rockstar.esq

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About rockstar.esq

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  1. JHCC, I'm assuming that would have lost something if it was translated from the original Klingon.
  2. Templehound, Thank you for the explanation and the excellent photo's. That's a neat idea and it's elegantly executed.
  3. carlson, The offset will make the tongs imbalanced which isn't necessarily a big deal compared to the advantage of being able to grab along the length of a piece of stock. It will however, make a difference in the overall amount of work you do with your wrist. Another area that it might prove a little cumbersome is if you're bending the stock along it's length. Having the jaws in line with the handles puts the reaction forces straight through your grip. With the handles offset, it's easier for the jaws to slip axially while bending. To counteract that, I suspect you'd find you have to grip harder when bending with offset tongs. One reason they might not be as common as ordinary bolt-tongs is that longer stock is usually easier to handle without tongs. There is an advantage in grabbing a long piece along it's length, especially since you wouldn't need to cool the "handle" end. That's a bid advantage with high carbon steels that shouldn't be quenched. I've seen knifemakers using offset tongs to pick up stock they dropped on the floor. They seem to work a little better than ordinary bolt tongs for that. Of course, dropping stock is generally a sign that the tongs don't fit the work. I have a pair of wolf-jaw tongs that are by far my most-used tongs. They're able to hold 1/2" round or square either lengthwise or endwise. They fit in stuff like hammer eye's and they're agile enough that I can adjust things in the fire with them. That being said, bolt tongs are about as good as it gets for holding stock by the end.
  4. dodo, I'm not a knifemaker but your question is interesting. I've handled some flippers that wouldn't pop all the way open and some that would. I think this is more than a bearing thing because I've seen working examples with nothing more than a teflon washer. The weight of the blade and the length of the flipper contribute momentum and leverage to the function. Tip heavy blades would have an advantage over slim tapered points.
  5. Could you explain the locking mechanism? It looks like a liner lock but I'm not sure how the second lever works. Beautiful work.
  6. Marc, It's been my experience that clients that are "run by committee" tend to be horrible no matter what associations they have. Wherever the "client" seeks a diverse range of inputs from people who aren't vested in the project's success, the people involved will generally work against the project. I see this all the time on construction projects for engineering universities. All the faculty will weigh in on what they see, interjecting doubt and delays into the project. I think there's something to your point about being an outsider to a congregation. We've built quite a few churches and it's impressive how often we'll see shade-tree electrical modifications on the building when we conduct our one-year warranty walk with the client. Frosty, I watched that video, it's very good but I think I'll be haunted by the murderess in the "dupers delight" example. The point about how dangerous contempt is, was particularly interesting. There's a lot of awful behavior tied to feelings of supremacy. While I agree with out about catching people practicing deceit, I have to say it hasn't been very satisfying. On the plus side, I think refusing to cooperate with a deception tends to shift the working dynamic towards a mutual discord. I'd rather not feign friendship with someone who's cheating me. JLP, Unfortunately I think burnout is a common outcome of my profession. I encounter a lot of "senior" estimators who just grind away at bids without thinking. Nothing matters to them so they tend to disconnect from anyone who is concerned about a project. These are the people who never answer their phone, never seem to win a job, and never stop sending invitations to bid. "Winning" a job with one of these people all but guarantee's that their errors, omissions, and general lack of professionalism will be made up by a good dose of hysterical screaming from whoever manages the construction. If the estimator sounds like Eyore, you can expect the superintendent to sound like the Tazmanian Devil! J You are right that "bad" is a feature that comes in measures and degrees. Confused, inexperienced, or overly optimistic clients are tough to work for, even if they're very honest. Calculating the risk of doing business with them is certainly part of the estimators craft. I think however, that there's a Machiavellian/ Sociopath personality that tries to feign confusion in the hopes that contractors will make a mistake that benefits them. The half-done plans with a big hurry to build combination is virtually never due to an honest or sincere client. I've encountered many situations where the projects final decision-maker isn't actually the client. Honest-but-stupid clients may rush their half-completed plans out to bid complete with claims that the job starts right away. The Loan officer at the bank may be doing nothing more than using the bid price as an excuse to decline the loan, or to prolong the approval process. There never was a "reasonable" estimated cost for the project, no matter what the meaningless "pre-approved" amount is.
  7. Several months ago I was participating in a forum discussion on what could be done to improve contracting. Most of the typical suggestions pertained to stuff like software, technology, and salesmanship. I pointed out that a huge amount of effort is poured into trying to convert prospects into contracts without much concern as to whether the client is someone you should work for. I wrote that in some cases the risk created by a bad client can be so significant that there's no way for the contractors to protect their interests without massively overbidding the work. One gent took me to task about that as he felt that there's no such thing as a "bad" client. In his view, the client provides the opportunity that all contractors need to maintain their business. Without clients, there's no work, which means there's no contractors. He also went on about how whatever I might list as "bad" client attributes, might be seen as perfectly reasonable to another contractor. Now I've thought about this quite a bit because I firmly believe that there are some universal characteristics of a "bad" client. The problem I encountered when I set about listing them, was that most of the definitive elements were things you might only see after it was too late to avoid them. For example, I think everyone would agree that a customer who doesn't pay their bills is a "bad" client. Clients who dither over a critical decision until they've robbed the contractor of time to complete the work are another obvious example. A couple of days ago I attended a pre-bid walk for a project where the clients behavior was a pitch-perfect example of everything that constitutes a "bad" client. I have a unique insight into this situation because I was involved in the preliminary design work. More on that in a moment. We have been given two weeks to bid this job which is 30% less time than average for a project of this size. The project is a church expansion/ remodel. The plans are at 50% which means that most of the core/crucial elements are included in the plans, but specific details about those elements are not. For example, they will have a lighting plan that shows fixtures in the church, but they won't have specific make, model, and finish specifications for the fixtures. Graphically speaking it's like you can see a car, but you don't know if it's a Kia or a Rolls Royce, however the expectation is that you'll include whatever is necessary for the dollar amount on your bid. During the walk, the client spoke at great length about everything except the actual construction project. When he asked if there were any questions, I inquired as to whether they'd need their stage temporarily relocated during construction. This would allow them to continue services further into the construction project. He spoke for five minutes going on about the importance of their services and obliquely referred to the income these services provided. Eventually he wound down and concluded by asking me if that had answered my question. A room of 30 contractors laughed because he never actually answered my yes or no question. I politely repeated my question which brought on another five minutes of speaking without answering the question. From there, the client led everyone outside. A few of the other contractors asked pointed and significant questions. In every single case, the replies avoided anything that would communicate intent, accountability, or direction. Listening to this man speak, it was impressive how committed he was to preserving uncertainty, risk, and confusion. Whenever basic information was missing in his design, he would refuse to ask his design team to answer the question. He acted as though the design team was unreachable for our petty nonsense. Towards the end, the client brought everyone into a conference room and made his final comments. It was noteworthy that he specifically said that contract award was not strictly dependent on price, completeness, or competency. He said that he expected to receive all the contractors bids whereupon he would request that everyone submit their best ideas for how to improve the project or lower the cost. Once he'd gone through all of that, he would direct his design team to incorporate the changes and he'd contract with whoever the church selected to actually build the thing. He said he expected the project to start in three weeks and to conclude in time for Christmas. Now for the background. Roughly this time last year, I received a call from an Architect asking me if I'd be interested in helping them to do a design-build project for the church. I did the preliminary pricing and layout work on the electrical to help get the team hired to fully design the project. We hired an Electrical Engineer to flesh out my layouts for the work. When I initially reached out to the engineer, he told me that he'd done similar work on the same church for a competitor a year before. Apparently neither the contractor nor the engineer were ever paid. We took great pains to make sure we were under contract before we did any design work. The project seemed to be on track, and we received payment after we hit the 50% stage of the drawings. At this point, the church decided to halt everything. The decision-maker was on sabbatical and the church felt the budget needed to come down substantially. The Architect paid us for the work completed to date and nobody said or did anything for nine months. This kind of thing happens all the time so we shelved it and moved on to other things. I didn't know anything was happening with this job until I received an invitation to bid on it from a General Contractor. The plans that have been put out to bid aren't actually the most current version. Details and specifications that were included in the versions I submitted have been removed. If an item is difficult to price or understand without more information, the specification was removed. This is a direct and malicious attempt to trap contractors by making them guess at what things are worth. We built a church with this same client and Architect several years ago. From the date of my first bid, to the day the job actually started was more than six months. I repriced that job eighteen separate times because they'd constantly change the plans via addenda. The Addenda wouldn't include a narrative describing the changes. The Architect abandoned the industry practice of putting "bubbles" around whatever changed on a drawing. Instead, they'd replace the entire 250 page drawing set so every contractor had to painstakingly go through each page looking for changes that mostly weren't there. One of the most pernicious of these changes related to chandeliers. Over the course of no less than five separate addenda the Architect would reveal more and more details about a few chandeliers. It wasn't until the fifth addenda that we finally got enough information to find the company who sold them, to get a quote for them. These chandeliers looked like broken pallet wood with fifty scrap lamp holders dangling from cords that were stapled in place by a pale, dystopian, toddler. I wish I was kidding when I say they were $10,000 per each. Every time I submitted a price for Addenda 1-4, the client was angry that I'd excluded the unspecified chandelier. After Addendum 5, they pouted about the price for two weeks before admitting that it was exactly what they'd asked for. So what are the identifiable and universal characteristics that define a "bad" client? For starters, I think talking a lot without answering the question is as good a place as any to start. Anyone who specifically refuses to facilitate or enforce a fair and competitive bid is doing it to leave room for chicanery. Likewise, sincere clients will pay to develop their plans so they can actually build off of them. This guy is trying to "refine by bid" his way into the cheapest and best design. He's exploiting the contractor market by providing false hope of a contract award. This was done with malice and aforethought. Finally, there's the pressure he's creating. He's intentionally shortened the deadline to leave less time to figure things out. He's also leaving the contract award dangling so he can continue to demand competitive pricing revisions from everyone for as long as it suits him. He's willfully blocking communication with the design team in hopes that someone will make a mistake he can capitalize on. At no point did he speak to his congregations ability to fund the project (they can't), or the fact that they've been kicking this around for years. He's pretending that his design team can complete the plans in one month, knowing full well that it took them five months to get to 50%. When we were brought in on the original design effort, the church said they wanted a contractor on board who would look out for their interests. I provided a design and an estimate that was within their original budget. They in turn, halved the budget and spent triple that amount on specialty Audio/Visual equipment. I don't think this is incompetence, or rampant enthusiasm, or even the kind of morass frequently encountered when things are designed by committee. I suspect this client is a sociopath. He knows perfectly well that what he's doing is wrong, he just doesn't care. He wants to be in the limelight while the whole thing falls apart. If things actually do proceed to construction, he'll obstruct, delay, and blame his way through the job to stay in the limelight. Now I realize this might seem like an extreme one-off example, but I can think of dozens of clients in my market who do this sort of thing. One of them works for a major grocery store chain that is notorious for putting contractors out of business on their jobs. Many of them are Architects who specialize in "50% burnout" drawings. They are paid hourly so they avoid any kind of constructive efforts to align the design with the budget until the client finally throws in the towel. Actually building stuff isn't part of their business strategy. All the online discussions about the declining quality of construction drawings are making a huge assumption. They think the poor quality is incidental, and assume that everyone earnestly wants the project to be successful. I'm afraid the truth is less altruistic. I think there's a whole lot of terrible work that is intentional. Terrible clients see poor plan quality as a feature, not a bug.
  8. Bobasaurus, Weyger's three-book set includes a section on making an upsetting tool for the anvil that can be used to forge a bolster. As memory serves, he also recommended using something like a monkey tool to push a slightly undersized round fender washer onto the square tool shank to achieve a press-fit bolster.
  9. Bigfoot On a semi-related note, I've seen people take steel forks and grind the tines to make stitching chisels. If you grind them to a square point, then rotate each tip 45 degrees, they punch diamonds like your awl, but all will be at the same spacing. If you repeat the above exercise with several forks, you can cut off a tine or two from the others so you have one, two, three, four, and five stitch chisels so it's easier to maintain spacing going around curves. Using one tine as a "follow" in a previously punched hole allows you to keep the next set of stitches perfectly spaced. The steel forks are rarely high-carbon but I suppose it's possible to case harden them so they stay sharp longer.
  10. I'm with Spanky, there are shops that will laser engrave whatever you want for next to nothing. The cross is beautiful by the way.
  11. redbate, Keep in mind that if you're burning coal, the ash in your firepot can combine with water (rainwater, dew, condensation) to form sulfuric acid which will rust steel with extreme prejudice. I had a steel firepot outside but under a cover for one winter. By spring, it was bright orange with rust on all surfaces that had ash on them.
  12. Before all the security madness it was perfectly legal to put a knife in your coat, and run it through the X-ray. Now if the same knife was in your pocket when you went through the metal detector, they'd confiscate it. One time in Portland OR I walked through the metal detector wearing a belt that normally set them off but nothing happened. The fella behind me looked like he'd sneezed into a tackle box. Easily a pound of metal in visible piercings. When the detector failed to go off, they asked him to wait a moment whilst they re-calibrated.
  13. Thank you all for your replies. Stormcrow, I googled both suggested terms and "Harpoon point" seems to be the better fit for what I was asking about. "Raised clip point" also includes some bowie-ish designs that have a spine that slants up and away from the back of the handle towards the clip point. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. I was going to call it a "raised drop point" but it sounded too silly. I can appreciate the discussion about the marketing/utility balance. I don't know boo about tactical stuff, I just appreciate the aesthetics. Frosty's observation had me thinking about an old movie with Tommy Lee Jones and Benicio Del Toro called "The hunted". The villain had a "scout" pattern knife featured that had the "harpoon" notch on the top of the spine, with a heavily recurved section after the tip. I know a guy who has one and the general idea seemed to be to use the convex ground heavy tip for chopping, while reserving the hollow ground recurved area for finer cutting. It's not my thing but I can appreciate the thinking that went into it.
  14. I was looking at a Spartan Knives "Horkos" which has a tip profile that I've seen before but I don't know what knifemakers call it. It's almost like a long notch between the choil and the tip. Thanks in advance.
  15. JLP is right. The sections in line with the load have half the load trying to pull them apart (tension). In contrast, the rounded sections at the end of the link have a shear load compressing the inside of the bend and a tension load spreading the outside of the bend. In cross section, the material in the center part of the bend has no load at all. I seem to recall watching a "How it's made" on mass-produced chain. They electrically welded the links on the side before heat treating the chain. It seemed as though they were looking for stress relief as opposed to a hardening/tempering operation. With the welds on the sides, it seems like they're counting on the tensile strength of the welds to define the break limit.