semi-OT: do you routinely attempt projects out of your comfort

Philip Pemberton classiccmp at
Tue Mar 9 18:43:46 CST 2010

Tony Duell wrote:
>> There are certain exceptions... if I needed some mechanical component 
>> machining I'd probably look for a local machine shop and ask them (my 
> You are lucky to have a 'local machine shop'/ There are, AFAIK, no such 
> places round here.

There's an engineering company in Huddersfield (Pennine Radio) that does 
sheet-metal and machining work. I'm toying with the idea of asking them 
for a quote on doing the CNC work on the DiscFerret front/rear panels.

If I had a CNC rig I'd do it myself, but the idea of drilling out the 
front panels for even a small production run does not appeal to me...

> [Silly example/ I was cleaning up an old Epson printer nad dropped a 
> plastic bush from the paper feed mechansim. I looked for it for over an 
> hour and couldn't find it (I've still not found it). In the end I grabbed 
> a bit of brass rod and turned a suitable replacemnt in a few minutes...]

Knowing Epson kit, that "non-factory replacement part" (GRIN) will 
probably outlast the rest of the printer.

The last two Epsons I had (a C84 and a C86) both died from Blocked 
Print-head Syndrome. The ink dries in the head, then when the piezo 
actuators are triggered on power up for the "cleaning" cycle, they 
break/blow. Ugh.

I've since switched to a colour laser printer (Kyocera FS-C5200dn) for 
most things, and only keep an inkjet around (Canon iP4600) for PCB 
transparencies and the occasional photo print (I've got a shelf full of 
JetStar Premium film and Canon ink cartridges and I'll be damned if I'm 
not going to use them!).

Somehow, even if I leave the iP4600 for months, it always works when I 
come back to it...

> I never really give up. If I can't do a repair now, due to lack of skills 
> or parts (particularly custom parts), I put the thing aside and come back 
> to it in perhaps a few years. And many times I manage it then (having got 
> more experience, etc).

If I did that, I'd most likely be living in a Mr Trebus-style 
clutter-pit within the year.

(for anyone that doesn't get the reference: look up a 1999 BBC TV series 
called "A Life of Grime")

classiccmp at

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