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METAL_CHICK
01-10-2007, 01:39 PM
I have a drill press, a 6" grinder, and a belt sander with the disk sander, and various hand tools.
Don't laugh I'm new.
Any project ideas?

CCWKen
01-10-2007, 02:10 PM
Many things have been made with far less. A hammer and chisel for example have been used since the beginning of time. Some idea of your interests would be in order before any suggestions could be offered. Welcome to the forum.

METAL_CHICK
01-10-2007, 02:17 PM
I am interested in making some kind of tool or tools to expand my shop-mostly interested in metalworking.
Thanks for your reply.

thistle
01-10-2007, 02:27 PM
welcome,hope you stick around. everyone has started out like you.

pcarpenter
01-10-2007, 02:30 PM
I was told by an old machinist I knew when I was a kid (he was a model airplane nut too) that one of their first projects as an apprentice involved no machines. they were given a block of steel by an old German guy and told to make it as close to perfectly square as possible with a file and a square. That may seem like sort of an exercise, but you could make yourself some 1-2-3 blocks as part of the exercise. You may not get them just right, but if you quit a bit early, you will have learned to file correctly and could later still have someone grind them to final size for you on a surface grinder, making them a useful tool in the end.

I know it sounds like I am grasping at straws, but I am trying to think of machine-free stuff that would eventually be useful.

paul

Rusty Marlin
01-10-2007, 02:47 PM
I've made several knives with just that set up. Just need to add a MAPP torch for heat treat. Use old worn out files: aneal, shape , harden and temper, all with the equipment you have.

METAL_CHICK
01-10-2007, 03:00 PM
I've made several knives with just that set up. Just need to add a MAPP torch for heat treat. Use old worn out files: aneal, shape , harden and temper, all with the equipment you have.

Would you mind going into some detail on your heat treating method?
Thanks in advance.

eperkins
01-10-2007, 03:12 PM
Metal_chick

I remember a book written by one of the english model makers that had a nubmer of simple projects that could be completed with nothing more that sawing, filing, drilling etc. I think the book was titled "Making Small Workshop Tools". Anyway, I have seen the book on ebay. In it were things like scribers, height gages, toolmakers clamps, tapping guides, drill press table clamps, filing plates, etc. If your sawing and filing skills are good, you can make a credible job of many of these. If they are not so good, perhaps they will improve with these projects. Except for a rifling machine and a forge, you are probably already equipped about as well as many 18th century New England gunsmiths (and they made their own rifling machines with tools like you have).

Perk in Cincinnati

Steve Stas
01-10-2007, 04:00 PM
If you add to your sock of tools an inexpensive X-Y vise, can be had from Harbor freight, grizzly, etc, pretty cheaply, and a couple of small end mills, you can do some LIGHT milling in the drill press. Good for slotting, making corners and so forth. Once you can mill a little bit, it opens up the possibilities nicely.

That was my first approach many years ago in my broke days (still broke, but that's because I bought a bunch of machines)

steve Stas

Fasttrack
01-10-2007, 04:25 PM
Well - i started with a 8" drill press and a 30 piece craftsman mechanics set.

I started off wanting to make a go-kart, but that didn't happen until i bought a welder. Thats a really useful item to have - you can get a decent (for home use) stick welder for $150. Most people say stick welding is hard to learn; i didn't find it to be too difficult and i actually like it better than mig.

Anyhow, before i bought my welder i made a small wood fired forge out of an old grill. Then i bought a 55lb anvil, then a 6" craftsman bench grinder, then made a few random things. Some knives (not the beautiful works of art that most people make, but they were all right) some cold chisels, misc like that.

With your set up and a good heat source and maybe a cheap anvil (not even necessarily an anvil, just a flat heavy surface to beat on) you could do some pretty cool stuff. Ornamental hooks, hinges, wall sconces, gates, candlesticks, various hand tools, fire pokers, pliers, tin snips, the list goes on...

Leaf-springs from a junkyard make for good source of steel. The spring steel is great for knives and tools. Well, its great for the cost... :D

Tin Falcon
01-10-2007, 04:34 PM
M C :
There are lots of things you can make.
Calipers: inside, outside, hemaphrodite.
Drill point gage
Sheet metal scribe like this:
http://malco.malcoproducts.com/products/awls/a40.asp
to name a few. A lot can be done with a hacksaw and file.
Here is a steam engine that can be built with basic tools.
http://npmccabe.tripod.com/olddesign.htm
Hope this helps
Tin Falcon

rake60
01-10-2007, 04:40 PM
Well it isn't a tool, but I made this small working model enignes using nothing more than the tools you say you have.
http://www.rake60.com/Steam%20Engine%2011.jpg
The piston and control valve were made by chucking the stock up in the drill press and working them to size with files and emery paper.

Here's a link to the plans page, if you think you might be interested in trying it. http://npmccabe.tripod.com/mccaberunner.htm

Rick

Mark Hockett
01-10-2007, 05:37 PM
METAL_CHICK,
There is a series of books on how to build a metalworking shop from scrap (http://www.lindsaybks.com/dgjp/djgbk/series/index.html). If you build all of those tools you would have a pretty capable shop and the knowledge of how to use the equipment too.

Your Old Dog
01-10-2007, 06:24 PM
I have a drill press, a 6" grinder, and a belt sander with the disk sander, and various hand tools.
Don't laugh I'm new.
Any project ideas?

With what you have, you could make an engravers hammer. You could then make some engraving chisels and do metal engraving. I'm not sure if you want to get into metal working as a purly artistic endeavor or for the fun of fooling around with machinery and close tolerances. If more artistic, then engraving would not be a waste of your time. The tools for this endeavor are very simple and very cheap.

dp
01-10-2007, 06:36 PM
I have a drill press, a 6" grinder, and a belt sander with the disk sander, and various hand tools.
Don't laugh I'm new.
Any project ideas?

Haven't read the entire thread but it looks like you might could use a good tool box to keep the tools you're going to be making and buying. Seriously, it's a good first project because you don't have to put it away when you're done :)

Yankee1
01-10-2007, 09:47 PM
Muzzle loading rifles are great projects. When you finish you have a thing of beauty with practical usage. In the making you will learn the art of draw filing which is a practical skill used by gunsmiths and others that work steel with hand tools. You will have a sense of accomplishment in finishing a practical project such as this. If this is more than you wish to start with try a muzzle loading pistol. And if this is to your liking accouterments such a powder horn and ball starters could be made to go with it. The first 50 caliber rifle I made from a kit took me 42 hours to complete and has provided many hours of enjoyment for me. This is my suggestion.
Regards Chuck

HTRN
01-11-2007, 01:17 AM
I was told by an old machinist I knew when I was a kid (he was a model airplane nut too) that one of their first projects as an apprentice involved no machines. they were given a block of steel by an old German guy and told to make it as close to perfectly square as possible with a file and a square.

Yeah, I heard that from the same guy I apprenticed under, only it was a raw lump of steel(most likely a casting "lump"), and then told to file a 1" square that was +/- .001, and perfectly square. Then once that is done, and met with approval, you took your nice new 1" square block of steel, and file it till it was 1" diameter sphere!


HTRN

Swarf&Sparks
01-11-2007, 02:10 AM
Re anvil, best substitute is a lump of railway line.
Shouldn't be hard to come by just about anywhere in the world.
I have a piece of NW iron line, 138 lb/yd (memory?)
It's taken a lot of pounding over the years, top quality manganese steel. :D
Rgds, Lin

thistle
01-11-2007, 07:58 AM
alexander g weygers wrote a series of books about making tools , the old way- well worth looking for
amazon shows his books if you type the above name in the search

Rusty Marlin
01-11-2007, 09:39 AM
Metal Chick,
to anneal the file for making into a knife. Degrease it and put it in the kitchen oven and set the oven to clean. When the oven is cool the file will be soft. This is not a true annealing but a high tempering temperature that will draw the hardness back so the file can be cut with another file. If still not soft enough for you, heat it to brick red and bury it in clean dry sand or kitty litter and let it soak till cool.

After you have the final shape of the knife, use the torch and heat the blade to a uniform cherry red, don't get it past orange or you'll burn the surface and create excess scale. (practice heating peices of steel till you can tell the differnace in colour). When the steel gets to colour quench it in room tempature water, straight in, don't tip the blade to the side, (it will warp) and stir the blade around. At this point the blade is rock hard and glass brittle, if you drop it it will shatter like crystal. Put it back in the oven and set it to 430-435 degress and let it soak at that temp for and hour, remove and quench again.

If the blade is too brittle for your use, raise the tempering temp 10-15 degrees. If its too soft, re-harden and lower the temering temp 10-15 degrees.

METAL_CHICK
01-11-2007, 11:12 AM
thanks everyone the ideas are great!:) I will be using many of them!;)
Thanks Rusty Marlin for the info on heat treating, all but 6 of my files are ready for retirement to the junkyard and now they have a possible use!:D