Friday, July 30, 2010

2 Weeks Later: On Cryptex Construction (Resolution)

And after two or so weeks of work, the cryptex is done.

No, the passcode is not my name, nor any of the other things you saw in the previous post. I'm generally pleased with the way it turned out. I put a clear coat enamel on the end caps to protect them from scuffing and getting damaged. I engraved each tumbler with a more or less random 13 letters. I'm pretty happy with the font:

The engraving took a bit longer than I expected, but I think it was worth the effort. I would show you all how it works, but the mechanisms haven't changed since the last update. I"m very pleased with how the endcaps worked out, and they're perhaps my favorite feature. I'd like to try more woodworking projects in the future.

To debrief?
I would like to say I'm never going to build another one, but that would be a blatant lie. Perhaps I won't make one as involved or finished as this one, but I have ideas. I have a way to make the passcodes reset-able, so that the passcode can be changed to your liking, but that is a project for another time.

I would seriously take requests for custom made ones, but I'd have to charge you a ton of money for labor, and ask for your first born child, since the cogs of this machine run on blood, sweat and tears.

I've learned something about myself (as I've been known to do from time to time). I like projects that give me a tangible finished product. I like to be able to hold a paper, a test tube, a cryptex in my hand and say "look what I made".

Other things I learned:
-The correct tools are very important.
-The American Standard System sucks, particularly its use of "nominal" measurements. I advocate an immediate and full conversion to the metric system.
-Though metal has a stoic elegance to it, it is very difficult to work with. I prefer wood. It's a lot more cooperative, and has much more of a naturalist character to it. Plus you can stain it funky colors.
-Rock music is good working music as it blends rather nicely into the sound of power tools.
-Gregorian chanting also works too, as it makes every cut, hammer, and sand feel like you're reforging Elendil's sword, Narsil.
-Cryptex building, with all the pipes and tubes, lends itself well to sexual innuendos.
-Don't huff metal filings.
-Smooth figures are always easier to make than angular ones due to the inherent fudge factor.
-If you try to move a cat from his sunny spot on your workbench, the cat will always win.
-I like bandanas. And bananas, but I already knew that.

So with that first project down, I have a little less than a month for my next. Not sure what I'm doing, though I think it should be something that encourages me to get out of the house, and not ultimately consume what I made. Since I don't have access to my tools during the school year, I think I'll keep building stuff. Any suggestions? Any requests?

1 comment:

  1. Ooh, I really like the font of the engraved letters.

    How come I've never seen you wear a bandana at Yale?

    I think you should create your own board or card game with a full set of documented rules. Then let's play back at school.