A big thanks to marev for certifying me as an Apprentice and
to steve for certifying me as a Journeyman. I appreciate
your trust in me.
With the certification from steve I should probably move my
ROV build out of my blog and into a project, but the thing's
almost finished. I'm going to go ahead and finish it up in
my blog, and put my next robot into a project.
The props came in and were mounted last night. The only
real gotcha: the motors have a 2mm shaft and the props have
a 1/8" bore. Making Delrin shaft adapters took about five
minutes, and the newly-propellered motors run great, even in
Rather than focus on the ROV, I'd like to make a plug for
having a home shop that includes at least a lathe and a
drill press. I could try to make a case of having tools pay
for themselves, but I won't. I haven't made money off my
tools yet, and I've easily spent more on them than any other
single hobby including photography.
The real pay-off for having good tools is the ease with
which you can do other things. Making those shaft adapters
without a lathe would've been painful, at best. With a
lathe it was so easy I didn't even slow down. To date that
lathe has made ROV parts, robot parts, rocket parts, optics
mounts, toys for the kids in the neighborhood, custom
tooling, even a steam engine. The list is too long to write
out. In monetary terms I've never made back the $750 I
spent on it six years ago. But I have to think it's payed
for itself time and time again in what my shop can now do.
If you don't have a lathe and a drill press in your shop,
read up on them. Price them. See if maybe they're
something to consider. The online communities for home shop
machinists are very active and on the whole extremely
supportive. Even with zero machining knowlege, I've seen
people tool up and get going in ways that are simply amazing.
I wouldn't give them up for the world.
P.S. And if you thought a lathe was fun, you're going to
have a blast with a mill!