Running the PM Research Number 3 Engine on Steam

In this build, the PM Research Number 3 steam engine that was previously machined from a casting kit earlier in the year will be connected to a Jensen 2 1/2" electrically heated boiler. This model engine will then become a live steam engine! A PM Research dynamo, another previous machining project, will be run off a drive belt powering a small light bulb to provide a working load for the engine.

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Grizzly G0678 Knee Mill Factory VFD Settings

The variable frequency drive (VFD) on the Grizzly G0678 mill is a great feature. It’s extremely handy to adjust the speed of the mill from zero to 2250 RPM’s by the simple act of turning a knob. Certainly much easier than moving belts around! Being an electronic device, however, the VFD might unexpectedly quit working one day. Rather than wait until after the drive is inoperable, I went through all 100+ VFD settings and documented the factory-shipped values.

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Another ER32 Collet Chuck for the South Bend 10K Lathe

A few years ago I made a very handy ER32 collet chuck for my lathe. Made from a single piece of steel, it was a great hobby project that featured internal threading, metric threading and creating a precise internal taper. Unfortunately over the years it’s been slowly getting more inaccurate with run-out. It can be corrected with some machining, but I thought it might be interesting to adapt a different style of ER32 collect chuck to this South Bend lathe.

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Building a Float Lock Drill Press Vise PT2

The float lock drill press vise build concludes with this article. In this build I got a chance to experiment with some single point ACME threading on the lathe while turning between centers. After the vise body was completed, the second major part of the build, which was devising a way to fasten the vise onto the drill press table in a clean and usable fashion, took almost as long to complete as the vise itself.

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Building a Float Lock Drill Press Vise PT1

With a drill press, many times you want to drill a hole whose location is marked with a center punch. With the float method, using slight quill pressure with a drill on the punch dimple will allow the work to automatically align under the drill bit. Continuing to hold the work while actually drilling, however, is another matter and this is where the float lock vise really shines. After aligning the work as described above, with a simple tightening of the lock lever the work is held safely and securely in the float lock vise.

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Building the PM Research Number 3 Steam Engine PT2

The highlights of the PM Research #3 steam engine build continues. First, the work is started on the cylinder which features quite a few machining operations. Next, the machining of the eccentric and showing how that part is setup in the 4 jaw chuck. Lastly, wrapping up construction with the final assembly of the engine. A small video at the end of the article shows the engine running on compressed air.

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Building the PM Research Number 3 Steam Engine PT1

The PM Research #3 was chosen as my next steam engine project, specifically the kit with the bronze and cast iron castings. This will be a modest step-up in complexity from the last steam engine build, which was the PM Research #2, since this engine uses a valving design more typical of a full-sized engine and has a more full-scale appearance. Also the design of this engine should allow it to work well on steam.

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Rubometric Self Opening Die Head

On the popular online auction site, a Rubometric D 3/4" die head was listed for sale with a poorly-worded title. Since these die heads usually sell new in the four figure range, I didn’t think my bid at the low initial starting price would be the highest for very long. At the end of the auction, however, I was surprised to find that I had won the die head (and more) for less than the price of a new set of chasers.

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Ball Turner for the South Bend 10K Lathe PT3

In this article construction of the boring head ball turner will be completed. Mr Swash came up with a clever idea for the tool’s cutter by using a RCMT 0602 carbide insert which are available at a very reasonable cost with a lathe tool holder. Since this insert is round it seems to work well with the arc cutting motion of the tool. Also, a small video is included showing the ball turner in action.

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Ball Turner for the South Bend 10K Lathe PT2

The build continues on the boring head ball turner with the completion of the machining of most of the major parts. Cutting the AXA dovetail was an especially interesting part of the project which also required a surprising amount of precision. The dovetail machining provided a chance to play with the Randy Richard (Randy Richard in The Shop on Youtube) dovetail cutter which worked great even with the relatively hard tool steel.

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