Sunday, May 31, 2020

Wait just a dadgum minute.....

I had an errant neuron today, and it fired up a memory.   Back in the dim past, I bought a little set of ER16 collets and a couple holders for said items from BANGGOOD.  Well before the Red Menace visited our fair continent.

Now, can I find them?

hidden treasure

Low and behold!!!!  There they are!!!  RIGHT THERE!!!!!!  Yes those cheapo takeout boxes you get at Costco are being abused in the shop.

where is wald... ER16?

Will it fit?    Faith, and they will!

Do I have a sturdy vise to fit a Morse Taper 3? 

Logan 200 vise stand

Elbow grease, and some heat for one of them, and we are done. 

back gears holdfast

 And the water displacement #40 failed me again....

Black sweat shirt rag is NOT 100% cotton

Back in the Evaporust... I sure hope there is some iron left before I'm done.....

Whew!  Now, we can begin the reassembly and calibration!!!

Monday, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day 2020

Christopher Bryant
Private First Class
United States Marine Corps
Mangum, Oklahoma
November 22, 1948 to May 17, 1968
CHRISTOPHER BRYANT is on the Wall at Panel 61E, Line 24

My uncle's school records

 Letter's from the President and Governor.

Brass that I picked up after they finished the service.

Letters home, and a rubbing from the Traveling Wall, late 1980's

His Class A cover

My kin as I remember them... 

I still think of you, Steve.  I remember.

Memorial Day - Edgar A. Guest

The finest tribute we can pay
          Unto our hero dead to-day,
          Is not a rose wreath, white and red,
          In memory of the blood they shed;
          It is to stand beside each mound,
          Each couch of consecrated ground,
          And pledge ourselves as warriors true
          Unto the work they died to do.

          Into God's valleys where they lie
          At rest, beneath the open sky,
          Triumphant now o'er every foe,
          As living tributes let us go.
          No wreath of rose or immortelles
          Or spoken word or tolling bells
          Will do to-day, unless we give
          Our pledge that liberty shall live.

          Our hearts must be the roses red
          We place above our hero dead;
          To-day beside their graves we must
          Renew allegiance to their trust;
          Must bare our heads and humbly say
          We hold the Flag as dear as they,
          And stand, as once they stood, to die
          To keep the Stars and Stripes on high.

          The finest tribute we can pay
          Unto our hero dead to-day
          Is not of speech or roses red,
          But living, throbbing hearts instead,
          That shall renew the pledge they sealed
          With death upon the battlefield:
          That freedom's flag shall bear no stain
          And free men wear no tyrant's chain.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

To fry or not to fry

John mentioned heating the spindle / thimble combination in hot oil.  That got me to thinking.  I mean, it makes sense.  The amount of stuck nuts, bolts, bearings and shafts that I have personally loosened with a torch is beyond counting.  Even with my shoes off.

So, I decided to pick up one of these guys:

I got the 6.5 litre option.

Yeah, it's cool.  No, it's hot.  I found out that when you turn on the heat, it stays on.  Until you turn it off.  The timer for the ultrasound won't stay on past 30 minutes, but the heat just keeps heating.

So, I will soak these micrometer parts in the heated solution, and we will see how it goes.

I needed some reference material to understand how the micrometers went together.  I found the previously referenced webpage that explained how to adjust them.  But I'm a hands on guy, very visual.  So I spent some coin on these:

I know why doctors practice on cadavers...

Yup, it's threaded.

The Instructables page mentioned that you can crush the tubes if you aren't careful.  I'm a ham hand at times, so having spares is a good thing.  And I can see exactly how they assemble now.

Wish me luck.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

New Addition

I don't know whether to like Youtube or hate it.  I mean, I learn so much there.  And see things I didn't know existed.

Take this video for example.

Starts at 08:03 if goofed up the link.

I didn't even know those existed until this video.  So, of course, I have to go cruising through the boot sales on Ebay, aka the tool thief warehouse.  And sure enough, there is one for sale.  And it looks decent.  And I watched it till it ended, because, it was pricey.  Not as pricey as a cylinder square, but still, more than I wanted to spend.  And it got relisted at a lower price.  And he takes offers....  So I watched it again.  I mean, if I NEED a square I know where one is for the borrowing....  "But what if I need it at 0500 on a Sunday morning to help out an old lady with her Nash Metropolitan?  So she can make Sunday School on time?"  Wow, now that is compelling.  What to do?  Wait and watch.  Then, justify it, then avoid it, then.... for the love of pete, just buy it.  Buy once, cry once.  So, here it is....

I present the Unknown Square.

About 8 inches square on a side.

Has a non-conductive handle so hand heat doesn't influence your measurement.  That's a pro option right there.

Has 3 beveled sides and one flat edge.

Resolution is advertised at 10 Seconds = 0.0005" per 10 inch.  I assume each line in the vial then is 0.0005"   That is minuscule.

I have a mentor that loaned me his cylinder square to tram in the mill's spindle.  I know why Mr. Pete would take a beating over tramming in a mill.  It was a long process.

The nod angle between the spindle and the pivot point on a Bridgeport type mill is longer than on an Index mill.  That means the movement you are looking at is a tangent on a long radius, so the movement is not as easy to grok.


grok; 3rd person present: groks; past tense: grokked; past participle: grokked; gerund or present participle: grokking
understand (something) intuitively or by empathy.

At least it wasn't for me.  Lots of adjustments, and readjustments and frustration.  But very little ataraxy was evident.  a-ataraxy?  Or just taraxy?

  1. a state of serene calmness.
The lateral movement isn't as bad.  The axis is in line with the spindle.  Easy to see, easy-ish to adjust.

Keith Appleton said once that every part of a model steam engine should be treated as a model in and of itself.  Every Part...  So I've taken that into my shop as well.  Every project I'm doing for myself should be done to the best of my ability with a view to becoming better and better at what I do.  Every part of the process from setup to final assembly is part of my education.  So, do your best.  Gun for 100%.  Or even 110%.

I'm no precision machinist, but every effort should be to the best of my ability when I'm doing it for myself.  If it's a paying job, I put in the work required to meet the tolerance given.  Know your tolerances.

I also subscribe to the notion that a little pro bono work is good for the soul.  That kind of work usually finds me, instead of the other way round.

So, now I can adjust the head of my mill if I so desire, and have a tool that just may be capable of putting it back straight.  I'll need to ask for a thorough inspection.  I'll know more if my mentor agrees to check it out for me.

Thanks for stopping by the shop.

Saturday, May 16, 2020


Man, it's really cool to see pictures of every day carry on the webz.  Most of that stuff looks like new.  I always wonder about that.  John critiqued a couple photos over at Glenn's place, and got me to thinking. 

So, here is my everyday carry.  Coming straight out of the pockets of my britches and shirt.

The pocket protector and moleskin notebook take a shirt pocket.  Allows me to offload and reload in one fell swoop.  The ruler and yellow handled hoobah come in handy every so often.  That yellow deal is a carbide tipped "knife sharpener".  It'll pull a curl in steel without blinking.

I don't remember when I started carrying the spares for my spare.  But it happened.  Two is one and one is none I've heard.  That made perfect sense to me.  Little thumb drive for programs and drivers I need at work.  Sometimes I'm at a user's pc and need my normal array of hammers, scalpels and hemostats so to speak.

The Leatherman doesn't see much use, but it has been on the belt for thousands of miles now.  When it's needed, it's always a live saver.

my wrist has a detent for setting blade angle on the OT

I use the pocket caliper as a money clip with the clippers and magnet.  This is how they stack in my pocket, and the usual amount of money I carry.  Exactly.  And that Old Timer has been with me since 1985.  My buddy's dad gave me a nice staghorn looking knife with a loss proof guarantee.  I lost it, and replaced it with this one.  It has cut the only decent fruit cake ever made during Christmas break in 1985.  It cleaned my kid's finger nails until they were big enough to do it themselves.  It's been a constant, true friend that has never let me down or turned it's back on me.  As long as I keep it sharp and clean, I doubt it ever will.

Thank you Papa L.  You gave me a man's companion.  And it's been there since you entrusted it to me.

I do carry another kind of tool.  One of those tools for less than friendly occasions.  One for when I don't expect trouble, and one for when I'm not sure.

Two is One, One is none.

God Bless Texas.

Monday, May 11, 2020

50 Years.....

Strong Dim Memories

Yup, that's me.  A month or so before the event.

Dad and mom were from Oklahoma.  Mom was born in 1933, dad in 1934.  Their families stuck out the dust bowl in south west OK.  They grew up without most of what we consider necessities.  Indoor plumbing, air conditioning or central heat.  Being farmers, they learned weather signs.

On May 11, 1970, dad was watching the weather close.  I think we had a 10% chance of thunderstorms that night.  We lived where a weather phenomenon called the dry line exists.  Weather pops up along this dry line, that stretches about the length of the border between Texas and New Mexico.  It dances all over up there, moving east then west, spawning storms in the late afternoon.

Dad spotted a big storm moving around, and it seemed to go in a circle.  He was outside a lot that evening, not just to puff on a cigarette, either.  About 9:30 pm, he came blowing in the door, and hollered out for everyone to "git under the house!"  In mom and dad's closet there was a hole for getting under the house, and dad popped that open and mom threw down some quilts.  I grabbed a few plastic world war 1 airplanes I had, and my older sister struggled to get dressed.  She had been in the tub.  When dad hollered, the energy level started peaking in the house.  Not just that night, but always.  We were high stepping to get where he wanted us.  The tornado was letting down over us.  We lived close to 34th and Quaker.  It was a straight line from there NE across Jones Stadium to downtown, the path of the tornados.

Mom had a 7 month old, and a 4 year old along with me and my sister.  I remember we had a battery radio with us.  Being under the floor was pretty neat, but a bit scary.  The wind was lashing the little trees around the house, and the lightning was fierce.  Rain was coming down like fire hoses were feeding it.  The electricity went off, and I remember distinctly, the advertisement for Alexander's Jewelry Store.  it was the theme from 2001, A Space Odysey.  When I here that music today, I get a bit unsettled.  KFYO was on saying something about debris blowing down the street, and it went off the air.  We had some kind of light under there, probably that long smooth Ray-O-Vac that dad carried.  Dad looked concerned after the radio station went off the air...  There was a tremendous flash and an instant boom of thunder, it scared my older sister, she jerked up, and impaled her scalp on an exposed nail.  I guess we all have hard heads.

Eventually the wind subsided and the rain started tapering off.  We eased back out of the hole.  The radio station was back on the air, and they ordered all "off duty police and firemen to report to duty." 

A sight I'm very familiar with.

Dad was a patrolman on the LPD, and he took off about 10 pm and was gone for 24 hours straight, digging bodies out of the rubble.  According the video linked below, dad was on SAR duty.

The top half of the Great Plains Life building was lifted and curtains were blown from one room to another, across the wall.  It was set back down, just a bit off of square.  The big eagle on Lubbock (Plains?) National Bank took flight and was never seen again. The temporary morgue was in my junior high gym.  I used to tell my class mates the weird stains on our lunch room tables were from that time.  I may have been correct.

The after action report was interesting.

Dad bought a bunch of cinder blocks from destroyed gas stations, and I spent my summer, fall, winter and spring, cleaning block for reuse on our back yard cellar.  We got that done the next summer, and I spent countless hours staring at the ceiling, listening to anti-aircrat fire, or artillery, or navy guns, or bombing raids, until the danger passed and we went to our own beds in the wee hours of the morning.

We bought some land south of town, and I helped dad disassemble houses that had been damaged in the tornado.  We were gonna build a house and move out of town.  I learned a lot about old carpentry methods.  Dad had me clean the old lumber during the summer, fall, winter and spring.  Things were looking up until our neighbor down there lost control of a trash fire and burned up ALL the wood I had worked so hard on.  Dad sold the land a while after that.  We wound up moving north of town, not south.

And I got a first hand education in atmospheric science, watching weather develop.  Learning when to run to the 'fraidy hole.  It is still the best place to be when the sky gets dark, and the wall clouds develop.  I had planned on being a weather man.  Even got to interview the NWS director for Lubbock.  I couldn't afford to go to school at A&M.  They were the only school with a degree in ATMO and I didn't rate a scholarship.  Back then you had to hit several marks to be admitted to college.  So, I went to Texas Technical, majoring in electronics.

I found an official video from the EOC perspective.  I was struck by how different media operates today, as opposed to 50 years ago.  I swapped buttons, name plate and badge on those grey wool police uniforms for years.  Dad had one of those helmets in his closet, along with the grey Stetson they issued for one or two years right next to it.

I distinctly remember that bumper sticker all over town.  "Lucky Me!  I Live In Lubbock."

This is the NSW view in 2010.  It has a good explanation of the dry line.

Here is a Texas Tech project from about 2015.

Lubbock was quite divided along cultural lines.  There were distinct areas of town where folks lived.  The Mexican-American and Black areas were hit hard by the tornado, and as a result, the families that were displaced moved in to open housing all across town. 

Those were interesting times.  I remember it as a time when men were men.  And they did what had to be done, regardless of the risk, because it was the right thing to do.

Simplicity of youth, I guess.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Quick update

Had a couple cleaning jobs come in.  Those took precedence... 

Sorry for the delay in posting.  Two dirty hardware pieces that needed to be deep cleaned for possible life saving duty.  From an old friend that I had lost track of.

Friendship renewed, customer satisfied, and hopefully...  hardware that will never be called upon in distress.