Wednesday, December 26, 2018

"Welding Secrets"

So hopefully all those who wanted some of the goodies under the tree, got what they wanted. For those who didn't, here is a little left over dessert you might find desirable. "Welding Secrets" by Hal Wilson has been circulated around the web and you may have already come across it. I have had this copy for a long time and can no longer remember where I found it, might have been on the Internet Archive.

The title page reads "A welding guide for the self taught welder, as well as the more experienced welder." The 63 page book is full of useful tips and tricks for doing all sorts of welding and shop project repairs. Check out the contents pages below for what is covered.

To download this manual go to my Books - Free Downloads page, # 78 - 8.5 MB - pdf.




Sunday, December 23, 2018

Merry Christmas And Happy New Year

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone. You don't have to be a follower of any kind of religion or doctrine, to celebrate the birth of a man with a better idea about how humanity should treat each other, if it hopes to survive much longer.

So I need to get outside and clean up the latest snowstorm this afternoon. The long term forecast is for a short winter, thats good, because it has already been a long winter, lol.


Merry Christmas And Happy New Year

Sunday, December 16, 2018

"Mobile Workbench"

The materials are plywood and MDF, don't turn your nose up ha, ha, this is a solid little bench, with good work holding options, and it's mobile to move around the shop. Construction is relatively simple but the design has nice lines and looks more difficult than it is. For the small shop, with a DIY'er doing a variety of different work, this would be a very handy bench.

The bench is by Bruce Kieffer and was in the September 2010 Handy issue.

To download the 5 page article click Mobile Workbench - 876 KB - pdf.

So I hope this selection of workbenches finds interest in anybody looking for ideas on building a workbench. This is a small selection of what is available out there, and often the best bench for a particular person does not come in a plan but is a compilation of various ideas, assembled to suit the type of work you plan on subjecting it too, and the space available.

So I am going to take a break from the computer for a couple of weeks. Check back around Xmas, if my slow connection co-operates, we might be able to get a few goodies under the tree.

So a heads up, I don't know yet if I will be re-newing this blog, when it comes up for renewal in the spring. It was never ment for long term, it is more of a bucket item I can put behind me now, and it takes time away from other things. I initially tried to avoid it by posting on forums, but it quickly became clear that was a waste of time.

"New Fangled-Workbench"

And now for something different. Here is a plan for a large, solid, workbench with lots of clamping and support options, and not a single vice to be found. For a large solid workbench this is about as inexpensive as it gets, 6 standard 3/4" pipe clamps and some construction grade lumber is all you will need.

This plan was in the Fine Woodworking, November, 1999 issue. John White did the article and the build.

Its a short article so rather than a pdf, here are the images, expand to max. before saving.




"Building The Holtzapffel Workbench"

Recently one of my favorite sites WKFineTools.com shut down and has disappeared (except for on the wayback machine). Loved the submitted articles and there cleaned up old tech books. It's a big loss.

David Pearce submitted a number of articles documenting a number of projects. David started out a relative newbe learning the craft of woodworking. One of his first documented projects was a Holtzapffel workbench back in 2008. Without alot of experience he produced a nice solid bench that would provide long service.

In David's words "In my attempt to learn the craft of woodworking, I have discovered that one of the most valuable tools a woodworker needs is a good workbench. Rather than delve into the details of my journey from doing general carpentry with power tools to learning the more traditional woodworkers methods using hand tools (which drove my reasoning to build a good, solid workbench), I want to take the approach of showing the process of building the bench using limited resources and relatively basic knowledge and skill of woodworking."

I made up many pdf's of the articles on WK Fine tools over the years, so it feels good to know not everything is lost. I have a few other of Davids projects. David if you see this and object to being reposted, message me and I will remove it.

To download the 54 page build document click Building The Holtzapffel Workbench - 2.5 MB - pdf.



"Building A Roubo-Workbench"

Every workshop needs a workbench, and every workbench is the most used piece of equipment in a workshop. I have posted plans for benches before and of course I documented my most resent workbench build here Classic Inspired Workbench. My workbench adopted aspects of both the classic Roubo and Holtzapffel designs in addition to a few ideas of my own, such as a built in clamp storage rack. Over a lifetime I have built at least half a dozen workbenches, small and large. I paid the most attention to building this one, and it has turned out to be the most used piece of equipment in all of my shops.

So In the following four posts I am going to present a number of different workbench designs, starting with a dream of a top end Roubo bench that will make anyone salivate with envy, and finishing with an easy, portable, solid, plywood and MDF bench.

The first is a reproduction of a classic Roubo bench built and documented by Guido Henn a German Master Craftsman. www.fine-tools.com (an online German fine tool seller) has its name all over the documentation and may have sponsored this build to promote the "Benchcrafted" hardware used, which they sell. No two ways about it, this bench is high end, from the hard maple used, to the top quality hardware, this bench takes your breath away.

To download the 42 page build document click Building A Roubo-Workbench - 6 MB - pdf. 


Saturday, December 15, 2018

Novice Machinist 6 - Bending Jig

This project is also from "Machine Shop Projects". This project is a versatile bending jig. It looks like a great little plan for bending flat stock up to 3/4" wide, into hooks, circles and scroll work. A must for the smith that does decorative metalwork such as gates or railings.



Novice Machinist 5 - Small Tools

So here are 3 more plans for the novice machinist to practice his skills in the machine shop with. These small tools are must haves for the small shop and it is always satisfying to work with tools you have made yourself.

This group and the following post of a bending jig come from "Machine Shop Projects" by Roy E. Knight, and published by McKnight Publishing, originally published in 1943, this second edition in 1982.

These were originally published as project manuals for machinist students in the schools. I mentioned it before and it is unfortunate, but many schools are phasing out this kind of training. I guess what the manufacturing industry needs now-a-days is code writers and programmers. The few jobs that still require "get your hands dirty" machinists have all been shipped overseas or are limited to small "design concept" or "one-of" shops.

First up is a nice depth gauge that will find lots of use in any shop.


Various lathe tooling, wood or metal turning, will benefit greatly if you can turn accurate Morse tapers such as the MT 2's used here.


A versatile V-Block and clamp is just the thing for accurate working of round stock.

Friday, December 14, 2018

My Portable Bandsaw

So as mentioned before here is my solution for a portable bandsaw. I didn't build anything here, ha, ha, it was solved with money, but I waited for the right deal.

For many years Canadian Tire had a nice, small, portable, 18V, metal bandsaw branded "Maximum", their top in house brand. The price was $200 for the saw, charger and one battery, ell cheapo (me, ha, ha), couldn't see spending that kind of money. So I waited. I walked into the store one day and the saw and all accessories were on for half price, and they were willing to haggle a little. Turns out with the onset of ion batteries the saw was being discontinued and they wanted to clear inventory.

So for a little more than the regular price of one saw unit, I got everything you see in the picture below, except for the power supply of course. I use the saw with the mounting base in the machine shop for doing small material cut offs. I got the base for $10. Half price pus a further discount for the damaged box that looked like it had been kicked around in the warehouse for years.


I got two extra batteries with the deal but it was clear they were not going to be available for replacement in the future. I have had alot of use out of these saws for 6 or 7 years now and the batteries are holding out well. I have broke two blades in that time, but that is to be expected with such small wheels.

As a backup for when batteries can no longer be replaced I purchased a adjustable power supply. This should handle all my older battery operated tools as they die. They will then become corded tools, rather than scraping them. The power supply will handle 0-33 amps adjustable from 10-18 volts which will cover all of my older cordless tools.


Speaking of dead batteries, when I pulled the materials for the drill press, I found a old dead battery, 12V, Ryobi drill, that I had taken apart, I saved the the chuck, drive and electrical. Lots of power in this little unit. It took two battery charges, but when I built this place, I used it to drill a 1 1/4" disc out of the side of a 8" well pipe. This might be a good idea for the power unit for the sensitive drill press.



Portable Metal Cutting Bandsaw

Here is a plan for a portable metal cutting bandsaw from the January 1956 Popular Science magazine. This is definitely in the class of advanced hobby machinist. Some would say it's easier now a days to just buy one, but most know that price isn't everything, there is alot of knowledge and enjoyment generated from producing a project like this yourself.

The most difficult is probably the gear reductions, mainly the bevel gear drive box. A easier solution might be to use the bevel drive box from a angle grinder. Some might say "Why not use the whole angle grinder as the power unit?". Speed is not reduced in a angle grinder and the output speed would be to high.

I have always considered one of these, very useful for working with smaller metal shapes. Check out the next post for my solution. A saw like this won't eliminate use of a hacksaw all together, but it comes close.





Thursday, December 13, 2018

Now Where Did I Store Those Big Hunks Of Aluminum?

So not much to post today. That nice sensitive drill press plan got me thinking about materials. I know I had a couple of thick hunks of aluminum stored somewhere that might do. After a quick look through some storage boxes in one of the shops I found what I was looking for. They are both 6" long and over 2" thick at the min. point. I should be able to scale up the plan by close to 50%. While I was at it I pulled out a few other parts and materials that should help. I am in no rush on this project, probably early January, if I leave the materials out to remind me, ha, ha.



Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Sensitive Drill Press

So to make up for the other drill press plan, I did't upload, here is an excellent and easy (compared to most other plans out there) plan for a sensitive drill press. This plan comes from the "Metal Projects Book 3" by John R. Walker, mentioned previously.

Construction materials are mostly thick aluminum plate and cold rolled steel. If you can't find a couple of small 1 1/4" aluminum plates for the drill head and table support, you can cast then if you have a furnace and it will be good practice in setting cores. I have lots of small drill presses, so my preference would be for the option on page 4, I have lots of Dremel type tools and this would be perfect over the flimsy mounts they usually come with. Maybe after New Years if I feel energetic.

Check this out, enjoy.





"Aircraft Metal Work"

So here is an excellent book on aircraft metal work, and as would be expected a large section covers sheet metal work. This book was published by The US Government Printing Office in 1945 as a Navy Training Course.

In this book you will find 348 pages of great hands on instruction, covering most aspects and materials of aircraft fuselage production and repair methods. Check out the contents page below to see what is covered. It is a small djvu file but very clean and readable.

To download "Aircraft Metal Work" go to my Books - Free Downloads page, # 77 - 3.5 MB - djvu.





How To Make A Slip Roll Machine # 3

So here is the last of the Intermediate Technology Publications "Workshop Equipment" series. I have one more # 2 "How To Make A Treadle Operated Drill Press" . However the scan is of very poor quality (half pages cut off) and in my opinion it is an inferior design. I also did not upload #'s 8 and 9, I have searched, but been unable to find them.

So here is # 3 "How To Make A Slip Roll Machine". There are many plans around for this type of machine, I have posted plans for 2 or 3 other versions and I have a few more I will post in the future. This one is typical of the other plans in this series most of the materials are standard steel stock and a welder is necessary.

To download "How To Make A Slip Roll Machine # 3" go to my Books - Free Downloads page, # 76 - 2.5 MB - pdf.


Monday, December 10, 2018

A Few Short Articles

Back in the 80's Fine Woodworking published a series of manuals titled "Fine Woodworking On". The series had titles like "Making And Modifying Machines" and "Woodworking Machines" they were all composed from articles in the first 10 years (1975-1985) of Fine Woodworking magazine. I will visit these again, at a later time.

Here are a couple of short articles and the cover picture of "Making And Modifying Machines". Remember this post "Scroll Saw On Steroids", Here is a picture from the cover that was not in the posted article. It is pretty clear from this picture, that I wasn't kidding when I said "on steroids". Check out the size of timber the author is cutting here, you would need a large, tough, band saw to handle a cut like this, and the length would be limited by the throat depth. With this beast and outboard supports, you could cut to shape the center of a 16'er if you so desired.


This article was originally published in the May 1980 FW magazine. It is a tongue-in-cheek look at tool steel production. The technical details are correct the scenario is hilarious, as is the illustration, LOL.


It seems D. Gingery thought the illustration was entertaining as well, and included it in the first page, of the second edition of, "The Charcoal Foundry".


The second article today comes from the March 1980 FW magazine. This article covers a very inexpensive alternative to a jointer. You can't do the face with this, but for perfect edge surfaces, this can be faster with a better finish than a jointer. I have seen this idea a few times before, the Shopsmith Mark V combination machine has sold a disc accessory like this, for it's machines, since back in the 1950's. It is certainly safer than just cutting square with the table saw or even using the jointer.

Edit: So I don't know where my head was when I called the Shopsmith Mark V a Woodsmith yesterday, so when I noticed that today I had to correct it. While I was at it I decided to post a page from the Shopsmith 2005 accessory catalog, where they sell this disc for their machines.


At $50 it is a heck of alot cheaper than buying a jointer. Even better, it's free if you have a small furnace to cast the disc in aluminum. You can finish it on a wood turning lathe if you do not have a metalworking lathe.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Contemporary Mahogany Desk

Here is a contemporary desk that will fit in most any location in the house, with the work table closed up it will only extend from a backing wall 16". But with the desk opened up, you have a large work surface with lots of nooks and crannies for storing supplies.

The contemporary look has no turnings or scroll work, the attraction is the large surfaces which highlight the attractive figured wood. Mahogany is used here, but other highly figured hardwoods would also be outstanding.

This project is also from the 1985 Popular Science supplement and was designed and built by Dennis Watson.

Don't forget to click on images to expand to max. before saving.





An Easy Train And Jeep

So their's still time to squeeze in a couple of quick projects in the wood shop. Young enthusiasts will love playing with these under the tree, Xmas morning. The first project is a quick and easy train for the young toddler. The second project will appeal to the little older child and is a nice reproduction of the classic Jeep.

Both of these projects were published in Rodale Press's 1990 "The Weekend Woodworker" by John A. Nelson.






Queen Anne Drop-Leaf Table

So late getting started today, but better late than never. Here is a plan for a versatile drop-leaf table. If you live in a smaller space but need a larger table for when extended family or friends visit. this table will fold up to seat two in a small space or open up to seat as many as twelve.

It has the distinctive Queen Anne look without the curvy cabriole legs. The majority of these legs can be turned on your lathe, using off-center turning techniques.

This reproduction was built and the article authored by Nick Engler in Popular Science's 1985 supplement.





Saturday, December 8, 2018

Old Becomes New Again

There are many who pass off the old PM plans as being obsolete, but for being obsolete, it is surprising how often they show up again as new ideas or as new versions of an old idea. In many cases you are not aware of the previous versions in the old PM or PS magazines. I have been victim to this a few times and it's both, a boost, and a let down, that someone else thought of the idea first.

Following is an example of this conundrum. Back in the late thirties PM published a plan for a useful horizontal disc sander, it's easy to see how this could be very useful, especially for sharpening edge tools, with a few jigs to control the angles.

Below is the plan for the disc sander along with a plan for a beast of a belt sander. I got this from a Popular Mechanics Press book titled "Forty Power Tools You Can Make". It was published in 1941 and the plans are all taken from previous PM magazines. I have posted most of the plans before, in the Shop Notes posts.



Dave Gingery does a recreation of this disc sander in his first book in the "Metal Working Shop From Scrap" series, "The Charcoal Foundry". Dave recognized the versatility of this disc sander for pattern making and tool sharpening and built one almost exactly the same as the old plan in PM. This may have been a product of Dave's very creative mind, but as I like to say "Their's nothing new under the sun" old becomes new again, just a little different.

Don't forget to read Dave's nice little write up on the disc sander and it's uses.