Sunday, December 31, 2017

"How To Make Woodwork Tools"

Happy New Year Everyone
May all your goals be fulfilled in 2018
And all your projects exceed your expectations.

So here's a nice small book for the woodworker who likes to work wood with hand tools of his own making. Charles Hayward wrote a number of books as a woodworking journalist back in the 40's and 50's. "How To Make Woodwork Tools" appears to be a collection of his articles in Woodworker magazine and published in book form by Evans Bros. Ltd. If you are familiar with Robert Wearing's great books on making your own tools, Charles Hayward's books may have been the precursor that provided inspiration.

To download "How To Make Woodwork Tools" go to my Books - Free Downloads page. # 43 - 5.4 MB - pdf




For the woodworker, check back here in the new year, I am currently working on a scan and clean-up of a excellent book on the art of woodworking and furniture making, that I found back in 93, in a great little used book store, in Belleville Ont. Published in 1946 the solid construction and appealing designs are timeless.


Saturday, December 30, 2017

American Machinist And Mechanic's Notebook Projects

Its been way to cold to go anywhere near the outdoors ha ha, -32*C, -42 with the wind chill last night. Nothing I could do except feed the wood stove, nurse a bottle of premium CC and ginger ale, and read a few good books. I also took the time today to play with my flat bed scanner and make a couple of pdf"s. I had a couple of short compilations of projects from American Machinist and some other old magazines that Lindsey Publications had put together back in the 80's and sold for 2 or 3 bucks each in his catalog.

Its a time consuming project to scan, import into word, resize and clean up, convert to pdf save a copy and then reduce the res. on a second copy so its small enough to upload in a reasonable amount of time. It's nice to see the finished product though. I have 1.5 GB of American Machinist magazines and twice that much in American and Canadian Machinery mags. These were all big in the first quarter of the last century, but if you like old iron these old mags are fascinating. I am hoping to make more compilations in the future.

As mentioned these two were compiled by Lindsey Publications. I have seen 1 or 2 of these projects circulated on the web, but most of it is fresh or hard to find material for the web. The first is a 15 page compilation of metalworking projects from American Machinist including some good molding information for casting.

To download "Projects From American Machinist" go to my Books - Free Downloads page. # 41 - 4 MB - pdf



The second compilation was put together from projects in a number of electrical and engineering magazines from 1916 to 1926. There are some nice projects here for the home shop tinkerer, some small chemical balance scales, a universal lathe attachment, a small carbon arc crucible furnace, a practical high frequency Tesla coil, that will fry you if your not careful. From the article "Constant caution will well repay, and is preferred to saying it with flowers". No beating around the bush there, ha ha. There is a small surface grinder, I have seen this on the web but never the whole article. You will also find a neat simple hand milling machine, and a 1 HP gasoline engine of simple construction.

To download "Mechanics Notebook 20" go to my Books - Free Downloads page. # 42 - 9 MB - pdf  




Even if you choose not to play with these ideas in the shop, they make for interesting reading.


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Popular Mechanics Shop Notes Highlights 1971

The last two weeks have put a good dent in my woodpile, IT'S COLD!! and apparently its headed south. Don't blame Canada, apparently the Russians blew it over, ha ha.

So another shop notes highlights, in this issue you will find lots of lathe based projects and a number of other small single page projects. There is a die holder for threading in the lathe, a carriage limit switch, a lathe indexing attachment, a lathe center indicator, a ball turning attachment and an article on turning plastics in the lathe.

For the woodworker there is a very nice small cabinet workbench for the small shop, a very solid looking tenoning attachment, and an early American gossip bench that would make a beautiful little piece of furniture for a childes room.

Click Popular Mechanics Shop Notes Highlights 1971 to download. 3 MB - pdf




Ultimate Sliding Table/Crosscut Sled

Yes here is another "Ultimate Sled" This one is unique in that it's main function is as a large capacity and easily accurate European style sliding table, without the high cost and it will not take up all the floor space in your small shop. When your done you simply lift the table off without the use of a single tool and hang it on the wall and the great little outboard support horse, or horses, can be used for other functions around the shop.



As can be seen above, capacity is huge and can be used with any saw with a miter slot and will make your contractor saw more useful and accurate than it was ever intended to be. It will not cost you $1000 to build, take up a year of your spare time to build and require many adjustments to set up. Some MDF, plywood and hardwood scraps from around the shop, some hardware from the local hardware store and a length of Kreg top track is all you will need. I would consider the build difficulty in the medium range within the grasp of most if not all home hobbyists. There are improvements that can be done for the ambitious such as roller skate wheels in the outboard support horse, to make handling heavy panels easier but the sled looks great as it is.




For those who would like to build this, if you are like me and have a collection of Fine Woodworking magazines, you will find the article in their 2008 July/August issue. For a lower res.scan of the article, you can download the 3 MB pdf here Ultimate Sliding Table/Crosscut Sled .


Sunday, December 24, 2017

Off Topic: Can The Pats Do It Again??

So can old man Brady pull it out of his butt again, he's hard to bet against. Potential challengers like Wilson and Newton have all choked when it counts, Rogers is out of it now but he couldn't have done it anyway without some protection, big Ben's time is running out. Still have the play offs, but like I said the Pats are hard to bet against.

Can't mention Brady without mentioning the Gronk, those big catcher's mitts for hands are an easy target for Brady's aging eyesight lol. Joking aside after breaking many records these two old timers may still break a few more records, and have been the source of a few exciting games the last few years. Should make for another exciting super bowl game.







Merry Christmas Everyone

Merry Christmas
 Everyone



Not My tree but it could be, maybe next year.

Very Merry Xmas and lots of gifts under the Xmas tree.


Saturday, December 23, 2017

"YOU SPENT $2000 ON WHAT???" by Charlie

Charlie is the only name I could find for a credit. As mentioned in the last post Charlie did a well documented rebuild of a rebuild screwup (there's a lesson here) of a 9" Hercus precision lathe. Charlie has not posted since before 2010 and the steam machine site seems to get little use except as a link to a few other sites. So for fear of losing this great little rebuild I straightened it up and resized in my word program and converted it to pdf. There is a nice plan here for a universal tool post and good information on thread gearing, bearings and bearing pre-load. The Hercus is very similar to my South Bend and will be of help when I do my rebuild.

If like me you want to hold on to a copy of this rebuild in a convenient pdf file, click on the link YOU SPENT $2000 ON WHAT??? to download. 4 MB - pdf





Text Book Of Metal Turning

Atlas, Logan, South Bend and many others have all written very good books on how to run a lathe. They of course feature their lathes and often accompanied a purchase of their lathe, serving as operating manuals.  This does not tarnish there usefulness in general lathe operations. Methods, operations, and tooling are generally transferable across different brands. South Bends "How To Run A Lathe" is a good example of one that has become very popular for general use. I have half a dozen different editions on disk and a couple paper editions on my shelves. I will upload one when I do my South Bend rebuild.

Hercus Machinery an Australian company built a 9" South Bend precision bench lathe nock-off that sold quite well. It was so close, that looking at the two lathes it looks like some parts can even be interchanged. Not to be outdone, they to put out a lathe operation book called "Text Book Of Metal Turning". It is chock full of good information, covering all the basic operations done in the lathe from turning between centers to taper turning and thread cutting. There are handy chapters on useful information, practical examples, and tables.

I have just made up a 47 page pdf of a Hercus rebuild that I found on the steammachine.com site. Charlie does a great job of rebuilding a rebuild that went wrong in an article titled "YOU SPENT $2000 ON WHAT???" here's the link: http://www.steammachine.com/hercus/index.html.

To download "Text Book Of Metal Turning" go to my Books - Free Downloads page. # 40 - 3 MB - pdf



Friday, December 22, 2017

Why Do Taps Fail?

Everyone who builds things in their home shop has had to use threading taps at one time or another. Over the course of many decades of fooling around in the shop I have used taps and dies countless times, sometimes with more success than others. With the experience of age and repetition  comes more success, ha ha. Here is an article put out by Union Butterfield (a leading manufacturer of taps, dies, drills and other tooling for industry) on the correct use of threading taps to avoid breakage. The article is aimed mainly at screw machine operators but has useful information for anyone who uses threading taps.

Click on images to expand.












Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Popular Mechanics Shop Notes Highlights 1970

In this weeks installment of the shop notes highlights we start of with a great woodworking project, a very nice gun cabinet. A second great woodworking project is an early American bedroom set, including a turned post bed, night stand, dresser and mirror, and a chest on chest, chest of drawers. Many many years ago I built a version of the bed and night stand.

For the metalworker we start off with a great plan for a metal spiral staircase. The plan incorporates welding and metal scroll work. For access to a second level, when space is limited, this is a beautiful solution. Many years ago I built a similar laminated wood version, in a doll house I built for my daughter, one Christmas. I would love to build a telescope observatory on my garage roof, this plan would make for the perfect access. Unfortunately my moniker applies, "if time is money, then I need a loan".

For something different you can make and learn to use a angle post for your metal lathe, make some handy shop tools, a plan for a split ring lathe dog, a tapping "gidget" for threading, a plan for a small work, faceplate lathe, from odds and ends. If your flex shaft is underpowered try this versatile plan that uses a circular saw as a power source. We finish of with a nice article labeled "12 Great Metal Lathe Tricks"

There is a plan for a wood planer, which is a very interesting and involved build. It uses two motors for head power and feed power. The feed motor has a long speed reduction train which is interesting but inefficient. Modern planers pull feed power from the outboard end of the planer head and through a straight or two speed reduction gear box, eliminating the second motor. For the DIY'er this can be done with pulleys and belts as well, with less efficiency and the possibility of belt slippage, for heavy feeds. More expensive, but chains and sprockets on the last reduction steps would eliminate slippage.

Click Popular Mechanics Shop Notes Highlights 1970 to download. 3 - MB - pdf




Sunday, December 17, 2017

Engineers Illustrated Thesaurus

So from 1952 comes this great little book. With short explanations and corresponding illustrations, most aspects of the engineering field in 1952 are covered. Explanations are clear, practical, and uncomplicated. The illustrations are a nice compliment to help clarify the many engineering examples covered in this volume. Much is covered, from fasteners to prime movers to industrial processes.

Below is the title page and a great little introduction. The last paragraph is about as clear an explanation as I have ever seen about why perpetual motion machines are a non starter in this universe, (nothing in - nothing out). I know people, who should know better, who still believe they are possible. If a multi-verse is our reality, they must have reincarnated here from another universe where the laws of physics are different, lol.

To download "Engineers Illustrated Thesaurus" go to my Books - Free Downloads page. # 39 - 13.4 MB - pdf






So back to the football game. Enjoy.


Saturday, December 16, 2017

We Test The Startrite Saw

So I spent the afternoon setting up and testing the Startrite saw. After tensioning the blade, I checked tracking, made a small adjustment to the idler wheel so blade ran close but not tight to step. Loosened the blade guides and let them find their level on the blade re-tightened them. Using a strip of standard weight writing paper, set the guide clearances. And finally, double checked that the vise jaws were square to the blade.

So does it cut metal? I decided rather than fool around with  home brews, to cut dry for now, when its out in the garage/workshop I can play around with some of the ideas for wet cutting outlined in the previous post.

To start I chose a couple of chunky hunks of metal from storage. In the picture below, the first one is a 5" diameter hunk of aluminum. I want to cut the circular plate to utilize it as a lathe dog driver or other project the rest will be feed for the melting furnace. The second hunk of metal is a 4" mild steel pipe with a welded base. Before it was scrapped it had been the mounting base for one of those old "huge" satellite dishes. I want to keep the assembly, so I will just cut a ring of ruff metal off the end to clean it up.


First set the blade speed 225 fpm for aluminum.


Two pictures of the cut.



Next the mild steel 4" pipe, speed 160 fpm.


Three pictures of the cut.




The results, the cuts went smoothly and much faster than my little 4X6 import. The cuts were very accurate, no play what so ever in my square, and the aluminum disk will only require a couple of facing passes to finish off.



So thats it for this project. I will set this saw up in the welding area of my new workshop, old garage/workshop. It will handle all of the larger cuts rather than abusing my smaller saw and abrasive chop saws the way I have been doing.


Friday, December 15, 2017

Startrite Saw Complete

So  I took my time on this project, but it is now complete, and none to soon with Xmas coming. So here are the centerfold pictures. A great looking saw, wasn't long ago I could only dream of having a saw like this for the price I put out.







So here is the heart of the electrical harness I just completed. The box contains  a 12 point connection block and a system over load reset. The motor has double coverage as it has it's own overload reset.


The little red button on this limit switch controls everything. With the head in the full down position, the limit switch cuts power to the coolant pump and the start coil on the motor start switch. The contact plunger has fine adjustment.


Here is the coolant pump switch and the blade speed plate.


So she takes a fine picture, but can she cut metal? Coolant is not available locally and nobody will ship it. So I will have to do with out, till I am in Timmins or Sudbury, to pick some up. There are home brew recipes that many have used with success. Heres one recipe:

Home Made Coolant

Here is a recipe for some home made coolant. At a cost of around 50 cents a gallon

1 quart cheep motor oil 

3 cups liquid dish washing soap 

4 gallons water

The water acts as a coolant and the oil acts as a rust preventative  Adding the soap will allow the oil to mix with water. If you want water soluble cutting oil substitute the motor oil with black cutting oil.

If you get a sticky residue on your machine you have to much soap. If mixed just right you will get a thin layer of oil on your machine and tools after the water evaporates. 

There is a secret to making this work however. You must add the detergent to the water first and then stir in the oil to the soapy water a little at a time. If you just add them all together in the same container all at once, they don't mix very well.


Use at your own risk, I have not tried it yet. For me this presents another problem, my garage/workshop is not heated yet and it will freeze. Others have tackled this problem in a different way. Here is an idea quoted from a forum that escapes me now.


 Re: Band saw cutting fluid recomendations???

For most home hobbiests, these saws can be run dry with no noticable effect on blade life. The biggest broblem with these saws seems to be the el-cheapo blades that come with the saw, and the same blade that most people use for a replacement. I have found that Lenox brand blades are some of the best on the market. They can be found through several on-line retailers in the sizes you need.

That being said. If you wish to use coolant on your saw, a readily available and cheap alternative is windshield washer fluid. In an unheated shop, it will not freeze, it is non-corrosive, and the alcohol content does a good job of cooling through evaporation. It also does a fine job of flushing chips from the cut. I find this benifit more important than the actual cooling. Keeping the chips out of the path of the blade helps the blade to work more efficiently, therefore creating less heat in the first place. In any non-abrasive cutting of metal, the object is to direct the heat of the cut into the chip, and keep the heat out of the work-piece. It leaves no oily residue, and can simply be wiped off with a dry rag and ready for welding.


Again I have not tried this, so use at your own risk. I think  until I have heat in that shop this is my best option, the detergents will keep the saw relatively clean. Few solutions are ever perfect solutions, the alcohol content makes it highly flammable, so take care to keep sparks and flame away and keep an extinguisher close by. 

So I will make some cuts with the saw later today or tomorrow and post some pictures.

Cheers All