Monday, 22 February 2010

Workshop time.

I've just started a new job so I'm short of time but I managed to spend a day in the workshop yesterday.

On Saturday I brought the old record vice I bought some time last year back from my old workshop in Bristol. I thought that there was a problem with it and that was why it was cheap on the bay. When I first got it I found that it wouldn't tighten past a certain point, it was ok to hold stuff for filing etc but not to use as a press. When I had stripped it down I found nothing obviously wrong so I cleaned and re-greased everything....

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... and put it back together. Now it was a lot smoother but the original problem remained, however while I was dis-assembling it I noticed the ratchet mechanism on the quick release mechanism. This mechanism is preloaded with a spring the tension of which is increased by turning the nut visible in the picture above. A couple of turns of this nut and I was able to clamp anything as hard as I would like. If I had known how this feature of this vice worked I probably wouldn't have bothered but now it operates a lot smoother than before.

As I've mentioned before I'm building a bike lift/ramp and I spent the remainder of my time in the workshop drilling the 16mm holes in the bottom frame and 'legs'. My first problem was holding the (rather long) pieces of 50mmm box section on the drill press, some coach bolts and steel from my offcuts box sorted that out....

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I then tried various methods to drill the holes. First of all I tried drilling a 6mm pilot hole and working up to 16mm in 2mm increments. This too a while and meant raising and lowering the drill table to accomodate the different lengths of drill, which is why there's a bottlejack underneath the drill table in this shot.
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In the end I found the best way was to use a 16mm holesaw cutting through the top and bottom of the box section in one go to ensure the holes were square to each other. I was surprised at how well this worked out.
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