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  • Project Ideas?

    OK, I got my first lathe (a used 8x16 Chinese) a couple months ago. I've "tuned it up" best I can, built a tailstock tap & die holder for it, a milling adapter, a new tool-holder, made dial indicator mounts for the carriage, cross-slide, and tailstock ram, made bushings & axles for my lawn mower wheels, a new rain slinger for my house a/c condenser fan, fixed a lawn edger spindle shaft, a couple model airplane spinners and fuel tank clunks but I need a new project to build. Something to show friends & family when they ask "So what the heck do you DO with that thing except make stuff for it?"

    Anybody out there have any ideas on projects that don't take forever to build yet might appeal to a non-machinist?
    Milton

    "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

  • #2
    If you are into firearms you can make some gun rests for sighting in your guns. I am also new to machine work and have been making these rests. They have been good for learning to use my machine tools. I would be glad to send you some photos detailing how to make them if you are interested.
    Mike

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    • #3
      Thanks Mike, I'm not much of a gun person, I have a few but don't do much with them other than mercilessly slaughter a few defenseless tin cans once in awhile.

      Now a small cannon would be cool! Maybe a nice, pretty brass one with wheels on it chambered for a .410 shotshell with the shot removed. Is that kinda stuff reasonably safe? Maybe fire it off on New Year's and July 4th? Anybody got plans for one?
      Milton

      "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

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      • #4
        I don't have plans for a cannon but I would like to build one as well.
        Mike

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        • #5
          How about a rotary fly tying vise. I made one and it works fine and was fun to make and use.

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          • #6
            I built the Gringery two cylinder Sterling engine. The design is a bit crude in places, and a couple of the measurments are wrong and a couple more are missing, but nothing you couldn't figure out yourself. I ended up changing some of the details and using nice glass alchohol burners. I learned a few good techniques, like lapping, from the book too. See: www.lindsaybks.com

            The engine is neat to watch run, and so quiet and safe that you can run it in your living room. People are usually amazed to see it run because they can't understand how it works, yet there it is -- running! No gas, no diesel, no spark plugs! In the end I really enjoy explaining how the engine works, and the people go away having learned something new.

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            • #7
              First thing I made with/for my lathe was a carriage stop. Later added a mount in the carriage stop for a dial indicator, but the last project required a mill (unless you have a milling attachment for the lathe - see Evan's old post on milling attachment).

              ------------------

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              • #8
                Lotsa Steam engine plans out there.

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                • #9
                  An idea is to buy the book "the shop wisdom of Rudy Kouhoupt" volume one. Some basic tooling, and a few projects. A couple simple steam engines that run well on air. Nice photos showing some setups that you'll probably use down the road sometime. I've Built a couple engines of Rudy's, the instructions and dimensions all worked out fine. There are others available, also. Rudy one is a good place to start.

                  TC

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                  • #10
                    Dickeybird,

                    Here's a link to some interesting projects. I kind of like the "Sneaky Puzzle for a Machinist".

                    http://www.homemetalshopclub.org/new...neaky%20Puzzle

                    For some “sophisticatedâ€‌ projects, the same site has them listed here:
                    http://www.homemetalshopclub.org/projects/project.html

                    Actually, this is a pretty cool site. Anyone here from Texas that belongs to this club?

                    Mike
                    ____________________________________


                    [This message has been edited by Mike Burdick (edited 08-03-2004).]

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                    • #11
                      <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Yankee1:
                      How about a rotary fly tying vise. I made one and it works fine and was fun to make and use.</font>
                      Pictures?

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                      • #12
                        How about building a Bob Shores (Little Angel) hit & miss engine, these are very cool little single cylinder engines that are very straight forward, I am building one myself right now, I have the frame stand and the cylinder and head finished.
                        Bobs plans were $25, Bob passed away about 2 months ago but his wife Margaret is still selling the plans to interested people.

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                        • #13
                          <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Yankee1:
                          How about a rotary fly tying vise. I made one and it works fine and was fun to make and use.</font>
                          Ok I'll admit I don't know what a "rotary fly tying vice" is. Some one going to educate me?

                          Cheers, John.

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                          • #14
                            Rotary fly tying vice.
                            Some inventive souls have come up with a replacement for the standard piston powered model airplane, and it's a fly powered one. The only problem is that the standard fly likes to go in any old random pattern, and often enough, you don't get the plane back. In contrast, rotary flies like to go in circles, and are preferred since you get the plane back. Either style of fly has to be held in a vise in order to tie them to the plane, but the rotary ones have one leg which is shorter than the other, hence the need for the special vise.
                            I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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                            • #15
                              Since I got my machine, aside from making some trial cuts while learning, I haven't made and model type projects. My projects have been on the more practical side. I've used my machine to make motorcycle parts such as axels, oil pressure gauge adaptors, wheel adaptors, wheel spacers, air cleaner covers, etc. My Yamaha ourboard needed two new jets for the carburetor, Yamaha doesn't sell them separately, only in a new carb, so, I got some brass and made two new jets. I was able to save a badly pitted counterbalancer shaft on a Polaris ATV in lieu of buying a new one, I've welded up shafts for other machines and refinished them to original diameter, made adaptors to run both small and large wire spools on my Mig welder, the list goes on. Funny thing, when I was about 15 I wanted a lathe, but couldn't afford one, later in life I found a machine that was affordable and bought it. Friends seem to think machines such as mine are useless to the average guy, I can't see how I lived without it. The more projects I use it for the more I seem to come up with.

                              [This message has been edited by firbikrhd1 (edited 08-03-2004).]

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