Wednesday, October 31, 2018

How To Make A Pipe-Bending Machine

So I have mentioned "The Workshop Equipment Series" before, published by Intermediate Technology Publications. There are 10 manuals in the series covering a variety of workshop equipment, mostly metalworking. I have three paper titles and over the years have found 8 of the 10 titles on line. I am still missing # 8 and # 9. The problem with the downloaded titles is the poor quality of the scans, missing pages, and poor page alignments.

So I decided to do my own scan of one of my paper copies, "# 5 How To Make A Pipe-Bending Machine". I can safely say that this is the best quality scan, of one of these titles, that you will find on the internet.

The plans in this series were all well developed, materials are common steel sections, and similar materials. One requirement of most of these projects is a basic ability to do welding in your shop.

So if you would like to download this plan, to build a piece of essential shop equipment, go to my
Books - Free Downloads page. # 63 - 3 MB - pdf

Basement Ballistics And Astronaut Training

So from the "Junior Mechanics Handbook" comes a couple more short projects. The first is a method of testing the muzzle velocity of BB and pellet guns. I called the second one, "astronaut training", mostly tongue in cheek, because a couple of older energetic kids could probably get this back yard "pump-around" up to a high enough speed to be effected by centrifugal forces. With out any safety features (seat back, safety harness) you should probably limit use to younger children in the 5 to 8 year old range, or add some of the mentioned safety features.

Growing up I didn't know to many kids who didn't have a BB gun or pellet gun at some time. I remember working my butt off, delivering fliers, to earn enough money ($52 back then for a nice solid wood stock break-barrel) to buy one when I was 13. I remember taking a back trail, to a remote lake out of town, one fall, to hunt grouse and do some target practice. I was doing some target practice at the lake, when two hunters with scary looking Winchesters in their hands, come walking down the trail. One guy commented on my "ineffective pellet gun" the other guy suggested to the big mouth that we see who can hit a pop can target about 40-50 feet away. I went first and nailed the pop can, the mouthy one's ear splitting shot missed. He made some excuse for missing, and shot down my humble pellet gun again. The other guy gave him a sour look and said, "at least he can hit what he's aiming at", ha,ha,ha, I was relieved when they continued on down the trail.

As mentioned before, I haven't hunted since I was a kid, but I still own three pellet guns, that I like to do target practice in the back yard with, on warm summer days. In Canada an unlicensed air rifle must be below 500 fps, muzzle velocity. Most retail units claim to be 495 fps, some may be, but many are not, and are actually much less (that made in china problem again). Generally I can puncture 1/4" spruce plywood. Many years ago I purchased one that claimed to be 495 fps, but it would stick or bounce off 1/4" plywood, rather than puncture it. I made some modifications with a heavier spring and this seemed to do the trick, I could puncture the plywood.

The problem of course is, without testing it, I could have been illegal at that point. Don't come and get me, I no longer have it, lol. So here is an interesting and relatively easy method of checking muzzle velocity in BB and pellet guns.

As mentioned I still play around with target practice. I have three pellet guns that I play with, one is similar to the classic, solid wood stock, break-barrel, that I mentioned above, it's now made in China so the quality isn't quite there. The Beeman below is the most accurate I have, it's made in China now too, but for playing around in the back yard, the price was right.

So here is that pump-around I mentioned. Energetic kids can have alot of fun on one of these, but it might be wise to consider some of the safety mods I mentioned above.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Modelmaker's Arbor Press

So here is another small project from ARCO publishing's "Junior Mechanics Handbook". Don't let the word "Junior" make you think these projects are for just the young novice. There are a good number of projects in this book that the seasoned home tinkerer would be challenged with.

So for the modelmaker machinist here is a useful small arbor press for the shop. You can make this up from small off-cut materials found around the shop.

So below is my mini arbor press. I built this over 20 years ago out of scrap and salvaged materials in my storage boxes. As you can see from the rust I haven't used it much lately (Yes I know, I should paint it to slow down the rust, lol). The last time I used it was to press the bearings into place on the wheels for my double belt grinder project.


So back to this book and a nice collection of projects. Below is the contents page, As can be seen there is a good variety of projects. I would scan and upload the whole book but the electronics projects are dated given todays tech. I recognize that there are hobbyists who still like to dabble in the older electronics tech. but you are becoming few with todays advances. I will upload more projects in the future, like the Stutz Bearcat project below. A project that would be a healthy challenge for the builder, and make some young owner very proud.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Another Mini Speed Boat

So remember the 50 mph thrills on a mini-speed boat post? Here as another one that is even easier to build mainly because of the outboard motor for the power unit.

You have always wanted a Sea-Do or other sport boat but $15,000 is just to steep. What ever you can do on one of them, you can do on this little guy. A modern 10 hp outboard is small enough and powerful enough to give you big thrills on this mini, and your fuel consumption won't break the bank.

You will recall, I mentioned seeing this plan in Popular Mechanics, it was also published in "Junior Mechanics Handbook" published by ARCO Publishing in 1964. This plan scan is from that book.

With winter coming on, why am I posting these now? Because if you want to enjoy warm summer fun on the water, you have to build your creations in the cold snowy winter, lol.

If your like me, you like to combine the best features of multiple plans, to make your own creation.

Here is the link to the Hydro-Cart post.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Queen Anne Secretary

Here is the second woodworking plan today. I would class this plan as medium difficulty. If you have seen the picture below, right off the bat, your thinking, "what is wrong with this ding bat? That is clearly an advanced project." It certainly looks it, but that is mainly due to the quality of the wood and it's age. The picture is of a well aged antique worth $18,000 in 1985.

If your looking for a outstanding project to please the lady of the house, this should do it. Nick Engler created the plan from the original. This was published in the 1985 Popular Science Supplement.

I call it a medium difficulty project because it is a relatively straight forward project. Nick designed all the joinery to be completed with mostly a router and table saw. By large the joinery is all lock-joints and dadoes, and can all be made on your table saw or with common router bits. The drawer fronts have router dovetail template made dovetails, as Nick states, you can replace this with a simple lock-joint if you don't have a dovetail template jig.

The most difficult part of this project is probably the arched raised panels in the book case doors, but you can get router bits for that too. Material is mostly furniture grade plywood and that is why you can get away with the relatively simple joinery. Be careful to match up your plywood with the small supply of similar solid wood you will need for some aspects of the project and for edge banding. In the North here Oak, Maple, and Birch are the most common types of furniture grade plywood available. If you can find Walnut or Cherry, then you really would come close to the look of the original.

The project requires lots of cutting of dadoes and small parts. This is not difficult but you have to pay close attention to measuring and cutting. The old adage "measure twice, cut once" applies. In fact measure twice, mark your work out, and then verify the measurement again, before the saw switch is turned on.

The other aspect of this piece, that gives it that outstanding look, is the hardware. This to is easy, Lee Valley Tools in Ottawa stocks a wide selection of period hardware, you can find a link to their site on my links page. In the States the sources listed in the article are probably still valid.

Farm Equipment Welding Plans

I received an inquiry for "Farm Arc Welding" published by The James F. Lincoln Arc Welding Foundation in 1957. I could not find it on my shelves or in my files. I did find a copy of "Farm Equipment Welding Plans" also by the Lincoln Foundation in 1958. It does not have any welding instruction, but it is 100 pages of useful plans for the farmer or rural homesteader. The plans for the two welded benches and steel horses which I have previously posted, came from this book.

It would be too time consuming for me to scan and clean up my copy. If you would like to download a reasonable copy from the Internet Archive, here is the download link.

So it's back to the football game, Wilson and the Seahawks  are starting to run away with it. I will try to post one more woodworking project later today.

A Toddler's Rocking-Horse

So the sun didn't last, we are back into a snow storm, to continue into tomorrow. The plan this morning is for a popular toddlers rocking horse. The plan comes from Anthony Dew's great project book "The Rocking-Horse Maker", published by David And Charles in 1993. The plans are for personal use and can not be reproduced for re-sale without the authors permission.

The author has written a number of books on this subject including the restoration of older designs. In this book he goes through the building of nine different projects, from the easy hobby-horse to the advanced, fully carved, Carousel-style horse. The first two or three projects are relatively easy projects, within the reach of even the novice woodworker. Depending upon your degree of patience and skill, the projects get progressively more advanced, culminating in the fully carved carousel-style horse. The advanced carousel-style horse might seem daunting to most woodworkers, but with patience and care, most woodworkers could produce a beautiful piece of nostalgia for their children to pass on to theirs.

A case in point, North Bay had an old water front park carousel, that was in dire need of rebuilding, or suffer the consequence of demolition. A group of local hobby woodworkers got together and agreed to try and reproduce the carved carousel horses, the time taken was not months but years. The result was a beautiful, rebuilt carousel. I suspect Mr. Dew's books were very helpful guides, on their adventure. I will have to get pictures, the next time that I am down that way.

The following plan is a very easy plan to produce. Their are two versions you can try, the silhouette head version, or for a carving experience, the carved head version. The plan is designed to be safer and more convenient for the younger toddler set. It is small enough for the toddler to climb onto without assistance.

The following plan was stitched together from two page scans. I could not remove the shadowy parts of the scans without effecting the quality of the rest of the scan. Excuse the shadow, the stitched together grid plan remains accurate.

Finished pictures of the two versions you can build.

Here is a picture of the advanced, fully carved version, of the Carousel-style horse, mounted on bow rockers. If you want to build it, you need the book, if I got more than a couple requests for it, I would upload it (it's a time consuming scan).

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The Basics Of Tinsmithing And Blacksmithing-Part 2

So here is the second part of the "Back To Basics" article on tinsmithing and blacksmithing for the self-sufficient crafts person. In this section are a few practical blacksmith projects that will teach the basics and inspire the blacksmithing novice to expand on his skills.

So the forecast for the next 3 or 4 days is well below normal as far as temperature goes, but the sun is finally going to break out, so I'm going to spent some time soaking up some vitamin D. Check back Sunday for a few woodworking projects.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Basics Of Tinsmithing And Blacksmithing-Part 1

I have uploaded some books on tinsmithing and many on blacksmithing, Here is an article on the basics of both crafts.

"Back To Basics" published by Readers Digest in 1981, was very popular subject matter, back in the early 80's. It went through nine printings by 1989. It is a large sized hardcover of almost 500 pages. For the person seeking a slower, quieter, rural lifestyle it is an indispensable resource. Many aspects of a rural, self-sufficient life style, are covered. Acquiring and building on your own land, energy-wood,water, wind, and sun, growing your own veggies and raising livestock, preserving and storage, required skills and crafts, and even recreation are covered. With the large numbers printed,  this great read is quite common in the used market, for someone desiring a hard copy.

Among the crafts covered are woodworking and smithing. The tinsmithing and blacksmithing section are of the greatest interest to me. It is a good basic starting point for anyone who would like to learn these skills. After a clear explanation of the processes, the article takes you through a handful of practical projects that will get you started in the blacksmithing craft.

The article is too many pages for one post, so here is the first part. I'll try to get the second part up a little later.

So for fuel, short sessions on light work can be done with convenient lump charcoal. If your going to do long sessions, on heavy work, coal is a better way to go. Unfortunately coal can be hard to source today, depending on your location. A cleaner and much more convenient way to go is propane, but the investment will be higher. I am hoping to include a propane forge build, in the coming year. You might want to watch someone build one, before you try one out.