View Full Version : Tipsbook 2

06-15-2005, 02:25 PM
The Tipsbook sequel is due to go to the Art and Design Department very soon. They're is still room for more tips.

If anyone has any tips they'd like to submit to the book,and see in print, feel free to post it here. As always, photos are not necessary but are certainly welcome. I will email the poster (submitter?) to let them know they're tip(s) will be used. Compensation is in the form of a free copy.

Thank you in advance to all who post, and a big thanks to those who've given me tips previously.

Craig Foster

Michael C
06-15-2005, 04:34 PM
For making quickie jigs and disposable onetime use fixtures I frequently attach the components with ca glue aka super glue and then reinforce the joint when it dries in a few seconds by drilling tapping and securing with screw or bolt. To take apart to recycle the materials, remove screw give it a wack with hammer or apply heat with heat gun, just be careful of the fumes if heating to release.

Michael C

Paul Alciatore
06-16-2005, 06:07 PM

Here's one for you.

One problem with the 3 in 1 sheet metal machines is that the cuttings drop under and behind the machine where they are hard to get. Often the cut off is the desired part. Here is an accessory I built for mine after one or two projects. It is just a simple sheet metal tray that I bent out of the leftovers from a project. The front and rear edges have 3/4" lips and the two sides are just folded over to eliminate the sharp edge.


It is just deep enough to reach the back edge of the bench when the front lip is about 1" from the frame. I left about 1/4" clearance on each side for easy slideing. The picture shows it pulled out but normally it is pushed in.

Another advantage, in addition to the ease of retreiving a cutting, is the ready supply of scraps for quick use. I have literally made dozens of parts, fixtures, shims, and other handy small items on the spur of the moment using the scraps that fall in the tray. They are a great resource. Every now and then I have to clean it out but I leave the big pieces for future use. It has proven to be a real time saver.

Paul A.

[This message has been edited by Paul Alciatore (edited 06-16-2005).]

[This message has been edited by Paul Alciatore (edited 06-16-2005).]

06-16-2005, 06:33 PM
Here's one .
The last two machines I've spray painted,I used bright light primer on them.
now machines always get scratched usualy down to the primer......and it looks terreble.
Ever notice that a scratch into primer stands out like a soar thumb,and a few dirty marks are not even noticed.
Well this is my new idea .
When I paint my next machine I'm going to tint the primer slightly darker than the top gloss coat.
That way a scratch will just look like a dirty mark rather than a scratch.

When touching up paintwork always use a slighly darker colour .....this will also blend in to the eye as a dirty mark rather than an obviuse touch-up.
all the best.mark

[This message has been edited by aboard_epsilon (edited 06-16-2005).]

06-16-2005, 08:05 PM

I am using something really neato.. A two stick analog joystick with 12 buttons and a POV hat to do my 3d drawings. It's a Sony Playstation 2 gamepad with a Smart Joy adapter.

The software wrote in visual basic 6 and compiled into a exe file. It runs in the background, when you press a joystick button it dumps into the keyboard buffer anything you set into the listbox and saved. I am still tinkering with it in bobcad *I got it to working somewhat. ROTATING your model with pushing a button and sticking it to the right or left, hitting the POV buttons to change your viewpoint in 90 degree segments. It sure speeds up the modeling. I'll post the exe version of the software when I get it all debugged to my satisfaction, anyone with more time (hear me RIP?) that wants to fix it is welcome to the raw copy. YOU don't need to use the keyboard to draw in 3d, it slows you down, just like playing a video game.. ZOOM and you know how hyper I am.. I am fixing it to allow configuration of the text string you dump to the keyboard. (as many characters as you want)

I want, Solid works but can't afford it at the moment, May buy the student edition in a month or two. I have deskproto installed here in the test-mode and love it to write my toolpaths, unlike Bobcad which only allows ball end mills Deskproto has a whole range of endmills. It is only a toolpath generation program thou, not a modeling. Seems it is about $400.
Who knows? perhaps bobcad would like to buy the darned joystick driver? It sure makes thier software work better.

David Cofer, Of:
Tunnel Hill, North Georgia

06-16-2005, 08:11 PM
Ok - I want both the Tipsbooks. I looked through the (extensive! Wow!) previous thread on the subject, and didn't find out where it is. So here I am actually asking for a commercial plug to be posted. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif Are these regular Village Press items? Thanks.


06-17-2005, 12:04 AM
Yep, it is available through Village Press.


3 Phase Lightbulb
06-17-2005, 12:25 AM
Here is a tip on using personal hygiene tools. If you like cutting your own hair, or letting the wife cut it with clippers, make sure you have the correct length adapter installed BEFORE you start cutting with the clippers. If something doesn't feel right, stop IMMEDIATLY. This is what can happen if you're not carefull. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif



Paul Alciatore
06-17-2005, 01:52 AM

One more:

I have seen a number of questions about making odd shaped holes. Often in these situations, a critical fit is not really required. In making electric and electronic equipment many components require a mounting hole of a particular shape. Although special punches and other tools can be purchased or made for these uses, they can be expensive and are not practical for items that are being made in single or small quantities.

Often, a hole that can be made with standard milling cutters, following a rectangular path, can be designed to accomodate these parts. Here are some examples of holes I have cut for odd shaped components.

The first one is for the popular DB style connector. Punches for this shape are available but usually cost between $150 and $275 each. And there are five different sizes in this commector series so punches for all of them would cost a mint. Instead of the odd shaped hole, these connectors can be easily mounted in a rectangular hole which can be cut with a 1/8" or 3/16" end mill. Since connectors are usually on the rear of the equipment the appearance is quite acceptable. And I have seen equipment from major manufacturers with cutouts in these shapes.


The next example is for a rectangular switch with sharp corners, no radius. Again, punches are available but expensive and limited in the gauge of metal they can cut. Here I will overshoot the corners by one half the diameter of the cutter, producing four semicircular indents at the corners. These can be hidden by the mounting bezel of the part and I try to locate them where the bezel is widest. The mill is selected so that these extra cuts are not visible: usually a 1/8" will work.


The final example is of a hole for a fuse holder. These parts are subject to twisting forces when the fuse is changed and need to have a strong resistance to that rotation. Hence, they have two flats in what would have been a round hole. The rectangular hole I mill is a good substitute as the full length of these flats is in contact with the sides of the hole. The other two sides touch at one point only but there is little stress there.


Althouth this is not a universal substitute for cutting specific shaped holes, many situations can be handled in this manner.

Paul A.

[This message has been edited by Paul Alciatore (edited 06-17-2005).]

06-17-2005, 07:56 AM
Good Morning,

First things first, thanks everyone for putting these up. I think they'll all make it in.

IBEW: Solidworks is pretty cool. Neil uses it for a lot of the drawings in HSM and MW. It works especially well for doing the assembly drawings. In the July/August issue of HSM, he used it to create that great Rotary Table Assembly drawing. I hear it can be difficult to really master, but once the basics are learned, you can do a lot of neat things with it.

3Phase: Actually very good advice http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif. Something similar happened to me when I was in High School. My mom accidently cut it really low. I had to wear a hat at work.

Wirecutter: The best way to get the book is to order it from our circulation services. Their number is 800-447-7367. Price is 9.95 plus 3 bucks S&H.

Thanks again to everyone, and have a fun weekend.


06-17-2005, 08:54 AM
A tip for DYI spark erroders for broken taps & bolts
Use a thin walled brass tube that you can buy at most hobby shops or copper tubing. It cuts faster because it leaves a solid core. As a added benifit you can pump the electrolyte through the tube for better flushing.

06-17-2005, 01:24 PM
many setups work better with two vices to clamp long work. However, most of us don,t have two identical vices. My solution was to make a spacer plate for the vice with the lowest profile,allowing the bottom of the open vice jaws to be the same hight. Now the tricky part, by cutting a slot in the top of the spacer in the X direction and a slot in the bottom in the Y direction, i can key the vice to the spacer, and the spacer to the table. This allows for simple allignment of the fixed jaws and easy spacing of the two vices. Doug

06-17-2005, 11:07 PM
Here's a hole deburring and enlarging tip. To find out for yourself what size to drill a pilot hole to follow with a finished hole size bit, do this: start by drilling about five holes in some scrap with each of a few different sizes of bits. Go with a 1/16 in, a 3/32, a 1/8, a 3/16, and a 1/4 inch. For each of these sizes, follow the hole with a larger bit, BY HAND, and deburr it. Have the scrap piece on a flat surface as you do this. Hold the bit straight up with a finger and thumb of each hand,and spin the bit into the pilot hole, or hold it in one hand, keeping it straight on as you twist it. You'll be able to feel and see the bit center itself and either cut cleanly and evenly, or not. For each pilot hole, start with a following bit that's just a tad larger. Do the next hole with a larger bit, and keep going larger. One of those will deburr the hole just right, and feel smooth without wandering, or taking too much pressure. Do the same for all the sizes of pilot hole you've drilled, and record the results. Some of the following drill bits will have a web thickness that's too large for the pilot hole, and some will start biting the burr too far out from the web, potentially causing an out of round or an oversize hole. (and possible chipping a lip on the bit) What feels good when you deburr by hand this way is likely to be the best size to follow a pilot hole with in the drill press.
You have two sides for each pilot hole you drill to play with, the starting side and the bottom side. The bottom will likely have the largest burr, and probably the most off-sided one. The goal is to remove the burr without the following drill wanting to go off-centered, or start to create a multi-sided entry hole for itself.
If you can remove a lopsided burr cleanly, without folding it over, and without creating a lobed pattern at the entry to the pilot hole, then that's a good sized bit to follow the pilot hole with.

For the sake of this experiment, start with a decent set of factory sharpened bits. The results will vary with different angles and clearances ground on the bits, the sharpness, as well as whether or not different length lips are on each bit.

Some people like to enlarge a hole with multiple bits, and some like just a pilot hole followed by a finish size bit. If you're a newbie, or are having problems drilling accurate holes, the results of this experiment should show you what would work best for you.

If the range of holes you would likely be drilling is from say a half-inch and larger, scale the experiment up accordingly.

[This message has been edited by darryl (edited 06-17-2005).]

Paul Alciatore
06-19-2005, 12:40 AM

For another possible tip, check out the response I made to this question on reamer/mill storage:


Paul A.

07-03-2005, 01:02 AM
We may have a well lit shop in general, but for closeup work at individual machines it seems we need that extra light. There are a variety of adjustable/flex lamps on the market..your choice of magnetic bases and a selection of clamp-ons. Some can be found at the "El Cheapo" hardware tables and do the job. Your imagination on light control by way of duplexes and light switches with the face plate color coded if need be. In our shop we have utilized many of these extra lamps.

Your Old Dog
07-03-2005, 06:58 AM
I posted one some time back on making smokeprints but never heard back if it was of use to anyone or accepted. It won't replace blueprints but it sure makes some layout jobs easier and it's as accurate as any fingerprint. It may be old hat and common knowledge to machinist but I'm new to the craft!

The old thread is here:


If that tip don't fly here's one that might. I always have trouble perfectly matching up existing bolt holes with a new manufactured part. I hatched this idea. Take a 4inch threaded rod of the size needed and run some nuts onto it so that it can be locked up in the milling machine vice. Then mill exactly half way thru a 1/4 inch section of each end. Cut the rod in half and you have two devices that, when screwed into the holes you want to measure and placed so that the threads face each other, a caliper can be placed across the flats to tell you the center distance between each hole. Has to work better than eye for most folks and much faster. A set could easily be made for the popular bolt sizes you work with. It will damn near work in the dark which is good cause I spend a lot of time in the dark http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

EDITED TO INCLUDE: I later found out these already exist! Guess I sort of re-invented the wheel as I see them mentioned in another post on relocating two holes!

[This message has been edited by Your Old Dog (edited 07-05-2005).]

07-03-2005, 07:49 AM
Hi Craig.

See my post regarding hockey pucks. Pretty low tech, but it seems everyone I tell says "why didn't I think of that?"


07-03-2005, 11:01 AM
Now this one has been around my shop for so long I had forgotten it could be a tip.

Keep an old deck of cards and old medium or small screwdriver near the epoxy and J B weld.The cards are cheap stir pallets, and screwdrivers clean easily with a paper towel.Pop sickle sticks work well also then it can all be thrown away.I keep popsickles in the shop freezer for the summer heat, It can be a treat.

07-03-2005, 12:26 PM
To avoid bashing your legs on a milling machine when not in use .do this to the handles.
....put them on back to front

all the best....mark

[This message has been edited by aboard_epsilon (edited 07-03-2005).]

07-05-2005, 07:29 AM
Plumb you air compressor intake to the outside of your shop. Then use an automotive oil filter for an air filter. (Wal Mart Super Tech ST2 screws right on 1/2" pipe.) It cuts down some on compressor noise, and keeps the airborn particulate out of your compressor. I do alot of welding, grinding, and even some painting in my shop. This gaurantees that none of that stuff is clogging my filter, and better yet extends the overall life of the compressor.

07-05-2005, 10:00 AM
Any update on Tip book II ?

07-05-2005, 04:13 PM
Tipsbook 2 is in the hands of Clover McKinley, the Executive Editor of our metalworking magazines for a final look. From there, it will go to the Art/Design department.

It's entering the home stretch. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//cool.gif


[This message has been edited by cfoster (edited 07-05-2005).]

07-05-2005, 05:36 PM
Soooo, any tips posted now will be in #3?

07-05-2005, 05:52 PM
I don't know if this is a duplicate, but here it goes.

When I mill steel, the chips just seem to get everywhere, especally on me while I'm turning the crank.

To solve this, I custom cut a protector from
a 3 litre plastic pop bottle. I cut off the bottom & top, making a cylinder about the right height. Then I slit the side and just clip it on my setup. Sometimes I have to make other cutouts to make it fit.

It contains nearly all the chips, I can see my work, and it's not too expensive.


07-06-2005, 01:16 PM
This is an item I made years ago it is an adjustable carriage stop for my South Bend heavy 10 inch tool room lathe. I use it in conjunction with the dial indicator set up on the back side of the lathe. I removed the original adjustment screw from the carriage stop and made a new one and drilled it out to take a 1/4 " rod with a thumb screw to adjust it to any needed length. It is a very handy and quick way to set up your carriage travel The 3 pictures should demonstrate its use. The idea should be adaptable to any lathe.http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y59/jpryan/07050001.jpghttp://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y59/jpryan/07050002.jpghttp://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y59/jpryan/07050002.jpg

07-06-2005, 01:25 PM
This is an item I made years ago it is an adjustable carriage stop for my South Bend heavy 10 inch tool room lathe. I use it in conjunction with the dial indicator set up on the back side of the lathe. I removed the original adjustment screw from the carriage stop and made a new one and drilled it out to take a 1/4 " rod with a thumb screw to adjust it to any needed length. It is a very handy and quick way to set up your carriage travel The 3 pictures should demonstrate its use. The idea should be adaptable to any lathe.
sorry for the duplicate post. I guess a senior moment.

07-06-2005, 04:22 PM
Hey Guys

I hate to keep posting and running, but these are busy times for us.

IO: Yeah, but since its so hard to predict the "publication" length of tips, I may keep my eye on a few just in case it comes up short. If that is the case, I'll be in touch with some authors.

So if you've posted recently and haven't heard from me, don't sweat it. You're number may be called into the game yet.