# Is There A Machine Making/Cobbling Forum Anywhere?

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#### TopRamen

##### SA-5
I'm not talking about plastic 3d printed machines, or modern tight tolerance super precise machines, but rather things cobbled together using shafts, pulleys, bearings, pillow blocks, good old iron and steel and the like.

I'm registered at oldwoodworkingmachines.org, and have been pretty active there with my bandsaw restoration and finding other old tools and the like to tinker with, but I want to share ideas about building new machines from old machines and even from lawnmowers and the like. The highest tech I'de like to possibly discuss would be the electrical items like speed controllers, the non-digital type if possible.

A place where stuff like my homemade lathe and belt grinder could be discussed, without having to go to the DIY Lathe or DIY Belt Grinder specific forums.

Just DIY machine cobbling from OLD tech in general.

Just the other day I was walking my Dog downtown, and a gentleman called out to me from his front porch, asking me if I'de like my rifle back.
I was totally confused, but upon asking which rifle, he said "The 10-22 that you did all the stock engraving on with the Clark barrel", to which I responded, "Yeah, that would be nice, but I'm broke as a joke right now, so thanks for the offer, and if I ever can afford it at least I now know where to start looking for it."
He was like, "No, you can just have it."
Anyhow, turns out he is the Brother of one of my good friends that passed away a couple years ago, and he had been at that friends house one day when I had visited to show the rifle off like 9 years ago, but I was not selling it at the time.
A couple of years later, I fell on hard times and had to sell a lot of stuff, and that rifle was one of my creations save for the barrel and receiver, so I sold it to a close friend, who knew my other buddy and his Brother. His brother saw that I had parted with it, and made an offer to my friend I had sold it to, so he ended up with it.
Anyhow, long story short, he invited me into his garage, where I discovered that he too was in the midst of a machine of curious aspect, a tumbler for brass, with a skilsaw for a motor, rigged to a shaft that spun a giant pvc tube on a couple of sets of skateboard trucks, like a big improvised ball mill. He had a bench grinder that had bare shafts, and I knew at once that I had found a person with similar ideas to my own.
We hung out for a bit and talked tools and guns, but I actually had a suitable motor for his project at home, so not only was I gifted a long lost treasure of a gun of mine back, but I was able to help him get a motor for his project tso he could stop cannibalizing his tools.
We're friends now I suppose, and that's decent, but certainly there must be many masses of folks out there cobbling machines together in the old style with belt and pulley systems.

My searches for however I can think to describe what that is only turn up stuff about how to build a website and other irrelevant crap about 3D printing and stuff.

Any help finding what I'm looking for would be appreciated, and if I had to start my own forum for this kind of thing I would give it serious consideration.

#### dave carver

##### ....what hump?
</script>abindex="1">There's this guy on youtube. You can probably bounce idea off him plus it's a good place to find like-minded people. I have done that sort of thing in the past like when I replaced the 5 horse Briggs on a Montgomery Ward's Rototiller with the 1/2 HP Craftsman motor

#### tab28682

##### Well-Known Member
Great subject. My father loved to create his own tools. He actually collected scrap aluminum and melted it down and built his own design lathe, with minimal store bought parts.

I tried googling "built your own power tools" and had some useful results.

The first link has some fantastic ideas for "freecycled" power machines that only need a few store bought parts.

https://www.engineeringforchange.org/tools-you-can-build-from-recycled-tools/amp/

http://kk.org/cooltools/build-your-own-metal-working-shop-series/

Looks like these results lead to some yahoo groups for tool and machine making.

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#### cavecentral

##### Well-Known Member
This sounds cool if nothing else. My drill press and wood lathe are old belt-driven beasts.

#### TopRamen

##### SA-5

Everything you click on there sends you a pop up with a request to buy something with paypal, it's not like an actual forum.
I recently found a complete Popular Mechanics Do-It-Yourself Encyclopedia on the side of the road for free, so needless to say I have lots of stuff to look at, but I thought it would be fun to see what other folks cobbled together today.

I used a 1.5HP sears Capacitor Motor to turn one of these ratty old wheels into half of a drive wheel for my Belt Grinder, and when I get this next one apart, I'll make the other half.

#### TopRamen

##### SA-5
Oh, and thanks for all the responses!
Ya'll have sent me down some more rabbit holes.:wink:

#### TopRamen

##### SA-5

Nevermind my earlier comment about how the site makes you pay per view.

Just had to add the word "Nevermind" to my spellcheck dictionary. PATHETIC!!!!

Anyhow, if you click on the picture of the machine, it brings you to the build thread, so now that I've figured that out, that does look like a cool site, so thanks.
I love it when I make a note to myself on an actual physical piece of paper that says "I must be doing it wrong, re-visit such and such".
Very cool site!

How appropriate for a post # 9,666

Patterns of discovery stuck in my mind.

It's a modern life but it's not what I'm looking for.

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#### cavecentral

##### Well-Known Member
I used a 1.5HP sears Capacitor Motor to turn one of these ratty old wheels into half of a drive wheel for my Belt Grinder, and when I get this next one apart, I'll make the other half.
Took about 5 times of reading the post / seeing the pictures to realize what you did. That's pretty sweet.

#### Tonimus

##### Well-Known Member
I got a 120v motor that came with the 60 foot radio antenna I acquired. I've been dreaming up various uses for it. This gives me ideas...

#### Lowpuller

##### Well-Known Member
Google Tinker Forums, I think you find what your looking for.

#### TopRamen

##### SA-5
Took about 5 times of reading the post / seeing the pictures to realize what you did. That's pretty sweet.
Thanks.
Yeah, I bored out the splines with a 5/8" countersink, then held it to the arbor of the motor with a shaft collar, clamped the motor to my porch, and with respirator and face shield and gloves, removed as much Aluminum as necessary to get my half wheel.

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#### TopRamen

##### SA-5
the forum is pretty cool,though.

edit- now i read yer next reply!DOH!

i found that site while working on a homemade 26" drum sander. i wasn't interested in spending $1000+ on one. so far i have about$60 invested and just need a treadmill to appear on CL free and close and a 1 1/2-2 hp motor and ill be hooked up with a drum sander for about 300. a 26" one at that! That's awesome. I too need a treadmill motor and speed controller for my belt grinder. #### tomsteve ##### Well-Known Member That's awesome. I too need a treadmill motor and speed controller for my belt grinder. ive seen them on craigslist for free, but unfortunately when I see them, theyre quite a distance from me. hopin I hit it some day when one is closer than 40 miles across metro Detroit traffic. would a treadmill motor give ya enough RPM's for a belt grinder? #### TopRamen ##### SA-5 ive seen them on craigslist for free, but unfortunately when I see them, theyre quite a distance from me. hopin I hit it some day when one is closer than 40 miles across metro Detroit traffic. would a treadmill motor give ya enough RPM's for a belt grinder? Yeah, that's my issue too, the distance. As far as RPMs, apparently yes, as it seems to be a common thing to use a treadmill motor for a grinder. I guess they are geared down when they are in the treadmill? I've never actually handled one, but have just seen a few builds on Youtube where they used it and the controller. That definitely warrants some further research.... I'll feel like an idiot if I go through the trouble of finding, moving and taking apart a treadmill if I find the motor is too slow. Just looked at some motors, and most drive a belt, not the actual tread, so yes, they are geared down. Last edited: #### TopRamen ##### SA-5 Google Tinker Forums, I think you find what your looking for. Nope, just a bunch of Minecraft and other unrelated stuff, save for one about wiring circuit boards for electronics. #### TopRamen ##### SA-5 #### tomsteve ##### Well-Known Member #### TopRamen ##### SA-5 now that's wicked!! thanks for posting it! It is wicked! I signed up, and they have tons of great stuff like free downloads of manuals for old machines and cool mods and the like. There's even a section for "Vintage" stuff, so I think I see the ideas I need there. It's not like I don't have my own ideas and designs, but it seems there is always something I'm missing until I see other folks doing things I'm trying to do, so I continuously lust for knowledge of how to do things. That site is full of folks doing things, and mostly with machines that are in my realm of possible acquiring or having access to. They do have a section for CNC stuff and really professional things, but the site is geared to people of ALL skill levels with ALL machines, so I can spend some time poking around and see where I fit in before I introduce myself and tell why I'm there and what I hope to accomplish/learn. I'm doing well to try to be a bit more sociable then usual, so as the folks in my community will think of me when they spot any "Old Arn" or have a treadmill they really don't want. These things are little beasts! The guy I bought that 1.5hp motor from gave me two more motors yesterday. I saw him putting up signs for his moving sale, and offered to help him set up or move things if he needed, and I made a point of telling him that it was to repay the great deal on the motor he sold me, but he accepted my help, then gave me more stuff. What a shame that he's moving, as it's hard for me to make friends around here. Most folks are only into farming and the like. I like farming and all, but I prefer conversations about science or tools. Last edited: #### TopRamen ##### SA-5 #### TopRamen ##### SA-5 #### TopRamen ##### SA-5 The stars aligned, and the person that had this, happened to have to be where I had to be today, so it was a good thing I decided to ask about it yesterday. The deal was made, and this is my latest treasure! And what a real treasure indeed, only missing one of the original parts if you don't count replaced washers and bolts, and including the elusive an sought-after belt guard and rear cutter head guard. I got a jointer today! It was on my favorites list on CL, but all the way down in Ascutney. I figured that since I had to spent the morning at the White River VA for appointments anyhow, I'de contact the seller and see if I could stop down there after to buy it, as it is only another 15 or so miles, but much to my relief, he contacted me back saying that he too had to pass through White River Junction today at about the same time, on the way to his Doctor, so we talked on the phone for a couple minutes and arranged to meet at the nearby Mcdonalds parking lot at a time that worked perfectly for both of us, and I got a super great deal, plus did not have to go the extra distance, which would have inevitably resulted in me getting lost. We had time to chat for a few minutes, and he seemed like a decent guy, and he liked the tool but had a real working shop full of stuff and this was taking up valuable space, so though it is a real nice piece, I got it for a deal so good that I will humbly just keep it to myself. He was glad to see how much I will appreciate and love it, so I felt good about getting the great deal. I had a friend help me get it up on the porch and into the house. I told myself that I would probably just stare at it for a few days before beginning the process that needs begun, but it is a very simple machine, and I had already been watching videos about them before this one came up, so I already have made a few steps into the disassembly and cataloguing, but now I'm definitely tired from the long day. The machine is in incredible shape, and was used by it's former owner before he "went big", so it is quite serviceable once I clean it up and make sure the hardware is all correct. It is missing one small handle that is easily available on Ebay for15. It totally makes up for that by coming with a belt cover, which for this model, start at \$150 on Ebay. The original stand is a nice touch too. I am so very happy!
So many machines, yet so little time!!!
The Bandsaw is almost done, so this jointer and my drill press are next up, but the drill press gets used so often that I'll need a replacement while it gets restored before I can justify taking it apart.

Anyway, I usually miss out on the really great deals, but I'm glad I was able to get this one!

ETA: Now, if only the forums where folks are really into this kind of thing would fix whatever is wrong with their server, I could share it with folks that are really into it.

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#### TopRamen

##### SA-5
I'de love be be in a place like this: [video=youtube;z59Kp8SbbfM]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z59Kp8SbbfM[/video]

Northfield Woodworking Machinery.

#### TopRamen

##### SA-5
The jointer also helps me justify the electronics for my as of yet un-used Electrolysis Tank, as it has surface rust that can best be remedied via electrolysis. Old school battery chargers are a dime a dozen until you actually need one, damn it!
All the ones of recent manufacture don't let you do the adjustments manually, so they just hook to the battery, or whatever they are supposed to do, but basically they count themselves out of the running for having any value as a "Real Machine".
With the older units, you can set the amperage and they won't tell you "NO", but will deliver what you wish to administer, and that is exactly what I need and am having a hard time finding right now.
You use distilled water, in pretty much any non-conductive tank like a tote or kiddy pool, and Washing Soda, which is Sodium Carbonate as opposed to Baking Soda which is Sodium Bi-Carbonate. For electrodes, you must make sure they are just plain Iron, as the process will develop enough nastiness without using alloys that may produce clouds of Chlorine gas. It's actually really simple, and it leaves more of the original machined surface intact than abrasive or corrosive methods, as electrolysis has the distinct advantage of directing some of the still decent stuff back onto the other still decent stuff.
I love an overnight in white vinegar as much as the next guy, and some folks even think it is ok to take their Random Orbit to steel by hand, but I'm restoring these machine for me, so that some day, I might be competent to restore them for others, so the degree of care must be pretty consistent and demanding. Either way, I need an old school battery charger next, so I can try out Electrolysis on this machine.
I'll so one up every one on youtube with their now out of spec. "Grined down tables".
There's a guy that does this for all machined surfaces, and he's obviously a real restorer, and the points he makes about why this is the only way to do it right if you are not going to entirely have a machine shop make sense to me, and I can do Electrolysis on my budget.

#### dhbarr

##### Amateur Professional
Plus, then you're all set for anodizing, as well!

#### TopRamen

##### SA-5
Plus, then you're all set for anodizing, as well!
I remember you mentioning anodizing once before, and hope I can look forward to some useful tips?
The whole machines thing has sent me down the "Rabbit Hole", and now, hopelessly lost, I will just learn all I can until I can one day emerge to see the acutual sky again.
I am mired in other drowning dillemas, yet I swim through them and emerge with a greater knowledge of things, and having machines around really seems to make that easy. I can actually make the things I want to make if I have the machines, and the little things in life, that you could make without machines become even easier too.
Even when I was a trained, competent and efficient Soldier, I lacked the clarity of mind to create the kind of things I can think up now, and the things I think up now are based on early 1900's tech.
I'm efficient when I finally learn a skill, and passionate about it too, but it seems I never exist at exactly the right time.
It's ok though, since I'm just a guy. Totally ok with not being able to save everyone all the time.

#### dhbarr

##### Amateur Professional
I remember you mentioning anodizing once before, and hope I can look forward to some useful tips?
Assuming a well ventilated space, long heavy gloves, appropriate eye protection, etc....

You literally need some aluminum wire, a couple of buckets, some battery acid, some lead ( I use old fishing weights ), and some lye crystals.

Bucket 1: supersaturated room temperature lye solution
Bucket 2: water
Bucket 3: battery acid. Lead cathode goes on one side, part-that-is-also-the-anode goes in the middle
Bucket 4: water

Gunk gets cleaned in 1. If you leave the part in it will also remove an old anodized layer.

In 2 we just dip & rinse the lye off.

There's a bunch of math you can do for 3 if you want milspec Hard III anodize, but for basic protection and/or coloring just hook the ends up correctly and crank up your charger for 10-15 mins ( or longer, if you choose ).

4 is another rinse.

You can choose to dump it in a room-temp pot of dye and boil it for 10-15 mins.

That's it. El cheapo anodizo, presto!

( if you need 10thou tolerances, do the math or farm it out )