Friday, February 27, 2015

Box, Envelopes, Taig Lathe, Rope Machine

Box for my bearing puller:

Taig lathe speed reduction, done two or three years ago. Everyone figures out their own way to do this. The steel pulley on the rear of the headstock probably doubled the weight of the lathe. The hardened steel shaft in the bronze bushings shows little sign of wear after quite a bit of use (for a taig anyway). I only use the bottom four speeds now; roughly 200 RPM at the slowest. I haven't experimented with parting tool types, but 25 FPM is roughly the fastest it can part without chattering the doors off the house. I made this modification to the taig while I was working in a production CNC shop, where we parted at a sane 400 FPM. It's not a fair comparison, but you know there were some sighs.

Aluminum base for the Taig lathe:

Rope winding machine I made when I was eleven or so:

Envelope templates:

Envelopes resulting:

I really wanted to have a sewn seam on this envelope design somewhere. The backside of a machine-sewn seam on paper is not a pretty sight, so I came up with a method to hide it. The seam is functional; it uses no glue there.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Adjustable Tables

I designed, built, and installed these tables for a friend. I made them at my shop and installed them at his, which is why the photos are from my phone. They can be raised and lowered to accommodate the different machines: band saw, drill press, planer, edge sander, and surface sander.

Made of douglas fir, glued and screwed together. The corbels and top/bottom rails are bookmatched. The handles are re-positionable zinc 1/2-13 threaded, with square nuts on the back side. The steel sections are called 'strut channel', shimmed off the wall in places to be somewhat straight. Finished with polyurethane/oils.

Above, one of the pieces of lumber had taken a big hit at some point. The wood was split and falling off there, so I carved out the corner with a knife/rasp and glued in a piece to replace it.

Below, with table tops installed.

There was some concern that the design would cause the tables to slip down the channel. This was allayed when I tightened 2/4 handles and put my whole weight (a lot of people would argue that is no test of strength) on one with no sign of slippage.

I think they turned out really well. If I could have changed anything, I'd have made the rails skinnier and lighter so they are easier to lift. The tops pictured are made of particleboard; plywood tops would shave off another couple pounds. Those are recycled though, hard to beat the price and nice smooth top surface!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Coat Patch

For my older brother. The fabric underneath was starting to release the down.

Monday, February 2, 2015


Eh! The head is made of the remainder of the parking lot olive tree, complete with worm holes. It's very dense and resistant to splitting, so it's good for this. Mediocre materials aside, this mallet is the best I have felt for tapping things into alignment. Rubber/dead blow mallets are spongy and do not work with confidence. Steel damages the surface and is bouncy. Plastic is even bouncier. Lead makes a great mallet for non-organisms.

This one feels nice. I left the handle with the tooled finish for maximum caveman.