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    Making Pyramid Engraving bits

    Faced with some small engraving needing doing and a lack of intact engraving bits (normally in this situation, I'd just fire up a spotting drill or something else pointy, but that wasn't going to work for the line widths needed), I went searching around the net and ran across the concept of...
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    Christmas Stirling 2011

    I won't be posting finished pictures just yet, on the off chance the recipients are on here (unlikely, but you never know), but the Jan Ridders Stirling Bas I made last year was very well received, so I made another Ridders design for a present this year. I modified the design just a little to...
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    $10 IKEA LED machine light

    I got dragged around an Ikea not long ago and discovered some interesting LED "work lamps": http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20169658 They're a high-power one-LED lamp, about 1.25" diameter on the end of a couple feet of that bendable-conduit stuff with a wall-wart power supply...
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    Looks like I'm going to be making an IC..

    As I was wandering around an unimpressive estate sale on my way home I noticed an odd little wooden box in the garage. Had some contacts and wire terminals on it. The box was pretty nicely made-- finger joints and such. No markings but interesting. The guy in there pricing stuff said "do you...
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    Jan Ridders "Stirling Bas" Tea-candle stirling

    I didn't take a lot of pictures along the way, so thus no build log, but I did get my version of Jan Ridders Sterling Bas finished up today (started back in Nov, finished just in time for X-mas ;)) After a little mishap with the drawings, this one turned out "left-handed", like me ;) It runs...
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    Cutting Glass Test Tubes

    This one's come up a couple times recently and I ran across some pictures, so here's my lathe test tube cutting method. It's possible to cut tubes accurately like this. The tube is gripped lightly in a collet (if it doesn't fit a handy collet, wrap some tape around it to fit a larger size--...
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    I didn't know that was on the menu!

    I ran into this ad for a Vegas buffet last week. I imagine there's a lot of consternation and/or amusement on the faces of our foreign visitors...
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    DraftSight - Free 2D CAD

    I got a heads up on this from a contact in the CAD business-- The Solidworks people (Dassault) have released a free 2D CAD/drawing program (in Beta now) I've not messed with it, but it could be worth a look if not too crippled. www.draftsight.com
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    Full-size 'wobbler' steamboat

    Found this whilst running around the net. http://files.asme.org/asmeorg/Communities/History/Landmarks/21635.pdf A little writeup on a full-size paddle steamer with a 2-cylinder oscillating engine. Still running after 165 years. Some other cool stuff in those ASME Landmarks too.. Pelton...
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    Thinking about ersatz toolpost grinders

    Bog's picture in another thread triggered an idea... a toolpost grinder looks a lot like the headstock and motor of the Taig lathe or mill mounted up on the toolpost of a larger lathe. The usual Dremel/Proxon-as-TPG issues of poor runout and poor thrust-bearings won't apply but the bearings are...
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    Shop Crane

    After wrestling the 100+lbs of 4th-axis plus chuck around one too many times, I started thinking about making a shop crane, but not too much later a lowball bid I threw down on an eBay auction came through and I ended up with a Skyhook. I ditched the existing base as it was way too big and...
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    How to tell oil-hardening from water-hardening steel

    On a recent Enco order I made the mistake of ordering both O1 and W1 drill rod in the same sizes. Normally they color code the stuff (red=water, yellow=oil, IIRC), but for some reason two rods were clean of markings. ??? After a lot of searching around, I found a suggestion to try spark testing...
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    Cheap lathe on eBay

    This came up in one of my automatic searches. Current bid is $0.99. I was hoping from the title "Lathe 42" American" it was somebody somewhat clueless in lathe nomenclature. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=120533844837&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123
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    "World Renown" Steam Roller

    After my experiments in wheelmaking (http://www.homemodelenginemachinist.com/index.php?topic=6989.0), it's time to do something useful fun with them. The old Australian Renowntm steam roller toys Tmuir's rebuilding (http://www.homemodelenginemachinist.com/index.php?topic=6764.0) are the...
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    Rolling Along

    I've got a couple projects in mind that need wheels-- bigger than I want to hack out of solid, so I thought I'd play around making a few wheels and try a few things along the way. The first wheels should to be around 3.5" in diameter. So, off to find something for rims. A little 3" pipe would...
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    Mirror finish

    This is a double-tip swiped from the Bogster-- Round profile tools leave a really nice finish, especially when facing. and Left-hand tools can be set on the other side of the toolpost for working close to the headstock. Plus... Who wants left-handed profile tools? While uncommon, secondhand...
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    Estate Sale

    Time for a little tool gloat, since I never get any ;( A long time ago somebody said that the best deals on machining stuff is at the estate sale of a retired machinist. It's no good when they're around-- they remember exactly how much they paid for everything, but once they're gone, the...
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    Estate Sale WTF?

    So there's an estate sale a couple houses down. It's a madhouse with lines out the door-- the widow's relatives have hired a company to handle everything and they put ads and signs out for miles around. We wander by out of curiosity. See the garage doesn't have a line. So I go in and notice a...
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    A little bit of work

    Started in on another project this weekend. These build logs come in handy to figure out how long I've been working on something, so to mark the 'start', here's a teaser (no, it's not a rocking engine :D)
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    Thread cross-reference-- Metric, US & BA

    I use this one a lot when converting plans that have metric, BA or imperial threads on them and I want to use a different system. http://www.metricmcc.com/catalog/Ch10/10-1012.pdf (you've-gotta-be-kidding-me to ~.40" / 10mm) http://www.metricmcc.com/catalog/Ch10/10-1013.pdf (10mm/.40 to 2.5" /...
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