Friday, January 19, 2018

PM Yearbook Projects Part 2

So here are a couple more projects and an article from the PM 75-82 yearbooks. So I will start off with a clear but too short article on Ohm's law.

The 1 HP = 746 watts statement can be deceptive and would have benefited from further explanation. This only applies to a 100% efficient system. A heating element is 100% efficient. Most other electrical equipment is not. Motors are generally 65% to 75% efficient at the shaft output. Some claim efficiencies as high as 82 or 83%.

As a general rule I look for a 10 Amp draw at 115 Volts per HP give or take a bit. This gives you 1150 watts, which equals 65% efficiency. Also be aware that starting loads can be two or three times higher. Modern breakers usually have built in time delays to compensate for this. Imports will often only include voltage and HP on their labels. Their's a very good chance they are using Ohm's law to determine HP disregarding the actual efficiency of the motor. The only motor which can approach 100% efficiency would be one constructed from superconductive materials, and superconductivity at room temperature is still many years if not decades away.

If you have a small lathe and basic welding equipment the next project is very useful around the shop. You can make quick and easy scroll work, hooks, brackets, and decorative metal work with this solid metal bender.

The next project is also very useful in the shop and around the house for producing accurate square cuts in  many different materials from glass to photo mats, and this cutting board conveniently folds up for storage.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Popular Mechanics Yearbook Projects

So as promised here is the plan for a cider press. The plan also includes a plan for a cider grinder,so if you want to make your own cider, you will be well equipped  with these plans. These are my own scans from the PM yearbooks so resolution is very good down to the material lists. If anyone wants to build any of the previous shop notes plans but finds the resolution lacking for the fine print, like that in the material lists, drop me a note and I will try to find it in my encyclopedias or yearbooks and upload a better scan.

Click images to expand and then click again for best view.

Here are a couple more interesting plans from the same 75-82 period, that I feel better about uploading, since I can control the quality of the upload. The first is a plan for a shop-built polisher. After uploading the tumbler and faceting machine plans I would be remiss if I didn't include this one. A tumbler does a good job but takes a long time, this vibratory polisher accomplishes the same in one quarter of the time. Looks complicated but it is not, an easy construction for what you get.

Here's a blast from the past. Remember spirograph, it was a popular toy from many many years ago, it came with different size plastic gears to produce a variety of designs. This plan is much more robust and will survive in the shop for, in addition to pen and paper creations, you can use a diamond point grinding wheel dresser to engrave metals for an outstanding finish.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Pictorial Textbook Of Engineering Part 1

So to replace the PMSN installments I have a good number of old but not to old books that might find some interest here. Scanning, cleaning up, and packaging a book is very time consuming, so I will package the larger books in installments of 40-50 pages to make it easier to upload.

"Pictorial Textbook Of Engineering" is the textbook I wish I had when I took shops in high school. I mostly remember them as goofing off periods, and the instructors didn't seem to care. An outline involving this text might have changed that. You will find excellent info on the engineering metals, their properties and how to work them, you will find info on all the methods of working metals, take you through the production of a lathe, and covers the tools you will use, all clearly illustrated. Even the section "Chemistry For Craftsmen" is well illustrated to make some deeper concepts easy to grasp.

This vol. is 303 pages, so it will take 7 installments to upload the whole book. The quality is not perfect but better than many I have seen.

So to download the first 3 chapters click Pictorial Textbook Of Engineering Part I - 7 MB - pdf

Popular Mechanics Shop Notes Highlights 1975-82

So as mentioned a few times before pickings are getting slim. The magazine contents are changing at this point. Build articles are short, the longer ones focusing on furniture and home renovation projects. Advertising is the majority of the content and projects and articles are broken up and tucked in between. Resolution is also poor quality. So this will be the last installment and includes a few projects up to 1982. There are lots of very nice furniture projects for the woodworker from 82 to the present. These can all be accessed in their yearbooks which are quite common in the used book market. Here's a picture of my collection. I may upload some of the more outstanding projects from these in the future.

In this installment  the woodworker will find a couple of projects, a nice china cabinet and a drop leaf table. there are a number of short projects for the metal lathe a power hack saw and a disc and drum sander, the resolutions aren't great, for that reason there were a few good projects that I didn't include, like a great looking cider press. I have it in one of the year books so I'll upload it at a later date.

Click Popular Mechanics Shop Notes Highlights 1975-82 to download 3.4 MB pdf.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

1951 Popular Science Annual Part 4

So I found another 9 pages of short projects for the hobby machinist and shop tinkerer in the 1951 PS annual. There is a belt idler for tightening drive belts, a geared speed reduction for your drill press, as low as 215 rpm, a chisel holder to save your knuckles, a faceplate for milling in the lathe,making hollow punches, making toy wheels, and a rotary planer for planing small work in your drill press with instructions.

So this does it for this annual. There seems to be some interest so I assembled the previous uploads and these just listed, into one 35 page pdf for convenience.

Click 1951 Popular Science Annual Highlights to download the pdf  9 MB.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

From Hand Tool To Industrial Robot

So taking a break from all this great football to upload a good read I put together last night. You don't have to like history if you like tools to enjoy this read. Long time ago I was given a badly water damaged book that was falling apart by a used book dealer. It was unsalvageable, I can't remember who wrote or even the name of the book but I held on to chapter three in one of my binders because it dealt with two of my interests, history and tools. The article deals with the development of machine tools from roman times to the present in 30 large pages.The short history lesson keeps you interested with short descriptions and interesting pictures of old machines.

For a quick interesting read click From Hand Tool To Industrial Robot to download, 8 MB, pdf.

Here is a picture of a machine sketched by Leanardo Da Vinci to speed the hammering out of files. A major shop tool ( the file) then and now.

The first machine considered "the first real machine tool" was built by John Wilkinson in 1775, and was actually a combination machine comprising two huge boring mills for boring cylinders a face plate lathe and a between centers lathe, all run by a large centerally located water wheel.

Happy reading.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

1951 Popular Science Annual Part 3

So here is another posting of old Popular Science projects. Before we go there, here is a small primer on hot air engines (Stirling Engines to some). Engines like the Rider engine pictured in cross-section below were popular near the end of the 19th century. They were safe and easy to run, but proved to be very inefficient, being quite large for small power output. With the advent of gas and diesel power they quickly moved to the back shelf becoming a project for hobbyists to reproduce and try to improve upon.

As illustrated in the second image, improvements have come a long way, smaller size and better cooling and regenerating of the gas in a closed system, achieve greater efficiency. The most advanced units are being used for special applications, like NASA's space program. I have pictures of them somewhere.

 So I went there because the first project is a light hot air engine that will do a steady 400 rpm by simply burning a few scraps of wood from the shop. It is made from mostly light tin containers and other metal scraps from around the shop. As the article says tin snips and a soldering iron are your main tools. This is a nice project for the hobbyist and beginning model maker.

For more advanced projects Dave Gingery built and wrote a few books on different engine types. Heres a picture of his Stirling Cycle Engine manual.

The next project is a nice hand grinder (like the Dremel) one-tool shop. This is ideal for the hobbyist with a small shop or an apartment dweller with a small closet or spare room shop who builds models or other small projects. It will perform many operations without the noise, flying dust and expense.

Every drill press should come with the next project pre-installed. A foot feed for a drill press is very handy for many operations, freeing up both hands for the work being done. Mortising on the drill press comes to mind.

Cheers All

Thursday, January 11, 2018

1951 Popular Science Annual Part 2

Strange weather here and everywhere it seems, we could blame it on a slow news year, but thats not the case either. -10 and snow yesterday + 6*C and rain today, flash freeze tonight to -25*C. My world was a swamp today and a skating rink tomorrow lol.

So I have been playing with some free software I downloaded a couple of days ago. I hate learning new software, must be an age thing ha, ha, eats up the time to quickly and can be frustrating. Gimp image manipulation program does exactly that, manipulate scanned images correcting position, color, cropping etc, I have found much of what it can do, I can also do with Word and Paint, there are some exceptions like skewed scans and white balance.

So here are a few more projects from that Popular Science Annual. They all started out looking like the previous images. These are the cleaned up images, there is some loss in the sharpness of the text and can't do much with the pictures, I think it's an improvement though, some might not agree.

The first project is a nice quick little abrasive cut off saw. Easy to build and very nice for small work in the shop, especially the hobby machine shop to make quick work of small shafting and metal stock. I will probably build this soon, I have a pile of blades that I bought for use in my circular saw long time ago and never got used, that would be just right. I also have a smaller stack of masonry blades, used outside for ventilation, it would be great for trimming small pieces of stone and masonry.

Remember to click on the images and then click again for best view.

The next is not really a plan for building a milling machine, but it is an informative story of one mans experience in building a mill from a partly machined castings kit. These casting kits have become rare in North America, Great Britain still has a few outfits producing kits. Back in the 30's, 40's, and 50's the states had at least two outfits producing some really nice casting kits for hobby sized mills, lathes, shapers, and other shop equipment. The Lewis Machine Tool Company and Pootatuck Corp. supplied the hobby diy'er with semi machined castings and materials and you did the rest. The plan for this nice mill is a Lewis design. You would think these outfits would have thrived since advancing technology was supposed to give us more free time. Unfortunately the 1% wouldn't be the 1% if they had allowed that to happen.

When I was young I though a lot about starting a small outfit like Lewis or Pootatuck. Develop a nice little set of plans, set up a shop with a staff of 4 or 5 to produce the patterns make the molds and run a small cupola. I think there is still enough demand for a small outfit like that to survive. For me, unfortunately life happened and by the time I could seriously think about it again, retirement looked more appealing.

Cheers All