Amateur Machinists' Tools, Techniques and Materials

Archive for the ‘General’ Category

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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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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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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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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