www.HomeGunsmith.com Archive
Archive Date: Sep. 26 2023, 04:00 ET
This is an archive! Click here to go to the live site.

Home > Main Forums > Home Machine Shop > Useful project advice/recommendations
Click here to go to this topic on the "live" site.
Posted: Dec. 16 2003, 16:37 ET

I've been negotiating with the guy that runs the school's machine shop, and it looks like I am going to end up with some limited access and help.

He asked what I wanted to make, and I said that I'd eventually get my own machines, and it'd be good to make useful stuff that I won't have to buy later, and learn at the same time.

Said that I guessed I'd start with making a bunch of different setup blocks, maybe some parallels, turn down some brass and steel for punch sets, that type of thing.

So, ...
I need some help picking easy starter projects along these lines.
Any dimensions and advice is appreciated.


Posted: Dec. 17 2003, 17:47 ET

a set of brass punches would be good -maybe a set of say -10 in decimal sizes (not fractional) start @ like .1 & go up in incraments of .01? rollpin punches would be a good learning exp. maybe transfir punches too?
you could also do some knurling on them to learn that?

or how about a brass hammer -simple, yet chalenging to maintain a specified weight -good way to introduce yourself to thread cutting/ tapping?

another suggestion -scope lapping bar
1" dia. 10"-14" long -+dead nuts straight -tapped for handle in several places along the centerline

let us know how it goes & what you decide

Posted: Dec. 17 2003, 20:33 ET

I'm a little shakey on the setup for a scope lapping bar.

I understand that its used to true and align the ID of the rings, for straightness and good contact.
The foggy part is being tapped in different areas for the handle.
It is spun inside the empty rings?
Slid back and forth?

I'm also having ambitious thoughts of Gingery-like machines.
Are there any downloadable plans floating around?

Its almost funny, next time he asks what I want to make, it'll be a whole shop.
"Well .... I figured I'd start with a lathe, mill, and shaper .... then maybe move on to a table, coupound-slide rest, 4-jaw chuck and a dividing head ...... "

I better watch not to get kicked out before I get let in.

:D  :D  :D

Posted: Dec. 18 2003, 10:47 ET

i can understand your excitement

maybe this picture will help you visualize the scope ring lapping tool concept

here is the link to it @ brownells -read the description and check the price -could be made by you for alot lessclick here

Posted: Dec. 18 2003, 19:50 ET

Very clear now.

Scope Ring Alignment Lap

Mild steel
Finished length 12"
Finished Diameter 1.000"
Transverse lapping compound grooves Every 0.750"
Chamfered ends

Two handles

Ends are drilled and tapped for handle
Two more drill/tap sights, countersunk.
Both are 6.375" from end A.
Site-1 is arbitrary, site-2 is indexed 90 from site-1.

Lapping compound groove depth?
I'm guessing its not supposed to hold too much compound.
3/16" ?

I stopped in and talked to him some more today, to ask if he had any project books or Gringery books, etc.
He said that hammers and punch sets are fine, and that he'd even share his plans for a 3-wheel band saw that he built if I like.
... but, he said we'd start small, and showed me some aluminum blocks that were about 3.5 x 2.0 x 1.5
He had drilled them to proper size to hold a drill bit with it's associated tap right behind it.
Two rows like that on the block, then stamped the sizes next to the holes, and wiped Dykem into the stamping.
The bottom of the blocks had recesses milled into them so they'd sit nicely even if there were chips on the table.

I said, "I'd better go buy a bit/tap set."
He said he couldn't give me a complete set, but they probably had excess of the more common sizes, and he'd set me up if I make the block.
:thumbs:  :thumbs:

This is friggin' cool.

Posted: Dec. 21 2003, 11:09 ET

My very first 'useful' project was a tailstock alignement tool (correct name?).  It was simply a piece of Aluminum (that's what I had) which I brought to a 60 degree point to align the tailstock with the chuck.  
I made it about 1/2" in diameter.  It could probably have been wider to give me a more accurate reading for concentricity in the chuck.
I chuck it up, get it centered as best I can, and line it up with a dead center in the tailstock.  Adjust the tailstock until the points line up.

Posted: Dec. 21 2003, 17:47 ET

Some of these are easier projects than others but some very useful stuff here.

Posted: Dec. 22 2003, 00:44 ET


Lot of cool and useful stuff to make there.