Part 14. ...Still tooling up!
Once again I thank you for your patience..and once again apologize for the big gap between posting on this.
I haven't had much opportunity to do much work for this project for a while, only the odd bit now and again, but here is an update on what we have-or more to the point-haven't achieved so far!
We did however, get to the stage when I could test the tailstock drilling accuracy; this will be used mainly for drilling through float bodies & also for drilling the very small hole in the end of the centre stem, to put in the wire loop. I thought it would look a bit neater if the wire line-eye could be made with a barb and then pushed into a small hole in the end of the float stem. It would look a bit neater and save some of the whipping..? -But then again, it might not be practical or strong enough...? -we shall see..
I bought a very useful set of mini-drills some time ago, from 0.3mm up to about 1.5mm, all in their own dispenser box.
The first lathe test was to take the very smallest drill, 0.3mm (about 0.012") and try putting a hole up the middle of a piece of 3mm bamboo kebab(?) skewer..
..and can report that it drilled fine with no problems at all!
I also tried drilling with some of the other drills and found that the hole would stay central all the way, so that's one thing solved. Incidentally, I started the hole by using a gramophone needle as a centre drill! Later on in the project, you will see how these needles have solved another big problem..
It's also been pointed out that-so far-I haven't shown any pictures of the complete machine, so here are a few of the project to date-which is not yet finished..
This shows the on/off switch & speed control. The bakelite knob is actually one adapted from one taken from a pre-war radio and the power-on light is from a scrapped cooker!
The drawer knobs were quite easy to make from small, hexagon brass rod, drilled & tapped through so they could be safely screwed in flush from the inside. I originally recessed the fronts and made little inserts from staghorn, but decided that, as well as going a bit OTT, they actually didn't look very good, so made new decorative inserts from plain nylon!
The base is screwed to the wood with machine screws and not glued, in order to access the electrics if necessary.
The light-coloured 'feet' are blocks of hard felt, stuck on with double-sided tape, so the lathe can be used on any surface without slipping or scratching furniture.
This is the sliding tool drawer, which is very useful. I have left it plain for now but might line it out with felt later on, when all the tooling is made. You can see the little drill set inside and also the tin of gramophone needles. The white delrin parts are some experimental pieces of tooling, which will be shown at a later date.
The first real practical test was to try and drill out a proper balsa body. There was no problem holding the balsa, using an adaptor you will see in the next post, but there was
problem with the drill dragging the balsa free from it (the adaptor). Also, it soon became apparent, that I would have to make an adjustable 'Steady' attachment, to hold the balsa both central and in place throughout drilling. I did guess that this might be the case, so nothing for it but to get on with it and make one! I have to apologize for not taking many photos whilst doing this, but time which I could devote to this was at a premium and I didn't waste any with the camera..
By way of explanation, a lathe 'Steady' is a kind of 'bridge' attachment, which clamps to the lathe bed and can support-or hold the workpiece whilst machining. There are two types; one which travels along with the work and the sort we are going to make-one which is fixed and supports the work on three equal points about its diameter. The circular support area is actually hinged to enable the work to be taken in-and out. You will see how it works from the pictures.
The first step was to make on the Myford lathe, two exactly equal 'rings' of bronze, measuring 3/4" internally, 1 1/8" externally and about 3/16" wide. Next, I drilled a 1/16" hole in each, to take the hinge pin. Then, by careful marking out, sawing & filing, was able to make two 'halves' of a circle, joining them with a 1/16" silver steel pin. A hole down one side enabled them to be locked together by means of a special thumb-screw. This jointed 'ring' was slotted (again, using the lathe) to accept the three steady bars, which will be made from the pins of a 13-amp plug!
The base was made, milled out on the lathe from a block of brass, much in the same manner as the tailstock and joined to the 'ring' by screwing first, then soldering. The steady bars are adjusted and clamped in place by means of clamp plates, made from silver steel which was hardened & tempered.
All that sounds very complicated and I haven't finished it yet (still have to make the bars and delrin rollers) but you can get some sort of idea of what it will look like..Making the Steady.
This is 'milling' up the base part..
I have already made both rings, cut & joined them together with a hinge pin and am drilling the screw holes here..
You see that the three slots for the steady bars have already been done and here I am putting in the screw holes and 'flat' to attach it to the base..
Here, I am making the steel ring, which, when drilled and cut up, will make the securing clamps.
Now you see that I have soldered both parts together and made the lock screw, but not yet cut up the steel ring.
This has now been cut up & filed, then hardened & tempered. You can see how the steady will open & close.
This is a better view of how it will be used. The electrical plug pins have not yet been cut to shape though. The steady will accommodate all sizes from 1/16"up to 3/4" diameter and can be clamped anywhere on the lathe bed.
Yes, I know it's all looking a bit untidy and disjointed at the moment, but when this bit is finished and I can make some cutting tools, we can get on with some real practical testing.
Once again, sorry about infrequent posting..
Regards to all,