Saturday, March 24, 2018

DIY Die Filer

Have been wanting and looking for a Die filer for a long time; the price of even the most clapped-out, used, rusty piece of junk is $500 and up.

My most recent search finally led me to the DIY world.

Some of these are good machines in that they are robust however I wanted and needed a smaller version.

I had an old spare Sherline motor/spindle assem. and realized that this was a good starting point.

One of the things that I do not like about any of the available devices out there is the height; they are all a mile high and require a lot of space for the "once a year usage they get.

I wanted to design and make a very low profile machine.

The key to the low profile is having a sliding file clamp instead of the file clamp and the pin fixed together. This requires the file to be clamped off to the side of the pin.

The offset of the file is on the down-stroke side of the system.

This is the system at full up, I have exactly 1" stroke.
Instead of slots (which I hate making) I went with a 0 - 3 - 6 degrees set of holes.
The thing with the Sherline is the beautiful speed control!

Saturday, March 3, 2018

LittleMachineShop Mini Lathe 5200 - Auto Feed - Adjustable Stop

I looked at what many other great minds did and took my own approach to the auto feed stop mechanism.

I had an old micrometer base from another project and decided that it would give me the easiest adjustability.

The innovation here is the L bracket with a slot
The difficulty is the height that is available; there is not much!

Under the mount shown above is a large thumb screw to tighten the mounting to the L bracket

I haven't had much time with it so we will see

Friday, March 2, 2018

LittleMachineShop Mini Lathe 5200 - Lever Action Tail Stock

When I got the LMS 5200 I knew I wanted to add the tailstock lever to the tools options

I came up with this design that fits in to my "retrofit" theory

I ordered another complete tailstock and designed a system that I think meets all requirements

The main complication is being able to get the MT2 OUT after you slam it home

The tailstock converts pretty easily

After using it a couple of times I realized that the small thumb wheel was totally inadequate because it has to be turned in the 1.5" to engage the MT and kick it out so I went back to the original hand wheel.
I remade the lever out of 0.25" aluminum and now have a much more robust product.

I get over 1.5" of travel and retain the exact features of the original tailstock

Basic cad design

Friday, February 9, 2018 Hi-torque Mini Lathe 5200

After much research I decided to go with the The Hi-torque Mini Lathe

I really wanted a vintage machine and would have payed as much for a good one but it became clear that the vintage bench top machines have some pretty small Pass-Thru, and Pass-Thru to me is King.

I don't understand the manufacturers reluctance to making large pass thru, its the number one best easiest way to work but is hard to come by. I passed up a beautiful machine on EBay do to shipping and size issues that had a 1.25 pass thru!

The LMS mini has a 20mm thru hole so that 3/4" stock goes thru no problem.

I am also constrained by the basement workshop location. It rolls away into a little slot and has to be pulled out to use.

FYI Shop Organization tip: I'm using a Shoe organizer for scrap metal storage

I made this custom bench for it that includes a drawer and a shelf with a drop down door.
I wanted the lathe at a height that would be comfortable sitting or standing
The optional chip tray is about 14" x 35" so the bench top was an easy 16" x 36"


After a few hours on it I would not recommend it, thry your luck with another version of the same machine. Its a great size just a little flaky, the speed control is in the wrong place, the tail-stock is not repeatable, and the cross-slide assembly is annoying to name a few.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Air Nailer - Stapler Orginization / Storage

I use two staplers and one nailer for shoe making and have two other nailers and one other stapler.

A little hard to see but the best answer so far is a set of desk top file holders!

I found this at an estate sale for a couple of bucks.

Hanging them was fine until the collection grew.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Sherline Lathe - Lever Action Tail Stock

I really wish I had made this  years ago but now I have it.

With the 0.050" per turn on the standard tail stock it takes some time to get a deep hole drilled.

I did some research to see which mechanism might work out and then bought a tail stock blank to build from.

 I get over 1.25' travel

I bought a No. 0 taper reamer so I can use all of the set-ups from the standard tail stock

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Drill Rod Cutting Fixture

In making hundreds of my custom curved awls I have continued with the policy of upgrading the tooling every time I make a batch or two.

The 1st and one of the simplest operations is to cut the 4 different diameter drill rods to the proper lengths.

They are:
  • 5/64 @ 2.75"
  • 3/32 @ 3.00"
  • 7/64 @ 3.38"
  • 1/8 @ 3.75"

When there was only on size this was easy but as the range of offerings increased it became apparent that a fixture would make sense.

Initially I set up the bolt cutter like this to make it a one handed operation.
I would use a clamp and a right angle bracket to bump the rod up against and cut.
I realized that I need to design something that would jump from one length to another quickly and accurately, but couldn't see the answer clearly.
The 1st step to finding the answer is to layout the existing components. 
After that the design fell into place.
Each block of alum. swings out of the way for the next length block.

I think it takes about 30sec. to cut up a 3 foot drill rod into the correct lengths.