Sunday, April 29, 2018

Just Checking In

So I have a bit of time on my hands. I have been working on a few files today and came across a few interesting pictures. Figured a few people here might like the share.

I call this one "Nothing New Under The Sun". If you recall I posted the one on the left in a previous post.

I call this one "Heaven". This was commissioned for a Ford Motor Co. advertisement in a 20's Popular Science magazine. The children in the picture make it idealized, some might even say soppy but I love the color and the style. Maybe a new future avatar.

This one can only be called "How trusting are you?" 

So how trusting are you? Are you sure your buddy isn't going to step off that ladder, to get a better look, when the nice lady with the low cut top goes strolling by. lol, lol.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Traditional American Cupboard

Here is a nice plan for another cupboard. This one is an updated design of another traditional piece of furniture that remains popular. The plan follows traditional cupboard lines and features top scroll work and raised panels. The hardware selected is distinctive but not overpowering (Lee Valley in Canada will help you out here, with a nice selection of hardware). The mahogany used in the construction, makes it a stand out piece. The cupboard is designed for relatively basic construction using standard power tools.

This nice plan was first published in "Mechanix Illustrated". This copy from a reprint in "Popular Science Do It Yourself Yearbook 1984"

So I will be absent for a while. Check back in May for more hobby workshop plans, projects, books and information articles and maybe even the occasional smile.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Welded Sheet Metal Bending Brake

So to compliment the small light brake I uploaded earlier here is a welded brake that will handle 20 gauge sheet metal up to 36" wide, thicker gauges in shorter widths. It is less complicated than many I have seen without giving up usefulness. An inexpensive stick welder and a method of cutting your stock to size, a drill and grinder are the main tools you will require. Even an inexpensive import in this size goes for $400 +.

This plan came from The Lincoln Foundations book "Arc Welded Projects Volume III" there are more good plans in this volume, heres the cover and brake plan.

Pine Hutch/Cupboard

So for the woodworker here is a nice hutch/cupboard in a well balanced mix of styles. At 4' X 6' it is larger than it looks, a consequence of the clean lines and nicely proportioned design.The material is glued up pine, making it within the reach of most skill levels, but this is a project all skill levels would be proud off.

The project was originally published in "The Woodworker's Journal", this reprint came from the 1989 "Popular Science Do It Yourself Supplement"

As usual these plans are user friendly so click to expand for best view.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Ventilated Roll Up Door Revisited

So now that it is warming up, I have wanted to do an update on the roll up door, after this harsh winter (just to tap myself on the back, lol). The door operated without a problem. I got a bit of snow blown in, just inside the bottom in windy storms and with all the freezing rain we got, the bottom rubber skirt froze to the threshold a couple of times. It was no worse for wear after tapping it loose. So all in all couldn't be much better.

As for the overall design of the space I am very happy with the conveniences. Parking is quick and easy. The tractor and equipment is easily accessed without disturbing the vehicle and the open equipment shed is easily accessed with lots of additional space since the tractor is no longer parked there.

There is a little drifting along the side of the workshop (at the front between the house and workshop). The only way to avoid this was to extend the roof another 20 ft., still much less drifting than before. One change I will probably make is adding a man door to the front lane from the workshop. Access now is only the 3 large vehicle doors and I prefer to keep them locked from the inside when not in use.

So spring is here, 14*C by 2:00 PM today and a couple more days like this in the forecast. Should be down to bare gravel by then.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Babbitt Bearings

Occasionally there are still machines around that run on babbitt bearings. The classic old stuff  often ends up in the scrap yards because the babbitt bearings are done and people don't know how, or want to take a chance, at refurbishing them. 35 years ago I was one of the "don't know how" when a classic old 36" band saw became available, pulled out of a farmers barn in rural Thunder Bay. It needed paint and new babbitt bearings, I let it go. That sure would look nice now in my shop, with a pinstripe paint job and new bearings. If I had read a few articles like the following article on refurbishing babbitt bearings, thats probably where it would be.

The article was published in the Oct. 1995 American Woodworker magazine. Babbitt metal sources may still be available.

Machine Vises

Well looks like this long winter has thrown off even the bears. Timmins is already having a bear problem. Easier to climb into a dumpster than dig through 3 ft. of snow, ha ha.

I found a nice plan for a welded steel vise, so I thought I'd do a write up on vises. Machine bench vises are often subjected to heavy, rough work. I have found over the years that they are not always made the same and going with the cheaper imports often turns into a lost dollar. A statement like that needs some qualification so here goes.

When it comes to imports quality seems to have taken a hit since China became the dominant player. I have two imports that I purchased back in the early 80's. I have them mounted on mobile 3 legged stands and they have been subjected to huge amounts of abuse, rough handling and over tightening. Never a complaint, they are like the day I bought them. Back then the imports were coming mainly from Taiwan.

Since then my shop space has increased and so has the need for more vises. I have 6 vises mounted around the different shops on benches, (yes I know, overkill ha ha). Importers will go with the cheapest suppliers so when China dominated the market, thats where they came from. Unfortunately they do not hold up to my 2 old imports. Over the years I have destroyed three, a 3", a 4" and the latest a 5", a couple of years ago. Here's whats left of it. The rest got melted, back when I tested my furnace. I now have more small bench anvils than I will ever need, lol. As you can tell from the dimples, the iron is too soft, (Poor metallurgical control??).

If money is no problem, heres one that is industrial quality all the way. Wilton makes a full variety of sizes and types, you couldn't break one of these if you wanted to.

So I am to poor to dish out the kind of money Wilton wants, and I would prefer to avoid the imports, so whats the alternative? Weld your own. I have seen many pictures of guys welding their own over the years and some of them are truly outstanding.

Going through my files I found a plan for a welded vise that looks solid, without complication and made from easily obtained materials. In my case, it wouldn't cost a penny, I have everything required. You can easily size it to suit your needs. Here's the plans.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Plans From My Picture Files

While browsing my picture files I also pulled a few short 1 and 2 page plans gathered from various sources around the web that some may find interesting.

The first is a quick and easy sheet metal brake. Adjustable for a accurate bending line it will handle light sheet metal up to 18" wide. Heavier or strutted bending leaf and clamp bar will allow for thicker gauges.

Next is a nice little knurling tool, ideal for the mini lathe.

If you can get a hold of a hunk of 4" plate steel (salvage yard), you can grind out this nicely sized anvil. At almost 3 times the weight of an RR anvil it's nothing to sneeze at.

For the woodworker comes this nice large and heavy traditional workbench. The Moxon on the front, a traditional end vise and the tool tray make this a great workbench for the woodworker who likes to work with hand tools.

This 2 piece machine vise is a must for the milling and grinding tables.

I came across this on a shop made tools thread on a forum that escapes me now. I like it, the casters are too light for heavy work but for curves and hoops in light flat bar and other material, this is another quick and easy solution.

Treadle Hammer Pictures

So I should be spending my spare time scanning and packaging some of the books I would like to upload but I have been just plain lazy lately, probably this extended winter. Instead I have been browsing some of my picture files. I came across many pictures of human powered equipment that I have found interesting, too much for one post. I decided to do a treadle hammer post. I will do another post at a later date on pedal powered equipment. Hey don't turn up your nose, you never know when the Russians will start to feel picked on for their behaviour, and drop that EMP, lol.

So here is a nice selection of treadle hammer pictures gathered from around the web.

Interestingly this is a pedal powered hammer. Not for me though, I'd be thinking twice about sitting that close to red hot sparking metal. Red hot scale down the front of your pants might result in some interesting antics.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

January In April

So we got the snow or should I say ice done this morning. It's looking more like January than the end of April out there, if the snow banks are any indication. This storm came down over the course of 4 days and was interspersed with a couple of dumps of freezing rain. The result was a couple of layers of ice sandwiched between layers of snow. Real tough on the blower. The little guy performed like a beast though, didn't even jump a belt or blow a shear pin. Thats 23 horses that definitely earned their wheaties today.