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

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