I wrote most of this post in October, but neglected to finalized and publish it then. It talks about two Saturdays where I was out until around 4 in the morning. One day it was working on the engravings below, the next I was at a football game with some awesome alumni before going to my friend Ryan's party.
As mentioned before, I am helping restart a retreat program at church. To raise money for it, some people had the idea we should make crafts and sell them. The women who were leading this effort spent their time making rosaries, bracelets, and blankets. However, Peter (my friend from church) and I thought all of their crafts were too flowery. Peter thought we should turn their craft fair into an industrial craft fair. We would have wood and metal works available for sale, not just beads and cloth.
Unfortunately, the metal works did not work out. Both of us were learning how to use the CNC machine with disastrous results. Below are some examples of what we did using a carbon dioxide laser engraver.
For this project, I learned how to use a CO2 laser engraver. A computer views the laser engraver as a printer. Just send it a file to print, select the laser speed, power, and pules per inch and it will start engraving. The biggest problem was getting everything from different file formats into one program that would successfully engrave the material.
The laser could print in two different ways. It could rasterize and act like a traditional printer: it would print everything in dots when it went left to right, printing one small line at at time. Alternatively, it could engrave in vector form: it would use a continuous beam and move to trace out the letters. The vector printing was great for boarders, straight lines, and script fonts. It was exciting to watch.
In one of my classes in college, I did an experiment that measured the spectrum of a CO2 laser. Sean and I had to set up the equipment, align the mirrors and lenses, start a water cooling system, monitor the gas pressure, and try to avoid blowing a fuse in the power supply. That laser only went up a little past 1 watt. This laser engraver goes up to 25 watts.
Football in Pasadena
The game (Cal at UCLA) was horrible, but the people I watched it with were good. I saw such exciting alumni as Sidney, Melissa, Eric, and Cameron. There was even a guest appearance by Monica. Afterwards Sidney and I went to the apartment of the newly married Cameron and Eric. They made pizza and served fine cocktails. One of them was a Medicine Man. The recipe Eric used is from Serious Eats, which I have summarized below. It is an interesting drink I need to recreate myself.
2 oz white rum
3/4 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz maple syrup
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
4 sage leaves, divided
Shake the above ingredients (minus 1 of the sage leaves) over ice. Strain into a glass and garnish with the last sage leaf.
After that, there was still enough time to stop by Ryan's Halloween party. Ryan and his girlfriend both had good costumes. They were Woody and Buzz Lightyear.