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Home Page - Projects and Articles on Our Forum!

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Scraping in all bearing surfaces on my Wards/Logan 10"

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I've been working on my lathe off and on over the past several weeks or months, but I've been hesitant to start a thread documenting my progress (or lack thereof!) for fear of embarrassing myself. I'm increasingly confident that I'm going to end up with a very precise lathe rather than a very large pile of cast iron dust and tears, so I'm finally willing to share my progress. After creating a new cross-slide for my lathe some time ago, I'd already spent a lot of time scraping in the compound and cross slide. But I decided to tackle a far larger project. I've taken Richard King's class twice now (and I'm about to help out with a third) but I know full well there is no way to really learn something without actually doing it (and even better, trying to explain what you're doing to others). So, despite my old Wards/Logan being in perfectly (well ... "acceptably") useable shape to begin with, I decided to scrape in the bed ways, headstock, saddle, and tailstock. I rationalized that...
The Power of Smallᵀᴹ
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Do you remember the time when most of the things were made here, they were durable, repairable and they would last for a very long time? Do you remember the time when shop and other hands-on trades training were part of the school curriculum? And you also probably remember when all this deteriorated, was bought and moved oversees and centralized by mega corporations... And this is great for few industries, but for a lot of small shop and inventors, makers and hobbyists, there is a real need in local distributed manufacturing. We are looking for your help to spread the word about our new initiative which we call "The Power of Small". What is The Power of Smallᵀᴹ ? • Small businesses doing big projects with low amounts of capital; • Office-desk sized machines making large parts - 100lbs and more; • On-shore, distributed manufacturing on a national or international scale; • Converting 100% waste plastics directly into viable finished goods - affordably and locally; • A...

Working With Plastics

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Some people are not very familiar working with plastics. So we will continuously be adding useful info about plastics, here are few first ones we put together: Joining and Gluing ABS Painting parts with molded-in colors - a great partnership. Your Guide To ABS Drop us a note if you find this info useful. If you have more questions/topics you'd like us to cover in future posts, please respond to this thread or submit suggestion on our website using this form

Clausing 1771 Drill Press Restoration

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I picked up a Clausing variable speed drill press from a Craigslist ad. I offered the guy $200.00 and he accepted. The drill press was in decent overall condition, and had a new motor on it. I disassembled the machine and cleaned up and painted everything. Mechanically, it was in very good condition, and the only real repair work I did was to straighten a few of the handle arms. One really nice feature is the table lift, which works great on that heavy table (btw: the table doesn't have a single drill mark in it!) This is my second Clausing variable speed drill press. The first one is in my metal shop, this one will be in my wood shop. Jack Fort Loramie, Ohio
Rebuilding the head on a South Bend 4219 1956 mill
Home-made CNC lathe using servos
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This is a thread about CNC Lathe I recently built. This is my first CNC machine, and obviously, I’m not a CNC guru. Being an engineer, I prefer more practical ways of making things rather than R&D approach with investing plenty of time, money and energy. This is also why I use simple and robust ideas instead of diving deep into unique ones and solving the problems just created. I started with Atlas lathe bed I bought on ebay. This bed has pretty wide (1-1/2”) flat ways, so one can easily put the linear bearing rails on it. To be continued with Drives and Tooling.

Unique Chess Set

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Just when you thought "what else can be done with the chess set", a new idea comes along... This is what a chess set using Plasti-Block™ ABS dual color rods could look like. Other color combinations can also be fun! Let us know what else would you like to see modeled using this product. We are looking forward to hear your ideas. Plasti-Block™ Team
Unique Two-Layered Chess Set.

A Nice Gear Tutorial #1

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I'm going to make some gears soon and came across this while brushing-up and refreshing my memory. Of course, the Machinist's Handbook has it all but, this is a very nicely authored and to-the-point tutorial. This is based on Diametral Pitch and not the Module method. I have some other guides based on Module method but need to check the copyright information. Enjoy... Ray

Making Frank's Cranks

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Finally got around to taking some photos of my process as I make some of my string winding cranks. Here's one with a koa handle: These cranks feature a soft head made of low density polyethylene, an angle of 83-degrees to simulate wrist rotation, and a solid bearing in the handle. Interestingly, one of the first questions I get about them is, "How do you achieve that angle?" So, I'll start the description with that in mind. . . The only commercially made part is the little brass ball, which I drill almost all the way through with a 6.4mm drill that gives me a .252: hole, making for a nice sliding fit for a 1/4" precision ground aluminum rod: Here, I'm using my tiny Rusnok milling machine. I have the ball set into a matching cavity I milled by plunging with sa 1/2" ball end mill into the steel soft jaws on my old 4" Kurt vise. By the way, I get my soft jaws for vises and chucks from monsterjaws.com - no affiliation - they sell CNC made jaws for about what I'd pay for raw...
Making a couple of threaded spindle backing plates for my lathe
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When I sold my Atlas 10F24, I held on to my Bison 5” 3J, as it was fairly new. Naturally I needed to make a new backing plate to mount it onto the new lathe. The old plate was 1 1/2” X 8 while the new spindle is 2 1/4” X 8, so I needed new metal to do this. I recently purchased 2 backing plates from Busy Bee Tools. They are 8” semi raw castings. They are turned to clean off the rough cast surface and the center hole is 1” ID unthreaded. First I started by reading up on what could be the rights and wrongs in making these backing plates. Recent posting here by various people, too many to list, have been of excellent help. I make a copy of my spindle, so that I had a plug to try the threads as they neared finish size. I used the 3 wire method to make the plug match the spindle. Once the readings were the same between the two, I was finished. I did stamp the diameter and tpi for future reference. I am making two backing plates. One for the above Bison chuck and the second for...

Awe Damn, I Chipped A Tooth

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On my bandsaw blade that is. ;) Actually it was a few teeth. I normally use a 5-8 tpi blade most of time and switch back & forth to a 8-12 tpi. I really should have switched to my 10-14 tpi blade but I only had to make one cut on some steel plate. I've done this before cutting thin alumn & just ease into it by hand & use a slow feed on the feed cylinder. Wasn't so lucky this time. Now my 5-8 tpi blade has a bad lump while cutting. Ruined a perfectly good blade by being lazy! I hate to throw the blade away & keep thinking of ways to save it or use it for something else. Wish I had a tig welder & knew how to weld. Yeah yeah, I knew better & I hear about this all the time... "been there done that" from others but finally it happened to me. Lesson learned. :bang head: So just a reminder, don't be lazy!

Scraping in all bearing surfaces on my Wards/Logan 10"

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I've been working on my lathe off and on over the past several weeks or months, but I've been hesitant to start a thread documenting my progress (or lack thereof!) for fear of embarrassing myself. I'm increasingly confident that I'm going to end up with a very precise lathe rather than a very large pile of cast iron dust and tears, so I'm finally willing to share my progress. After creating a new cross-slide for my lathe some time ago, I'd already spent a lot of time scraping in the compound and cross slide. But I decided to tackle a far larger project. I've taken Richard King's class twice now (and I'm about to help out with a third) but I know full well there is no way to really learn something without actually doing it (and even better, trying to explain what you're doing to others). So, despite my old Wards/Logan being in perfectly (well ... "acceptably") useable shape to begin with, I decided to scrape in the bed ways, headstock, saddle, and tailstock. I rationalized that...

What Would I Use These DC Power Supply Parts For?

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Hi Guys, I was on Craigslist looking for a nice steel enclosure for the vfd that I hope to hook up to some of my metalworking machines. I lucked out, and found someone selling the right size metal hinged box (for only $20) that happened to house an unregulated DC power supply. The owner told me that the person who forwarded this box to him originally used the dc power supply to power robots (lots of techie/stem nerds in the Bay Area) The box weighs a ton, and I don't see it this size supply selling at all in "completed" items of past ebay auctions. So, looking at the below pictures of this box's contents, do any of you guys see me, a newbie, ever needing to keep any of the parts, basically a capacitor and, I think, transformer, or should I just offer the parts to some random electronics wizard? Thanks, Susan

Old Habit = Cut Finger

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I have had a bad habit of using my hand in the shape of an OK sign to guide a long stringy aluminum chip from a light finishing cut on the lathe to the floor. I started doing this in college to prevent a birds nest and always knew it probably wasn't a good idea. But hey aluminum is a soft metal right? Nope! Today I was doing the same thing I always have and the chip got pinched between the tool and a shoulder on the workpiece and started to pull the chip back into the part through my hand. I am fortunate that I was quick to ESTOP the lathe AND the chip broke, but I got a very deep 3/4" long cut into my finger. Had things gone differently (thicker chip, steel, wrapped around my hand, etc.) I easily could have gotten my hand pulled into the lathe. The lesson I learned: Just because you've never been hurt by a bad habit doesn't mean it is safe to do. I will always use a metal rod to guide chips away from me when they are not breaking in a cut. Please be safe out there. - Mike

about taps

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Thought this may be of interest describing the different taps and their uses.

CNC Toolpath Strategies for smaller machines

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Just wanted to open a discussion on what people find works well for benchtop class machines for CNC strategies. I have a 2.5 HP spindle that I would like to take full advantage of. My machine (G0704) does not have the column stiffness to handle tools much larger than 3/8" nor does the 5000rpm max spindle speed allow me to run small tools really fast like a router table would. The sky is the limit when it comes to feedrate and accelerations for me. I have found that trochoidal toolpaths with full depth of cut engagement seem to work well, but I have always stuck to 15% of cutter diameter stepover in aluminum and roughly .001 to .0015 feed per tooth. This ends up only using <1HP. Specifically for roughing, what strategy would you recommend to take advantage of the remaining spindle power? Would you increase radial engagement for a wider chip or rather increase the chip thickness? Would plunge roughing be worth looking into? I've always wanted to experiment with high feed milling...
Let me make one thing perfectly clear! This is 2" thick Polycarbonate block!
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We are pleased to announce that Plasti-Block™ Polycarbonate blocks are now available, rods and sheet will become available as soon as we built enough inventory. This photo was taken with 2" thick block. It is crystal clear! I hope you will find it helpful to your projects.

Quoting a job, looking for tooling suggestions.

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Hi all, I'm working on quoting a job and need a few suggestions for tooling. The parts are free machining brass and 12L14 carbon steel. Initial prototype quantity is 5, follow up order will be 300-500 pcs. Feature #1: I need to turn a 2.5mm and 5mm external radius on the parts. A 3/32" radius tool falls within the allowable tolerance on the 2.5mm radius, however there is not an imperial equivalent for the 5mm. Looking for a source for a HSS or brazed carbide tools with metric concave radaii. Feature #2: I need to machine multiple grooves 1.5mm wide by 1mm (radial) deep. I can grind a HSS tool, but would prefer an insert which can groove that size. Looking for TNMA or TNMC inserts with that thin of a groove width. Feature #3: There is an external M3.5-0.6 thread on the end of one of the parts. Thinking a tailstock die holder would be the best, but open to suggestions. Don't want to single point 500 parts.

Spider Centering Test Indicator Holder

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Posted this many years ago for my 1340GT, and built another for my ERL-1340 the other day. It uses a test indicator attached a Zero-Set which is normally used in mills for hole centering. Versions of the Zero-Set are on eBay and through Shar's for $20-30. The test indicator holder slides on two bars mounted to the lathe belt cover, so remains in the same position vertically relative to the stock in the spider. The tip of the test indicator is always in aliment and the Zero-Set/indicator slides forward when not in use. The rails are 1/4" rods, on mine the spacing is 3/4", the cover aluminum mounts are angled so they are level horizontally. They attach with two small screws behind the cover. I use a bit of red loctite when I insert the rods into the mounts. I have an extended reach indicator which are a bit harder to find/cost, one could use a inexpensive test indicator and put a longer point on it (check the thread size), the key is to have a test indicator with enough travel (i.e...

Preferred spotting for drilled holes?

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I run a smaller CNC and would like to preset a single tool to handle most or all of my spotting work. When doing general drilling I have always used a small center drill, but need to run high RPM's and find it doesn't clear chips well. I see NC spotting drills for sale in angles ranging from 90 degrees to 150 degrees. What would you recommend for a general purpose spot drill?

Inexpensive TTS alternative or R8 quick change tooling

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I have been using the Tormach TTS family of tooling for many years now to preset my tool lengths off of the machine and allow for quick tool changes. With my recent addition of a pneumatic drawbar, this will be even more helpful. The issue is that Tormach's pricing on the genuine TTS tooling system has gotten a little crazy. Last time I checked, they wanted $32 for a setscrew endmill holder and $50 for an ER20 collet chuck. I have found a Chinese supplier who ships from US stock. I spoke with Mike Li at IGStool.com (sales@igstool.com) and his current offering for TTS compatible tool holders (ordered directly from him) is: ER20 with TTS compatible ATC groove 1.38" long 3/4" shank, $17 USD Set Screw endmill holders with TTS compatible ATC groove (1/8, 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2"), $18 USD FMB22 Face mill holder with TTS compatible ATC groove (looks like a common size for cheap import facemills, 22mm bore), $19 USD In addition, the related ebay page offers non-ATC geometry collet chucks...

Easson 12B DRO lathe install with glass and SRA M-DRO magnetic scales

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Just completed a Easson 12B DRO install on my ERL-1340, I opted for the stock glass scales for the X and Z0 axis for cost reasons, but wanted to use the 3rd input on the Easson 12B DRO head. When I previously looked into the use of magnetic scales a few years ago with the Easson DRO's I was told that they may not be compatible (at least the those from DRO Pros). At the time I went with the EL700 on my mill with 4 axis magnetic scales. On my lathe, I did not need all the features of the EL700 and the Easson 12B is about 1/3rd the price. The stock glass scales are 1 micron slim line scale for the X axis and a 5 micron glass scale for the Z0 axis. The installs were pretty straight forward on the ERL-1340, I almost never use any of the stock brackets that come with these DRO's. Cross slide was straight forward, I use some small spacer washers to set the standoff heights. Since the reader is directly mounted the holes needed to be spot on. I may at some point add some spacers to...

[Metrology] Where to find in Machinerys handbook?

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Can anyone tell me where to find dimensions for collets in the Machinery’s Handbook? I can’t find anything in the index. My copy is from 1979. With all of the other information in it I can’t imagine collet dimensions aren’t.

Possible Grizzly DF-1237G Restoration, Oil Seals?

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In the late 1990s, I bought a then-used Grizzly DF-1237G (apparently the same as a G1003) 12 x 37 lathe. It's served me well, but now a few things have evolved such that I'm considering rebuilding it - if I can find the parts - or selling it and moving on. The main problem is that the gearbox oil seals have always leaked, dumping the entire gearbox contents into the stand over a period of just a few weeks. The worry is accelerated bearing due to insufficient oil around the head bearings. Unfortunately, Grizzly no longer stocks the oil seals. I know bearing part numbers are universal and can be cross-sourced, but I don't think that applies to oil seals. Has anyone found compatible oil seals for this lathe?

Planning PM-30MV Conversion

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I just received a new PM-30MV mill for a CNC conversion. There are a few things I haven't seen talked about very much in the forums. 1) How do you disable the quill? Do you remove the course and fine gears and all the other quill components? How do you lock the quill from moving? 2) Why don't CNC controllers use the DRO installed on mills? 3) Does it matter which side of the X-axis the stepper is installed on? It seems that most people mount it on the left side. Thanks for any insight into these burning questions. Mark

Involute Gear Pitch for ACME Thread

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I'm trying to figure out which involute gear pitch works with 8 and 10 TPI ACME thread? By "work" I mean for low pressure application similar to a lathe thread dial or other low torque application.

Approximate Cycle Time differences by material

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I'm considering a major process change in the business that would require switching from cold/hot rolled raw material to 300 series material. Yes, the cost in material is considerably higher, but there are cost reductions further down the line that may offset the material cost - hence the need to estimate costs and see if it makes sense to go in this direction. My general question is: what would be a good estimate for the following factors: Difference in cycle time (inc/dec) by % switching from mild steels to stainless? Difference in tooling cost (inc/dec) by % switching from mild steels to stainless? Other factors to consider? Like all things, I'm looking for educated guesses based on experience and/or facts on the ground from people that can speak to this. With that said, I'm not looking for precise answers just general ranges. If somebody said expect a 10-30% increase in cycle time...that is good enough for me to use - don't need to hit a bulls-eye in order to put some...

Pattern making to repair a broken cast iron machine base

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Here is a Keith Rucker video showing him making a pattern for casting to repair a broken cast iron machine base. It all looks good to me, but I am mostly clueless on this interesting subject. Still, I am looking forward to the follow up videos...

Barrel Stub Gauge

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I'm just starting a stub job converting a 12 ga H&R to a 458 smokeless Muzzle loader. I needed to mount the chamber end of the barrel in a chambering fixture and machine it to exact length.(3.0") Then I would need to bore it out leaving a shoulder .560" from the end buried in the chambering fixture. Th last step would be to singlepoint a 1 x 16 thread to the shoulder to accept the barrel stub. My problem is to do this in one setup. A made a simple gauge that will allow me measure both the length of the tube and the location of the shoulder with limited access to only one end. There's probably a Roger Ramjet official tool that already does this but I don't know what it is.

Need Welding Help for Stainless/dissimilar metals to unknown

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Hi, We have broken exhaust manifold studs in a cast iron block. The break is flush. The idea is to place a low carbon nut and fill the void with a weld pool that will stick to the broken stainless/alloy stud. It is non ferrous but seems lighter than normal. The question, I am thinking either TIG with ER309LS or a Arcaloy or equivalent. 309/l16 arc weld. I have a Miller 220 AC/DC so I can do either. Any experience out there with a 2014 Ford 6.7 diesel exhaust manifold stud project? Thanks, Jeff

Mill Table Drain Cover

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Here we have a few extras for when I made my drain cover for the table on my mill. Mine finished out at about 2 1/2" square & is file fit to also cover the drain exit. PM me if you want 1 @ $10 shipped. Fun project! PM if interested. I also included a fine mesh inner cover & a sponge in my final design. This is only for the outer cover - which is typical of new from the manufacturers of the day with the added drain protection being much more than stock. This design is for my Van Norman 24MLA with a 50" table. I see no reason why it couldn't be adapted to other makes & models.

Harbor Freight 1,320 Electric Hoist in the Rafters?

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Question for you construction/framers out there, or if you have hands on experience. Is it reasonable to spread out the 1,320# load over say, 4 rafters to support the hoist and the load? I am thinking of a roller strut design with u-bolts wrapped around the rafters to support this hoist https://www.ebay.com/itm/1320Lbs-Mini-Electric-Wire-Hoist-Remote-Control-Garage-Auto-Shop-Overhead-Lift/172364496786?epid=2155023693&hash=item2821b97f92:g:YaoAAOSwWWxY~zG0:sc:FedExHomeDelivery!95926!US!-1:rk:7:pf:0 Have you done it? Did you lift a 1,000lb load safely? Is this a stupid idea? What about 500lbs? Thank you. It sure looks like a great way to lift heavy objects on to the lathe (12" chuck) or welding table or.......

Lathe broaching a keyslot

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Using Mr Pete's you tube video on this: I happen to have a blank of both what I call tool steel or, I can use the other end of an HSS parting tool. I tried it with a blank 3/32" HSS bit but it had WAY too much flex as it was pressed into the piece. And still not wide enough to make a 5mm keyslot. I want to use the tool steel blank to make the cutter as it should have a lot more rigidity than the HSS. The tool steel is super hard to my mind. (Dont laugh.... ) I ground down an old Armstrong knurling tool clamping tang so it would fit into my Enco stock toolholder. It took FOREVER!!! But it also allowed me to creep up on the final grind dimensions. That old knurler looks pretty cool now too. It also seems to me that this stuff is super rigid. This is why I want to use this blank instead of the HSS one but, I have no idea if this will work for the cutter as I have never heard of this being done. Can I use the Tool steel or should I stick with HSS for making the cutter?

First Project - Upshur's Model Farm Engine

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I am a retired software engineer and back a year ago I got the itch to learn how to precisely cut metal. You know, build something that I could actually touch and see. Around mid June I got delivery of my PM-1030V lathe with DRO and a bunch of tooling. This was followed in mid December of the arrival of a PM-727V mill, also with DRO, and more tooling. After dickering with setup, alignment and a making simple tooling, I realized I needed a “project’ to focus the effort. Started with a clock. A simple clock using Steven Conover’s Book “Making An American Clock”. Quickly realized the precision required on small parts was outside my skill set. Thought about a cast kit of a steam engine, but decided on the Upshur Model Farm Engine using Mr. H. Upshur’s drawings. The enticement was that all parts, except screws, were to be make from bar and sheet stock. So, in mid November, I started the effort. Well, I am here to show the results to date (it’s not done and won’t be till the workshop...

Power X Feed Install binding, PM brand

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I bought the Precision Mathews Power X Drive for my Sharp LMV full size knee mill. I was told all power feeds are pretty much the same. I had to make it fit over the Servo brand it replaced. First time I used a lathe to cut tool steel. The needle bearing race from the old power feed fit the shaft but was too large (od) for the bearing on the PM. Had to jig up an arbor to hold the bushing while I reduced the od to size. Anyway I installed everything and it works but I need to cut down the brass gear a bit, it’s too long. I also need to shim something, haven’t figured out what yet. The handcrank binds if I tighten the locking ring for the .001”-100” measurement. The kit came with a bunch of shins. If you know what to shim, please chime in. I’ll spend some time on the net or YouTube to figure it out. I’ll get it. Works good.

A "what's it worth" question.

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20's and blowing a gale, so sitting in the house surfing Ewe Toob. Saw a video where a guy modified a Horror Fright motorcycle lift with a "power pack" type hydraulic setup. That reminded me that I had one squirreled away that I took in on a horse trade. It's an Enerpac P39 hand pump with a RCH-202 or 302 (not sure, label missing) cylinder. That's a short stroke (2 or 2.5 inches depending) 24 or 36 ton cylinder. So, using Fee Bay to try to determine an approximate value, I'm seeing the pump go for $100-ish, RCH-202 cylinders go for over $400 and sets with pump and cylinder going North of $1000. This is NOT something I ever expect to use (I have other options) and am considering selling it. However, I'm aware that there's often a considerable difference between the asking price and the actual sale price of things on EBay. I'd appreciate opinions/estimates of what it's worth if I should decide to sell it. (Mods: if this violates policy, please delete it)

Phase Perfect - Conversion single phase to 3 phase.

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Threads about addressing conversion from single phase to 3 phase come up frequently. Often one aspect of inquiry is how to make 3 phase machines work with as little spend as possible - people have come up with some great solutions. I got into this hobby 35 years ago, and started out with a commercially made, 5 hp rotary converter. The RPC worked great for that first lathe, and made it easy to power the next 8 machines that followed. In all, I think I have 13, 3 phase motors from very small up to 5 hp. The RPC worked well, the drawbacks were that it did not start the lathe well on the higher speed motor setting. With the 4J chuck on I'd get one start and the second start befor too long would trip the RPC thermals. Also, the particular unit was quite noisy (though I have seen others that are much quiter). I've wanted to play with a CNC machine and when an agreeable opportunity for an industrial machine came up, I took the plunge. This VMC has a 15 hp spindle motor and most of...

Index Plate ID Chart

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Just a chart to help ID those generic listings on the sale sites in hopes of finding what you need. If you have info on other makes & models, please share.

Solid State timer help

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I have a few of these timers that I would like to put to use. For the best of me I can not find any info on the net about them. Could someone give me a drawing like the one below my two images on how to wire this unit up. What I need is something like what I have labeled as my drawing. I just made that up so you could see what I need. Solid State Timer SSAC Part # EISS4D20 120VAC

Transmission/Engine Tear Down Bench Question

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As I sit here eating my lunch, I'm hoping someone will throw me a nugget of wisdom. The typical commercial tear down bench is too small. The table is angled slightly back and to the side so oil can drain into a receptacle through a hole in the back corner of the table. This table is 8 feet long and 30" deep. My question, what angle should I use? I was thinking one inch elevation on the front and left side, the fluids will drain back and to the right. I plan on making the top an adjustable part-not welded to the base. The sides and back will have a 2" welded lip. This project is in process, please no rock throwing :) Thanks. What an I having for lunch? blueberries, strawberries, apple, Greek yogurt and granola, my usual.

Radius ball turner

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I've been wanting to make a ball turner for quite some time. Well, this past week I finally got a "round 2 it"! My first tool holder attempt caused me to say some things, that I'm glad my son didn't hear... ...but I managed to get it right the second attempt! I first tried mounting the base to the location where the compound rest normally occupies, but soon learned that I would not have enough room, between the radius turner and the lathes center line.... On the right side of the pic, you can JUST make out the tip of the live center in the tailstock...so went back to the drawing board, and decided that I would remake the base, suited to mount on the cross slide... Well, I deffinately had more clearance now, but something else hit me like a ton of bricks. I had no means of moving it forward or backward, something I didn't even consider since it was originally going to be mounted on the compound. Also, I really disliked having to use the gib from the cross slide, it was just SO...

Material in DFW, Texas

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I will be in the Dallas Fort Worth area next week. Do you know of a place I can buy "drops" of material ? Aluminum, mild steel, cast-iron, hard plastic and stainless? Square, round, or flat stock anything that is less than 3 feet long or 4 inches thick would be considered. I'm trying to build up my stash of raw material but as you know shipping is a deal killer. So since I will be in the big city with time to kill I thought I’d try to load up on material while I’m there
hEADSTOCK iNDEXER
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I needed a simple way to index my headstock for a chambering fixture I was building. I also wanted it out of the way so I could leave it in place and just use it when I needed it. Chain sprockets provided the answer. They're cheap and nearly any tooth count from 10 to 72 is available. I bought a 72 and a 50. They cover just about anything I would need .

Screwdriver machined handle [Radial milling on a lathe]

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Rescued this old screwdriver with a new handle. It was a good use of my radial milling attachment The handle is a (almost) exactly copy of old one.

Good stuff from the Cabin Fever Expo

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I picked up some good items for my shop at the Cabin Fever Expo in PA on Friday. I won a bid on a lot containing a Starrett level and a bunch of calipers (just in time too, my go-to caliper was on its last legs). The digital Mitutoyo will be a big upgrade. Got a nice surface plate - it was a bit grimy but cleaned up very nicely. Also picked up a nice surface gage to go with it. I also got a great deal on a Syntron vibratory feeder. By my calculations I got about $1200 worth of stuff for around $200. (Getting the surface plate in person saved me a lot on shipping!). The show was fun - especially watching what the larger tools went for at auction. Rick
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