Monday, 25 November 2013

the domino effect

It never fails. You try to get some work done and you realise that there's something else you need to complete first.

My workshop, for instance, has been largely buried under excess flotsam and jetsam for quite some time. I wanted to do more work at home so an off-site storage space was obtained to clear everything out. The relocation proceeds apace, meanwhile I am puttering around with some odd jobs.

I simply wanted to chop out a section of a piece of mild steel. No problem; just mount the slitting saw on its arbor, clamp the workpiece in the vise and cut away. Wait, that saw won't make it all the way through the steel; it's too small in diameter. Fine, get a bigger saw. Whoops, that saw has a larger mounting hole so it would mean making a different arbor. OK - just use the original saw and cut twice (back and front). Hold on - the jaws on that el-cheapo vise aren't square. Hey - why don't you use the really nice little toolmaker's vise from Sowa Tool & Machine? Because you never bothered to make the little clamps to mount it to the milling table!

That is how I came to spend this afternoon making little mounting clamps for a vise instead of cutting a piece of mild steel as I had originally planned. And, in the process, I discovered that the 3/8" endmill holder that came with the mill does not grip endmills properly. The set screw is too small so the endmill works loose. Tomorrow morning will be spent sorting that issue out. I may even get around to cutting that piece of mild steel.

The upside of it all is that I finally have the pesky little clamps made, enabling me to make use of the nice vise, instead of staring at it on the shelf.

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