Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Lots Of Shop Space

So I got my tractor parts from Sears yesterday. I had my doubts but they came through, though everything is now non-returnable, so they are clearing out their warehouses. Installed the new fuel tank and reassembled the tractor. Now that it is not critical I will try my hand at plastic welding, to repair the old tank sometime.

Here the tractor with deck and old tank removed.

New tank installed.

Deck reinstalled and tank filled. Ready for another 16 years, ha ha, I hope. It's snowing today with a light breeze, to check the air movement through the new garage/workshop I run the tractor for an hr. with a CO detector in the space. Remained clear indicating good air movement.

So I now have more shop space than I know what to do with, ha ha. The open air garage/workshop will handle vehicle repairs and winter parking and in summer can be used for forge and casting work as well as welding grinding and similar rough work.

The old workshop/garage is now a devoted shop space. The main space is 16' X 30' and though crowded along the walls with equipment, some in various states of rebuild, when cleaned up still leaves a huge center space for project building.

The door at the back of the space in the picture below leads into a 12' X 16' room, currently used for storage. It will eventually be a dedicated space for forge and casting work. Before that happens both areas will be insulated, sheathed and heated. The plan is for baseboard electrics set to 40*-45*F and a wood stove that can be fired up when the shops are in use.

Famous last words, I think I now have all the shop space I will ever need, ha ha. There is still a lot of work to call it all complete, but that is just an ongoing project thats part of the fun. 

I am in no rush but I will putter away at the Startrite saw rebuild next. Hopefully finish before the real cold weather sets in.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Handbook Of Mechanical Engineering

While browsing the Internet Archive the other day I came across this gem. "Springer Handbook Of Mechanical Engineering" was published in 2008. It was uploaded to the Archive's "Open Source" file and copyright status is not stated. If you choose to download, there are a number of file formats available, the pdf file is 62 MB. If you can still find this in the retail market, there is an accompanying DVD.

At almost 1600 pages this is a huge handbook, it is a very complete documentation of the state of the art as of 2008 (computerization nowadays, can bring big changes in 9 years).

Rather than get long winded here, the contents pages will do a much better job of promoting this excellent text than I can.

Click on the pages to expand. If you would like to download this text, this is the link to the Internet Archives download page. https://archive.org/details/SpringerHandbookOfMechanicalEngineering.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Popular Mechanics Shop Notes Highlights 1962

A little late with this weeks Shop Notes, got into Dan Brown's "Origin" and couldn't put it down. The villain was quickly clear to me, but the story goes deeper and explores some of the problems and solutions modern technology can present. Fast paced, kept me turning pages.

In this weeks Shop Notes Highlights find plans for a lathe taper attachment, a nice easy coil winder, a spot welder, shop built router guide, a selection of whittler's projects, a large auxiliary table for a bandsaw, and lots of nice projects and tips for the metal lathe.

There are also two nice articles, one on working with sheet metal and another on bending wood for the woodworker.

Heres the link to download Popular Mechanics Shop Notes Highlights 1962. 3 MB - pdf 

Monday, October 23, 2017

Odds And Ends Continued

So I finished the firewood for this year. I figured the firewood cutting frame wood require some repair work after a number of years of use but it has held up beautifully, it remains tight and solid.

My outdoor wood pile is getting depleted. It will need to get built up again before next years cut. Hopefully if we don't get buried in snow in November, I can build up the pile, better now than in the spring.

I am looking at rebuilding my Startrite saw as my next project. Startrite saws are built in the UK and sold in North America by Sterling Machinery Inc. It will handle work up to 9 X 12 and is quite robust with a 3/4 HP motor and press. cutting lubrication. Parts are still available but I am hoping I can refab. any problems I run into. It is amazing my little 4.5 X 6 Busy Bee import is still running after all the material and abuse I have subjected it to, over the course of 15 years. This larger saw should extent it's life by limiting the heavier work to the larger saw.

Here are a couple of better pictures as it is now. First job will be to disassemble the complete saw to examine bearings, worm drive and frame components, to get a good idea of wear I stand.

To update my fuel tank repair, yesterday I learned, gasoline in contact with glue stick material makes napalm. lol. I let the tractor sit with the tank a little less than half full and checked the repair on a daily basis. On the fifth day the repair started to feel soft. The next morning (yesterday) my fingers were damp with gasoline when I checked. Disassembled the tractor again and removed the fuel tank. On examination the glue had started to turn into a jelly, saturated with gasoline. This is how napalm ends up after mixing gasoline with a soap based compound.

On a brighter note I managed to get a hold of Sears parts department this morning and ordered a new fuel tank and ignition switch, the old switch occasionally cuts out. They say 5-7 days, were hoping.

So my old knees tell me it's time for a little break, now the firewood is done. I don't usually read fiction any more but Dan Brown's new book "Origin" is out and it sounds compelling. Should be a good read in front of a warm fire.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Gas Engine - Sheet Metal Folding Machine

So this years firewood is going great, should finish today if I put in a full days work. For those looking for a plan or a little light reading this weekend, here are a couple of small manuals that might be of interest.

"The Gasoline Engine" by B.P. Warwick

For the engine enthusiast this old manual (1898) has some nice documentation of the early gasoline engine. Warwick, himself the inventor of a small early type, covers the different types of engines available at the time with lots of information on their construction. This would be of interest to the modeler building those early engines or anyone interested in the development of the early gasoline engine.

The download is available on my Books - Free Downloads page. # 26 - 11 MB - pdf

"How To Make A Folding Machine For Sheet Metal" By Rob Hitchings

This little manual has been around the web ever since http://www.fastonline.org/ uploaded most of the ITDG (Intermediate Technology Development Group) workshop manuals many years ago. There are 10 that I am aware of and I have a handful in paper and another handful in digital download. This one gives good instruction on the construction of a nice sheet metal folding machine. Welding equipment is necessary.

Other manuals include a pipe bending machine, metal cutting shears, treadle powered wood lathe. foot operated drill press, hand operated hole punch, slip roll machine and others.

Download "How To Make A Folding Machine For Sheet Metal" on my Books - Free Downloads page. # 27 - 2 MB - pdf

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Popular Mechanics Shop Notes Highlights 1961

Boy 1961 already, how time flies. It would be a couple more years before I would discover the joys of these old Popular Mechanics mags.

In this weeks installment find plans for a drill press auxiliary table, a circle cutting jig, a tailstock turret head, a tool post grinder, an ellipsograph that you can connect to your jigsaw for cutting perfect ellipses, a third hand clamp. A great plan for a drum tumbling machine for polishing small parts and another great plan for a Boston rocker.There is an article on how to etch circuit boards when the tech. was still in its infancy and a page on green woodworking to which I attached Lee Valley Tools information sheet on  the use of PEG (Polyethylene Glycol).

To download this issue click Popular Mechanics Shop Notes Highlights 1961. 2 MB - pdf

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Odds And Ends

So referring to the previous post, the leak in the tractor fuel tank. After pulling apart the tractor and examining the fuel tank, I found a crack running across the joint that holds the two mold halves together, tough to repair, so I called Sears parts service. As everyone in Canada now knows Sears has just gone out of business in Canada. There automated service picked up, but after waiting an hour for the parts department to pick up, I gave up, guess its not maned anymore. I guess we will have to order from the States now, and from the way things are at the border lately, you can multiply the price by at least a factor of 2.

Timmins has a plastic welding shop, but I am not in the mood to make the trip. I have not done plastic welding before and don't want to risk destroying whats left of the tank. What to do? I dug out my (Sears, lol) hot glue gun and some glue sticks from many years ago. I figured the heat would provide a good bond with the plastic but I was skeptical of the durability of the glue in contact with gasoline. I dipped a glue stick in gasoline for 1/2 hr. It came out a little slippery but other wise held up. Worth a try.

So I let the glue gun get good and hot and applied a first pass along the crack, overlapping well on all sides. After it was cool I applied two more thick layers overlapping the previous layers to add some strength. It didn't look pretty (sorry no pictures) but the strength was there, hopefully it would hold.

I half filled the tank with fuel and tipped it on edge so all the head press. was concentrated on the repair area and left it overnight with a catch pan underneath (just in case, lol). It held up well no leaks. Reinstalled and reassembled the tractor. I will keep trying with Sears, hopefully eventually get a replacement.

While I am on the subject of the yard tractor, here is a hack I did many years ago to the plow blade. The blade was meant for light snow clearing and not heavy duty enough for more demanding work around the yard like light landscaping. The mount to the tractor was time consuming and the adjustment from the seat was poorly designed and more often than not required you leave the seat to adjust.

I got rid of the adjustment from the seat all together, beefed up the blade, angle adjustment and mounting assembly, so that it could handle earth moving and grading tasks. And for quick change overs, I built the tractor mount to match the snowblower mount, so switch overs takes seconds. Control of the blade hight is with the same lever that raises and lowers the snowblower. I can do quite fine grading work with it. Here are some pictures.

And here is another picture of this summers work with all the coats of finish applied.

So the snow has melted, the clouds are clearing out and the temp. is rising again. Finally get started with my firewood this afternoon. lol.


So heres the first cut of firewood, ready to stack. If anyone wants more info or pics. of my firewood cutting frame and procedure, you can find it here. Firewood Cutting Frame.

Found this in the wood pile. Forgot I had it. Will make a nice header for a door or window or other project. The remainder was even curvier but too thin for project work. Found it growing along the ground with only the thin top reaching for the sky.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

First Snow 2017

It's par for the course for most Canadians but others may be interested. Got up this morning to the first large wet snow flakes coming down for the coming winter. The forecast is for another week or two of warm weather but for today its starting to look like winter out there.

So I spread most of the remaining granular A material I had left along the left side of my lane-way, which was developing a soft shoulder. Hard to see with all the wet snow flakes, but it packed and leveled up nice.

All gone, finally got my turnaround area back after a summer of driving around a pile of granular A. 

I did manage to save a couple of tons for future small concrete jobs.

So I got my oil changes done and installed the chains, weights and blade on my winter tractor. This guy is in its 16th year and still running great. However when I filled the fuel tank to grade the lane-way I discovered a small fuel leak in the fuel tank half way up at the mold joint.

So I will have to take it apart this afternoon and hopefully repair the tank.

Manual Of Applied Machine Design

For those who would like more content in their visits here, don't be discouraged, here is something everyone will like.

"Manual Of Applied Machine Design" by Herbert H. Alvord and the University of Michigan is a short (78 pages) overview of machine design with lots of illustrations of specific examples. You will not find any math or theory here, but you will find specific points to go about the methods of machine design and many examples of the different components required in most machine constructions, rotating parts, clutches, brakes, speed devices, castings, and housings.

You can download "Manual Of Applied Machine Design" on my Books - Free Downloads page. # 25 - 1 MB - pdf.

So this is what it looked like two hrs. after I took the first pictures. Hopefully be all gone tomorrow so I can start the firewood. lol.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Fall Colors 2017

So we are getting there. The shops are all done and I completed most of the yard work this morning. Took a walk around after I finished the lawn and got some pictures of the fall colors. The extremes in temps. this fall, (from -3*C at night to +36*C with the humidity during the day) have dulled the fall colors a bit and some trees are already bare while others are still green and are just starting the change. Here are a few pictures.

Popular Mechanics Shop Notes Highlights 1960

In this weeks shop notes find a good number of projects for the metalworker and a few for the woodworker.

It starts off with an advanced article on the use of forming tools on the metal lathe. There are articles on dovetail joints, mortise and tenon joints, and faceplate turning.

For plans find a radius turning tool, a tubing cut-off tool, a clamp fixture, step chucks, a router jig, a miter trimmer for small work, a lathe powered metal shear and two great and well detailed plans for a long arm buffer and a concrete mixer.

Also lots of jigs and tips to make work in the shop go more smoothly.

Click Popular Mechanics Shop Notes Highlights 1960 to download. 3 MB - pdf

Saturday, October 7, 2017

"Tools For The Job" by L.T.C. Rolt

"Tools For The Job" here is a great book on the history and development of machine tools. Written in 1965 it covers the development of machine tools up to but short of computerization.

Along with the development of machine tools, the inventors and developers are also covered from Henry Maudslay to Nasmyth, Whitworth, Whitney and Samuel Colt and the development of interchangeable manufacture.

You will find lots of pictures and illustrations throughout, of some amazing old machines. If you like tools and the history of how they came to be, you will like this. The pictures below are from my original copy which I found in the used market many years ago.

"Tools For The Job" can be downloaded on my Books - Free Downloads page. # 24 - 9 MB - djvu

Friday, October 6, 2017

Finishing Touches

So I got the new garage/workshop cleaned up and finished. In the process I also removed the low light quartz fixture and replaced it with a dual light fixture and installed LED floods and LED - GE "bright stiks" in all the shops and storage areas except for the house attached shops which have installed florescent fixtures. Great improvement, much more light and greatly reduced power consumption. I use battery and inverter power for short power outages rather than starting my back-up generator. This will allow me to work in the shops without dragging the batteries down to quickly.

The shop cleaned up nice here are some pictures. In the first one is the rubber wrap I installed on the bottom of the door to protect the bottom edge and the door cable retainers.

Cleaned up nice in this picture, big space.

With the truck parked in it's new parking space, no need to pull the mirrors in here. I think it will be used for parking only in winter under freezing rain or ice storm conditions. The area in front of the new garage/ workshop is now protected on three sides with high eaves to direct the weather over the space, ideal for parking. (If your wondering about the spots on the floor, thats not oil, lol, I washed the truck before moving it in,still dripping.)

Just enough room to operate the yard tractor and snowblower without moving the truck.

The new parking spot for the yard tractor.

With the yard tractor now out of the outdoor equipment shed, I removed the doors for better access. There is room to store tools that I can pull out to use in the larger space when needed and lots more room to work at my repair bench. The two GE-LED "bright stiks" provide twice the light the two previous incandescent floods did at 1/8th the power draw.

So two more shops to clean up and I can start with my firewood. Cheers.


Its dark now took a couple of pictures to compare with the night time pic. I took a while back. First pic. big beautiful harvest moon tonight.

If you recall in my "let there be light" post I was running 2 - 90 watt halogen floods and 1 - 150 watt quartz, for a total of 330 watts. In this picture I am running 4 - 13 watt LED floods, for a total of 52 watts. Twice the light for much,much less power. Awesome.