. This temporary change in my schedule should give me the boost I need to at least make it to my first daguerreotype and hopefully beyond.
Today was the first day off, and I devoted it entirely to moving forward with my art. As part of my re-energized commitment, I have also decided to post my lab notes on these days as well. You can find those at the link below.
I’m heading over to CDags.org now to see if the experienced artists there will be willing to advise me on a problem I ran into today when I practiced fuming a plate for the second time.