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Model Engine Builder 2016

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I have always looked forward to getting my copy of Model Engine Builder (MEB)

If you want to build model engines this is the publication to get. There is also a free Newsletter:

“Sign up today for our free newsletter at www.modelenginebuilder.com. The sign-up form is on the right of the page. This newsletter contains some articles from the magazine but more information about other relevant issues like taking good pictures of models, etc.

Go check out their website listed above or click on the logo and start your subscription today. I just re-newed my subscription and I am not even sure where I stood on my previous one. The fact is for me each issue alone is always worth the cost of a subscription.

The author, Michael Rehmus just sent me (and probably many other subscribers) an email regarding the timeliness of his publications. The schedule is intended to be tri-monthly. However, Michael has been and still is enduring some very serious heart problems. He received a new heart valve replacement and is presently battling an infection with that surgery.

That has understandably slowed down work on the magazine. The next publication has been pushed to late October, 2016. He and his wife Toni, run a very small publication house they call Elmwood Publishing, Inc.. But he hasn’t forgotten about his subscribers. Let me say his heart is still in it. Sorry Mike, bad pun, but it’s the truth…

I figured my renewal is a vote of confidence. If you have never subscribed, now is the time. It is not all that expensive and the information is priceless, whenever it comes.

If you ARE a model engine builder, this is the publication to which you want to contribute. Mike is always looking for tips, tricks, pictures of… Continue reading

Another Project Finished

Yes-sir, completely scratch built from raw ore. NO, not likely. Ha!

This is a little repair project my daughter gave me. It is a ball head for a camera (photography) mount. The bottom of this device screws down on a tripod or studio steady mount.

There is a quick release on the top that is attached to the camera.

The handle bolt is loosened to adjust the angle of the camera and that is where the problem was. There are internal splines in the original handle that were stripped out. It would no longer turn the locking bolt to secure the ball from moving.

I learned all about these spring loaded handles and also how the ball mount itself works in this little project. There are two main types of these handles. Most of us know the “pull the handle to adjust position” type. I have a lot of them on my machine tools. There is a second type called the “Safety” handle where the user must push in against the spring load to engage the handle. That is what I have here. The handle pops back out and drops to a safe position  when not engaged.

So the project was mostly selecting the correct replacement handle. However there was a catch. There is always a catch, right? The end of the original bolt was drilled out and a pin with a tapered cone inserted. It is this cone against an internal ramped surface that pushes up and locks the ball movement.

The machining chore was to drill out the end of the new handle bolt to fit this tapered cone pin. The challenge was to hold the bolt for drilling (without disassembling the handle) and drilling the hard end of the bolt deep enough for the pin to… Continue reading

Lens Plate

My daughter is a professional photographer working for a large commercial corporation. Some of the studio cameras use lenses that mount on a lens board as you see here. That is not a real piece of board, but rather a cast aluminum plate. I think the idea is to make lens changes and adjustments easier.

On this one someone bought the lens board with a hole that was too small. Maybe they got a deal? You can always make a hole bigger right? Problem is most people do not know how to make the hole bigger. If they know, they probably don’t have the proper tool.

I was given another lens board with the hole being much larger than necessary. “Just make the small hole half way bigger than the large hole.” I was told. I love those accurate working dimensions. Ha!

It was dang close to being a 2 inch hole I suspected I needed. I bored the small one out to about 1.995 inches. I was actually thinking 2 inch but short is better than taking too much.

My daughter took the lens board to work and sure enough the hole was still too small. “It needs just a hair more, Dad!” was her request. Uh… “What color hair, kinky, curly or straight?” I went for red, curly.

In the pix I went out to 2.010, so I’ll see if I got the color right…

Micro Machine Beauty Shop

OK, OK… I have kept this to myself for far too long.

There are lots of wonderful micro machine shop sites on the internet. One of them at the top of my list is called Micro-Machine Shop. Duh? I guess that’s not too hard to remember…

The old site URL was http://www.finelinehair.com/home/index.htm. That’s gone away.  I didn’t know what fine line hair meant; I assumed it could be something to do with ultra precise measurement.  Alan is a stickler for that, as a machinist should. I shortened the URL and it (he) is linked from a large hair products salon.

Yep, the creator of the site is named Alan. I haven’t found his surname yet (I did. Pinkus), but it may be buried in there somewhere. Maybe he just likes to be more private than myself. No matter, Alan publishes a wonderful site for us machine tool addicts.

Somehow I think Alan has more tools and variations and measuring devices than actually exist in the world. Just take any major supply catalog like J&L, Enco, etc. and order one of each on every page. He must own both companies. In any case, he doesn’t have a big investment in full size machines (hence the name “micro-machine shop”) but there is no shortage of accessories.

Many getting started machinist ask me what machines are best for the money they have. You will see here it is not the machines that require the most money; it is what you add to them. Alan has far more money and time than I can ever hope to invest.

Did I mention his photography is nothing less than extreme topnotch?  Alan does in pictures what I do in words. In other words, about 1000 time more.

This is a… Continue reading

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