Introduction to the Bridgeport Milling Machine

Clay McGovernMakerBarn Video, Making, News, Tools

An Introduction to the Bridgeport milling machine by George Carlson. This video is intended to help introduce the milling machine to new users. It not intended to show operation, that will be covered later. This introduction is the first video in a planned series on the Bridgeport.  

Sand Casting at The MakerBarn

Clay McGovernMakerBarn Video, Making, Materials, News, Tools

The MakerBarn recently added the capability to cast non-ferrous metals. One of the simpler ways to cast metal is to use sand to make the mold. At the Barn we have Petrobond, a special sand mix for casting. This training video shows the making of a branding iron with “The MakerBarn” on it. First a pattern was cut from Corian using the CNC router. This pattern was used to make the sand mold. Scrap aluminum is then melted and poured into the mold.

Metalworking at the barn

George CarlsonBuild Log, Making, News, Tools

Woodworking has always been a big part of the work going on at The MakerBarn, but now we are seeing more metal projects being built.  With the completion of the machine shop, addition of powder coating, and the near completion of the welding shop, expect to see even more heavy iron at The MakerBarn in the near future. Jody Cochran is powder coating a small weldment used on the new miter saw table being built by Kyle Fraczek. It’s just a large washer with a 1/2″ nut welded in, but you could never find one at the hardware store.  It’s used for mounting the feet on the large cabinet. Rob Nixon made this super dial indicator holder for the lathe.  Made from 6061 aluminum, brass, and steel, it should last a lifetime. This is a special quick-clamp designed for the new welding table.  It is a good example of offset … Read More

Powder Coating at The MakerBarn

George CarlsonBuild Log, Making, News, Tools

With the completion of the downdraft table/powder coating booth, and the acquisition of a new oven, we now have the facility to do powder coating. Powder coating is a process where a dry powder-like paint is applied to a metal piece using electrostatic attraction. The piece is then baked in an oven, causing the powder to melt then polymerize into a very durable coating. Here’s an example. This is a butterfly cut from a piece of 1/4″ steel using a plasma cutter. The butterfly was cleaned and then blasted in the abrasive blaster to remove the mill scale and give a nice even surface for the power coating to adhere to. After this point in the process you should use gloves to protect the clean object from oils on your skin. Oils on the surface of the part are not good for the powder coating.   The powder is then … Read More

Why do you want to be a maker?

George CarlsonMaking

My father was a cabinet maker and the son of an immigrant farmer, so I guess that’s where it came from.  Why would anyone want to build it, when you could just go out and buy it?  There’s something about the feeling that this object, what ever it is, was made by my hand.  I guess this is part of the human psyche.  Without this basic human need there would be no scientists, engineers, artists, or philosophers.  On some people, this need is just a bit more intense than others, so here we are. In this day and time, the support of making is needed more than ever.  We, and our kids, are bombarded with commercialism.  Kids need to be taught and shown that each and every thing they see online or in stores was made by someone.  Guy Lautard  wrote a series of books called “The Machinist Bedside Reader”. … Read More