A new chuck for the South Bend Model A Lathe

After we got the South Bend Model A lathe setup and started cleaning it up, we discovered that we needed quite a few different parts to make it complete.   One of these is a chuck.

I’ve heard it said that if you can only have a single chuck, make it a 4-jaw chuck.  So that is what we started with.

This is a Shars 6″ 4-jaw independent chuck from http://www.shars.com/product_categories/view/4111108/4Jaw_Independent_Chucks

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It came with a 1.5 x 8 threaded mounting plate.

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However, when we went to bolt them together, we discovered that the chuck didn’t fit the mounting plate!  How could that be?

A quick phone call to Shars cleared that up.  Apparently (this is common knowledge to machinists, but) we need to turn down the mounting plate to an exact fit.  This ensures that the chuck will run true on our lathe.

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But before we can do that, we need to wire up a motor, and get some tooling, and a tool post, etc…

That’s all for now!

 

 

 

 

 

Charcoal Grill Project (1)

We recently purchased a very nice gas grill.  It’s really great, but we sometimes still like the flavor of charcoal grilling.   Rather than just buy a charcoal grill, we decided to build one from scratch.

Here is the beginning of the base.  We are going for a dry-stack look, but using mortar to make it very sturdy.

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Mixing mortar in the wheelbarrow.  Not too much water!

Mixing Mortar

Using rubber gloves to lay down the mortar between the stones.  It’s like a big puzzle.

Adding Mortar

 

Building a little deck for a little house

In this post I will describe some of the work we did while building a 10′ x 10′ deck for the little house on the hill.

Because the house is on a rather steep hill, even getting to the front door was a challenge.  Having a nice deck to sit on goes a long way to making it a wonderful little spot to spend time.

It all started with digging post holes.  Rocky soil, on a hill, with hand tools makes for a lot of work.  Once dug down to 2-3′, we fixed them in place with Fast Set cement.  Poured it in dry and dumped some water on it.  Super convenient.

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Once the posts were in place, we leveled and screwed on a frame made of 2×10 and 2×8 treated lumber.

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Keeping the workplace neat.

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Working into the evening on the framing.  Having 3 surefire flashlights handy makes this possible, even convenient.

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Because much of the deck load will rest on the front member, and even more so because groups of people tend to converge at a railing, we made this from doubled 2×10 lumber.

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Here we are installing the decking.  Rather than going with standard decking lumber (5/4″), we opted to go with 2×8 lumber.  It was only a few percent more expensive, and far stiffer.

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Good workers hard at work.

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We used a hand-saw to cut notches out of the end of the 2×8 flooring lumber where it (would have) contacted the 4×4 upright posts.  We live in a culture that thinks “power tools” for most things, but sometimes the hand-tools are the best for the job.

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A close up of the hand-saw approaching the end of the line.

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Notice that Eli (center) has hearing and eye protection?  This is because he was running the impact driver installing all of the screws in the decking.  There were hundreds and hundreds of screws to install.

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Here is a view up the hill.

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A very clear but warm day.

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We made the railing with 2×6 lumber.  The top part of the railing had a 2×6 on the face of the upright supports as well as a 2×6 cap on top.  This resulted in a very strong (up/down and forward/back) railing that is convenient for setting drinks, etc… on.

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For this project we elected to use Torx head exterior screws.  Coupled with a Dewalt 20v max impact driver, the 3″ screws made their way through treated lumber like a hot knife through soft butter.

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Wrapping up.  Just need to finish screwing the decking down and add the top-plate to the railing.

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The view out the front door.  Nice.

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How to install a Trusted Certificate Authority on Windows 7

At my company AppCove, we have our own certificate authority that we use with development servers and sites.  This allows us to (at no additional cost) use HTTPS and SSL for all of these alternate domains and subdomains.

The downside is that our certificate is not trusted by any stock browser or operating system.

Therefore, to prevent getting an ugly and scary SSL warning, anyone who needs to visit these (private audience) sites must first “trust” our certificate authority.

A note on security.  If you are telling your computer to trust a certificate authority, then you must really actually “trust” that authority.  If the signing key fell into the wrong hands, then they could create fake certificates for other sites you visit, like http://www.google.com, and intercept your data.  At AppCove, we use aggressive security measures to protect the certificate authority key (as we do for customer data and applications).

In this example, I am causing my Windows 7 workstation to trust appcove-ca-cert.pem.crt

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— Start of slight detour — 

If you want to verify it was installed, do this.  Otherwise, skip the next 2 screens.

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— End of slight detour —

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At this point, you should be able to visit any HTTPS site that was signed with this certificate authority and your browser will indicate that it is a secure connection.

Spiders and bees and really small toads?

This photograph is of what appears to be a very small toad.  The item beside it is a 1/2″ diameter section of rebar, making this little critter about 1/16″ long.  I barely saw him.

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This bee appeared to be out it the cold a bit too long and was pretty sluggish.  This is taken on the back of by glove.

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Here is a daddy long leg in the garden, running as fast as he could.

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