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Rick's Web Site: Tools and Inventions

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CAD

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Hand Tools

In The Home

Outdoors

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CAD

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The Basic Mental Model of Alibre CAD

Two Ways to Skin a Cat: Dan’s Plate

Thinking About the Fillet Tool

Brian's Puzzle

Knurling

The Helical Boss and Helical Cut

Match Drilling

Changing your View

The Triad Tool

Drawing Angle Iron and Square Tubing

Drawing Turned Objects

Placing a Plane at a Compound Angle

Drawing Merged Radii with Alibre PE









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Debugging Machines

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Taking Apart Complex Appliances So They can Go Back Together **

Fixing A Complex System **

Simulating a G.W. Bliss Punch Press Combination Clutch and Motor Control

Variable Frequency Drive Noise Reduction









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Power Tools

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Air Compressor

Bandsaw

Belt Sander

Drillpress

Foundry

Grinder

Handheld Power Drill

Lathe

Mill

Power Control

Shaper









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Hand Tools

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Brake

Chemical Etching

Fasteners

Fixtures

Hex Wrenches

Marking

Measurement Tools

Nut Drivers

Press

Stamping









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Software

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Translating a Non-secure Web Address to a Secure one

A Sample Application of an Arduino Controlling Hardware

Temporary Naming Convention for Software **

A Diagnostic Tool for Arduino Software **

A Debugging Tool for Arduino Code **

Debugging Code Running on an Embedded ATTiny85 **

Arduino Byte Juggling **









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Storage

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Material Storage

Tool storage









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Welding

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MIG

Stick









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Outdoors

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Car

Grilling

Irrigation

Landscaping

Pool and Patio









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In The Home

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Semi-Automatic Crockpot Yogurt









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Air Compressor

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Trigger Guard For a Ryobi Air Compressor **









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Bandsaw

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Horizontal/Vertical Band Saw Vise Jaw Extender

A 45° Jaw Set for a Horizontal/Vertical Bandsaw

An Improved Horizontal/Vertical Bandsaw Stop **

Cutting it A Bit Closer **

Double V Jaws for a Horizontal/Vertical Bandsaw

Safely Sawing Small Bits **

Bolt Cutting and Beveling Fixture **

A Universal Bolt Cutting Fixture **

A Universal Bolt Beveling Fixture **

Miter Attachment for a Horizontal/Vertical Bandsaw **

A Modified Stop plus Cut Line Indicator for a 4x6 Horizontal/Vertical Bandsaw **

A Foldable Table for a Horizontal/Vertical Bandsaw **

Increasing the Capacity of a Horizontal/Vertical Bandsaw **









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Belt Sander

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A Universal Bolt Beveling Fixture **









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Drillpress

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A Low Cost and Easily Made Counterbore (by Steve-S'pore as told to R.G. Sparber) **

New Life for my Beloved Drill Doctor **

Spoiling a New Drill Press Vise (On Purpose) **

Drill Press Table Elevator **

All of Those Scrap Drill Bits! **

Making a Dremel Drillpress (or "Feeding the Disease")

Making Square Holes **

Drilling a Hole in a Slot with a Step Drill **

Improving A Dremel Drillpress **

A Stack of Wood on My Drillpress **

A Drill Size Look-up Table **
A decimal inch Drill Size Look-up Table .jpg file **
A decimal inch Drill Size Look-up Table .xls file **
A decimal inch and metric Drill Size Look-up Table .jpg file **
A decimal inch and metric Drill Size Look-up Table .xls file **
A fractional inch, metric, decimal inch, and thread table by Kevin Steele .jpg file **
A fractional inch, decimal inch, and metric table by Paul .html file **

Gingery Drill Press

Drilling a Hole that is larger in the Middle than At the Ends

Circuit Board Drill Templates **

An “Accurate” Drill Location Tool **









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Foundry

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Making a Zamak Repair by Lance Eggleston as told to R. G. Sparber

Gingery Drill Press

Casting and Machining Parts for the Updated Gingery Metal Shaper









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Grinder

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An Angle Grinder Table Saw **

Angle Grinder Nest **

Cutting Sheet Stock with an Angle Grinder

An Improved Tool Support for a Harbor Freight® ToolGrinder

Balancing the Wheels on a Bench Grinder **

A Figure Skate Sharpening Machine








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Handheld Power Drill

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Starting Holes On Domes and The Ends of Rods **









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Lathe

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Subcategories are Shop Assists, Attachments, Technique, and Lathe Modifications.



Shop Assists

Lathe Cutter Height Gage

Speed Table for Atlas-Craftsman 12” Lathe **
Excel Spreadsheet for above article **

Leadscrew Alignment Math

A program that calculates the best set of 4 gears to achieve a given overall ratio.

Excel® to Walgreens®: Making Small Reference Cards **

Lathe Turning Software Tool For HP-35s **

Lathe Assistant Program for TI-83 Plus **

Ball Turning with Manual Numerical Control Program for TI-83 Plus **

A Precision Electronic Cutter Touchdown Detector

Attachments

Holding The Wide End **

Making A Limited Range Jacobs Flex Collet® **

Making a Crush Collet

Another Diamond Toolholder Adapter **

A Machined In Place Precision Lathe Chuck Reference **

Tangential Tool Holder Chip Breaker (experimental) **

A Low Cost Quick Change Tool Post Angular Stop **

A Continuous Pin Support Fixture

Quick and Easy Lathe Jaw Spacers **

A Modified Knurling Tool

A Replacement Wrench for my Atlas-Craftsman Lathe **

My New CDCO 5C Collet Chuck

A Spindle Mounted Stop for a 12” Atlas/Craftsman Lathe **

A Beveling Tool

Another Bevel Fixture **

A Low Cost Longitudinal Axis DRO For my Lathe

A Low Cost Cross Slide DRO For my Lathe
(See "The Home Shop Machinist", March/April 2011, pages 30 - 36 for full details)

Installing a Phase II Quickchange Toolpost on an Atlas Craftsman 12" x 24" lathe **

Comparing a Wimberley Toolholder with a Diamond Tool Holder

A Toolpost Attachment for a High Speed Rotary Tool **

A Simple Lathe Pattern Follower **

Technique

End Knurling On a Lathe **

Turning a Precision Washer **

An Easy way to Single Point Thread **

Making a 7/16-10 Acme Left Hand Tap

A Close Look at Single Point Threading**

Reducing Total Indicated Runout on a 3 Jaw Chuck**
Excel Spreadsheet that goes with "Reducing Total Indicated Runout on a 3 Jaw Chuck"**

Making a Knurled Knob for a Socket Head Cap Screw **

Knurling **

Boring Bar Thoughts **

Using A Taper To set the Compound on a Lathe **

Setting the Compound to Match a Taper, Round 2 **

Suggested Ways to Cut a Taper

Setting the Height of a Lathe Cutter **

True Enough (Lathe Accuracy) **

Adventures in Friction Forming of Bosses **

Lathe Modifications

Atlas – Craftsman Lathe Tailstock Lock Modification **

1964 Atlas/Craftsman Lathe Motor Supports









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Mill

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Subcategories are Attachments, Technique, Mill Modifications, and CNC.


Attachments

cutting a helix on a vertical mill

Building an MQL Coolant System **

An ER-20 Collet Holder Plate **

Installing the Drive Shaft on a Horizontal/Vertical Rotary Table **

Converting an 8 Inch Rotary Table to an "A" Axis

RF-30 Mill/Drill Head - Pictures by John Herrmann, Text by R.G. Sparber

A Rotary Table Tailstock

A Small Mill Table Mounted Crane

A Low Cost and Easily Made Counterbore (by Steve-S'pore as told to R.G. Sparber) **

Softjaw with Pad Separation

A Low Cost Mill Mounted Spotlight **

Replacement Table Feed Motor Drive

An Improved Mill Stop by Brian Lamb as told to R.G. Sparber

A Ring Light for a Mill/Drill

Making a Few VERY Minor Improvements to my Hold-down Set **

A "C-nut" for a Mill

Making an "Omega-nut" for a Mill **

Making a T-nut" for a Mill **

Variable Frequency Drive Frequency versus Cutter Diameter Spreadsheet (in inches with 60 Hz line frequency)


Variable Frequency Drive Frequency versus Cutter Diameter Spreadsheet (in mm with 50 Hz mains)

A Variable Frequency Drive plus Three Phase Motor on a RF30 Mill/Drill

A Light Duty Parallelogram T Nut, version 3 (errata: length is 1.414B + A)

Making Cam Action Clamps for Milling

Mill Vise Soft Jaws, version 6.

Mill Vise Tune-up

An Ultra Simple Ultra Fine Feed for a RF30 Mill/Drill, version 2

A Tap Wrench to fit a RF30 mill/drill.

A Drawbar with Integrated Spindle Lock for a RF30 mill/drill.

A Universal Motor Controller with Indirect RPM Regulation. It powers a table drive for a RF30 mill but has other applications.

An Ettco N. 22 Tapping Head, version 2

Technique

Designing and Milling a Slot **

An Example of Small Scale Production **

Squaring a Bock using Ed Maisey's Method **

Accumulated Error When Squaring a Block **

A Closer Look At Machining a Block Square

Machining a Plate **

A Safe and Accurate Way to Set Zero on a Vertical Mill **

Drilling a Hexagonal Hole **

Reestablishing Position On a Round Column Mill **

Avoiding Mill Head Repositioning **

Tightening the Y Axis Nut on a RF30 Mill/Drill **

RF-30 Mill/Drill: What Gives? **

Spuds **

A Simple Little Trick: Holding Small Parts in a Vise **

Fixturing a Semicircle **

Removing and Installing the Leadscrews on a RF-30 Mill/Drill **

Measuring an End Mill's Effective Diameter **

Zeroing the Y and Z axes to the A Axis Center Of Rotation **

Locating A Corner on a Mill **

Milling An Angle Bracket **

Drill, Tap, and Counterbore **

A Few Basic Tests to Perform on your Mill **

What to do when you get a New Mill **

X or Y Axis Zero Set on a Mill, Version 2

Thoughts on Tramming the head of a mill/drill, Version 2

Tramming a Mill/Drill, version 4

Milling Tapered Spokes for a Flywheel designed by Elmer Verburg
John Walker's Spreadsheet for Milling Tapered Spokes for a Flywheel designed by Elmer Verburg

Milling Straight and Arced Paths, version 3

An Alternative to Locking Head Rotation on a Round Column Mill/Drill

Aligning to an Axis

Precision Machining: the control point and surface.

Why doesn't my RF30 Mill/Drill Cut Straight?

Endmill Effective Diameter (version 2).

Precision Z-axis Milling on a RF30 Mill./Drill (07/24/2008)

Chasing accuracy on a RF30 mill/drill with Shumatech DRO.

How to cut a block square on a mill.

Why is one parallel always loose in my mill vise? **

Accurate bedding of a part in the mill vise is an essential skill.

A Single Iteration Mill Vise Alignment Procedure.

Moving a small mill in parts **

An Example of Using a Rotary Table to Machine a Beam for a Steam Engine

Avoiding Over Constraint **

Aligning My 4th Axis on a RF-30 Mill/Drill

Want to Go Fast? Put in the Stops **

Basic Digital Read-Out Functionality on a Mill **

Mounting a 3 Jaw Chuck on a Rotary Table with a Face Plate

Centering a Rotary Table Using the Centerline function of a DRO

The Basics of a Rotary Table with Cross Slide mounted on a Mill Table

Translating Total Feed Rate to A Axis RPMs and X/Y axis Feed Rates

Finding Your Way Home Manually

Alibre to G-Code Procedure

Defining Arcs Interpreted by Mach3

A Spreadsheet to Audit an Arc in G-code

Is it Square? **

Mill Modifications

Repacking the Spindle Bearings on a 1990 Enco RF-30 Mill/Drill

Accessing the Spindle Drive Bearing on a 1990 Enco RF-30 Mill/Drill

The motor switch wiring, by Mark Cason Making Soft Jaws for a Bison 3 Jaw Lathe Chuck **

Scales on my RF30 Mill/Drill

Adventures with the EvaNut

A Speed Handle for a RF-30 Mill/Drill **

Mill/Drill R8 Pin Locator **

A Variable Thickness Washer for Preloading a RF-30 Mill/Drill Leadscrew Bearings

Y Axis Leadscrew Alignment Plate

Improved RF-30 Gib Retainer

Improving the RF-30 Mill/Drill Y Axis Take Up Nut

Improved Access to the Y Take Up Nut on a RF-30 Mill/Drill

Improving the RF-30 Mill/Drill X Axis Take Up Nut

Reducing X Axis Backlash on a RF-30 Mill/Drill

Reducing Y Axis Backlash on a RF-30 Mill/Drill

Performance Data After X and Y Backlash Reduction on a RF-30

Lead Screw Backlash and Mach3

Reducing X and Y Axis Backlash on a RF-30 Mill/Drill

Reducing Quill Backlash and Setting Z Axis Gain on a RF-30 Mill/Drill

CNC

Using a CNC Controlled Vertical Mill as a Lathe

Setting Up CamBam 0.9 So it Correctly Feeds CNC Wrapper and Mach3

Arc Bug Corrected (Between CamBam 0.9 and Mach3)

My Computer Numeric Control Software Architecture

Having a Second Home

My CNC Hardware

Mach3 X Axis Screw Mapping

Mach3 Z Axis Screw Mapping

Adaptive Backlash Reduction

2 ¾ D Machining On a 4 Axis RF-30 Mill/Drill

Cleaning a Swarf Invaded X Box 360 Controller **

Hand Coding AX Plane G-Code for a Centroid Equipped Mill In Order to Cut a Helix

A Centroid Acorn CNC System on a RF-30 Mill/Drill

Setting Up an X Box Controller to be Compatible with Centroid Acorn

Adding A Tool Touch Off to my Centroid Acorn

Adding Home Sensors to a RF-30 Mill/Drill

When the Centroid CNC Software Loses its Acorn

The Effect of Error in the Home Sensor on Centroid CNC Screw Mapping

Centroid CNC12 Screw Mapping Using Gage Blocks

Variable Frequency Drive Noise Reduction A Software Defined Edge Finder with CNC Compatible Output
The Software For The Software Defined Edge Finder with CNC Compatible Output (change .txt to .ino after saving)













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Power Control

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A Safety Switch, by John Herrmann**









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Shaper

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Casting and Machining Parts for the Updated Gingery Metal Shaper

Assessment of My Gingery Shaper’s Accuracy

Sniffing Out Static Error on a Gingery Shaper

The Start of an Idea for a Shaper Vise

How a Lock-down Vise Works, and Doesn’t **

A Lock-down Vise

Gingery Shaper Surface Finish

A Tiny Shear Grind Bit

Gingery Shaper Surface Tests

Rebuilding the Ram Ways on my Gingery Shaper

Ideal Surface Ripple on a Metal Shaper

Metal Shaper Accuracy
Metal Shaper Accuracy Spreadsheet









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Brake

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A Thrown Together Sheet Metal Finger Brake

Bending Angles Greater than 90° by Bill VanOrden as told to R.G. Sparber **









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Chemical Etching

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Laser Printing to Clean, Smooth Surfaces **

First Draft of Etching Aluminum Using Laser Printed Artwork









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Fasteners

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Adventures with the EvaNut

Adjustable Length Rod **

Understanding Nut And Bolt Specifications **

Thread Calculator by Mark Cason
Thread Calculator in Excel 1997 format
Thread Calculator in Excel 2007 format

Hot Air Gun Support **

Quickly Sorting Fasteners **

Finding Lost Tiny Parts **

Thread Gages (Training Wheels for a Newbie) **

A Countersink Gage **

Cable Retainer **

An Alternate Way to Think About Tightening a Nut **

Hose Clamp Tool **

Bringing a Harbor Freight Wire Twisting Pliers Into Usefulness **

Cable Tie Tightener **

Small Tapping Machine Made from Scrap Yard Find By John Nathan

Low Cost Plastic Insulating Washers **

Thermal Interference Fit Stud **

A Stud Tool **

A Captured Fastener **

A Hidden Circuit Board Anchor **

Hot Glue Reflow **

A Different Kind of Screw Vise

Angled Half Nut **

Faking A Trapezoidal Left Hand 16 X 2 Nut **

A Cost Reduced Wall Anchor **

An Experimental Threaded Insert **









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Fixtures

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Making Miniature Tools **

Workbench Walls **

A Cross Drilling Tape **

What to do with 1-2-3 Blocks **

An End Drilling Guide **

Demagnetizing Tools **

Hockey Puck V Bench Block **

The Lowly Bench Block **









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Hex Wrenches

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Hex Bit Bars **

Socket Head Cap Screw Eye Training **









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Marking

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More of an Attitude than a Custom Tool **

A Modified Gel Pen **

Permanent Marking of PVC Pipe **

A Purple Primer Pen for Marking PVC Pipe **

Laser Printing to Powder Coated Sheet Aluminum **

iPod Touch® Holder for Photography **









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Measurement Tools

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Electronic Edge Finders

The Problem that is solved by the Ultra Low Resistance Electronic Edge Finder **

A Guide to All of My Electronic Edge Finder Articles.

A Software Defined Edge Finder with CNC Compatible Output
The Software For The Software Defined Edge Finder with CNC Compatible Output (change .txt to .ino after saving)

Universal Low Cost Electronic Edge Finder for use in a Machine Shop

An Electronic Edge Finder - Simple Mechanical and Relatively Complex Electronic for use on a Mill

An Ultra Low Tech, Low Cost Electronic Edge Finder **

A Self Compensating Electronic Edge Finder **

A Noise Canceling Electronic Edge Finder **

Another Edge Finder Tool **

An Ultra Low Tech, Low Cost Electronic Edge Finder **

A Self Compensating Electronic Edge Finder **

A Noise Canceling Electronic Edge Finder **

A Lathe Electronic Edge Finder (For spindle resistances greater than 3 ohms) **

A Lathe Electcronic Edge Finder (For spindle resistances greater than 0.2 ohms) **

A Lathe Electcronic Edge Finder (For spindle resistances greater than 0.01 ohms) **

Tune In for Better Electronic Edge Finder Accuracy.

Home Made Instruments (other than Edge Finders)

An Automatic Centerline Scribe **

A Four Ball ID Gage

Improving a Harbor Freight® 6" Digital Caliper

A Possible New Inside Diameter Gage

Rod Clamp **

Rod Clamp (second time around) **

An Experimental Measurement System

A Drill Size Look-up Table **
A decimal inch Drill Size Look-up Table .jpg file **
A decimal inch Drill Size Look-up Table .xls file **
A decimal inch and metric Drill Size Look-up Table .jpg file **
A decimal inch and metric Drill Size Look-up Table .xls file **
A fractional inch, metric, decimal inch, and thread table by Kevin Steele .jpg file **
A fractional inch, decimal inch, and metric table by Paul .html file **

Technique

Adjusting a Machinist Square By R. G. Sparber with information from Ron Thompson **

Using a Telescoping Inside Diameter Gage **

Absolute versus Incremental Dimensions **

An Inside Diameter Gage, version 1

How to use an Inside Diameter Gage, by Brian L. of Valley Metal Club

Those Wonderful Spacer Blocks **

Repeatability and Accuracy of the Harbor Freight® Caliper; version 3.
Discussion Related to Caliper Accuracy

Total Indicated Runout Explained

Finger type Dial Test Indicators. Theory and practice.

Seeing With a Dial Test Indicator, Torque Wrench, and Excel Spreadsheet

How Accurate is Your Micrometer?

The Intersection of Art and Precision (Using a Caliper)

A Possible Means of Measuring a Thread’s Pitch Diameter

Yet Another Way to Hold Thread Wires to a Mic

A Low Cost "Digital" Angle Gage
The Excel Spreadsheet for the "Digital" Angle Gage

The Theory and Practice of a Sine Bar

Stacking Gage Blocks **

Marking Knife: Layout Tool and Height Gage **

3D Measurements **

Don't Measure! **

Finding the Center of Rotation of a Finger Dial Test Indicator

Making it Dead Flat and Square **

Truing Up a Square with a Known True Square **









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Nut Drivers

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Making a Really Nice Nut Driver **

Socket Head Cap Screw Eye Training **









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Press

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Modifying an Arbor Press, by "TinkerJohn" as enjoyed by me **









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Stamping

Articles for beginners are marked with **

Captured Ball Lip Tool **

Cutting Corners (Making a punch to cut corners in plastic sheet) **

A Simple Way to Accurately Stamp Text on a Metal Block, Version 3









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Material Storage

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Repairing a CamelBak Water Bottle **

Making USB Cables Behave **

New Life for a NeilMed® Bottle: A Spillproof Oil Can **

Bottle Transfer Collar **

What is Good Storage? **

Storage of Materials **

Making a Quick Yet Rugged Project Box

A Nice Looking Aluminum Project Box **









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Tool Storage

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Screwdriver Rack **

Vise-Grips and C Clamp Rack **

What is Good Storage? **









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MIG

Articles for beginners are marked with **

A Replacement Handle for a Harbor Freight® MIG Welder

A $10 Upgrade to my Harbor Freight® 90 Amp Flux Wire Welder

Square A Frame **

Axial Alignment Welding Fixture **









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Stick

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Irrigation

Articles for beginners are marked with **

A Direct ¼" Line to PVC Pipe Irrigation Coupler **

Thermal Forming PVC Pipe **

½ inch PVC Irrigation Full Sliding Coupler and Patch **

½ inch PVC Irrigation Full Sliding Coupler, Round 2 **

360° Sprinkler Head Shield **

Patching Schedule 40 ½" PVC Pipe **

Horizontal Drilling in Soil **

PVC Cutter with Built In Can Top Opener **

Water Meter Auditing **

Root Drip Irrigation Stakes

A Soft Pipe Insertion Tool

A Flow Monitor and Control System for a Residential Irrigation System









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Landscaping

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A Power Rock Rake

A Cable Anchor Belt Clip **









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Car

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A Garmin GPS Suction Cup Stand Converted to Magnetic **









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Grilling

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Weber Gas Grill Back Saver **









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Pool and Patio

Articles for beginners are marked with **

Repairing A Portable Gazebo Strut **

Taming the Beast: Wheels on a Sun Shade **

In Line Pool Filter Modification **