Carpenters flowers

My wife and I found a couple of boxes of construction nails in a recycling dumpster and this set me thinking about what I might make with them.  Being intrigued with organic lines, I wondered if I couldn’t transform the nails into something else, and this lead to a rather nice flower for my wife as an anniversary gift.  Having enjoyed that project, I bent a bunch of extra flower petals for further experiments.  One idea was to make the centers of the flowers from a ball, so I turned some balls from steel rod, and then drilled a series of holes to receive the petals.  With my magnet-friends assisting, I positioned the petals and then TIG welded them in place.  I’m pleased with the results and looking forward to the stems…

Mill arbor

Some time back I got a small face mill in a box of other tools at an auction.  Since the taper shank was incorrect for my milling machine, a new arbor would be required.  I had a chunk of tool steel that was about the right size, so with a little lathe and mill work I made a new arbor.  In retrospect I should have planned the drive lugs a little differently as the welds don’t look all that great, but the arbor is serviceable.

SK40 collet chuck mistake

Early on I made a stupid mistake by not properly engaging the collet in its nut before tightening it—the result being an end mill and collet very tightly held by the chuck and no way to remove it. Mistakes like this are pitfall of learning on my own, but also an opportunity to learn and to make tools to solve a problem. The solution I came up with was to make a split-collar to engage the ejector lip of the collet, and then a separate nut to apply force against the split-collar. An indexing head with a 6-jaw chuck held the split-collar firmly against the collet and resisted the turning force applied to the nut. After a moment the collet and end mill was freed and a valuable lesson was learned.

An SK40 collet chuck is an adapter which fits into the ISO 40 taper spindle of a milling machine, which in turn uses a collet to firmly grip an end mill. This particular collet chuck is less common in that it uses the S20x2 “buttress” thread used by Deckel milling machines. The collets themselves are similar to the TG series of collets. All of which is to say: if I couldn’t get this apart without damaging anything, I would have a very expensive mistake on my hands.