Well, this is the first post of 2016 so you may well think that I have been rather idle. You would probably be right but I have been doing a lot of reading about the benefits and mechanics of CNC. I was using the mill and winding the handle for what seemed like hours and thought it would be easier if this was motorised. So I read up on power feeds and that let on to full automation. Whilst there would be a serious learning curve, CNC would without doubt be useful and in the long run quicker.

Router Using Aluminium Profile Frame

There are several routes to take: Buy a new CNC mill, Tormach or similar; Convert my existing mill; Get a new mill and convert that or go down the self build router avenue. I quickly decided that a new CNC mill was way out of budget and was initially keen on the router idea and spent some time designing something that coud be built within the limits of my current equipment. Most of the time was taken with remembering how Geomagic Design worked as I don’t use it that often. Converting the current mill I ruled out as it is I think too small and besides I would probably need a mill to modify the mill. Thoughts at present are focussed on buying a new larger mill and converting that. This of course is a decision that might take years!

I have also been tweaking the website a bit. Mainly removing redundant CSS from the stylesheet and altering the menu somewhat. Hopefully I havn’t broken anything. I have also added more links and fixed or removed a few broken ones.

New Look for Journeyman’s Workshop

The New Look Front Page
The New Look Front Page

If you have visited before, you will have noticed that the website has undergone a bit of a radical redesign. The old and addresses have been relegated and the new address is working for the whole site. No information has been lost during the changeover, well at least I don’t think I’ve lost anything and all the original pages and articles still exist. I have no doubt that there are some errors here and there with the CSS but I will track them down eventually. It is a bit tricky as the CSS is shared by both the static bit of the site and the WordPress bit.

The theme for WordPress is all my own work, alright I admit to using the Underscores starter theme but the rest is all mine! It has taken quite a few weeks to get everything working fairly smoothly, even though I am not using any of the complicated bits of WordPress. Knitting a static site and a blog together is not easy when the little grey cells are not used to thinking code.

The new layout is responsive and should work on phone, tablet, laptop or big screen desktop. Unfortunately to get the old pages to work they needed a bit of tweaking which took quite some time but all is now complete. Some of the original images look a bit small but changing those will take much longer! I have also made a switch from standard HTML pages to PHP which made the integration with WordPress a little easier.

Enjoy the new.

Using Tablet Computers With The Workshop

I have recently discovered that the latest update of Chrome mobile (Android) seems to have broken the menu system in the Journeyman’s Workshop. Anoying or what! Everything was working fine and if you use Firefox Mobile or Dolphin it still does. I have tried various tweaks but no joy yet. I think this problem may be apparent on the iPad as well but I have no way of checking. At present the only sure fire way to navigate on a tablet is to use the Sitemap which has direct links to everything and is available at the bottom of every page.

HTML5 – Update

Not a major upgrade but I have tidied up the code and made the site HTML5 compatible. I am not sure if this adds anything or has any advantage but it keeps my coding brain working! A few CSS terms have become obsolete but nothing major the most difficult bit was getting the site map table to validate at W3S.

I have also altered the menus slightly so that they work better on Android tablets, iPads and probably phones. They now stay open if you tap them, the items are perhaps a bit close for large fingers but the extra space at the top prevents most of the auto triggering.

W3C Validation

CSS Menus

It was pointed out to me that some people are still using Internet Explorer 6 as a browser and that the menus on the website do not work. I must admit that I had deliberately ignored older browsers whilst writing the site but just in case I have added some additional navigation that doesn’t rely on CSS to work. Why IE6 is still in use remains a mystery, it is after all over 10 years old and never was standard compliant. Even Microsoft are trying desperately to persuade users to upgrade. I have been using Firefox for ages but when writing the site tried it in several other browsers. It all seemed to work OK which begs the question what else could you use for menus other than CSS. OK, you could use Javascript but that can be switched off in the browser but come to that so can styling be switched off. Short of doing everything in PHP there seems to be no surefire way of doing things. All that said I think I will just stick to the CSS and rely on the hope that most users don’t turn styling off and don’t turn Javascript off either. Hopefully the extra navigation will solve any problems for those tied to ancient technology.