Showing posts with label popular mechanics plans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label popular mechanics plans. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Shaker Chair - Engine Hoist

So I am shooting for 31 posts in 31 days, be there tomorrow ha, ha. Well the bloom is off the rose and I can check "web site" off the bucket list. I'll continue to do the occasional post of interesting info. or completed project from my "have to build" endless project list, but I need to focus my attention on other matters.

So the first of two nice projects today is a authentic Shaker swivel chair from the 1974 Mechanix Illustrated. Very nice.

The second project is something every metalworker can use, not just for lifting engines. This engine hoist is a good example (from the April 1983 Popular Mechanics magazine) of how many of these early designs are being cheaply reproduced for the import market. Most importers carry a $200 version of this hoist. You can still build it for less than $200 and have the satisfaction of building it yourself.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Solutions For The Small Hobby Shop

There are many people who would like to practice hobby interests but are often limited by the space available. Model making, toy construction, small wood and metal craft interests do not require a large shop or dedicated machines that eat up floor space and produce lots of noise and dust. Hand tools and portable power tools are more suitable for a spare room apartment shop or a small basement space or outdoor shed in a typical townhouse. So the challenge is to set up an efficient method of working with these tools in a smaller space.

I have assembled this pdf with plans from a couple of sources, (1989 Popular Mechanics Yearbook, and 2012 Fine Woodworking Tools And shops) that together make for one solution to the limited space workshop.

The set up consists of three constructions. All three are on mobile casters so they can be moved around to utilize your space or tucked off to the side when not in use. The first is a power tool table which will allow you to set up two portable power tools as stationary power tools at the same time. With the right adapter bases you can run any portable tool as a stationary tool, lots of storage, nice design, looks solid and accurate. To compliment this table is a small-parts cabinet that doubles as a out feed  support for the circular saw. Lots and lots of storage for all those small nails, screw, nuts, bolts, and parts that accumulate over time. The third piece comes from FWW’s Tools And Shops. No shop could be called a shop without a workbench, the problem is most good ones are large and heavy. This design is unique and perfectly suited for the small shop. Made from mostly sheet material it incorporates a wet dry vac. combined with a commercially available cyclone collector for dust control. A solid top with a unique inexpensive clamping system and convenient power access for your portable tools.

A small shop equipped in this manner with good quality portable tools would provide all the needs for a hobbyist to produce some nice work in a small space.  I could go on about how a band saw and a drill press would be nice but that would be getting beyond the scope of the small shop. Smaller bench top units could be easily incorporated into this set-up.

To download the pdf click Solutions For The Small Hobby Shop - 6 MB - pdf. 

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Band Saw Users Guide

So from the 1989 Popular Mechanics yearbook comes this nice band saw users guide. The band saw is in most opinions the most useful machine in the shop. It can do most cuts that other machines can and much more. Crosscuts are limited by the throat depth, but there is not much else that it can't do.

There are many user guides out there, this one stands out for it's nice table extension plan  and a great circle cutting guide plan. I have seen many different circle cutting jigs, this one is easy to build, the two eccentrics make it accurate and easy to adjust.

Click to expand, click again for best view. 

Friday, January 19, 2018

PM Yearbook Projects Part 2

So here are a couple more projects and an article from the PM 75-82 yearbooks. So I will start off with a clear but too short article on Ohm's law.

The 1 HP = 746 watts statement can be deceptive and would have benefited from further explanation. This only applies to a 100% efficient system. A heating element is 100% efficient. Most other electrical equipment is not. Motors are generally 65% to 75% efficient at the shaft output. Some claim efficiencies as high as 82 or 83%.

As a general rule I look for a 10 Amp draw at 115 Volts per HP give or take a bit. This gives you 1150 watts, which equals 65% efficiency. Also be aware that starting loads can be two or three times higher. Modern breakers usually have built in time delays to compensate for this. Imports will often only include voltage and HP on their labels. Their's a very good chance they are using Ohm's law to determine HP disregarding the actual efficiency of the motor. The only motor which can approach 100% efficiency would be one constructed from superconductive materials, and superconductivity at room temperature is still many years if not decades away.

If you have a small lathe and basic welding equipment the next project is very useful around the shop. You can make quick and easy scroll work, hooks, brackets, and decorative metal work with this solid metal bender.

The next project is also very useful in the shop and around the house for producing accurate square cuts in  many different materials from glass to photo mats, and this cutting board conveniently folds up for storage.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Popular Mechanics Yearbook Projects

So as promised here is the plan for a cider press. The plan also includes a plan for a cider grinder,so if you want to make your own cider, you will be well equipped  with these plans. These are my own scans from the PM yearbooks so resolution is very good down to the material lists. If anyone wants to build any of the previous shop notes plans but finds the resolution lacking for the fine print, like that in the material lists, drop me a note and I will try to find it in my encyclopedias or yearbooks and upload a better scan.

Click images to expand and then click again for best view.

Here are a couple more interesting plans from the same 75-82 period, that I feel better about uploading, since I can control the quality of the upload. The first is a plan for a shop-built polisher. After uploading the tumbler and faceting machine plans I would be remiss if I didn't include this one. A tumbler does a good job but takes a long time, this vibratory polisher accomplishes the same in one quarter of the time. Looks complicated but it is not, an easy construction for what you get.

Here's a blast from the past. Remember spirograph, it was a popular toy from many many years ago, it came with different size plastic gears to produce a variety of designs. This plan is much more robust and will survive in the shop for, in addition to pen and paper creations, you can use a diamond point grinding wheel dresser to engrave metals for an outstanding finish.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Popular Mechanics Shop Notes Highlights 1975-82

So as mentioned a few times before pickings are getting slim. The magazine contents are changing at this point. Build articles are short, the longer ones focusing on furniture and home renovation projects. Advertising is the majority of the content and projects and articles are broken up and tucked in between. Resolution is also poor quality. So this will be the last installment and includes a few projects up to 1982. There are lots of very nice furniture projects for the woodworker from 82 to the present. These can all be accessed in their yearbooks which are quite common in the used book market. Here's a picture of my collection. I may upload some of the more outstanding projects from these in the future.

In this installment  the woodworker will find a couple of projects, a nice china cabinet and a drop leaf table. there are a number of short projects for the metal lathe a power hack saw and a disc and drum sander, the resolutions aren't great, for that reason there were a few good projects that I didn't include, like a great looking cider press. I have it in one of the year books so I'll upload it at a later date.

Click Popular Mechanics Shop Notes Highlights 1975-82 to download 3.4 MB pdf.

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

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.