Designing, Forming And Joining Sheet Metal, A Lets Build Resource.

I want to talk about sheet metal and making sheet metal parts.  Now for a variety of reasons the maker community has  avoided using sheet metal in their project and that’s a mistake.   I see a lot of maker designed machines that use thick plastic panels where I, as designer would have used a formed sheet metal panel.

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Studio Ghibli Papercraft

I realized that I hadn’t done a Ghibli post in a while.  Then Messy Nessy ran a post on the wonderful kits that Sankei produces for the Mama Aiuto gang at Studio Ghibli. How could I pass that up

These Miniature Japanese Paper Crafts are the Antidote to Pokemon

Hobby Link Japan has good tutorial on how to put the Sankei kits together.

I also found these videos, which make building the kits look easy.

Sankei is essentially two companies, one to fulfill the museum and architectural model and the kit making business, which makes the Ghibli stuff and other things for hobby.  It looks like the hobby business is growing.  Check out the videos for how easily these kits go together.

Most of these kits are not to expensive and many could provide an afternoon of creativity and some thing nice to show for it for  $20.00.  Try them out.

Fifty Bucks Gets You A Dremel Tool



Or a variable temp soldering iron.  Any real tool is better than this:

This is just yet another feel good attempt to make the entitled feel better about themselves. Rather than breaking gender stereotypes, this magazine is reinforcing them.  I mean, seriously, glitter and glue? That’s Mitchell’s stuff.    The problem is that we have too much Mitchell’s stuff already and not enough “making” stuff.  It’s easy to get glitter and glue.  Just go about a 1/4 mile in my case one way and about a mile in the other way.  Robot parts, not so much. You are hardly going to break gender stereotypes doing the same sort of things that reinforce those stereotypes.

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My Hardware Favorites Folder, A Let’s Build Resource

Over the years, I’ve accumulated the websites of a bunch of stuff that I’ve used or might need someday. This my file of the engineering odds and ends that I can go to when I need to find something or look for a vendor for a part. It’s a rather eclectic collection, but saving stuff like this can save you time when you are pushing for that special part or machine element. It’s one of my more useful tools. At one time I kept most of these places as paper catalogs, but it’s easier to keep weblinks.  So there are the links from my IE favorites folder.

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Boomtown, part 3

This is the third of Wired UK’s important series on Shenzhen.

Back when I was researching electrical technology back in the late 19th Century I found that the same sort pooling that Bunnie is talking about. As did the early radio types. In fact, the same sort of tension between patent holders who, for whatever reason have stopped innovating and innovators who want to continue to come up with new things has existed since the beginning of the industrial revolution.

More links:


Boomtown Part 1.


For more on the dysfunctional economy click Here or on the tag below.

Another Kokeshi Post

Last year I posted a video of a man making Japanese Kokeshi dolls.  Here’s another one. I’ve wanted to do a longer post about these wonderful wooden dolls. When I was doing Ebay years ago, I encountered these wonderful wooden dolls in tag sales and sold a couple of them. So I had done some research on before  and I wanted to share the fruits of that research.

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This is Shenzhen.

In 1980 this was fishing shacks, rice paddies  and economic freedom and opportunity. Think about that when you hit the booth in November.