All posts by Tom

Ball Turner Manufacture

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Ball Turner

Starting Work in the Shop

03-squaring_blockThe first stop in the machine shop for all projects is cutting the stock. Here I’m squaring up a piece of hot-rolled mild-steel round stock in the band saw to make the ball turner body. The cant being removed in this photo will be further sawn to make the rotation stops.

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Ball Turner Design

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Ball Turner

There are times in the machine shop when you need to make a spherical ball out of metal. You can form grind a tool and plunge the sphere on the lathe, or like Reed Streifthau of the Quorn Owners Yahoo Group, you could use an inexpensive import boring head to make a ball turner. Starting from Reed’s design, this page attempts to document what I came up with.

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Inspiration and Design

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series External Hone

hone53As I was working on my Hodgson Radial, I needed to accurately size the crank journals, but I didn’t want to risk tapering the ends as usually happens when polishing with sandpaper. So I made myself a set of external hones (photo of my set on the left), based on a set that I remembered seeing on Ron’s Model Engineering and Model IC Engines website interestingly named the Nikapena Hone.

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Timberframe Advanced Week

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Timberframing

timberframe55_lgThe beginning of the second week, the Advanced course.  This course really tested my trig skills.  Truth be told, only two people in the class had a really good understanding of the trig needed for this week, myself and one high school kid attending the class!  All I can say is what a lucky kid to be able to partake in something like this.

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Garden Shed

I built this garden shed over 3 weekends one November, taking advantage of the Thanksgiving holiday. It was a toss up for my wife whether she most wanted to take her kitchen with her, or this shed, when we moved! I had to promise her to build another just like it at our next house. I haven’t done that yet, but I’m betting she hasn’t forgotten the promise.  The shed is based on plans that appeared in The Family Handyman, Jul/Aug 2003.  Plans are available online from Readers Digest.

shed01My shed differs from the plans with a larger storage area, and upgraded exterior finishes.  Unfortunately I didn’t think to get any pictures of this under construction, which is too bad since it snowed right after I put in the foundation! These photos are from the following summer.

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Cut Knurling Tool Overview

This entry is part 1 of 8 in the series Cut Knurling Tool

The Cut Knurling Tool

It seems like I’m always making a tool to make a tool to make a tool… Then again that’s why we all started with the hobby isn’t it? I finally have some time to get back on the Quorn project and it looks like I’ll be needing to knurl a few pieces. Fortunately, or unfortunately as my wife sees it, the “Home Shop Machinist” magazine recently ran a 5-part article on a cut-type knurling tool. The article started in the March/April 2010 issue and ran through Nov/Dec 2010. In this article Michael Ward describes a knurling tool that creates perfect, full-depth knurls without being hard on the lathe. It looks fabulous and if it works even half as well as described, all the better! Who could pass up an opportunity like that?

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