The Hobbyist's Machine Shop – Blog

"One Perfect Part at a Time"

More than turkeys can get carved.

I have been enhancing some new skills in the Kautz workshop. I have been playing with high speed rotary carving. The tool is a jumbo dentist hand piece that is air powered and spins a mini turbine (and the tool bit) at 350,000 RPM. Yep, that number is correct. It is a lot of fun to play with and I am starting to get the knack. I plan on enhancing my woodworking projects with carvings. Here are some pictures of sample work.

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This is called “fish scales” This is a pretty bad example, but I am getting better. Honest!

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This… Continue reading

Exploding a possible myth?

I ran across one of the best reports I have read about the reasons for not using propane or a refrigerant tank for a receiver in a compressed air system. Here is the link in Horn & Whistle Magazine.

I have been in the HVAC business all my life and at first thought all those throw away refrigerant tanks must be good for something. In fact there was at least one manufacturer who was offering a kit to convert these tanks to portable air use. The kit consisted of a valve, gage and a short hose. I used one for… Continue reading

Taking care of the little bits.

I did my homework. I looked up the characteristics of 303 stainless steel. Then I had to do a bunch of rather interesting math. Here is the quote that caught my attention:

“Since Alloy 303 will work harden, it should be machined at reduced surface feet per minute and heavier feeds to prevent glazing at the tool interface.”

Circumfrence of a 1/8 inch diameter mill bit, Pi, surface feet per minute (SFM), number of flutes, feed in inches per revolution (IPR) per tooth, rotations per minute (RPM); all figured to the forth decimal. Phew! My math works out to 3361 RPM… Continue reading

My Kind of SHOPing

I worked in the machine shop all weekend. I am trying to make spoked solid steel model locomotive driver wheels on my micro CNC milling machine. They are slightly over 3 ½ inches in diameter.

First I had to make a special fixture to hold the wheel blank onto the milling table. That took all day Saturday. Then I cut the first wheel on Sunday. That took about 7 hours!

I enjoyed the work but am not happy with the current result. I broke three 1/8 inch end mill bits working with the stainless steel. 🙁 I will try carbide… Continue reading

Outstanding Saw Blade

I bought a premium saw blade to go with my premium PM2000 cabinet saw. I have used many types of power saws in my 60 years but I have just been “blown away” buy this blade on the PM2000. The blade is a Forrest “Woodworker II” and one of the more expensive 10″ blades on the market.

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The blade doesn’t look it but it is all purpose, both ripping and crosscutting. The carbide teeth are extreamly sharp. I understand the reasons on “teeth set” between ripping and crosscutting. This blade is different. I was wondering about this saw blade with… Continue reading

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