Tuesday, July 27, 2010

7" Atlas Shaper

On the middle day of July I had the oportunity to acquire a couple Atlas metal shapers that were being disposed of at the local high school. Actually it was a bunch of shaper parts in various states of assembly or disassembly, which ever way you'd like to say. Although I already had a shaper that is seldom used, I simply could not pass up something like that. In their day shapers were state of the art machines. However, they, like model T Fords, have become obsolete. They are no longer manufactured and seldom used, but they are fun to play with. You can still do machining operations with them, but not near as efficiently as with a milling machine.
One looked like it was almost complete, and the other was missing many of its parts.
Having no other project to work on at the time, I immediately started working on the better of the two. Who ever had worked on it before me had left out some internal parts and had others installed incorrectly, so it was torn completely down and started over.

About 5 or 6 days later I had it back together and operational. A lot of time was spent getting all the slide ways adjusted to minimum clearance without any binding. Several parts needed repairs, and the tool post was missing completely, so a new one was machined. Everything was in excellent condition and being so complete, with guards and even the original Atlas motor, it was exchanged with the old shaper on the cabinet. I have not decided what to do with the old one yet.
Here is a little video of it in operation shaving of a block of metal.
The finish is just beautiful, as smooth as a spanked baby's bum.

That is not the end of the story. The spare parts shaper were give to my friend Lowell. He needed a table and a few of the internal parts to finish up the restoration of a machine that he has been working at for the past couple years. Needless to say he seemed quite happy too. His machine is shown below in its state of restoration as of a couple days ago.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Flutter Mill

I have not been able to think up another project to work on, and to
keep from going nuts from boredom in the mean time, I made a Pantanenome
(pan-ta-nen-o-mee). I do not know why they call them that, the word is
not even in the dictionary. It means "all winds", and is supposed to
spin no matter what the direction of the wind. I tested it during
construction, and it does. It was mounted on top of the 6 foot chain link
fence that runs across the back yard separating us from the school yard.
In my research it appears that Pantanenomes originated in France, and maybe
that is why the word is not listed in an English dictionary. The inventor claims that
they will turn by wind from any direction, except perpendicular to the axis, however
that is true of most any propeller type wind mill, and all of them are more efficient
when oriented properly into the wind.
It is kind of fun to build replicas of wacky old inventions.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Miniature Punch Press

The newest creation to emerge from the workshop is a miniature punch press just about 8" tall, and was completed just yesterday, July 2nd, 2010. Surprisingly it even works, quite well in fact.

Here it is shaping out dime sized pie tins. For what use? By mice, of course!