Thursday, September 29, 2016

Learning by Doing

Look what I made - it's a small (about 3" long) machinist's clamp in solid brass:

Learning by doing is the only justification for making your own clamps like this. I probably have eight hours tied up in this one, and you can buy one in much more durable steel for around 20 bucks. But learning was my goal, and I did learn!

The project's genesis was a perfectly knurled thumbscrew I made for my finger plate clamp tool (link). I'll repeat that photo here:

Thursday, September 8, 2016

A Work-Holding Thingamajig

This thingamajig actually has a real name, but I didn't put it in the title because nobody would know what it is. The official name is a "finger plate," and its mission in life is to hold small and awkwardly-shaped things for drilling or shaping. In the staged photo below of my completed plate, it's holding a scrap of aluminum I picked specifically because it is not square (parallel) in any plane. Holding it in a vise would be hopeless, holding it in your hand would be dangerous, but holding it in the finger plate just works:

Monday, September 5, 2016

A Big Step

This summer at Lancaster Church of the Brethren, we undertook a big project. We just didn't know how big it was going to become when we started! In conjunction with having professionals replace the carpet in the sanctuary, our project was to extend the depth of a few steps in the Chancel area up front, and remove one row of pews from the front of the sanctuary in order to improve space.

We were very fortunate that Wayne Stauffer, a retired contractor and new member of our congregation, agreed to be the project manager for the step modifications. His plan, which worked perfectly, was to extend each step by adding carefully cut construction lumber in sufficient quantity to extend the tread depth from 10.5 inches to 15 inches. Those modified steps would then be carpeted along with the rest of the sanctuary.