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About xken

  • Birthday 02/09/1947

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  • Location
    Morro Bay, CA
  • Interests
    Scratch building of all venues and working with brass.

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  1. Kurt, You are correct and we would get Cease and Desist orders as well, and then the court's decision on financial award. However, by the time it got through the judicial system the product cycle was over and the awards barely would cover legal fees and aggravation. The financial awards were in the hundreds of thousands while the money made was in the millions. Keep in mind a patent is not meant to protect the product; but the income stream derived from the product. The strategy we adopted to out develop them in new products so that collectively the competitors could not keep up. In the last years I was with them we were introducing over 400+ a year. This was the strength we had with both financial resources and talented people. We also had the discipline to discontinue the bottom 10% of products every year regardless of their profitability. Good ones were often sold to licencees around the world outside our market. The real poor performers tooling was destroyed, we are talking injection molded tooling. A major retailer based in Arkansas was a real bad character, they would use small companies as product development arms and when a good one was identified they would then source the item offshore and when ready to ship they would tell the US company that this would be the new price they would pay for the product and usually put the small company out of business. One reason I would never darken their doors.
  2. Not new news and not just the Russians and Chinese. I worked 16 years in Product Development at Rubbermaid and whenever we had a successful product at least two to three American competitors would always copy our products I participated in many legal depositions that went no where due to the fact that the USA has the weakest patent laws with little to no enforcement. They would go through the legal process take about three to four years to go through the court system, by then they have made their money and the product life cycle is over anyway. On one major project knowing the slimy beasts would copy I brought in two shipping containers of a similar product from one of our licencees made a deal with two major national retailers for a test market before a major introduction at the Hardware Show in Chicago. True to form the competitors bought samples of the test product chopped them up and said it was their design at the show two months later. Well what I really did was give them enough time to commit hundreds of thousands of dollars in capital for tooling on the wrong design and we introduced our design at the show. Needless to say we had fun with that one. One has to know the competitors better than they know themselves. American companies back then (80's and 90's) were stupid in going to China for tooling because their common practice was to make one set of tooling for the client and one set for them to sell in China and Russia, often selling the copied product as the tooling was on the slow boat from China. Their practices have not changed and with the advent of computer technology only gotten faster in copying. Chuck, start using your logo identity prominently on your products whenever possible to separate yours from the copies especially when photographed. If they copy your logo you at least then have some legal recourse.
  3. Welcome aboard my good friend Marvin! Glad you acquired Scale Hardware from Bob and continue his product offering. Members check out Marvin's offering of rivets in "Bulk" quantities.
  4. I agree with all the Sherline remarks, I have the lathe and the mill set up using my lathe motor and would recommend them to anyone. One word of caution on all the Chinese built machines whether lathe or mill is that the bearings wear fast. My lathe went in three years with medium usage on brass and aluminum only. They come with ball bearings from the factory and can be replaced with a taper bearing set from The little Machine Shop. They also do not have the accuracy of the Sherline on small close tolerance work. Think of the size that you will need to be working on since both have scale limits.
  5. If you wish to cast anything visit and explore this site. I have used their product 320 resin for pressure casting 1/16 engine parts. As with anything you need the correct materials and tools and most of all a good master. RTV silicone can pick up a fingerprint in a mold. Also printed master parts will have the stepped texture that will require finishing versus metal masters that will have a smooth finish. https://www.smooth-on.com/tutorials/ The parts below were pressure pot cast with the 320 resin hand poured into silicone molds. The US penny will give you a sense of scale.
  6. Brain, eyes and hands all working together!
  7. You can wipe both the wood and the rubber clamping faces with acetone. The wood can be lightly sanded as well.
  8. Others have identified the possible issue being the rubber jaw inserts. A couple of points to consider next time remove the rubber inserts since you are clamping and a portion of your clamping force is lost in the rubber; and use scrap wood of the same kind being clamped between the jaws and wood being clamped. Jaws or a harder wood could leave impressions in the wood as well. I suspect what you are seeing is mold release(silicone based) that is used in the production process. Try cleaning with acetone and then light sanding after the acetone has dried completely. This is just one of the many "Joys" of model making.
  9. Try using wood stain conditioner; on certain woods it does a good job of evenly raising the grain.
  10. Glad to see another Marine reporting aboard. I am in the middle of a Constitution build so stop by and visit. I was in Marine helicopters Vietnam tour with HMM-164 and HMM-362 July `67 - Aug `68. Semper Fi to those who fly! This is a great site to enjoy and learn as well. Semper Fi! Ken
  11. John, you have hit upon one of the key factors of chemical staining. Another approach depending upon the size of the parts is to scrub the part using pumice and a toothbrush (I save old ones for this) in a bowl of hot water with a few drops of dishwasher soap until clean. You need to do the scrubbing within a bowl to "catch" the excess pumice which if not caught will plug you sink drain trap. Once the parts are cleaned rinse with warm water and set on a clean cloth to dry. When ready to stain heat the parts under a light bulb and once warmed up then dip the part(s) into the blackening chemical. Heat is a second factor often overlooked in the process that I have had great results with. The product I use is Novacan Black Patina that I purchase at a Stained Glass Supply outlet. Once stained if not pleased try rubbing the part with a clean soft rag and re-stain in the chemical. Sometimes the buffing alone can result in a pleasing finish as well. As you have learned, there are many factors that can influence the results including the alloy used to cast the parts themselves. Next time try heating (warming) the parts and let me know how the heating worked for you.
  12. Michael, Fantastic job on the drill press. Keep up the great work you are doing! Ken
  13. I am in the process of doing that with my Constitution build now and just finished the lower sections on all three masts.Note in the picture that I inserted a 1/8" x 1/4" wood strip between the dead eye lines to align the deadeyes facing forward and then tied each in place to the sheer pole. More pictures on my build.
  14. Chuck, go to the smooth-on site, click Products; then Modelmaking; then Restoring an antique picture frame. There you can see the process of cold casting a part with 320 resin and gold powder mixed in to make a repair. This is one way to cast parts with metallic finish already in the part. They have various powders including bronze which could make duplicate cannon barrels or other bronze parts. Enjoy! Ken
  15. Here is a great site that has great tutorials as well as any product you may need to cast anything. I have used their white casting resins in silicone molds that will duplicate a fingerprint in the mold. Really explore their site. https://www.smooth-on.com/