Machinist by trade, maker by passion
Hello there, my name is Cale, most folks call me CJ. Welcome to my blog, a humble portfolio of personal projects I've been working on over the years. It might seem as if my interests are rather eclectic, and you'd be right! I come from a family of mechanics, machinists, and millwrights, getting exposed to a world of machines and tools from an early age playing with Lego and Tinker Toys. Now I work as a machinist and TIG welder primarily, but my lifelong passion for design and building has led me down many paths in the vast field of manufacturing.
In the early days of my learning to work with metal, I wanted to design my own parts and tools. That lead me to learning CAD. Then I wanted to make things that move, and that often needs motors, switches and sensors. So that lead me to diving into learning electronics design, embedded programming, and even the designing of my own printed circuit boards. Every project shows me something new I didn't know or helps me perfect a skill, even the ones that don't always make it to completion.
Making chips and sparks with lathes and welders is the kind of work I do best, but I'm willing to learn about any discipline if it means getting to bring my own ideas to life. While there can be a tedium in debugging code, fixing bad wiring, or re-making bad parts, standing over a completed projects that was entirely mine, from initial idea through the complete integration of parts metal, wood, electric or hydraulic, is an amazing satisfaction that I hope, in some small way, to share with others.
A project blog, for past and future
I've had several very intelligent and patient teachers in my life. Beyond those I know personally, I've learned a lot from generous folks on the internet who've shared their skills and knowledge through technical videos, books, blogs or forums. I've taken a good number of ideas from folks sharing their own projects as well, but it seems we see less of that on the internet than we used to. So I write this blog, as much a tribute to those who've taught me as to those I might be teaching something. It just seems selfish not to share the knowledge with others they so freely shared with me.
So this is As The Mill Turns. I hope you find it inspiring and informative (or at least entertaining).