Tuesday, November 24, 2015

World's only Cat Box Work Bench

Looking at the last open wall space in the shop and needing additional bench space for some new tools I began to covet the space that the world's largest cat box occupied. The cat box is actually a small cement mixing bin that I prefer to the smaller commercial ones, I learned a few years ago to put a frame around it with wheels so I could move and clean around it.

Note the filter taped to the 20" box fan, eliminates breathing the litter dust while scooping.

The bench has to be on wheels to access the crawl space door behind it.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Montgomery Wards POWR KRAFT Electric Planer TWH 8985 Restoration

Found this at the South High School Rummage sale for $8, and decided to give it a complete overhaual.
This is one of those machines that I always wanted but could never justify buying new.
A 50's era machine it looked OK Just dirty and the blades were butter knife sharp.

An ingenious design where the motor & handle are one unit and the blade & guide are another. The belt looks new, but are still available!

Its a 2" wide planer most of today's are in the 3" + range.

The really cool thing is that the bushings for the cutter head were standard off-the-shelf items so for $7 I was able to replace them.

The blades took some time to sharpen, this is a case where you have to go to the disk grinder and take a lot of material off (slowly)

I clamped them into my machinists vise and grind for 4 - 5 seconds and dunk in water, then it was on to the WorkSharp.
Setting the blades is a slow process, no wonder the newer machines have made great strides in ease of use.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Champion 10 Leather Splitter Rebuild

Not sure how old this thing is, 75 years old? Lots of net search yealded very little.

I'm looking for a manual, an exploded view, patent dwgs. anything that would help me get into the mind of the designer and understand better how to dial it in.

Picked it up from my friend Ralph over at Grosse Pointe Shoe Repair; he had never used it. It was bolted to the bench when he bought the shop 20+ years ago; judging by the cob webs on it. I asked if he could part with it.

It has 2 broken castings and the main gear is cracked. It's working fine in spite of all that.
Took pictures as I disassembled it... they came in very handy! Probably about 7 hours of time into the rebuild

After sharpening the blade and getting the bottom roller positioned correctly I got a trial split, no problem.

Its hard to beat a RED machine!

Just like Case vs John Dear you got your Reds and your Greens.


The 6" x 0.25" x 3" blade is a formidable challenge, without a surface grinder however...
I have a surface plate!
It became apparent that I needed a sanding fixture to hold the angle and so made this little clamp.
I could even use it on the belt sander for the rough work.

The previous owner put a huge belly in the center of the blade so the only way out was a lot of metal removal.

With slots in the carriage plat I can level and change the angle of the blade.
The Champion can split very evenly but the blade must be even.

Adding some additional assem. photos:

These picture were very helpful in getting this contraption back together.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Landis 5 in 1 rebuild

I needed a 5 in 1 for some time now and picked up this Craig's list find.

It was a real mess.
Cosmetically it was the glue spatter covering the bottom 3rd that was the worst part. I had no intention of repainting initially but when the glue refused to come off without taking the paint with it I decided there was no way to avoid it.

Mechanically it was fine but the blade had been badly abused, someone had tried to remove it, dented it to butter knife levels, and then reassembled it in the wrong order.

Ultimately I made a holding fixture for the blade in my lathe and was able to sharpen it very nicely but, when a blade is damaged that much the diameter is reduced and even though it is razor sharp it doesn't extend as far below the drive teeth as it should, so a new blade is still needed.

I did a complete tear-down and de-greese of the "oily bits" and used a paint stripper on the casting.

Rustolium green looks pretty good.
I prefer to not repaint, instead I will scrub clean the worn painted parts and give them a coat of MinWax water based polyurethane. This method shines & darkens the dull cleaned surface and protects it but leaves the vintage look intact.

I'm ordering a new Landis badge because the old one was un-salvageable.

Amazing durable machines.

Next up is a Champion Model 10 splitter getting the same treatment!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Shereline Lathe - Dremel Grinder, Dressing Attachment

One of my most viewed posts of all time is the Dremel grinder attachment post.
As of today I completed another piece of the puzzle; a dressing attachment.
I had been trying to figure it out for a while and when the Dremel drill chuck project came along I decided to get to it.

Since the Dremel moves with the cross slide the dresser had to be fixed to the bed somehow.

This design is fast and easy to set-up and take-down.

One element with my angled Dremel motor attachment is getting the grinding wheel aligned with the spindle axis, once this is done the dresser can do it's job. Although the wheel is spinning up against the diamond dresser the passes that are very light 0.001 or less per pass.

This thing is surprisingly easy to make now that I have figured it out for you.
I was not sure that the finished product (shaft grinding) could tell the difference but the Drill chuck project Proved that the finish after dressing is substantially smoother.

Shereline - Dremel Drill Chuck Attachment

For years I've struggled with chucking 60 and smaller drills in a drill press so when I got a spare Dremel chuck I decided to make a shaft for it that could be mounted to any drill press in the shop.

I started out trying to obtain a Die for the unusual thread size 9/32 - 40; although they are available not a single source in the States had them on hand, only from the UK.

After another week of "not wanting to buy" a $30 die I realized that all I needed was a old or worn out Dremel to scavenge the shaft from. I had an old Fordam like cable that I had not used in 25 years and decided that I would sacrifice it.

Any drill chuck that is not ultra precision is not concentric with its shaft and the Dremel falls into that category.

After removing the shaft from the cable I mounted it to the lathe like so.

Using a 1/8 dowel pin I got the setup as close to Shereline perfection as possible.

After rough cutting I used my Dremel grinder (one of my most popular posts of all) to get the shaft tru, and a half under 0.250.
In order to get the result I was looking for I had to finally make a wheel dresser for the Dremel.

So now I'm going to look for another junk Dremel to get the shaft from as a spare.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Shop Orginization = Time

Shop organization is not totally about storage, its about time; clean-up time.
Between every project clean up, and much more than that, take a day to clean up.

Tools and Taps on Trays
Over the years I have collected extra tools for cheap by frequenting Estate sales.

Tapping holes can be such a slow process so I started collecting extra tap holders as well as extra taps.

A little history; I started putting a tray on every work bench with the "standard set of tools" for that particular bench area, this allows for the quick removal of those tools for more space or cleaning.

I decided to apply the same theory to the taps.

So I keep almost every common tap already in a holder, and because of my Estate sailing I have the luxury of throwing out any tap that is not up to standards.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Thread Gauge Holder for WoodCraft "Thread Detective"

I looked over the WoodCraft "Thread Detective" products and bought one SAE an one Metric set.

The product is much more user friendly than using a thread gauge and calipers.

The product is great but the cable "kit" is a little lame, so I decided to make a holder for them like my drill bit holders.
This is what I came up with: Metric on the top row, English on the bottom. 

I machined it out of 40lb tooling foam and put a swivel base on it.

I actually had to make it smaller than I wanted to fit on the Sherline; it maxed out the Y axis travel at 4.94" dia,

With a little over 6" of Y travel you need to leave room for the max tool dia. and the cutter path to move clear of the part.

So anyone who wants to make a version of it on a 3D printer or injection mold I have the CAD data ready to go.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Tribute to my Cat Boo Boo, my shop Buddy

Boo Boo started out life in 2003 as Bruno, and he was a tough guy from day one. From the 1st day he got into the house all the other cats new he was in charge.
He was a rescue like all of our cats.

Fearless; no cat, no dog would he back down from.

He got to the top of the 7' tall amour with two bounds.

Very independent as an outdoor cat he roamed far and wide.

Some time in September of 2007 at the age 4 he went out and didn't come back, we got a call after posting pictures around the area. He was sitting in a driveway in a soaking rain. We picked him up only to discover that he could not control his back legs, must have had an accident; maybe broke his back?

I took him to several vets and and finally got a shot of synthetic hormones that mostly cured him. Although he walked fine he could no longer jump; he had lost all the strength in his back.

From then on he was an indoor cat only venturing outside when prompted. This is him sleeping soundly in my shop.

The last couple years he had become diabetic; we zeroed in his dosage as 9 units in the morning and 7 units in the evening.
A couple of months ago he had a urinary tract infection and after we got that under control he was never quite right.
So he had become totally dependent on me and I on him. I never ran a machine without making sure he would not be frightened, I stopped every hour or two to brush him, and he always said something when I walked by.
I think the thing I miss the most is that when I started taking piano lessons I practiced in my shop. As soon as I sat down every day he would walk over, lie down, and stay the entire hour. About midway thru however he would stand up and head butt my leg letting me know it was time for a head scritch.

I miss him so...

He was in such bad shape that on Sunday I took him in to the vet, brushed him so he looked his best and held his head as he passed along.

I know full well how meaningless this all is but it hurts.
I apologize to Boo Boo, and to you.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Metric Over - Under Drill set for Fractional sizes

As we all know the nonsensical Number and Letter drill system is woefully inadequate for the proper Over - Under drilling. It doesn't matter how, why, who, or where this systems came from it needs to be replaced.

Previously I posted my "Reverse Look Up Chart" and have now added some changes to what has become the only chart I go to when sizing for any of the custom work I do. Again, what I like about this chart is the ease and speed with which one can make a decision for hole sizing. After measuring any shaft, pin, or dowel, you get to look at the exact number that you measured and see what is above and below AND by how much without getting out the calculator.

I would like to challenge any drill manufacturer to package the minimum set of Over - Under drills for the fractional sizes. There are more variations too; like tap sizes that are logical and reamer under size too.
The idea is to use existing Metric sizes at the 0.1 and 0.05 size series to create the perfect (minimum) Over - Under drill set that I can reliably go to and instantly/easily grab the a drill that is always the same amount Over or Under

The chart highlights in blue the 0.002" or 0.003" over and under METRIC drills.
What the chart I made also illustrates are great holes or gaps around the fractional sizes that results from using only Number & Letter sizes. Some of the Number series happen to be spot on the Metrics and that is fine but what about the large gaps?

Most drill charts show only the decimal next to the the drill, This makes for a lengthy research project every time you go to make a new decision when choosing a drill. Also it does not show or emphasize the random gaps between them.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Why I hate my Ryobi 208B 18V Hand Drill

The Ryobi 208B is a good looking, well designed, and what I expected when I got it home last year. The battery system seems very good.

I decided to switch to Ryobi from DeWalt because I feel that DeWalt is getting fat & happy; they have lost their consumer centric design focus.

I have always been happy with Ryobi tools in the past.

Why I hate my 208B is because it cannot hold the bit in the chuck.

Why I hate my 208B is because it cannot hold the bit in the chuck.

I wonder what the Program manager has to say about this?

I'm not sure where the "hold the bit in the chuck" line item is in the design criteria but it might be somewhere at the top.
I suspect that the engineers assumed that any way the chuck works was fine, but it is not.

 So I avoid using it, I am never sure that the bit will remain in the chuck.