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How to tool up for under 100$


Cast Iron
Jul 27, 2014
Temporarily Florida
Wonder where I can get some of those aircraft-grade carpenter's saw horses....

Well, those saw horses impressed the wise old Govt inspector enough to get into an hour's conversation with me.. Then, surreptitiously recommend me to the contractor to further produce some advanced fighter-jet replacement parts.... Which I did....

Aww gee golly, I forgot.. This will give someone an opening.. musta been sum inspkter... old nut.. 1 in a million, never happen again in the history of the universe,,, 100% B***** etc etc etc razed my hackles

I will say about 6 of you all have done one **** of a job vandalizing this thread..

Run off so many interested readers that can't stand to plow their way through this kind of distractions. This is only thinly disguised as discussion and can't pass muster for positive genuine criticism...

Bill, I thought for one fleeting moment, that you were above this.. On that, apparently I was wrong..
A few folks are being pretty tough on a new guy. I'd like to hear more on his tool making and see some of the larger than life Vee blocks he's made.

Me too. And if my saying so does not cause him to revile me and call me some more nasty names all over again for re-mentioning it, I'd still like to see pictures of the shaper restoration and way scraping he described so well. We love shapers on this (antique) site). I've backed off for the same reasons you state. The OP seems to have interesting things to offer, and to be trying (struggling?) to find his feet in an unfamiliar environment and perhaps slowing trending in the positive direction.

What Thermite describes and what sets so many of us off is the OP's presumption of proprietorship. If you interrupt or don't laud the party (his) line, he reviles and "excludes" you. If that does not work, he offers niceties and tries to buy you in with offers of inclusion in "his" projects.

IOW, he presumes ownership of the commons & the legislative process of the site, and then offers to dole it out (sell it back on good terms) to supporters. Riffing on Bill's observations above :) It might not be a bad guess that the OP is a former lobbyist enjoying a short term in one of those minimum security "country club" facilities that Uncle Sam provides for some types of re-education. :D

PS: use of wooden bucks and layout platforms with wire alignment is not at all uncommon in the aviation repair business. A lot of it is more or less consumable. Though i've never been around anything as big as replacement transport main spars.



Hot Rolled
Jan 20, 2013
So for all those who might wish to join me on my imaginary ship, I'd like to pass on some fun news, that will allow you fellow passengers to have a great time with me.

Adversity will be lurking behind every twist and turn. We are going into battle.

George you missed your calling.
I would prefer to see some real tooling pictures of your stuff instead of the napkin drawings.


Cast Iron
Jul 27, 2014
Temporarily Florida
How to deal with character assassination and destroyers of reputations

Greetings all members of ALL the Practical Machinist forum.

In life, it will happen that on occasion, you will be subjected to character assassination and a type of killer that is out to destroy your reputation. For the small businessman, and even those just contemplating a possible future endeavor, this situation has the potential to be fatal. It has destroyed businesses and personal lives; and often it is the cause of suicide. It is a dangerous matter. It is a destroyer.

I am going to now, supply you with the procedure that you will need to cope with this evil; and demonstrate how to do this on an actual case, that took place here on this forum yesterday.

There are 4 tools that you will need to use.

1. Your honor itself that is under attack. This ultimately will be your greatest defense; and your greatest offense. Remember, those that attack you have no honor. They are at a disadvantage.

2. Light. These type of destroyers live in the dark; and operate from the dark. The more light that you can throw on them - the better your position will be.

3. Remember the famous dictum we all have been taught one time or another. Those pointing the finger at someone always have 3 fingers pointing back at them self. Carefully analyze what they are saying and doing; that will reveal their weaknesses in every case.

4. When you climb to the high point of honor, remember; there is a power higher than all that could be conceived; that is much higher than you, and that power will be in your ultimate defense.

I will now cover these points in detail.

1. My honor is under attack. I will offer it up for consideration, and all may look at it in the light. I will use the example that I gave in an earlier post; this is what really set off my attacker, and all may scrutinize and evaluate. I am now including the body of that message with additional commentary. It will be well for you all to re-read this carefully and carefully consider...

Dear Bill,

On 09-19-2014, 12:51 PM #16 , you wrote :
It isn't the specific tooling that matters the most in G&L4nahalf's post.

It isn't even the money.

It is the 'can do' or 'find a way' attitude. The creative thinking. The problem solving 'in house' with what we have, not what we WISH we have.... that eventually builds industries. And entire nations. Or did.
George :
Because I have found your comments to be astute, discerning, and thought out; I have taken several days to mull over an appropriate response to your comments; and also, at the same time, address all the criticisms in this thread to what I have offered as a help to the one-man start-up shop on a restricted budget. We are on the Antique Forum...

You have only part of a finger on only part of the pulse..

An illustration : About 40 years ago, outside Houston Texas, a group of ~10 young men were sitting after finishing their lunch, at a picnic-style lunch-table outside; across from a 120'+ by ~20'dia tower in a petrol-chemical complex. Conspicuous on the side of the tower was a rickety small hand ladder going to the top; and that was nearly dangling in a few spots because the anchor bolts had worked loose. It had no stops before almost the top, and no allowances for a safety-belt. They had been told to meet there for work assignment after lunch. ~10 min after lunch was over, a foreman strolled up, looked the group over, and said he needed several volunteers to go "up". Promptly ten stood up. After a quick scrutiny, he picked the few, and sent the rest off elsewhere for their work assignments. He then remarked, "haveta be careful pickin - lotta times they'll git up bout 75' n freeze up". Continuing after a short pause - "generally let m be for bout 45 min.... fore I go up for him...

Translation : To the young men born and bred for at least several generations in Texas, this is considered a "rite-of-passage" whereby he earns his self-respect and learns his limitations. So that he is prepared to enter the business world of Texas. Honor - Texas style. The "steel" that forms the real back-bone of Texas business. The young men in the illustration knew what they were in to.. None wanted to be less than the others.. Until they found out the hard way.. Then, they would have to live with it.. But they kept their honor by being willing to go up.. The foreman mentioned was not callous or criminal.. On the contrary - he knew that they would eat their lunch on that table tho he had not told them specifically to do so. They then had almost an hour to look it over and surmise that some were going to be asked to go "up"; and decide if they were willing to do it for their self "honor". Other "spins" can be put on this situation, but mine is accurate.. Finally, the foreman had the most "honor" of all.. he would have to go up and get a completely terrified and nearly petrified young-man; and bring him down inside the foreman's arms and body, making it triple-dangerous for that foreman. He waited 45 min to go up, because he knew by then, the young man would be nearly exhausted from a stranglehold on the ladder, and not irrationally struggle and probably bring them both down,, for the final,, time.. The next time the readers go by a 13 story building, look up and try to visualize this situation.. And by the way, going "up" to get inside a small room at the top of that tower for maintenance on the chemical process, was routine at that place. An extra long extension-ladder fire-truck is not an option. Not in Texas.

Additional commentary : many of you detected hints of further story here. You were right.

When the ten young men in the story stood up on that sunny day not really so long ago, to risk their lives for their honor and a paycheck; I was the 11th man. I was sitting alone at the next table. I did not get up on the call for volunteers. I never climbed that tower - ever. But what I did do in that giant complex, was to have climbed higher on other jobs, under far more dangerous conditions.. And on occasion, I have brought people down within my arms. The foreman knew this. How, doesn't matter. This is why he avoided looking at me during the call for volunteers, when I did not stand up. And after he sent the remainder of the young men off - ambled over to me and spoke his words.. He started off with a question and asked me "don't you like to climb"? I answered "no". Pausing for the briefest of time, he then nodded his head, and continued with his remarks..


I am deliberately throwing extra light on my honor, to contrast the darkness of my attacker in his dishonor.

For those of us who have been up there .. if you had only been in that plant on that day, you would have your honor with us. Even if you only just took time here to consider yourself going up, you have your honor with me and that other man.. We will not belittle you for not making it all the way to the top. None of the climbers would. We would not sneer at you or scoff at you for any of your hesitation.. But note the action of the dishonorable.. They turn the situation around with their forked tongues, and even though they are at heart, a coward; belittle the accomplishment and scoff and sneer at the difficulty. I think that most of the dishonorable, if they were to have been a visitor on that day, and spotted a man dangling up there, after looking around in a panic to point out the emergency to someone else to attempt to save another's life and put them self at risk, and failing to do so, would swiftly run between the structures to avoid having others see them in their dishonor, and roar off in their car, shaking from their narrow escape.. Such are the dishonorable.. I scoff at them in utter disgust..

3. Note my attacker and his methods.. He hides in the darkness most of the time, only appearing when his flickering-flashing-fork-ed tongue that constantly sniffs the air, detects prey. Gliding to and fro to in the darkness to put himself into position, and constantly sniffing the air with his flickering-flashing-fork-ed tongue, he finally flys out in his strike to sink his fangs filled with poison into his victim. That is his method.. slithering and gliding around in the darkness, all the while sniffing the air with his flickering-flashing-fork-ed tongue.

I will evaluate him, speaking directly to him : I know you and your type. You are not even a water-boy in your category when compared with the big boys in your category. I have very little doubt that when you were a kid, some silly woman was constantly cooing in your ears, telling you how smart you were.. It was just a short step for you to be convinced that you were smarter than the other kids. But the other kids resented it, and sometimes gave you a painful reaction. As you got older, it was only another short step to convince your self that you were superior. The problem then became for you, how to cope with this situation, how do you protect your self from others and at the same time direct them to do what you want. Somewhere about this time, you stumbled onto the double tongued innuendo as your only working tool. Then, you evolved from a superior person in your mind, into a superior species.. All the time improving your proficiency with your double tongued innuendos.. Now, you are in the final state convincing your self that you are god....

You pompous ass.

The audacity to come in my creation and vandalize it for your ego. The sheer brazen audacity to - unthinkable to most of us - criticize my success and proficiency.. You who wouldn't make it up to the soles of a real machinist. If you could, you wouldn't have to rely on your sordid tactics to reassure your self that you still are superior.. Some REAL Tool-makers have contributed genuine contributions. Contrast your self.

You intellectual pigmy and your intimidated band of assassins. Armed with blow-guns and poison darts with your own personal shit. Taking shots from the dark. And those poison darts cause gangrene.

You - being - out of the darkness, so dark that your black coat is not visible, the blackness wafting and oozing out and spreading. Your fork-ed-flickering-flashing tongue snapping out double-meaning innuendos spewing doubt and hoping that you can dazzle others into your leader-ship, you pigmy chief with your blow-gun and poison dart. Convincing your self that you are god -- the ultimate FOOL.


4. But there is a power so high that is getting enough of you. Your end which will come all to swiftly for you, will be that HIS heel will crush your head.


Such is my response to the character assassin and reputation killer.

Proven character Assassin's Post
Could was.

You came in the door wearing the - shall we say 'overcoat'? - of noble contributions to sharing and inspiring, learning and growing.

We LIKE that sort of sharing. Love it, even. Always hungry to learn - whether to copy, improve, or just plain criticize. As is our wont.

That earned applause and support. Early-on, anyway.

Seems to have proven a rather thin, and all-too soon discarded, disguise for a go at building-out your private workspace - and populating it as you willed it to be.

Not the least shame in that parasitic route? Braggin' on 'the plan' and future 'features' of YOUR private website within PM?

Surely you haven't the least clue as to the resources, experience, and support-team wisdom the site owner has accumulated to deal with THAT nonsense. Again. IF he needs to waste the effort at it at all. Mostly he doesn't need to do - just grin. Depends, I'd suppose, on what ELSE is on TV in Dogpatch of a given day.

Statistics. Another mis-placed brag.

'My thread" has earned (many) "likes"?

Look more deeply.

Few were granted YOU. MOST went to your critics. Directly or otherwise.

Folks here are generous. Tolerant. Patient. Will try to help a Brother solve a problem, learn and grow.
But we all have other interests, so compassionate support cannot be a bottomless well even if we wished it to be.

Mostly we don't so wish anyway. Fool-tolerance parameters, y'see.

BTW "temporarily" resident in Florida. "Temporarily"?

Should we expect an agency or institution to run you out? Or just let you out?​


May 21, 2009
Wyoming, USA
OK, it was posted in the Antique Machinery forum. Lashups hold an honored place in American machining history; I think Colvin even wrote a book about it.

That said, building clever expedient tooling can become an obsession, especially if you start feeling smug about how you "compete" (however laboriously) against CNC shops with your old technology. That is the attitude of a (very) hard-working and unrealistic person. Been There, Done That. Big time.

When you make the jump out of hobby/historian/curator mode, reality will intrude and you will understand why there is off-the-shelf qualified tooling, with indexable inserts. It's so the operators don't have to take their boring tools to the smith to get them forged back to shape, among a thousand other reasons, all of which have to do with the economics of production, as distinct from the economics of a hobby.

Brazing toolbits=building flintlocks with a hammer and a file=Creative Anachronism, no matter how good you are at it.


Jul 24, 2006
Australia (Hobart)
I think the pomposity level on this thread has passed the critical point and the dam is groaning....... so are the thread readers.



Cast Iron
Jul 27, 2014
Temporarily Florida
Loved toolmaking as a "Day Job". Revere the creativity and skill. LIke to buy ready-made, and good-old, but on-the-cheap best of all. Time has value here, too - retired or no.

I'll use 'ugly' if I must. But I can't 'love' an ugly tool if ten-percent more effort will make it LESS ugly. Can't see bragging about ugly, either. [snipped]

PM is full of examples of downright BEAUTIFUL shop-made tooling, some done by hand, some done on old manual machines. Some done on very high-end and costly CNC systems.




Commenting on Bill and Oldwrench 's conversation :

Agreeing with Bill on this, as strictly a concept evaluator --

I do not see how "ugly" and "precision" can be in the same room

otoh, "jewelry" and tooling in the same part

can't see a jig or fixture that in the best case scenario, being made for possible "occasional" use, and tolerances in the .0002 range, with a finish much better than ~40rms..?? otoh, I want the part put up after the job is finished; thoroughly cleaned, and oiled with a cheap but quality oil, wrapped in econo heavy duty plastic, and placed on a wood shelf.

Shouldn't the precision area of a shop be some variant of the aero-space "clean-room" ?

Working backwards from their standard - for ultra-precision - continuing down to even just econo covered plastic sheet walls, sealed concrete floors, and decent ceilings - for .001 work ?


Cast Iron
Jul 27, 2014
Temporarily Florida
I think the pomposity level on this thread has passed the critical point and the dam is groaning....... so are the thread readers.


well, let's go the other way then :smoking:

An attempt at humor :

I somehow wound up making the tooling in a number of heavy work shops.. for production machinists

Invariably, would get a number of cracks about over cleanliness as they saw it - about the differences in approach between them and in my making tooling..

My standard reply was with a slight grin - "who washes their hands before or after pissing ?"


Cast Iron
Jul 27, 2014
Temporarily Florida
stephen thomas and shaper work

Me too. And if my saying so does not cause him to revile me and call me some more nasty names all over again for re-mentioning it, I'd still like to see pictures of the shaper restoration and way scraping he described so well. We love shapers on this (antique) site).


Stephen, I really have no other option, but to email you privately. I've had this on my mind since it first came up. It would be an interesting discussion for you I'm pretty sure..:) PM kept telling me your email box was full.. I welcome you to PM me, if you're still interested

Best, George


Cast Iron
Jul 27, 2014
Temporarily Florida
Venturi Sprayers and Misters

This is without a doubt, the absolute biggest bang for a buck, that I've come up with.

They will be a dramatic up-grade for any shop; and cost pennies to make.

They are an upgrade from the common cheap and even most of the expensive spray-misters; but the beauty of making your own, is that you can custom make each unit for a specific application.

Nice videos @ machine shop spray misters - Bing Videos

RF-25 Mill Coolant Mist System

Examples of commercial units that imo yours will out-perform :
$34 Venturi in the nozzle
34$ Venturi in the nozzel.jpg

$117 simple kit below
$213 below

I have made quite a number of them in numerous configurations; and if you have any creative talent at all, once you start, you will become addicted and probably not be able to stop until you cannot find any more applications...
I have made them in all sizes for different purposes. Everything from a gentle breezy mist for the diamond wheel, to a high-powered pressure washer for severe grunge. I have oiled down large shops in less than 5 minutes. But in that case, you'll need a lot of ventilation, because I made a fogger like a mosquito fogger.

Schematic below :
Rev Venturi schematic.jpg

As you can see from my schematic, the principle is ultra simple. Just three different dia holes in a piece of metal with an adjustment screw on the fluid suction inlet, which dia hole needs to be sized according to application. I made most of mine out of scrap aluminum, but in heavy duty applications, and smaller sizes, alternative material might be needed. I did have a formula that I came up with, integrating air-pressure, strength required, and fluid volume. I don't think I would go below .020 on the air inlet, maybe 1/16 would be more normal.. Step out boldly and let yourself become addicted; which will happen after you have played with a few variations.

The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

They can be made round, sq blocks, tapered, thin..

The dimensions in the schematic are just general dimensions for your prototype - I think the starting should be around 1/16" on the air inlet, and when you experiment with variations in size, you should rather quickly find optimum for your specific air system. I think the minimum for the fluid suction inlet should be 1/8" because smaller lines eventually clog up with coolant residue. I've never found need for larger than 1/4 in extreme usages. There is no pressure on the fluid suction; therefore it is even possible to dispense with the flange and just use a wire twist to hold the tube on. If you want your lines to come into the Venturi parallel, you could drill an intersecting hole and then plug the inlet in the schematic.

btw, do my sketches look like napkin drawings ? One poster made that remark.. I thought they were a little better than the average shop drawing.. Made with the simple MS paint program..:)
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