Make things.


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Hi,

Many youngsters these days are unfamiliar with actually making things preferring to play with mobile phone or computer but I think they really are missing out on one of the major joys of life.

As a child I started off with pedal cycles then motorcycles then cars; I was taught as an apprentice to use my head and my hands to make things from scratch and all this experience remains with me but unfortunately these skills are dying out when we older people pass away; I'm always keen to encourage anyone to have a go at trying something new; over the years my workshop has evolved as has my skills.

Below are just a few examples of work I've carried out; I don't specialize in any one hobby or pastime I like to try ideas out which I dream up leaving my comfort zone. I'll have a go at anything which attracts my attention.

Kind regards, Colin.

Make things_009.JPG


I bought a Wilmac bandsaw and with it on the bench found it a load of rubbish the seller advertising it as seller refurbished? One major component needed was a new wheel drive shaft so I turned one adding keyways as seen above; not difficult to do for a lathe owner/operator.

Make things_001.JPG


The new drive shaft installed with a heavy modification; the new bearings are definitely not standard but any future bearing/mounting problems won't be difficult to resolve because these bearings are readily available and cheap.

Make things_002.JPG


The Wilmac main body completed now requiring a motor; this is what I call refurbishment. A brush paint job made a lot of difference and I now use this bandsaw a lot.

Make things_004..JPG


I needed a short tool post for one of my woodturning laths so set about making one; here it is looking very rough after welding.

Make things_003..JPG


Here's the same tool post completed; it cost virtually nothing and I could have made it any size I wanted.

Make things_005.JPG


Installing flood defences I bought a brand new electric cement mixer; when it arrived the motor was hanging loose due to transit damage; the motor mount had broken into two pieces; here are the two pieces placed together and the new very heavy duty motor mount I made; the new motor mount is made of Whale Tufnol and unique; again it cost nothing to make other than effort.

Make things_006.JPG


Here's a wire guide arm from a rare AVO Wave Winder; the machine was scrap without the arm working so simply make a new arm from an offcut of aluminium. Cost nothing again.


Make things_007..JPG


A friend bought a Peoples set back cover (vintage radio) through eBay but it never arrived and these are rare; he had borrowed a cover and was going to attempt copying drilling the 720 holes my hand? I suggested if he buy a full 8' x 4' sheet of MDF I'd have a go for him; I made twenty of these back covers doing them in two batches of ten taped together. This is one of them.

Make things_008.JPG


During my vintage radio restoration years I made lots of useful things; above are a pair of veneering hammers awaiting brass blades to complete them; I did lots of veneering using these.

Make things_010..JPG


Here's my home made 4" belt sander under construction; I made this years ago and it's seen a lot of use; made mostly from offcuts and an old motor I had kicking around; the bearings were bought new as were the abrasive belts but a very useful machine for little cost.

These are just a few examples but I've also fully restored big machines having stripped them completely down including lathes. I'm aware not everyone has the skills or resources to do this kind of work but neither did I when I started; I started with small projects and now I can tackle any job I fancy; I'm not smart it's just that I've had over 50 years practice and enjoyed the learning curve; I still make silly mistakes but fortunately not as many as I used to. Hope this is interesting. Have a go and learn something new. :)
 
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Ian

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Here's my home made 4" belt sander under construction; I made this years ago and it's seen a lot of use; made mostly from offcuts and an old motor I had kicking around; the bearings were bought new as were the abrasive belts but a very useful machine for little cost.
I love that you have enough offcuts and spares to make a fully functional belt sander (minus bearings) :D. Cracking job!

Now days it seems most people are content to make parts on a 3D printer. Yeah, that takes a lot of skill. :rolleyes:
Hi,

Thanks Doug; yes hacksaw and file now replaced by keypad. :(

Kind regards, Colin.

I think there are definitely merits to things like 3D Printers, etc... it's probably the first real exposure that youngsters get to make functional items of their own design. I suspect, that will then kick-start an interest in the hard-skills in machining and manufacturing, once they realise what is possible.

I'm in my mid thirties and only had a very limited exposure to making things throughout school, even at University there was minimal hands-on experience with building things (and that's on an Engineering degree!). It looks like things are changing now, as when I went back to University for reunion a few years ago, there was a lot more equipment available and students were actively using it. I suspect that this sort of exposure to the joy of making things and solving real-world problems will lead to people learning some of these skills again.

As so many products are mass manufactured by CNC/robots due to the complexity/cost saving, there isn't the same exposure to "making" for youngsters as there once was. However, kids are surprisingly innovative and once they start designing their own things in CAD and 3D print things, it'll only be a matter of time before they want to make it out of metal, or machine something complex that only a lathe could do - then they'll catch the bug we all have :D.

A pleasant trend I've noticed is that a lot of towns now have "maker" spaces, where there are large workshops available to the public. Even my small town has one (pop. of about 40,000) and it's pay-per-hour on 5 days, with free days on Fri/Sat (plus free for under 18s at all times, I think). It's got a reasonable selection of standard wood/metalworking tools and machines, plus things like laser cutters, CNC mill, 3d printers, soldering/electronics stuff. I've not yet been, as I've generally got most of the tools I need, but one day I will pop my head in to see what it's all about :).
 
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Hi,

Thanks Ian. It's rather strange these days that kids would firstly be taught how to use a keyboard whereas when I was a kid we were taught to use very basic tools like hammer and spanners; we put bikes together from what we could scrounge but now kids are transported around in 4x4's no longer even needing legs and feet. I was taught in infants school using chalk and slate board; now its keyboard.

I'd have much preferred kids to be taught hands on basics before being introduced to modern electronics but it's the way things are now; remove anything associated with physical work unless of course it's named sport. I'm not knocking modern technology I'm knocking basic skills not being taught first; how many kids having become used to pressing buttons will then go on to strain their arms using a hacksaw or file? Having watched lots of cop videos perhaps the kids who are not on a keyboard are high on drink/drugs shoplifting and stealing cars etc. Yes times have changed but for the better?

You know the joys of making things Ian because you are interested in such things as I too am and I'm pleased hands on is making a slow return even if only at UNI; our local schools have dumped the woodworking classes and disposed of all the tools and machines; I was very pleased though when our neighbour brought her 4 year old son into my workshop asking if he could look around; he had been shown hand tools in a book and was interested; by the time he's five he now might be welding. :D

I might have previously mentioned I love lathes in both metal and wood; at the moment I only have three lathes but I used to have five; a lathe is the only machine where a raw blank can be put in and the finished item comes out; lathes are the daddy of all machines. Have you made progress Ian in buying a lathe yet; I wouldn't be without at least two lathes one wood one metal.

I've not heard of a local workshop center where time on the tools/machines can be bought but in Mirfield there is a woodturning centre working on similar lines; £100 subs then £3 per visit but it's already fully booked;

https://www.thewoodturningclub.co.uk/

Years ago garages used to run pay for visit where cars could be put on ramps etc for owners to work on them; looking at the cop videos though it's easier to steal a car?

On a more positive note though if you live in America; try this;

https://www.emachineshop.com/


I came across this site years ago and use their CAD which is totally free and more importantly I could get to grips with the basics; I tried lots of CAD programs but found it difficult to draw a straight line let alone a line to length and where intended; there are many tutorials on YouTube demonstrating how to use the site.

:)
1775


Above is my first 3D CAD drawing done years ago using emachineshop.

Going back to just using a keyboard; if I lived in America I could use emachineshop CAD to draw out anything I needed for a production run; having made the drawing the drawing; selected material/s; machines to use and quantity etc the drawing is sent off to be checked and if OK with a price agreed then sit back to await delivery of the finished items so in this respect what is the point of teaching kids to use tools/machines unless they are to be employed by companies like emachineshop.

I found emachineshop CAD has a "Spur gear wizard" I used this wizard a lot when I made 45 involute gears on my lathe.

You and I Ian (and Doug) would benefit from a warehouse each then we could go mad buying all the "must have" tools and machines; oh to be let loose in a huge workshop having everything from a blacksmiths forge to laser cutting?

I say let the kids get dirty hands first.

This is now the real world;

https://www.examinerlive.co.uk/news/west-yorkshire-news/teenager-slashed-across-face-near-15915985

Kind regards, Colin.
 
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Yep, I do agree with your point about basic skills being taught in school - I really hope this does happen more widely. If your neighbours kid is anything to go by, then there is some demand for it :).

I've not made any progress on getting a lathe, as I'm struggling to find time to finish my existing projects in there at the moment (the CNC machine is perpetually nearly done it seems! I keep adding "one more thing" ;)). I've got another couple of rooms in the house to decorate, then I'll have time to start working in there again. If I can clear enough space, a metal lathe is the first thing on my list :). I'm hoping that I can move my router table elsewhere and fit a lathe in there. Out of interest, are they particularly messy when using cutting fluids, etc...? Swarf is fine to sweep, but I may need to give it a bit more space if it's going to be really messy with cutting fluid/oil.

I've not heard of emachineshop, but I can imagine that could be a handy place for when a part requires machines/tools that we wouldn't have access to. I might give their CAD software a go out of curiosity to see how much they'd charge for parts.

You and I Ian (and Doug) would benefit from a warehouse each then we could go mad buying all the "must have" tools and machines; oh to be let loose in a huge workshop having everything from a blacksmiths forge to laser cutting?
That would be the dream! If/when we move house, first on my list is a bigger space for a workshop :D.
 
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Hi,

Thanks Ian; things seem a bit backwards way round to me these days; teach kids how to use a keyboard before teaching them what a pen/pencil is; still its called progress.

If you want to get stuck into some decent workshop projects Ian then don't retire because then you won't have the time.

Our garage/workshop is located directly beneath our bedroom so I need to be careful what liquids I play around with and indeed paint. I never use cutting fluid at all; I do use an oil can filled with lubricating oil to give a squirt where needed; cutting fluid (suds) stinks a bit and is OK in industry where the smell is instantly recognised but not wanted just beneath our bed; I like to use HSS lathe tooling because it is easily and quickly reground unlike tipped tooling; however I made a high speed hone for sharpening my tipped tooling; this hone is basically a cheap 1.250W router adapted to run a cup diamond wheel at high speed; just another job that can be done if a lathe is owned.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/100mm-Diamond-Grinding-Wheel-Cup-180-Grit-Cutter-Grinder-for-Carbide-Metal/192085699471?epid=11005260992&hash=item2cb9332b8f:g:Zk0AAOSwkjtbD4jM:rk:6:pf:0

I'm sure you'll enjoy playing with emachineshop CAD; I don't fully understand how to use it but I learn on a need to know basis. The CAD program is totally free and doesn't mess my computer with unwanted viruses etc.

Just imagine having a warehouse with forklift truck and overhead cranes etc; I would never be out of it.

Sorry I posted the wrong picture above it should have been my home made belt sander not the belt grinder.

Kind regards, Colin.


1776


My home made belt grinder it having 2" x 36" abrasive belts; I have a selection of top quality belts from Aluminium Oxide to Zirconium. I've made grinding guides and can even grind a "fingernail" profile on my woodturning gouges; the biggest expenditure were the belts.

1777


I bought this Wolf 6" grinder through eBay and fully restored it installing new bearings; it runs beautifully.
 
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Hi,

Correct 4" belt sander pictures and pictures of my home made diamond hone.

1778


4" x 36" belt sander constructed from mostly offcuts I had to hand; not pretty but certainly very useful indeed.

1779


Front view.

1780


Another front view showing adjustable tool rest; the spring loaded lever applies belt tension; the lever is on a cam giving rapid belt change; I've now used this for years and never got around to tidying it with a drop of paint.

1781


Home made high speed diamond hone for sharpening tipped cutters; it runs a bit fast at 11,000 rpm but these diamond cup wheels need very high speed otherwise they strip and will be useless; the router is a very cheap Parkside.

1782


Primitive tool guide but its the end result of the tool which counts; I'm not interested in spending huge amounts of money buying new machines like these when I can make my own from what is basically scrap; these home made machines don't look pretty but they do the job and if anything goes wrong can easily be repaired art little cost.

1783
1784


I bought a new leather honing belt having to import this specially from Dallas Texas at high cost but it has been worth it; the honing belt was the most expensive item I think costing £30 at the time.
 
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Hi,

I couldn't stand woodwork in senior school suffering a bully of a teacher.

So why not do woodworking when I got married; Bron is into card making so I made her a bespoke set of oak drawers for her card materials; I had just enough oak left over from another job.

Kind regards, Colin.

Brons drawers_001.JPG
 
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Hi,

Many thanks hdvcrafts.

Here's a few more projects I've completed.

Kind regards, Colin.

Brons drawers_001. (97).JPG


Bron's new drawers designed and made for this space in the kitchen. The panelling and door were other projects.

Coffered ceiling_001.JPG


Coffered ceiling I made and installed to our master bedroom.

Fence_001. (120).JPG


Our neighbour needed help with her fence so I made and installed this fence for her; she just paid for materials.

Room makever_001. (79).JPG


Front room makeover; I made the wooden fire mantle and wall panels.

Room makever_002. (83).JPG


What a difference this made to our front room. I've been upgrading our bungalow and gardens over the last 33 years and still find projects to play around with. I can afford best quality materials because the labour is free. The mantle is MDF left over from the coffered ceiling; the dado rail and wall panels are readily available softwood with routed profiles.
 
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Hi,

A bit of woodturning for relaxation.

Kind regards, Colin.

Woodturning_001.JPG


Lidded dish with finial.

Woodturning_002.JPG


Lidded trinket box.

Woodturning_003.JPG


Another lidded trinket box in burr timber.

Woodturning_002_01.JPG


Another style of lidded box in progress.

Woodturning_001_01.JPG


Completed; poor picture the base is much darker.
 
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Hi,

Anyone can do anything if they try.

I adopted vintage radio restoration as a winter hobby and although I was a raw novice I was soon gaining lots of experience.

Kind regards, Colin.

Transformer _001.JPG


One of many open circuit transformers rendering it useless.

Transformer _002.JPG


Not a problem though just rewind it.

Transformer _003.JPG


Coils removed.

Transformer _004.JPG


It looks hopeless to repair but with practice and determination anything's possible even to a novice.

Transformer _005.JPG


Bobbin components.

Transformer _006.JPG


New bobbin (former) ready for coil winding.

Transformer _007.JPG


The same transformer fully working.

Transformer _009..JPG


One of my coil winders in action winding the coils on the bobbin shown above. Very interesting work.

Transformer_001.JPG


Having grasped how to wind small transformers why not wind a 75KG transformer shown here on test. I installed 3 phase 415V into my workshop having wound this transformer.

Transformer_002.JPG


Transformer supplying 3 phase on full power costing less than £120. I DON'T ENCOURAGE ANYONE TO PLAY AROUND WITH MAINS POWERED TRANSFORMERS BECAUSE THE RESULT COULD PROVE LETHAL. I was taught as an apprentice mechanical engineer to use my head and my hands.
 
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Hi,

My current project is restoring an old Suffolk Colt cylinder petrol mower; I bought this a short while ago at Rufforth autojumble for £20. It was in terrible condition; no compression and no spark; when I removed the cylinder head I found the exhaust valve fully open seized with rust; after a lot of TLC it's now nearing completion and I'm looking forward to firing it up.

Rufforth items_002.JPG


£20 worth of fun and interest for me. Well worth the money just to tinker with it.

Colt mower_005.JPG


It can only get better; the inlet and exhaust valves.

104_0661.JPG


They don't come much rougher than this.

Colt mower_007_01.JPG


Clutch drum looking like scrap.

Colt_003_06.JPG


Reassembly well underway.

Colt_004_05.JPG


Certainly an improvement. I didn't repaint the engine due to struggling painting in general due to poor lighting throwing lots of shadows.

Colt_005_04.JPG


Looking posh with it's new decal; the decal was bought from Australia through eBay. I'm colour blind so Bron kindly matched the colour for me it being green machinery enamel brushed on; the black is from rattle cans. Here the clutch still needs a lick of paint.
 

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Wow, that looks great @Retired! I'm impressed you even got a new decal for it :).
 
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Hi,

Many youngsters these days are unfamiliar with actually making things preferring to play with mobile phone or computer but I think they really are missing out on one of the major joys of life.

As a child I started off with pedal cycles then motorcycles then cars; I was taught as an apprentice to use my head and my hands to make things from scratch and all this experience remains with me but unfortunately these skills are dying out when we older people pass away; I'm always keen to encourage anyone to have a go at trying something new; over the years my workshop has evolved as has my skills.

Below are just a few examples of work I've carried out; I don't specialize in any one hobby or pastime I like to try ideas out which I dream up leaving my comfort zone. I'll have a go at anything which attracts my attention.

Kind regards, Colin.

View attachment 1760

I bought a Wilmac bandsaw and with it on the bench found it a load of rubbish the seller advertising it as seller refurbished? One major component needed was a new wheel drive shaft so I turned one adding keyways as seen above; not difficult to do for a lathe owner/operator.

View attachment 1752

The new drive shaft installed with a heavy modification; the new bearings are definitely not standard but any future bearing/mounting problems won't be difficult to resolve because these bearings are readily available and cheap.

View attachment 1753

The Wilmac main body completed now requiring a motor; this is what I call refurbishment. A brush paint job made a lot of difference and I now use this bandsaw a lot.

View attachment 1755

I needed a short tool post for one of my woodturning laths so set about making one; here it is looking very rough after welding.

View attachment 1754

Here's the same tool post completed; it cost virtually nothing and I could have made it any size I wanted.

View attachment 1756

Installing flood defences I bought a brand new electric cement mixer; when it arrived the motor was hanging loose due to transit damage; the motor mount had broken into two pieces; here are the two pieces placed together and the new very heavy duty motor mount I made; the new motor mount is made of Whale Tufnol and unique; again it cost nothing to make other than effort.

View attachment 1757

Here's a wire guide arm from a rare AVO Wave Winder; the machine was scrap without the arm working so simply make a new arm from an offcut of aluminium. Cost nothing again.


View attachment 1762

A friend bought a Peoples set back cover (vintage radio) through eBay but it never arrived and these are rare; he had borrowed a cover and was going to attempt copying drilling the 720 holes my hand? I suggested if he buy a full 8' x 4' sheet of MDF I'd have a go for him; I made twenty of these back covers doing them in two batches of ten taped together. This is one of them.

View attachment 1759

During my vintage radio restoration years I made lots of useful things; above are a pair of veneering hammers awaiting brass blades to complete them; I did lots of veneering using these.

View attachment 1761

Here's my home made 4" belt sander under construction; I made this years ago and it's seen a lot of use; made mostly from offcuts and an old motor I had kicking around; the bearings were bought new as were the abrasive belts but a very useful machine for little cost.

These are just a few examples but I've also fully restored big machines having stripped them completely down including lathes. I'm aware not everyone has the skills or resources to do this kind of work but neither did I when I started; I started with small projects and now I can tackle any job I fancy; I'm not smart it's just that I've had over 50 years practice and enjoyed the learning curve; I still make silly mistakes but fortunately not as many as I used to. Hope this is interesting. Have a go and learn something new. :)
Colin, it's clear that in your country as in mine (USA), it's up to the grandfathers to teach young people how to use simple tools for simple projects (all far more basic that yours shown above--I'm talking screwdriver stuff here. In the USA that situation is so bad that retired guys are making a business of hanging pictures and assembling stuff bought from IKEA. (And at the same time it's up to the grandmothers to teach this unskilled generation how to cook.) Good cess to 'em.
 
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Hi,

Thanks Ian; these petrol mowers make nice restoration projects that don't cost much.

There's so much spare money around these days bill that we live in a throw away society; kids no longer play out; when did you last see a kid with a hula hoop; skipping rope or whip and top; if we were lucky we used play with these belonging to our chums whose parents were a bit better off.

Kids don't even have legs with feet attached any longer; walking to school these days just isn't on; much better to cause gridlock whilst mummy drops them off and collects them.

I've been called round to neighbours to assemble flat pack furniture (?) I wouldn't have the stuff in our home; I make furniture from old fashioned timber that grew on trees not compressed sawdust/chips. Assembly instructions I've read for flat pack furniture assembly are a joke; I just ignore the instructions and use common sense.

People can be incredibly stupid; our immediate neighbour called in a roofing guy; her roof should have a zip around it the number of times it's been repaired; the wrong tiles are installed and she knows it because I've shown her our correct tiles; she instructed the roofer to remove all her roof tiles including ridge tiles and lay new felt (under cloaking) then replace the old tiles; roof tiles should shed rain not the felt. I would never employ her roofing guy because he's not done himself any good at all; a reputable roofer would have refused such a job not wanting to put his name to it; some days it's been like a circus on her roof; the roofer plus two morons; one day the morons were acting the fool on the roof making cockerel noises; she thinks her roofer is wonderful? The next time its pouring with horizontal rain the rain will once again be blown directly under her tiles onto the felt; she lives in a bungalow like ours with the garage beneath; she can't afford correct roof tiles but can afford to have a £12,000 lift installed from her garage into her bedroom; a lift in a bungalow; just how idle can one person be. She has window cleaner; bungalow cleaner; gardener and when a light bulb blows she calls in her favourite sparky; she admits to being bored.

I'm always busy and I've created a small wild flower meadow to the top of our mountain; I'm delighted with the meadow which two months ago was bare ground now its a blaze of stunning colour. There's no incentive these days to do anything useful; what good is a degree in "Sports Science" what next; a degree in mobile phone?

Kind regards, Colin.

Colt._005.JPG


Here's the Colt mower nearing completion; it's been a lovely project keeping me occupied for a while; I've got something to show for a bit of money and my time unlike those who pay to watch someone play with a ball.

Our meadow_001.JPG


Clearing the top of the mountain was incredibly hard work involving digging up a 40' long hedge including roots then digging over by hand before being able to use the rotavator.

Meadow_001.JPG


I bought the wildflower seeds from "Meadow Mania" these being a mix of 25 types of flower; it's incredible to watch the colours change as one flower type blooms and dies then others take over. I want to see something for my money and my work.
 

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