Machining the superstructure for Keyboard 2

factoid

I’d like to think we’ve known how to build XyloVan from day one, viagra dosage but the truth is – we’re dumb. We’re like sack-of-hammers, short-bus, don’t-get-the-knock-knock-jokes dumb.

We’re like chimps who have seen television, digging around in the back of the live set with screwdrivers. We make dumb mistakes, do dumb things, suffer from dumb ideas. And along the way, stuff gets built.

So this 3-foot-long chunk of 1.5-inch by .5-inch aluminum is one of the four stringers for Keyboard 2. These serve as the airframe for the instrument …

First order of business is to drill holes into all the markings I put in place last week

The 17/64ths bit throws up metal shavings …

… which – because they’re shiny – make me take an unreasonable number of photographs of them.

See, ’cause they’re shiny.

And I’m a tool-using chimp.

Next, I tap the holes for 6mm machine screws (having taken great care to match the drill and tap diameters to each other and to the stainless-steel screws that just came via UPS.

But working with this thing is grueling, screwdriver-elbow work. If I keep it up, I’ll get blisters from the cheesy little quarter-inch steel-rod handle.

So I grab a scrap of pipe and begin machining it with the 1/2-inch drill bit to serve as a makeshift ergonomic handle for the tap …

This goes reasonably well until the drillbit suddenly augers into the hole I’m cutting and grabs the pipe straight out of my hand. It whips around at 3,000 RPMs until it flies off and crashes into the wall.

Of course, I resolve to try harder the next time, and this time it augers in, grabs the pipe and flings it at *me* – which I take as my cue to switch to the grinder for the rest of the machining.

Handle in hand, I clamp the stringer into the bench vise and resume tapping the holes.

This is how the handle sort of fits onto the tap …

Then I get smart and force a hammer handle into the end of it for better leverage. Moves like butter now.

Look – cool! There’s enough tension to hold up the hammer by itself!

Until the tap – stressed and torqued by the extra goofing off – just snaps.

I did manage to extract the broken fragment from the hole with a pair of pliers. Dumb luck, trust me. If it had broken off in the hole itself, I would be drilling it out for an oversized screw at this very second – and cursing my simian genes.


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