Sparky – or, How To Shave A Yak

So, the reason I have this blog is to keep a record of my non-painting projects, most of which are in a constant state of tinkerage. The big one is Sparky. Sparky is my finest piece of yak shaving to date.

Yak shaving, for those who don’t know, is the end result of a linked set of tasks which lead back causally to the original task that started it. See for the full definition and some very fine examples.

I don’t know what the original task was that made me start on this course, but here’s the part of it I remember….

... I need to learn how to use the Mill in makespace
but there isn't a course so I'll co-write a course. I have a broken centre drill in my practice piece
BUT Mat says spark erosion's pretty easy.  We'll build a Spark Erosion machine to get it out
Now I need to write an Arduino program, to read off the data from the electronic board.
What could possibly go wrong?

So far, I’ve spent about a year and forgotten my original task. It was probably something to do with art, but it’s turning into a machine that includes research on yak species as version names.