View Full Version : Dang them little bitty stuff makin' jobs

Forrest Addy
01-05-2010, 09:26 PM
I had to make three #4 thick washers for a dial indicator project. Shouldn't have been difficult. 1/4" drill rod, 0.116 drill, part to 1/16" thick. I even have a Jacobs Rubber-Flex chuck to make it easy. Good lathe capable of 3000 RPM, HSS tools of razor keen-ness, 1/16" parting blade, sharp drill. What could go wrong?

I couldn't see. I brought the magnfying desk lamp out and clamped it to the compound. When squinting through that didn't work I fetched a little digital camera and my lap top and a 2 diopter lens. At last I could see what I was doing. I only made eight washers to get three I could use.

Then I had to deburr them and dunk them in tool black.

Three little bitty washers took all day. I wouldn't hire me for a crash test dummy.

doctor demo
01-05-2010, 09:36 PM
Three little bitty washers took all day. I wouldn't hire me for a crash test dummy.
Does that mean there will be deep discounts available for the next scraping class?:D


01-05-2010, 10:40 PM
Hell's belles, Forrest - show some pride. You're the last man standing in the American washer manufacturing industry! And sell the mistakes on Ebay like everyone else :)

01-05-2010, 10:54 PM
Some days it don't pay to go in the shop. :D

01-05-2010, 11:06 PM
LOL, Just had an eye exam today to get some glasses that I can leave on while I work...

Nothing like pulling glasses off to see a tiny part.. Then not being able to see glasses to put them back on...

Eyes finally back to normal, drops just wore off...

Got prescription for 16 inches away work or so..

Bifocals just don't cut it for me...

01-05-2010, 11:50 PM
Forrest, you and I are in the same boat! I'm gonna come out with a replacement for the "Day Runner". I'm gonna call it the "Week Stumbler".
But you got it done.

01-06-2010, 03:42 AM
Last washers I made where for my lathe...
Made em perfict... Ok well slightly too big to fit no problem i'll just grind one side down into a flat, then it wont rotate! ok grinded.. slip on and.. hey.. its rotating? Turns out I could of gotten them on by lifting the toolpost slightly.. the compound top is larger then the bottom and only prevents washers from being droped on when the bolts are all the way through..
Ok time to make another 2 washers! :P

Sounds like you need one of those micro video cameras :)
Or just better trust in your micrometer stop.

01-06-2010, 05:27 AM
Very interesting, I always thought washers should be made from sheet material of the correct thickness as thats what is required.
Just drill the required hole cut around the outside(a job on its own!) load onto spindle pop into lathe and cut outside diameter round ... what can go wrong.... where do you want to start!


01-06-2010, 08:22 AM
I'm 44 years old (may be younger than many here, I suspect) and I feel your pain. I frequently do fine TIG welding and just couldn't see. Used to be able to take off my glasses and see pretty well but no longer. Got progressive bifocals last year and it's a big improvement. I also keep my loupe close by.

May be obvious but I've found that lighting is critical. Bright overhead light doesn't help much I think because my pupils close and reduce visibility of what I wish to see. I find spot lighting on the work with moderate ambient light is best.

01-06-2010, 08:33 AM
Put all the machines on wheels so you can roll them outside.
And then only work on bright, sunny days.

John Stevenson
01-06-2010, 09:00 AM
Doing a lot of DC motor repairs means I have to replace burnt out brush gear quite often.
This means reusing the brush boxes if I can and making new boxes and a new mounting plate out of Phenolic [ Tufnol to us ]

These are fastened on with brass or copper rivets and usually a weird size, I used to make these on the CVA [ 10EE clone ] but for every 10 rivets I needed I had to make 16 or 18 because some flew down the back / all over / in my coffee [ delete as required ]

So I bought one of these tiny Sieg C0 lathes that's about the same size as the little Unimat, fastened it onto a length of 3" angle and it lives in the cupboard until needed then goes in the vise, make 10 rivets and put it away.

One of the best 100 I have ever spent.