Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Popping a Gasket!

As I sit here, waiting for the release of the eCraft digital die cutter I realized that I could either pop a gasket or make one. I decided it was much more useful to make one.

Maybe it's a guy thing or the fact that I am not nearly artistic enough to whip up one of those terrific scrapbooking projects that blow people away. But, you'll probably find that my projects are a bit outside the mainstream for a cutting machine user. After all, one of the reasons I picked up my daughter's machine is that, aside from helping her (My favorite excuse) I also want to make some light modifiers for my many microscopes. But, more on that later.

Right now, I want to get back to my alternative to popping a gasket.

This past year we had a lot of snow here in Maryland. And, I happen to own three snow blowers of various vintages. We haven't had any significant snow in years.  Of course, now that I needed them every single one of them had some issue with their carburetors. So, I ordered new carburetors for them.

Unfortunately, one of the carburetors arrived without a gasket. So, this evening, to take my mind off the eCraft delivery, I decided to cut my own gasket with the Gazelle. Not a very artistic endeavor. But, useful nonetheless.

So, I first placed the carburetor on a scanner and came up with this image.

I then worked with the image in PhotoImpact until I had created a JPG that looked like this.
Then I imported the above image into Funtime, vectorized it through a mysterious process, that I still do not think I have completely right.  And, then asked the Gazelle to cut the gasket shape out of cardboard.  Amazingly, it was precisely the correct size!

Hardly stunning.  But, digital cutters are tools and the more uses we find for them the more we can justify their cost and the time it takes to learn to use them.  Now, when it snows next year I WILL be ready.  (Which means, of course, that we won't see snow for at LEAST another 5 years or so.)

P.S.  Don't show your mechanically minded spouses this blog entry unless you want greasy fingerprints on that pink cutter of yours.  Once they see this they'll think of a LOT of uses for it out in the garage.

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