Beat those Winter Blues
The winter of 2013/4 seems like a strange beast. In the UK the temperature hasn't really dipped below 6°C during the day. There have been just a couple of mornings in the Midlands when the windscreen needs scraping. In the USA and Canada however there's been historically high snowfall and low temperatures whilst Australian's are "enjoying" sweltering days in the 40°'s.
Wherever you're wintering this year, we trust that you can still manage a few transcendent hours each week in the workshop. If you're looking for inspiration, the picture to the right shows a superbly finished Trent Pinion Mill, capable of cutting clock pinions in high tensile steel. You'll also find a number of new item below.
You may have noticed that Hemingway Kits didn't attend the London ME Exhibition In January. This is part of our year-long experiment to find different ways of promoting our business.
A Simple Trepanning Tool
There are a number of ways in which large diameter holes can be cut in sheet or plate. One method is to chain-drill a ring of holes around the inside of the required circumference, break out the middle and file the hole to shape. Another is to use a piloted or centreless hole saw, available in standard diameters. Alternatively, tools known as 'tank cutters' can be used with either a brace & bit or a "Black & Decker". A central twist drill runs into the metal and acts as a pivot. These are not suitable for precision work however as the twist drill is inclined to wander.
This gives one time consuming method, one expensive method and another of dubious accuracy...
This little Trepanning Tool will cut holes of between Ø1" - Ø3" with great accuracy. In the process of 'trepanning' an ordinary cutting tool is powered along the circumference of the required hole and slowly cuts through, leaving the kind of chips/swarf that you we find when parting off. Click here for more details.
Instrument Maker's Vice
As in so many fields of human endeavour, suitable tools are a prerequisite to progress. Once the sideline of cutlers, instrument making has a long and distinguished history with elite craftsmen working hand-in-hand with surgeons, chemists, physicists, astronomers and industrialist of every flavour to develop the equipment necessary to analyse results then exploit new scientific findings.
Within the instrument maker's workshop, highly prized manual skills are developed over many, many years. Filing, sawing, lapping, chasing, honing, scraping and polishing small parts to within infinitesimal tolerances to create world-changing devices.
This versatile vice provides movement in virtually all planes, allowing a workpiece to be firmly gripped then locked in exactly the right attitude for further finishing. The 1½" wide jaws open to 1" to accept flat or cylindrical work. The vice's iron base is cast with an integral 4" long tenon so that it can be securely held in a larger bench vice. The kit arrives with all necessary material, drawings and construction notes for this hugely useful platform. Click the image for a closer look.
Small Surface Plate
This cast iron table measures a diminutive 6" x 7" x 1 5/8" tall and weighs just 4.5kg (9.3lbs).
The pattern however, developed by L S Sparey, has all of the features you would find in a full sized unit. It is substantially ribbed and braced to ensure that it stays flat regardless of loading or temperature variation. It sits on 3 pads so is incapable of rocking even on an uneven bench surface.
The casting is flycut on the miller then blued and scraped to a larger master (not supplied!). If you weren't already - you'll be fully adept at hand scraping by the end of this project! Click the image for a closer look?
Quick-Set Keats Angle Plate
Whilst the Keats Angle Plate has long been associated with offset-turning on the faceplate, this application was never mentioned in Harold Keats' 1918 patent nor in early adverts. Indeed, the standard Keats plate is among the world's MOST diabolical items to offset accurately!
However, our unique variation on the original is a good deal easier to work with. The workpiece is clamped into the fixture which is then clamped loosely to the faceplate. The workpiece/fixture is centralised on the lathe in the conventional way before being tightly clamped to the faceplate. To create the offset it is only necessary to loosen, then slide the vee block along its base - the exact amount being measured with a vernier caliper.
In addition to its use for turning eccentric features, the 2 castings can be assembled as a sturdy vee block that can be clamped to the milling table to facilitate the machining of crank webs, cross holes and keyways.
Click the image to learn more about this new item.
B. Hick & Son - Crank Overhead Engine
Situated in the centre of Britain's cotton and coal industries, Benjamin Hick grew his Bolton foundry business to employ over 400 men before his death in 1842. His son John then partnered with William Hargreaves in 1845 to form Hick, Hargreaves & Co, supplying a vast range of stationary and locomotive steam engines, boilers, water wheels and mill gearing to customers at home and overseas (including India, Russia, Spain, South America, China, and Japan). In 1864, they were also responsible for the introduction of the highly efficient American Corliss valve gear into the UK.
This particular 10nhp engine was shown by the company at the Great Exhibition in 1851, alongside their diminutive 2nhp Oscillating Engine. Geoffrey King, a professional Engineer and member of the Newcomen Society, detailed this 1" to 1' replica in 1956 from the original Hick drawing set. The vertical layout made this engine particularly suitable for driving "manufactory" line shafting, with the cylinder, valve chest and feed pump installed in a pit below. Where more that 10nhp was required, gangs of engines could be coupled together and managed by a single boiler and "engineer".
Complete with its 7" x 8½" plinth the model stands almost 14" tall propelling a 7½" flywheel. With a bore x stroke of ¾" x 1 7/8", the engine has a double acting slide valve, an eccentric driven feed pump and a Watts type governor, driven directly from the crank with bevel gears. An imposing runner, the 'Crank Overhead' shows a great deal of movement when underway.
Click the image for more information - including a video on the engine in action!