Amateur Machinists' Tools, Techniques and Materials

Bearing cheat sheet

Posted by hammerscale on April 28, 2016

A quick helping guide, courtesy of SKF bearings.



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The Three Amigos

Posted by hammerscale on March 10, 2016

For about 80 percent of all modern motors, machine tools, lawn equipment, etc., etc. The Three Amigos of Bearings will ride to the rescue, repairing sticky, gritty or seized shafts.

A small selection of ABEC 6203, 6204 and 6205 bearings in your tool box will never go un-used.  For virtually all applications you’ll want rubber seals, both sides, “2RS” designation.



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VersaTapper Rebuild

Posted by hammerscale on February 23, 2016


Finding info on this or any other brand tapping head is getting hard to come by, as these pieces of tooling are becoming obsolete in our new CNC world order.

I did a clean and re-assemble on my Rigid Versatapper, (1 pair clutch plates shown below), but got stymied by what kind of lubricant to use inside the tapping head. The best reference I could find was for a highly viscous oil, trade name/number which was NLA (no longer available.)




I figured the oil weight was mostly an issue of preventing weeping of the product over time, and substituted automatic transmission fluid (Dexron was what I had in stock), filling the inside of the head to the fill line.

The tapping head has been in use for quite some time and performed fine with this substitution.


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File this one under safety not-so-safe

Posted by hammerscale on January 6, 2016



It’s bad enough having a chuck key get flung across the room, but now add some sound and fury to the equation.

At least use dental floss or some other breakaway type of line when doing the above.

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YouTube – CNC machining

Posted by hammerscale on November 18, 2015

Another fine piece of family entertainment:

Really nicely done video series I only recently got hooked on.

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Today’s Project

Posted by hammerscale on November 13, 2015

For today, a small project.

The guy on the right was missing his brother, almost identical twins except for a 1/4 by 20 tapped hole. I used 303 stainless, as I had a cutoff scrap laying around.

You’ll note a bit of Powermatic gold paint on the old piece, as this is a tube clamp for a model 95 scroll saw.

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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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