Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

May 7th, 2018, 9:37 am #11

Well, the shop is now a complete and total wreck, as opposed to before, when it was merely cluttered. BUT, I have the bed ready to go (the shipper should be here today (Monday) or in the next day or so.

I also have the old Stockbridge shaper fully dismantled, and the top half of the chassis casting, the ram, and probably the two top way bars will also be going along for the ride. The casting has upwards of 30 thou wear in places, and who knows how much the ram has to go with it.

It will be, I admit, kind of a waste of money to refurbish that particular old beast, but really, the options are use it as is (badly worn and not accurate) repair it properly, or junk it. The machine's survived a century so far- including being rescued from a dump!- and I don't want to be the one to finally throw it away for good.

My transporter is already making the trip, so I figured why not? It's only money. And heck, I have so much of that I'm tripping over piles of it, y'know? 😁

And I'm also sending the saddle and table of the Nichols horizontal mill. That has been a thorn in my side since I built that machine almost a decade ago- the rest of the machine is in excellent shape, with minimal wear, good bearings, a solid motor, and so on. But as it'd been a production machine most of it's life- with the table moved only a short distance with a "fast action" lever rather than a handwheel- the middle third of the table dovetail ways have severe wear- like 15 thou.

Meaning as good as the rest of the machine is, I could never really use it for more than rough work- as a chopsaw, for example, or just roughing parts. Getting the bed fitted back to dimension would return this machine to nearly new, and make it WAY more usable than it is at the moment.

Be even better if I could ever finish that vertical head I have for it... in a basket... somewhere. 😋

I was also seriously toying with the idea of including the table of the big Exacto mill too. We wouldn't be able to grind it far enough to erase all the whoopsies that past owners have inflicted on the table (some are pretty damn deep) but just a 10 or 15 thou pass would clean it up considerably, and erase decades of little dings from people dropping tools and the like.

Not sure I'm gonna do that at the moment- it'd be mostly just cosmetic- but it's tempting. 😁

Doc.
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Joined: July 12th, 2017, 12:19 am

May 7th, 2018, 11:58 am #12

I once had a little 20m MFJ CW/QRP rig. Antenna was a coil of wire that I strung across the trees and had a contact with a guy in Kansas from the Appalachian Trail in NC. Several people going along on that trip had a thing about mobile packet (i.e. computer networks on ham radio). Got some funny looks when we got to the camp site when we started pulling out laptops, battery packs, radios, and collapsible 2m antennas to see what nodes we could hit and check into the local voice nets. :)

During that time I also did VHF contests as a mobile station with a friend of mine on 6m, 2m, and 70cm single side-band (i.e., a.m. radio minus the carrier) with a big pile of antennas in the back of the truck.

Tim
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Joined: August 14th, 2017, 10:03 pm

May 7th, 2018, 12:54 pm #13

TimoRu wrote: I once had a little 20m MFJ CW/QRP rig. Antenna was a coil of wire that I strung across the trees and had a contact with a guy in Kansas from the Appalachian Trail in NC. Several people going along on that trip had a thing about mobile packet (i.e. computer networks on ham radio). Got some funny looks when we got to the camp site when we started pulling out laptops, battery packs, radios, and collapsible 2m antennas to see what nodes we could hit and check into the local voice nets. :)

During that time I also did VHF contests as a mobile station with a friend of mine on 6m, 2m, and 70cm single side-band (i.e., a.m. radio minus the carrier) with a big pile of antennas in the back of the truck.

Tim
All very cool.  I'm trying not to end up with a Doc-ian pile of stuff.  Easily collapsible, multi use, just a few cards of wire and some small circuit boards holding various loading coils.Local 10m net is tonight and I hope to be able to run out to the local park and set up without a kitchen sink in tow.
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Joined: October 8th, 2014, 2:05 pm

May 7th, 2018, 4:11 pm #14

PoisonOakMagnet wrote: All very cool.  I'm trying not to end up with a Doc-ian pile of stuff.  Easily collapsible, multi use, just a few cards of wire and some small circuit boards holding various loading coils.Local 10m net is tonight and I hope to be able to run out to the local park and set up without a kitchen sink in tow.
Just so you know, a kitchen sink makes a nice counterpoise for an end fed half wave antenna.
If it ain't broke, I'll fix it!
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Joined: October 11th, 2014, 3:36 am

May 7th, 2018, 9:37 pm #15

PoisonOakMagnet wrote:
hinermad wrote:
PoisonOakMagnet wrote: Looks more fun than my current projects - creating HF QRP antennas out of fibreglass poles, PVC pipe and junk I find on sale at the Home Depot.  Can't seem to get a good impedance yet.  Still working on it.
I'm not sure discussing QRP (low power radio transmitters for the non-ham folks) is allowed in Doc's presence. Terms like "horsepower" or "kiloton yield" seem to be preferred.

But seriously - what kind of antenna are you building? I haven't had much luck using PVC pipe for anything but coil forms. It's usually too floppy to support anything suitably long. But the elbows, tees, and other fittings are sure handy.

DE WD8CIV
Hams are often great experimenters, it's part of the calling.  "I could just fool around with a cell phone or the internet", right but we like a challenge, so we buy all sorts of fussy electronics bits, LMR240 coaxial cable and wind toroids (trying to remember if that was turn 29 or 30 .. or was it 28?) Picked up a Husky work light stand, removed top, and found it was a perfect 1" diameter.  Got 24 inches of ID 1 Inch PVC and then some 24 foot fibreglass telescopic poles off ebay (~9$ from PRC) which are about 1.025 OD, so some sanding was required on the end of the pole and inside the PVC pipe.  Enough so I can get about 2 inches of the pole end into the PVC pipe.  The rest is a tiny cleat and pulley from West Marine (you can find all sorts of great rigging stuff there for everything, not just boats)

I had it all set up in a pretty windy spot today and found my 40m setting on multiband vertical was b0rked (infinite SWR) but 20m was fine with about 1.57 SWR.  Good enough for listening to all those contesters going at it.

I had ordered a few poles back in Feb. which never arrived, so I ordered some from 4 seller accounts on ebay, they all arrived in about 10 days (all sellers are the same name and address in Shenzen)   So Verticals, Inverted V, and a few other designs I'll be working on.

73 K8SQB
Sounds like your are lucky enough to have a yard large enough to rig up a 40M antenna.  My yard is barely big enough for a 10M antenna.  which means I will have to obscenely creative if I want to get my HF rig to work on 80Ms.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

May 7th, 2018, 10:07 pm #16

Hey guys, not to be TOO much of a wet blanket, but this was going to be an ongoing thread for this stage of my lathe project (now that we have a forum that brings topics back to the top when updated.)

Please, by all means feel free to start a HAM/antenna/radio-geek thread. It's actually pretty interesting to read, even though the closest to any of that I've come is using a cheap walkie-talkie headset during a paintball game- during which we'd regularly hear nearby cordless phone conversations. 😁

We're not limited by space, and anyone is welcome to start a thread. 😀

Doc.
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Joined: October 8th, 2014, 2:05 pm

May 7th, 2018, 10:56 pm #17

Oops. My apologies, boss. I didn't realize this was to be an ongoing thread.
If it ain't broke, I'll fix it!
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

May 8th, 2018, 9:34 am #18

Okay, this latest project is pretty much underway. The big lathe has been dismantled and the bed prepped for loading in the morning, and as noted, I decided I'd take this opportunity to do two of the other machines cluttering the shop as well.

One is the old Stockbridge Shaper:



This, I have to admit, is kind of a waste of time. The machine is largely in very good shape, considering it's age and history, but the wear to the ram and upper ways made it kind of not worth using- or in my case, kind of not worth bothering to clean and assemble. Shapers are basically obsolete- they're fun to watch, but slow, limited in capability, and tricky to use for anything more than basic operations.

The common phrase says that a shaper can make anything except money. 😁 Basically it's too slow and limited for a work-for-hire shop, and even moreso for anything like a production shop. Meaning I kind of really don't need it.

The thing is, I don't want to be the one to throw it away. It's something like 110 years old, and I have a soft spot in my head heart for machine tools in general. Whatever money I sink into it I will never be able to get back out. Even in top, fully-rebuilt and carefully polished and painted shape, I'd have a hard time selling it for even as little as $200.

So I'm kind of stuck with it. And if I'm going to be stuck with it, I might as well fix it up as best I can, damn the expense.

So I re-dismantled it, and got the top half of the casting ready to ship out:



One interesting thing, the bolts that held the top and bottom halves of the castings together, had octagonal heads. They were forged (upset) heads, not milled, so they're production pieces, but I've never seen an octagonal bolt head before. Not "eight point", octagonal like a stop sign.

Now that I think about it, I'll need to check- given their age, they might be 1/2"-12, too, rather than the more modern standard of 1/2"-13.

Anyway, the other machine is of course the famous Nichols horizontal mill:



This I fully rebuilt nearly a decade ago, and has proven handy many times over the years. However, it was limited in what I could do with it, because of the worn table. It was a production machine, making hundreds of thousands of repetitive cuts, so the middle third of its table travel is loose and sloppy. If I could cure that, the machine would be damn near 100% new again, and far, far more useful. (I had an ongoing job set up on it right up 'til I took that picture. 😁 )

So I popped the table and saddle off, and the shop is going to grind them back to spec and to match.



The shop, run by an experienced machine rebuilder, says he can bring it all back into spec, and so once I have all the pieces back, the Nichols will fall right back into place, the lathe will still need some work, and the shaper will still need a full cleaning, painting and reassembly job, but after that, they'll all three be  very close to 100% again.

You don't, however, want to know how much the estimate is. 😁 if anyone's been waiting to buy a set of books, or pick up something from the store, or commission another steel wolf head, well, now's the time. 😁 Holy crap is this all gonna be expensive...

But, it kinda needs to be done, and I'm saving probably $2,000 to $3,000 just in shipping costs by having a friend haul the stuff out on his trailer- and I gotta work around his schedule, so I guess it is what it is. 😂

Doc.
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Joined: February 17th, 2016, 1:31 am

May 8th, 2018, 11:01 pm #19

My old (long gone) high school metal shop had a shaper just like that. In 4 years, I saw it used just once to cut a keyway on an axle. However, there's the one metalsmith/artist who has a late 1800's metal planer. He recently posted a vid of it plodding along taking 12 thousandths off per pass on part of a table frame...Slowly.
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Joined: January 11th, 2016, 8:57 pm

May 9th, 2018, 1:12 am #20

Doc, can we ask - who does your hernia repairs?  🙂
Breakfast.com halted. Cereal port not ready.
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