Homemade Needlepoint Oiler

Like many modellers, for years I have had one of those cheapo plastic Needlepoint oilers that are available via Amazon, eBay etc. While working on the Princess I noticed that mine appeared to be leaking. I decided to see if I could make a new reservoir and reuse the nozzle end. Using a set of metric thread pitch gauges I was struggling to determine whether the pitch was 6mm x 0.9 or 1.0mm.

I drilled and tapped a piece of nickel rod M6 x 1.0 and tested the nozzle. It didn’t fit. I attempted to rethread it M6 x 1.0 but it then sat at a jaunty angle in the end of the bar.

Before going any further, I counter bored the unthreaded end to 8mm and reamed it. I made a press fit plug from more nickel bar, pressed it in and soldered it for good measure. Then decided to make a new nozzle using only the O ring and the needle from original.

Homemade Precision Oiler
Homemade Precision Oiler
Homemade Precision Oiler

I am really pleased with how it turned out for about an hour’s work.

More shop made tools from recycled materials – Machinists Jacks

On the tool making side of things I noted while doing some milling of small brass parts that there was a bit of deflection due to the part sticking out unsupported from the end of a collet block. I had seen video on Youtube of various people making machinist jacks to support items being machined and thought I would have a go at making some.

Although I had thought about them over time, I haven’t tried making them before because I didn’t have any suitable material but after watching how one You Tuber went about it, that gave me an idea. 

Last year, my 20+ year old mitre saw gave up the ghost and before disposing of it I salvaged what I could in the way of useful materials and fixings. The biggest chunk of useful material was the slide which carried the saw backward and forwards when making the cut. This tuned out to be thick walled tube which was 30mm OD and 20mm ID. Not ideal, initially for making screw jacks, as I don’t posses any means of making threads that big (I haven’t yet attempted any single point threading but I have just bought a couple of lathe tools for the purpose so watch this space). 

Fast forward to a few weeks ago when a friend of ours was winding down his handyman business and moving house. I asked him if he came across any bit’s of useful metal as he was sorting out ready to move, that I would take them off his hands and save a trip to the tip. He was sure there would be and a couple of days later he dropped off a carrier back full of nuts bolts and studs. In amongst the contents were a a number of cut off lengths of M16 stud, each about 4 inches long fitted with two nuts. There were also a number of M16 high tensile nuts and bolts most of them still sealed in bags (that’s how I know they are M16). A combination of these formed the basis of the jacks. I turned down four of the nuts and made them a press fit into the thick walled tube. I am not sure what the tube is made of but it really does machine well. 

Machinist’s Jack from Scrap
Machinist’s Jack from Scrap

The high tensile bolt heads were a bit tougher to turn and even harder to knurl so on the second one I didn’t attempt to knurl it. I used a carbide end mill to cut scallops and then cross drilled for a pin to allow fine tuning.

Machinist’s Jack from Scrap

I couldn’t resist adding a small brass cap to stop the pin from coming out as I wind it in and out. The two locking collars were made from another standard nut, turned, knurled and then parted into two. The standard nuts which thankfully I have most of, are so much easier to machine than the high tensile ones. Finally all the parts were cleaned with acetone and blackened with Birchwood Casey.

Eclipse Scribing Block – A cleaning test to see if my earlier efforts were a fluke.

I mentioned in the post above that I also had an Eclipse scribing block. This was a gift from a friend when he was moving and I was very grateful for it. I am a little ashamed to say that aside from using it a few times with my indicator I have done very little with it.

Having discovered the WD40/Ultrasonic Cleaning method I decided to see if it was a fluke or whether it really needed the soak in vinegar first.

Because it was a test I took a few more before and after photos

Eclipse Scribing Block Pre Clean
Eclipse Scribing Block
Eclipse Scribing Block Pre Clean
Eclipse Scribing Block Pre Clean

I put all the smaller parts in the pot of WD40 and ran it through the US cleaner for half an hour. When they came out the dirt was loose, but they were not as clean as the items that had been pre-soaked in vinegar.

On the bright side, I gave them a rub over with ScotchBrite and the dirt came away easily with almost no effort. A second run through the US cleaner had them like new.

I did the main column with WD 40 and ScotchBrite which did take a bit of effort.

Eclipse Scribing Block Restored
Eclipse Scribing Block Restored
Eclipse Scribing Block Restored

And there’s Moore… another vintage tool restoration

Hello I’m Rob and I am a tool junkie… or so it might seem.

During breakfast and morning coffee I have taken to watching YouTube videos on machining, restorations etc. while Chris catches up on the news and current affairs.

While watching one such video a gent in the states who has a superb machine shop that he inherited from his Grandfather was making an adjustable indicator holder.

The resulting tool was excellent, but as it was nearing completion I couldn’t help but notice that the design was pretty much the same as some adjustable scribing blocks that I had seen on eBay while searching for Moore and Wright tools. Sure enough a search on Moore and Wright scribing block brought up several, ranging from one with some parts missing for £10 up to pristine boxed examples that were almost £100.

I found one that was complete (if rusty in places) but unboxed, that the seller was asking £15.99 plus P&P for. I put it on watch while I browsed further. As per a number of my recent experiences, by the time that I had found a couple more at sensible (to me) prices, I had received a lower price offer from the seller of £12.99.

Offer and counter offer is one of the functions of eBay that I really like and I have used it to negotiate a better price on a number of occasions. Being a tight Yorkshireman, I decided that I didn’t want to pay more than £10 plus P&P for it but knew that if I counter offered £10 that the seller would in turn counter with £11.

So I offered £8. My thinking being that the seller would then counter with £10 and sure enough they did. Result and a happy bunny.

On a side note, I think that if you enter into negotiations like this, it is only good manners to buy the object in question although I don’t always take up the reduced price initially offered as sometimes I just put items on watch out of curiosity with no intention of buying them at any price.

This is what it looked like when it arrived

Moore and Wright Adjustable Scribing Block

I stripped it all down and put all the small parts which were rusty into a pickle jar full of white vinegar (we bought a gallon of it a while back). I left them for 24 hours and then brough them out and cleaned much of them with ScotchBrite but there were lots of small parts and springs that were either difficult to hold or lot’s of small crevices etc, to get into.

Then I recalled another video that I had watched, where a gent (again in the US) with an decent sized Ultrasonic cleaner had put various objects into small pots of different detergents including one of gasoline. These containers were then placed in the US cleaner which was part filled with water and turned on with really good results.

Another recent purchase was a 5 litre bottle of WD40 so I decanted some into a small container dropped in all the small parts and gave them a 30 minute cycle with the container surrounded by water (approx. 3/4 of the way up the container and above the level of the WD40) but no additional heat. I say no additional heat because my US cleaner has a temperature dial which goes up to 20 degrees, but even with the temperature set to zero, it still gets quite warm.

I was absolutely blown away with how clean the parts came out and the added bonus of using WD40, not only does it clean, but it doesn’t send the parts rusty like detergent or other cleaners might.

Moore and Wright Scribing Block Parts Cleaned

As you can see below there is still some pitting and general wear marks, but from any kind of distance it almost looks new.

Moore and Wright Scribing Restored
Moore and Wright Scribing Block Base Restored
Moore and Wright Scribing Block Base Restored

Now as I mentioned at the beginning the plan is to use this as a dial indictor holder rather than a scribing block as I already have a nice Eclipse Scribing block that a friend gave me. More on that in another post.

This is the finished and reassembled tool fitted with a dial indicator.

Moore and Wright Scribing Block Restored

More on Callipers, or Should that be Moore

I wasn’t really sure where to post this only that I didn’t want to distract further from Adrian’s excellent scratch build with it.

Further to my post here on buying a set of Moore and Wright odd leg/Jenny Callipers second hand via eBay the next day I received a second reduced price offer on a selection of four pairs of Moore and Wright Firm Jointed Callipers for £10 plus postage so in for a penny etc. I bought them.

They arrived today and although not in quite as good a condition as the first pair that I bought they have none the less cleaned up nicely and if I spent a bit more time on them I have no doubt that I could get them back to being almost pristine.

Moore and Wright Calipers

Although they were listed as two pairs of odd leg and two pairs of external callipers. One of them had had the legs reversed and is, on the basis of where the writing is positioned in relation to the other pairs, an internal set giving me a nice range for very little investment in them.

I have included below the first pair that I bought now that they have been cleaned up. So quite unintentionally I now have a three pairs of odd legs all of which are different sizes. So I can have one pair for marking out on the lathe, a pair for the mill and a pair for the bench. 

Moore and Wright Calipers

Having seen them all together I don’t think that I will be able to resist having a further go at cleaning/rubbing them down to try to make them all as good as I can.

Odd Leg/Jenny Callipers

A recent post on scratch building a loco over on Western Thunder highlighted some of the basic tools used for scratch building. The gent in question (Adrian) posted a photo of the tools laid out on his bench. They were the usual scribe, 6in rule, dividers, set square and, a pair of odd leg callipers.

Now I am sure that I am not alone in my lazy habit of using expensive digital/analogue measuring callipers for scribing my marking out when machining…

A quick look on the web revealed that I could get some Chinese odd leg callipers for under a tenner but already possessing a set of Chinese (or indeed they might be Indian) cheap callipers which are crude to say the least I thought I would have a look on eBay for some second hand named brand alternatives to see what was/is available. Now one of my favourite Sheffield made brands are Moore and Wright so I started there.

Searching Moore and Wright odd leg callipers brought up quite a selection even some new ones. Many of the cheaper end of the buy it now examples were simply two pieces with one leg bent and the other sharpened. Having seen Adrian’s set I rather fancied a set that had a separate scribe pin. I was a bit short of time so I put a couple on watch and returned to them the day after. As it turned out it was the same seller selling both of them and overnight I had received Offers on them. The offered reduction was only a couple of quid but it meant that the better of the two pairs that I was watching came in at £10 posted.

Moore & Wright Odd Leg Calipers
Moore & Wright Odd Leg Calipers

This is what I got for my tenner. A rub over with Scotch Brite and WD40 and they will be as good as new. I am well pleased with them and will enjoy using them for many years to come

The arrow alongside the date leads me to think that they are ex military

Each time I use them I will think of Adrian, and his unbeknownst kick up the pants.

This would have been an edit but I forgot to click post reply before applying the Scotch Brite. They have cleaned up as I imagined and while doing so I found a couple of small dings which I smoothed out with a diamond stone so they are now as good as they can get.

Back on the Recycling Trail

I did a little more potentially useful recycling today. Earlier this week I discovered a brand new round file which needed a handle. The very next day we received our grocery order and in it was a new dish washing brush which meant the old one was being discarded as being worn out. As I was about to put it in the recycle box I wondered if the handle was solid as an idea was forming. I popped it in the workshop and this morning I had 10 minutes to saw the remains of the brush head off to see if the handle was solid.

Having determined that it was solid, I measured the file tang and cut the brush handle to length leaving the comfort grip. I drilled out the cut end to accept the file and a few bashes with a rubber mallet later and I now have a file that is really comfortable to use.
I have to admit that the colour is not great but I am not too fussed about that.

Modified by CombineZP

Drill Chuck Key Comfort Handles

This may not be as relevant to some in these days of keyless chucks but here goes.

I have got into the habit of watching Youtube videos on my phone while having coffee, usually on lathes or machining of some sort. During one such video yesterday a guy in the US had made comfort handles for for drill chuck keys and when he explained why it struck a chord.

Today while at the lathe making return crank bushes for the Princess I decided to have a go at a handle for the chuck key for the drill chuck that I use on both my lathe and mill.

Chuck Key Handle
Chuck Key Handle

Really quick to make and it doesn’t need a lathe to do it. A Drill and a file would suffice. I made it so the handle was a tight interference fit and I did such a good job that I had to drill a 1mm hole in the end to let the compressed air out to allow it to push into the bottom of the main hole in the handle. It got quite a bit of use while making the bushes so this evening and it was so much more comfortable to use that I made a second one for the much smaller chuck key for my Proxxon Mini Pillar Drill

Chuck Key Handle

Both handles are made from offcuts of Delrin rod that I had in stock but they could be made from pretty much anything. I had eyed up wooden dowel, aluminium bar and brass rod before remembering the Delrin.

Cheap and Cheerful Home Made Nut Spinners

For those of you not wishing to spend a packet on BA nut spinners from Markits et,al a chance conversation with a friend brough back a memory of a much missed GOG Member whom I have referred to in the past David Smith (known on various forums as DLOS). He was really a model engineer and he had mention in a posting a few years ago that he had made BA nut spinners from appropriately sized caps screws using the hex head as the socket.

Having a spare couple of hours last night I rummaged through my screw box and found that an M4 and M5 cap head screws were just right for 8 and 10 BA and a couple of grub screws suited 12 and 14BA.

Home made Slim Line Nut spinners 8-10-12-14 BA

Although I used the lathe they could be made by anyone with the ability to drill and tap metric threads. I did turn down the heads of the cap screws but again nothing that couldn’t be achieved by putting it in a drill chuck and applying a file.

A tip worth mentioning: If you use grub screws for any of them, in order to get enough threads to engage the grub screw, you need to drill the hole a bit deeper. This means that the head of the grub screw wont stay at the end. My solution was, once threaded, I screwed the grub screw in as far as it would go and then with a bit of brass rod I measured how far in the head of the grub screw was from the end (1.5mm and 4.5mm respectively in my case).

I then cut a couple of short lengths of brass rod that would slip inside the threads (2mm I think I used) This allows you to tighten the grub screws against the bottom of the hole while the head is level with the end. I was planning on Loctite-ing them but I don’t think that they need it.

The handle parts were made from a length of bent 6.35mm brass bar which equates to a 1/4 inch (I must have bought it as quarter inch but any suitable sized bar would do. Hopefully it’s the last bent piece in my stocks as there is nothing more irritating than trying to tun something that you have to lose half it’s thickness before you get it to run concentric.
It’s not visible in the photo but the bend in the bar meant that the grooves look a bit like Zebra stripes, in that go they go thick then thin as the bar flexed away from the cutting tool as I turned them. You don’t need them for the tool to be functional but I can’t help messing.

Recycled Allen Key for locking/unlocking the Sieg Mini Mill table locks

I know that there is at least one other reader with a similar Milling machine to mine so I thought that this might be worth sharing.

For many milling operations, the accuracy of the work is improved if you lock the table in one or both axis. The problem with doing that is access, particularly on the Y axis. Locking the table is done by means of a cap screw which when tightened nips the gibs and prevents the table from moving in that axis while you work. These are located in the mid point of each axis. The Y axis one being under the table at the right hand side and directly in line with the hand wheel. There isn’t a lot of room in the there and for me at least at best I get my knuckles covered in grease at worst I leave skin behind… I do have a set of long T handled Allen Keys but the T bit is too long and it has to be put in at an angle to clear the hand wheel.

While watching a video where someone else was struggling to tighten the mill table down it occurred to me that I needed to make something with a straight shank that was thick enough to grip and turn

I initially planned to use brass or acetal but while rummaging in my tub of Allen keys looking for one that I could cut down I found and old cheapo centre punch with a knurled grip. It was so cheapo that at best only the tip must have been hardened because the tip was totally mashed up and cutting the end off, facing it and drilling it out on the lathe was no effort at all. Once drilled I ground a slight chamfer on one end of the stub of Allen key and bashed it into the punch handle.

Recycled Allen Key

Now I have the perfect tool. It fit’s under the mill table and allows me to lock/unlock the mill table with minimal effort. I had thought of cross drilling it to add a small cross bar but I don’t think I need it.

Shop Made Machinists Hammer

A while ago when making the improvements to the tail stock of the Unimat, I mentioned that I planned to make a machinists hammer.

Well, I made a start and ,machined up the body of the head the screw in faces, and the shaft but hadn’t done anything about the handle by the time I sold the Unimat.

Primarily this was because I had struggled to thread the 8mm stainless rod that I used for the shaft and was awaiting delivery of a new set of metric taps and dies to complete it. The taps and dies duly arrived but by then I was on with other things so it was being used just with a the bare rod as a handle. I had managed to thread the end that fits into the head it was the handle end that I had struggles with. About 3 weeks or so ago I got around to threading the handle end of the shaft but was undecided as to what to make the handle from. I had a choice of some 16mm diameter aluminium rod or some of the acetal rod that I had made the faces from. which is just over 20mm diameter. In the end I opted for the acetal. but it wasn’t until yesterday that I got my finger out and made the handle.

Having drilled and tapped it 8mm. Instead of knurling the acetal rod to create the grip, I decided to turn concave grooves using a HSS tool bit that I had ground into a curved end but hadn’t tried out on anything.

Once that was done it was just a case of fitting them together. In the end I had to cut a few threads of ether end to ensure that no threads were visible where the shaft enters the head or handle as I hadn’t really thought too much about how much thread I was creating versus how deep I could actually tap each piece.

Home Ground HSS Cutting Tool

Aside from regrinding a few tools to sharpen them, this is my first real go at grinding a tool from a blank to create a particular shape. My plan with this one is to have a go at turning a chimney at some point.

Home Ground HSS Cutting tool
Shop made machinists Hammer

Once I screwed the faces onto the head and the handle onto the shaft I couldn’t get them off again without risking marking them up so I wasn’t able to take any photos of it further disassembled.

Shop made machinists Hammer

This is the finished hammer which has turned out rather better than I had hoped when I started out. It’s main function will be to ensure that materials are seated properly in the mill vice of lathe chuck but I am sue that I will find other uses for non marking brute force….

Shop Made Tail Stock Locking clamp for the Unimat III

I mentioned in my Parting tool upgrade post that I planned to upgrade the locking clamp for the tailstock too.
Like many locking clamps on the Unimat III the locking clamp for the tail stock is an M6 cap screw. It being tucked down the side of the tail stock body it isn’t always convenient to get to. Watching the videos from the GOG virtual shows done by the late David Smith (DLOS) on workshop practice I noted that he had done a similar upgrade and it prompted me to think about it. I finally go to it.
As luck would have it I have a small stock of 50mm stainless M6 cap screws. These are only threaded for part of their length so I started by threading one of them along it’s entire length. Not an easy task in stainless but I got there. Next I cut of the head and cut it approximately to length. 
Then I drilled and tapped a short length of 16mm aluminium bar M6 and turned a 20% taper on the closed end. Having tried to fit it all together so that I could work out the handle length I realised that I had it too tall and it wouldn’t screw past the body of the tail stock. I parted off 5mm and that cured the problem. I screwed it on hand tight an marked where the handle was gong to be and had to change plans again.
My initial idea was to use another M6 screw for the handle and make a knob similar to the pinch boss to fit on the end. My test run proved that there just wasn’t enough room for any kind of knob so I was pondering what I might do when I remembered that I had a short length of steel bar in my tool box that I had had for years and it usually found use as a drift so was a little battered on the ends.
I faced one end off and turned it down to 5.85mm to thread M6 again it being stainless, made this a bit of fun but once I got it started it wasn’t as hard as threading the screw. Then I decided to taper the rest of it to make a handle shape so I centre drilled the threaded end and used a live centre to support it while I turned the taper. After initially completely forgetting that I needed to turn the topside feed not the carriage feed I ended up with the handle below which I was quite pleased with.

Shop made Tail Stock Clamp Handle.

Having cross drilled the pinch boss I assembled it all and it looks like this

Shop made Tail Stock clamp

This is the unlocked position and a quarter turn locks it

Shop made Tail Stock clamp

Carried away by this success I have ordered some more 8mm stainless rod to make another to replace  the cap screw on the quill lock.

Shop Made Parting Tool fixture

3D drawing has been a bit of a distraction from the other things that life has thrown my way recently but I also made a small upgrade to my parting tool holder for the Unimat.

Due it small size I had to buy a mini parting blade and this is what it looks like below

Parting tool as supplied

The bit that’s supposed to hold the blade and keep it from moving is this bit, which is for all the world like a bent washer.

Flimsy Clamping fixture

After parting a few items off I noted that on some of them the back of the part was actually convex because the cutting force had bent the “washer” and allowed the parting tool to move to one side as it was cutting.
Having bought my long length of steel from Wickes I decided that I would look at making something a little sturdier.

This is what I came up with.

Shop made clamping fixture

The slot is wider than the blade (1.45mm) because my smallest milling cutter at present is 3mm but I do have some brass bar that will fit in the remaining slot should I need to take out any slack.

Here it is fitted.

Shop made parting tool clamping fixture

There is a small shim in between the fixture and the tool holder which helps apply an even pressure. The fixture is thick enough not to bend under pressure and long enough to hold the blade inline with the tool holder without being able to twist while cutting.

Next I plan to make a locking handle for my tail stock. It currently locks via a cap head M6 screw which isn’t always very convenient.

Homemade Eccentrics part 2

I went through the process again this time drilling the offset at 2mm which proved to be perfect for this particular application.

I had been using a very thin cutting tool which someone had ground (not very well it turned out) which came in the box of bits with the lathe. After cutting the first one I thought that I would examine the tool to see if I could improve it or at least rub it on a stone to restore the cutting edge. When I looked closely at the cutting part I noticed that the bottom of the tool was wider than the top and although there was some rake away from the cutting edge the fact that it was getting thicker couldn’t be helping to make an efficient cut.
This is a sketch of what the tool looked like originally albeit the bottom of the wedge is somewhat exaggerated.

I have watched a few Youtube videos on sharpening lathe tools recently so I had a go at grinding the tool to take off some of the thickness towards the bottom making the two sides parallel.
This improved the cut and I successfully cut the groove for the first sheave. Then I parted it off but I was a little too close leaving a very thin edge. During the parting off, the parting tool moved slightly in its holder which pushed over the thin rim of the sheave slightly closing the top of the groove.
In the end it was usable but I decided to cut another pair to be on the safe side. It was while parting off the first one that I noted that my parting tool was in fact just the right thickness for cutting the groove without having to move the carriage as well as the cross slide to get the desired cut.
Having discovered this the next one progressed much faster and modifying the fixture that holds the parting tool so that it grips the parting tool more securely by squeezing it in the vice made the third one even faster still. The parting tool is one like this albeit mine only has one tool. You will note that it’s a pressed steel fitting that grips the part with the aid of a cap screw. Mine didn’t hold the cutting tool very closely to the holder but it does now.

So here we have the finished sheaves.

DA Princess Homemade Eccentrics
DA Princess Homemade Eccentrics

This is how they will fit on the axle once I work out their alignment with the crossheads further down the line.

DA Princess Homemade Eccentrics test fitted to the axle.

It turns out that I wasn’t far out with my 16mm deep offset hole, I had a measure of the remaining stock while putting this post together, and there is just about enough material to cut a 4th sheave had I needed a full set for a conventional inside motion build.

Modification of Buffer Heads from NER wagon kits

In my varied kit collection I have a few items of NER rolling stock from Medley Models/NER Days and it recently came to my attention via a fellow modeller that among other things the buffer heads in some of the kits need a little attention.
I had a vague recollection of Steve Hoyle mentioning something about his supplier having supplied them as they are and has subsequently passed away so no chance of doing anything about them.
These are what came with some of the kits (appologies for the slightly out of focus photos). You will note the interesting collar that would prevent any kind of compression…

I bought a couple of B1 opens from Mossy and they have been sat on my desk with the buffers beckoning to me each time I sat at my laptop. So this afternoon I decided to turn the collar off.
In the end I did about 30 and it was quite a good exercise in repeatability on the lathe using the graduations on the lead screw handwheels although the minor variations in sizes proved that they weren’t done with a CNC machine. I also took the opportunity to file off any centre pips and rub over the heads with emery while I had them in the chuck.

Globe lubricators from brass bearings

Further to my last post, when the brass bearings arrived I knocked one up into a lubricator to see how I would do it.

It was a bit interesting drilling out the bearing but following advice given I got a short length of tube the same diameter as my bearing and made a slit in it to make a split collet. This I gripped in one of the collets on the lathe and then I centre drilled it. Followed by drilling right through. They are slippery little blighters and one flew off into space as I was attempting to load into the lathe collet. Surprisingly I found it a couple of hours later.

I was fortunate to have some 1mm square bar in stock so I drilled right through one way and then half way on one side. When I fitted the rod through the bearing and into the square section I filed half of it away for the last millimetre which gave me a bit more room to solder the piece in that goes into the boiler.

Globe lubricator from a brass bearing

With the obligatory scaling piece.

Globe lubricator from a brass bearing

As with all such things in modelling making one is sometimes the easy part making another or several is more difficult. So it proved with the second one

I ruined one bearing when I hadn’t quite tightened the collet enough and the bearing wasn’t centred, then I didn’t get enough solder on the cross pipe so that came adrift as I cut it short and I ended up having to re-drill it in the pillar drill before I could solder it back in.

But get a pair I did. My collection of bits for the D2 is slowly coming together.

Globe lubricators from brass bearings

Making a form tool to turn Globe Lubricators

A fellow Gauge O Guild member asked if I would tell him how I made the form tool for the whistles. Because I am a bit impatient* I was planning to make another one to turn Globe lubricators (if I could).

So, I made another form tool and took photos as I went along.

Using a second cut file I filed away approximately half the thickness of the bar (in the event it was nearer to 35/40% than half).

Then I used a centre drill to drill a 1.5mm starter hold which I opened out to 2mm. I think my 2mm drill bit must need sharpening because I struggled to get it to go through the last bit.

I had drilled quite close to the end so I put the rod drilled end upwards in my vice and tilted it forward to file away until I had just over half the hole exposed.

Then I transferred it to the lathe. I put my cone shaped grind stone in the collet chuck and ground the inside of the hole to put my rake on it. The black pen mark on the stone was at the 2mm diameter mark so I didn’t inadvertently make the hole bigger.

Grinding the inside of the concave section
Grinding the inside of the concave section
Grinding the inside of the concave section

Next, I used the diamond cutting disk to grind back the outer edges to refine what I had filed and get it nearer to final size. But before removing the tool from the cross slide I marked with a pencil the angle which I had ground at to make replacing the tool at the right angle easier should it need regrinding. 

Globe Lubricator form tool
Globe Lubricator form tool
Grinding the inside of the concave section

Then I hardened and tempered the cutting end. I did this by heating the end using my Microflame to a red heat then I quenched it in a jar of water. I repeated the process but only heating until it changed to a blue colour before quenching again in water.

I tried cutting a globe but I made a couple of mistakes: 

The material I was trying it on was too thin (2.5mm diameter) and I had predrilled the centre thinking that I was going to thread a rod through it.

The ‘globe’ broke off long before it remotely resembled a globe and I realised that even with thicker material I needed to grind more off the tool to make the forming half circle shallower. At this point I used thicker material but still predrilled it.

Another try; another failure and another regrind.

The last go was cut from 4mm bar and no predrilling and I also took some of the edge of the ‘globe section with a diamond file prior to applying the form tool. 

Globe Lubricator
Globe Lubricator
Globe Lubricator

Having done all this I now think that I may get away with thinner rod now that I have refined the form tool and my technique.

Of course, the law of sod dictated that not 15 minutes after finishing the successful lubricator the postie came with some brass bearings that I had ordered from China and wasn’t expecting for another three weeks or so.* I an Middleditch in his original advice had suggested buying brass ball bearings and drilling them to make the globes from

The subject of those will make another posting at some point.

Holding things for drilling/milling

While re-watching David LO Smith’s workshop video that he did for last years virtual show I was reminded that quite often the job itself doesn’t present the biggest problem for machine tools it’s holding the item securely in the right orientation that proves most challenging.
Needing to drill out some cast brass brake hangers and shoes I was struggling on how to hold them because the castings were ever so slightly miscast meaning that each part had to be slightly tilted to get the hole to go through cleanly without coming out of the side of the casting.
I thought I would share with you the method that I came up with.

I gripped the pliers in the small machine vice and bought the drill bit down in front of the part to check alignment, adjusting until the hole would pass through the casting correctly before aligning the drill bit over the point to be drilled. 
I have had these pliers for years and I removed the spring for a job and never put it back this means that the jaws stay where you put them so ideal for using both hands to do the set up. 
They have quite straight but quite narrow jaws (3mm for most of their length tapering to 2.6mm at the ends) and I wish I could buy another pair as using them for soldering many times has started to corrode the ends of the jaws.
Then to start drilling grip the handles of the pliers to keep the part in place and operate the drill with the other hand. I had to keep minutely adjusting the angle as I drilled each end of each casting but all six were drilled both ends without mishap.

Bending Tender Flares, a short tutorial

As promised on my J6 Build thread after bending the curves in the tender flares I took a series of photos using a piece of scrap to demonstrate how easy it is using a variation of a method described to me by someone on RMweb years ago.
He used the thick rubber heel design for replacing worn ones on shoes I use one of the rubber safe jaws of my Proxxon Vice.
First of all I just use the one soft jaw. You will note that the soft jaw has a thick triangular section that fits in the V groove of the hard vice jaw.

Bending Tender Flares

Opposite that to form the longitudinal curve I use one of the lengths of rod that came with my Metalsmith drilling table.

Bending Tender Flares

Next I fit the strip to have the flare bent in it into the vice between the soft jaw and the rod using the opposite V groove to hold the rod in position and ensure that the bend is going into the thickest part of the rubber soft jaw.

Bending Tender Flares

Once you are happy with the position tighten the jaws to create the bend
In this photo you can just see where it’s pushing against the thicker bit of rubber in the V groove

Bending Tender Flares

Finally a couple of shots of the finished bend.

Bending Tender Flares

Bending Tender Flares