I had fun yesterday clearing up my workshop a bit and doing some silver brazing on some brass parts I made. I forgot how much fun that is, watching the silver solder suddenly melt and almost jump into the joint. The little joys of doing nice craftsmanship, I haven’t lost the touch after almost 40 years.
The Texas weather is cooler now, so I will be spending more time in the workshop. Someday I will have an air-conditioned shop but I can endure what I have for awhile longer. So now I will be getting more metal work accomplished
Hey, I just bought a 250 ml bottle of 96% pure sulfuric acid. How any folks can say they have done that! It was kind of fun, weird fun, huh? Perhaps you wonder why. Ask. 🙂
I have been using my really oversized Delta 14 inch woodworking bandsaw for cutting little strips of brass plate for my Penn A3 locomotive project. What I really needed was a very small slow speed metal cutting bandsaw. This smaller bandsaw could be dedicated to small sized projects and could also be used to cut steel and other special materials. The Delta with its present reduction drive is only intended for cutting wood.
This is a very small saw but of very nice quality. There is a full report posted on my The Hobbyist’s Machine Shop that will fill in all the details.
The cheapo slip roll from Grizzly (written about previously) is well on its way back to the bear’s den. I received a reply back from another company that is offering a USA made 1″ x 12″ slip roll. They confirm that their product will not handle over 0.040″ thick material. Trying to roll thicker material the gears become too far out of mesh and may strip. Looks like I will have to explore using bigger rolls. The 1″x 12″ is a very good looking machine and will be good for light stuff. So some day I may have a need, but not now. I may putÂ one in the store if I get a good price. ~ Dan’l
Uh… well not quite the same as rocking and rolling. The music is different.
Actually what I did today was order a new tool. It is a 12 inch (baby) set of slip rolls. Hence the title. What’s a slip roll? I know because I grew up in a family that always had a sheet metal shop… or two… would you believe three?
A slip roll is used to form sheet metal into a slight curve all the way to a complete cylinder. It can also be used to form cones, scoops or funnel shapes. Most slip rolls have small grooves at one side to form rings from heavy wire. here is a picture of the one I ordered. Click on thumbnail to enlarge.
I never had one this small before. The ones I used in the business were at least 36 inches long. This one will be great for hobby use as I no longer do large sheet metal projects. I am planning some hobby work where I will need to form cylinders from sheet copper.
There is a clever 12″ 3-in-1 machine (Cut, Bend, Roll) available, but my experience with any combo machine is there is always a compromise.
I have just posted some pictures over in the THMSHOP along with a scathing review, now that I have this tool in the shop. It is a real P.O.S.! ~ Dan’l
I see a slow growing trend of the hobby light duty machine shop in the United States. There is a definite niche for the smaller size high quality high speed machines that are fairly common in the European hobby market. This includes such brands as the Proxxon, Prazi and Emco and others. The English Myford is on the small list. Also included are the US brands of Sherline and Taig. I am talking about small machine tools that are ready to work right out of the shipping box.
Massive slow machines ARE NOT necessary to build accurate, light weight hobby machined projects. Yes, mass is good but it also depends on the size and weight of the parts being machined. Bench top machining is an equal bang for the buck, space and pound than the more resource demanding (mostly space and power) full house heavy floor model machine tools. Using today’s high quality indexed carbide tooling when making small size parts, demands much more SFM than old machines were designed to hold or to run (at the high end). A large chuck and the part it is holding spinning at 2500 RPM is scarry! I have always stated that very small parts are easier/better made on small high speed machine tools. It is an exchange of speed for mass.
Some “old iron” pundits point to the low end rpm (no back gear) and the very high top end rpm of small machine tools as faults. I say they are not faults. They are required features. Small threads are better made with dies even when low speed is available. The pros prefer dies. Single point cutting does not inherently make a “better” thread. However, I would still like a low speed gear for large diameter threads… Continue reading