Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Abused But Tough Enough To Take It.

My poor snowblower, I abuse it every winter, but knock on wood, it keeps taking it. Saturday I went out to clean the previous couple of days storm. We had gotten 3" of snow followed by 3 hrs. of freezing rain, followed by 3" more of snow. The result was 1/4" of ice sandwiched between heavy snow. Not nice the blower got a hell of a workout. By the end the blower was vibrating badly and the noise sounded like a skipping chain.

I new I had no more adjustment on the idler tension adjustment, so back in the shop I opened it up to see how bad it was. The chain was hanging loose and had obviously been slipping on the sprockets. I had ment to rebuild the blower head in the fall but winter moved in so quickly I didn't get a chance. Another job for this summer, new bearings, shafts, chains and maybe sprockets depending on the wear.

So on the right below is the chain I removed, bad, four rollers are worn right off and a fifth is ready to go. Now thats a worn out chain, you can also see the amount of wear on the quick link. Eight years ago when I rebuilt the blower, I dug out a salvaged size 40 chain, cut it in half to replace the worn original chain. On the left below is the other half and a new quick link. Hopefully I can get another eight years out of this half. The price is right ha, ha.


The new/salvaged chain installed on the blower.


So I got 4" of snow build up since Saturday by this morning, so I tried out the blower to make room for the 4"-8" in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow.  The new chain did the trick no vibration, quiet and it was throwing snow back to + 30' again.

As you can see in the next few pictures, the laneway banks are getting pretty deep. The banks are now deeper than the drift cutters on the blower. In 18 years I only remember 2 or 3 other times when that happened.


Sunday, February 10, 2019

Build Your Own Metalworking Lathe From Scrap

So now that you have a furnace, what are you going to do with it? If you are an aspiring machining hobbyist, Dave Gingery's lathe is a very good start. If all you want is a small lathe, the cheap hobby imports might be a better go, but if you want to learn the full gamut of how to produce a accurate piece of shop machinery, building Dave's lathe will fill in much of the learning curve for the novice machinist.

Dave's Shop From Scrap series has been around for almost 40 years now and it still garners interest. I have a full set of all his books in paper, I also have many in my files that I have downloaded over the years. The problem is most are poor quality scans, and I would not repost them without redoing them to a more presentable state. Browsing some of my files recently I found a second copy of "# 2 The Metal Lathe" that was in reasonable shape. A little out of alignment and the picture res. is poor, but very clean and usable. If you haven't found a copy yet, this is one of the cleaner copies around.

To download "Build Your Own Metalworking Lathe From Scrap" go to my Books - Free Downloads  page, # 80 - 1.2 MB - pdf.



Quick And Easy Electric Furnace

So before I put aside my "Projects In Metal" mags. I thought I would post one more project. This one is for a very quick and easy aluminum melter. You have been interested in melting aluminum but are not crazy about playing with charcoal, coal, oil, or even propane or natural gas. You are limited to a small garage or basement shop space and open flame and products of combustion are not a good idea. The answer of course is an electric furnace. I built Gingery's electric furnace 35 years ago and it worked out great in my basement shop at the time.

This plan from the June 1991 "Projects In Metal" is far quicker and easier than Dave's plan, no playing around with refractory mixes or building housings from scratch, and the size compares with Dave's, to build his shop from scrap machines. Materials are relatively easy to acquire, your local kitchen stove parts supply store will handle the electrical and most pottery supply stores carry a brand of hi-temp insulating wool.






Saturday, February 9, 2019

A Small T & C Grinder Part 2

So here are the drawings and material list for this nice small T & C grinder. This would have been quicker done in a pdf. The problem is "Projects In Metal" was published on over sized paper and the two page drawings had to be stitched together from three scans. This would have been a problem for my low end pdf software.

Expand to max. before saving.







Hope someone finds inspiration in this plan. I have the original build manual for the Quorn. The problem is it is 59 MB and would take forever to upload on my disgustingly slow connection. Check out some of my other files below.


I have many other files on tool and cutter grinders, including other Quorn plans. Below is one folder with a selection of many of the files I have collected. See something you like? Message me and I may be able to post it. Not all files include measured plans.

A Small T & C Grinder Part 1

So as promised here is the first part of a very complete plan for a small tool and cutter grinder. Difficulty is in the medium range for the home machinist, (I would class the popular Quorn as advanced). Materials are mostly salvaged material. When I first saw it I recognized the motor right away, I have two of them, purchased many years ago from Princess Auto's surplus offerings.







Ya thats great, but where are the damned drawings? Ha, ha, check out the next post.

The Village Press

So for a change in pace here are a few articles for the hobby machine shop. So Britain has "My Time Media Ltd." that publishes "Model Engineer" and "Model Engineer's Workshop" among others. In the US "The Village Press" publishes "The Home Shop Machinist" and "Machinist's Workshop" formerly "Projects In Metal" and a few other similar titles. They also publish many books dealing with various hobby machine shop activities. If you are looking for back issues they still have many available on their site. I have many of both titles but I am far from complete. "Projects In Metal" only published for 10 years (88 - 98) before it was renamed "Machinists Workshop" with an emphasis on the beginning machinist.

Here is a description of the magazines they publish. This was taken from their subscription page.



The small tool and cutter grinder on the cover of "Projects In Metal" above is a challenging project. If you would like to explore this great little machine shop project, check out the next 2 posts.
 

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Setting Jointer Knives

So for the second tune-up article, also from March/April 1996 "Woodworkers Journal", an article on setting a new set of jointer knives. Setting a new set of knives can be time consuming, frustrating and dangerous as in this post http://www.hobbyworkshopprojects.com/2018/10/3-phase-is-it-worth-converting.html, without a good plan of action.

This article has a nice plan for a jig to help with accurate, consistent, knife setting and take some of the frustration out of the procedure.





Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Tablesaw Tune-Up

So we are forecast to get 15 to 25 cm. of snow between tonight and tomorrow night, so I figured I'd get a couple of posts in tonight.

Going through some old magazines I came across a couple of articles on shop machine tune-ups to match the previous article on band saw tune-up. These two articles are both in the March/April 1996 issue of "Woodworkers Journal".

The first article is on tablesaw tune-up, more specifically the Delta contractor style tablesaw. Sears puts out similar tablesaws and all of the importers sell a version of this saw, Busy Bee, Grizzly, and others.








Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Mailbox Hack

So I waited till the plow went flying by, throwing snow 20', yesterday morning, before bringing out the blower to clear the lane way. When I got to the entrance I noticed that flying plow (I have other words for it, ha, ha) snapped the mailbox flag arm in half, and the broken half was nowhere to be found. It's a good thing I drink lots of Folgers coffee. Here's the fix.



I cut a new upper half out of a Folgers coffee can and riveted it in place with two aluminum rivets. 


So here we are two months from the end of winter and we have already got as much snow as we usually get, between 2 1/2 and 3 feet, for the whole winter. So far this winter I have either been feeding the wood stove to keep up with the -40 temps., or running the tractor to clear the copious amounts of snow that we get between cold snaps. Pristine snow is nice at the beginning of winter but at this point it is just work, ha, ha. The 3" dump we got overnight will have to wait till the next dump.


These are just people tracks but usually after a light snow I will come down and the lane way is covered in fresh rabbit, fox, and sometimes lynx or bobcat tracks. I will have to remember to get a picture sometime.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Machine Gun Drones

So the Patriots are on top again. A bit of a boring low scoring game, Edelman was outstanding and the Gronk made the catch that set up the only touchdown in the game. Brady will be back next year, 30 is the new 42, ha, ha.

So while waiting for the game, I was sitting around munching out and daydreaming. The drone incidents going on at airports recently crossed my mind. It crossed my mind that a weaponized drone in the wrong hands could be a disaster. We are all familiar with huge drones like the "Predator" used by the American military. They cost millions and fire missals that take out the target and everything else close by, including civilians. But what about the new small drones fitted with something like a machine gun, A good quality one can be purchased for a grand, everyone and his dog seems to have one and machine guns seem to be as common in the states, as apple pie.

And then I thought, hell, there's no damned way someone else hasn't thought the same thing before. So I did a search and this article came up, right away.




Turns out Duke Robotics has developed one in the last few years and the Israelis have tried them out on the battle field. They are operated remotely but Google is developing autonomous software for the military. What does that mean? They can go looking for a target, using things like face recognition I assume, and other location methods without any remote control. If you fit them with a mini nuclear power source (still a long shot, but some space craft have them) they could be on the prowl for weeks before having to come in. And you thought Skynet was Si- Fi in an Arnold movie.

We all know how reliable software is and it is impossible to hack it, right. The words of one of Leonard Cohen's songs comes to mine "The future, is murder". We can only hope the power centered egoist south of the border doesn't decide armed drones are cheaper than a wall, to get around budget approval. For all I know they are already there but the cameras haven't been replaced with machine guns yet.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Baby Teardrop

Here is a quick little post before I clear my laneway of snow, to make room for the snow storm thats coming ha, ha. I can then settle down for that game later today.

Teardrop sleepers are nice but some people prefer rougher camping experiences, tents, sleeping bags, coolers etc. The problem is transporting all your supplies on a motorcycle or small vehicle can be a challenge. In addition it would be nice to lock away your food supplies at night, from the wildlife. I once had to jump in my vehicle in the middle of the night to chase away a skunk that had gotten into the kitchen tent and was trying to get into the bread box.

Here is a nice little teardrop that is perfect for transporting things like camping supplies. It is small enough and aerodynamic enough to be towed by just about anything. The small size makes it easy to seal out the elements and in a pinch you can always sleep in it, just make sure you can open it from the inside, lol.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Building The Three Phaser

Here is a plan for a very small single to three phase converter. The plan was published in a 1966 Popular Mechanics issue, The author claims it works and there was a retail kit available to build it. I have never built it, so I can't vouch for it, but it is the easiest and smallest converter I have ever seen. I have many more modern plans that are larger and much more complicated constructions.

The author claims it will run 1 to 3 hp, 3 phase, Y wound motors, off single phase mains. This is one I would like to try some time, just to see if it works.





Build Your Own Unimat Style Lathe

Many people are familiar with the small hobby class Unimat style lathe. Before the cheap imports got into the game they were the most affordable small hobby lathe on the market, they were European made by Emco and there were many accessories available including a milling head. The bed and cross slide ways were made of steel shafting and therefor this was a very small lathe to remain ridged.

Here is a plan also built by a European, Guenter Kallies, which is similar to the Unimat, but with larger dimensions. All measurements are metric and there are no castings used. Instructions are relatively clear and include material lists. If you want to avoid the castings in the Gingery plans, this may be an option.

To download the 32 page pdf  click Build Your Own Lathe 3 MB.

The Emco - Unimat Model "SL"