Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Fixing an Annoyance on my South Bend 10K Lathe

I love my South Bend 10K lathe. There's been one small issue that has bugged me since I set it up, the switch mount is a little low and obscures the quick change gearbox plate.

Looking down you can see that the switch obscures the gearbox.

The switch mount also prevents full travel of my dial indicator, when working right up against the headstock.

I unplugged the motor (!) and removed the switch box.

I drilled two holes to clear a 1/4" screw and tapped two others 1/4"-20. You can see my precise pencil layout marks.

The plate screwed to the lathe.

With the switch mounted in the new position I can now read the gearbox plate and use a long travel indicator without the stem fouling on the mount.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Holiday Cheer

So the snow has continued...

Henry ventured out and shovelled the paths. Not that we asked him to, he just wanted to do it.

Henry cleans the old wax off of the menorah.

I walked over to the neighbors house. The forecast said "ice pellets" and it did indeed pelt me.

Then the sun came out...Henry made a small snowball.

Henry and I assemble one of those newfangled tree stands.

My buddy Jim gave us a tree that was surplus to his needs.

Some links:
The USCG page about Cesar Romero

Lem's "The Futurological Congress" may be made into a movie!

One of my machine customers invented this nifty tool for removing a broken cork.

Here's an old review of the Taig lathe from Popular Mechanics. They have placed all of the Popular Mechanics and Popular Science magazines on Google Books for free! You can waste years of your life reading them.

Monday, December 15, 2008


It's cold here!

Henry received his orange belt last Thursday night.

It's amazing how well behaved he is in class.

This is snow. Notice Henry on the right.

We don't get snow often.

It's 25 degrees.

No lawn parties today.

Monday, December 01, 2008


We've been hammered the past few weeks. Felice and I both came down with colds, while the kids retained their health and energy. As we recovered from the colds, all the while working hard on our Etsy sales, both our cars broke down on the same day! And on it went... we are now healthy, with two working cars. But we're still working long hours until Christmas at least.

I took Henry and Max to the CSME model train open house on Saturday.

Saturday was Henry's 6th birthday. We all went to the Holiday Market with Felice. Max is looking cool while Henry hugs our friend Heather.

Max looks a little more psyched about his donut.

Today we had a party for Henry at "Wacky Bounce", which is a great business. Basically an empty store in a failing mini-mall full of inflatable bouncy structures.

Lauren enjoys the balls at the end of the slide.

Ethan and Hunter talk, Isaac pulls his head off and Maria looks bored.

Henry enjoys the fellowship of his peers.

Blowing out the candles.

I love the "No Fat People" warning sign.

Here are a few links:
Signature Needle Arts
Hoot Nanny Geometric Drawing Toy
Tube Bar Roller
Rubber Flex Collets

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Nut

Felice is getting ready for the Holiday Market start this weekend. She discovered that one of the nuts on the "EZ Up" booth we use was missing. No way to get a replacement nut in time...

The nut.

Turning down some cold rolled steel.


Tapping. Because it was a blind hole I used a tap which ejects the chips backwards.

I filed to make the rounded edges and cut off the nut.

You can see the original has a slot.

I didn't worry about copying it exactly...

All done.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What's been going on...

Not much, just work and play...

Henry works on a picture.

He takes his art seriously.

I was invited to the rifle range by a friend. We had fun. I rarely get the chance to shoot firearms. I have to admit I prefer the relaxing nature of airguns...the two are quite different.

Henry is chomping at the bit to learn robotics, so I downloaded Logo onto his computer. I am trying to teach him the concept of angles and polar coordinates...we'll see how it goes. Once he gets the hang of it we can take what we've learned and apply it to the Mindstorms NXT.

I came across a great jewelers blog, Blue Aluminum, well worth reading...

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Obligatory Halloween Post

Happy Reformation Day!

Max, Aidan, Henry and Lauren. Or should I say Batman, Darth Vader, a sailor and a skunk. We trick-or-treated in Amy & Ryan's neighborhood because you can't do it out in the country.

Itching to start.

Henry is on his way...

First house.

Henry points the way with his flashlight. That's my dad's boyhood Brooks Brothers sailor suit.

"Trick or Treat"

Odd jack-o-lantern

That's a Frankenstein apple-o-lantern on top.

Henry blocks the view of the drunk-o-lantern, there are enough pics of those on the web anyway.

We all made ourselves sick and buzzed on candy. Max fell asleep early, Henry was wired.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Making a Dial Travel Indicator Mount for my 10K South Bend Lathe

I've had a chunk of cast iron put aside for over a year so I can make a DTI mount for my South Bend lathe. I found the magnetic indicator was shifting in use, which negates the utility. So I decided to wing it and just carve one out. I didn't use anything more precise in this job than a Sharpie and my eyeballs for layout, although having a 45 degree angle gage helped when setting the piece for the vee groove.

Milling the saw cuts flat.

Roughing it out.

Milling the 90 degree vee.

Milling the far end for relief from the ways.

Milling out a bit more.

Drilling for the clamping bolt.

Transferring the bolt hole to a clamp plate.

Tapping the plate.

Looking good!

Hole for the indicator laid out.


Reaming to 3/8"

Tapping for the indicator lock screw.

Drilling out the end of a #10 screw.

A small piece of brass was pressed in and faced off.

It works!

I lifted the magnetic base indicator off the lathe and it fell apart...I guess this was the cause of the slop. I can't believe it was just pressed together...

Match drilling the plate and stop.

A dowel pin pressed into the hole to keep the clamp plate aligned. The clamp plate hole was drilled slightly larger.

I sanded and deburred all the surfaces and edges. About an hour and a half of relaxing and imprecise machining. It locks up rock solid. Little accessories like this pay for themselves the first time you use them.