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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Ball Turner for the South Bend 10K Lathe PT1

Using the lathe for turning balls and adding a radius to rod ends is a common enough occurrence for me to warrant specialized tooling. Years ago I bought a kit version of such a tool with the frame made out of aluminum. It worked, but it was difficult to set the tool depth and it’s lightweight design (like a tuning fork) meant that it wanted to chatter during cuts. Something better was needed.

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Jensen 55 Steam Engine Rebuild PT 2

The Jensen 55 rebuild continues with making some new teflon gaskets and the general assembly of the cleaned, polished and painted parts back onto the main board with the completed engine and boiler. Two videos are also available at the end of this article to show the steam engine operating off of steam: one video demonstrates the slow-running capabilities of the engine while the other shows the engine driving a toy machine shop.

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Jensen 55 Steam Engine Rebuild PT 1

Bought this Jensen 55 a few years ago at the Cabin Fever Expo auction in Lebanon, PA. It’s been sitting around patiently but now it’s time to get to work and bring this engine back to it’s former glory. The Jensen 55’s gimmick is that it uses two cylinders timed so that at least one is in a power stroke. This allows the engine to be self-starting and run very smoothly at slow speeds.

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Dumore Series 16 Sensitive Drill Press

Dumore has been making quality high-speed electric tools since such a thing has been in existence. While well known in the machinist world for their lathe tool post grinders, they also sell a nice sensitive drill press that’s optimized for small work. In this article I will show you a bit about the drill press, some recommendations about small drills and a fixture plate that makes it easier to handle small work.

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Grizzly G0678 Knee Mill DRO Install: X Axis

The X axis DRO scale would prove to be the most challenging part of this DRO installation as I wanted to ensure I didn’t lose any of the mill’s Y axis movement. This meant the scale would have to be installed at the front of the mill table. For extra difficulty, I also wanted to have adjustable X axis hard stops and working power feed limits. All these features would have to fit in a relatively small amount of space.

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Building the PM Research Number 2 Steam Engine PT 2

Construction continues on the PM Research Number 2 Steam engine so make sure to check out Part 1 of this build if you haven’t already. It’s time to go back to the lathe and experiment with using CA adhesive aka Crazy Glue for holding small parts. The CA glue is used to temporary hold parts to a scrap aluminum round and is easily released with heat or a soak in acetone.

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