Saturday, August 31, 2013

DIY Fermenter

Have you wanted to brew your own alcohol but had no idea where to start? Look no further, as here are some plans to construct a fermenter for about $10. There are many ways to construct a fermenter with an airlock, but here is what I used to make mine.

Funnel and tubing not pictured.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Vise Support

When milling with the machine, I had trouble getting the endmills to reach the piece being cut.  On an actual mill, the whole table would be able to move up and down, but since I don't have that luxury, the range is limited.  My solution was to build a riser for the vise to raise the workpiece to optimum height.  I started with a piece of 3" square tube with .25" wall thickness,  No sense in making it solid.
I milled off the end so it won't overhang from the milling table.  Its inconvenient to have a machine like this yet not even have a saw to cut pieces to size, so my choices are 30 minutes of hacksawing or less time milling.
A little more metal is wasted, a small price to pay.

Friday, August 23, 2013

How has the downstairs garden been this week? 8/23

A harvest from 8/21. Includes Swiss chard and Fresno Chilis
The downstairs garden has been growing nicely, even in the past week of hot temperatures. The corn is taller than 1 foot now and my serrano plant is over 3 feet tall. I had to replace the marigold and lettuce plants I had down here; the heat killed them off. I replaced them with Swiss chard.

Knurling/parting tool holder

My Knuth DBF400 came with a pretty basic tool post that has no provision for setting the tool on center.  In addition, it doesn't accommodate tools taller than 5/8" so this means I'm on my own for all my larger tools.  One of such tools is a knurling tool from an Atlas lathe I found at a garage sale, so I designed and built a holder for it.
Inverting the colors makes the blueprint look 100% more authentic
It started with a piece of 1x2" steel 2.5" long.  Since this is hot rolled steel, the dimensional tolerance is pretty low (or is it high) and was less than 1" and more than 2" on the respective sides, giving me less room to work with.  Anyhow, the piece was milled to the shape.
For some sides, the milling quill wouldn't go down far enough, so I had to do some dual-vise action.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Preserving Tomatoes: DIY Freezing

Free Tomatoes
My stomach is larger than my freezer

I recently acquired 40 lbs of tomatoes (for free!). Since I cannot consume all these tomatoes at once, I have started making sauces, salsas, and other tomato based foods. I will be demonstrating one way of preserving without needing a pressure cooker or mason jars.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Bench Grinder Fan Repair

I bought a bench grinder from a garage sale for a low price, but like they say, the cheapest things cost you the most.  I tried it before buying it and the shaft would slide back and forth by at least 1/8" which is a major inconvenience when trying to grind something.  I took it apart and the problem was really obvious.  There had been a plastic fan on the shaft, and its hub was also a spacer to prevent the shaft from sliding.  The fan was split in two pieces just sitting in the grinder housing.  It seemed like too much to ask for a plastic part to do both of these functions anyways, but this is a cheap grinder.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Drawbar wrench

Since I got my new machine, I've been attacking the scrap like never before.  So far most of the things are to help make using the machine easier like this drawbar wrench.  The spindle has a 6 spline pattern on the top and since there's no spindle brake this is the way to grip it so the drawbar bolt can be loosened or tightened.  At first I used a crescent wrench but that was just until I could build this.

The pattern of the spline was scribed onto a piece of 1/4" aluminum and I colored in the parts that needed to be milled out.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

New machine; Scrap Attack supreme! -- Knuth DBF400

There is no snow cone maker! The table was actually intended for a Knuth DBF400; a polymerization of a lathe, milling machine and drill press in one conveniently sized unit.  Good news for scrap attack is we can now build things we've never been able to and not be restricted by school shop hours/weapons/drugs policies!  The president of Knuth USA thought I was worthy of this machine from a scholarship application I submitted through the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.  *(Of course this is was before they found out I was the reincarnation of John Wayne). This  not only makes me incredibly lucky, but also one of the more spoiled tinkerers out there.

There was, however, trouble in the beginning.  Upon arrival, the machine appeared to have been through battle damage.