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  • Band saw tension gauge:

    First off I want to say I have looked over your website and enjoyed looking at all the shop tips.
    My question is how do you convert the saw tension reading to PSI. I have a commercial unit that I use daily in my job. Its made by Amada and pretty pricey. I have seen cheaper ones on ebay that use a standard dial indicator but never figured how the reading would be converted to PSI which is what mine is graduated in.



    • Many years ago- the photo dates to 2003- I was limited to a worn out mill-drill and my total inventory of cutters might have been as many as a dozen, I needed what was essentially a T-slot cutter. Time was short and finances nonexistent, so I ground this from a grade-8 bolt:

      Tool storage- these drawers aren't deep, but they hold, and organize, almost all of my taps and dies, tap and die handles, most of my small drills, my long drills, most of my smaller files, some of my stones, and some mill hardware.

      They, and the cabinet, which is actually a 'bench' that wraps around the back of the mill, were all made from scratch.

      A quick and dirty- okay, not so dirty- organizer for Dremel bits. This is only about a third of my bits, but it keeps a good selection out where I can find 'em. It's just a plank of oak, drilled, sanded, stained and shellacked.

      And, and somewhat more quick-and-dirty pin spanner, for removing the thread protector (and thus the 5C adapter) from my Logan lathe. Plasma-cut scrap 1/4" plate, ground smooth and with a quick-turned pin TIGged on. I actually made two- the other one goes to the smaller rings used on 5C collet blocks on the mill.

      Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)


      • A good exercise in manual machining and a handy tool for delicate work - a fancy swivel grip screwdriver with magnetic holder for hex bits:

        Cross drilling fixture with replaceable drill bushings to handle rods feom 1/4" to 2-1/2" diameter:

        Here's a personal favorite I keep handy at the bench - a cordless countersink:

        Last edited by Frank Ford; 01-23-2010, 08:42 PM.

        Frank Ford


        • For holding small stuff in horizontal bandsaw.

          Bend some metal with one leg to equal height of a small vise and the other leg to reach toward farside of bandsaw vise and fasten to small vise.

          Shows small vise and work in bandsaw without moveable bandsaw vise tightened.

          Clamped Ready for cut.

          Short piece of channel iron welded to outboard side of bandsaw table allows clamps to hold work for unusal type cuts.


          • On a horizontal bandsaw if a small light is mounted above bandsaw blade where it makes the cut it will cast a shadow where the cut line will be on the work.

            Confusing picture showing from above the light shining done on bandsaw blade and material being cut.

            Another confusing picture. Taken from below showing up towards light.


            • Vertical bandsaw for both metal and wood cutting. Done this years ago and have been happy with it. Have had no problems with it.

              The standard speed motor for wood cutting drives the bandsaw so turning this motor on gives high speed for wood, plastic, aluminum and sometimes brass cutting.

              There is a second motor. It is a treadmill motor that has a 28 to one gear reducer grafted onto it. The output of this is grafted onto a bicycle freewheel. So the treadmill motor drives the larger wood cutting motor but the larger wood cutting motor can't drive the geared down motor because of the one way action of the bicycle freewheel.

              The teadmill motor has a variable speed control and the wood cutting has step pulleys for speed change if needed.

              The back of the bandsaw showes two pulleys that are used for a digital tac. With a little math the sizes of the pulleys and number of sensors of the tac pickup is figured so the tac will show direct readings of feet per minute of blade speed.

              Also shown on the panel is a switch for a small aquarium type air compressor that blows air on the cut line to clear chips.


              • fly cutter

                I made this fly cutter in trade school. It's hard to see but note the porosity in the in the shank. Heat treated 4140.


                • Machinist Clamp

                  Machinist Clamp. Turned and knurled screws on lathe, milled and surface grind the rest.


                  • I made this hammer/wrench but I've always been afraid to use it. Er, I mean I've been waiting to anodize it so then I can use it.

                    I also made a little holder for my digital camera. It's in the water proof case so I can shoot videos from inside the CNC cabinet.

                    Last edited by DaHui; 01-24-2010, 01:12 AM.


                    • Die Grinder

                      I made this die grinder a few years ago. all made on manual machines except the tapered part. It has 4 bearings inside, two shafts. The air motor has six floating vanes. IIRC it turns about 20,000 rpm.


                      • Bending Jig

                        Here's another little tool I made a few years ago for bending some Aluminium bar in the vice.
                        Easy enough to do normally but these bars were a set length, had a full radius on the end, and a 10mm hole that was only about 3mm inboard of the radius.
                        So the jig used a moveable pin to locate the hole and was then clamped with a bar on the other side. The bars were machined up first and then bent 90 degrees at both ends.

                        By the time I'd done the job I'd forgotten to take pictures so I used a scrap piece to stage these shots.



                        • A pair of "pin spanner" wrenches/drivers, one fancy, one plain, for a specialty fitting.

                          Another highly specialized tool, this one was designed to remove pressed-in paintball gun feed necks without damaging either the neck or the body.

                          The ubiquitous carriage stop; adjustable, but with no graduations.

                          And a kit I made to broach hex drives in my custom made banjo bolts.

                          The big tube is a guide that keeps everything aligned, the pin at the lower left supports the hollow bolt so it doesn't collapse, the broach itself is front-center (milled from O1 and heat-treated) and the socket and bolt are used to winch the broach back out of the hole.

                          It took several tries to get the broach itself just right, but this one's held up to literally hundreds of uses so far- all in 304 stainless, by the way. I had to sharpen it once.

                          Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)


                          • Homemade tools:

                            Small hobby sized slip roll with hobby shop r/c car gears, plastic frames, aluminum rollers

                            4x6 bandsaw table from 1/4" plate, sized to stay bolted on permanently and still allow horiz. cuts. (.pdf plan avail if anyone needs it.)

                            AXA QCTP ball turner uses R-8 boring head running in plastic bushings.

                            Milling vise stop.


                            "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

                            "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton


                            • Disc sander and miter gauge

                              Dovetail cutter with TCMT insert

                              'Nuther cordless countersink/deburrer, quick twist of the wrist gets the job done.

                              Endmill (end only) sharpener from modified HF x/y table & cheapo 5C endmill sharpener jig.


                              "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

                              "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton


                              • Originally posted by John Stevenson
                                Here's one of my favourite and most accurate home conversions of a regular tool to make it more handy.


                                Heh,heh did anyone else notice Sir John had to create a clean spot on the bench to take this picture?