The Hobbyist's Machine Shop – Blog

"One Perfect Part at a Time"

What I Saw

I see lots of things, sometimes more than I wish. The same goes for hearing but I can feign deafness like Walter Mitty (ta-pocketa-pocketa-pocketa) and drift into a 2nd life fantasy world. Some folks may understand… I think they call it a hobby. (Just kidding, honest!)

What I saw is wood. Just another comment here of what woodworking is like when one uses a very accurate and powerful table saw. The Powermatic almost makes me want to give up metal work and build furniture. Well, I still do that without giving up anything.

I ripped some wood for the remodel project last weekend. What a joy, no fuss, no strain from the saw. One piece of Poplar I needed was a 2 inch wide board 1/2 inch thick. After the cut both the board and the 1/16 waste looked like they came out of a surface plainer. No saw marks what-so-ever! I am now officially spoiled.

If I can stand the initial cost, top line tools are worth every cent. They won’t make me a better craftsperson. I still have to measure twice cut once, but they do save me a lot of extra finish work.

Life is good…


Toolin’ Along

Proxxon PD400I have it! I just received the Proxxon PD400 mini-lathe. Here it is setting on the workbench. The Dr. Pepper can is placed there just as a size reference.

This machine is a very high quality Austrian made machine tool. I am currently working on a “First Look” report for THMS including lots of close up pictures. Test running will come later.

This machine runs a 100mm (4 inch) chuck which gives it great home shop useability. My Lathemaster for example is also a 4 inch chuck.

For now let me just say this is a very serious hobby lathe. For its size it is top of the line in fit, finish and power. The ONLY plastic is the switch and crank knobs, tailpost lock handle and the black gear/belt cover on the left end. Only polly V belts and steel gears reside within the end cover.

Watch for the “First Look” report. You might have to find your socks after you read it!

~ Dan’l

Good Deal

I am kicking off the start-up of The Hobbyist Machine Store. To get some names on the customer list I am offering a limited time oportunity. There is a post over in the TEDEX Forum under the THMStore forum heading explaining everything. Non BBS members will have to join to see what it is all about. I won’t go into detail again here.

I also need someone with a standard mini-mill who wants to convert to all steel gears. For that lucky single person I have a truely great offer.

I am beginning to wish I had more time to spend in the shop and also working on the store items. I don’t have the time, so some people could and will benefit from my current generosity as I get up to speed.

However, I know where my bread is buttered. My real job pays the bills and so gets most of my attention. I’ll trade some profit for volume on the new store for the early customers… for awhile anyway. Don’t miss this one.


Under great pressure

I have been under a lot of pressure these days, literally! The pressure I am talking about is air pressure that is stored in a tank. I have a very old compressor and tank that was once part of my roofing business tools. It was old when I bought the company. It was saved when I closed the company has been pressed into service in my workshops for another 10 years.

It is a two cylinder, CI, oil filled, “thumper”. The problem is it is now blowing oil into the pressure tank. After blowing air for my CNC mist system for two hours, the shop is full of oil vapor haze and it has to be doing nasty’s to my lungs. It doesn’t hurt the CNC milling but the vapor is making me sick.

Old Madden

New Kobalt

So I just bought a new Kobalt brand shop compressor with a 26 gallon tank. (The tank has a label that says 30 Gal.) It is a high speed oil less system. This thing is as loud as the old one but in a different (higher) frequency range. It runs the CNC mister fine with no oil so mission accomplished.

I can also go back to my high speed air turbine powered wood carving. I stopped doing that for awhile as I was afraid the oil mist (my hand piece is oil less) would mess that up too.


Visit my shop

I posted some of my shop layout photos over in the TEDEX forum. You have to be an accepted member to enter the forum and see the photo’s. I have the membership request process setup so I screen every application. It may take anywhere from a few minutes to several days for me to respond to a request. Depends on my travel schedule, not who you are. 🙂



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