Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hand Crank Grinders

Posted to Youtube and elaborated on here.

Hand grinders are cool. When I was a kid our neighbor Mr. Russel had one on his work bench. I loved to crank the grinder every time my Dad and I went to visit. Now I have a few of my own.
One of my hand grinders had lash in the spindle that let the wheel rattle back and forth. A couple of quick adjustments and a little oil and it's working like a champ.I recently purchased a little hand crank grinder because of it's unique design.

After posting a quick repair vid on Youtube I received a comment from McQualude (yes that's the name) that it was a Luther 51 grinder. While researching the name I came across this thread on Sawmill Creek!   In addition I found this catalog on Toolemera
This is a really cool little grinder. Until I read the catalog I had no idea that it could be set up as a tool grinder, milk separator, and even a breast drill. I especially liked the foot treadle on page 19.
The inventor must be Luther McGiver. 

One of the things people comment on in most of the articles and videos I've seen is that the wheels are out of balance. Most think they need to install a new wheel.
If you dress the wheel by holding a diamond point, star wheel, or even a piece of grindstone as a dresser, against the wheel so that it just touches the high spot as it turns then slowly advance the dresser until as the high spot wears down it ends up touching the whole surface of the wheel it can be brought back round.
The other advantage is, the wheel will be sharp and square so it will cut much quicker and not heat the part as much.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Just about Christmas

I'm going to be a man of leisure for the next 9 days.
Christmas shutdown at work and I'm looking forward to getting caught up on all the things that slide away at the end of the work day.
I have a:
              pegboard panel to install over the basement workbench
              new kitchen sink faucet
             sparkplugs to install in the truck
             new shut off  switch to install in the tractor
             finish installing the power panel repairs in the basement
             post to this blog.
One done :-)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Rant alert.

For the past month I've been driving home from work down Cedar Street in Lansing. I pass the corner of Saginaw and Cedar and there is usually one or two people standing there with a sign. "Unemployed need help"
Hell I even gave one of the guys a couple bucks. Then I thought what the hell am I doing.
I'm concerned about you poor people who can't get a job because the Boss won't hire you. How am I helping you to improve yourself. I give you 2 dollars. You learn to stand there and beg for a living.
You now work for the government. You get government food, you live in government housing, you drive a government car, your kids are in government daycare, now you use a government phone to call your friends back at home and send money back to your family so they can move here.
What will happen when we decide we can't afford to support you anymore. Since we are the government we will shut down the mill. No food, no house, no car, no daycare, no phone. Wait a minute no phone to call home? Might as well go home now.
I don't mean South America either. Move back to the little hick towns that everyone moved to the city to get away from. Your welfare checks will still keep coming. Raise chickens and hogs, they'll eat anything and the first two make 10 more. Then you can feed yourself. Sell what you don't eat. Houses in the country are falling down everyone moved to town. Save up 10 welfare checks and buy or rent one. Get a 1000 dollar beater on payments and use it. Home school the kids if you can, they ride the bus if you can't. You'll be too busy to call anyone and you won't want another mouth to feed.
Problem solved.
Your food is right there for the fixing. The house is as good as your willing to make it. You're supporting yourself and your family.
Congratulations you're now a Republican.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Built me a shelf and it's ready for hanging.

Have you ever just started something without a real plan? I don’t mean without blueprints, measurements, and cut lists. I mean just an idea and two boards.
Lydia wanted a shelf for her Grandmother Brown’s china. At the old house there was a built in china cabinet in the dining room and she always had them on display. She mentioned that it would be nice to have a shelf along the east dining room wall. We talked about it and it went into the someday pile of projects.
While searching for a piece of cove molding to match the missing piece over the front door I talked about molding with the local Carter Lumber. They didn’t have 3” cove molding but they did have crown molding in 4” wide. Being extremely tired of hunting after the 5th Big Box store not having any I said, “Okay I’ll take the 4” crown molding.
I picked up enough to replace all the molding on the front of the house so it will match.
When I got home buyers remorse set in and I thought “Why in the world did I buy so much wood?” It wasn’t going to look right. I would have to take all the old off and rip down the new to 3” wide.
Back to the drawing board.
In the mean time the shelf got moved up on the list. While we were on a vacation trip to Saugatuck she pointed out 4 or 5 really ugly shelves and said, “That might work.” A subtle way of nudging my elbow. I can’t stand crap furniture, and I hate to spend money.
That weekend while she was at work I took the unusable crown molding and mitered it, added a piece of ¾ x 6” poplar, some braces, and poof the shelf was done.
Lydia painted the shelf the next weekend and then we spend an afternoon digging through boxes for the dishes.
The shelf just fit in the space between the door frame and the ceiling with enough room for the dishes. I’ll have to dig out the pictures of the finished shelf.
Did I tell you she liked it really well? Yep I’m making another shelf for the opposite wall. Good thing I bought all that extra crown molding.

Dave N.
aka Old Sneelock

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Branching out into new things.

Youtube setup.

I’ve been on Youtube for about a year and a half. The first video was Salvaging a Wood Auger. It was posted on February 28th 2011.
During that time the channel has logged 11804 views.
I joined up with AdSense about 6 months ago. Because after reading the fine print for the fifth time, I thought it was a plan for having my own ads on the channel I didn’t do the final steps. About a month ago I did some more research read the fine print for the 10th time and finally got all linked with the program.
On October 1st 2012 AdSense reported my first dividend.  $0.17. I won’t retire on it but I’m now a paid videographer.
It’s a learning process. I’ve been making changes as I learn more.
     a. Can’t have anything on the video that I don’t own or have full rights to.
     b. Spreading out the types of videos doesn’t bring in more views.
  1. I’m trying to tap a bigger audience but the tool tutorial style seems to be the biggest draws.
  2. It’s best to have links to other websites. Each time I mention one of the videos on Old tools or someone mentions one on Sawmillcreek forum I get a spike in views.

Linked the channel to my blog and my Facebook page. We'll see how this turns out.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Working Combinations

Tonight I was cutting some 2x4’s for a bench. I had picked up a combination square from the measuring tools drawer and laid out lengths and hole positions without thinking about much more than where the marks ended up.
I got to a stopping point and began to put away the tools I had used. When I got to the combination square I picked it up and noticed that it was heavier than I was used to. Looking more closely I read the name, Millers Falls on the blade. Out of curiosity I pulled another combination square out of the drawer. This was one my Dad had used as long as I can remember before he gave it to me. I’ve had it for 40 years or more. Setting the two next to each other I studied the differences.
I picked up the Millers Falls at an antique shop. I prefer using good tools when ever possible but my budget precludes going with the haute couture name brands that are priced as art works rather than tools. My only rule on buying tools is that they must be usable. I may only use them once but the rule works and so far I’ve been able to keep from sliding too far down that slope. Buying tools works best at an antique shop that doesn’t know what tools are. They generally cost less when set against Victorian bric-a-brac.
The head on the Millers Falls was made from cast iron. The japanning was still pretty much intact and the vial on the level was clear and read accurately. The scribe point that screwed into the head was there and the point was still sharp.
The head on Dad’s was made from aluminum. If there ever was any paint on the head it was long gone. The vial on the level was missing completely along with the scribe point. All that was left was the holes where the two used to be.
The blade on the Millers Falls is straight, the markings clear and even though someone had wire brushed the blade the numbers are still sharp and easily read.
The blade on Dad’s is worn to the point of being nearly unreadable in anything but good light.
When I checked the two for square, drawing a line from the edge of the bench, flipping the square over and checking against the line, they both read exactly the same. The lines were straight and square at 90 degrees to the edge of the bench.
The Millers Falls felt better in my hand. The weight, only a few ounces on such a small item, made a difference in how it set on the board. I guess solid would describe the feeling. The pencil rode along the blade smoothly. No hesitation or wobble in the blade as the line was cleanly struck.
I have no idea how old the Millers Falls is. Dad’s is at least 50 years old. The wire brushing on the Millers Falls tells me it might have been rusted at some point but there isn’t any pitting on the blade. Dad’s is just as clean as the first time I saw it in Dad’s toolbox.
When new the Millers Falls was probably much more expensive than Dad’s. Having the scribe and level intact indicates that it was well protected. Dad’s has been used an average of once a week for everything from laying out steel plate to setting kitchen cabinets. Dad’s square never did have a scribe or level vial that I’m aware of. My parents taught me that I should always buy the best I can afford. New doesn’t always mean better. Keep what you have, take care of it, and it will last.
I intend to keep using Dad’s square. It’s nice to have the connection through the tools that we both used. It’s like having him still helping. However I will be using the Millers Falls much more frequently.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

SWMBO had to work so I spent yesterday on my own near Hastings, MI at Charlton Park.  It’s an historical village on the Thornapple river that reflects life in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Every chance I get I always enjoy going to the Annual Gas & Steam Engine Show because every display is open. I get to watch the giant steam powered saw mill running and see 10 to 15 running steam traction engines cruise the grounds during the steam parade on the village green.
There are a great many hit and miss engines scattered around the grounds running grist mills, pumps, generators, and other items too numerous to mention.
Since I got there early I got to watch and ask way too many questions while the blacksmith and his apprentice were rigging up the two chamber bellows for the forge.  For their demonstration later they were forging a hasp while I rested out of the sun on the bench just inside the shop door.
There wasn’t a carpenter in the carpenter/cooper shop this time, but there were a lot of tools.
This year there were four steam launches at on the river offering rides.
Maybe next year I’ll have more time and will get to cruise the Thornapple.
I did manage to pick up 6 auger bits and 100 pencils at the flea market. Altogether I spent $1.50 for the bunch.
No affiliation, YMMV, etc.
A great way to spend the day.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Winning against rust.

Over the years I have reworked, restored, and used 3 tractors, all built prior to 1950, a 1946 Ford 3 ton stake bed truck, a barn full of farm implements, and more old tools than I can count. Steel being steel most everything was rusted to the point of immobility so making the components perform involved removing what stuck em.

As a 7 year old I used what my Dad had. That consisted of 3 in one oil, motor oil, and lots of elbow grease to loosen rusted parts and then mineral spirits, gasoline, and kerosene to clean the handmedown bicycles, wagons, and other rolling stock that passed through the family on the way to perdition.

When I began mowing lawns at the age of 10, another handmedown job from my older brother, I cleaned mower decks with scrapers and carbs with gasoline.
Some of the money from the mowing jobs ended up supporting an interest in powered vehicles. The best source of power was the various small engines on mowers, pumps, buzzsaws, and rototillers that followed the path of the earlier rolling stock.

Each of these mechanical marvels became available because they were no longer functional in their original capacity. They came from dumps, fence rows, and sheds, where they were exposed to dirt, and water, and they rusted.

With the persistence of youth I oiled, heated, tapped, and beat on various items until they disassembled or broke. I learned new ways to remove broken bolts, pins, shafts, etc. 1st lesson: If you break a bolt while tightening it you have a chance. Break it on the way out and you’re pretty much screwed.

As time passed I became better at the tapping and broke fewer things. Through study I learned that in the case of iron:

Rust is a combination of iron and oxygen.
Rust is harder than iron alone. Crocus cloth is iron oxide bonded to cloth and is used to polish steel.
Rust expands through the binding of the oxygen to the iron making a larger molecule.
The expanded rust fills gaps thus wedging components apart and thereby tightening the fastener to component joint.

I also learned that lubrication was the common link to all the methods of loosening corroded parts, but the lubrication had to be between the parts in order to work. How to get the lubrication in there is the 64 thousand dollar question. I learned that:

Heat expands materials.
Expanded materials cause the joint to move.
When differential heating is applied properly the outer component expands and the inner component remains the same size or only slightly bigger.
Oil is drawn to heat.
The oil is drawn into the gap through heat and capillary action and lubricates the interface between the components.
Lower viscosity light oil flows better.
Higher viscosity or heavy oil has more film strength, withstands higher compressive forces and resists wiping action better.
Mix light oil and heavy oil together and the longer chain molecules that make up heavy oil remain the same size but are dispersed in the lighter smaller chain molecules and the capillary action causes them to flow into smaller spaces.

Heat nearly always works. But if you heat too much the part is destroyed and since the purpose is to not destroy the part the process breaks down.

I found that the key to all of the methods of removal was that tapping, not beating, banging or smashing, but tapping, causes the joint to move. The joint moves and opens paths for the mix of light and heavy oil to be drawn into the gap. The oil fills the gap and lubricates the materials allowing them to move.

So what do I do?
1.      Mechanically remove dirt and loose corrosion from the surface.
2.      Apply a mix of light and heavy oil to be drawn into the gap.
3.      Tap the components with a small hammer.
4.      Wait.
5.      Repeat.

There are still problems that can occur:

Cracks propagated from rust pits can cause flakes to break free from the surface and wedge between the components. End result no movement.
Over time two steel components will weld together from just being in contact. End result no movement. Heat will greatly accelerate the process.
Bends, wrinkles, riveting, swaging, and misalignment can force items into shapes that interlock. Again no movement.
Galling caused by friction between two components will spot weld flakes and chips from one component onto the other. See welding above.

These are my methods. YMMV.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Bench

In the old shop a suggestion from my son gave me an idea that turned into the making of the best feature of the shop. Fasteners, gages, saws, files, chisels, sanders, grinders and a thousand other minutia that filled random places and boxes in the two barns, three sheds, and house that I called home. I created a massive construct of drawers to hold all the paraphernalia that I had accumulated. Thirty eight feet in length, it covered most of one side wall and all of one end wall. I used it to hold the South Bend Model C nine inch metal lathe with accompanying tooling, the Delta Wood lathe, two grinders, two drill presses, a microwave, and a multitude of little cabinets with drawers. It was a marvelous assemblage.

When I left my old shop behind I had plans for building a new and better one. To make that a reality I need a bench. I need to set up the tools that I have and the old benches in the basement and the garage were built for a family of giants. I’m six foot one and I can’t touch the wall behind the bench without a stepstool. It’s 38” tall and that would put the controls of the lathe at 46” off the floor. Just about chest high and totally unacceptable.

The new house came with a handicapped access ramp that filled half of the two car garage. It was a perfect source of wood for benches. Perhaps not the maple topped battleships that professional and wannabe professional woodworkers see as the ultimate expression of benchness. This bench is a step on the path to workshop.

I started much the same as the first bench by making a sketch of what it would look like. I measured the space it would fit in and decided it needed to be made in sections. The first bench was built in two sections. Trying to position a bench twenty feet long that had been built upside down was an enlightening experience. This bench will be four foot sections of base with a top that links them together into the twelve foot of bench that will fit in the basement shop.

The Tools

I had an idea that rather than trying to work in the garage shop and end up hauling the sections down to the basement I would build the bench sections in the basement. To accomplish this I thought I could use hand tools instead of power tools that the shop is not set up for. On the shop wall were ten or more hand saws in various states of workable. On the bench was mounted a Stanley 358 Miter box. With high expectations I set out to cut the pieces of the first prototype section. Last weekend I spent 6 hrs laying out the cuts and then another 2 hrs cutting the first frame section. I realized that the saws were too dull to cut straight.

Last night I got out the scrapers, sandpaper, saw vice, and files. I cleaned up the 5 point Disston Thumbhole Rip Saw. With an hour  worth of cleanup and sharpening the rip cuts were straight and smooth.

Today I cleaned and sharpened the Disston 12 point 28” back saw for the Miter Box. The cuts are greatly improved. I don’t have to clamp the boards in place anymore. The saw just slices through.

Next weekend I'll start assembling the frame sections.