Two Big Beasts

A couple of weeks ago I had a message from my son – could he have the use of a space 3m x 3m in my workshop? He had put a shipping container on the garden of a house he owns and rents out in the same road as his home with the intention of using it as a workshop. But the a neighbour complained to the Council who told him it was ‘not in keeping’ and must be removed. That left him with all his tools stored in a small shed in his own smaller garden (which already houses his office) but nowhere to use them. Of course I said ‘Yes’ and by rearranging my stuff created the space he needed.

So a flurry of parcels and packages arrived and he sent me a list of materials he wanted me to order from the local Builders’ Merchant. Then they were followed, last Monday, by the man himself plus his cat. Not your average moggy, not even a pedigree cat. This is an F3 Savannah Cat, at least twice the size of my more humble ones. But a lovely softie who acts more like a dog in many ways and obviously thought that my garden was Heaven! He did give my dogs and cats a bit of a shock though – not quite sure what sort of big beast had entered their domain!

Odin explores this new territory

My son is a software developer but, like his father, my father and my paternal grandfather, loves making things in wood. It transpired that the workshop space was needed to build a computer controlled wood cutting machine thus combining his two passions. He has a small one at home which can cut things about the size of an A4 sheet of paper but having seen its potential he wanted one which could do handle anything up to a full sheet of plywood – 2.4m x 1.2m! Hence the large area of floor space required.

With intermittent help from me to ‘hold the other end of’ and a couple of trips out to get things he hadn’t realised he would need, he built the worktop the sheet of wood will sit on. It is 2 layers of heavy ply with framing and 2 sheets of insulation between them to stop it flexing.

The cutting head has to move in 3 dimensions – up and down the bed, from side to side and deeper or shallower, so he also needed a gantry which travels along the sides of the bed (the x axis)) with another piece which moves side to side (y axis) and can also raise or lower the cutter (z axis). The gantry and other wooden parts run on small wheels on tracks and are pulled into position by motors which have thin rubber tracks around a cog wheel – think caterpillar tracks. The motors are controlled by the computer.

This bit travels from side to side on the gantry and the top part raises or lowers the head

By Friday evening the thing was built and he had wired up 2 of the 4 motors but ran out of time (he had to drive home early on Saturday morning) to connect the other 2 let alone test it all and make something. He will come back as soon as he is able to finish it and then we can start playing with it! As you can see it is pretty massive – definitely a big beast!

Now all I have to do is tidy up the rest of the workshop!

My reward is that I will be seeing my son more frequently and can ask him to programme the machine to cut wood out for me and drill the holes where they should go – a sort of ‘made to measure’ IKEA in my garden πŸ˜‰

17 thoughts on “Two Big Beasts

    • Going Batty in Wales July 27, 2021 / 10:15 am

      I MAY be able to learn how to use the machine but only if the software is user friendly and idiot proof! I fell in love with Odin – a big softie with perfect manners!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. anne54 July 25, 2021 / 12:14 pm

    That is so clever! Do show us updates of the machine in action. I had to search for the Savannah cats, and they sound rather interesting. Apparently they are banned in Australia, as their larger size would turbo charge our feral cat problem if they became feral too. Good move really.


    • Going Batty in Wales July 27, 2021 / 10:12 am

      At home Odin only goes outside the house on his lead. Here he was allowed a little more freedom but stayed close to my son. I hadn’t thought of the implications of him breeding with the farm cats but it is a good point. I will post an update on the machine when it is working.


  2. writinghouse July 25, 2021 / 12:42 pm

    Excellent stuff! I look forward to learning about the computer-controlled bit! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Going Batty in Wales July 27, 2021 / 10:15 am

      H will be delighted to show it off to you!


  3. July 25, 2021 / 2:01 pm

    Ha ha lucky you have the space.Does he live far? Similar is happening here as my younger son and daughter in law have moved in with me to be in a better position to buy their own home. They work away during the week and there is enough space for them to have their own space. They both work as builders and as pyrotechnics experts so the first weekend they were working in the driveway with their fireworks. Of course I now have plenty of help with fixing things and anything to do with computers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Going Batty in Wales July 27, 2021 / 10:21 am

      Sadly my son lives in East Anglia so couldn’t be much further away. Since lockdown demonstrated that everyone working from home didn’t affect the bottom line for the company the need to be able to commute into London has gone. He hopes to move somewhere near me but it will take a while to organise. Meanwhile as I have plenty of space he can come here to make use of it.

      The timing of your son and daughter-in-law being with you was fortuitous – just when you needed people to help they were there! Building and pyrotechnics sounds an interesting combination! They must be a big asset to have in the family!

      Liked by 1 person

      • July 27, 2021 / 11:15 am

        Yes moving house is nearly always a slow process and like your son, mine doesn’t want an ordinary house, it has to have a workshop and space for their vehicles.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Going Batty in Wales July 28, 2021 / 10:09 am

        Fussy wotsits aren’t they! πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

  4. June Lorraine Roberts July 27, 2021 / 8:55 pm

    I’d never heard of this type of cat before – Odin is beautiful. How nice to have your son a bit closer to hand πŸ™‚ I was intrigued by the decorative work on the cabinet in your 3rd photo. Are those moose…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Going Batty in Wales July 28, 2021 / 10:14 am

      I am not sure what they are. It is a wood burning stove – a Scandinavian make called jotul (which should have a slash through the o but my keyboard is an English one) which is very efficient. We originally had it in the house but later replaced it with a smaller one with a glass door so we could see the flames. Eventually I had it installed in the workshop so I can work in there in winter.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. onesmallstitch July 28, 2021 / 6:28 pm

    WOW! I am so impressed, what a clever son, so nice that you get to see more of him and Odin. Odin is beautiful. The animals on the right side of the stove are definitely moose ( says a Canadian brought up in the north) if you look closely there is even a baby in the lower right corner.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Going Batty in Wales July 29, 2021 / 8:59 am

      I should have realised that you would know a moose when you saw one! Thank you for the enlightenment. I am very proud of my son – as you might have guessed! He is disconcertingly like his father both in looks and in thought processes although also an entrepreneur which his father was not. I love spending time with both my children and luckily they seem to like visiting me too.


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