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A bad case of shop creep

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  • A bad case of shop creep

    No not me, project creep

    Earlier I posted some stuff on my cnc upgrade project and realized I hadn't touched it since 2010. What happened?


    I needed to turn some housings for the 6203 bearings I'm using for jack shafts.

    I've got some kick ass large boring bars, but no way to hold them. Start work in a Armstrong style boring bar tool holder, you know the cylindrical tower ones so i can bore the bearing housings. Of course mine will every size boring bar ever made - hours on design design design

    Turning parts that mate with roller element bearings might be the most accurate work i have to do, and I've known my old DSG really needs some work on the bearing surfaces.

    I figure if I get the compound perfect, I'll have what i need to do some accurate turning

    scrape the compound. (no small undertaking)

    that 4 way tool post is a pita. Bought a Dickson from one of the good folks here.

    Kind of useless with a pile of holders, right?

    Go get steel. Start making a batch of twenty holders.

    Get a fair bit done, but that milling cutter needs sharping and it the one have with the reach for that 1" DOC ploughing out the channel.

    Want to sharpen on the big T&CG between centres....but....lazy Mcgyver didn't finish scraping the front of the subtable and the table. cripes, pile of more scraping to do.

    Get the scraping all done, beauty as Bob and Doug would say, cutter nicely sharpened. that is a moment of triumph

    Back to mill, get the inserts for QCTP done.

    Back to lathe, making the figidity bits - the knurled height adjust wheel etc. get that all done

    looks good.

    got so much tooling now, I really need a rack to hold it all.

    Metal supply guy gives me great prices and will deliver if i buy enough....hmmm need new shelving in part of the basement and a new base/storage thing for my currently disassembled woodworking bench. design design design. welding to follow.

    ok, so ready to use lathe but i don't yet have the bearings. Figure i better grab them, just run of the mill 6203's, but who likes shopping or heading out to the industrial wasteland where the bearing shop lives? So I better figure out what other bearings i need and gang it up for the trip

    the two 10ee's need lots of bearings. They start coming apart. Geez wouldn't you know it, looking at those feed screws, they badly worn.

    Stopped for a few weeks to make the world greatest knife sharpener. If i don't lost a digit cooking will be a lot more fun

    back to the impractical important stuff.

    Got a piece of 1144 for one of the feedscrews, not enough for two, add to the metal order.

    bunch of time spent grinding up the left hand 8tpi acme thread (I'll have to do the internal as well)

    Start messing with the long spindly piece in the lathe. Really happy at how its indicating, the more I think about it the bed on this lathe is ok.

    but when is start turning, using what is arguably the worlds nicest travelling steady, the wheels don't seem to turn as perfectly as they should; you know, bring it into contact and they should revolve with minimal force else you deflect things trying to pick up contact with the work

    Pull the steady apart. Nice design, uses two Torrington's per finger. They're worn, at least there is slop but hardened shaft is still at .0002+ nominal.

    Torringtons added to bearing store list. better get 10 and do the fixed as well

    The XLO mill has started rattling at high speed - its top bearing on the gimbal. they go, no big deal, a 6010 is added to the grocery list.

    Finally make it to the bearing store without tearing anything else apart
    ok. got the bearings....except cross feed ones. grrrrr. have to buy the balls and grind my own races...

    getting the torringtons, mill is going back together

    .....but that cross feed on the DSG, I've got the gib all the way in and its not good enough, I got scrape that before trying for roller bearing fits...and make a new gib

    that commences tomorrow.

    At least this time I managed to remember where i was coming back to - anyone else got a bad case of shop creep? Sometimes i feel like I need vacation from my hobby!
    Last edited by Mcgyver; 05-17-2011, 12:14 AM.
    in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

  • #2
    Yep.. and I thought I was retired, and had a list like yours as at last November.. then.. I get suckered into a "short consulting job". lol... just wrappng that up now. Nothing like months of 12 hour days to mess up your hobby. Tools are still where I left them last December, stacks of new projects are piled up on top of old... can't find a bunch of stuff.

    The good news is that next week I can delete about 60 numbers from my cell phone, then leave it where it can't charge
    Last edited by lakeside53; 05-17-2011, 01:46 AM.


    • #3

      Lessee...... I have 2 machines actually *scheduled * to be scraped-in, before which I have to get a larger granite flat.... plus a "half" machine that needs work (just part of it, hence "half"). before that I really could use a couple more scraped parallels, and the camelback straghtedge needs a touch-up..... and I should probably have made the reference square a bit taller.......

      I have a grinder spindle to make, since I haven't found one that doesn't need just as much work as making a new one....

      I have a vertical mill head assembly to make, since a B-port head won't really fit well on the target horizontal mill, and the existing V-head has no quill.

      The toolpost grinder (#2) could use new bearings, and #1 could use a longer internal grinding spindle.

      When I get that all done, I can start on some other stuff.... after I get some engine parts made for a 90 year old hit and miss, and some more made for a small antique generator, and speaking of that, there is a generator cart and assembly of the 5 kW genset to be done.....

      Come to think of it, I'll bet there are some house maintenance jobs to be done, not to mention that as it is growing season, I will be busy outside a lot......

      Keep eye on ball.
      Hashim Khan


      • #4
        Life Creep is more like it.

        A year ago we got back from spending the winter in Arizona and the plan was to get the parts ordered for my '70 MGB GT and get it back on the road.
        Just a simple throwout bearing and clutch, which meant pulling the engine and transmission, which I did before Arizona.

        Got back to a basement with about 18 inches of water in it. What a mess. MG and many other plans took back seat before a flood problem became a mold problem.

        Fast forward one year. I just got the parts in the mail yesterday to re-assemble the MG.

        If I could only manage my time as well as I can manage my finances, I would have it made.

        My Kent mill needs new lube lines. I have a Bridgeport sitting next to it that needed some TLC. So instead of fixing the lube lines, I sweetened up the B'port. The Kent is still waiting for the time and lube lines. And the list goes on and on.

        I feel your pain.

        Last edited by bborr01; 05-17-2011, 08:48 AM.





        • #5
          Heh,I have a list longer than yours and mine repeats once a week.
          I just need one more tool,just one!


          • #6
            Is that all?

            Photodocumentary to follow.


            • #7
              C'mon, it's depressing to read stuff like this.

              It 'almost' reminds me of all the nitnoy (as well as major) things that I need to do, and have let pile up to the point that I'll never get them all done, unless I'm actually a reincarnation of Methusalah.
              Lynn (Huntsville, AL)


              • #8
                I've always thought of it as the T (for tool) factor. To make something you need a tool, but to make that tool work you need to make something using yet another tool that needs work as well. Eventually you get to the bottom of the T list and actually make something that can then be used - only to find that you forgot the original purpose. That last part usually happens around the T3 or T4 factor and almost always when several weeks are involved. (As you get older it happens on shorter and shorter time lines until you find yourself standing in a room with a screwdriver in hand trying to remember just why you are there...)

                I combat it by simply working on the little projects when I can. It gives me some sense of satisfaction and clears the bench for the accumulation of more little projects, or sometimes one big project. Getting some satisfaction from little projects encourages me to get out and do something more.

                The worst thing for me is a stack of projects that have to be done in sequence - gotta disassemble the trucks to paint them so I can reassemble them so I can paint and replace the frames so that the boiler can be finished and mounted on the frame so I can paint and put all the plumbing bits back so I can paint the tanks and make up the burner plumbing and valving so I can finish paint and remount the cab so I can do the plumbing bits for the whistle valve so I can test the whistle under steam so I can call it finished and mount it. All that to finish a whistle, apparently.


                • #9
                  yeah, i'm actually skipping the's too depressing. I started to take pictures and found way too many partial projects. Now I'm going to go curl up in bed and cry for a while.

                  Actually I'm going to take my allergy meds so I can work on cleaning a little bit of the basement to try to get things a little more organized. I've only got a month to get things organized so I can move the's not feeling like much time.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rkepler
                    I've always thought of it as the T (for tool) factor. To make something you need a tool, but to make that tool work you need to make something using yet another tool that needs work as well. Eventually you get to the bottom of the T list and actually make something that can then be used - only to find that you forgot the original purpose. That last part usually happens around the T3 or T4 factor and almost always when several weeks are involved. (As you get older it happens on shorter and shorter time lines until you find yourself standing in a room with a screwdriver in hand trying to remember just why you are there...)
                    Like yesterday. I had to replace the ball joint and wheel bearing on my Saturn. In order to do that I needed to use my workbench. However the workbench is covered with parts from an Atlas 12" quick change gearbox that I took apart to clean for resale. So I just pushed all of that back and made room for the steering knuckle. Then I had to use the lathe to make up some bushings for the press, which is currently covered in chips from the last project (or ten projects). Now make that eleven. In order to use the press I had to move three other projects.

                    Tools are a whole nutha problem. I can't find them. I don't have an upright tool box, so everything gets spread I just keep buying. Some day I'm going to get a toolbox and find that I have fifteen 9/16" wrenches. The size I always lose.

                    I am really starting to think I might have a problem. It's honestly a little disturbing.


                    • #11
                      Need vs. Want. Simple as that. I've trained myself to make a plan and stick to it.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by H380
                        I've trained myself to make a plan and stick to it.
                        What the HECK are you doing on this forum. We don't need your kind around here!

                        "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


                        • #13
                          The term in the nerdiverse is "Yak Shaving" ;-)
                          Proud machining permanoob since September 2010


                          • #14
                            I still have a 5'X12' plasma table that I got two years ago that I need to get running.

                            I have the computer running mach3 and I made up the interfaces to the table and got it to move.
                            I also got the plasma cutter part working and all I have to do is put it all together.
                            Between the DSG rebuild, and now the Hendey rebuild and my well down, and spending at least 2 days a week driving to the doc for the wife it still sits in pieces.

                            I have no idea where I ever found the time to work before I retired.

                            I have convinced myself that certain projects have a curse associated with them and are best left alone.

                            I recently (quite a few years ago) got a good deal on a backhoe attachment that I was going put on my tractor.
                            It sat there for eight years and every time I started on it something came up.

                            I had posted it on my web page as a project and one day out of the blue I get a call asking me to sell it.
                            Turns out it was a military unit that usually was attached to a heavy truck and a collector wanted it and gave me a nice cash settlement.
                            Things went smoothly after the sale till about two years ago

                            Anyone need a plasma table?
                            Guaranteed not to rust, bust, collect dust, bend, chip, crack or peel


                            • #15
                              Reminds me of my latest project. I have an old grain mill that has a wobbly shaft, so I decided I need to make a new shaft and put in some bronze bushings. I figured the best way to bore for the bushings is to use my new boring head. Problem is I needed to make an arbor for the boring head. In planning the arbor I realized that the 3/8" shaft needed to fit the ER16 collet on my vertical mill would be to weak to swing a 2" off-center boring head. So that brings me to the horizontal mill. Problem is that's out of service because the leadsrew was damaged. I have a new Acme threaded rod, so I turn the ends to fit my mill, but now I need to cut a keyway for the x-axis drive. I have a new carbide slotting saw, but, guess what. I need to make an arbor! Okay, so I make an arbor. Nice piece! Now I need to make a set of blocks as a jig to slot the leadscrew, as it needs to run the full length and I need to cut it in segments. So I start making the blocks that will clamp the rod and index to my table slots, but when I'm almost finished suddenly my x-y table won't move when I crank the handle. Okay, pull the table apart and find that the screw that holds the Acme nut in place is missing. Don't have a screw that fits, so drive to the hardware store for one screw. Get to the train crossing and here comes the train. Wait for the train so I can drive to buy one screw. Get home with the screw and put the table back together. Remount the table and align. Finish the jig blocks. Put the leadscrew in the blocks and decide that looks pretty, I'll leave it like that for a while waiting for my return. I'm done for the day!