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By gasman
Yes could definitely have done it with hand files - this mouth is quite big (but the iron is 6mm thick so it should end up being quite tight). I am new to metalwork and want to practice / learn milling etc so I just thought it would be a good thing to do
Thanks for all interest
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By Mr_P
gasman wrote:All comments criticism and advice welcome. Thanks

Major criticism:
Slow down and stop making it look it so easy.

Seriously though that's very impressive peening for your first attempt.

Well done and keep up the good work.
By gasman
Thanks so much for the comments
My wife came down during the peining and told me off for making such a lot of noise. And we are quite isolated here. I must have beaten the c**p out of it. I just re-examined it tonight and there is a little gap of about 0.5mm or less inside where the sides have not fully met the base - don't understand how that happened and I will take a photo of it tomorrow. Really annoying -but not visible from the outside and should be all covered by the infill
All good learning points I think
Cheers Mark
By gasman
There will be a slight pause in this project as (a) I have to lay paving slabs outside my workshop and (b) the brass lever cap screw supplied with the St James Bay kit is awful - it has a steel threaded rod inserted into the brass knob and is ugly so I am going to make my own. I have ordered some brass rod and acme tap and die and will wait until they get here. Oh just thought I need a knurling tool too - it all adds up but this is all 'for the future' as I keep telling myself. Any advice as to what sort of knurling tool to get to use with my Sieg C3 mini lathe?
Cheers all and thanks for any advice
By -Matt-
gasman wrote:Thanks so much for the comments
My wife came down during the peining and told me off for making such a lot of noise.

Give her some ear defenders. Or I dunno, get a new wife :P

I'm watching this thread with interest, whilst also really wanting to make my own. Liking the progress and I'm interested to see your results from turning a new screw. I'm toying with the idea of getting a mini lathe (my current one is... well... bodged in places and far from smooth running)
By gasman
It is a bit stop and start this project but some progress made over the weekend.
I think I had shown you the cap iron which was supplied just as a casting

I think I have also mentioned the lever cap screw was awful - an M8 steel threaded rod secured into a rather inferior looking piece of brass, so I decided to replace the screw with a 7/16-10 acme threaded version. I bought an appropriate tap and die from rdgtools which arrived friday
I started by marking by eye the centre of where the cap screw will be as shown and drilled out an 8.5mm hole which is the closet I had to the 8.7mm I had calculated from various online formulae (OD in inches - pitch/10 +0.005) then converted to mm or something like that

Then I tapped that 8.5mm hole using the 7/16 acme tap - easy as anything using generous amounts of cutting fluid

Then I made the sides parallel by milling the edges. The internal width of the plane is 63.3mm so I made the lever cap 62.8mm wide

Then it was just a case of filing the body of the lever cap down, bit by bit using decreasing grades of file and drinking a lot of tea. I actually switched to Abranet 120, 180, 240 and 320 as this seemed to be an easier way of doing the smoothing. Then I used my recently acquired metal polishing wheels on a bench grinder with waxes that I had bought from - OMG the transformation. In literally no time I went from that very rough looking casting to this

I cannot cut the lever cap screw yet as I need a holder (handle) 33mm in diameter for the die
So I started thinking about the inflll
Purists need to look away now as I have been doing an experiment for the last few days in the rapid drying of timber on an oven
We cut down a rather sweet little weeping beech tree recently - the top of which had the most figured beech I have ever seen. I know it is only beech but even so I thought it would make for interesting infills and also a memory of this tree which was small and right in way of SWIMBO's view down the garden (we planted 4 other trees the same day I cut it down to offset our guilt). So I cut it up, placed it on the Aga and have been drying them it all week. It is now down to 8% or less I think, and the weight loss each day has dramatically fallen

I chose this piece for the front bun which I thought would be by far the easiest piece to make (and therefore abandon if it is no good)

So hare is the rough cut front bun awaiting some serious shaping and fitting

I have my eye on this piece for the rear infill, which, shakes aside, has a beautiful curve to do the curved handle bit. We will see

More soon!
Thanks for looking
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By n0legs
Lovely job on that lever cap. The Beech has found a worthy use, excellent =D>

rxh wrote:I hope the "wood cooking" works out OK - I've never tried anything like that.

My girls brought home some bits of wood last year that the tree cutters let them have, it turned out to be sycamore.
By the time I had cut it into some useful shapes a sizes I found that it fit in the halogen oven :-$ So while the good lady was out I played :lol:
I got it down to 8-9% in about an hour.
By gasman
What I have definitely found is that after a night on the oven top, the wood feels very dry and hardly registers on the moisture meter at 6% or so. However after a few hours away from the oven the moisture content has crept up again - i.e. there is moisture in the deeper layers which takes a bit longer to come out. The weight kept coming off for more than a week but is now down to a gram a day or less for a piece weighing 1kg - I think we are virtually there!
I am going to finish the front bun completely and polish it up to see what it looks like before committing on the rear infill.
Thanks for interest
By gasman
I think my experiment with rapid drying of chunks of timber has failed :(
Having done a 'dry run' of a piece of the figured beech which had far too many cracks to be the final front bun

I started cutting down to size the final piece for the front bun, using a bandsaw, 12" sander, plane and a router to take the sides off
After I got to this stage (i.e. with new wood exposed, I put my moisture meter on the base and found to my disappointment that it was registering 18%. So my week of baking on an Aga was not as successful as I feared

The following day, after another night on the Aga, it had shrunk and was no longer a snug fit. Bummer.
So I need to think carefully about whether to wait a good while for the beech to dry or to use something else. I have lots of very dry mahogany etc so I think it will be that
I am hoping to get the lever cap screw finished this week
Cheers Mark
By Biliphuster
Fick's laws of diffusion are a pain aren't they? If you graph weight and surface moisture content and keep a note of the starting values you can make sure that your wood is fully dry but I appreciate this a bit of a rigmarole. I find six weeks in the airing cupboard is usually equal to about a year air drying.

Having said that, do you want the infill at such a low moisture content? If it expands later wont it stress the sides of the casting?