I am looking for a site that has plans for homemade hand tools (vises, v-blocks, surface gauges, etc.)
Not sure of any sites since computer monitors don't fit in the shop too easily. You should be able to find these in some of the more practical (hands on type) texts as alot of those projects are good introductions to the skills required in the trade. I even take existing ones, measure them up and go from there (making changes I feel are needed if the store bought ones aren't quite right for what I need). Check manufacturer's specs for heat treat info and materials (A2 or D2 usually works fine).
Back issues of Home Shop Machinist Magazine are rich in shop-made tool projects.
If you don't mind the fooling around, make some project mock-ups of wood and simulate putting them through their paces. Adjust the mock-up or remake it as your ideas evolve. Wood is cheap and easy to modify compared to metal.
Once you get a good design you can reduce it to a drawing or build directly from the mock-up like the original Mercury capsules were.
I realize you are probably looking for "freebie" plans as downloads, but since books have been suggested by others, I want to chime in:
South Bend Lathe Works' Machine Shop Projects book reprint
There are other interesting books of shop-made items on the www.lindsaybks.com website.
(No relation to Lindsay other than as a satisfied customer.)
Just about any old machine shop textbook has some plans in the back.
As I understand it, in the old days, almost every apprentice had to master filing first and then his first actual machining project would be a center punch.
As I've collected old tools, I sometimes come across items which I think are "student pieces". One of them looks like a letter "E" filed out of 3/8" plate with a matching piece that fits so well you can barely see light through the joint. I've got several apparently homemade centerpunches. I also have a "toolmaker's block" which is accurately ground, perhaps even lapped, square and true, but has broken off taps in two of its threaded holes! I found this stuff in old toolboxes which were being sold off by people who clean out estates.
If you don't have "The Machinist's Bedside Reader" by Guy Lautard, I recommend that you buy all three volumes! All sorts of little projects in there.
I would also advise you to pick up the Complete Metalworking Manual by R.H. Cooley. It has plans for boring bars, magnetic chucks, hob arbor, center cutting stop, and many more practical items. This is really a complete course for self taught apprentices.
Andy Lofquist, whose business goes under the name of MLA (Metal Lathe Accessories, I think), sells a line of CI castings for filing machines, angle plates, etc. You get to do all the good scraping and lathe and mill work yourself. In my opinion, it is an excellent line for someone who likes the idea of a tool he made himself, and Andy is an accessible, helpful, personable fellow.
Marty, I assume you mean this site:
I've been meaning to ask if anyone has machined any of these castings and what their opinion was?
You will have to spend money, but the NTMA has plans for many tools.
I built the MLA steady rest and adapted it to my Colchester. The castings were first-rate and the plans were pretty clear and I didn't find any mistakes.
Has any one made that collet chuck there? It looks nice.
bobo-plenty I started working on the cross slide for my SB9 but never finished it,having ordered a dovetail cutter and setting everything aside while awaiting delivery. I got the cutter and used it on another project that I started while I was waiting and compleatly forgot about the cross slide till now!! That was about a year or so ago :rolleyes: All I need to do is cut the dove tails! Buy the way, IMHO the casting he gives you is fine grained an excellant in every in every detail, plus the plans are full sized, to scale and easy to read! I will buy from him in the future, no affilliation though etc...
Bobo-plenty: Yes, that's the site. I did the MLA filing machine and sine plate. As others' comments indicate, Andy's castings and plans are first rate, with never a nasty surprise a-lurking.
I made a number of the early discontinued castings, including a couple fitter's straight edges, and some other flats. Also made the milling attachment. Have kits for the boring head and quick retract tool holder, but sadly, not enough round to-its to work on them. As others stated, the iron is first class, and so are the drawings and instructions.
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