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

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Popular Mechanics Shop Notes Highlights 1973-74

As mentioned in the previous highlights pickings are getting slim so I have included 2 years 73 and 74 in this highlights. In the short projects category we have a drill press fence, drill press "dead-man" switch, drill press table elevator, midpoint punch, bandsaw rip fence, a die threading attachment, and a lathe fly cutter head.

There is an article on drilling angled holes accurately and another on making rotary cutters.

For more involved projects there is a handy stand for a pad sander, a very nice shop-built trammel plan, a nice 12" bandsaw, it has very close construction details to my 12" saw. Mine is curvier and beefier but the methods and materials were close to the same. Finally for the woodworker there is a very nice pine trestle table and benches for the kitchen nook.

To download click Popular Mechanics Shop Notes Highlights 1973-74. 3 MB - pdf

1951 Popular Science Annual

So I was cleaning out my book shelves today and came across some Popular Science annuals from the early 50's. They have seen better days, the spine glue was brittle and turning to powder and the non-acid free paper was burned brown and brittle. I decided to dismantle them and scan the interesting articles and projects before I lose them altogether. Discarding them freed up some much needed space on my shelving as well.

So here are a few of the first projects worth keeping from the 1951 Popular Science annual. I will upload a few more over time or make up a couple of pdf's. If anyone has a preference it's ok to say so.

Most have experienced sloppy miter gauge fits, even straight from the manufacturer, carefully done, this is an easy fix.

Very solid looking pipe vise and easily upscaled for larger work, well worth it if you have seen the price of a good one.

Nice grommet setting tool, nice for modifying things like tarps for camping gear. Grommets are available at most hardware stores.

I don't know if this is the original source of this idea, I seem to remember something similar in Popular Mechanics, but I have seen many people document the process around the web with good results. I will have to try this with some heavy Butterfield taps I have.

Remember this one from your school days, I know I do, lol. Fortunately didn't set anything on fire.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Machine Tool Reconditioning Download Link

So the -45 cold snap broke Saturday night, Sunday and overnight we got 20 cm. of snow, today the temp. rose to -3*C, just right for clearing snow. Whats that saying, don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes and it will change ha, ha.

So it bothered me that I couldn't remember where to download the Machine Tool Reconditioning volume yesterday so I did a search and wouldn't you know it, it was on my favorite download site the Internet Archive. If you don't mind the text binding in the picture and the scanners fingers holding the book open, the text is very readable with better resolution than I could have uploaded with out sending the file size to like 100 megs. Must be a software thing the pdf is only 20 MB, it is also available in other formats. Below is a picture of what to expect, heres the download link https://archive.org/details/MachineToolReconditioningEdwardF.Connelly.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Machine Tool Reconditioning

So Football day today, I have to thank our southern neighbors for the best sports entertainment on the tube, on these cold January days.

So the lost art of scraping is not lost if you have a copy of "Machine Tool Reconditioning" by E. F. Connelly. Probably the best information on the why and how of scraping and machine tool reconditioning out there. Written in 1954, after numerous printings the Connelly family renewed the copyright in 1985 for another printing. I am not aware of a renewal since. In the early 90's Lindsey Publications got a hold of the publishers remains and sold them in his catalog. At $40 a pop  they didn't last long. There are links to a poorly scanned and uploaded copy on the web, though I can't remember where now, a search should find it. It's probably a long shot but if someone is foolish enough to accept used book prices for it, it would be your gain.

Here are images of the cover, title, and contents page. Here also is the first chapter "The Art of Scraping" a beginners overview. I will try to upload Chapter 6 "Manipulating The Scraping Tool" later in the week. That would provide the basics, at 533 pages there is much more to scraping and tool reconditioning. If I get a request for more info I'll try to get more chapters uploaded in the future.

Click on the images to expand.

And here is a worn machine chuckle.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Two Oil Drum Forges And A Gemstone Faceting Machine

Well the cold snap is breaking which means I'll have to do some work around here starting with clearing some snow, it never ends, lol. So I'll get a couple more projects up here before I take a break from the computer.

These two are from my project binders as well. The first plan was 40 pages in my binder, so I checked my Forge And Foundry file and sure enough I had it in pdf.. "Oil Drum Forges" is an Intermediate Technology publication. This plan is actually two plans, the first a foot operated bellows forge, the second a pedal operated centrifugal fan forge. Both are ideal for the hobbyist who only does occasional forging in small items such as knives and various metal hardware. You can put it on mobile casters and wheel it out of the garage workshop for use, No need for an extension cord, propane gas system or coal. A bag of hardwood charcoal will do for the occasional forging session. If you can get more advanced fuel such as coal, its an easy upgrade to add a small motor and damper to the fan forge for heavier work. No special materials or tools to build, well within the reach of the home hobbyist.

Click Oil Drum Forges to download. 2 MB - pdf

Make Your Own Gemstone Faceting Machine is the second plan today. This is a Popular Mechanics plan and should have been included in the 1971 shop notes highlights but I couldn't find the last page, so I didn't include it. Looking through a project binder today I found the complete plan in paper so here it is. This is a nice little machine, commercial high end units go for a pretty buck.

If you have a small lathe and rock hound blood in your veins, a set of tumbling drums and this faceting machine will be satisfying projects for your hobby. Semi precious stones like amethyst are common (the Thunder Bay area has a number of mines open to the public) and you don't have to be working with diamond's or rubies to produce some beautiful work.

Click on the images to expand.

Hope someone finds some of these projects useful or at least interesting.