Metalworking Projects

Here are some metalworking projects I've made

A ball turning tool for the lathe. The castings and instructions are available from Metal Lathe Accessories in Pennsylvania. Castings are very high quality and have features that make them easy to machine.

This was a great project for me, my first significant job with cast iron (what a sooty mess!) and a challenge to work to a few tenths on the fit for the rotary journal bearing. The old South Bend still performs, and it’s better than I am.

A little depth gage. Small brass parts offset by nicely blued steel. About 4 inches long. From the Machinist’s Bedside Reader.

I use Brownells Oxpho Blue. Works great on clean steel.

Die holder for the lathe, from the Machinist’s Bedside Reader. The knurled handle slides and spins on a shaft, so you can do power threading and simply let go when you need to stop. Handles are there for manual operation.

Knurling tool, from the Machinist’s Bedside Reader. A great mill and lathe project. Also had some brazing and heat treating.

Here’s an upgrade for the lathe that adds a roller thrust bearing to the outside of the spindle. Replaces the simple washer that SBL supplies. A nice exercise in threading, among other things.

Here is a YouTube video showing my first little engine project, an air-powered motor.

Now this is a proper steam engine. Ever since I was a little kid I wanted a model steam engine! This took about 250 hours to make, about 63 parts, all from barstock. Here are a couple of YouTube videos

Running on air

Running on steam

How the valve timing works

Collet stop for 5C collets. I should have made this years ago. It’s a nice exercise in threading. The body is CRS and the 1/2-in shaft is drill rod. Blued, cuz I like it that way.

Since the shaft is fairly large, how to you use it as a stop for a very short, small diameter? Easy, just add a short piece of small-dia rod that slips in the collet as a bridge between this shaft and the workpiece.

Toolpost grinder mount, holding a Makita RT0701 router. This is a ripoff of a design I saw somewhere on Ebay. It’s made from a 1-inch plate of 6061. The router has plenty of power and variable speed. Certainly good enough for the simple tasks that I have.

Here is a mechanical drawing