Amateur Machinists' Tools, Techniques and Materials

Chatter pattern

Posted by hammerscale on September 29, 2015

The outer part of the circle exhibits a pleasing pattern in this piece of steel. Produced when the cutting tool encountered some chatter, due to a little too fast a feed rate.


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Latest Addition to the Family

Posted by hammerscale on September 20, 2015

Delta 17″ drill press.  1 horsepower, single phase motor.


It’s been sitting around in bits and pieces for the past five years, and finally got to putting it all together !

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Helpful link

Posted by hammerscale on August 29, 2015

Here’s a helpful guide to the more common abbreviations you’ll find for fasteners; whether ordering a part, looking at a text or a cad-cam file.

Common fastener abbreviations

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Chris Fix

Posted by hammerscale on July 11, 2015

Really well made videos that address common problems/fixes for vehicles.

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My computer works so much better now that it’s broken….

Posted by hammerscale on July 11, 2015

A few weeks back I had a major computer meltdown, with the PC non-functional for several weeks.

I’m not sure what the cause was, nor likely ever to know definitively. It may have been the kids, it may have been June 11th  Microsoft updates that automatically installed, both for Windows 7 and MS Office.  There was also a ton of other bloatware on this system that is suspect.

Symptoms were keyboard and mouse freezing after Windows boot-up, probably within 10 seconds after loading.  Re-booting in protected mode worked, loading the operating system fine and remaining stable.  Of course, as a consequence, about half the applications were completely dead in protected mode, including MS Office, which is a daily user for me.

I tried un-installing the Microsoft updates, as well as un-installing any suspect applications, all to no avail.  I messed around with registry edit, and quite a few things, searched and searched on Google for any solutions. All with no success.The next step was a restore to previous-than 6-11 date.

That helped a great deal. System booted up, Windows loaded and held stable, but only for about 10-15 minutes before freezing again. System was like that for a few days while I was able to get some work done.

I figured Windows was fine up to and a little past the point where it finishes loading.  The issue seemed to be one of the myriad secondary software loads governed by msconfig.

I went to msconfig.  (Lower left corner, type msconfig, hit enter) By disabling all services and all startups I was able to bring up the system and it remained stable with out crashing. Success, finally !

I slowly, one-by-one, re-enabled the services, the PC’s been up and functional now for quite some time. Almost all the startups in msconfig I left disabled.  They were a collection of garbage software ad-ons that were slowing boot time and causing occasional computer crashes.

Systems been up for about 2 weeks, no crashes, and operating as fast as new.

I’ll never know what the original cause was, but suspect that it may have been an Ask.com toolbar ad-on in msconfig.  I deleted (un-installed) that software, as well as many others.

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Bandsaw Arrival

Posted by hammerscale on April 26, 2015

This is from January 2nd, 2009 –  the arrival of a 20″ Rockwell bandsaw, bought locally at the time I lived in Richmond, VA.


And here we go, lifting it out with the cherry picker.


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Old Stuff – Lathe Arrival

Posted by hammerscale on April 26, 2015

Here’s some old (but good) stuff, mostly images stored on the hard drive of the computer.

In this instance, dateline December 16th 2006, you see the arrival and unloading of the Rockwell 11 inch metal lathe.

Picked up the lathe in Michigan, just 1/2 mile from the Chrysler proving grounds. Here it is, after a foggy night, over 24 hours driving time, 1431 miles and 6 states:

Rockwell 11

The lathe is lifted free and clear: (The famous garage door shot..)

Rockwell 11

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First Warm Day

Posted by hammerscale on March 31, 2015

The first warm day for quite a long time. I was at the lathe and shortly after starting it remarked to myself how smoothly and quietly it was running. Is it magic? Is it good Gremlins? Did someone add Seafoam to the headstock? Or has the warmth softened up the V-belts?

Perhaps that extra 30 degrees Fahrenheit helps?

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Cross Feed Screw problems

Posted by hammerscale on March 27, 2015

Following quote is from a relatively recent thread on the Home Shop Machinist forum. The subject matter is the quite frequent “crashing cutoff blade” theme, which comes up a couple times a year.

Your problem may very well be directly related to any play you have in your cross slide screw and has nothing to speed, lubricants or rake angels of your cutting tool.
Most of my parting tools have a positive rake as Dian shows in his above picture, helps to curl the chip and gives a nice sharp edge.
I replaced the cross slide screw and nut on my Clausing for this very reason. It had .080 play in it, I had the same problem your having……. every time I went to part something regardless of material, speeds, feed rate, cutting oils etc. I always crunched the parting tool. I was so afraid to part anything I just quit doing it. The reason was the play in the screw. As the parting tool, especially a positive rake was fed in it would want to pull it’s self into the cut and with .080 of play in the screw it would just dig it’s self in and break. I tried negative rake tools which didn’t work well and still would crunch, neutral rake cut a little better but would also be pulled in and crunch setting the tool height made no difference either.
Once I replaced that screw and nut I never had that problem again. I can part any material at any speed with or without cutting oil and even use the power in feed and it works perfectly, haven’t crunched a parting tool since then, not even my .060 ones.


For the complete thread, please follow this link

I can well believe the above is the issue in many problems related to lathe operations. My crossfeed screw has a great deal of play (haven’t measured it, yet) and I’m sure is well past due for a replacement for both screw and nut.

That will be the subject of a future blog post.

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Basement Shop Guy

Posted by hammerscale on February 26, 2015

Another Youtube channel I enjoy. Brad offers down-to-earth advice, tips, and projects with videos that are well crafted and fast moving.

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