Monday, December 5, 2022

Stuck Chuck

I started making the little pins I'd figured on, and they didn't work out too well.  So, scratch that and *hmmm, why not use something you already have?  Like a dull drill bit for the pin?* 

 Hardly any digging and I had what I needed. pinned the two holes, added some paper scratch protection to the sides of the head.  Mounted to the mill table, and it popped off with a little effort.

It's getting lighter...


Next up is to strip it of the parts and pieces, clean, oil and reassemble.  The old super maxi  ultrasonic cleaner will be put to work, if only to justify it's existence.  One thing that is really important is the depthing adjustment of the worm gear.  On the right side of the above picture is this "screw".

Depth adjustment on the right, lock screw in the hole on the left

I have to get that back right, so now I have a documented position to return to.  Internet can be helpful.

Next up is pulling the spindle-bearing pack.  I'll need a pin spanner for that.  This is the nut that has to be removed from the back in order to drive the pack out the front.

the nut has two holes for pins, and the screw locks it in place

I've seen pin spanners that look like dividers.  Super neat.  But in a pinch, you can use a modified All-16ths wrench.  Drill two holes, add pins, and Viola, instant adjustable pin spanner.  I think I have a cheap-o that would be a prime candidate for this.  That's the next step.

drill two holes add pins

One other thing I need to do is get a project pan for it.  They sell blems at the restaurant supply for $4.00.  Probably more now, but they are available locally really cheap.  Heavy duty for industrial baking.

sandwich bags keep assemblies together

And I remembered to mark the chuck, jaws and back plate so I can reassemble it like it came to me.

I should make an etcher

So far so good.  I usually go too far too fast.  I'm taking this little cleaning project slow and steady.


  1. Y'know... sigh. STxAR, on OyTube there are all kinds of guys buying the cheap chinese machine tools and upgrading them from budget basement junk to seriously professional tools. It's not cheap, but sometimes they seem to come out ahead doing it.

    Could doing something like that be a profitable business?

    1. I don't think so, unless you are retired. Maybe then. But you'd seriously have to think if $5.00 / hour is worth it. Right now, I have 3 hours into this unit. My consulting fee for friends was 50-60 / hour depending on the job. I spent $260.00 ish shipped. After all that, you have a cheap-o tool that you spent time getting right. Oh, and, who are you exactly? Why should I trust your engineering?

      If you have a burning need for one to finish a paying job, buy a good one and work the expense into your price. Or prices across a few jobs. But just buying one for grins and giggles, I can't justify the expense of a Vertex ($300 more than the cheapy I got, and no chuck). Morphon, Vevor, and the no-names all have the same manual. It's a rip from a reputable brand. The cheap-o has steel gears, not phospor-bronze, and it's rough. It's like those little 32 ACP and 380 belly guns that were popular back in 2000 (Kel-Tec?). You had all the parts assembled, but if you wanted a decent gun, you had work to do.

      If you luck out and find one on Craigslist, go for it. Or a great deal on Fleabay. But I've been looking on both for about five years, and nothing like that lives down here.

      I think the oytubers start as cheap as possible, find they like it and have the knack, then try and upgrade the cheap stuff. I almost got a round column mill drill when I was starting up, but I found a Bridgeport clone (Big Joe) for the same price. I knew that weight = rigidity, so the 600# mill drill lost to the 2000# milling machine. And I'm glad I had the room and the ability to do it. I like being able to work on normal sized projects.

  2. Often the cheapest price is NOT the least expensive in the long run. Quality and durability are important too.

    1. I remember an old sign from somewhere:
      You can have cheap, fast or good. Choose one.
      A lot of those tools are cheap and available.

      I have heard that India is where China was about 30 years ago. Their stuff is all over the place. Some is very good, but you have to be aware of the range.