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  • Originally posted by gandalf View Post
    For the other accessories, I'm about to take some photos, that will make things clearer and hopefully "save 1000 words," then I'll say more about them.
    Ok, this is a setup to check the level of cylindrical objects.

    The horizontal rod is fastened to the side of the level, then the 'T' assembly is fastened to it by means of the screw at the center of the plastic wheel. It has a brass tip, to not mess up the rod. By positioning the 'T' assembly on the rod as needed, and in the appropriate hole, cylinders from 3/8" or less, up to 3" as in the photo, or larger with bigger components, can be checked. That is a much wider range than a conventional sensitive level can handle. Note that the horizontal arm of the 'T' must be parallel to the vial. However this is easy to do. You can see, next to the screw holding together the two arms of the 'T', a small threaded hole, in which is a set screw pushing against the horizontal arm, with which the angle of the arm can be adjusted. To do so you place the level on top of the cylinder, center the bubble, then rotate it a little bit to one side, then to the other. If the position of the bubble changes as you do so, you adjust the angle of the horizontal arm with the set screw, until it does not. A moderate accuracy is sufficient for this, and it is easy to do.

    This arrangement can be used for example to check for possible taper in a cylinder, especially if it is larger than your mikes will handle. By centering the bubble, then flipping the cylinder, the error will show up, double. So with some care very small errors will be seen, and can be measured with the level's micrometer.

    Our next attraction is a 90* square attachment to check vertical surfaces.

    The level can be mounted on either arm of the square. One arm is wider, and shaped to get into small dovetails when needed. The supports for the level, and the outer faces, are scraped accurately to 90*. The supports are also pinpointed. To check a vertical surface the setup can be clamped, but at times that may be awkward, or impossible. So as an alternative, a small rare earth magnet, mounted in a steel cup, shown in the bottom photo, can be placed in the hole at the middle of the vertical arm, and can be adjusted with the thin knurled wheel. When not in use I store it in a plastic container, to keep it out of the way. [More in "Part 2," the next post].


    • Originally posted by gandalf View Post
      [More in "Part 2," the next post].
      [part 2]

      The weight of the level on the square will make it deflect some, so for very precise measurements there is a support that goes under the square.

      It is a section of a U channel lined with leather to protect the level, with a short 90* bracket attached to it to fasten it as needed. The level rests (and can pivot) on the little white stub, which is placed about the center of gravity of the level-square combination. You can see in the photos of the previous post that the CGs are marked, both on the level and on the square. To check a vertical surface, first the support is clamped, then the level-square combination is placed on it, and first held by hand against the vertical surface, then the knob of the magnet is adjusted for the proper pull. The photos show it being used to check the vertical arm of the Minimill.

      This is it for now, and I think it touches on all the main items in the accessories photo. Let me know if anything is not clear, or if you'd like me to say more about any part of it.


      • I finally finished off the coolant control block for the mill, which was a great experience playing with aluminum. I even used the project as an excuse to buy a set of corner rounding end mills and a set of 1/4" parrellel sets (the block is sitting on the parrellel set). Was a pain to get the compression valve installed but after some messing around it went into place.

        Drilled out some mounting holes in the mill back plate and a hole for the switch wires, then mounted the back block using Permatex red to keep coolant out of the switch cavity.

        Then mounted the switch block and plate on, with the wiring passing through with some heat shrink over them, and sealed the rear hole around the wires. All I need to do now is make a coolant tray (which is a pain as I dont have a bender and I ran out of Argon for the TIG, so will get my machine buddy to make it for me) and put the pump in it.

        Now I can use coolant without having to tie up a hand with a squirt bottle, and have a single drop a second to full 3 gal/min flood control. I really like aluminum lol


        • The tools you made are awesome i noticed in one of the pictures some drawings. Do you have cad drawings for all the tools you make? I was wondering if you would sell them. Im interested in any drawings you have. Thank you


          • Originally posted by mdred68 View Post
            The tools you made are awesome i noticed in one of the pictures some drawings. Do you have cad drawings for all the tools you make? I was wondering if you would sell them. Im interested in any drawings you have. Thank you
            Thank you for your good words! Right now I have available a CD that describes how to learn metal scraping. You can see the description, and a substantial preview, at In the first page of the site I show also several things I'm writing up, including how to make a diamond wheel grinder and a lapping machine. They will come with all needed drawings, however they are still 3-6 months away from being ready. In the meantime I am thinking also of posting here photos of other things I made, that might be of interest.


            • I only make things when my old fat cells release some 40 year old chemicals causing me to get overly and irrationally creative.


              • Hi all,

                Long time lurking first time posting. I thought I would post up some pics of my rotor adapter and tool holder for my 14x40 engine lathe.
                Tool Holder :

                Second View:



                • I posted this out of order, sorry about that. The next post has the toll holder and more pics.

                  Close up of the arbor:

                  The aluminum piece centers up the rotor (I will have to make more of those as I turn more rotors). I have to finish the outer rotor holder yet. Plus put the finishing touches on the knobs and top plate. Oh, and I have to install the spring between the two tool holder arms. I was able to turn a set of rotors for my wife car on Saturday night worked GREAT! Brakes feel great too!

                  Sure I could buy new rotors with every brake job but nine times out of ten the replacement rotors have some runout and don't feel as good as they should which bothers me... I hate putting that much time into a job and have a slight pulsation in the pedal because of something out of my control.

                  Next up is a tubing notcher! Or something "Cool" like that.

                  Thanks for looking,

                  Last edited by ccm399; 09-17-2013, 09:08 PM.


                  • Hmm,

                    I bet my previous post had too many pics... Sorry.

                    Tool Holder:

                    Another View:

                    Sorry for getting them out of order with too many pics.



                    • ccm399

                      First of all welcome !!!

                      Secondly, that is a very nice set-up. I'm impressed. Do you support the tailstock side with a live center?


                      • Thanks!

                        Good question.
                        I centered up the tailstock and and machined and threaded the arbor with the live center yes. But in my hurry to turn my wife's rotors late Saturday night I forgot to support the arbor! That didn't seem to matter as the surface finish was great with no chatter. The arbor is 1 3/8 so it is quite a bit larger than the normal 1" brake lathe arbors. Next set I machine I plan to try the tailstock.



                        • Escapement Matching Tool

                          Here's another watchmaking whats-it I just finished making, and figured I'd share it. Probably wouldn't be of much use to most people but perhaps a fun curiosity if nothing else.

                          I spent several weeks making it (I only have a few spare hours here and there), and only discovered that it's called an escapement matching tool shortly after finishing it. It's used to hold a watch movement while supporting the upper pivots of escapement/gear train components so that a repairer can troubleshoot problems without having the upper plate/bridges obscure the view.

                          Here is a photo giving some idea of how it would be used, although the movement shown here is stripped of the gear train and escapement components:

                          The base is A2 tool steel, the uprights, thumbscrews and upright screws are O1 tool steel, the jaws that grip the movement are aluminum (no idea what grade but it machined real nice), the "knuckles" (or whatever you'd call them) are gray iron, the arms are music wire (mystery high carbon steel), and the centers and center carriers are brass. The cross drilled thumb screws are made from some free machining mild steel (12L14, or something similar) with the pins made from plain old nails. For the most part, materials on hand determined what I used. The 4 thumb screws in the iron knuckles have M3 threads, and were my first real single point threading attempt (not counting practice attempts).

                          Here is a better shot of some of the base and upright pieces, before I heat treated the screws:

                          And this is the underside of the tool:

                          I need to make a set of feet for it, right now it rests on the 3 thumbscrews for locking the movement jaws in place.


                          • I needed a vise stop and came up with this:

                            I was worried that it would not hold well, but a quarter turn of the 5/16-18 screw running all the way through it and it locks up tight!


                            • ccm399,

                              Can you remove that top plate so we can see what the guts look like?


                              • Well, finally got the press frame welded up. Sure is a LOT bigger than I expected lol