One of the many benefits of having tools, is being able to fix something you broke. I’m usually pretty careful with my tools but the other night i knocked one of my Noga bases of the bench and broke the head. Since replacement heads are fairly expensive, I fixed the old one last night.
I don’t know what it is, but every winter between Christmas and Valentines day my shop time always seems to go to almost zero. It’s like a perfect storm of holiday gatherings, office parties, and family visits. This year I embraced the storm and decided to try and knock out several of the little shop improvement projects that always seem to get put off the rest of the year.
After my last big project, I decided it was time to finally address the issues with my carriage stop. Originally I planed to use thumb screws to secure everything, but as I mentioned in the last video of the series, they didn’t provide enough clamping force. Since I was in a hurry to press the stop into service, I used set screws and a bolt instead. While this worked fine, it meant I always had to have an Allen key and wrench close by. So, shorty after Christmas I ordered some adjustable handles and modified them to fit the stop.
The final step in my change gears/banjo project was to make the special flange nuts that hold the gear bushings onto the studs. Compared to the other parts in the project, these where simple and fast to make, mainly do to the fact that they where small and had large tolerances. I got them done just in time to, because a cold front has rolled in and its now 22 degrees Fahrenheit in my shop.
Now that this project is done, I have some woodworking projects (presents) to get done before Christmas, and then I will be onto my next machining project, an articulated camera arm for the shop. I’m really looking forward to this one, because my current Rube Goldberg set-up is annoying to work with, imagine that.
After almost a month long layoff, I’ve been able to get back into the shop and make some more progress on the change gears project. While they where fairly easy to make, the mounting studs where the part I was least looking forward to making. Mainly because I had to make several of them (7 in total), and because each one had a lot of individual steps.
One part of the process I thoroughly enjoyed, was making some custom thread relief tools. I used to avoid making custom HSS tool bits with my old cheap grinder, as it vibrated a lot and was slow at removing material. The new Baldor & CBN wheel combination are silky smooth and remove material very quickly. The surface finish is almost good enough that I don’t need to hone the cutting edges.
Now that I have the studs done, I feel like I’m over the hump, and hopefully I can wrap up this project within the next week.
This past weekend I was able to finish of the gear bushings. The bushings are an interesting part to make, because they require what most would consider tight tolerances for a home machine shop. As you can see in the print below, the bushing bore, and outside diameter had tolerances of only a few tenths. Thankfully extreme concentricity wasn’t required so a simple jig/mandrel could be used to hold the parts.
Overall it went pretty well, because while it was repetitive all the steps where pretty simple. I did however scrap the very first part because I was overzealous. I was trying to turn down the outside diameter to close to the final dimension, and ended up undersized and out of tolerance. After my initial mistake, I made sure to leave a little extra material on the remaining parts, so I could bring them within tolerance with wet dry paper.