Thursday, December 28, 2017

Happy New Year around the globe

May you'all have a new year filled with excitement and good health.
Yes, I know my "Merican friends will say I spelled you'all wrong, but I tend to write like I speak...with a French Canadian accent, Heh! :-)

Last year we celebrated our first New Year celebration together by going to the New Year ball on the base. I am still an associate member of my Sgt and Warrant Officers mess  (CPOs mess for Ralph)

Getting ready to celebrate, last year

This year we are doing something different, we are going to the city, Halifax, overnite to celebrate the New Year. My first thought was to partake in the outdoor festivities, skating, concert and etc, but as we are now in the middle of a deep freeze, I think we will retreat to something warmer inside instead... :-)

That deep Artic freeze shows no signs of letting up soon, it is already the longuest we had in a heck of a long time. If anyone out there still does not believe in climate change... Come here and experienced for yourself its effect. We breaks new records almost daily!!!!

Its not only cooooocold, there are also strong gusting winds wrecking havoc.

I lost my metal flag pole up front to rust and gusting winds earlier
so I replaced it by this bracket on the house last June

It broke in the gusting winds, up to 95 Km/hr.
Flag and pole flew by my Lincoln and missed, phew !!
That was a plastic bracket, next one will be metal, hurricane proof!!

Yah I know, climate goes in cycle and yaddy yadda, but it would be foolish to expect no effect from umpteen years of pollution. And we are still seeing the effects of years ago, wait for it, the "best" is yet to come...brrrr

Me at a young 59...

Ok, off my frozen soap box and here is what I plan on doing this year:

First off being now 61, I decided that this year I am becoming dyslexic !!
That way I will be 16 all year long, bonus :-)

That brought approval from most of my friends...except the ones still in their late 50s... Hey, I liked it until I realized that would make me 75, says one :-)

I have a never ending to do list, but currently, on my bench and pissing me off, is this small wifi drone I bought my son for Christmas.
We had lots of fun with it for a few days and then, the battery went dead? No, the battery pack can be forced upside down and knocked off the battery terminals on the board. To get to it took a while, it's packing a lot of technology in a small package, almost old man proof, but I got inside; RF and Wifi transceiver, HD camera, one touch take off and landing pre-programmed etc, etc...

Two mother board assemblies and camera pack removed later...
Why is it pissing me off ? Because I can hardly see anymore, 
that's why I quit fixing electronics years ago ...

If you look closely (hint click on pic to expand, as usual)
The only solder traces on the pins connections to the mother boards 
are just on the tips... Poor wave soldering job, oh surprise...
On a multi layers boards no less

I need a better way to secure the board while working on it and my desoldering wicks are a tad dry after 20 some years in storage :-)
Need to dusted off my Panavise and more stuff, and get my eyes to focus up close, sigh...
Meanwhile I up my Ante by buying a new one, so I'm covered, no matter what :-)

Wood working wise, my current to do list includes, in no particular order:
- Finishing my boring till
- Installing a 6x6 post in my shop for my Post drill
- Said post drill needs to be rehabbed first (in progress)

- Work with my son on his projects. Current project is a lap table for his laptop. He has a few more projects he would like to tackle with my help
- Finish rehabbing my Beam Boring Machine (BBM)
- With all my recent acquisitions, it is grand time to survey my kid's toolkit inventory and finished it.
- This of course meant that I would need to build two tool's storage box, cabinet or what have you. Have not decided on a format yet, depend on the size of the  tool piles :-)
- It became quite obvious this holiday that I need a bigger dining room table.    First I will make a bigger leaf for it, while I figured out what style we want.
Between Jean's mother and siblings with spouses and our own kids, grandkids...  it's a tad crowded, needed two tables and two services :-)
- Need two more garden tools storage station like I built last year for Jean
- I have a large accumulating pile of tools that need to be gone over, rehab as required and etc.

This year I am going to experiment with more drastic rehab like repaint and etc (got inspired by the tool collector, a fellow Vet whose YouTube channel features lots of in depth restorations of various tools,  and Ralph work lately)
Then there is the never ending tasks of clearing out stuff and regaining spaces. I made a good dent in the garage, but still a long way to go...
I got two new windows to install in the garage, bring in 220V inside so I can resurrect my poor old Unisaw rusting away...

Need to install new bath fan in the ensuite bathroom, demolish and build new deck in the back.

Probably (as in no doubts :-) a few more projects related to her gardening plots etc, more landscaping, planning a new access road to the back of my property and etc.

There is no doubts a lot more I am forgotting, but this ought to keep me occupied and out of trouble for a while...

And now that I put it down for the whole world to see, I have a record of my official 2018 to do list, humm  :-)

This year we also plan on a few trips, both around our country and abroad.

With my luck, when my ship comes in, I'll be at the airport...

Will I get thru this list I just layed out?? Tuned in next year at this time and find out!! :-)

Bob, slowly regaining his workshop

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas

To all men of goodwill.
Here is hoping that this find you and your love ones in good health and a safe place on this crazy world of ours.

Life is way too short to wasted it: Live, love and do good

This year, I choose to spend my birthday 
working at my local food bank, with Jean.
A great way to celebrate having made it, one more year ...

My son Matt is home for the holidays with his two cats, who seems to be running Rudy around. We will work together on another project he has in mind while he is here. As we work on projects together I am slowly introducing him to his upcoming tool kit :-)

The grandkids are here too, they will experienced their first Christmas the way we do it in my family: Go to bed early Christmas eve, woke up at midnite, Christmas mass, open your presents, eats tourtiere, and etc, stay up as long as you want, while the adults go to sleep. That way, the kids are dead tired in the morning and the adults get to sleep in undisturbed :-)  It really work !!
Then we have a big family diner. Which reminds me I need a bigger dining room table... A project for 2018 for sure :-)

It was the nite before Christmas, the kids were baking cookies for Santa (and by default Grampa :-)

Rudy staying close by to get the drips...

And they says that I am messy!? Pfftt... :-)

Dont let the white out the window fool you
its was plus 11 C last nigth,
 definitively not a white Chrismas this year...

I think we are Ready Aye Ready

Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs ornaments
In their proper respectives locations :-)

Rudy dreaming...
Awaiting his beloved Diva girlfriend doggy

From my family to you, Merry Christmas around the globe and peace on earth

Bob, Jean and Rudy

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Beam Boring Machine restoration Part 2

Part 2?? What happened to part 1? Well that was a while ago...

That poor BBM has been on my bench for a long time, before Heather passed away, it is grand time to do something about it. And besides, it's in the way right now...

The area in front of my bench need to be cleared in order to install my Boring till to the right of the window.

The white peg board in front of the bench
 is in the way and must be removed.
The boring till top will be in line with the Plane till top 

To do that, It would be nice to clear my bench, but...
I hate to just move the partially dissasembled BBM and loose track of parts etc, it's already in a partial state of tear down. So, may as well get on with the job.

I had already gave it a quick assessment when it first came into my possesion

The part that I really want to keep straight is: Which bushing covers came from where.  So I made a board showing their relative position to the BBM, so I can keep track of them as I work on them. The reason for being anal about these parts is that, these have all wore down to the part that was rotating within them, mixing them up, would introduce more slop and wore some thinner quicker.

The four pieces are screwed to the cardboard for safe keeping
Helping to keep their relative positions.
The "things" you have to do to get suitable cardboards :-)

Took the top bracket off in order to slide off the carriage

I was not expecting this joinery on top to help keep 
the spacing even and stronger (M&T)

Before sliding it off, I slided it up and down the metal race,
it slides easily, but could sure uses some lubrification it's a tad dry... 

With the carriage off it would be easy to straighten the sliding board on top of the carriage track

You can just see the ondulation in the metal race.
I will make it straight again, before reassembly

The crank handles are very dry, would need some TLC

The wood is gonna need some attention, it is rotten in places. Will have to stop it and stabilized it. Worse case scenario, I will make patchs of wood or new pieces.
But first, it need a good cleaning to better assess it.
That is a job for Murphy oil soap...

So between the scrubbing and cleaning of both wood and metal parts, getting them ready for painting the metal parts and stain and protect the wooden pieces, this may take a while.

This project will have to compete with Holiday time festivities and get together.
So I dont expect part 3 probably before some times in the New Year.

In the mean while, I am also continuing rounding up orphans tools here and there (read my last acquisitions), and indoctrinating them into my routine assesment,  documentation and cataloguing.

My "New to me" planes round up

This one is for Ken :-)
Marking gauges recently acquired

And while all this is going on, I also started to used the Boring till to round up my brace bits coll..err.. assortments. Still have a few MIA in this shot, but I am getting a sense of how many need to be accomodated and put my duplicates sizes asides.

My whole set of Irwins is MIA along with my partial set of Jennings
What you see in these two types of bits are extras or some of my missing sizes.

The temperatures are up and down, snow, rain etc. Would the real Mother Nature please stand up and make up her mind, thank you!...

So in the meantime bundle up it is cold at time out there...

Bob, who is gonna work at his local food bank for his birthday this week.
Could not think of anything else I'd rather do at this time of the year.
I challenge you all to do similar or volunteer in a soup kitchen, and brings the kids along... For this is the time to give back

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The mighty drill press

Various forms of hand held tools had been designed thu the ages to bore holes, but to really ensure a level of angular precision, requires some sort of fixed apparatus which hold the drill implement at 90 degrees (some have adjustable table for angles in between). Enter the drill press. And yes they made their apparition long before electricity...

Besides holding the bit at a fixed angle, the other requirement is a down feed force. Either supplied by you via a lever or spining a wheel, or... with some sort of mechanical ingeniosity.

The Miller-Falls No 25 Breast drill equiped with a chain drive on the chuck.
As the chuck rotate, it tigthen the chain and pull the drill bit into the workpiece.
Makes drilling into metal or hard woods much easier

Some of the early design, simply mounted a regular hand drill in a special frame to hold straight. And of course some were simply made with a built in drill apparatus. Similar construction as the lowly hand drill but not removeable.
These rather smallish DP were meant to be bolted temporarely on a bench surface, hence being "portable". They stand about 12 to 20 in hight above the bench

Miller-Falls bench DP using a replaceable hand drill.
Don't let the pics with the hand drill mounted fooled you, it has been modified to look more permanent. It does indeed use a regular hand drill and probably only certain model(s) ?? Lever action push the drill down.
Pics from EBay

A Goodell-Pratt Toolsmith small bench DP
On this one, the down force is exerted by spinning the top wheel
Pic from EBay

Miller-Falls No 210 bench DP

It use a built in mechanisn rather than a removable hand drill
Pic from EBay

This similar sized one is meant to be more 
permanently bolted to the work surface. 
This one still sport the archaic one size hole chuck 
with a set screw sticking out.
Pic from EBay

Similarly, today, they make small bench rig to secure a portable electric hand drill, transforming it into a small drill press.

A well made bench drill rig. Cast aluminun and steel.
Never used it, but at $5 in a yard sale, I just had to have it :-)

This Rig the Port-A-Lign hold the electric drill by its chuck shaft, 
meaning you have to remove the chuck to put it on then reinstalled it.
 Annoying, I left a dedicated drill in it for years. The taped parts are the drill original screw parts for that operation

And here is the dedicated drill I used on it.
The long space between the drill housing and the chuck, was to hold the removable sliding piece between the post.  I left it on for eons, making it a knuckle buster with an often rotating piece, but I got used to it, Heather not so much, oups, hence why I finally removed it 

Another design, which was also portable, was the Beam Boring Machine (BBM). It enables you to bring the drill press to the beam, which is a smart idea since it is a lot easier to bring the tool to the beams than vice versa.

Beam Boring Machines, or Carpenter Boring Machines
 or Barn Beam Boring machine and etc.
They come in two flavours: Upright (fixed) or Angular

Mine has a fixed drilling colunm, but fancier models, have a tilting head, enabling angle drilling and... enabled the head to be lowered almost flat on the bed for easier storage and portability.

An angle adjustable or angular BBM
Fold not quite flat for storage
Pic from EBay

In use, you lay down the BBM bed on the beam and sit on it to secure it in position. That put you in front of the machine and you can just turn the handles to operated it. At the end of the operation, most have some sort of rack and pinion device to crank it back up out of the hole. On mine you simply slide a gear over to engage that feature.

Slide the gear on the handle's square shaft to the left to engage the rack gear.
Mine is missing the top clip to hold the head.
The big set screw sticking out of the chuck would give OSHA a heart attack, but you are sitting in front of it a fixed distance, it would be hard to lean into it 

When it reach its uppermost position, it engage some sort of clip to secure the head up, ready to be moved for the next hole.

The retaining latch and clip are seen in the middle of the top arch.
It is missing on mine, I will have to come up with something.
Pic from EBay

Another mechanical contraption of the days, was the Post Drill Press, or sometimes refered to as a Blacksmith Post Drill

1902 advertisement

The idea being that long before electricity, blacksmith and farmers, often required the ability to drill thru metal. A hand tool is great in this application since the drilling speed is only as fast as you make it. In other words, its slow rotation and steady down pressure makes it ideal to drill thru metal and being of constant down pressure, it is easier on the bits. Their somewhat slower speed are not as great in wood drilling, but they still work fine.  Some, such as mine, have provision to select two and sometimes 3 speeds by simply moving the handle boss on a different pinions.

Mine in the garage, awaiting a good degunking and possibly a paint job (?)
The only thing I had to replaced so far, was the missing bolt to secure the drill press table on its moveable bracket. It is in operating condition and complete. It has 2 speed and a lever operated auto retraction mechanism. 
Quite a fancy model from Champion Blower & Forge Co.
I have yet to identify this model, it is not cast into it, as they usually are ??

They are called Post Drill because they were meant to be installed on a post inside a barn or a blacksmith shop. Mounting one straight on the wall will not allowed enough clearances for your hands and you will scraped your knuckles.

I have an old 6X6 post, drying in the garage
 and I bought a post block for it.

Their ideal mounting height should allow you to comfortably crank it without
having to reach up while cranking. Note also that the handle's extension sticking out is adjustable. That way you can accomodate differing height persons and varies the strength of the stroke. The mass of the flywheel attached to one side, smooth out the rotational jerkyness of the hand cranking and gives it momentum.

They are quite safe in use. A late friend of mine used to have a little shop in Digby, called "The return of the toy maker". Kids could make and assemble a small boat kit under adult supervision. He had a few hand operated and foot operated machinery, such as Post drill, Barnes foot pedal Scrollsaw, Delta hand cranked scroll saw and etc. It was safe and fun for the kids to make the few operations required: Cut the shape on the scroll saws, drill holes for the mast on the Post drill and etc

These post drills used 1/2 inch shank bits and they must be long enough to enable the full range of drilling.

My one and only BBM bit, shown mounted on its chuck, 
also worked on my Post drill. 
Same size's archaic chuck as used on my Post Drill chuck.
They are much longer than the regular brace bits.
In case you wondered, the bit is sticking out at an odd angle
 because the BBM is in pieces on my bench...still

They often have a flat spot on one side of the bit's shank, since the typical chuck of the day was simply a round cylinder with a matching sized hole (smidgen bigger opening) and a set screw sticking on the side. This screw sticking out was one of the first modification to appears in the name of operator safety. The spinning chuck with a screw sticking out can bite you if you forget about it.  Now, when spinning by hand, it is not much of a problem, since if you stop turning, it can be made to stop quickly. But as we transitioned toward line shaft driven machinery, and still using the same archaic chuck design, it became more of a safety issue with the corresponding increase in speed rotation.

And once mandated, there were of course a few patented "safety" chuck available to retrofit lots of machines for the safety of the industrial workers.
Some simply recessed the screw inside the chuck body, others were a tad more complicated. The "safety" types chuck quickly became standard issue until replaced by the Jacobs chuck, still in use today

Incidently, the most commun modification for them is to simply mounted a Jacobs style chuck onto the existing cylindrical chuck.

NO modification required and you can used various drill bits easily and even used an extension shaft for the bits if required. That simple hack also correct one of the original chuck design flaw, because the bit was simply push to one side for attachment, you end up with a slightly offset bit. Amazingly, because the work piece is normally not secured but held in your hands, you can get by with a amazing amount of offset (within reasons) and still drill straight down, because the piece is moving along the eccentricity of the bit. You have to experienced it to believed it, (or watch You tube) but it does work well in spite of the offset... and the missing flywheel in this video

The ingenious part of them is the simple but efficient auto-feed mechanism.
Imagine that, you just crank up the handle and the bit advance automatically at a constant rate. You can also adjust somewhat the feed rate for the material on hands.

These patented features on the Champion are said to 
really speed up the operations required to drill

That simple mechanism allow you to used one hand to secure the piece while cranking the DP with the other hand.
Check out this amazing contraption in use

Having been primarely designed for metal working, they have the same limitations as today's Electric Drill Press, a small work table... Since I am going to introduced it into my hand tools shop, I will probably make up a bigger worktable better suited for my uses.

Back in the days of line shaft driven machinery, the Camel back Pillar drill made its apparition. It gets its name from its overall construction details/look.
They are still prized today. Their mass and slow speed are much appreciated.
Most in uses today, have been converted to electricity, that is, they replaced the line shaft with an electric motor.

NOT the kind of tool to buy thru EBay, the shipping alone would be horrendous :-) These are better off to see in person and make arrangements to bring it back safely. Either in your own truck or have it shipped via commercial shipper.

They were quite plentiful and are still around. As I mentioned earlier they are still prized today.

And of course, once electricity made it everywhere (the electrification of rural America) the form of the electric drill press we are accustomed to, came rapidly  into general useage.

And although designed primarely for metal working (hence the small table) it quickly became a fixture into many woodworking applications.

An auxilliary table, better suited to woodworking 
is a must have, easy to make, accessory
Pic from Woodcraft

 The only bad thing, being that the sharp increase in rotation speeds, necessitated different bits design. But if you dont respect the different speed requirements of the various bits (I.E. change the speed up or down via multiple pulleys arrangements) you will damaged the bit caused by the heat generated by the rotation speed. That was never an issue in hand cranked operated machinery...
Having long recognized the limitations for woodworking usage, some manufacturers have came out with various design better suited for drilling wood. Multiple speeds to accomodate the drill bits and the material being drilled, a better suited work table and etc.

But if there is one thing, I always found frivolous, it is the introduction of various laser pointing system, so you can see were you are about to drill. Really?? Have you tried lowering the bit to the spot...

A laser gizmo doodad to add to your DP...NOT
Pic from manufacturer

Drill presses have comes a long way and they are still very much handy to have in your shop.  For working on both metal and wood. As we saw, they came in various flavours and sizes for every jobs imaginable in various price points. Get one... or ... collect them all :-)
And NO, I have no room for a Camel back DP :-)

Bob, making room in my hand tool shop for the Post drill