View Full Version : Anybody ever build there tools using Gingery's books?

10-01-2002, 01:32 AM
Hello All,
I am a Machining student at belmont tech college in St. Clairsville Ohio. And, a couple of years ago my mom bought me David Gingerys books "Build Your Own Metal Working Shop from Scrap" Series. And, now I would like to build them. Since I am a machining student. Has anyone ever done this? Where could I get supplies for the characol foundry? Also, when I am done, where can I find some plans for steam engines? I am into those and hit and miss engines. Also, would these engines be possible with this equipment? Please help me.

Duct Tape, the most widely used tool!!:)

Herb W
10-01-2002, 01:51 AM
There's a yahoo group for Gingery builders http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gingery_machines/
Good Luck!


10-01-2002, 02:37 AM
Thanks alot Herb for the info.

Duct Tape, the most widely used tool!!:)

10-01-2002, 05:59 PM
Live Steam, also published by the sponsor of this board is a good start for IC stuff. Check the ads for leads. I bet if you ask Neil nice he'll send you a free copy.

[This message has been edited by Gizmo (edited 10-01-2002).]

David Hafnorske
10-01-2002, 09:04 PM
I have read about his books in a catalog I get, but am not so impressed. Take his bandsaw for instance if you have a junyard full of scrap metal and odds and end parts it might be worthwhile. But if you plan to buy iron for the project, as well as a motor and cord and springs, sheet metal, coolant pump, and whatever else it requires, you will find that you have over half the cost of buying a cheap new one. And unless you have other good equipment to make it with you can't be sure of the accuracy.
I learned this one the hard way. I thought I would make myself a milling machine with a new drillpress and a milling table. With the cost of these put together I was only about $150 short of buying a small brand new one. But I would still be lacking a quill stop, quill lock, table locks, knee adjustment and knee locks. ( very important) A lot of work yet to do. Is it worth my time for a measly $150? I don't think so!!! I think you are better off to request catalogs from Enco or Grizzly or Victor Machinery exchange or other machine tool suppliers. And pinch your pennies until you get a good machine.
When you build something out of angle and flat iron you will find that you are lacking one very important element of a good machine. CAST IRON. Why is cast iron so important? Because it absorbs vibration, something you don't want. Why do you think machine tool companies spend so much time and efort using cast iron?

10-02-2002, 12:41 AM
Thanks Gizmo and David. David, I have never thought of that. I have thought of the accuarcy and that, but not the money(go figure). Do you have websites on those machines that you suggested? And, what sizes should I look at for the lathe mill and drill press. I am trying to stay away from those multiy machine deals. I heard some bad stuff about them. I have already subscribed to this magizine. Oh, and can you recommend a good first project once I get my machines? Something simple and easy, till I get to know these machines. Sorry about all the questions, I just want to get started out on the right foot. All, and is anybody else out here being trained to be a machinist or is a machinist?

Duct Tape, the most widely used tool!!:)

10-02-2002, 01:15 AM
Check out www.backyardmetalcasting.com (http://www.backyardmetalcasting.com) This guy is working on a Gingery lathe, and has ideas for inexpensive furnaces. Interesting page even if you don't end up building machines

10-02-2002, 01:55 AM
Why not wait until you can afford brand new cnc machines? If you are lucky you might get to use them for a day before you croak.

Built my first lathe out of angle iron .... still remember my early projects. Can't remember what I turned last month with the fancy lathes I now use.

Still use the bandsaw my grandfather built out of a plow and cream separator.

You learn this machine trade one chip at a time. Drooling over a tool catalog does not give you the needed hands-on experience

10-02-2002, 06:19 AM
I gotta agree with Trap.The experience of building something from scrap for as little as you can get away with is the challenge.The resulting accuracy will be the time and patience you put into it.Its all about learning.Go for it Jeeper. Hell even if you fail you'll have learned a hell of a lot more than someone who just plunked down money for the equipment.
Addendum; You gotta learn to dumpster dive. Check out the dumpsters in your local industrial park.

10-02-2002, 03:00 PM
Have read the Gingery books and they are great reading. Have started 2 of the projects but I keep getting distracted with other "fun" shop troubles.

Pyramid Products, in Niland CA, sells foundry stuff and are good to deal with. I bought lots of stuff from them.

The object of the Gingery books, to me, is not that the machines will compete with the Bridgeports and the like but that you have fun building them yourself at little cost and then have a capable machine when you are done. Most of the time you could buy a used machine for comparable expense that would be bigger, faster, better and more practical. But if I wanted to be practical I probable wouldn't have a shop at all! Thanks--Mike.

10-02-2002, 06:04 PM
I'm with Mike, Rusty & Trap. Making the stuff you work with is half the fun. After all,if you just want to work with high end machines you can go & get a job somewhere.

10-02-2002, 10:24 PM
Interesting question regarding the Gingery machine tool series.

Here's a little food for thought: in the October/November 2002 issue of Machinist's Workshop there is an article titled "Metal Lathe Cone Center." It should be of interest to you for two reasons: 1) the author casts the cone in aluminum which you would be doing while building the machines, and 2) it sure looks to me like he's using a Gingery (or Gingery-derived) lathe to do the turning.

Proof that you can build and do meaningful work with Gingery machine tools.

10-03-2002, 01:10 AM
Thanks guys for the replies. Ya, I want to experience and something to play around with. I know that I wouldnt get too too accurate work, but it mite save me money. But, I was thinking, what should I cast it out of? Aluminum or iron? But, like what David said. If I dump money into these machines and just have to go an extra 150 dollars for a new machine that I know will be more accurate(hopefully), why wouldnt I do that? Just a thought, i dont know.

Duct Tape, the most widely used tool!!:)

10-03-2002, 02:04 AM
despite your most excellent first name - I have to take issue with your statement.

When faced with no other alternatives there is nothing wrong with Gingery's stuff. It can be made on the cheap if you try hard enough. If a precision lathe can be made by P.O.W.'s under the watchful eyes of the Japanese noses with crude tools then anything can be done if you have the will and determination. I would also argue that the accuracy from a cheap import may be no better than these home built units. This is determined entirely on the builder's skills, proper use of materials, and attention to detail and not as much on its cost.

Solving a problem and doing it with pride in your workmanship is something you cannot a dollar figure on...

10-03-2002, 06:06 AM
There's no reason for your home built machine to be any less accurate than any of the middle range stuff around. Beauty of it is you can keep working on it with modifications & improvements, something you would be less inclined to do with a fancy store-bought machine.

David Hafnorske
10-03-2002, 07:04 PM
Rusty Bolt, Don't you know that dumpsterdiving is a good way to go to jail? When his mother gave him the book I don't think she wanted it to lead to a life of crime.

David Hafnorske
10-03-2002, 07:19 PM
Trap, don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with home built tools.And yes I have done things just for the challenge of doing it.
Hands on experience is what it is all about. In my case though, with my hairbrain idea, I spent some good money and I have not finished it yet. How much experience do you get on a tool that doesn't exsist? If I haden't been such a cheapskate I could have been making my 101st project by now.

David Hafnorske
10-03-2002, 07:38 PM
Thrud my point exactly. They were faced with no other option! A good example of what the human brain is capible of. This is exactly the part of the brain a student needs to tap into. I would hope that jeeper is going to school to get a job. But doing something just to prove it CAN be done rather than WHY it should be done does not impress the boss much. Learned this one the hard way also.

David Hafnorske
10-03-2002, 08:08 PM
I guesse I should be more specific. I graduated from tech school 11 years ago. And I wanted my own milling machine. A small one, heck anything is better than nothing. So I spent $150 on a benchtop drill press and $200 on a milling table. (Paid more for the table than I should have. But then I wasn't getting the home shop machinist then either. Enco sells them for almost half that.) Grand total of $350 and what do I have...... Hint it's not a milling machine.
Several months later I came across a small milling machine in a catalog for $500 shiping and handling included. Just plug it in and go! You can imagine my frustration.
Now wouldn't you agree I was a bit foolish???? O.K. a lot follish.
Still have them and am not sure what to do. I'm not out any money on the drillpress because I need one any way.
Kicking around the idea of finishing it but I have one problem. What can I do for a knee? I would like it as accurate as possible. but it has a pipe collum and the table swings back and forth when you try to move it. There goes your project, right to the scrap bin.
Anybody have any ideas?

Al Messer
10-03-2002, 08:14 PM
No, David, you are not being foolish. IF you can afford the $500.00 mill, by all means buy it. Having both machines may better suit your needs. I knew a gunsmith once upon a time that had both a mill, and a drill press fitted with a milling table. He used the drill press for precisely locating and drilling holes in his line of work. You will find many uses for your milling vise, so don't go around mentally kicking yourself!!


David Hafnorske
10-03-2002, 08:30 PM
Jeeper I am not talking about multimachines either. I don't want one in my shop either but I would be hard pressed to say something bad about them I am sure that they have their purpose. After all, some of the CNC tools now are becoming machining centers, a combination of lathe and mill. I wasn't impressed the firt time i saw these on tv. but after I gave it some thought CNC lends itself to this situation very well. When you have a piece in a lathe chuch and you need to mill a flat on it that must be parallel to the center axis you don't need a setup on another machine. You keep your deadon accuracy. And you save time as well, time is money you know.
As far as what to cast it out of iron would be best because it is heavier, weight = stability. But this is for you to decide depends on what you are comfortable with,
aluminum has a lower melting temp.

P.S. they didn't have machining centers when I went to school. makes me feel kind of old.

David Hafnorske
10-03-2002, 09:51 PM
Thanks Al I needed that.

10-03-2002, 11:35 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by David Hafnorske:
Rusty Bolt, Don't you know that dumpsterdiving is a good way to go to jail? When his mother gave him the book I don't think she wanted it to lead to a life of crime.</font>

It is?!!!!!!!!

10-04-2002, 01:06 AM
Wow, thanks guys for all of the replies. Yes, I am going to school to learn the machining trade and get a good decent job after I graduate. But, since some of the people around my area have found out that I am going to school to become a machinist they have asked me to do this and that. Alot of scrap tractors and farm equipment around here because nobody really wants to pay the machine shop more then the tractors worth to fix it. Sorry got a little off of track. And, there are more people asking me everyday! So, I think that I am going to have to put this idea of building these on the back burner and buy the equipment. Can anybody recommend some equipment that I can look at and read up on? Thanks alot for all of the replies again. And, I didnt mean to start a fight between anybody.

Duct Tape, the most widely used tool!!:)

10-04-2002, 09:33 AM
Washing machine motors are plentiful and most scrapyards will let you have them for free if you ask and you are willing to remove them yourself. That's been my personal experience. Maybe they just liked me because I'm such a nice guy. Unlikely. I've gotten 3 washing machine motors and 3 dryer motors so far. Also I've been given 3 GE 2 speed 1/2 hp 1725 rpm motors, 1 Dayton 1 hp compressor motor-3450 rpm, and 1 3/4 hp 1725 rpm motor-brand forgotten. All I had to do was ask. Amazing the used stuff you can have for free if you ask. So much that is useful to us is useless to others. I plan on making a shop full of Gingery machines plus some hame made grinders, sanders, polishers, and a powerhead do perform multiple tasks from small turning to flex shaft work to whatever. 'Cause I can build it free/cheap. Thanks Ralph Walker, author of "Hobby Gunsmithing" and Dave and Vince Gingery for the great ideas for cheap machines.

10-04-2002, 09:58 AM
I also have Vince Gingery's power hacksaw book because it appeals to me due to limited shop space.
From what I've heard, the cheap bandsaws are REALLY cheap, in a bad way.
I have a 7x12 minilathe and although I like it, I should have saved my money and just built one. You're hard pressed to beat American made machinery. Looks like the only way to have a new American made lathe, mill, or shaper is to build your own. I respect all opinions, but for my money, If I wanted to buy everything, I woudn't even get into casting and machining. I'd just pay someone else to do it. It's shameful just how depenent we've gotten on outside manufacturing and repair. Independence is one of the reasons this hobby appeals to me. Just like the fact that I started to learn how to work on cars by helping my dad fix the family cars when I was 10 years old. Back then it was just a way for me to spend more time with my dad. Once I bought a car it became about self reliance.
I'm probably going to offend someone but here I go. It's pathetic how many "men" don't know the first thing about taking care of their own cars. I'll gladly take the heat for that remark. Besides, why would I be bothered by what some sissy thinks of me. That's right, sissy. Doesn't want to get his hands dirty. Doesn't want to pull away from the TV or PC long enough to learn enough to keep from possibly getting screwed by a mechanic. Remember, I've been a paid mechanic for the last 12 years. I know what happens in the business.
Disclaimer, I'm not saying all mechanics are crooks. But if you don't know anything about auto repair, you aren't able to protect yourself the shady few.
Disclaimer, I'm not saying anyone on this BBS is a sissy, mechanical retard. Seems to me, the people on this board enjoy the freedom and ability to make things for themselves. Maybe I'm an extremist, if so, I'm proud. I want to be able to make as much for myself as I can, and buy as little as possible from the PRC.

Al Messer
10-04-2002, 07:39 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Jaymo:
Washing machine motors are plentiful and most scrapyards will let you have them for free if you ask and you are willing to remove them yourself. That's been my personal experience. Maybe they just liked me because I'm such a nice guy. Unlikely. I've gotten 3 washing machine motors and 3 dryer motors so far. Also I've been given 3 GE 2 speed 1/2 hp 1725 rpm motors, 1 Dayton 1 hp compressor motor-3450 rpm, and 1 3/4 hp 1725 rpm motor-brand forgotten. All I had to do was ask. Amazing the used stuff you can have for free if you ask. So much that is useful to us is useless to others. I plan on making a shop full of Gingery machines plus some hame made grinders, sanders, polishers, and a powerhead do perform multiple tasks from small turning to flex shaft work to whatever. 'Cause I can build it free/cheap. Thanks Ralph Walker, author of "Hobby Gunsmithing" and Dave and Vince Gingery for the great ideas for cheap machines. </font>
Glad you like Ralph Walker's book. It's a dandy, isn't it??

Al Messer

Al Messer
10-04-2002, 07:43 PM
David, How do you think I feel? CNC didn't even exist the first time I ever turned a piece of metal in a lathe!!

David Hafnorske
10-04-2002, 08:20 PM
[This message has been edited by David Hafnorske (edited 10-04-2002).]

[This message has been edited by David Hafnorske (edited 10-06-2002).]

10-05-2002, 12:32 AM
When I was born man had not walked on the moon, Chocolate milk came in glass bottles and I knew someday we would walk among the stars - I never in a million years thought the chocolate milk would disappear. And now look what has happened wars, drugs, Saddam - all because they never had real Chocky milk from a glass bottle. The world is going to hell in a handbasket... http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Uncle Dunc
10-05-2002, 03:55 AM

Will you give it a rest! You can buy milk. You can buy glass bottles. You can buy a variety of chocolates undreamed of when you were born. Quit whining and re-invent the chocolate milk of your lost childhood.

Uncle Dunc
10-05-2002, 04:04 AM
&gt;&gt; And unless you have other good equipment to make it with you can't be sure of the accuracy.

Accuracy doesn't depend on other machines, it depends on technique. The first accurate machine tool was made by a guy who had no accurate machine tools.

&gt;&gt; ... dumpsterdiving is a good way to go to jail?

Depends on where you live. I know lots of dumpster divers, and have never heard of anybody around here going to jail. I was once asked not to come back by a builder, but I never felt any fear for my freedom.

10-05-2002, 06:19 AM
dumpsters should be made with a step or two on the inside.

10-05-2002, 01:50 PM
Thrud, was your glass bottled chocolate milk sealed with those little pull-tab cardboard disks that fit inside? ... or the paper caps crimp-folded over the outside? ...makes a difference you know.

10-05-2002, 07:26 PM
Jeep: not to throw water on your fire, but i suggest you start your repairing with some hand tools. As Trap has hinted, you can make tools as you see a need, then one day you will discover you need a welder, lathe, vise, a tap and die (maybe a set). I have (as others here have done) used a 1/4 drill and file in place of a lathe. then a 1/2 inch drill etc. Save your money, invest sweat, blood and tears and brains (especially brains) until you figure out what you can't do with out. then buy quality for a purpose. Repair work is mostly studying the part, figuring out why it failed and what you will do to make good as new or better or just get it going for a time. Not very much time spent at a mill or lathe- buying parts or welding or strainghtening is usually more prctical than making a new one. Too many men buy a old car to "restore" disassemble it, never get it put back together. The usual excuse (and it may be valid) is that it was just worn out, but they have a shop full of tools they can't use for the job they never get around to doing. Start slower, get your hands dirty, sweat on ouyr brow then start stocking up on tools you just can't live with out.

There is a very good market out there for men who can use their hands and brains. And you can't make money by being the low cost source of repairs. But you can get experience by being the low cost repairer- but you gotta figure on charging more as skills build.
Nuff said

Al Messer
10-05-2002, 08:49 PM
David, My Grandfather was 21 years old when the Wright brothers first flew at Kitty Hawk and he watched men walking on the Moon on his TV before he died.

Now, I'm with Thrud about the chocolate milk. When I was a kid, there was a crimped paper cap on the bottle, you took it off and then pulled on the little tab of the paper disc that fitted inside the neck in order to get to the milk. How old does this make me??

People ask me what I've got against CAD and CNC. The answer in NOTHING. My problem is---I haven't yet mastered the technology of my Grandfathers" youth and I sort of feel like that is a necessary basis for understanding the "new" technology.

Have a great week end youse guys!!

10-05-2002, 09:27 PM
Al, thrud, what i miss most about milk is the cream floating to the neck of the bottle. And good old butter milk with flecks of butter. Hot corn bread and butter milk. i KEEP HOPEING they confirm that homogenized milk is bad for you. How many have never tasted "raw" milk?

Pumped many a gallon of gas from the ground to a glass tube marked in gallons before opening the valve to dump it back to the gas tank becasue pumps had no electric pumps- heck the places (whole towns) had no electricitY.

Made (in the 50's 60's) several trips accross the pacific in prop jobs. seems like it 36 hours flying time. Last trip left japan like 11 am , set down in anchorage about 10 am same day. Thats fast. Remember when USA had 35 MPH speed limit and lots of places that was as fast as you wanted to drive.

Take away the age and I would rather be here today though. and I think the best is yet to come, if we can get the powers that be to get out of our way

I am proud of how us old codgers have mastered the new technology.

David Hafnorske
10-07-2002, 12:21 AM
O.K. dumpster diving may only lead to jail in an extreme case, depends on the bussiness owner or the wrecking yard.
But as you know this is a sue happy world full of lawyres looking for easy money.
I bet you have never looked at it this way before.
I don't know how it is where you live but around here scrap iron, aluminum, etc. is recycled. And the bussiness gets paid for their scrap. The dumpster more than likely says property of So.. So. ..Wrecking yard, on the side of it. I would assume that this also applies to the contents of it. So lets just assume that you find a mother load, some good scraps of titanium, and lots of them. High priced stuff. The dollar amount of this may put you over the top of petty theft, so they may decide to procecute. Either way you look at it you are either steeling from the bussiness or the wrecking yard, depends on how the court would see it.
So if it works for you fine, but it is surely not a practice I would recomend.

Uncle Dunc
10-07-2002, 02:11 AM
Oh. I was talking about diving in the garbage dumpsters. I agree that taking stuff the company gets paid for is a bad idea.

John Stevenson
10-07-2002, 04:02 AM
To try and get back on topic.
I have heard of the Gingery projects and I've also seen a couple of books. They seems good projects. What is probably a bit daunting is that these are aimed at beginners who don't have a lot of knowledge or skill and they are thrown in at the deep end.
You really need to do a simple project first then move up. Problem here is the chicken and egg situation, where's the lathe to make the simple project?
Two other enemy's are time and the availability of cheap imports.
The first mill I had I built from a kit of parts suplied by Model Engineering Services in the UK, in fact I built a few things from their kits. The mill was marketed as the Dore Westbury. Link to details at http://www.lathes.co.uk/dore%20westbury/index.html
This was sold as a part finished kit in 6 parts to make it affordable. All the work not able to be done on a Myford ML7 and drill, or similar, was done for you. Column bars and table were pre ground, gears were pre cut etc. Table ways were built up out of flat strip, no dovetails, rather like a large Tee nut and slot, for ease of building.
This was a very versatile machine and I had this for a few years until I moved up in scale.
To be honest if the kit hadn't been available I would not have gone this route, also at that time the generic Mill / Drill hadn't appeared.

Interesting as they seem to me I don't feel these are a beginners project. It would pay to probably buy a cheap import or even a clunker to get the nessesary skills up to speed and then refurbish a machine as a project. Time would certainly be on your side.

John S.

10-07-2002, 02:57 PM
Al Messer, Yes it is. I'm 32 and I got that book used when I was 22. I also like Gunsmithing by Roy Dunlap. I salute Dunlap and Walker. Both are/were brilliant gunsmiths. Walker really appeals to my love of doing it on the cheap. Why would I pay $40.00+ for a cheap chicom grinder or much more for a cheap chicom buffer when I can pay about $17.00 for a bench mandrel, $5.00 for a belt, zip for a washing machine motor, and build my own wire wheel or polishing station? I have a 4.5" Power House model 950 bench grinder that belonged to my great-grandfather. He passed away in 1982 and my dad inherited it. He used it heavily until a few years ago, when it quit running. He gave it to me this year and I disassembled it. I polished the shafts and rebushed it and it works like new. I also have an 8" Homier bench grinder. Good deal at $20.00 but an old USA made would be better. Ever notice you never can have enough grinders? Need 2 or 3 just for different grinding applications, 2 or 3 for different grades of wire wheels, 2 or 3 for different buffing/polishing wheels. At that rate I'd go broke trying to buy that many cheap grinders/buffers, much less good ones. I can buy bench mandrels and use free washer/dryer motors and they'll outlast new grinders, as well as being less expensive.

10-07-2002, 03:16 PM
The scrapyards I deal with buy and sell metals. They own the dumpsters. They carge you a small fee to take old appliances off your hands. They told me that if I wanted anything off of the appliances that they have, I can have it for free because they already nade their profit just for accepting them. They don't make their profit from selling the junk appliances because steel prices are so low. I've bought lead and some aluminum and copper from them. I have some al cans and some copper scrap I need to sell to them soon. Their only conditions so far have been that I can take what I want as long as I disassemble and remove it myself, and that after I do, to please put whatever is left of the appliance in the dumpster, if possible. I abide by their rules and they know that I'd never steal anything from them. Anything I want insofar as scrap metal that they paid for, I pay their asking price. Also, I can go to the local garbage dump and get free motors the same way. Yeah, there's some work involved but I enjoy it a lot more than I enjoy spending my money on some chicom junk that wears out as soon as the warranty is kaput. If I had money to burn, I'd still build my own stuff just because I can. It's about independence. It's about pride. I'd go to Grainger and buy Dayton and GE motors for $150.00 and up. But I don't have plenty of money. Heck, even washer/dryer motors are $50.00+ at Grainger and that's a darned good price compared to the local appliance parts house. They want at least $120.00 for washer/dryer motors. If you're nice to people, and you ask politely, they'll usually let you have any of their junk you want. Besides, where I live, once you throw it in a dumpster, you've relinquished all claim to it. Garbage dumpster, that is. I'd never think of stealing from a metal recycling companies dumpster. They have to make a living too.

10-09-2002, 03:15 AM
I think you should always get the best quality tools that you can afford. If you decide to build the Gingery machine tools then that's OK. I know a man who built his own TV set because he couldn't afford a new one, but he wouldn't do that now.

You'll probably push the limits of good quality tools, eventually you will likely be creating your own tools for special tasks. That's what I want to do!

10-10-2002, 01:31 AM
All the dumpsters in my area either go to the county landfil or to county recycling. Anything in them is up for grabs to whoever can make use of whatever.

If my mom would have given me a set of machinists books I would have found at least one project to make to show her. You can bet it would have been to the 1/2 tenth and very shiney.

10-10-2002, 01:56 AM
I feel your pain brother. Mothers & Dumpsters - God bless 'em all. I found a Starrett Inside Mic in a Dumpster once - among other things useful and amusing. Worst thing I ever found in a dumpster was two dead coyotes - they should have at least skined them first, what a waste.

10-10-2002, 02:30 AM

I miss the coyotes, ice fishin', and rubb'n noses. It's only the power of the thongs that keep me this far south.

10-11-2002, 01:16 PM
Can't help you with the icefishing but we have plenty of coyotes for you in GA. Almost had to shoot one back in 96. My car broke down a half mile from the mall. While I was trying to fix it, said yote starts circling me like it thinks I'd be a good candidate for supper. Turns out, a 1/2" drive ratchet made for a good repellent, when thrown correctly. Would have shot it but didn't want to pay a $900.00 fine for discharging my piece in Clayton County. Happened to friend of mine who shot a big, mean dog that attacked him at his shop. Dumbass cop told him(after giving him ticket) he should have jumped up on the roof of a car instead. Buddy asked cop if he would want him jumping on roof of HIS car. Cop said that wasn't the point. Buddy said the point was he was protecting himself from attack by vicious dog and was well within his rights. Judge said pay corrupt county $900.00 to make it go away. Funny, you NEVER see cops jump up on roof of car when faced with vicious animal. Anyway, I wanted the pelt but not that badly.

Alistair Hosie
10-11-2002, 07:35 PM
In my opinion unless either you enjoy the process of making these items, or are making something which cannot be bought because it is no longer made.I would leave it alone there are plenty of sources for buying second hand sometimes with great savings.Don't get me wrong I would like to make a Holzapfell lathe for ornamental turning or a chuck for oval turning that would be fun and a sense of achievement but these cannot be bought and so if you want one that would be the only way.I once saw a home made bandsaw a guy had made and to be fair it wasn't bad it looked home made though and I found that off putting also looked flimsy so I always if I can't afford something look at the second hand market there are bargains a plenty Alistair

10-11-2002, 11:32 PM
Regarding making your own tools- made my first chisel in the 8 th grade. never knew there were so many things to know about a simple tool- sawing, annealing grinding, tempering etc. Same thing with screw drivers. Most all tools , including the lowly hammer have subtle features that you don't notice til you miss them. and so many tools are made just for one job right before they are desperately needed (maybe shortly after needed http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif ).

Son in law was tring to remove a bolt, he drilled it ok. needed a small chisel. I grabbed a piece of rod of some sort, hit it on grinder to see the sparks, ground it, heated it, quenced and tempered it all in less time than a trip to hardware.

Son in law carries it in his truck (he does diesel pumps repair), says it it best little tool in the box. way he tells it we made it of a nail. Point is he needed the tool, we made it and both learned a lot (especially about each other)

I'd never suggest trying to make a threading lathe, but - as trap says- have jury rigged one time after time, use it and junk it.

Jeep- remember that all this precison stuff was made by some machine or man with less precision and more time and skill than the user of the fancy machine PROBABLY has. Many a wealthy man in a new caddy has spent nights waiting for it to be fixed by a man with no education. I rather be the wealthy man any day, but I admire that man who was self schooled- Who said he was self taught and had to be a good student cause he sure had a ignorant teacher? Some one right here. Some good one liners on this board!

10-13-2002, 01:11 AM
Thanks guys. I havent been here in a while. Well, I took your advice, and subscribed to Home Shop Machinist. Cant wait to start recieveing them. Anyway, I have been finding alot of used machiniery around here. And, the local Vocational school just shut down their machine shop. Had alot of machines. Mite see if they are selling!! I know that they had Brideport mills and aaahhh cant think what kind of lathes they had. Crap! I think Colechester. All with digital readout too, if I remeber right! I only graduated last year. Also, I have found a couple of Craftsman and atlas lathes for sale. How good are they?

Duct Tape, the most widely used tool!!:)

10-13-2002, 11:44 AM
I started with a couple kits, and built my own lathe and bandsaw. Can't for the life of me think of the name of the company. Used those tools, got some experience, then lusted for better. I think the lust is good, as it drives the imagination. They were sold when I found a Shopsmith for $25, with a jointer and jigsaw. Sounds like a load of buffalo chips, doesn't it? Even I have a hard time believing it these days.
I'd like to respond to the comment by Jaymo about never having enough buffers or jackshafts. Also, especially for gun polishing, there is too little room between polishing wheel and drive head on the store bought stuff. I solved that by making a 3 ft. shaft, driven by a one horse farm motor. The shaft ends are machined like a Dremel tool collet. The buffers/grinders etc all have their own mandrel, and are trued to them. Makes my cloth buffing wheels last forever, because I'm not putting them on and off a tapered mandrel (bullprick) and having to retrue them each time. I figured the collet 'fingers' would have broken by now, but they are ok after 15 years. I've got buffing wheels, grinders, wires, leather and felt buffs, green, white, and pink wheels, all diameters, that swap in and out. It's been real handy.

Treven Baker
10-15-2002, 06:43 AM
My shop is filled with heavy old American machine tools. I have some really good auction skills and out here in the Silcone Valley area machine shops have been going out of business for years. Also the government has been closing most of its bases out here. Machine tools are being given away!!!!!! Really good stuff. All of the dealers buildings are full. No one is starting machine shops. I have passed by so many dirt cheap milling machines latley its not even funny. Most of the stuff is bigger though.
Anyway auctions are worth checking out.