There’s only so many ways to squeeze hot plastic out of a nozzle, and eventually witnessing the explosion of 3D printer designs over the past few years gets just a little repetitive. What then, is someone who dreams of a technological utopia, Star Trek replicators, and making a few bucks off a Kickstarter to do?
The answer, of course, is a combo machine. Where the Repraps, Makerbots, and the very high-end Stereolithography machines can only do additive manufacturing by laying down plastic or resin layer by layer, these combo machines can also remove material, be it plastic, wood, or metals such as brass or aluminum.
Continue reading “3D Printering: The Combo Machines Cometh”
[Pete] bought himself an old South Bend lathe, but unfortunately some of the thumb screws were missing from this fine old machine. Originally, the lathe had knurled thumbscrews, and with a thumbscrew from Ace hardware the lathe itself was functional, but by no means looking its best. With a lathe you can make just about anything, so [Pete] decided he would make his own knurled thumbscrews and bring this lathe back to life.
Knurling is a diamond or linear pattern of indentations usually found on fancy metal knobs, flashlights, and other equipment that needs a good grip. While there are knurling tools for lathes, [Pete] decided to use his knurlmaster – a handheld device that looks like a pipe cutter – to cut a few knurls into a steel bar.
As for making this knurled bar into a proper thumbscrew, [Pete] shows us two methods: the first is tapping the knurled steel, putting in the right screw for the job, and securing the parts with Loctite. The second method involves cutting the threads on the lathe, an excellent example of how a lathe can make just about anything, even parts for itself.
Over the last few months, [Frank Howarth] has been putting a lot of effort into a gigantic sequoia log he started milling two years ago. He recently completed a wonderful chair, but in the years these gigantic blocks of lumber have been sitting around, he’s always had one project in the back of his mind: a giant wooden bowl made from this sequoia log.
The wood for this bowl came from a relatively small cutoff from the original sequoia log. [Frank] had initially cut this cutoff into a circle to let it dry for an eventual run on a lathe. The bowl blank was so big, though, that he needed to create a jig to trim off most of the excess and keep from wasting many hours with a gouge.
With a bowl this large – about 20 inches across – simply screwing it onto the lathe wasn’t an option. [Frank] had to construct a jig for his chuck, capable of holding the bowl by the rim so he could shape the bottom.
The end product, coated with linseed oil and beeswax, is a work of art. Making anything this size on a lathe takes a lot of skill, and we’re thankful for [Frank] sharing it with us.
Bow lathes are a fairly old an simple contraption. A bow is used to rotate a block of wood back and forth while tools can be used to shape it, just like a modern lathe. Despite the fact that the wood is oscillating instead of spinning in one direction, the results are very smooth.
Watch as this street vendor shows his skills with the bow lathe. I find it quite impressive how well he uses his foot. You can tell he’s been doing this for a very long time. I was also pleasantly surprised when that ring popped free, I wasn’t expecting it.
[Chris] found inspiration in an antique flywheel he found. He decided he was going to construct something with it and began rounding up parts. The flywheel, along with some old sewing machine parts becomes a treadle powered lathe.
There’s something so very cathartic about seeing all the wood chiseled and sawed away. That pile of sawdust just means you’re getting things done!
Meet [Quetico Chris]. He’s a master woodworker who likes to find his own alternatives to using power tools. Most recently, he was inspired by a fly-wheel from an old factory. He used it to build this foot powered wood lathe.
It works something like a foot powered sewing machine. There’s a lever for your foot which converts the downward force from your foot into a rotating force which drives the work piece. The mechanics of the lathe are pretty common, but we think the build techniques he uses are anything but. The video after the break shows each step [Chris] went through when crafting the human-power tool. His approach was to use wood as often as possible which includes foregoing modern fasteners for older joinery. He uses mortise and tenon, wood pinning, doweling, and a lot of puzzle-like tricks to get the job done.
We lack the skill and tools to replicate this kind of craftsmanship. We’re going to stick to letting a laser cutter form our wood connections.
Continue reading “Foot-powered lathe is a tour de force of joinery techniques”
[Sir Keyboard Commando] just emerged from his machine shop to show off the 1/6th scale model of a Civil War mortar which he recently finished fabricating. It started with some bar stock that measured four inches in diameter and accepts steel balls the size of golf balls as ammunition.
The bore diameter is 1.725″ which gives just a bit of clearance for the 1.685″ golf ball specs. Each of the steel balls weighs in at just over 11 ounces. You get a really good look at the finished mortar in this test-fire video. It’s quite small but [Sir Keyboard Commando] reports that the full assembled unit still weighs in at a whopping forty pounds.
This certainly isn’t an improvised weapon, but we’re quite surprised to see it being test fired. We’d bet it turns some heads that the local firing range.