Volume 5, Number 2 - February 2000
Journal of the Home Metal Shop Club of Houston,
President - Keith Mitchell, V. Pres.- John Lilly, Treasurer - Gordon Lawson, Secretary - Dean Eicher
Editor - Email kmitchl@wt.net

Membership Information Membership is open to all those interested in machining metal and tinkering with machines. The purpose of the club is to provide a forum for the exchanging of ideas and information. This includes, to a large degree, education in the art of machine tools and practices. There is a severe shortage of written information that a beginning hobbyist can use. This makes an organization such as this even more important. For membership information and forms, call Keith Mitchell at the phone numbers shown at the left.

Notes from the President
By: Keith Mitchell

We got about 2/3 of the member photos at the last meeting. If we can photograph the remaining members at the next meeting would be good. If you have not attended a recent meeting please make the effort to attend the February meeting.

The feedback on the new location has been limited. I interpret this as a good sign. If things were not right I would suspect I would have heard about it. The PA system from John Hoff and the overhead projector seemed to really help.

Bill Sperry has the Supplier's list up to date. This will be distributed at the next meeting.

January Meeting Minutes
By: Dean Eicher

Chips Meeting - 1:00 P.M. December 18, 1999, Collier Library
Attendance - 41, One first time attendee
In the Chips Meeting, the following activities took place.
1. Tomball College - Georgiana Vaccaro with Tomball College adressed the group at the Janauary meeting. She is looking for people who would be able to assist in implementing a technical training program including electronics and hydraulics. If you are interested please contact her at 281-357-3778 or at georgiana.c.vaccaro@nhmccd.edu.
2. Meeting Time - The possibility of changing the meeting date to something other than the third Saturday to avoid the conflict with the Live Steamer's run day was discussed. It was determined that regardless of what date is chosen, there will be a conflict. In a show of hands vote it was decided to continue to meet on the third Saturday.
3. Feature Presentation - John Hoff talked about fly cutting and boring with the lathe, and measuring hole sizes. He first discussed the toolbit holder type flycutter. The toolbit should have about a 30 degree angle point contact and a small radius at the tip. This type of cutter works really well on aluminum, and by taking light cuts, iron and steel may be faced as well. John next mentioned the commercial boring head with an R8 shank, which provides good rigidity, and has a dial indicator to ease size adjustment. The ultimate universal boring and facing head may cost several thousand dollars. John next mentioned that for boring in the lathe, it is best to follow the "8 to 1 rule of thumb ratio" for no chatter when using a boring bar, i.e. 4" depth maximum for a 1/2" bar. He also said that the tool's cutting edge should meet the workpiece just slightly above center so when the tool deflects from taking a cut it tends to pull away from the work. John finished by talking about measuring the diameter of holes with small hole gauges, telescoping gauges, bore gauges, and I.D. mikes.
4. John Korman - brought a list of the machine tools Bob Arnold is selling.
5. Dick Kostelnicek - brought an Aloris 5C collet holder and briefly talked about its tool-holding applications.
6. Vance Burns - talked about the electrolytic cleaning process of removing rust. Simple chemicals, an electrode and battery charger or small DC power supply are all that is required. For further information, check out the following web site: www.arachnaut.org/meteor/electrolytic-cleaning.html
7. Keith Mitchell - brought MIG and TIG welding fundamentals books and several booklets that are included in the Miller Electric Mfg. Co.'s Power Course Instructor Package. A lot of information for only $20! For further information, see Miller's web site: www.MillerWelds.com
8. Doug Chartier - brought a lathe tool post that he made for an insert holder.
9. Jan Rowland - brought an electric motor he made out of nails, magnet wire, and some strong permanent magnets.
10. Bill Sperry - has added the submitted supplier information to the vendor list. Copies should be available at the next meeting.

Foundry Group Notes
By Keith Mitchell

The Foundry Group continued to discuss the logistics to support a shared resource furnace. Since our last meeting Doug Blodgett has initiated investigation with the Live Steamers to see if part of their facility could be made available. It appears this will at best be a protracted exercise. The Live Steamers and Harris County would have to approve. In addition, there would be some logistics issues which would need to be resolved.

We discussed the possibility of a trailer mounted foundry.

Billy Hobbs has offered space in his barn for the furnace and supplies. Billy lives in Hallettsville, TX and has the space to house the furnace and supplies. This will allow the group to get started rather than continuing to delay while the logistics are resolved. It was agreed to accept Billy's offer of space and to continue to work the other possibilities. Bill Kimbrough will get with Billy to deliver the furnace to Hallettsville.

Joe Williams has offered a 125# propane bottle to fire the furnace. I have a 60# propane bottle we can use as a backup.

We discussed obtaining Petrobond molding sand. Billy Hobbs had recently purchased a quantity of sand, bentonite and a crucible from Porter Warner in Houston at a reasonable price. We agreed that each member would determine their own needs for Petrobond. Art Voltz agreed to research sources and pricing for Petrobond. We will pursue a group purchase if there is any benefit. Dick Kostelnicek and Tom Moore both have mullers to condition the sand prior to use.

Each person will be responsible for furnishing their own molding flask, crucible and patterns.

Bill Kimbrough indicated he has a good knowledge of the scrap dealers. If we can identify our needs he can probably locate the material. A group purchase of for example scrap aluminim pistons may make sense. We would like to start with aluminum and achieve some success before moving into brass, bronze, etc.

We would like to send one or two people to a seminar on foundry operations. They in turn would return and teach anyone else who is interested. The goal would be to have four or five trained persons one who would be responsible for each furnace operation.

April 22 was set as the first pour day. The schedule discussed was to perhaps melt scrap and pour ingots and perhaps prepare some molds in the morning. Molds would be poured in the afternoon.

January Meeting Photos

John Hoff explaining a boring head

By George Edwards

Situation: My lathe doesn't have a taper attachment capability and I don't like to offset my tailstock because it's not very precise and it's a pain for me to re-adjust.

Concept: A tooling setup that will work in my tailstock to provide a precise and easy way to offset a live center and not have to re-adjust my tailstock.

Solution: I had seen several articles and/or examples of folks making a tool with a live center that slides back and forth on plates with opposing screws for adjustment...etc. When tying to come up with my own design of something similar, I realized I already had a tool that would meet my need - a Criterion Adjustable Boring Head that I used on my vertical milling machine. All I needed was a way to attach it to the tailstock on my lathe.

As it turns out, the solution for this part of the project was as close as my Rutland's Catalog. All I had to do was replace the R8 boring head shank (used in my mill) with a No. 3 Morse Taper shank (to use in the tailstock of my lathe). See Figure 1.

Next, I needed a live center that would fit into the 3/4 inch holes on my Criterion DBL-203 boring head. Once again, I found a Royal straight shank dual-bearing live center in my Rutland's catalog. This live center also comes in 5/8 or 1 inch straight shanks. I shortened the 3-inch shank to 1 5/8 inches to maximize the distance between centers on my lathe. See Figure 2.

Installation and Operation: Install the Morse taper shank on the back of the boring head. Install the straight shank live center in the center hole on the front of the boring head. Mount the assembled unit into the tailstock and square it up. Then all you have to do is dial in your offset with an allen wrench. See Figure 3.

Note: There are other brands and resources available that will provide the same capabilities. Make sure that the threaded end on the Morse taper shank of your choice is the same as the shank that came with your adjustable boring head.