Saturday, May 19, 2018

A Partially Done Part

I've been continuing work on my flame eater engine which I post about regularly.  The next part is machined on both the lathe and the mill, and today I took it out of the lathe to move to the mill for the rest of the operations.   Before that, I grabbed a quick picture.

The engine pedestal, the first part I built, pressed onto the base easily.  It can be wiggled off with a bit of effort but I'm not sure that's a concern. I could remove that concern with a drop of red LocTite.   (It was never on the cylinder while the lathe was running)

When I went to put the the the part in the vise on the mill, I found it doesn't really fit.  The vise jaws are too low profile,  and the vise barely opens wide enough.  A quick unplanned side project to make a couple of temporary jaws for the vise is jumping in front of this.  While I'm at it, I'll make these thinner than the current steel jaws (.390 thick).  By changing the mounting screws, I can reduce the jaw thickness s to .250, each, which will pick me up a little over an eighth on both sides, so a total of a quarter inch.  Instead of the current 15/16" height, I'll make them about 1-1/2 inches tall, which will put better pressure on the side of the cylinder, which is 2" in diameter. 

I never know exactly how much detail to put into these posts, because I never know what kind of readership there is.  I don't see any sense in telling you about every 1000th of an inch on every cut, but rest assured I need to pay attention to them. 


  1. When doing call outs, remember that all tolerances are +/- 3dB . . . Jus' sayin' . . .

  2. I enjoy reading these posts because I know exactly what's involved. It's really cool to see you hit a snag, figure it out, and continue on.

  3. That looks nice and shows the amount of detail work you have put into the part.
    As always, your will see how you should/might have done the machining only after your are done the machining.
    I agree with drjim.
    Well done.

  4. Nice job. I like these posts too.

  5. It's good to know people are interested in these posts. From my seat, it's hard to tell what folks like to read.

  6. That's engineering for you. You spend a minimum of 5X the time building jigs, tooling and fixtures to make the part you wanted than the time making the part.

    It's why I often say "Soddit!" and buy something ready made for a one off rather than do it myself and spend a week figuring out how to make a $1 part. fair enough, if I am going to make more than 5 or 6 items, then I'll go the "make the tooling" method but nowadays, I'm so lazy that even my watch is self winding ... >};o)

    Phil B

  7. Unless it's represented in the picture, I'm not 100% sure what you're talking about! But it's still interesting.