"One Perfect Part at a Time"

Tiny but Mighty Project

Mighty Mouse

Mighty Mouse

I haven’t posted here for some time. I have been busy doing a ton of work on other projects and the “machining of steel” part of my shop has been a bit idle. I have been machining wax so that counts for something.

But I made up for the slack a very tiny bit last night by machining a small locating pin for my wife’s sewing machine from a steel rod. Hardly worth mentioning actually, but like I said, its been a long time and no posts here.

What I started with was about a two inch length of 3/16 (0.1875) inch steel rod. The pin finished out at about 5/8 (0.625) inches long. The ends needed to be different diameters for half the length each. I took no measurements and just turned the pin to fit the existing holes. This was a repair/replacement for an existing plastic pin that broke. I replace one several years ago that is along side of this current one. The pins are used for locating a removable platform or deck around the sewing head. The steel pins are of course much more durable than the original.

The fat end of the pin is a press fit into the plastic platform base and the small end slides into a locating hole on the machine base.

OK, so the point is — this pin is not something you can just go somewhere and purchase, and it is far better than the existing plastic part it replaces. It is a better invention. (That’s my favorite new word, invention.)

It was super easy to make. The lathe (I used the PD400) is always set up. Total time even with finding the steel rod, was about 30 minutes. I also used the cutoff saw to cut the initial rod to length and then a file to round over the edge on the small end of the pin to finish it nicely.

The very best part is being the super hero (well, sort of) to my spouse by using my extreme skills as a machinist and using my workshop to fix a serious problem in her sewing avocation. Shush, don’t laugh how easy this was.

One Response to Tiny but Mighty Project

  • One of my favourite fixes was the handle on a vanity case. The plastic pin had broken so I drilled out the handle and pushed in a turned aluminium one. Took about the same time as your fix and used scrap materials. Sometimes it’s not about how clever the fix is, it’s just providing the right fix for the problem.

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