Sunday, December 2, 2012

Dremel attachment, the sequel

In our last episode we saw how I went about converting a chainsaw sharpening attachment into a vertical spindle for the Taig. But you will remember that the thing fouled the DSO (Dremel Shaped Object)/ What we needed were some spacers. Some careful measurement convinced me that 6.5 mm would be enough. I found a nice piece of scrap rod a little over 13mm long. Great. Now we have to center-drill it so it will act as a spacer. Of course it will need longer screws. Fortunately I save every screw that comes across my path.  But the real problem is center-drilling the spacers. Now the best way to do this is on the Taig, but Mr Taig was busy with other jobs. Furthermore the self-centering three-jaw chuck's jaws are shot. So I did it on the drill press. I made a fixture (a device to hold things down while you work on them). A simple wood block. Drill a hole through it, tight fit on the round piece, and slit the hole with a saw.


Clamp it in a vise. The slit makes the wood close around the steel rod and holds it fast.  Then you can e.g. drill it, which I did, all the way through. Fortunalely the hole was started by a previous project so I didn't have to center it. Then I sawed the spacer in half with a hacksaw, a marvellous tool. Use the same block to do the sawing. Guides the saw.  At the end of the day I had to roughly equal pieces. Trim up with a file, still on the block. At the end of the day I had two spacers.For the record the spacers are steel 6.3 mm (1/4") hardware store stuff.

You can just see the spacers. Now I have a spindle at right angles to the lathe axis, marvellous.

What I really want to do is cut clock gears. So for this I need a dividing plate and this is my next project. We will see how it goes.  I will also need gear cutters. I will have to make these. This is Alaska. We do have Home depot, and Lowe's, but we do not have machinist's supply houses. Got to order from afar, and pay shipping costs too. So I will make my own cutters. They must fit a Dremel shaft. I intend to start out with plastic gears.  Dremel will certainly cut plastic! But your high-precision  quartz clock uses plastic (probably lexan) gears so maybe I can cut one too.

I have also, quite accidentally, got the beginning of an ornamental lathe, but that's a separate post. Still need a dividing plate. Stay tuned.

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