Building woodworking and metalworking projects in the home shop, including patternmaking, casting and smithing.You'll also find plans and information articles and a sprinkling of woodland property and nature pictures.
So I found another 9 pages of short projects for the hobby machinist and shop tinkerer in the 1951 PS annual. There is a belt idler for tightening drive belts, a geared speed reduction for your drill press, as low as 215 rpm, a chisel holder to save your knuckles, a faceplate for milling in the lathe,making hollow punches, making toy wheels, and a rotary planer for planing small work in your drill press with instructions.
So this does it for this annual. There seems to be some interest so I assembled the previous uploads and these just listed, into one 35 page pdf for convenience.
So here is another posting of old Popular Science projects. Before we go there, here is a small primer on hot air engines (Stirling Engines to some). Engines like the Rider engine pictured in cross-section below were popular near the end of the 19th century. They were safe and easy to run, but proved to be very inefficient, being quite large for small power output. With the advent of gas and diesel power they quickly moved to the back shelf becoming a project for hobbyists to reproduce and try to improve upon.
As illustrated in the second image, improvements have come a long way, smaller size and better cooling and regenerating of the gas in a closed system, achieve greater efficiency. The most advanced units are being used for special applications, like NASA's space program. I have pictures of them somewhere.
So I went there because the first project is a light hot air engine that will do a steady 400 rpm by simply burning a few scraps of wood from the shop. It is made from mostly light tin containers and other metal scraps from around the shop. As the article says tin snips and a soldering iron are your main tools. This is a nice project for the hobbyist and beginning model maker.
For more advanced projects Dave Gingery built and wrote a few books on different engine types. Heres a picture of his Stirling Cycle Engine manual.
The next project is a nice hand grinder (like the Dremel) one-tool shop. This is ideal for the hobbyist with a small shop or an apartment dweller with a small closet or spare room shop who builds models or other small projects. It will perform many operations without the noise, flying dust and expense.
Every drill press should come with the next project pre-installed. A foot feed for a drill press is very handy for many operations, freeing up both hands for the work being done. Mortising on the drill press comes to mind.
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.
So I was cleaning out my book shelves today and came across some Popular Science annuals from the early 50's. They have seen better days, the spine glue was brittle and turning to powder and the non-acid free paper was burned brown and brittle. I decided to dismantle them and scan the interesting articles and projects before I lose them altogether. Discarding them freed up some much needed space on my shelving as well.
So here are a few of the first projects worth keeping from the 1951 Popular Science annual. I will upload a few more over time or make up a couple of pdf's. If anyone has a preference it's ok to say so.
Most have experienced sloppy miter gauge fits, even straight from the manufacturer, carefully done, this is an easy fix.
Very solid looking pipe vise and easily upscaled for larger work, well worth it if you have seen the price of a good one.
Nice grommet setting tool, nice for modifying things like tarps for camping gear. Grommets are available at most hardware stores.
I don't know if this is the original source of this idea, I seem to remember something similar in Popular Mechanics, but I have seen many people document the process around the web with good results. I will have to try this with some heavy Butterfield taps I have.
Remember this one from your school days, I know I do, lol. Fortunately didn't set anything on fire.