Recently Jay and I have been watching a lot of videos on YouTube. Mine tend to be more of the sewing/crocheting variety, but Jay’s are usually something to do with machining. He is always looking for another project to make with his metal-working toys.
After all, there are only so many cannons that you can make.
One of his favorite guys to watch on YouTube is This Old Tony. I have to admit that This Old Tony is one of my favorite YouTube channels to watch, too. I don’t care too much about what he’s making, but I love to watch his videos because they are almost always entertaining. Whether he’s cutting steel blocks in half by karate chopping them, breaking a steel rod in half with his hands, or feeding his cat steel chips from the lathe so that she can leave him some hardware in her litter box there is always something to make me giggle. I have enough mechanical knowledge to understand what he’s doing and to get a lot of his jokes. In fact, I had to stop crocheting one night because I kept losing count of my stitches while watching one of his videos. I highly recommend them!
Anyway, due to Tony’s influence, Jay has been working on a few projects.
His first project was inspired by the tap handle that Tony made earlier this year.
Jay scaled down his version of the tap handle because he was limited based on the material that he had in the workshop. He used 3/8″ steel for the handles and milled the jaws out of ductile cast iron. Tony has a larger set of machines as compared to Jay’s hobby-sized versions, but the techniques and information given in the videos can be applied to machinists of all different skill levels.
Jay was even able to use a tool that came with something that he bought for his lathe:
Gnarly! I mean… Knurly!
(The knurling tool is what cuts the diamond pattern or gripping area into the handles on tools. This was the first opportunity that Jay had to use his.)
Jay hasn’t really had an opportunity to use them, but he’s got it ready in case the time arises when he needs it!
The next thing that he made was a set of Angle Blocks:
These do something with measuring the degree of the angles on something or another when you’re machining. Most machinists will buy a set, but not Jay. He saved himself $50 by making this set. He made them out of 1/4″ aluminum. I’m sure you’re wondering how you can get your hands on a set of Jay Originals, but I’m sorry… these are not for sale unless you have $60 (I had to add in the price of shipping).
Now, I should know better than to question The Jay. He somehow pulls these things out of thin air all of the time. But, I had to ask him how he knew that they were correct. After all, I didn’t want him to use it to make a project like this:
Again, never question The Jay. He drew the triangles up in Sketch-Up with the various degrees that he wanted. Then he put a bunch of tape on the sheet of aluminum. Using the CNC “laser” cutter he burned the triangles onto the tape, weeded the tape, scribed along the remaining edges, and milled the extra aluminum up to those edges.
(It’s a shark with a freakin’ “laser” beam on its head!)
When I, again, questioned if the final products were accurate he said that he used his machinist’s square to check the 45 and 90 degree pieces. Eyeballing it he said that he was within 1/2 of a degree. With the level of machining that he will be doing, that will be close enough!
The last project that Jay brought up from the workshop to show me was this:
I instantly recognized it from Tony’s Project Egress video. It was one of the pieces that he’d been asked to create. If you’re not aware of Project Egress, it was started by Adam Savage (of Mythbusters fame) and he collaborated with the Air and Space museum to create a replica of the Apollo 11 Command Module hatch in honor of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. The various parts of the hatch were CADed up and sent out to various makers to recreate in their chosen medium. Tony machined this Jack Screw Bar base and then some kind of hinge thing.
Well, Jay is a big space junkie anyway (we often fall asleep to the recording of the Apollo 13 control center conversations after the oxygen tank blew apart. This recording is hours long.. I’m not sure how many hours because I’ve never listened to the whole thing, but I prefer falling asleep to it as compared to something about UFOs or aliens), and so when he saw this he watched other videos from the other makers regarding the pieces that they were asked to contribute. THEN he went out and somehow found the engineering drawings for these pieces and CADed them up in Sketch-Up. It has become his new goal to make all of the pieces, too, and assemble his own replica of the hatch. *sigh* Maybe I can have him mount it to a piece of rebar and I can put it in one of my flower gardens as a decoration.
Jay’s particular point of pride on the 3D printed base up above is that he perfectly sized the aluminum pin so that it sits perfectly flush with the outside edges of the plastic. He already has a big enough head, so I didn’t tell him how impressive it was, but if I tell you that I was impressed I know that you won’t tell him. It will be our secret.
So that’s what Jay has been up to lately. I’m not sure which part will be created next, but I’ll let you know as soon as I’ve had a chance to take pictures and ask questions.
Also, please be sure to check out This Old Tony. Like I said, even if you aren’t into machining he’s very interesting. And he shows a cat in his videos every now and again. Cats are always a plus. At least, in my book they are. 🙂