9 Jan 2011

Learned a lot about making parts on a CNC mill, where design and setup are necessary regardless whether making one part or 10000, and using it for just one or two of anything doesn’t make economic sense if paying someone, unless it has to be very precise. In my case it may have been faster to use a manual mill, but then I wouldn’t have learned anything, the sexy curves would look like crap, and it’s much easier to goof up and ruin a part. That became apparent part way through making one of them, that as each operation is performed, the component gets more and more expensive in terms of invested labor.

After about 12-hrs of work saw caliper-adaptor brackets transformed from billet to 80% done, though a couple more holes and a machined step is still needed, plus helicoils. Since the brackets are aluminum it’s best to helicoil the holes (though OEMs hardly ever bother for cost reasons.) Hopefully they’ll get finished next weekend and then the front brakes can be plumbed. After that, more brackets and clamps for wires, cables, and hoses, then there’s nothing to prevent driving down the street and back 🙂

In other news, a question that’s been eating at me is whether the SB100 California smog exemption number (that I stood in the cold for hours to get) ever expires – no one seemed to know. To clear it up for sure required another visit to the DMV, and the official answer is yes, the issued number is good forever regardless how long it takes to finish the car – as long as the registration fees are paid in full each year. That’s a big item off The List of Concerns.