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Universal Pillar Tool - photo warning

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  • Universal Pillar Tool - photo warning

    hadn't posted many pics lately, so a few weeks ago i snapped up a bunch of my UPTI experimented a bit with the photos – its just a black piece of cardboard with the shop lights off and sunlight through a window. Camera is a P&S Nikon P3 (I affectionately call it my POS P&S). It does have the advantage over other P&S that you can control aperture. Everything is done with a tripod and no flash. I also put my name on each pic, what the heck, I made ‘em

    The project is the Universal Pillar Tool, a classic designed by George Thomas. I went full bore and made all the accessories including the sensitive drill head.

    Here’s a smaller tapping head. For the newer guys, not breaking taps depends on keeping them straight so this tool is very handy. I used the end off an Eclipse pin vice of some sort, but still had to make a collet to fit common small tap dia. The bushing in the arm has a small spring underneath the threaded brass cap that presses light on the rod – very handy as the tapping head stays where you leave it and doesn’t fall into the work.

    Here’s a close of the small tapping head handle showing the “D” coupling. This is my design and gives and positive drive without having to tighten anything. It’s a snug fit, won’t fall off accidentally.

    Here’s a larger tapping head

    Last edited by Mcgyver; 12-18-2012, 03:21 PM.
    in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

  • #2
    It’s handle is held on by a hex I laid out and hand filed. I’d heard filing hex’s that fit perfectly in each position was the sort thing they’d assign apprentices to teach them to file so thought it would be a good test. It fits amazingly well, the secret is to use a bit of blue as you’re getting close and be very specific about where you are removing material

    Reconfigured a bit, the tool becomes a staking/riveting tool. Here a couple of blank tools are shown.

    Similarly, a square bushing holds number/letter stamps

    The bushing for the square punches is interesting – there are two springs with detent balls underneath to hold the punches in place – a very nice feature!

    Last edited by Mcgyver; 12-18-2012, 03:24 PM.
    in Toronto Ontario - where are you?


    • #3
      stupid image limit

      The most complex accessory is the drill head. It works very well and is a pleasure to use. There is an extra casting for this kit but they wanted a fortune for it so I carved my own.

      Here’s a close up.

      Lot’s of accessories to make. This photo’s a little dark, I still need more exposure experimentation I guess. Most of the staking/punching tools are made but not yet hardened.

      It resides in an old drawer with a lid. Hey at least it keeps the condensation off. One day a better made box will get done

      Hope that was of interest
      Last edited by Mcgyver; 12-18-2012, 03:27 PM.
      in Toronto Ontario - where are you?


      • #4
        WoW!!! Beautiful and useful piece of work! Applause!! Looks Great!


        • #5
          So That's what you have been up to.



          • #6
            Love it .Always wanted to build one . Wish I could get the castings. Looks great.
            Every Mans Work Is A Portrait of Him Self


            • #7
              Outstanding! You should be proud, Tom


              • #8
                Looks real good. Were did you purchase the castings and how much finishing was required?


                • #9
                  Very timely. I have been thinking of doing a UPT as a project and fleshing it out with accessories to make it versatile. Your UPT is exactly the type of tool I had in mind...and you have incorporated several ideas that I must admit...I will probably use. I am not interested in making another drill press since I have one that functions perfectly, but the hand tapping and letter punching and transfer punches are all very usable and are perfect for a UPT. Thanks for sharing your excellent pictures and ideas with us. This is exactly the type of thing this forum needs.
                  There is no shortage of experts, the trick is knowing which one to listen to!


                  • #10
                    Awesome job on that!

                    Hemingway still lists castings:




                    Try G-Wizard Machinist's Calculator for free:


                    • #11
                      how did you make the D adapter for the small tapping head?
                      also, how does the drill work? what i mean is, the part connecting the hand lever to the top of the drill spindle, what are the details for that? how does it spin and how does it account for the changing angle as you lower the handle?

                      very nice work!!!

                      andy b.
                      The danger is not that computers will come to think like men - but that men will come to think like computers. - some guy on another forum not dedicated to machining


                      • #12
                        Very nice. That gives me more ideas for my shoe sewing machine conversion.
                        I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


                        • #13
                          That is such a so sweet piece !

                          The photo's are great, I think maybe you missed your calling.



                          • #14
                            There was on YouTube a guy that made something similiar, anyone recall what it was called or saved a link ?

                            Mcgyver, if you had not seen the YouTube video you would like it I am sure.



                            • #15
                              Remarkable!!! It always amazes me on the precision a craftsman can achieve. Your work is a motivator for me to put more time and effort into all projects. I gotta stop being such a hack... JRouche