Saturday, June 28, 2014

Making a Multi Bit Screw Driver

I had a screwdriver that fell apart so I decided to make a new handle for it with my new mini lathe. It was a multi driver with many bits so I thought it would work fine for the shop.

I used Purple heart for the handle. It is an extremely dense wood regarded as one of the hardest and stiffest varieties in the world. I did not know how hard it was but I did found out right away. A little bit of research and experience with purple heart has taught me that when the wood is exposed to ultraviolet light it’s colour alters to that of a darker brown with a small purple tinge as it originally has. If the Purple Heart spends more time in the light the colour may alter from light to dark purple.

So to begin, I slowly turned the piece of wood on my lathe. I kept working on it until I came up with a shape that I liked. The tenon was measured with a caliper to match the ferrule. With the tool rest out of the way I sanded the handle with 150 grit sandpaper and followed up with 300 grit to get it as smooth as possible. To deepen the hole in the handle where the bits fit into, I used my drill press and 1/4 bit and drilled the hole to fit the hollow stem.

I used a small saw to remove the waste from the handle and applied a small amount of Epoxy to attach the hollow stem and the ferrule.


For the finish I used CA glue. This type of glue hardens quickly, and in no time the screwdriver was ready to use!

This is a great example of how to turn something old into something new, and a great excuse to use my new my lathe and some cool wood. Check out the video on how to make a multi- bit screwdriver in your workshop.

Horizontal and Angle Drilling

In my last video I said I would add some features to my my mini lathe. I made a system for the drill so I
could drill horizontally and drill angles. It has a handle, stop block and depth gauge. The drill works well for small pieces and can drill precise angles.
I cut another slide to fit the slot used for the mini lathe. It was then carefully cut on the table saw at 30°.

To make the miter I used a piece of 3/4 inch Baltic Birch and drew a half circle. I do own routers, but sometimes I find I can set up my drill press easier and quicker than setting setter up my router.

I used a Wixey gauge to give me the correct numbers for the degrees for the miter. I used a fine tip felt pen and made some reference marks.

A small handle was made with the band saw and belt sander, I gave it a coat of lacquer since it will get a lot of use and it will stay clean and feel better.

A stop block and a depth gauge was easily added for controlled drilling.
I tested my first piece and randomly drilled  at different angles. I placed pencils in a block to give an example how it works. This method works quite well and the angles can easily be adjusted very quickly.

         Here is my first pocket hole.
Here I used a Forstner bit and drilled a scrap and made my first pocket hole. It turned out not too bad and I will be using this more often.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

How to Make a Mini Lathe

I have been asked, "why don't you just use a lathe?". Well, I have always wanted a lathe but never owned one, so I thought I would try make one. When beginning any new project it is best to start small and simple which is why I chose to build a mini lathe. The base and bed are both made of plywood. After I carefully aligned the headstock and tail stock I added oak slides in preparation to add the spindle and tailstock barrel.

I used a threaded rod, ground one end to a point on my grinder and fashioned a hand wheel. This was very simple, and did not take much time.

This is a spur drive centre for the headstock.  To make it I took a coupling nut, ground one end to make three points.

To make sure the drill was positioned properly I inserted a long rod into the chuck of the drill and used a telescoping gauge for accuracy to align the drill. 

To align the head and tail stocks I slid the tail stock into the spur drive centre to make a mark so I could begin drilling.

Lastly I used a coupling nut and hammered it into the tailstock.

Here are my first three pieces I turned. From top to bottom, the first was a piece of fir that cut very easily as it is a soft wood, but the end result was not my best. My second piece was oak hardwood. I did it just for fun just to see what would happen, and it turned out better than I thought. Finally I got serious and turned a small tool handle which was not bad for my third try.

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Saturday, June 14, 2014

The 2x4 Dragster

In my last post I mentioned that I was working on a dragster for a contest by the Summers Woodworking 2x4 challenge.

The dragster was easy to build. For the body I stacked two pieces of 2x4 and glued them together. I then cut and shaped it using the bandsaw and  belt sander. The most important thing to remember is to draw lines down the centers so you never lose your place when removing material.

I made the tires with large dowels using my new  Large dowel Jig  that I made in the last video.
To make the axles I used some threaded rod and cut them to size and put lock nuts on the ends.

To finish it all off I painted the tires black, and the body red using spray paint. This was a really fun project to make and I'm happy with the final result. Hope you all stay tuned for my next video, thanks for stopping by.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Making Large Dowels With a Belt Sander

In a previous post and video I showed you all my submission for the 2x4 challenge. I made a 2x4
workbench and I am using it all the time. When I was planning this project I had another idea for a dragster car. I began to make the car, and realized I needed to make large dowels for the rear wheels. This gave me the idea for my latest video where I make large dowels with a belt sander.

I used my new mini workbench to cut and drill a 2x8. The jig was made up of some scraps in my workshop and took me only 15 minutes to build.  After testing it I was surprised to realize that the jig did not need any alterations so I left it as is. In the future I may improve the aesthetics of the jig and continue to use it my shop. The arm (shown in top right photo) is simply a 1x3 piece of plywood with a pivot screw at one end and a bolt at the other to hold the dowel securely in place.

Here is a small cam made from plywood; I cut it on the band saw. I placed the screw off center on the cam to allow for a fine graduation for sanding the dowel.  The end result was impressive and I will definitely be using this again. To see how it all cam together check out the video below. If you want to see the dragster video click here.