Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Wildlife Tracks

So I made a trip into town this afternoon before that storm blows in. Took a picture of the municipal road after I came off the asphalt, those banks are over 6' high.


I should have gotten up earlier this morning, I might have been able to get a picture of the big moose that slogged it's way through the deep snow and onto the laneway.


It must have tired him out, he walked up the laneway, half way to the house, then decided "nah, thats not a good idea", turned around and walked back down the laneway and out through the entrance.


The rabbits were having a good time. Both sides of the laneway was covered in their tracks along the wooded area.


A fox come through as well, I didn't see blood anywhere, so he didn't get a rabbit near the laneway. I drove fast into the laneway entrance one day and surprised a fox with half a rabbit still in it's mouth. It dropped the rabbit and ran for it. I left it and the fox came back later and got it.


Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Ultimate Drill-Press Table

The descriptive word "Ultimate" is one often overused. It is only ultimate until someone improves on it or someone designs one with new or different functions.  Below is a very nice plan from the Feb. 1996 issue of "Wood" magazine that challenges some previous "Ultimate" drill press tables I have seen.







Eye Candy Treadle Lathe

So from an early 1979 issue of Fine Woodworking and featured in the 1981 "Fine Woodworking Techniques 3", Taunton Press book, comes this very eye appealing treadle lathe. This would be as appealing as a conversation piece as it would be in a power outage, and you need to satisfy an urge to turn something in the shop, ha, ha.

This file has made it's rounds on the web, I downloaded it back in 2012. If you like the idea of a treadle lathe, this is not to difficult a plan, for a very satisfying project.






2019 Snow Depth

So your probably tired of snow pictures, here is one more post, probably more for my own records than your interest, at this point. It is official, we have broken snowfall records that have stood for 25 years. Total snowfall for this year is now over 200 cm. (80"), actual accumulation depth is over 4'. I have had the tractor out three times this week to keep up, I usually try to limit it to once a week, MAN, ha, ha. The sun has made an appearance the last couple of days. It is still very cold, but hopefully the long melt will start soon.

I have commented before how the blower is a superior method of snow clearing, to things like snowplow blades, where space or bank height is a problem and a neat appearance is desired. The municipal road is starting to narrow out because the banks are so high, they will have to be cut down to get the width back.

Its a good thing I like to overbuild, even with strong winds that roof is getting deep.


The drifts around the house are up to window height. You don't think of snow as an insulator but with the house buried in snow, it is much easier on the wood pile to keep the house at a comfortable temperature.



Without the blower these banks would be impossible. Actual depth is deeper than the banks indicate, the wind tends to knock down the bank edges.



The entrance, on the right you get an idea of the height of the banks on the municipal road.


Another storm forecast to blow in tomorrow. When will it end, LOL.


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Abused But Tough Enough To Take It.

My poor snowblower, I abuse it every winter, but knock on wood, it keeps taking it. Saturday I went out to clean the previous couple of days storm. We had gotten 3" of snow followed by 3 hrs. of freezing rain, followed by 3" more of snow. The result was 1/4" of ice sandwiched between heavy snow. Not nice the blower got a hell of a workout. By the end the blower was vibrating badly and the noise sounded like a skipping chain.

I new I had no more adjustment on the idler tension adjustment, so back in the shop I opened it up to see how bad it was. The chain was hanging loose and had obviously been slipping on the sprockets. I had ment to rebuild the blower head in the fall but winter moved in so quickly I didn't get a chance. Another job for this summer, new bearings, shafts, chains and maybe sprockets depending on the wear.

So on the right below is the chain I removed, bad, four rollers are worn right off and a fifth is ready to go. Now thats a worn out chain, you can also see the amount of wear on the quick link. Eight years ago when I rebuilt the blower, I dug out a salvaged size 40 chain, cut it in half to replace the worn original chain. On the left below is the other half and a new quick link. Hopefully I can get another eight years out of this half. The price is right ha, ha.


The new/salvaged chain installed on the blower.


So I got 4" of snow build up since Saturday by this morning, so I tried out the blower to make room for the 4"-8" in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow.  The new chain did the trick no vibration, quiet and it was throwing snow back to + 30' again.

As you can see in the next few pictures, the laneway banks are getting pretty deep. The banks are now deeper than the drift cutters on the blower. In 18 years I only remember 2 or 3 other times when that happened.


Sunday, February 10, 2019

Build Your Own Metalworking Lathe From Scrap

So now that you have a furnace, what are you going to do with it? If you are an aspiring machining hobbyist, Dave Gingery's lathe is a very good start. If all you want is a small lathe, the cheap hobby imports might be a better go, but if you want to learn the full gamut of how to produce a accurate piece of shop machinery, building Dave's lathe will fill in much of the learning curve for the novice machinist.

Dave's Shop From Scrap series has been around for almost 40 years now and it still garners interest. I have a full set of all his books in paper, I also have many in my files that I have downloaded over the years. The problem is most are poor quality scans, and I would not repost them without redoing them to a more presentable state. Browsing some of my files recently I found a second copy of "# 2 The Metal Lathe" that was in reasonable shape. A little out of alignment and the picture res. is poor, but very clean and usable. If you haven't found a copy yet, this is one of the cleaner copies around.

To download "Build Your Own Metalworking Lathe From Scrap" go to my Books - Free Downloads  page, # 80 - 1.2 MB - pdf.



Quick And Easy Electric Furnace

So before I put aside my "Projects In Metal" mags. I thought I would post one more project. This one is for a very quick and easy aluminum melter. You have been interested in melting aluminum but are not crazy about playing with charcoal, coal, oil, or even propane or natural gas. You are limited to a small garage or basement shop space and open flame and products of combustion are not a good idea. The answer of course is an electric furnace. I built Gingery's electric furnace 35 years ago and it worked out great in my basement shop at the time.

This plan from the June 1991 "Projects In Metal" is far quicker and easier than Dave's plan, no playing around with refractory mixes or building housings from scratch, and the size compares with Dave's, to build his shop from scrap machines. Materials are relatively easy to acquire, your local kitchen stove parts supply store will handle the electrical and most pottery supply stores carry a brand of hi-temp insulating wool.






Saturday, February 9, 2019

A Small T & C Grinder Part 2

So here are the drawings and material list for this nice small T & C grinder. This would have been quicker done in a pdf. The problem is "Projects In Metal" was published on over sized paper and the two page drawings had to be stitched together from three scans. This would have been a problem for my low end pdf software.

Expand to max. before saving.







Hope someone finds inspiration in this plan. I have the original build manual for the Quorn. The problem is it is 59 MB and would take forever to upload on my disgustingly slow connection. Check out some of my other files below.


I have many other files on tool and cutter grinders, including other Quorn plans. Below is one folder with a selection of many of the files I have collected. See something you like? Message me and I may be able to post it. Not all files include measured plans.

A Small T & C Grinder Part 1

So as promised here is the first part of a very complete plan for a small tool and cutter grinder. Difficulty is in the medium range for the home machinist, (I would class the popular Quorn as advanced). Materials are mostly salvaged material. When I first saw it I recognized the motor right away, I have two of them, purchased many years ago from Princess Auto's surplus offerings.







Ya thats great, but where are the damned drawings? Ha, ha, check out the next post.

The Village Press

So for a change in pace here are a few articles for the hobby machine shop. So Britain has "My Time Media Ltd." that publishes "Model Engineer" and "Model Engineer's Workshop" among others. In the US "The Village Press" publishes "The Home Shop Machinist" and "Machinist's Workshop" formerly "Projects In Metal" and a few other similar titles. They also publish many books dealing with various hobby machine shop activities. If you are looking for back issues they still have many available on their site. I have many of both titles but I am far from complete. "Projects In Metal" only published for 10 years (88 - 98) before it was renamed "Machinists Workshop" with an emphasis on the beginning machinist.

Here is a description of the magazines they publish. This was taken from their subscription page.



The small tool and cutter grinder on the cover of "Projects In Metal" above is a challenging project. If you would like to explore this great little machine shop project, check out the next 2 posts.