No announcement yet.

Shop Made Tools

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • continued

    face milling table

    Table milled...Still need to add a couple of t slots and a few tapped holes

    The head is trammed by screwing in 2 adjuster screws you can see on the vertical plate....The pins have .005" clearance to make them slide in easily,so I drilled the holes with the plates .010" out of square so when they are brought to square during tramming,the pins are bound making for a solid mount...The dividing head rotates,so it is trammed in the outher direction by swiveling it....
    So there it is....$30 worth of hot rolled steel plate,a couple of nights work,and I have a vertical rotary table with excellent dividing capabilities!!!!
    ps. Sorry for all the surface rust....We had a very drastic temprature change last night with rain...I went to the shop this morning and there was condensation and surface rust on everything!!!! I have a good 2 hrs worth of cleaning and oiling ahead of me tonight...
    Last edited by hoodlum; 01-13-2013, 04:41 PM.


    • Dieholder for long stock on the Mini Lathe

      When I decided to buy a milling attachment for my 7x16 Microlux Mini Lathe I came to realize how short the cross travel was and also how limited the use of a milling attachment was. I decided to extend the cross travel with 1" before the centerline and 1" beyond the centerline, which meant that the cross feed screw had to be extended by 2". Since I am still a novice machinist I decided to fabricate 2 extended cross feed screws, one by threading with a die and one by threading with the lathe. In the end I was going to choose the screw that fitted the nut the best.

      Threading a A2 tool steel rod on the lathe was quite a challenge but also a great learning experience especially since the thread was left hand. Due to the length and the springiness of the 3/8" drill rod I was threading I had to use both tailstock and the follow rest in order to get a decent thread and consistent major diameter of the thread. Without the follow rest the diameter would be smaller in the middle of the screw due to the rod's springiness. In the end, and after several attempts, I ended up with a new cross feed screw that did fit the nut smoothly and with no noticeable backlash.

      For my second attempt I did eventually find a 3/8" - 20 TPI LH Die overseas. I could of course not use my tailstock mounted die holder since it limited the thread length to a few inches only. Nor did I want to thread by hand for such a length using a die stock. Eventually I came up with the idea to make a sliding die holder that would guarantee that the die was perpendicular to the rod, both horizontally and vertically at all times. I used the steady rest, stripped from the finger assemblies and the bottom locking nut, into which I inserted a home made die holder that screws on to the steady rest. With a hand crank in the spindle I can now thread the rod and the freely sliding steady rest keeps the die absolutely perpendicular to the rod at all times.

      I made the die holder out of 2 3/4 round aluminum that could fit 1 1/2", 1" and 13/16" dies. The holder was fitted to the steady rest from the back by 3 M6 screws. The mounting surface on the steady rest was slightly ground in order to make it perpendicular to the center line. Then 3 M6 holes were drilled and tapped in the steady rest.
      The threading operation with the die was a breeze compared to machine threading. After a few passes and adjusting the die I finally achieved what I consider to be class 3 fit with the cross slide nut, much better than the original screw and nut. Now as an extra benefit to having an extended range for the cross slide any trace of backlash has disappeared.


      Last edited by tkollen; 01-14-2013, 06:07 PM.


      • I suppose you guys are getting sick of seeing my penny, but here's another little doo-dad I recently made for pulling roller tables from balance assemblies. It's sized to work with most larger pocket watch movements. The screw pusher has a safety center in the business end that is 0.014" in diameter (to avoid pushing against the delicate pivot). Threads are M1.4 and both pieces are made from O1 (the screw hardened and tempered to blue, the body I left annealed).

        The parts:

        Pulling the roller table from an 18s Waltham (the angle makes it look like the roller jewel is being pushed against but that is not the case):

        Roller table pulled off, and still held captive in the puller:

        In this case, the lower pivot of the balance was already destroyed so the safety center wasn't necessary - but to make it more useful in the future it seemed like a good idea. Drilling tiny holes like that can be tricky so maybe the technique I used will be of use to someone else. To date, the smallest holes I've drilled have been 0.006". I started by using my smallest center drill (2mm shank diameter, 0.5mm drill point diameter) held in the tailstock of a watchmaker's lathe to get a small center barely formed (didn't quite sink the drill point angle all the way in). This was the first operation on the material, before turning it down at all. Then I swapped the center drill for a 0.014" pivot drill (spade-type drill, very much like circuit board drills, except mine are made from carbon steel rather than carbide). I ran the lathe at about 4000rpm (at that speed, my crummy old sewing machine motor isn't happy for very long, but fortunately this was a fairly quick operation) and peck drilled until I was up to the shank of the drill bit (about 1/16" deep). After every couple of pecks I applied a drop of Tap Magic - that really seems to help cool these plain carbon steel pivot drills, they cut very well if you treat them nice. The machine's tailstock takes the same collets as the headstock, is perfectly aligned, and has a nice, sensitive lever feed that makes it a joy to use for stuff like this.



        • I have it posted on my blog at

          Basically these are toe push clamps made out of D2 plate.
          There is a tapered slot for 1/2-13 screw.
          the front is tapped 3/8-16.
          I get huge clamping force with those.
          Total manual machine time for 4 pcs- 2 hours.
          Sure beats buying mitee-bitees for 175$ a pop

          FSWizard - Free Online Speed and Feed Calculator


          • Originally posted by Zero_Divide View Post
            I have it posted on my blog at

            Basically these are toe push clamps made out of D2 plate.
            There is a tapered slot for 1/2-13 screw.
            the front is tapped 3/8-16.
            I get huge clamping force with those.
            Total manual machine time for 4 pcs- 2 hours.
            Sure beats buying mitee-bitees for 175$ a pop

            Zero, is there a specific angle that the front plate ends are machined at? I would like to build a set of them for several upcoming projects.
            Last edited by Lu47Dan; 01-29-2013, 08:31 AM.


            • Originally posted by Lu47Dan View Post
              Zero, is there a specific angle that the front plate ends are machined at? I would like to build a set of them for an upcoming projects.
              Not really.
              Conunterbore is drilled and machined flat to the top and bottom faces.
              Back angle was ground by hand (Yuck) on a disk sander until slosing action felt right it ended up being a lil less than 15 Degree.
              That shoulder with 3/8-16 hole is 1" long. and 0.3" tall (in my case). Hole was drilled undersized to 0.298" instead of 0.312" and tapped 3/8-16 very carefully to not snap it by hand- i wanted as much as possible engagement with the screw.
              Tapped Hole is 0.5" away from the corner.

              Same with the counterbore on the jaw, its 0.5" away from the back face.....
              On the "business" end of the jaw i very crudely cut out a relief in the bottom- this way it is only clamping with top 1/8 of the jaw- smaller point of contact allows clamps to bite in deeper into aluminum (primary use in my case)....

              I used a 5/8" d2 plate because that's what i had.
              I wanted/should have used (and advise you too) to use 1" or eatleast a 3/4" thick bar , 1-1/2" wide
              As you can see i have some bend in my clamps when they are fully tightened. One might suggest that's alot of force to lift those ends like that!
              But D2 is tough enough to return to flat once the load is removed.

              Also make sure you make an effort and make that slot for 1/2-13" screw tapered- this will prevent your assembly from sliding under load.
              Also if you go that way turn your self some 0.25" thick washers from O1 or D2 round stock- those will protect slot and screw from being damaged.

              Its easy to make those clamps and honestly i don't see a reason to actually buy any brand-name push clamps anymore.
              You could buy some pre-made pre-hardened strap clamps and save your the trouble or removing alot of material - just mill a shoulder, drill and threadmill thread, and add tapered face to a slot
              Good luck.
              Last edited by Zero_Divide; 01-28-2013, 11:41 PM.
              FSWizard - Free Online Speed and Feed Calculator


              • A bit of a simple one from me, a collet 'tree' (inspired by macona's and sir John has something a bit similar in one of his pics). anyway i welded a vertical pole onto the DRO arm and used an old welding reel to make a tooling carousel,

                it's actually on ball bearings i salvaged from a skip, not realley needed but they fitted easily. the top has a piece of perspex to allow more tools to be loaded in the centre. i also welded on some hooks to hang the usual spanners, hammer etc. one day i might even get a DRO to fit the arm.....



                • Recently bought a couple small dies and today I had need to use the 4-40 one. Got ready to cut threads for a piston rod and realized I didnt have anything to hold the tiny Die. It was too small for my Sears set. So, made a Tailstock Mini Die Holder from the "I'll need that bit someday..." Bin.

                  Last edited by chucketn; 01-29-2013, 07:52 PM.


                  • Originally posted by Dan Dubeau View Post
                    I made a much larger version for pulling "sliders" off the rear suspension of snowmobiles.


                    • That is one nifty tool to have around revrnd. I can see how useful it would be to have on hand. My only concern would be damaging the threads on the end of the Vise-Grip. Maybe you could reinforce it by pressing a bushing over the OD of the threaded section?

                      Nice work !


                      • Don't use any of those Vice Grip look a likes , friend of mine was given a pair, when he clamped the jaw shut tight, the bolt shot right out the end!!!! Lol


                        • This one isn't exactly a shop made tool, but it's a shop made addition to an existing tool to make it usable.

                          I don't know if anyone else here has used a jacot tool or a set of turns, but they're both types of tiny lathe that are driven by bow for delicate work. The "turns" are simple dead center lathes, whereas the jacot tool has one offset runner with special shaped beds and lanterns that are interchangeable, and are used specifically for finishing work on pivots. Being bow driven, obviously it is a very old design but they are still manufactured by at least one company (Horia Steiner). Older ones are meant to have split pulleys (ferrules?) attached to the work, so the work is driven directly by bow. This takes a very delicate touch and lots of practice to avoid damaging the work while driving it. At some point most jacot tools instead used a separate pulley mounted to the body or one of the runners, with a pin sticking out of it. The pin would engage with a tiny dog attached to the work, or if the work had a wheel attached to it, the pin could engage with the spokes of the wheel to drive the work.

                          Some time ago I scored a really nasty looking jacot tool for such a cheap price I couldn't pass up the gamble. It cleaned up pretty well. It came with two tailstock runners - one with beds for finishing tapered pivots, and the other with beds for straight pivots on one end, and lanterns on the other end. The headstock runner has a different size female center on each end, and is reversible.

                          This is the jacot tool after I spent some time cleaning it up:

                          It looks pretty but notice it is the older design, with no driving pulley mounted anywhere. I wasn't crazy about driving the work directly - not only would it be difficult but I'd have to make a set of ferrules to clamp onto the work anyway. It seemed much easier to make just one pulley to mount to the headstock runner. Most of the stuff I'd use in this tool would already have a wheel of some sort mounted to it, so I probably won't ever have to make a driving dog.

                          Here comes the shop made part - I made a pulley from O1 drill rod (I would have used brass but didn't have any of an appropriate diameter on hand) and then made a tiny retaining collar and set screw from W1 drill rod. The diameter of the runner that the pulley mounts to is 0.111" on one end and just a hair shy of 0.112" on the other end, so I made the collar and pulley with center holes 0.113" in diameter. I bent the drive pin from 0.025" spring wire and drilled a 0.026" hole in the pulley to accept it. The fit of the drive pin makes it easy to adjust and it doesn't seem to have a tendency to work itself out of position. The tiny set screw has M1.4 threads.

                          These are the loose parts I made:

                          And here they are, in use. I actually mocked up this photo after I had used it a bit and if you look close, you can see I didn't place the driving pin fork around the spoke of the wheel properly.

                          In my hoard of scrap metal (which is mostly small size stuff) I have several lengths of spring steel about 6 feet long. From what I understand, they're called "mice" and are used by builders for pulling wires. They're good spring steel so I cut off a length of one (about 12"), filed notches in each end, tied some good thick thread to each end, waxed the thread, and I had a pretty nifty little makeshift bow.


                          • Needed to do alot of side drilling/milling/tapping on our moulds lately.

                            So I quickly designed and whipped up this custom indexing fixture that allows me to mount almost anything to it.

                            Face plate has several tooling dowel holes on front side to locate work piece.
                            On the back of face plate there are 36 3/8 dia reamed holes spaced 10 Degree apart.

                            Housing has a big 5.0"Dia pocket in the front into which the face plate's hub fits in with 0.001" clearance
                            Housing also has corresponding 3/8dia reamed holes spaced apart 9 degrees. This allows me to index the face plate with 1 degree increment.

                            Design time:2 hours, Machining time: 2 hours.

                            I have 3 pictures of the thing here

                            Only posting one here to save some site traffic
                            Side View with mold mounted with 2 3/8-16 screws
                            FSWizard - Free Online Speed and Feed Calculator


                            • Originally posted by 1-800miner
                              Mr. Mars-red every time I see your name, I immediately click on it too see what you are up to.
                              You must have a collection of optic gadgets to enable you to see these objects, that are smaller than your famous penny.
                              How about letting us see how you see.

                              In my shop,any thing smaller than a quarter/course bolt goes in a coffee can that rarely gets used.
                              That tiny stuff that you do really impresses me.
                              Thanks miner, I very much appreciate that! As I go through this journey I sometimes get overwhelmed when I hit set-backs like making stupid mistakes or realizing that I need to make YET ANOTHER tool before I can make any more progress. It sure leaves me feeling pretty inept and green at times. Hearing from other folks who enjoy seeing what I'm up to helps to give me some perspective. Even though I feel like a real dope sometimes, and have barely scratched the surface of what I need to learn, I have come a long way in just a few years.

                              I feel like this may be somewhat of a let-down for you, but this is generally how I see:

                              I don't even have a selection of eye loupes yet - still just have that one I started out with. I could use a stronger one for turning balance staffs (where the pivot diameters are in the neighborhood of 0.008").

                              When I need magnification for doing disassembly, assembly, cleaning, inspection, etc on smaller watch movements (the ladies' wristwatch movements from the early 20th century tend to be especially small) I use a Barska stereoscopic microscope, similar to this one (though mine is an older model): It was a gift from my employer (my day job, that is) and is one of the most useful tools I have in my shop. I never would have bought one for myself but now having used it I'm not sure I could live without it.

                              A lot of it depends on what I'm doing - the parts for the jacot tool, for example, didn't require any magnification other than quickly using my loupe to inspect the screw threads after threading. For something like turning balance staffs, though, I use magnification every step of the way.

                              Regarding the penny, I actually started out using a Chuck E. Cheese token for a reference object in my photos, a few years back, because it was the only coin I had in my pockets at the time. That's what having kids does to you.


                              • Im almost ashamed to post this, as its far from tiny, but I whipped up a bt40->1.5" harrison lathe adapter tonight from the remains of a very crashed l5 mandrel (it was so bent we had to saw it in two to disassemble the headstock, so no good parts were hurt in this process).

                                It lets me do very silly things, like use the harrison faceplate's I have as giant flycutters.