I’ve been collecting odds and ends to set up my metalworking lathe for woodturning. It shouldn’t be a big deal, but then I should know better than to say that. I had the design for a tool rest all planned out in my head. When I walked into the shop today I realized that the place where I was planning on mounting the tool rest was already at the centerline of the spindle…way too high. Rats.
But while I was sweeping up the polishing debris I came across a piece of brass round bar stock. I have all sorts of metal odds and ends laying around. I’ve been wanting to make a little plane adjusting hammer, and lookie here I have a piece of brass in my hand.
I started out by cutting the stock into 3.75″ long pieces in the cold saw. I wanted a finished length of 3.5″, plus a little extra to machine the ends square.
I cut up all the stock I had, then cleaned it and de-burred the ends. Making multiples of a part seems to a some sort of hangover from the chopper business – if I’m making one I might as well make a bunch. I’ll probably grow out of it eventually.
Then I programmed the mill to square one end, pause (so I could flip the part end-for-end) mill the other end square and machine a square hole in the middle. The hole is .400″ wide and .750″ long with radiused corners. I have a book on making wooden planes that shows making an adjusting hammer by just drilling a hole for the handle. That would work too, this way there won’t be any chance of the head turning on the handle.
After milling the handle hole I chucked them up in my lathe, cut a small chamfer on the end and two decorative grooves. Nothing terribly precise, just eyeball engineering.
The brass stock had a few dings from kicking around my shop for years, so I belt sanded it with an A65 3M Gatorback Trizact belt. I love those belts, they cut great (on metal) and have a really uniform grit. Huge timesavers when you’re making parts smooth and shiny.
Then I hit the on a 600 grit cork belt with green chromium rouge. I wanted a fine satin finish, polished shows every fingerprint and nick.
So now I just need to make a handle. Just one. I’ll give the extra heads away or something. Now to find a nice bit of wood to abuse into a handle.