Journal of the

Home Metal Shop Club of Houston

Volume 6, Number 8 - August 2001
President - Dennis Cranston

Vice President - Tom Moore

Treasurer - John Hoff

Secretay - Ed Gladkowski

Web Master - Dick Kostelnicek

Editors - Keith Mitchell, Jan Rowland, David Whittaker


Membership Inforation:

Membership is open to all those interested in machining metal and tinkering with machines. The purpose of the club is to provide a forum for the exchanging of ideas and information This includes, to a large degree, education in the art of machine tools and practices. There is a severe shortage of written information that a beginning hobbyist can use. This makes an organization such as this even more important.

Chips Meeting

July 14, 2001; Collier Library

By Dick Kostelnicek - Secretary

Vance Burns - President presiding

Attendance: 31 members, 1 visitor - Don McManus


Activities during the Chips Meeting

Dick Kostelnicek distributed new legible name tags to all paid up members. He requested that each member be responsible for their own tag rather than handing them in at the end of each meeting.

Vance Bums started the continuous display of a silent video on Barrel Making by Thomas Smith. Presumably you could watch the show in case the meeting got boring.

Ed Gladkowski donated a video and CD on building a small cupola furnace to the club's library. George Marsden immediately checked it out.

Vance Burns opened the floor for election of officers. The results follow:
President Dennis Cranston unanimous
Vice President Tom Moore 
John Hoff
17 votes 
5 votes
Treasurer John Hoff unanimous
Secretary Ed Gladkowski unanimous
Web Master Dick KOstelnicek unanimous
Keith Mitchell and Jan Rowland agreed to continue as rotating newsletter editors. Our third editor, Dave Whittaker hasn't been to a meeting in some time, so we can only assume he is willing to remain on the list of editors. We hope to see him again, soon!

Doug Blodgett, president of Houston Area Live Steamers, offered the use of a portion of their back shop located at Zube Park for use by our foundry group, provided a sand floor is installed in the interest of safety.

Dennis Cranston invited all foundry group participants to get together alter the meeting in order to discuss Doug's offer.

Feature Presentation

Report on 2001 N.A.M.E.S. Convention

Art Volz

Art presented 98 slides taken during at the 12th annual North American Model Engineering Society
(N.A M.E.S) convention. held April 28-28, 2001 in the Yack arena in Wyandotte, Michigan Most of the attendees were from the Midwest as evidenced by the license plates witnessed in the parking lot. Art indicated that many people drove all night to attend. The entrance fee was $6 which afforded the visitor a lapel button which allowed unlimited entry during the two day event.

Art elaborated on the various kinds of internal combustion model engines having multi-cycles (up to 6) that competed with the Otto 4 cycle during the later part of the century. Each in its own way tried to get around the fiercely defended Otto patents. When the patent protection ran out, all the contenders went by the wayside in favor of the now ubiquitous 4 cycle IC engine.

There were three rows of vendor booths (about half the floor area). Art covered nearly all of them with a tale or two of how he knew the proprietors or an antidote about their products. Among Art's favorites were the Logan Lathe booth (run by a third generation Logan), and Nation Builder Books (my favorite, ea.)

The engineering models were on a zig zag row of tables running the width of the arena. A continuous 3/4 inch compressed air pipe attended all the tables with air taps for each display position. Art showed a slide and gave a description of many of the models on display. His description of the model Monitor gun ship engine with a differential reversing valve gear mechanism was of timely interest as this engine was recently recovered from the Atlantic off the US east coast in surprisingly good condition.

Show and Tell

Joe Williams showed an end mill grinding fixture that he built years ago. Originally it was clamped on vertical mill table with a cup grinding wheel chucked in the spindle. The fixture is angled and indexable for grinding just the cutter end lips. Now, of course, he uses his surface grinder. Oh the virtues of age and wealth

Joe Scott brought a magazine container for machine gun bullets. It was fabricated with numerous contorted sheet metal folds. Joe wants to know if anyone has any ideas of how to build a bending jig to replicate this particular gun part. He says there is a big market for then on the internet. Joe also showed a Jacobs chuck that had some internal burs that he removed in order to restore the concentricity of the chuck. He says "check out [excellent tip! Look at that! Editor] for information on chuck disassembly and removal from arbors". Another favorite site, features rust removal with tanic acid (tea bags).

Bill Kimbrough brought in a pile of drill bits and end mills for distribution, onto which the members descended with a vengeance.

John Hoff brought back his drill grinder; still a work in progress. He has recently developed the drill bit flute grabbing mechanism.

Survey of Members

By Dennis Cranston

At the July 15th 2000 meeting, a survey was passed out to get an indication of members' equipment. From the meeting, we had 26 responses. For comparison, I'm showing the results from John Richardson's poll on the Internet with 1689 responses.
HMSC Richardson
Lathe 100% 24%
Mill 85% 17%
Surface Grinder 15% 2%
Shaper 23% 3%
Welsing 73% 26%
Foundry 19% 3%
The size-breakdown for lathes were as follows:
<4" 12% 2%
4 - 10" 50% 13%
>10" 58% 9%
CNC 4%  - 
(Totals ' 100% due to 23% having more than one lathe)

 For Mills:
Mill/Drill  46% 6%
Vert.  31%.  8%
Hor.  12%  3%
CNC  12%  - 
For Welding:
Stick  50%  9% 
TIG  12%  2% 
MIG  23%  5% 
Ox/Ac  54%  10% 
Conclusions: A quick conclusion is that the club members have big iron and plenty of it. Also the high percentages of welding and foundry users indicate a range of activities including metal fabrication in addition to machining. The ramifications for the club are that the programs probably need to be more advanced then basic machining and can come from a broader range of topics. On the other hand some way needs to be set up to caver the 'newbie' with a Sherline in basic machining techniques.

Reference: John Richardson's web site: john/index.html

A Plea from the Editor

When I first joined HMSC just-over two years back' I was happily-impressed at the good articles that appeared in the newsletter, written by machinists, educators, professionals, and maybe even a couple of just-plain-hobbyists among our membership who "knew their stuff'. So, when I realized a couple of the aspects of machine tinkering I did were relevant, I jumped at the chance when Keith Mitchell, then-president, asked for article on "CNC" from the membership at one of the first meetings I attended in '99. Guess I was thinking, then, if the poorly conjured topics I could present were acceptable, there would never be a need for articles, as the membership seemed adequate and knowledgeable. And some "good stuff" appeared in later issues, too; I don't mean to include my own!

Later, (long, quasi-relevant story), I joined the editorial team to produce the newsletter, "every third turn". One of us-three had sad personal reasons to be excused for a while (hopefully, he will begin again, soon!), and, details beside my point, here, I found myself needing to produce a month's issue "out of turn", and had no Article to include. The Meeting Minutes always provided by then-secretary Dick K in properly prepared "electronic form" were sufficient alone to easily produce an issue just-adequate to mail, even though it contained no Article. Keith and I have since taken turns doing the newsletter, and he had some material for his issues, but I have not been so fortunate. Therefore, I have made pleas at meetings and on the HMSC Internet site for Articles, and only one person has responded at all, our current president, Dennis C! He e-mailed me this Survey article in this issue, and I agree with him, it is still interestingly relevant! Looks like those of us in this HMSC have considerably more home-shop gear and space than the rest of the population, as he includes for comparison a [national.?] survey a John Richardson published on his web-site.

So, it obviously follows tint, if so many of us are so busy with so many machines and so much equipment, there are surely enough smarts and stuff out there for us to expect at least one good Article per month in this newsletter! Just reading-through this survey, some topics come to mind, which would surely benefit those of us (me!) who are self -taught and haven't a clue which end of an electrode to clamp in the handle! (That's one reason I got myself a MIG welder, since stick-electrodes are not used in that!)

Maybe some of us members "who could" are able to write good articles, but must first have someone urge them with a particular topic? Dennis' survey is a good list to use for a beginning! Topics for Articles we could use: Turning Techniques and/or Caveats; How to Get More Life Out of Your Mill-Bits; Advantage/Disadvantage Difference Among Stick, MIG, and TIG Electro welding Methods; Examples [with photos/drawings?] of Turning Projects on Small Lathes [HF 7x10, Sherline, Unimat, etc?]. These are just one cum' ol' boy's guesses. Surely those of you who can write such articles can offer better topics, yet! DO!

 Don't Forget the Next Meeting ! ! !

The meetings are now held on the Second Saturday of the month, at the Collier Library at 6200 Pinemont. Meetings begin at 1:00 PM. Our next meeting is scheduled for Saturday, 11 August. Bring in a project you've been working on! Interested nonmenibers are very welcome!
!! Check Out Our Web Site !!