View Full Version : 'Nother Lurker post

05-06-2006, 10:40 AM
I've been a lurker here for going on 2 years and have posted occasionally but have never mustered up the gumption to actually post pictures of my stuff. John Stevenson's post about lurkers encouraged me to finally step out into the limelight and bare my soul. So.....taking a deep breath, here I go. Ya'll be nice now, you hear?

My machining hobby started almost 2 years ago when good buddy Roger Armstrong upgraded to a Southbend 9 and sold me his Sieg 8x16. My sole experience with a lathe prior to that day was 43 yrs. ago when I made the obligatory screwdriver and hammer in high school metal shop and more recently looking over Roger's shoulder through the years as he carved up various chunks of aluminum for my other hobby, R/C model aircraft.

(Pic 1) Once the lathe was moved into my shop, I added a pegboard toolholder to the back of the lathe table to hang the various tools I've made. My budget is limited so most of the tooling I've accumulated is either inexpensive stuff from H/F or ENCO or shop-made from junk I've picked up here & there. This pic is early on, no greasy stripe showing on the nice clean pegboard!

(Pics 2 - 4) The first thing I learned with my little lathe is that the tiny little marks & numbers on the dials just do not register in my brain for some reason. I made so many errors trying to keep up with how much I'd taken off the work that I decided to add 3 of the low-priced dial indicators from H/F to make life easier. I cobbled the mounts up from inkjet printer shafting and chunks of old auto front suspension bolts I pinched from work. The tailstock drilling depth gauge rig was made from scrap aluminum I found beside the dumpster at work. Man, ain't it great when you make something useful from junk! The addition of the dials allowed a quantum leap in my efficiency and accuracy.





05-06-2006, 10:43 AM
(Pic 1) The next project was a huge leap of faith for me & my noobie experience level. I immediately found that cool little lathe projects invariably need a pass or 3 on a mill. There was no way I could come up with the dinero (or the space) to add a mill to my shop so I searched high and low for a cheap milling attachment. After I saw what you get for the money with store bought attachments I decided to just make my own using the compound off of the lathe mounted at 90 degrees. I bought 2 - 4x4x4 cast iron right angle plates from ENCO thinking one of them might actually be 90 degrees. They both were surprisingly accurate for under $10 each. I had already bought a small mill table with tee-slots from Little Machine Shop figuring I would need it someday for a jury rig operation of some sort. I bolted it down to the cross slide and bolted the angle plate to it. I mounted the compound to the angle plate and bolted a small "screwless" machinist's vise I got from ENCO on it with steel blocks and allen bolts. The thing actually works pretty darn well as long as I go slow and keep the gib screws snug as possible. The sound of metal being effortlessly and (reasonably) accurately milled off has me throwing spare money into a jar for the purchase of an X2 or X3 Sieg square column mill. (Sigh, someday)

(Pic 2) The addition of the slotted table for the milling adapter left me with no easy way to mount the original rocker-style toolholder. One of my Canadian model airplane internet buddies sent me an unfinished 4-way toolholder block he'd started so I finished it up and mounted in on the table with a spacer under it to bring the tool up to center. It's much more rigid than the original and easier to position as well.

(Pic 3) I guess everybody makes a tailstock tap holder, mine isn't anything special but works well.




05-06-2006, 10:45 AM
(Pic 1 & 2) It wasn't long before friends and family were beginning to ask me "What the heck do you make with THAT thing?" so I decided I'd better make something pretty I could put on the mantle to look at. The cannon barrel was made from a chunk of steel off a press at work that somebody mangled with a hammer. I had to 1st make a faceplate from an old flywheel puller so I could turn the taper between centers with the tailstock set over. I made the wooden wheel hubs using the 5C spindexer and collets I bought on sale from ENCO. I turned the hubs to 1 1/8" from scrap hardwood and clamped them in the collet to drill the 12 holes for the spokes. The wheel outers were laminated from hardwood scraps over a thin plywood core, stuck to an arbor with double side tape, then turned and bored to size on the lathe. The arbor was then taken out of the lathe, clamped in the spindexer and the holes for the spokes were drilled before prying off the finished wood rim. The assembled & stained wheels just didn't look right without a metal band around them so I decided to put on some thin brass to contrast with the wood. Nobody said it had to be exact scale, right?
After trying to bend the rims by hand, I gave up and decided to make a miniature metal roller like I saw in the Micro-Mark catalog. The base and side plates were made from some grey plastic a buddy pinched from the dumpster at work. It's pretty hard yet slippery, is very stable and machines like a dream. The gears are off the rack at the R/C car section of my local hobby shop. I was proud of the solution I came up with for the mistake I made in drilling the hole for the idler gear. It was too close to the other 2 gears and the mesh was much too tight. After wrestling with several other fixes, I turned an offset bushing using a shim between the bushing stock and one of the chuck jaws. I picked up that idea from this forum and it worked perfect!

(Pic 3) I hate hacksawing big chunks of metal by hand so I picked up one of the ubiquitous H/F 4x6 bandsaws on sale. After taking it out of the box, I took one look at the supplied base and turned right around and went back to the H/F store and bought a $40.00 roll-around cart. It brings the saw up to a more convenient height and has 2 shelves for stock storage. I turned the top shelf over and spaced the saw up enough to clear the vise handle with some scrap square tubing. With all that weight up top, the supplied rubber tired casters allowed way too much wobble. I then removed the casters and added 2 more pieces of square tubing across the bottom to stabilize it. I reinstalled the 2 fixed casters on one end and positioned them so that there's a little clearance under them. When one end of the cart is picked up, you can roll the whole mess around like a wheelbarrow. Since the pic was taken, I had to make a new handle and brackets 'cuz the 2 trays are full of stock and the chintzy (chinky?) handle gave up under the load. I also made a separate handle/tiller assy. with a pair of inline skate wheels on the end. I pick up the end with the fixed handle, slide the tiller/wheels gizmo under it and can then wheel it around with ease. Wish I'd thought of that before screwing up my back!




05-06-2006, 10:49 AM
(Pic 1 & 2) This is my version of Steve Bedair's ball-turner, again made from side-of-the-road scrap. It works well but unfortunately won't turn a very big ball due to the amount of space taken up by the t-slot table.

(Pic 3) The boring bar with insert is one I made from inkjet printer shafting and a chunk of scrap.




05-06-2006, 10:53 AM
(Pic 1 - 4) I needed some shims to reduce the compression on a little Russian .020 glow engine so decided to make some. I clamped some blanks between 2 pieces of flat stock, drilled and reamed the ID, clamped them between washers on a bolt and turned the OD to size. It worked a treat!





OK, I've done it now....Ya'll please try not to bruise my fragile ego!

05-06-2006, 10:56 AM
Great job. Keep up the good work!

05-06-2006, 11:04 AM
Thanks M/m, I 'preciate ya!

05-06-2006, 11:15 AM
Is your last name Stevenson too :D Very nice collection of shop and project photos. That Seig lathe is interesting. It seems to have a little more beef than the 9x20 machines. I believe it is related to the Emco machines from Austria.

Do you normally work without the compound? I've considered that in order to increase the QC toolpost mount to cutting height on my little maximat 7. The compound is handy for finishing to a precise shoulder though.


05-06-2006, 11:15 AM
This is good stuff.Keep up the good work.


05-06-2006, 11:23 AM
You've learned by doing, Looks like you're doing good to me.
Looks like you have a Censured handle.

05-06-2006, 12:04 PM
Thanks guys! I wish I had half the machines and experience that Mr. S has...not to mention the master-craftsmanship.

Maybe the pictures alter reality a little. I think the 8x16 is about the same as the 9x20 as far as frame size and bulk, just a little less capacity. As far as the compound goes, I haven't missed it at all. I haven't needed to cut any threads yet or short tapers but I use it very often in milling operations. It's been a long time since I've used the compound as designed but if memory serves, I was getting squeel and chatter quite often with it. Almost never do now with that chunky block toolholder plus I sure like the ease of tool setup with the T-slot table.

You're right Les, when I opened the Photobucket account using my regular username (been using it for years in many forums) none of my pictures would link across due to this forum's censor robot. I had to go and create a new account!


Milton D i c key
(Let's see if my lastname comes through with some spaces added.)

05-06-2006, 03:11 PM
Very nice work, Milton. I love low cost, relatively simple solutions like you have implemented. I need to get with the program on the use of dial indicators on my old lathe. One of the degree wheels is really bad, and my eyesight is not good to begin with.


05-06-2006, 03:46 PM
Great idea for the bandsaw cart. I need to do that with mine. The stands they come with are junk.

You'll save up for that mill in no time and then we'll really be amazed by what gets produced.

Keep on truckin' bro'!



05-06-2006, 06:34 PM

Looks like you have been holding out on us!
Those are some really nice projects and mods to your lathe. I can't wait to see what your going to do with a mill.

I do love the "show-n-tell" threads.

05-06-2006, 07:17 PM
Thanks, you fellers are very kind.:)

I found some more pictures....ya'll will probably say "Enough already!" soon.

I picked up a H/F DTI a while back and it wouldn't fit my store-bought magnetic base so I decided to make one. I cleaned out all the old PC's in the attic a few months ago and stripped out the power supplies and hard drives before piling the carcasses up on the curb. I'm paranoid about data theft from old hard drives so I started stripping them apart to take the platters out and drill some holes in 'em before chunkin' them into the trash. Lo & behold, I found some REALLY strong magnets inside. A couple of them had metal plates large enough to mount a rod with a c/sunk allen screw. I made a couple of clamp blocks from some 1/2" square CRS and drilled & reamed them to .375 for a nice fit on yet another piece of inkjet printer shafting and the little dovetail stub mount on the DTI. A couple of bandsawed slots, a 1/4" bolt and a wingnut completes the rig. It won't articulate cleverly like the store bought units will but it clamps really well and is adjustable enough for typical runout checks on a lathe.




05-06-2006, 07:28 PM

Love the cannon! Looks like you have really taken the hobby to heart. I especially like the little slip roll machine. I am going to have to make one of those for myself. It just goes to show that you don't have to have a Monarch EE and a Bridgeport to do fine work. Keep up the good work.

Jim (KB4IVH)

05-06-2006, 07:58 PM
Thanks Jim, I hope to fire a barrage of cotton wadding from the cannon this July 4th. I have a few .50 cal Pyrodex muzzle loader pellets. They fit right into the 1/2" bore.:) No projectiles for me, just wadding. Maybe I can get a pic of it firing and post it here.

Here's a link to the roll I copied to make mine. http://www.micromark.com/html_pages/instructions/81356i/bending_machine.html

charlie coghill
05-06-2006, 08:05 PM
Very nice work ****ybird.
Another source for large magnets is old speekers.

For some reason this thing thinks I am using fowel language:D

05-06-2006, 10:14 PM
Some great stuff there,Milton.I'm surprised how many aeromodelers end up in machining.Perhaps a desire to build their own engine?I have plans for a Matador 60 four-stroke engine,for which I'm slowly collecting materials.(hence my username).I'm also (very slowly) building a 5"gauge live steam locomotive,and little workshop gadgets in between.Still flyin' as well though.Keep up the good work,and above all,enjoy what you do!

05-06-2006, 10:33 PM
Nice work man.

05-07-2006, 02:32 AM
nice work i thought the slip roll was neat,

05-07-2006, 02:45 PM
Quote: Here's a link to the roll I copied to make mine. http://www.micromark.com/html_pages/...g_machine.html

Thanks DB,

I will certainly put those in my project file. That little slip roll will come in handy for lots of little parts. The cannon will be lots of fun too! Everyone I know always wanted one of those when we were kids. That "big bang" carbide cannon, in the backs of comic books, used to drive me crazy with desire. 8^>)

Jim (KB4IVH)