Amateur Machinists' Tools, Techniques and Materials

Archive for March, 2013

Lighting, work safer as well as easier

Posted by hammerscale on March 30, 2013

Adding and upgrading lighting in the work area should be considered as important an issue of safe work practice as proper apparel or eliminating trip hazards. Eye strain, squinting or getting your face too close to machinery are not acceptable, especially considering choices for task lighting are both inexpensive and plentiful. When you go to the dentists office, do they perform teeth cleaning in a basement with one dim, dust covered light bulb ?

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Torque V Tension.

Posted by hammerscale on March 17, 2013

Who wins in Torque versus Tension? It appears torque specs for fasteners are irrelevant unless condition of fasteners is a constant and meets standards. Also, many torquing instructions advise against adding lubricant or anti-sieze to the fastener, contrary to what is demonstrated in the video. I’ll confess I’m lost, should I throw away my torque wrench? What can you do? (I always just do it by feel.)

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Reasons producing work for others is good.

Posted by hammerscale on March 17, 2013

Other than occasional xtra dollars, making products for sale benefits the maker in terms of good shop practices, production efficiencies, and time spent learning new techniques.

    1. Forces you to get into the shop. Regardless of weather, time, too late, too tired, etc.
    2. Forces you to bring a project to completion. As so many other half started, half done projects can bear witness, producing for a client won’t allow for that habit.
    3. Requires rigorous Quality Control. Unlike projects for yourself, where a flaw in the finish or a hole drilled¬†offset isn’t a big deal.
    4. Encourages you to buy anything that speeds up production. No making do, if a piece of tooling or special supply is called for, you purchase it.

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Dial Indicator Cleaning

Posted by hammerscale on March 7, 2013

With dial indicators, the stems often become sluggish and jumpy in performance. What’s happening is oil and gunk is building up on the stems impairing movement. I find wiping with a dry rag will fix most problems, and if not effective, cleaning with a fast drying solvent such as naptha should work 99 percent of the time. Once in a while you may have to remove the back cover exposing the inner clockworks and then clean the stem on the inside and work it back and forth a bit. Don’t touch anything else. If none of this works you may have a bigger problem like a bent stem.

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