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Matthew Gryczan
Worked at SciTech Communications
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Matthew Gryczan

Whatcha Makin'?  - 
 
For summertime Makers, here's a photo of me with my waterscope -- a gadget that makes it possible to clearly see a few feet under the water of a lake or pond as if you were viewing fish in an aquarium. The idea has been around for at least 100 years, but I've updated the concept with readily available and light plastic plumbing and handles that allow the user to manage it much more easily.  The handles allow you to push down the end of the tube further into the water, counteracting the buoyancy of the tube itself, and users can put rocks or sand into the front portion as a counterweight for ease of use. 
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Robert Pryor's profile photoAlexis La Joie's profile photoDan Warren's profile photojames wolf's profile photo
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Fantastic! Looking forward to some photos taken using that. 
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Matthew Gryczan

Whatcha Makin'?  - 
 
As a postscript to Kit Cameo's note on bubbles in plastic castings, so glad to hear the talc powder worked.  For those who want to use a vacuum pump and need a quick vacuum chamber, I have been using a $20 pressure cooker pot from Bed Bath and Beyond that I outfitted with a plastic barb and hose from a big box home improvement retailer. The chamber doubles as a pressure chamber for casting too, applying about 20 psi to the mold after it has been filled with resin. But it doesn't have the advantage of  pots with clear tops so you can see what's going on as well. 
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Matthew Gryczan's profile photoBrett Coulthard's profile photoKit Cameo's profile photoPatrick Burns's profile photo
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To Kit's original question, my setup can draw away 87% (26 Hgin to standard 29.92  Hgin) of an atmosphere in about a minute and probably 90% of an atmosphere in 2 minutes.  This is sufficient to cause the resin to bubble up to the point where it may be three times its original volume, then it sinks back when the vacuum is cut. This is a MEDIUM vacuum, which I think you need for your application. A 5HP shopvac only draws a LOW vacuum, meaning that it may only produce a vacuum of 10% of an atmosphere which isn't enough to produce the kind of effect I have described. I suspect that the aquarium pump/foodsaver rigs would be similar. The automotive hand pump may create a stronger vacuum, but I suspect that it would take well over 5 minutes to evacuate a 6-quart pressure cooker with a hand pump. Kit's mixture has a 5 minute pot life.
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Matthew Gryczan

In the Shop  - 
 
This is my workshop: my happy place for making things. It's the product of years of accumulating tools and an understanding wife. When we built our home, I had this room excavated from below the attached garage. It's served by a 6-hp, 60 gallon air compressor with quick disconnects on air lines throughout. In the foreground right is my benchtop plastic injection molding machine, along with a small mill, South Bend lathe, bandsaw, drill presses, vacuum pump, chemical lab, etc. It's a bit of a mess now, but I can still find everything.  I'll post some info on how I make plastic injection molds from aluminium infused casting resins, if anyone is interested.
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Jamie Cunningham's profile photoAndrew McDonald's profile photoSherree Moran's profile photoJames Finley's profile photo
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Wow! Could not be more impressed! You've done a lot of back breaking work and it shows! We would love to meet with you and show you what we have/need. Than you Matthew! ! Shereee
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Matthew Gryczan

In the Shop  - 
 
I have a shop tip for those who buy adhesives such as Shoe Goo or contact cement that come in toothpaste-type tubes with a screw on cap.  To prevent the frustration of the cap from becoming permanently glued to the tube, I first wipe the threaded neck after use, then apply a thin coat of petroleum jelly on the threads only. You will be able to twist the cap off with ease every time.  Attached is a photo of the process.
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Matthew Gryczan's profile photoLaura Cochrane's profile photoHoward Ralston's profile photoCarolyn Kesler's profile photo
7 comments
 
great idea. I'm going to try that with my fray block and fabric glues in my sewing lab.
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Have him in circles
33 people

Matthew Gryczan

Whatcha Makin'?  - 
 
For all you drone Makers out there, here's a link to story I just wrote for a Michigan business publication that talks about aerial imaging and highlights the problem with trying to make money from offering it as a service. http://bit.ly/1575ERu Enjoy, and keep tinkering! 
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Matthew Gryczan

Whatcha Makin'?  - 
 
Took out my hydraulic ram model for fun recently -- the inspiration for it was the old Kenner hydrodynamic building set that I played with as a kid. The model is made from stuff you can find around the house, and old CD case and wine/beer making supplies. 
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Bill Kuhl's profile photoJames Pike's profile photo
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Can't wait to build my own!  Thank you!
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Matthew Gryczan

Whatcha Makin'?  - 
 
I became enchanted with the idea of a catenary arch after I saw  the grandeur of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, the tallest man-made monument in the United States. So I made a model using wooden building blocks cut from an ordinary pine lumber that can support its own weight and an additional load. I can even sit on the model if I remain very steady, but I don't recommend it as it is rather uncomfortable! This photo shows the arch holding up a weight that is 8x the combined weight of all the blocks. The weight, or thrust of force, of the pieces of a catenary arch are directed almost entirely downward, so the arch can support itself without the need of surrounding walls or buttresses.

It all started with observations from scientists and engineers of centuries past who wondered why a chain or cable always makes the same curve when it hangs -- the word catenary itself means "chain" in Latin. The scientist Robert Hooke made the connection in the late 17th century between the curve of a hanging chain and a strong arch that essentially was the same curve inverted. "As hangs the flexible line, so but inverted will stand the rigid arch," he wrote.
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Tracy Wood's profile photoMatthew Gryczan's profile photoJonathan Overholt's profile photoCarolyn Kesler's profile photo
5 comments
 
My nephew would love that!!
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Sean's posting below prompted me to pull out a gadget I made a few years ago to actually SEE the results of alpha radiation -- a geigerscope!  Made from common plumbing supplies, a lens and special screen, you can see what turns out to be a miniature fireworks display of light flashes that are emitted when alpha particles strike the zinc sulfide screen. I used the Americium source from a residential smoke detector for the alpha emitter. Makers don't need to make something this elaborate to enjoy the effect: something made from cardboard tubes can do just as well. Invented by Sir William Crookes (yes, of the Crookes tube fame), this also goes by the name of a spinthariscope or scintilloscope. 
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Matthew Gryczan's profile photoSean Ragan's profile photo
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Scintillating in both senses, Sean. The screen lasts for years, and I take the Americium source out when I don't use it.  But I also regain my sense of wonder every time I use it. 
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Matthew Gryczan

Whatcha Makin'?  - 
 
Hello everyone, I'm a maker in Grand Rapids, and I found a use for those pesky political yard signs after an election. I salvaged and straightened the stiff steel wires and fashioned them into a 5-foot diameter holiday Poinsettia that graces the front of our attached garage. After bending the wires into the shapes that I wanted (the wire can be bent easily with pliers and around forms) I brazed the ends. They could have easily been welded, or even wired together with durable wire for those who don't braze or weld. I bolted together a couple of wooden discs to hold all the pieces together, and added holiday garland and Christmas lights to give it sparkling color day or night during what can be some gray days in our fair city. May you have many ah-ha days  in 2013!
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Matthew Gryczan's profile photoHoward Ralston's profile photo
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Thanks for the compliment, Howard! When it gets closer to Halloween, I'll post another large home decoration I've made -- a friendly witch riding her broom across a backlit moon.  It's become a landmark for our neighborhood during Halloween.
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Have him in circles
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