Monday, November 24, 2008

Heavenly Child One

I'm about to receive a gift. All you beadmakers out there can just...


It's mine. It's a dream come true. An arbor press that had been retooled by the child genius to line my beads with tubes of silver. Oh, this is better than _ _ X. And you tool junkies know it, BAWAHAHAHAHA (wicked wicked laughter).

Well I admit, I haven't always referred to him that way. Let's see....when he was in grade school we had to visit the several teachers, several times. He bored easily. If we had been rich they'd of called him precocious, we weren't. In high school I thought we'd be visiting him in jail, or me in nearest sanitarium. College was PARRR-TEEEEE! He had these skills and smarts but at the time was steadfastly refusing to apply them to anything but "getting by".

Then along came Mary, (like the song - but her name is actually Emma) and his under stimulated brain came into focus. First, (following a college switch) he became a police officer, after obtaining that degree. A far cry from my panicked assessment of his high school potential. He was good at it! And, he took flying lessons, earned a pilots license, and purchased an airplane. He flew often and took his father and sister up one day together. I bet you hear my heart pounding as I watched from the ground, smiled, and nearly puked at the thought of things beyond my control which could hurt the three of them in one foul swoop. I was forever grateful when it landed and knew his brother wouldn't end up an only child.

Life was good, he married Emma. Slowly he bloomed and I got a beautiful, precious, and precocious granddaughter (he has been to her grade school) and he returned to college. Look out world. He graduated with very high honors and a lofty goal - law school. Focused ? More like "in the zone!" Published in the Law Review, clerked for a Federal Judge, and worked at a very good Detroit Law firm specializing in employment law. Left that firm this year to begin his own. Slowly, but surely, it grows too. To occupy that mind over the past several years he turned to restoring motorcycles - he's good at that too! Restored a 1979 Harley and it looks great and runs great. Another sits and is waiting in the wings. He was always mechanical and loves the hunt for the parts to add to his restorations.

Now with a Mom like me, who could by all definition be also called precocious, I like having one son for lawyer and another for a social worker. One can bail me out (figuratively/ not literally, yet) and the other counsel me for my lack of remorse about my behavior. And to boot I have this great daughter, a beautiful geek who can fix my computer when she has a mind to (that precocious gene runs amok in this family). Everyone got it but the social worker - a genetic gift to give me relief from the occasional intensity of the other two. I know I'm a lucky ducky. I didn't always hit a home run as a parent but it wasn't for a lack of good intention, if not skill.

And now I have a bead your heart out Jim Moore. Precocious is a good thing!


Deb said...

Nice press! I have one of those modified arbour press numbers too ;o)
I mean can you even imagine the shipping on one of those to New Zealand?lol!

Mine doesn't look as pretty & black & shiny as your's - having somewhat of an industrial grey finish, but it does the job ....perfectly!

The benefits of being ones own designer is that you can make improvements on the original - even design dies that will self center the tube so you never get a wonky flare.....& then there are all the other applications we can design dies for. Oh yes lucky duckies indeed ;o)

Sharon Driscoll said...

OOOOOooooo Deb, I love to be the mother's of invention. My son picked up this old one in garage sale (it was originally a well worn green (I think he used the extra bike paint on it).

The shipping to New Zealand has to be a killer. What does it cost to just send something regular mail?

Does the job perfectly, huh? I can not wait to try this. Improvements on the origninal? Whoa, what design did you use to self center the tube for a non- wonky flare? I've lined the beads by hand mostly and find if you don't anneal the tube it holds it shape better.

Design more dies....oh yes indeedy. I can't wait. I'll take close-ups of what I am getting and send them off to you when it arrives. He also used a Delrin rod to make the other kind of piece for flattening it down.

I love being the "ducky" -glad you are too!

Deb said...

Hey Sharon - for some reason 'blogger' isn't playing nice for me & didn't let me know you had responded…. Then again it hasn’t been letting me leave comments lately.

I love the wheel handle on yours & think that it far preferable to the single lever on the new ones! It lends a wonderful air of timelessness to it, & the whole set up looks more like a nice piece of d├ęcor than a tool!

Shipping to NZ for one of those was more than the cost of the JM tool itself, ridiculous when you consider my AIM Kiln only cost US$165 to send a year or so back. An average package ( say beads & findings in the smaller size bubble mailers) can be as little as $1.90 - $2.90 – to around $5.00. For anything over that I tend to opt for the wonderful USPS Flat Rate items if people will use them.

My cousin played around with the dies for me & we did a few test runs with what copper tubing we could get here & found that leaving a nipple (ooooh did I say that? – lol) on the end was beneficial. It kind of locks in & even if the cut in the tubing is slightly off – it still allows it to flare evenly. I have some dies with & some without & the sweety tooled the bottom dies to match exactly.
I wasn’t paying a lot of attention at the time – I just wanted to get me one of those big whizzy doo metal lathes like he has –lol! It seemed to posses magical capabilities – & my mind had jumped way ahead of the dies while & was imagining all sorts of tool ideas etc when I was watching him!
I wasn’t sure what would be used to make the ‘flattening’ dies – we just used the same stainless rods as we had for the flaring dies, but I am mindful of their hardness when I use them.
I have only had one breakage at that stage of the ‘procedure’ – but I might have to look at where I can find some Delrin rod.
If your mind goes down the same paths as mine – I’ll bet you have already thought of a doming dies for end caps ;o)