Sometimes I’m amazed.

So one of our guys sells a couple lathes. The customer wants part catchers.

For the uninitiated, a part catcher is a mechanism inside a machine that “Catches” a part after manufacture automatically, so the part can be conveyed out of the machine without opening the door. Nost of them work like this

The part catchers will not be available until February. So the salesman promised we’d “Make something” in the interim. More to the point, that I would make something.

So I made something. I had a budget of “Anything you can find upstairs in the leftover parts bin”. So here’s the final product.


It has a piece of PVC attached to the tailstock that comes into play at the last possible minute, and redirectes the falling part out of the lathe and into a bucket filled with coolant so the parts don’t bang into one another. This will last until the actual equipment arrives.

I calls it “Jeffroengineering”

40 years ago

Robert Shapiro did a series of shows at the Channel One theater in New York. No, I didn’t see them, and I imagine few people who saw them were straight enough to remember them now, but a lot of pieces of those shows ended up in a movie called the Groove Tube, which was shown as a late night double feature with the Kentucky Fried Movie. The Groove Tube features Richard Belzer and Chevy Chase as foetuses. The scene where Belzer is a dope dealer who eats a huge bag of weed because he thinks he’s being busted came four years before Cheech and Chong did Up in Smoke.

Anyway, the very best part of the movie, for me, and the one that sticks with me years later, and which still makes me laugh, is Safety Sam. I remember sitting in the theater while people all around me said “What the hell is that thing?”.

I knew. You probably will too. Nobody wants to take credit for being the- erm, actor, and you will be able to see why
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