Tools and things......................largely from scrap !

Whilst setting up the pages ' Building the Allchin ' I mentioned that, with a lathe and, posiblly a light mill or substantial drill , apart from the jigs and templates required for a particular project there are a number of useful items of equipment that can be constructed, often from scrap.

Whilst the purchased product may look better, the home produced article can cost much less. yet meet the basic requirements of the task for which it is made. The following images show several such attachments largely prduced from scrap and material gleaned from skips ( by permission of the owners ! )

This 4 way indexing toolpost cost just the price of the capscrews and the plastic knob, the rest was the cost of the blood, sweat and tears that went into sawing the offcuts of plate and applying a spot of welding rod. I like the large knobs as they are easy on the hands in frequent use.

The left hand image, a simply made attachment. permits indexing using the lathe bullwheel. It is attached inside the headstock using a tapped hole thoughtfully provided by Messrs Myford, the plunger engages with the bull wheel. On the right is a fly cutter/facing tool for use with the imported milling machine. Capscrews are used to fasten the block of barstock to the mill. Scrap steel was used in both cases.

On the left, the small block of metal, twice slotted, three times drilled, twice tapped and once bored hold a boring bar which accommodates short cutters from tool steel. it proved useful a number of times in constructing both Pixie and the Allchin. On the right, salvaged steel used to construct a rear toolpost. If anything revolutionises parting-off it is the rear toolpost, particularly for the amateur. In the event of ' An issue ' as problems are termed today. a jamb, or a dig-in the tool tends to lift slightly and further damage can be avoided. both items were made for the cost of the knobs, cap screws and some more sweat !


The on the laft above the knurling tool set up in the rear tool post cost the price of the knurls and is kinder on the lathe than the single knurl model, The right hand image shows a bracket for mounting gauges which also provides fixing for the ' Wobbler ' possibly the most primitive yet effective bit of gear for centering stock in the chuck. With the fine point in a deep ' pop ' on the workpiece the long end of the pointer magnifies any degree of eccentricity.

The Universal Minivice, above left ,was built from a drawing in one of the books published by Reeves the model engineering supplies people. It was built from scrap and provides a positive grip for small parts. It is mounted on a ' Supplementary ' worktop together with a woodworking vice held to the clean bench by quick release clamps.

This allows the quick installation of a top with two metal-working vices. This arrangement has proved verry useful in the limited space available.


And this might be regarded as an 'April Fool 's ' trick but believe me, it is useful. It is a fixed steady manufactered from an old gas ring.

The of the ring is such that with a plate welded to the inlet it provides a strong support for the phosbronze fingers which are bolted in place using straps and bolts through the jet holes which were continued through the ring.

Result.............................. a useful fixture from scrap and the scrapbox....cost the hour or so of construction

I found it necessary to build a hoist to handlethe ' Allchin ' about the workshop and 'Pixie ' onto the track and the bench. I thought of buying an engine hoist as is used in garagesbut as it would only be used occasionally the cost ruled that out. Then I decided to design and build my own ' Bespoke ' hoist.

The search through a few skips for suitable materials unearthed some heavy-duty warehouse racking ( Why on earth do people scrap such useful gear ? ) This, a set of heavy duty castors, and a boat winch completed the shopping list.

Some hours with a hacksaw provided the required component parts which were welded using my ' Cheapo ' welder to make the 'A ' frame and supporting feet assembly. The resultant hoist was tested using a known mass...2 bags of cement !

A spreader bar from the same material ensures a level lift and strong acrylic rope the tackle

WARNING It must always be remembered that the in the absence of the balance weights used on a crane the ratio maximum height of load to base width should not exceed 3, and the load should be applied centrally on the base. Castors, if used , must be taken into account as they can dramatically reduce the base width.


Here is a rather ' Heath Robinson ' looking affair..A spray cabinet from scrap materials. OK it is for small parts but has proved invaluable permitting spray painting using the current ranges of obnoxiuos paints. in the workshop without disastrous side effests on person..or property !

The components comprise Scrap ply, pallet wood, an spin dryier hose that had seen better days and two 12v cooling fans from an unknown computer.

The main cabinet comprises the square working are with a screen of perspes small enough to permit the hans and spray gear. the two fans are installed in the back of the box and can be run fro a convenient powere source, in this case the output from a Minidrill mains converter.

The tapered section fits on the back behind the fans and directs the exhaust into the drier hose and thence to a door or window.......nett cost, next to nothing. Next job will be to give a coat of domestic paint all over to make the thing look half decent

The ' Cabinet in use..................................... Rear view showing fans and hose.................................. ...Packed for stowage


Updated 19th September 2011

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