I update this page as my life goes on, the most present is at the bottom of the page.
Up to 2012 - Before I chose to create this web site. From about the age of six I always had an interest in how things worked, literally everything I could get my hands on was taken apart. I think by the age of twelve I had been through every single household appliance and tinkered with small engines. By the age of 13, me and my father had built an off-road buggy with a motorcycle engine, it was a lot of fun, sequential gearbox and a solid rear axle made it great to drift.
At the age of about fourteen I discovered capacitors, I did everything I could to get my hands on them. Most of the projects around that time were small coilguns and railguns. I managed to get hold of about 400, 63V, 4700uf capacitors and strung them all together to make a 120V 3kJ capacitor bank, something everyone my age is building, ok maybe not.
At fifteen I managed to get a small lathe, my first. it was probably close to 100 years old, but it was great at the time. I saw on tv people making bottle rockets and potato cannons, so I built them. My potato cannon, made from copper tube used a 2L coke bottle at 200psi to fire fruit, bolts, batteries, anything, TV is such a bad influence. I got really interested in electrolysis using it to make small rockets or exploding bottles. I contacted a stainless stockist (I lived in Sheffield - Steel City) and they gave me a 8ft by 4ft sheet of 316L for free. I built an electrolyser that plugged into the mains, it produced 20L per minute and was the largest on youtube at it's time. Launching hydrogen rockets got boring and I managed to sell the thing. My next project was a foundry, I built one from a gas bottle and foundry cement, It melted aluminium which was cast as bars to use in my lathe. I kept the foundry right up until 2016.
I then got an interest in building my own bb gun, combining the coilgun project with this one I managed to design a new type of valve. The bb gun would fire the pellets at around 900fps, which was three times that of what you could buy in shops, the bb's used to go through 1/4" plywood. At school I chose electronics as a subject, I had done a lot of things with logic chips and previously bought a microcontroller programmer, it was totally over my head at the time. We started programming chips using a flow-diagram based software, it was great, I then learnt a basic language over a week and had completed my final project on breadboard before we were asked to think of a design (My GCSE project). I seemed to do so much that year, but I did have a short attention span as a kid.
At sixteen it was time to go to college, I chose an electronic and electrical engineering diploma. The final years project was a solution to a problem and I enjoyed machining. I thought of retrofitting a manual lathe to CNC, I had designed and drawn up the plans before we had to choose the project. I came into a great deal of financial luck and ended up upgrading an existing CNC lathe. I really had a lot going on in my life at that time and it's something I do not wish to discuss further. Despite everything I still managed to blitz my college course and achieved two awards in the process.
At eighteen, sort of by luck, a man noticed a lathe in my garage and offered me a job to work as a CNC machinist. I truly hated it at first, commuting on a motorcycle every day of the year was not fun, plus what was going on in my personal life and the type of atmosphere at my workplace really made this one really unpleasant part of my life. Why did I stay? Things can get better if you persevere, which they did to an extent. One reason to make me stay was that I was promised my university tuition, nearly £10,000 a year paid for, why not. Well this got postponed that year, and you can guess as you read further on this page that nothing came of it.
2012 - 2015 - I use a pseudonym - Edward, which I prefer. I started writing this web site at the age of 19. After having some pretty bad luck over the past few years things started to look up. I had a stable job for four and a half years and managed to build the workshop I had always wanted. I originally set this web site up with the intention of making and selling air rifles. Up until the end of 2015 the web site was still called prometheanrifles. It turned out that this web site sort of became like a project log of my electromechanical interests. I also started uploading some of my personal documents and created a calculators page just so that when I'm out and about I can access the information I need to without having to trawl through a text book.
I had always had an interest in electromechanical engineering and originally chose to pursue electrical engineering, firstly achieving 16/17 distinctions in my college diploma while being awarded student of the year and student of excellence the following year by IET (The Institute of Engineering and Technology). Circumstances were not right at the time and I had to work instead of going to university, although I certainly do not regret doing so, it has taught me so much. My job was manufacturing seals on a CNC lathe through programming the machine myself. I was considered the most proficient machinist and was given the task of training apprentices, making tools, fixing machines both mechanically and electrically, providing demonstrations to customers and so much more, yes I had to do all this while running a machine that required constant vigilance and monitoring.
My wage had peaked and working a compulsory 60 hours a week there was little time for play. I felt like I was not moving in any direction with my life, sure at the age off 22 and drawing £2000 a month after tax was quite a substantial wage. I wasn't prepared to accept my working life especially with all the silly little daily drama's that went along with it, I do not wish to talk bad of my last place of work, and I won't, but communication certainly could have been better managed. I would have no objection to this type of work again, but my experience has taught me life needs a balance. I had to play it smart so while I was earning money I bought many of the things I always wanted in 2015.
I had certainly grown up a lot in those years, I also feel I lost out on a lot. I said I would tick off some of my bucket list in my last year of work. This included target shooting, which I was actually very good at. I bought my dream motorbike, a chopper. I chose to do a road trip driving though the major cities in Italy, drove a 458 Ferrari through Modena, got a tour through Lamborghini factory, private tour around Maserati's private collection, private invitation to Pagani and met Horacio Pagani. I had forgotten what fun felt like because all I did was work, so I terminated my employment. I concentrated on my projects and the start to a new direction in life. I would rather see what I can achieve and fail than accept a what I have now.
2016 - A start to a new life, I applied for a Canada work Visa. I knew an approximate time scale of the events that were set in motion, giving me up until the end of April to complete all of my projects and sell everything I own. My nuclear fusion project was the first to go, I was so close but I had to accept that I couldn't pump any more money into the project, I was a lot closer than I realised. Selling on an internet auction site attracted some attention and I even got a Cambridge researcher share his research with me, I swore confidentiality so cannot comment further, although nothing malice in content. Luckily I managed to sell the fusor, exploding wire and some other parts in one bundle. I was gutted to sell them for such a small price, but I learnt something in the process.
I chose to change the name of my website in March as the original name may have been misleading and possibly averted people from viewing it, originally prometheanrifles. I then rushed to get through my projects as the workshop was the next lot to sell. Consequently I started to panic so I ceased all projects and proceeded with selling everything. Personally a really difficult sale, but needs must. 8 weeks before departure I had a full workshop, 7 weeks before departure I had sold almost all my workshop, well no need to panic, it sold really fast. In the end I had no problem selling everything, I planned a minimum, middle ground and maximum amount that I would expect to receive for the lot, I in fact added an extra 10% to the projected maximum.
So yeah I'm currently living in Canada, I should now get the time to continue with my electronic projects.
The plan over here in Canada is to treat the first six months as a vacation, get my electronic workshop running, get a car and generally just get used to the area. To stay here I must have been working for at least one year with a total of 1000 hours, the job must be in a specific professional field, such as "electronic technician" or in manufacturing. So long I can get something like this part-time I will be happy, I can build up my experience in the role, if I can get full-time, even better.
2017 - At the start of the year I decided to apply for a job in the field I worked previously, I thought it would be an easy way into work. It was, I got the job within a week of an interview, the job was not advertised, I just approached with my expertise and hoped for the best. The job was ok at first, of course it's not what I intend to do ultimately but it was a stepping stone. I knew that I would need to stay here for at least a year to get the hours required for my immigration paperwork.
I have managed to get through quite a number of projects this year, of course I cannot spend too much on them as I need to save. I have no idea yet whether I will be accepted into Canada as a resident, if not my back up is to study as an Aviation Electronic Technician, it is also my ultimate plan, health dependent. If I can't stay then I should hopefully have enough money saved to start again in the UK, I wouldn't be tied down so I could move anywhere in the country to find the job that suits me the best.
All I can say is this was a super stressful time of my life, and it really affected me physically and mentally. Money, immigration, a new country and just horrible people to work with. I had never experienced such a
The end of the year started to get a little stressful since I had to cover for a lot of the jobs another employee was messing up, even worse they earned double my wage and was the shop manager. I booked some time off over Christmas and got harassed almost every day about my future there. They wanted to demote the current shop manager, then make me his manager. He was completely oblivious to the fact they were trying to constructively dismiss him, and that I was the one to tell him I'm his manager. However he would still get paid double me and my boss still wouldn't address him directly. Well the stress finally got to me and I blocked all phone calls over Christmas. I don't like to be the messenger being shot at, I just don't understand this places reasoning, this was quite a wake up call. If the boss won't face someone directly and go behind their back, what else are they going to do, what if they decide they don't like me one day.
2018 - What can I say, later last year and earlier this year I got my health back, I feel great and now I can start enjoying the things I used to do. It's amazing how much I detested work before but now the days fly, what has changed, I'm not I'll at work anymore. It has also been a great start to the year at work because we chose to go down a different business route which has allowed me to rattle through some CNC machining and welding projects, I'm having fun. They also gave up on the idea making me the shop manager, maybe because what they were doing was illegal, well actually they didn't.
Mid way through the year I just gained the work experience in Canada in order to put in an application to stay. The plan was still to make me the shop manager, but after six months of constant reminders they did not even complete my immigration paperwork. So as of May my work Visa expired and I had to stay as a visitor, oh good bye savings. The worst part is they kept asking me to work illegally, which I declined, they even put a course in someone else's name and expected me to come in and do it. It is not all that bad since it gave me a lot of time to finish projects and also work on a larger project for my car. Even though I'm unable to work I'm really enjoying myself, sure it does get a little boring but I feel good. This time a year ago was the worst health I've ever had, 105 lbs, I am now 145 lbs which is literally perfect for my height.
All of the paperwork got accepted by the end of November and I was able to work and make a living again. I kept myself quite busy while I was unable to work and met some very interesting people. I had three job offers but decided to return to my previous place of work due to a couple of reasons. The main one is that I could use the machines for my own projects and they were wanting to invest in a metalworking shop, that only I would run. These employers had cost me six months wage but they had promised to pay half my immigration fee's too, and as you can imagine going through a lawyer is very expensive. I'm very surprised they wanted me back since I had cut contact, constantly being harassed to work illegally is not fun. Imagine if I had and got caught, it would have certainly ruined my life. They pleaded for me to come back so I thought that maybe there would be a reward in it for me, getting money back for my immigration fee's would certainly be a start. In total I lost about $30,000 in immigration fee's and lost wages.
2019 - This should be the year I get my life on track and plan out my future. At the start of the year I spent quite a lot of time on the seal manufacturing side of things. I spent a lot of this time very frustrated as I had to machine much of what my manager could not despite earning around 68% more than me. The frustration grew so much that I demanded a pay raise to be told it is none of my concern, that too much money was being spent already in the company. There is something seriously wrong when the shop manager is loosing customers through incompetence and the underdog is the one fixing these mistakes.
At the end of March the metalworking shop was ready to go. I started to have fun on this side as it was a new venture. I also invested quite a lot of money and time on my own projects. I learnt a lot of how to work with milling CAM software on my own parts that it greatly increased my efficiency on parts for the company. I was very meticulous with my work which allowed us to produce a high standard of parts. I am now technically a mould and tool maker.
Even though I was enjoying this side of things I was still been pulled off to help the seal manufacturing side catch up. It was not a simple fact of too much work, but incompetence. The fact I had to work night shifts, no premium either, to remake the work of someone on a considerably higher wage than me, it made me feel very bitter towards the company. The fact that I put pride in my work, overtime, shifts at no notice, and many other extras into the company seemed to mean very little.
The fact is that when an employer allows the carcinogen of the company to thrive but pushes those that want it to run efficiently just does not make sense, it creates a terrible atmosphere. I decided I would give it one more month before I would move on. Shortly after to everyone's surprise the canker was removed from the company along with another employee walking out. This would mean that without me picking up the slack the company would be surely to be in a pickle. So I had to lay it out to them. They cost me six months wage, totaling a year of my life, tricked me into returning to pay my immigration fee's, receiving nothing, picking up slack, I also saved material usage by 30%, designed parts, the list goes on. I thought that maybe this would be the time they respect me. I had to hand my notice in order to get a raise, not even the raise I asked for. The guy before me would have still earnt 26% more than me yet I have to do all of the work he refused to do, I also don't get all of the perks he did, plus I still have to do the mould making.
The production times have been greatly reduced since I started running the shop. Less scrap, less time, more efficient use of the managers time (me) by setting up programs in advance. The shop has never run this fast and efficient. I have very mixed feelings at the moment, the issue is that this is apparent. In the end I chose to terminate my employment, I was offered pay raises but declined. The company desperately wanted to keep me when they could not find a replacement after a month of searching, after laying out what changes I wanted in the company, basically more staff, I decided I would give it one more shot. Time will tell if I made the wrong decision, my bank balance however is looking more positive.
All of the new employees set on would be with the intent of replacing me as I were told I would be teaching them. The first machinist had to be let go, for various reasons, not replaced yet. The second machinist had to be kept on the plastic side, simply they couldn't pull him off for me to teach. The third machinist was briefed in many interviews without my knowledge that I would be teaching him, I found out from him and not my employer. There was a huge rush to get him taught immediately, very suspicious. Well we were super busy on the plastic side, so again I could not teach him, he moved on because they would not pay him a reasonable wage. We are certainly going through a lot of machinist, the common theme is they're all on minimum wage and told we're not making enough money for raises. Considering this is the busiest we have ever been and my boss spends half the year on vacation, it's an insult to be making this up.
2020 - The start of this year is going really well, I can say I'm even looking forward to it, especially the summer. Thankfully more people were employed and someone else took care of the production schedule. I now do my own thing making moulds, tools or anything else that needs doing. I also design the seals and liaise with design engineers, yet I am not even one myself, technically. It is quite amazing to see that the person who took over my role is now feeling the same as I did. I have made some interesting moulds this year and I'm enjoying learning more complex machining on the CNC mill. The only problem is that this year is flying by.
I am really enjoying learning new stuff in regards to programming and electronics. I hope to finish my engine control system this year along with the software for it. I'm building up a second engine that I can use to tune the system, that is almost ready to go. Over the past year I've been putting at least 50% or more of my spare earnings into my education fund, it's looking healthy now. The rest I try to spend on interesting projects, or I save that too.
The whole virus thing hit, like the rest of the world and the economy started to suffer. At work we got dropped down to two days per week, a government scheme called "work share" to prevent lay-offs. We also let three of our machinists go. Within a week we had to go onto three days since we were still relatively busy. There has not been a single time where the machines have stopped, partly thanks to some parts I designed. I also recently found a part I designed for a customer totally exceeded their expectations, surprisingly I found this out from the customer themselves a month later, it was kept secret from me again.
A CNC milling machine at work had failed a year prior, so I asked if I could take it. The machine is worth scrap value so I would be doing them a favour by taking it. It was agreed that I would do a couple of favours, some design stuff. I broke the machine down and started to purchase some parts. A day before the move my boss decided that he would charge me 10 days of labour, not money, but actual physical days. I have argued blue in the face to these people in the past, I just accepted it is what it is.
I am slowly reducing the list of projects I'm working on and pretty excited I can start to machine some at home. I really want to start making some small scale engines again and work on my modular ECU system. I also have a hydraulic forging press that is nearing completion, this has some small business potential. I have also designed a tool changing system for a desktop PCB engraving mill, that is something I cannot wait to make. Overall life outside of work is going great and I have some potential kick starter ideas with working prototypes. There is also the research project I need to finish, that is a new idea no one in the oil and gas industry is trying, so potentially I could sell that idea, but that requires a lot of documentation.
2021 - The year started out pretty good and work was certainly very busy. The manufacturing staff had been on part-time now for 9 months, that is pretty tough to lose 40% of your wage. I was told that we were outsourcing work to keep us on part time, which I did not take very well at all. This government scheme is known as the workshare program, it is to put staff on part-time to avoid lay-offs. The government stipulates that all employees must work a minimum and a maximum, all shared equally. If there is too much work or the company earns too much then they have to come off workshare. So the company decided they could reduce our hours by outsourcing work overseas, work that we had always done ourselves. There has been a lot gone on since I started my time there, a lot of disgruntled employees have left, it was finally my time to move on and work on a personal project instead.
I have a product idea that I have loosely been working on, although I started to take it quite serious at the end of last year. Since leaving work I have made excellent progress and will be ready to do some testing very soon. In this time already I have learnt C programming, a new CAM software for machining and PCB's, and how to control precision measurment sensors. It is still early in the year so I have not got much to update.
Me and My Interests
My interests are definitely anything electronic or mechanical, I don't really need to explain much more of that (look through this site).
Apart from this web site I have a love for the outdoors. I live in the Canadian rockies so it's an amazing place to go hiking. I like to live the quiet life in terms of that I don't party, go drinking or anything like that. I do love to be fast and loud however. I really used to love motorcycles, especially racing around the country roads or street racing (back in the UK). Since moving to Canada I have yet to even ride a motorcycle, that and I need to take my test again. The riding season is just so short that I can't justify buying one, plus all my money is going into my education and cars.
You guessed it, my next biggest passion is cars. I'm a long long way off from being able to afford my dream car, but along the way I can have a little fun. My first car in Canada was a 1998 Hyundai Tiburon. I've done a huge amount of work to this car, thankfully it hasn't cost me a lot in the process. It would be best to check the project page but the car started out as stock automatic, it is now a turbo'ed manual. The next step is either rear electric drive or a second turbo engine (more likely). I can only allow myself one project car at a time, so unless I make big money or sell this one there won't be another for a while. The next car is gonna be a big block turbo in a japanese car, again a fairly cheap build.
I hate to think I'm wasting my life so sometimes I can be a little impatient or do things people regard as crazy. I used to have a huge fear of deep water, so I decided to work on it and now one of my hobbies is freediving glacial lakes. The one thing I hate the most is people who complain and do nothing about it. I have worked around quite a few of these people, it is often that they have no aspirations in life and work a "job" whereas those who do something about it want a "career". I'm a big believer in setting goals and achieving them, the biggest reason for this web site. One thing I have learnt is that failure is quite acceptable too, it means you've at least tried and hopefully learnt something in the process.
All of my working life has been in CNC manufacturing, I can't say I love it, but it's a job. Long term I need to pursue what I'm interested in, electromechinical engineering. I'm trying to save money in order to start my education again, it's just a waiting game. I hope to start my course in the next two or three years depending on what work I do between then. In around a year I hope to have some of my bigger projects finished and aim in search for sponsorship. Other than that the work between then and now has to benefit me, hopefully no stepping backwards.
The ultimate goal is to build my own performance engines. I'll explain all of this at a later time but after I've got my career worked out I want to start building my own billet engines, not to sell, just for fun. I also mean 100% from raw materials including the electronics.
There's a fine line between genius and madness.