Week Ending 13 May 2018 Update

This week was marked by finishing, fitting and finishing some more.  The 6 new cipher wheels are nearly wrapped up, the last coat of finish is drying.  Fitting them took a bit of work.  Getting one circular disc to run perfectly from a center pivot in a circular opening takes a bit of work.  Even tiny error mean it won't run totally true and need some sanding and adjusting.  I err towards the side of easier turning so that nothing can bind up over time.  

Finish strategy for the cipher wheels is to spray the carved wheels with shellac, let it dry then coat with a dark stain and wipe off.  I used General Finishes Nutmeg on these.  The shellac fills the carved areas and the shellac keeps it from penetrating the surfaces much.  Let them dry a good 4 hours.  The edging was pre-finished with Danish oil then cut to size, mitered and attached.  After everything was good and dry I top coated with 3 coats of Minwax wipe on poly.  Finally, I could wax the movements and assemble, using a bit of blue Loctite to keep the wheels in place but still turning.

While the finishing supplies were out I also top coated the puzzle box I am making as part of a commission.  It went on well and looks great.   Just two coats were needed for this.  This leaves me with just the top to make and that needs some laser burning on it.  I'm still working on how I want it's lock to work.  I'd like to do something with magnets, but I'm also thinking something spring loaded.

I also had a meeting of a new CNC club that should be fun going forward.  Knowledgeable group of people and fun too.  We spent some time discussing the types of problems we've run into and how to solve them.  Operating a CNC is the kind of thing that has a seemingly endless series of things that can go wrong.  My last problem was while making some cipher wheels - I had the router off with the pencil tip carving bit when I when I told it to start. The gantry moved that bit even though it wasn't spinning and there went $30.  Such is life.

Lastly was recording a new video for using the latest cipher wheels.  This one is about numeric shift ciphers.  Only took 3 tries to record a good one.  I still need to edit and upload it.  I certainly want to do more, using the symbols, numeric keyword shifts, symbol rotation, etc.  Lots of fun stuff to come.  I also want to add pages to the website to categorize and explain different encoding techniques.

Until next week!