Swarf in the Laundry

If you live with someone engaged in the home-shop machining hobby, and you are responsible for any domestic duties involving clothing, you have no doubt found swarf in the laundry. Just the other day, I shook out one of my husband’s sweaters he had worn in the shop, and a cute metal corkscrew resembling a tiny clock spring (no, my husband’s chips don’t always come off in perfect “9’s”) bounced on to the floor.  Our children thought it was cool.  We then examined a knit sweater that had been worn in the shop and noted several metal chips embedded in the weaves.  The next 15 minutes were spent scouring the house for magnets to see if we could pick-up the sweater.  It didn’t work, but the exercise ranked higher than our children’s 1 hour allotted TV time for the day.
I could start to nag at my husband for all the chips he is tracking in to the house via socks, sweaters and hair, but have thought better of it.  I have observed that the machining hobby has provided an interesting (and even productive) outlet for my husband’s creative energies and stress, while also providing many learning opportunities for our children, and even myself.

The video documentation of this hobby and its results via YouTube has also provided interesting learning opportunities for our family.  Its cute to watch the children excitedly bring other family members and friends to the computer screen to show them what Daddy is working on in the shop right now.  Our son has even started making his own videos with his V-Tech video camera of his Lego constructions.  This has been a great lesson to my husband and I to never underestimate the impact your are having on those little eyes watching you.

Yes, it would be nice if I could park my car in the garage and Band-Aids weren’t a standard weekly grocery item.  But for all its benefits, I guess I’ll put up with the swarf in the laundry.
Megan is the wife of Justin.  She has the pleasure and the pain of dealing with a manufacturing gearhead on a daily basis.

Home Shop Machinists Podcast – Episode 4 – From Grass Cutting to Space

Max and Justin invite Dan Sherman on for some general shop talk.  We started talking about what is going on in the shop but in true home shop machinist fashion this episode heads off on several slightly off topic tangents.  Within this episode:

You can listen to the episode directly here:

or you can download it directly.

Special thanks to Dan for joining us.  Dan’s website: https://www.dans-hobbies.com/ Be sure to subscribe to Dan’s Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrnAb5KKg47gsiyfDxo-JJg

Subscribe in iTunes (and please rate us!): https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/home-shop-machinists-podcast/id1180854521

Max’s website: The Joy of Precision and also his Youtube channel:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdMt_havo3BxZJscvRCOGcw

Justin’s Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/thecogwheel

 

 

Home Shop Machinists Podcast – Episode 3 – 10 Tools

If you are depressed about what is in the news just listen to this podcast and you won’t have a chance to listen to the news again! In the longest episode to date Max and Justin talk about 10 tools that we find essential to our shops. Buried within this episode:

  • As usual Justin forgets to edit something out that Max says
  • Max tells us more about his Trent Pinion Mill that arrived from the UK via some sort of beaming machine
  • Gearotic and Max’s Orrery build (say that without sounding intoxicated!)
  • Why the Brits put the carriage wheel on the right side of the carriage
  • Maintenance on cars, 3D printers, and terrible instructions
  • Max tells a joke
  • Fecal material on cell phone screens
  • The 10 tools in the shop that we find useful … which turned out to be 8
  • Plus a whole lot more punishment.

Some pictures of what we talked about:

Max’s Tiny Albrecht Drill Chuck:

albrecht_small_chuck The Brown and Sharp Cut Knurl Tool:

bs_cut_knurler

Links in this episode:

You can listen to the episode directly here:

or you can download it directly.

Subscribe in iTunes (and please rate us!): https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/home-shop-machinists-podcast/id1180854521

Max’s website: The Joy of Precision and also his Youtube channel:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdMt_havo3BxZJscvRCOGcw

Justin’s Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/thecogwheel

Stay tuned for the next episode – it shouldn’t be too far away!

DIY Swarf ‘Cyclone’ Separator

I spent 30 minutes on a Friday evening making up something that has been on my project list for awhile.  I made a swarf separator to go in front of the vacuum.  Often these are called dust cyclones, or particulate cyclones, or separators of some sort.  I made a video of how I constructed it (which took longer than actually making the separator):

The design is very simple.  The pail itself was  from someone with a pool – it was used to hold bromine (I love re-purposing stuff!).  I’ve been saving the pail for this for awhile because it has a nice tight fitting lid.  I cut 2 holes in the top for some 1 1/2″ threaded ABS couplings and a 1 1/2″ to 1 1/4″ bushing found at a local hardware store.  One coupling was male threaded and the other was female threaded.  The 1 7/8 Ridgid vacuum hose fit well onto these couplings after I turned them to fit.  A long 1 1/2″ ABS elbow was used to direct the dirty suction flow along the side of the container.  The ‘clean’ air comes out the centre and into the vacuum.

I immediately tried it by cleaning up the lathe.  It worked very well for metal chips.  I’m not sure how well this design would work with saw dust – something I’m bound to try out at some point.  I don’t do that much work with wood, and when I do it generally is general construction – which usually happens outdoors.

I was considering purchasing a Dust Deputy – a purchased cyclone attachment for standard vacuums.  They are $60 for just the cyclone (still requires a pail with a lid) or $135 for a cyclone, pail, lid and hose.  Lee Valley also has their Veritas cyclone lids for larger containers for about $50, but I prefer the 5 gallon pail size.

I have about $30 into the project including the hose (the most expensive part of the project), which isn’t too bad at all.  Now I won’t fill expensive vacuum bags up with metal chips anymore, and I can keep the vacuum bag for filtration of fine particulate like grinding dust.

I didn’t make drawings for this project because I thought it was very simple.  If you really would like something, send me an email and I’ll try to do something up.

 

 

 

Lathe Drawbar

I needed to be able to bore some holes using the lathe as a mill / drill press for a number of upcoming projects.  My 10×18 lathe has a MT4 spindle taper.  MT4 is a bit of an odd ball taper for a lathe.  It’s not quite big enough to accommodate the 5C taper or the R8 taper – both of which plentiful amounts of inexpensive new and used tooling is available.  The X2 mini mill I have uses the MT3 taper – so naturally it made a lot of sense then to make up an adapter to go from MT4 to MT3, as well as a drawbar and associated hardware to go along with it.

Here is a video of the project:

The threaded drawbar itself was made out of some mystery metal in the shop.  It was interesting stuff with a really hard outer layer that through hot chips all over my arm when I was turning it.  It almost made me want a lathe with a carriage wheel on the right side of the lathe.  The drawbar was turned between centres to within .001″ over 10″ – something I was happy with.  It highlighted my need for a travel steady – I’ll have to add that to the project this.

The MT4 – MT3 bushing / adapter was made out of an inexpensive MT4 – MT3 adapter that would be commonly used in a drill press.  I cut the tang off with an angle grinder and cleaned it up on the belt sander.  I was thinking about making it up entirely, but I wanted a hardened bushing.

Here is the drawing for the project:

Lathe Drawbar Rev 01

The video marks my tenth video that I’ve done, and it also incorporates some significant changes in how I put them together.  Going forward I hope to continue to improve the quality as I learn.

The titanium pencil project is also still very much a going concern – I hope start some tear downs over the next few weeks to start the project off.  Many of the projects I’ve been working on in the shop are laying groundwork for the build.  So in short – stay tuned!

 

Height Gauge Depth Arm

In the shop I have a 2 beam dial height gauge that I use a lot for measuring and general layout work.  As far as measuring equipment, it is my favourite tool to use, even though I would want a micrometer and a caliper before a height gauge.  Once you get one you’ll wonder how you got by without one.

Most height gauges come with a tool for measuring flat surfaces, and for scribing.  To get the most out of the gauge you need a depth arm – basically a pin in an arm, for measuring depths.  I needed one to measure up a motor face so I can get a 3 phase motor mounted on my lathe – one of those projects to complete a project sort of deals.  I decided to make one up instead of buying it:

I made most of the arm on the shaper and used a gift from Max over at the Joy of Precision to bore the hole for the pin.  The boring head Max made is the star of this show.  It is the perfect size for the mini mill.  It is one of the best designs for a small boring head I’ve seen, and used.  The adjusting dial is a tad small but once you get a feel for it adjusting it is easy.  It’s also great because you can bore small holes – saving you from buying a lot of reamers.

The pin was turned between centers and was within .0004″ over the length – something I was very happy with.  The deviation was in the centre of the pin.  The pin sprung between centres a bit when I was cutting – aside from using a traveling steady there isn’t much you can do here about that.  The beginning diameter and end diameter were essentially the same within .0001.  I probably didn’t need  that much precision but I wanted to dial in my tailstock anyway.  At the end of the pin you can screw in standard dial indicator ends using a #4-48 thread.

I made the screw out of brass because it looks nice, and doesn’t mar the pin.  I usually don’t turn that much brass so I was reminded how easy it is to work with.

Here is the drawing for the height gauge arm.  I will be sharing all the projects in Fusion at some point and I’ll post a link.

Height Gauge Arm (Revision 01)

If you are looking to get a height gauge, do yourself a favor and go a dial one instead of a digital one.  Even though the dial on mine is graduated to .001″, you can actually measure much closer in the home shop with it.  Notice I didn’t say in the shop – in a professional environment I get that you need hard numbers and ‘guessing’ at the measurement is very poor practice.  Verniers are also good but I find them slow – probably because I don’t have enough practice.

Home Shop Machinists Podcast – Episode 2 – Über Machinist

It’s been more than a month since our last episode where we said we would try to record an episode 2 times a month.  To make up for it we snagged Stefan Gotteswinter for an interview.  Thankfully he hung around long enough to answer our questions and didn’t seem to be too put off by our antics.  In this episode

  • Stefan is looking at Onshape.
  • Max geeks out over Wine for Linux (sorry) and thinks you can easily run Autodesk’s Fusion in Linux.
  • Max gets a Hemingway kit, the Trent Pinion Mill, and now he has to machine it!
  • Chinese machine tools really are not that good, but are great for home shop machinists!
  • Stefan suggests to think of most imported machine tools as casting kits.
  • How to get banned in less than 5 minutes on Practical Machinist.
  • Germans have a lot of home shop machinists, who mostly use CNC.  Germans and their tech!
  • Stefan uses carbide in the shop.  We’ll make him listen to our first episode again before we invite him back on.
  • Stefan would be happy on a desert island with a Deckel FP1… and all the accessories.  Who wouldn’t?
  • Max happens to think German is an eloquent language.
  • How could you interview a German and not ask about beer?

Plus a whole lot more.  We managed to trim 10 minutes off this time to get our 1 hour podcast down in 1 hour and 20 minutes!

You can listen to the episode directly here:

or you can download it directly.

Subscribe in iTunes (and please rate us!): https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/home-shop-machinists-podcast/id1180854521

Stefan’s website: http://gtwr.de/index.html.  and his Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/syyl

Onshape: https://www.onshape.com/

Max’s Hemingway kit: http://www.hemingwaykits.com/acatalog/Trent_Pinion_Mill.html

Max’s website: The Joy of Precision and also his Youtube channel:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdMt_havo3BxZJscvRCOGcw

Justin’s Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4qMguQuG7N4CFwOP1jyo4A