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.