Monday, September 19, 2011

Turning $350 in $670

Before I go into the aw inspiring way I cut $320 from the bottom line of this project, lets first take a moment to look at a fine piece of hardware purchased from FLA and explain why I have this big countdown running now. The bearing blocks are crazy cool in the way that they are adjustable. Much better than anything that I have attempted in the past.

Now on to this count down thing. As I mentioned in a previous post, I need a dead line. so here it is.

If that's not enough time then I deserve to fail.

Here sits $350 worth of aluminum.

And here is $670 worth of aluminum.

The difference is a five dollar saw blade from Lowe's and the ability to accurately cut the different lengths. The lengths needed to make the bed have been cut. Holes still need to be located in all of the pieces in order to assemble the bed.

I have ordered the flat steel bar stock for the X and Y rail. I'm not looking forward to drilling the multitude of holes in each of them but I will save over a hundred dollars by drilling them myself...If I can manage to get them accurately located.

Other news is that I found out I'm going to have to order some 8020 gussets that aren't included in the fastener bundle I picked up. Not a big deal but another expense to add to the list. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


 Alright! As stated at CNCzone, the goods did finally arrive. Albeit a tad beat up. UPS bears one part of that blame but FLA bears the other part for shipping it in such a flimsy box in the first place. Non the less its here!

I literally felt like I just got a box of legos. All I wanted to do was sit down and put everything together. Unfortunately I didn't have time so I put it back in the box.

Last bit of news is that Nate, from FLA, finally contacted me. Here's what he had to say.

"Sorry for the delay.  The past 2 weeks we have been dealing with the damage from Hurricane Irene and then major flooding last week.  The shop as well as individual homes were flooded and we are finally done with the cleanup effort.  I had to replace a computer and haven't had access to email all week.



Its better late than never as far as I'm concerned. Once he shipped the parts they got here pretty quick but getting to that point was a pain. My advise for you Nate is to get a good friend that you can call and tell to post a message on your website letting everyone know if your having problems and can't get to the emails or UPS store...or hop on over to the library for a couple minutes and set up an auto reply on your email telling people who email you whats up. I'm not faulting you for taking care of you and yours. I would have done the same but give the world a heads up if your going to be gone for an extended period of time so people like me, who don't know your situation, don't freak out.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

One small step for my CNC....Apparently one giant leap for FLA

Its not much but the little status on my order changed from "to ship" on over to "Shipped". Its only took 7 business days (11 normal days due to the holiday, geeze feels like forever ago), 2 separate unreplied emails, a unreplied PM, and a post on CNCzone warning others of the time frame its taken so far for the fine staff over at FLA to casually place this order in the mail.

I'm giving this guy a hard time but all I care about is the parts showing up. I really wouldn't have minded it taking so long if I would have been kept in the loop. I once waited 2 months for a set of compressors to ship from California. The guy emailed me pretty soon after I placed the order to let me know the warehouse was out and there was a wait but that he would keep me informed.

With that said I don't know Nate (presumably the owner and operator of FLA). I've never talked to him so I don't know whats "on his plate" as someone on CNCzone put it. My only suggestion is put some warning on your site to let people know its going to take a couple weeks for it to ship. Maybe a little note by the price.

Something like this.

Price 370.00
Qty. 1
***Note: Due to high demand. Products may take up to 7 business days to ship***

This performs two tasks. First, it informs the customer that there is a wait and second it makes people want to go ahead and place the order if they're thinking about it since it sounds like the product in high demand. In reality its your time that's in high demand but that's the sales side of me coming out.


Free advice.

Respond to emails. It takes 2 minutes of your day and everyone has a phone that's capable of getting email these days. (If you don't, odds are you shouldn't be selling stuff online)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

DIY Graphics LCD arduino shield

Here is a shield I put together for my arduino mega so I didn't have to keep wiring the lcd in every time. It also has two buttons connected as well. Pretty fun when its up and running. I also have a bluetooth module I would like to add to the shield.

I have tested the BT module and connected it to me phone. Its pretty nifty to be able to control the arduino from my Evo. Eventually I would like to write the code to have it run the air ride on the blazer. I need to learn a tad bit more Java before I can do that though. :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

8020 - The Industrial Erector Set

 The UPS man is my hero. I got all my raw 8020 in the mail earlier this week. Its been the most exciting thing that's happened all week with the exception of today being my two year anniversary of being married to my great wife Holley Pickett! As soon as I get a couple free moments I'm going to start cutting the t-slot to the needed lengths.
//Redacted to save the internet from one more complaint.

Ive ordered a plethora of parts from which so far has been less than awesome... I hate to give bad press to people but I placed an order with them on the first of September and it still has not shipped according to the website. Not including the holiday or weekend that's still five business days. Ive also contacted them through their website and through CNCzone(to be known furthermore as the Zone). No response from either over the last two business days. According to threads on the Zone, this is the norm for the company because its his side business but the products always show up.

That sounds weak but what can you do.
So here I sit whining on the internet. I could delete this section but I think Im going to cross it out to see who will try to read it anyway. Its like whispering. Everyone wants to know whats being said. 42 is the answer.
//End Redaction

Where do we go from here? Well first off I need to cut these parts and patiently wait on FLA parts to come in. I also need to order some steel plate for the guide rails and accurately drill holes in them. Yeah I decided to go the route of drilling my own even though I cited a great build thread last post about how terrible an idea it was to try to do it on you own...but then again I'm me, I'm the best, and there is nothing I cant do myself, right? That's the mindset of all of us DIYers and how often has it saved us so much moneys yet cost us so much time.

Here's my latest idea. It got me motivated on bagging the blazer so well see how it works out this time. 


Ive got countdowns on the home screen of my phone for graduation, end of this semester, and it used to have one for bagging the blazer. This may seem crazy but Ive been programed by watching soo much Macgyver that seeing a clock counting down gets my blood going and puts me in go mode. Lame but if it works, it works.