View Full Version : Newbie Ahoy!
05-04-2001, 04:18 PM
Hi everyone new member here. I have been reading and trying to learn the trade for about a year now. I finally made the leap and purchased my equipment. A very large Chori Majistic Knee mill (like a Bridgeport) and a Southbend Model A 9x36 lathe. I am excited to get started ruining metal! Does anyone have some small project plans I might use to get started. Something easy! I eventually want to be able to build single shot falling block action type rifles but I need to learn the basics first. Thanks for any help!!!
05-06-2001, 11:11 PM
Back in the mid 1980 HSM published a series on building a Hit&Miss engine,which sounds about what you are looking for. I built one just for fun.This engine is made with bar stock, no castings. Look in the HSM index.
Good luck. Charlie.
When I started out, I found things around the shop I needed. Tooling and accessories for your machines are good practice and make future projects easier! A tap wrench that can be held in your mill chuck, a vise stop, a steady rest, perhaps a vee block or a boring bar and holder, etc. Practicing one's design skills is also quite useful.
I wouldn't recommend starting with a hit-and-miss engine. Gasoline engines are difficult. You need to get good compression, which implies good valves and valve seats, for instance, and if you're just starting out that will be diffiult to achieve.
I like Joel's suggestion of simple shop tooling. Guy Lautard has some stuff like that in his "Machinist's Bedside Reader" series of books.
If you do want to build an engine, try the simplest steam engine you can find. There are lots of plans for simple steam engines made from barstock. It will run even if it isn't perfect, and when it does the experience will be HIGHLY satisfying. If you concentrate on doing the best job you possibly can, you will find plenty of things about even the most simple steam engine that will give you fits and challenge your abilities.
You may want to consider some of the projects from Metal Lathe Accessories http://www.statecollegecentral.com/metallathe/index.html
The casting quality is superb, and Andy Lofquist is a great guy to deal with. The T-slot cross slide is a good project. Even if you don't want the T-slots, the extra length of its dovetail ways makes the T-slot cross slide a lot more solid-feeling than the stock South Bend cross slide.