Sunday, August 23, 2020


Wednesday, 19 Aug - Nice thunderboomer is rolling past, good cool outflow.  Friend needed some work done, and it's not too hot to do it!!  WOW.  It's still August, and I didn't drown in sweat out in the shop!  Win.

An old tractor needs a new plate for water temp guage.

Friend got the plate made, and wondered if I could help with the threaded part.  Oh boy.

Drilled a scrap to 9/16, next is bore to .588, then try and thread it to 5/8x18...  Only need 3/8 of an inch of threads....  Fingers crossed...  First try was toast.  Not gonna work.  I couldn't be sure if I was using leaded steel or not, and that don't weld so good.

I can still hear the music and the announcer...

I remembered watching a "How It's Made", manufacturing air tanks for truck brake systems.  They had this little part, with pipe threads in it...  Hmmmm....  Found out it's name is thread-o-let. 

I was down in the oil patch, so I stopped by a valve supply house, and they had some.  Manger GAVE me one that is a 1/4 NPT and caked with dust.  So, I'm a customer for life.... 

Okay, let's go.

Saturday 22 Aug - Outside is tapered, can't grip that. It took 90 minutes to make the mandrel to hold this thing.  No tooling I needed was close to the lathe, and I'm rusty as a neglected tap wrench.  Finally got this thing done, threaded 10-32  on the end, and starting turning the bevel-o-let into a cylinder.  Missed my size by 2 thou, and that came back to haunt me.

Howie Man-drel

I have some 5C collets (not a complete set) and a collet block because of a gracious benefactor and mentor.  I missed sizing this for the one collet I had that was close, so it would be a booger to thread, but not a major problem.  

Temp sensor has a 5/8-18 thread, and, amazingly, I have a tap that size from the same benefactor / mentor.  Blew a 9/16 hole-o-let, cleaning out the old threads, and the proper size for where I'm going is 37/64"  Now, really....  What are the odds of having that....

I shoulda bought a lottery ticket too...

Thanks again to Mr. S.  I owe that man a lot.  He has invested a lot in me and in my shop.  Thank you.  I wouldn't be near where I am today without you.

Got the threaded collar done, and was thinking about it last night as I'm drifting off...  There is a bevel seal on the sending unit, and the collar needs to be centered over it.  Hmmmmm.....  Ordering up a centering plug.  

Got that turned down today, and ready.  Just need to grind the screws to length, and it's done.

Plug dimensions follow.  And I did get pretty close to hitting them all.  The plug needed a bit of polish to slide into the hole and collar.  

Went with a 10-24 screw instead of the 8-32...  Spec change in the field, no change order needed...  heh.

Man, is it ever good to be in the shop.  And with a cool front moving south and bringing rain twice in a week lowering the temps into the mid 90's....  Feels like Christmas in August. 


  1. Wow STxAR. I understood about 10% of that, but very well done!

    1. Oh, sorry. I got a bit cute. Threadolet was a new word and I played with it a bit. When I called the supply house, the young lady on the phone said oh you want a "threbit". When I got there, it wasn't a mask, she still zipped by it so fast I couldn't understand it.

      Tapers are notorious for being slippery, so I wanted it to have straight sides. Had to hold it from the inside to do that. Then cut it down to length. Then drill the inside to the proper diameter, then thread it. All without make it worthless due to some dumb mistake.

      Barely limped across the finish line the second time.

  2. Mr. S.... I wonder who that is........

    If you still need a 37/64 drill I think I still have a few here somewhere😁

    1. Look in that drawer! It was waiting in there for who knows how long. Couple years?? That Mr. S is one heck of a man. I would still be picking my teeth with a rock if he wasn't such a great guy.

  3. Interesting project and interesting solution.
    I can see where that one would be a real bugger. Nice job figuring it out and even if it squeaks by, a win is a win.
    I got a chuckle out of the neglected tap handle reference too. Glad the heat let up a bit and it's good to see your spirits picking up!
    A little win once in a while works wonders.

    1. How are you doing, man? I was afraid you'd gotten soft then dropped back in the fire. That's a tough way to work. I'm glad you got the reference. Smaller parts that require some accuracy are kinda tricky. This one was a bit of fun. Yeah, a win is a win. I'm happy to find a penny these days...

  4. I wonder how many times there was an easier, I didn't say easy, solution to a problem that I was slogging through, but I just didn't know about the answer.

    Good work.

    1. After I had my concussion and then the weird recovery, I started reading all I could about the mind/brain. Mine is a dang filing cabinet, or better yet, a piling cabinet. There is all kinds of stuff in there. And it can pop up at will or even when needed.

      I'm glad I remembered that I'd seen that. I was the perfect part to start with.

      I remember designing a digital clock with seconds display. By the time I was done, I have 25 or more chips and a clock, power supply, it would have weighed 10 lbs... Then I found a clock chip with a digital display encoder. I think all it needed was a driver for the LED's and a power supply. A few discreet components, and done. I learned to keep my eyes open and read. So many package deals out there.....