View Full Version : There is nothing new under the sun.

09-06-2014, 11:39 AM
Dear bilge dwellers, does it happen to you that when you think you have a brilliant idea, that would make Einstein look as a simpleton.

And then finding out that in 1916 this "idea" of yours was already used in great numbers :confused:

Well it happened to me today.
Hold on to your hats, because here she comes.

I was looking at a way to buid a metal lathe on the cheap, and yet wind up with a real precision machine.
A concrete poured monobloc body was my brilliant brainchild.
Just when I was ready to become world famous with the idea, I google stumbled on this http://makezine.com/projects/the-multimachine-150-12-swing-metal-lathemilldrill

From now on I perfactly understand the English expression of being "flabbergasted".

If you have a similar expierience please post, and make me feel a bit less AAAAAARRRGGH. :p

09-06-2014, 11:54 AM
I know what you mean, I had this extraordinary idea for an ultra quiet (electronic noise) DC switching regulator for an acoustic system. Turns out "Power Trends" makes them in every flavor possible.

At 1/10th the cost I could have built them for. So I used theirs as a base and improved the noise rejection.

If you cant be the original, "improve" the original!

09-06-2014, 12:41 PM
I took a 10" Sheldon engine lathe and cast it right to the bottom of the bed in concrete. Almost a cubic yard. Not a shoddy casting, and elaborate form with thick sections of I beam It helped, but in reality if you want accuracy in an engine lathe the spindle diameter is pretty important, and the bed should be a massive casting. The Hardinge brothers figured this out long ago, and the price of even a used Hardinge engine lathe reflects this.
Check out the ways, solid all the way through. Once you run a machine like this, everything else is a disappointment.

http://twentywheels.com/imgs/a/a/y/n/q/hlv_hardinge_type_cyclematic_digital_precision_eng ine_lathe_with_dro_5_lgw.jpg

09-06-2014, 01:14 PM
A few!
Had this bright idea 20 years ago about driving an oil well drill by using the lubricant to turn a turbine at the bottom, rather than turning the whole shaft.

Turns out a chap called Frank Whittle had the same idea donkeys years ago.

This week I was doodling a cat with asymmetric hulls, with a perfectly flat side inboard, and then noticed an identical design in the Selway Fisher catalogue.

Haven't seen any versions of my tap water powered shaver yet though.

09-06-2014, 07:02 PM
45 years ago I recall my Dad playing in his workshop with molds, cement and those styrofoam balls out of a bean bag ..making lightweight bricks.

Now look .....We's couldda been RICH I tells ya :D

Keith Wilson
09-06-2014, 09:22 PM
I want one!!

No shame at all in independently coming up with a very good idea that somebody already came up with. It was brilliant when Lucien Yeomans first thought it up, and no less clever now You won't get rich on it, but so what?

09-06-2014, 10:42 PM
The fact is Great minds think alike.......and so do ours!

09-06-2014, 11:04 PM
I designed and cast this double acting windlass and discovered that Simpson Lawrence did the same in 1920 or so .There seem to be a limited number of simple mechanical mechanisms to convert forward and back motion into constant rotation.


09-07-2014, 12:24 AM
As an old ship modeler I had this idea for a mail order catalog solely for small tools. Then I discovered Micro Mark's catalog. O well.

09-07-2014, 09:27 AM
Norman can appreciate this. I was doodling around one night on a schematic and came up with what I thought was a very clever current mirror. Showed it to the guys next day at work and the response was "Man, that's the Wilson current mirror." Old hat to analog designers.

Kevin G
09-07-2014, 07:38 PM
Nihil novi sub soli