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Shop Made Tools

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  • Nothing fancy.

    Die holder... back side is bored for 0.875 tube. Slips over a smaller one, as a guide.

    Simple go/nogo guide as needed on some projects.

    Last item is a simple way of holding a thread item to a given depth when changing between lathe and mill.


    • Simple Press Brake that fits my 20 ton press.

      It is a kit that a fellow was putting together for 4x4 folks who had welding skills, but not fabrication skills. Nicely thought out, and a nice addition to the shop for about 1/2 of commercial units with heavier material.

      Many of the products offered at Swag Off Road are an industry first. Every product is designed, developed, prototyped and tested here in Oregon & 100% proudly made in the USA. We specialize in off road products as well as unique & innovative fabrication tools. “DOING ORDINARY EXTRAORDINARY”


      • Tap Holders.

        Three of them. Next time around I'll do tap, drill, clearance drill, countersink (for cap screw) to have all four items ready to go.

        Still handy to fit the right tap without hunting.

        Lots of great stuff has been posted, which I appreciated. My home made stuff is pretty humble, by comparison, but gets the job done when I need it.


        • One more (I promise to stop after this, and go out into the shop)...

          My son was having a heck of a time pulling the injector on his Nissan 240SX. Side feed fuel injectors, so a major pita to remove & replace.

          I noticed the injector has two little holes in the side of them. Just need to grab those and pull.

          Couple of telescoping 4130 tubes. Milled a notch to clear the injector.

          First tube has two tabs brazed in place, welded on end cap, thin split into to halves.

          Second tube slips over the first. (is is sitting inside the first tube, not visible)

          Third tube slips over the top two so the base fits on the injector rail, with the 1/4" hole on it. Spin the nut down, and it pulled the injector

          Other tool is used to push down on the injector. Trick is compressing the o-ring, but not tearing it. Helps to lean into it and pop it back in place.

          Fun stuff!


          • Nissan does weird stuff like that. Nice job with the injector tool.


            • Die holder.

              I needed a pair of bridges for my G scale model railroad a few years ago. I found a nice plan on the internet for a Howe Truss Bridge. They were a common wooden bridge in the Western U.S. in the 1800's and later. The plans showed 3/32" welding rod threaded for #3 nuts. (3-48 thread). I needed to thread both ends of some 80 rods to simulate the 1-1/2" iron bars that were used to hold the original bridges together.

              Dies were readily available at the local model railroad store for less then $5 but they wanted $15 for the handle!!!!

              The one I made was from scrap. A piece of 1-1/4 round steel cut to 7/8" long was used for the hub. The die is 13/16" and I bored the hub to fit with a set screw to hold the die.

              The handles are 1/4 -20 X 2-1/2 socket head set screws with 1/4 ID chrome plated tubes that I had on hand.

              On the back of the hub, I bored a pocket for an aluminum guide that presses in. It comes out to clean out the chips.

              With the rod to be threaded locked in a vise, the handle slips on and threading is quite simple using some Tap Magic or other similar material.

              Here are pictures of the handle, the bridge and a link to the bridge if anyone wants to build one.

              By the way, the bridge with the redwood and rods cost me less than $20 and the model shop will charge upwards of $200 for a scale 36" bridge. I built two of them, one a 40" and another at about 30". I have a room upstairs in my 24' X 36' barn where I do woodworking and model work. The model railroad goes around the room and has about 100 feet of track counting sidings and one portion of double tracking. I like G scale better than HO since it's easier to build things.


              • "I love that Vice-grip slide hammer. Simple but brilliant, thanks for sharing, I will unceremoniously now steal the idea"

                I first saw one twenty years ago, when a crew came in from Duncan Aviation, Lincoln NE to help me on an engine change.

                Like you, I shamelessly copied the tool, find it useful to this day. I'm surprised no one has marketed one. (to my knowledge, anyway)


                • Originally posted by noah katz
                  I'm not seeing it; what post#?

                  But let me guess - just weld the head of the vise grips adjuster screw on the back to the front of the slide hammer?
                  pretty much. I did away with the screw, but cut thread on the slide hammer itself. The guy I stole the idea from had welded the screw to the slide rod.

                  The next version on my list of things to make will have a welded bung on the back of larger grips, that's in line with the jaws. those small ones the jaws are pretty straight, but on the larger one I have now using cheap china, and not actual vise grips the jaws are at an angle to the screw, making them pretty much useless. Plus the fact that the pliers suck large. Note to self, when making a tool utilizing another tool, always start with a good tool. **** in, = **** out plus time wasted.

                  I'd love to make a set, of three different sizes of grips, and a large and smaller hammer that all interchange. but will probably never get around to it.


                  • Comment

                    • DIY tig electrode sharpener

                      Electrode sharpener I made today
                      HF trim router with 2" 3M roloc sanding disc mounted on a 1/4" plate.
                      A 90 degree bracket with some small hole for the dirrenent size electrodes.
                      Grind at the 12 and 6 O'clock positions for parallel grind marks.
                      have fun


                      • Nice grinder setup. Just watch that wheel doesn't come apart and fly in your face.

                        Like you mentioned make sure and get parallel grind marks.


                        • Not so much a shop made tool, as much as a shop made adaptor...

                          The donor drill press is a cheap HF 5 speed that I got for $45 ON SALE/20% coupon. Anything in the sub-fifty dollar range is freely subject to tearing apart for modification (or as my wife calls it: "F*cking It Up").

                          The only parts I made were the angle plate, the T-slot nut underneath and a new piece of pipe. Oh, and I also modified the knuckle that used to hold the little work table but now supports the pipe... I drilled out the 12mm thread and replaced it with a 5/8-11 for a little more bite. I also added a 1/4-20 hole above and below to help locate vertical.

                          The whole thing lifts off the pipe and can be put back on the original base in a few seconds, wich makes it nice and convenient.

                          Vertical adjustment is a little coarse, so next I'm going to make up a collarfor the riser pipe to act as a stop.


                          • Well after stealing so many ideas from this thread, I finally got around to bring my camera into work to snap some pics of things I've made to either make my job easier, or just because. Then it took another couple of weeks to remember to bring in the transfer cable so I could upload the pics to the computer. Enough yaking onto the pics, and descriptions.

                            dovetail cutter made from 01. Turned on lathe, hardened, and cutting edges/reliefs hand ground very hurriedly (I wanted to use it). third picture shows the result, and fourth shows the use. This will come in handy as there are alot of indicator mounts that I would like to make. It cut great in aluminum, we'll see about steel next. if it breaks, or dulls, or just fails to work(or I snap it), I'll grind one out of an old HSS endmill shank. This was my first time making a cutter from scratch. Wasn't much to it, and it worked pretty good. next one I'll pay a bit more attention to proper geometry and take my time grinding, instead of always being in a rush. The problem is I don't have a shop at home (yet) and this is all done at work after hours. And I don't want to be here any longer than I have to some days.


                            • slitting saw arbor. Way overbuilt, as I intended it for CNC use. Won't fit in a bridgey. shank is 1".

                              Keep meaning to build a smaller one for manual use but I never get a round tuit. The smaller cheap china one hasn't really given me a reason to. I should have turned an r8 taper on this one, but not relieved the body so as to leave a straight enough section to grip in a collet chuck in the cnc. Maybe some day...


                              • Small height gauge I built from scrapbinium. Came out really nice, until I blackened it. A lot of filing, sanding and polishing went into this little guy. Then I decided to blacken it for some reason. No plans, just kinda made it up as I went along (NeuroCAD). It's not used for measurement, but for scribing deep lines on stuff that I can't get with the CNC. You set the height with gauge blocks, and scribe/gouge a line on the block. Takes a few passes to get a line deep enough to retain paint. I need to work on the scriber point again. I rounded over the bottom edge not thinking how good it looked but not how that would effect the cutting edge. I'll have to take a bunch off of the bottom, or taper the point (would rather not), or plan c is to cut a small pocket, and braze a chunk of carbide in there. Started on it while I was working on a couple jobs that could have used it. Once completed I haven't needed it since. Oh well, I'm sure one day I'll need it again. When I do, I'll probably get around to make it work better.

                                The base is scrapbin 4140, the top is 01, the scriber portion is hardened 01, the rods are 1/4" dowels, the screw (8-32) I ran a die down to get a full length. The brass nut I picked up a home depot a couple years ago. Bought a few of them, as I thought I could use em for something. this was the first use I found... Still got a few more in my junk drawer. I filed the dovetail slot by hand (before I made the cutter), and used the slot to profile the nut.

                                I chucked up an 8-32 screw in the drill press, threaded the nut on till it bottomed out. I had the block in a vise floating on the table. I brought the quill down till the nut bottomed out in the dovetail, then began pushing sideways (slight pressure) while the dovetail slot cut the mating dovetail on the base of the nut. worked pretty slick and there's very little play in the fit between the two. It was one of those things that seemed like a great idea to try, and I couldn't believe it worked that good when I finished. Quick too.