Thursday, October 20, 2022

Rest for the Weary

I finally got the tee nut for the Sheldon done.  Every bleeding time I tried to go out and work, something else came up that was on fire and needed done yesterday.  I seriously need to figure out how to offload some stress.  I probably won't be making any friends when I do...


I met a farm family late last year, and bought a project from them.  I haven't done anything but move it.  But it's patient, and so am I.  They had a junk pile out there.  I've been back a couple times and brought back some really good stock to work with.  One piece was a two foot piece of 2 1/4 square tool bar.  Old two row plows that a Ford 8N could pull were usually made of one or two pieces of that size bar.  It was cut down with a torch, making that end pretty dang hard.  I chopped it off in the horizontal bandsaw.  I cut another wafer just a little bit longer than I needed.

It spent a little time in the mill, I carved out the profile I needed.  The thread on the hold down bolt is 16mm x 1.5.   I don't have much mm stuff in the shop.  Seeing as how I need a 14.5 mm drill and a tap for the hole, I was pretty much shot.  Spartan had a spare tap, so we met up and swapped lies and laughed and scratched for a while.  I hate to go home when we get to visit, there is so much to cover...


I like to use the old methods to layout.  I can't explain why, but they feel right.  So little feels right now, I can't pass up a chance to take pleasure in even simple things.  Layout blue with a big Sharpie marker, then mark the center with a hermaphrodite divider.  This isn't a rocket part, so it will be close enough.


I got in the shop yesterday and blew a 9/16 hole in the nut.  It was undersized but big enough.  I used some cutting slop I made with lard, mineral oil and paraffin.  (American paraffin, a stiff wax, not British paraffin, which is coal oil or kerosene)  That tap almost fell through the hole.  Very sharp tap, but I can't help but wonder if that old lard oil mix didn't have something to do with it, too.  And the thread finish is top drawer.

Old red farm paint


There are youtubers that comment on Imperial inch measurement as bananas.  I read up on how the metric system was developed.  The Fwench started it, and it was some odd length of metal bar they used for a standard meter.  Every time the committee meets, the length changes.  I figure a MM is the width of a male maggot.  10 male maggots side by side and you have a centipedometer or CM... metric maggots...

I picked up some insert tooling, too.  This Sheldon is a hoss, they will harness it's might.  The old BXA tool post is about 8 years old, and I had a few tool holders for it.  I found a place that had a 5 pack for 70 bills, and I bought that twice over several months.  So now I have about 15 holders for the quick change tool post.  15 bucks each is awfully inexpensive, especially nowadays.

No more excuses

Life is still a mess, but I guess that is normal.  I complain mightily at times, then read about real problems like Glenn's parents, divemedic's daughter and grandson, Cedarq's innards, or BCE's at risk grandgirl and I'm shamed for being such a light weight.

Thankfully, I can go to the Heavenly Father and lift up the real issues and my piddly ones, too. 

Cheer up!  Things are bound to get worse.  And we were born for this time.  That means we belong to this time to make the difference in it, that God put us here to make.  I lose sight of that, but there it is.

 Good night ladies.


  1. I bitch too much too, STxAR. There are times where that bible puts on the mental brakes, and forces you to actually stop and give thanks. It's great because there are times when a fella has to really work at being thankful for things, and loss and hardship makes that even harder.

    I am laughing at your shop problems. Everything I do in metal is done with "blue dinkum" and calipers and centre punches. I don't mean to boast... but I probably coulda a done this job up to acceptable standards too. I never heard of making your own cutting fluid, though. It never would have occured to me to try. I used to just grab a dollop of gun oil, and if it worked... great! I went out and bought a can of tapping fluid and have it stashed somewhere amidst the plunder... and never really use it. I am untrustworthy with metal and generally need adult supervision around any tools more complex than a drill press.

    If I were to actually gripe about hardship in my life - that would be rightfully at the top of the list.

    1. A bud sent me a link to a kid that was reading old machinist manuals. He came across a recipe and decided to try it. His results were very good, and I had all the components. It works well.

      You could make a tee nut with a hand grinder and a file. A drill and tap to finish it off. But you don't get those cool swirly patters just right without a mill. So, I made a $5 part using $20,000 worth of tools.... It's either an addiction or a disease. Probably both.

      I toy with ideas, one of them is I'm in this pickle because I'm the one that is supposed to be in the this pickle. I need the pickle to move forward... somehow. The attitude of gratitude, being thankful, helps me keep my sword in it's scabbard. But there are times..... brother there are times......

  2. STxAR, I am with you: the old ways feel better, even if sometimes less efficient and speedy simply because they involve more involvement from me.

    Precisely what is this marvel you are working on? I literally have no idea of what the finished product is to be.

    You are no slouch with what you are working through either, friend. We can never judge ourselves by the struggles of others, only by our own.

    1. Now that I look at the finished product, it isn't all that clear is it? New post coming up. I'll take better pictures.

      In the bottom picture, the big square object with the silver handle and sloped top is a quick change tool post. It allows me to swap out those four cutters on the lower right of it, quickly and accurately. Underneath that tool post is a nut. That long bolt sticking out of the top is what holds the tool post in position. The nut fits in a tee shaped slot under the tool post. The bolt threads into that. The lathe has updated tooling and I can utilize it more fully.

      I can't help but compare myself to others. It's the competition gene. Mine is oversized. I wonder how I'd respond to those things, and I usually imagine falling way short of what I see. I don't want to be a whiner. And times I feel I am. I read about hardship in the Bible, and I'm encouraged by what I see. And at times, humbled because I haven't been that tough or resilient. I read Fox's Book of Martyrs when I was almost 20. THAT was eye opening. I didn't realize what people suffered in the past just because they believed in Jesus. Those kinds of study, help me stiffen my backbone. And they force me to see what is important enough to live for. I do the same thing with the current crop of people that I read about. Their (and your) example encourages me.

    2. STxAR, I love that you post all this, because it is a complete 100% education to me as I know none of it.

      Foxe's Book of Martyrs should be required reading. Eusebius' History of the Church (to be fair, where Foxe pulled some of his material) should also be required reading. Most of us in the modern West have no idea what suffering for the faith really is.

    3. We all start ignorant. Ten years ago, I had a basic understanding of machine tools from a college required class. But no where near the depth of understanding and experience I have now. I love to learn, and I have a desire to pass that on to whoever wants it. No one in my family has an interest, so I drop it here. Nuggets for anyone that runs across them.