Too Much Time On My Hands


I guess a lot of what I do falls into this category, but here are a couple small projects that I'll put out for your perusal. One can't take life too seriously.


I made this cannon out of some spare materials that I had laying around. The barrel and wheels were cut out of some 1 1/2" steel rod that was left over from the "mother of all home generators" project that I did a while back.

That's a story I haven't written up. I probably shouldn't be doing generator projects anyway, I discovered another time that if you're using a 240V generator, and the ground wire in the cable and house wiring isn't fully intact (even if it measures OK with an ohmmeter), you can end up with 0V going through some places expecting 120V in your home, and 240V going through other places expecting 120V. It can get ugly. The lights in some rooms are VERY bright for a while though.

But, back to the cannon. I made the sides from some left-over Delrin, which is a joy to machine. It's about 12" long, and weighs about 9 pounds. I bored it out to be 5/8", or 625 caliber. The pins holding on the wheels are just roll-pins. With a fuse sticking out the top, and a big ball bearing and some black powder in the chamber, it's a hoot to fire.



Beer Holder

I had a little problem finding a beer-holder for my trout fishing boat. Most are designed to be mounted on vertical surfaces, but there aren't any of those near where I set my beer/coffee/pop (depending on the time of day). So I dug out some scrap aluminum plate and made this:


Beer Holder


Remote Control Holder

Speaking of boat projects, as a Christmas present, my nice wife gave me a remote control kit for my Minn-Kota trolling motor. Previously I've been trolling around the lake with the foot-control on my lap since it is sort of hard to run with your foot. Then I realized that the little remote control would quickly be in the lake, especially if I made too much use of my beer-holder, so I decided to mount it on the dash of the boat. The complication was that it was all rounded on the back, so it was tough to match that shape. It did have four screws that held it together, so I decided to just make a little plate with cap-screw heads sticking out that would touch against the screw-heads on the remote. Since they were a little pocketed, it also positioned the remote. Works well!


Remote Mount

Remote Mount


Storage Rack for Aloris-style Tool Holders

After twenty some years of using my trusty old Clausing lathe, I decided to upgrade to a larger lathe. I wanted a little more swing (for doing things like turning brake drums), and a larger head-stock through-hole so I could do larger peices. So I bought a Jet 13x40 lathe. I was really sad to see the old one go. After all those years, it was an old friend. I didn't have to think about what controls to use, and was "like-one" with it. But, I'm sure the Jet will feel that way at some time too. I upgraded it to an 8" 6-jaw chuck, and that was a nice improvement, I was spoiled from using the smaller 6-jaw chuck on my Clausing.

The new lathe was quickly cluttered with my tool holders, so I decided to build a rack to hold them above the back-splash of the lathe. Here's what I came up with.

I used some 1x2 square tubing for the main rack, some steel strap for the brackets, and some Delrin for the tool holders themselves.

Lathe Tool Holder Parts

I used my trusty Eastwood powder-coating kit to finish the parts, then assembled them. I put a little rubber foot at the base of each mount to provide a soft landing as I put the tool holders in place. Notice that some are facing left, and the others right - that's so it can accommodate both turning and boring tools in the correct orientation.

Aloris Tool Rack Assembled

Here's what it looks like with some tools in their place...

Aloris Tool Holder Rack In Use

Nothing fancy, but it works well, was fun to build, and eliminates a lot of clutter around my lathe.

If you decide to build something similar, you will find the drawing here for my design: Tool Holder Rack Drawing

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