WELCOME to the anvilfire Guru's Den - V. 3.3

THIS is a forum for questions and answers about blacksmithing and general metalworking. Ask the Guru any reasonable question and he or one of his helpers will answer your question, find someone that can, OR research the question for you.

This is an archive of posts from December 23 - 31, 2010 on the Guru's Den
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My "technical library" while not vast, has certainly got beyond what I can manage. I really need to get everything in one room designated as the library and build shelves of some kind.
My concern is mold developing between the books and the wall they are up against.
I have had this happen in the past and I wonder what some of you might be doing to keep your libraries safe from mold and mice?
   - merl - Thursday, 12/23/10 10:09:46 EST

Merl, The only time I had mold on books was a set of Encyclopedias that were stored in an unheated space without a good door. Basement rooms against exterior walls are also not recommended for book storage.

When I build bookshelves I use 12" (11.25") pine shelving and light Laun paneling on the back for diagonal strength. This also closes the back reducing moisture influx and reducing ways for mice to get in. Much cheep paneling is now chipboard that I would avoid for two reasons.

1) Chipboard ages and fails (all cheap furniture, paneling).
2) Chipboard is made with glue that gives off a LOT of formaldehyde gas which besides being a carcinogen breaks down into formic acid can damage your books and documents.

I glue and nail the paneling to the back of the shelves. Sheet rock nails work great for this due to their thin heads. I also nail, glue and screw the shelves together. While I use steel finishing nails I use brass flat head screws (just my preference). The wood should be varnished or lacquered.

On most shelves I build I have a 4 to 6 inch filled kick panel at the bottom to keep books off the floor and above cleaning equipment. This height also lets you notch the back corners if necessary to clear baseboard molding. For this reason the back panel does not extend to the floor. Units are designed to take advantage of the 4 foot paneling widths.

I put tall shelves for heavy books at the bottom of my shelves and put a vertical divider at mid span to prevent sagging. Only short spaces for books under 8" in height are full width. I often build in tall spaces for oversize books on one side of the unit thus shortening the span for the rest of the shelves. If you want spans longer than 3 feet for heavy books I recommend doubling the board thickness or using stair tread boards which are a full inch or more in thickness.

I also vary depths. Smaller books need less depth and insetting some of the shelves keeps the book neater and looks nicer. My next shelf building projects will include spaces for videos and DVD boxes.

On the last shelves I built I used a fur stair tread for the first shelf and let it stick out the extra inch depth. This overhang and heavier board made a very nice start at the bottom of the shelves and is heavy enough to pile anvils on. . .
   - guru - Thursday, 12/23/10 11:00:44 EST

I wonder if Kilz painted on the wall behind the books would keep out the mold ? As for the mice problem I can tell you what to do. Get a cat. Cats are sweet companions and will try to please you by taking care of any mouse or rat problems. One day I saw two rats under a building on my lot. I told my cat," I saw two rats under that building and when you get time will you kill them for me ?" The next day, I pulled in my driveway and saw two big furry things right beside the driveway. I got out and there were the two rats with their heads almost chewed off. He had layed them right where I could see them. One more thing, get a short haired cat and you won't have a shedding problem.

Is chip board the same thing as blendex ? I was thinking that blendex is pretty strong.
   Mike T. - Thursday, 12/23/10 13:31:55 EST

There is no such thing as particle board bookcases!

Particle board does not do well under heavy loads and a "pretty" veneered commercial "bookcase" will sag, slump and collapse in short order if you actually use it for the intended purpose!

We buy kit bookcases that are veneered plywood---and called the manufacturer up to see what it was actually rated for (215# per shelf!). I get to finish them and I throw out the small shelf supports and drill out the holes for larger steel ones from a local wood workers store.

Our biggest "find" was when we found out that the local store that carried them in the winter would clearance them out in the spring for about 1/2 price *and* you could buy the pre-finished "fancy" versions that were the display models for the same price. So for several years in the row we would clear them out in the spring---we have about 25 bookcases from that manufacturer currently. Plus the others we have bought/found/built over the years...

   Thomas P - Thursday, 12/23/10 13:57:34 EST

Particle Board Shelves: The steel "Gorrila" shelves we bought for the shop have chip board shelves. . . All, even the most lightly loaded ones are sagging and the heavily loaded ones are in danger of collapse. NONE are loaded to 50% of the rating. . . I bought them because I had to have shelves THAT DAY. . now all the shelving needs to be replaced. . . We cost more for the shelving than the whole mess cost to start.

Real plywood is not as strong as solid wood but it is more stable and stronger in all directions. Veneered it makes excellent durable furniture (and musical instruments).

Years ago we were in a hurry for a cheap office desk. . . We bought Sullivan chip board furniture. The desk had a major failure while we were just trying to assemble it. The piece we bought for the copier sagged so bad over a couple years that I scrapped it. The desk held up OK but the cardboard drawer bottoms have all sagged to uselessness. IF you can get it out of my office in one piece you can have it, the printer stands and the other piece for the hauling. . .

The last time I needed an office desk I bought a steel door and set it on two 2 drawer steel file cabinets.
   - guru - Thursday, 12/23/10 17:33:23 EST

OK Mike but, what would that stuff look like on my nice walls?
As for a cat, we have 9 barn cats at last count, only one of which can come in the house.
The problem with a cat in the house is my two Australian Blue Healers. They don't know the difference between the opossum they kill in the garden and the cats they catch. They eat them both with the same enthusiasm.
I've been told that "Bounce" brand dryer sheets will repel mice (don't know why only Bounce brand will work)
I was thinking that these welded wire shelves with the tube frames might be the ticket. I have a set of them that I use for my stereo equipment but they won't hold books very well without something across the wires.
I guess I'll have to see what the cost of building book shelves from solid boards vs. the wire shelving would be.
I only have a couple of interior walls that I can cover with shelving as well. One thing's for sure, I won't be paring down the collection to make it fit a designated area.
   - merl - Thursday, 12/23/10 18:55:26 EST

Merl, Guru et al, I have the solution. Used steel pallet racking is very avail;able and cheap with all the plant shut downs. Holds 5200# per span, and nicely adjustable.

Big grin!!!

I have a number of sections and am going to build a fire wood storage structure from same in the spring.
   ptree - Thursday, 12/23/10 19:43:56 EST

The only Quick and Dirty shelving I've been involved with is Decorative concrete blocks and plain shelving. Just stack it up. . .

My library is not huge but we had a "engineering catalog" library that is no use to my Mom. . lately I've found old catalogs are valuable monetarily as many companies no longer print them AND even though the catalogs are 20 years old most of the products are still available. Some of my best references are catalogs that were 20 years old when I got them 20 years ago. . .

Engineering Libraries:

One of the BEST free references ever was the two volume Timken engineering set. One book was on specifying and design parameters and the other was full and half scale drawings in a multi-ring binder. Each drawing page had a load vs life chart and K factors for the bearings. The beautiful inked scale drawings were designed to be traced which made understanding them applying them much easier than a simple symbolic box or hard to read tabulated data (like in the new catalogs). Timken's bearing line has not changed 10" since when this catalog was created. So why don't they still publish it? They want to do the engineering for you. . . or ah . . CHARGE you for it.

We used a ton of Timken bearings because of those books. Not continuing to make that kind of information available (even if you have to charge for it) is what has killed many good old companies. Bean counter decisions. . .

A company that currently has a GREAT set of free catalog/manuals is Omega. If you need to measure temperature or pressure or need a data acquisition system these guys have the BEST information in nice hard bound manuals that double as catalogs. They also have an excellent on-line system.

The problem with my Dad's catalog library. . . it would double the total library space I need.
   - guru - Thursday, 12/23/10 20:25:15 EST

Merry Christmas - Feliz Navidad
Happy Holidays

I'm going to be traveling for the next few days. Hopefully will not get snowed out. . . Y'all be good.
   - guru - Thursday, 12/23/10 20:30:59 EST

Have a Merry Christmas Guru and All!
Did you folks know Happy Holiday means Happy Holy Day?
I think it is funny the politically correct movers haven't a clue.
   - Slackner - Thursday, 12/23/10 21:42:03 EST

Yeah, that is the unmanageable part of my library, the catalogs. I'll never get rid of them though.
Like you say, they are an invaluable source of information on how to use and when to use a great deal of older manual equipment. I have three legal size file drawers full
( probably over 100 lbs.)of catalogs and old operating manuals. I used to know where everything was and just what I had but, now it's slipping a bit. I suppose if I don't get it all organized I'll never figure out what half of it is for. Unfortunately, most of the op manuals are for equipment that was scraped out 30-40 years ago and I rescued the manuals years after that. I find the most value in this old literature is in how it makes you think differently about problems and approach them differantly to come up with a sound workable solutions that most offten times isn't just to crank open the wallet.
I always thought those Omega catalogs where just a sales gimick but, maybe I'll have to look at them again.

Wishing everyone a very pleasent holiday season!

   - merl - Thursday, 12/23/10 22:38:30 EST

A competitor of Omega, Chromolox also has a good informative catalog. It is not as far ranging but it has a lot of good information.

Merl, Those old operating manuals are often marketable to folks using or repairing those machines. . . especially if the manufacturer is gone or not supporting it.

   - guru - Friday, 12/24/10 00:17:32 EST

Just picked up a Vulcan anvil like on the fabbed cart with wheels and handle. It is stamped with the 15 on front as well. came with a a cast stand.
   Jeff Spoor "Ironworker" - Friday, 12/24/10 11:39:49 EST

does anyone know of someone out west that is or does wagon work? my in-law has a friend that wants to build a fairly accurate use-able one. suspect it is for giving rides. thank you and merry christmas/happy holidays
   - bam-bam - Friday, 12/24/10 15:54:07 EST

Bam Bam there is a wagon maker at the Oregon School of Arts andcrafts forgot his name, but he is very good. It isn't a big school so they should be able to connect you with him.
   dean moxley - Sunday, 12/26/10 00:09:39 EST

THANKS Dean, i will pass it on. i just got asked again.
   - bam-bam - Sunday, 12/26/10 20:07:45 EST

is Tim Lively shut down/gone? went to get some nagging issues answered from his site and nothing.
   - bam-bam - Sunday, 12/26/10 20:20:31 EST

livelyknives.com is no longer operational. The URL is still hosted but there is no web site. Telle est la vie sur l'Internet (Such is life).
   guru - Monday, 12/27/10 20:40:02 EST

bam bam, I wonder if Lively's teacher, Tai Goo, might be able to help you: taigooknives.com. Or geez, I introduced Tai to smithing many years ago. Maybe I can help.
   Frank Turley - Monday, 12/27/10 23:16:44 EST

I didn't think to ask this question here before, but after looking at my new edition of Machinery's over the weekend and reading the part about chuck standards, I connected the dots with this forum....

I have an Enco 1-hp drill press that has a Rexon 5/8" chuck. I bought it used (great deal!) and it came without a key. I've found one that works well enough, but it doesn't fit exactly, and I don't want to tear up the teeth with the wrong size tool.

Does anyone know the proper chuck size, where to find a chuck, or how to figure the right size so I can order it? I've tried contacting Rexon, but neither they nor their dealers in the US have been very helpful.
   Bajajoaquin - Tuesday, 12/28/10 11:37:20 EST

Bam-Bam if your near texas I suppose I could help with the wagon. Atleast with the metalwork.
   - Jacob Lockhart - Tuesday, 12/28/10 12:28:16 EST

Bam-bam, Tim Lively has called it quits on the knifemaking thing. I don't know his reasons, but he's out.

I do know that a couple of years ago he was pretty bummed about people pirating his DVDs.

As Frank said, Tai is still going.
   Alan-L - Tuesday, 12/28/10 13:20:01 EST

Chucks and Keys: Bajajoaquin, Bevel gear type drill chuck keys have no standard and all proprietary. If you need a key to fit the chuck you have then you must go to that manufacturer. In my opinion there is only ONE drill chuck, Jacobs.

I believe your Enco drill has either a Morse taper spindle or a Jacobs chuck taper spindle nose that will accept a standard chuck. This is often a much better solution than putting up with an unsupported non-standard tool.
   guru - Tuesday, 12/28/10 15:08:38 EST

Copyright Issues are a serious problem for those that create original works. We have been stolen from here since almost the first day we were on line. I had one author come to me very upset because an overseas pirate site had converted his book to a PDF and was distributing it. He wanted to know what he could do. Sadly, unless you have enough clout to get the attention of top government officials of enough money to go to court (in the infringer's country). A copyright, is much like a patent in that it is only worth as much as you are willing to spend defending it. Anvilfire has been stolen from by individuals and corporations world wide. Our policy is to ask politely, then publish infringers names publicly.

There is a video rental site that is renting many blacksmithing DVD's. PLEASE do not rent from them. Most of these works cost more to produce than will ever be realized in profits. While what they are doing is legal (according to the courts, not the law), it causes people to not want to continue producing creative works.

Bladesmithing is a tough enough business as-is. A couple of the top guys in the field that I have known said there was not enough money in it for the amount of work. One told me that the problem is both hobbyists that undersell their products and imports made by slave labor. One or the other is bad enough but to be pressured by both is too much. . .
   guru - Tuesday, 12/28/10 15:19:42 EST

Bajajoaquin, Look carefully at your chuck and see if it has a number like "J33" or"J6" stamped on it.
Most every drill chuck made is patterned after a Jacobs or, made by Jacobs. If your chuck has a "J" number on it that will tell you what size Jacobs chuck it is equivalent to and you will be able to track down the correct chuck key from there. Some newer Jacobs chucks have the key number stamped on them too but, not all.
The other common problem one can encounter with what seems to be a loose fitting chuck key is, the outer ring gear that the key meshes with, will be forced back from repeated use. When this happens the key will seem to get looser and looser until it doesn't work at all. To fix this you will need to carefully tap with a hammer and block of wood at the opposite end of the ring gear teeth to bring the ring gear back into mesh with the gear teeth on the chuck key. Be sure to check the movement of the ring gear with the chuck key often to get the best fit with out going too tight.

Good Luck!
   - merl - Tuesday, 12/28/10 15:23:55 EST

That's some good advice, Merl. I'll check it out when I get home (both the stamping and the tamping).

Guru, you're correct. It's an MT4 taper. I'll probably surprise nobody when I report that I was unhappy with my first solution to the missing key problem. I bought a cheap chuck and arbor that came new with a key. My total cost was only about $30. But I didn't really like the chuck, so I put the Rexon back in. It's a nicer chuck, and the Jacobs key I have for it kinda works....

But I suspect I'll soon end up with a Jacobs medium duty chuck for about the same price as I spent on the entire drill press!
   Bajajoaquin - Tuesday, 12/28/10 16:12:04 EST

I hate to disagree with Merl but I've rebuilt a lot of Jacobs chucks. . . the sleeve presses onto the split jaw actuating nut and stops at a shoulder in the sleeve. If the key does not engage properly is is not the right key. Of course on a cheap chuck they may have drilled the holes in the wrong place of missed the sleeve length. . .

Chuck keys have a LOT of variables including pitch, angle, tooth profile (metric vs. English). Many are poorly designed and do not fit from the get go especially on cheap chucks. I think Jacobs has 5 or 6 sizes in their line. Now add all the copy cats that have been making chucks since Jacobs patent ran out 75 years ago. . .

There ARE some pricier brands of chuck but for all around use Jacobs is the best and always has been. So far they are the most trustworthy when it comes to a standard of quality (SO FAR).

I've got Jacobs chucks with knurled sleeves and the original patent date. I've got numerous #33's with various shell cuts and several of their ball bearing "super chucks". I've rebuilt most of those I've got that you can get parts for including the ball bearing chuck. I replaced the old off brand chuck on the Craftsman drill press I have with a genuine Jacobs. . . that cost more than the drill press.

In fact, almost every drill press I've got has Jacobs chucks on them that cost more than I paid for the press. Since rebuild kits are as much as half the chuck cost even the rebuilt chucks cost more than some of the drill presses. The only exception is the heavy duty magnetic based drill which cost around $4,000 new and will always be worth a LOT more than a chuck as long as it still functions.
   - guru - Tuesday, 12/28/10 18:49:40 EST

Bajajoaquin: Another name brand of chuck is Rohm, their keys differ from Jacobs. If You can find someone that stocks them, or has dimensions, You might give it a try. I think Travers Tool http://www.travers.com carries them.

If this seems like a good chuck overall, try to find a key, if not, replace it with a Jacobs brand.

Since Your machine has a Morse taper, get a 1/2 capacity Jacobs chuck, the model 33 Jock mentioned is great. You can use taper shank drills for sizes over 1/2", they drive better in the larger sizes.
   - Dave Boyer - Tuesday, 12/28/10 20:47:57 EST

Don't worry Guru, you're not disagreeing with me. The "slipping " of the ring gear I mention is the same as if you were taking the chuck apart for a rebuild. I see some of the "Numb Heads" at work fighting with a drill chuck trying to get it to tighten up by hitting the key handle with a hammer or using a cheater bar to extend the handle of the key.
If you look at a chuck that is giving this kind of problem at the other end of the ring gear where it meets the body, the two should meet smoothly at the corner. If the ring gear shell forms a small ridge at the corner then it usualy has been forced back away from its correct location and will leave a sloppy fit between the ring gear and the teeth on the key (assuming it's the right key to begin with)
Dave, you're right about the Rohm keys they don't fit the Jacobs chuck well enough to do a good job.
Bajajoaquin,(you definatly need a nick name if you're going to hang around here...) keep in mind when you look at a Jacobs chuck that they will also give the "Jacobs taper" size as well. When you mount a Jacobs chuck it fits onto what ever the specified Jacobs taper is for that chuck and the other end is either a Morse taper shank (most common) or a straight shank.
If you buy a new chuck from a tool company you will have to get a shank to go with it that fits your machine.
Figure about $200. when all is said and done for a Jacobs ball bearing super chuck.
A quality chuck will usualy mean the differance between a machine that does a good job and one that tears up drill shanks and makes over size holes.

Speaking of rebuilt chucks, the company I work for recently THREW OUT 4,#6 Jacobs Super Chucks because it was fealt that it would cost more to rebuild them than to just buy new ones. You know right where they went from there.
Two of them don't even need to be rebuilt and two do. So, for the price of one Jacobs ball bearing super chuck, I get four. Not too bad, I guess...
   - merl - Wednesday, 12/29/10 00:55:11 EST

CORECTION: That is not a model 33 chuck I was trying to describe, it is a 6A. I have several of them on drill presses & with Morse taper shanks for the lathe and a big old drill. The 33 is the taper in the back of the chuck. They grip from 1/2" down to ? next to nothing.

If buying new, I don't think I would pay the extra money for a ball bearing chuck. The ones I have I got CHEAP.
   - Dave Boyer - Wednesday, 12/29/10 01:28:12 EST

I can't imagine any "top guys" in knife making feeling threatened by any hobbyists or slave labor. The high-end market for the top knife makers is the collectors. My friend Tom Ferry (tomferryknives.com) rarely gets less than $10,000 for one of his knives. I can't imagine him losing a sale to a hobbyist. Check out the gallery on his website, his titanium damascus is amazing.
   - Grant - Wednesday, 12/29/10 01:32:22 EST

Yeah, I don't know what the answer is to a video rental site. Many of the associations have lending libraries too. What do you mean by "While what they are doing is legal (according to the courts, not the law)". Just don't know what you mean by that. What's the conflict between the courts and the law?
   - Grant - Wednesday, 12/29/10 02:25:17 EST

I'll see if I can find someone locally that sells Rohm chucks. That way, I can pull my chuck out, and test fit to various keys. (And by the way, as I re-read my original post, I'm happy everyone knew I was meaning chuck keys when I was just saying chucks.)

Merl, you described exactly what I found when I went to replace the chuck. I bought the MT4/JT3 arbor for the new chuck. I don't know the taper of Rexon chuck, because for $10, the cost of the new arbor, I decided it was easier to buy a new one rather than unmount the old one. But when I replace the current chuck (again), I'm aware that I'll need to match the taper of the chuck to the chuck-side of the arbor. But I appreciate the offer of additional knowledge.

Dave's comment about using taper shank drills is interesting. I hadn't considered that. Anyone have any confirming or dissenting opinions on that?
   Bajajoaquin - Wednesday, 12/29/10 12:39:04 EST

McMaster-Carr has a good bit of catalog information on Jacobs Chucks and MT arbors.

Tapered shank bits work better in drill presses in many cases because of the flat tang that drives the drill so it cannot slip. The lack of chuck also leaves more space between spindle and table. The hole depth is generally greater than common "jobber" length bits. For large bits they are infinitely better than turned down shanks in a chuck. That #4 taper will easily handle up to 2" bits. In a lathe the tang is no advantage but the length saving is.

The down side to tapered shank drill bits is they are more expensive than standard bits and they do not work in devices that have a chuck only.

I have practically every bit in 32nd increments up to 1" with 1/2" shanks and 64ths up to about 3/4". Fractional 64ths up to half inch and number and letter sets all in drill indexes. In tapered bits my small bits are sparse but include some #1MT bits for my lathe, #2MT bits for various purposes and an odd selection from 3/4" up to 2" in #3 and #4 tapers. I still often find I do not have the size I need. . .

To take advantage of tapered shank bits you need adapter sleeves or bushings. These come in single steps or multiple steps. You can nest single steps all the way from #1 up to the largest. But #1 to #3 and #2 to #4 are handy. A lot depends on what other machines you have. I have two lathes that take #3 MT in the tailstock. So the #1 to #3 is handy for me. They also make #1-#4 and larger to smaller. The large to small are extension sockets and rarely have much use. But my drill press came with a #4 to #5 socket. . .

Eventually you collect a bunch of these things, I have bought them new as well as in boxes with bunches of odds and ends. Having multiple sleeves is handy when you are doing a job with multiple drill sizes so you just change the tool not the sleeve on the tool.

plain and tapered shank drill bits chuck and key
Collection of tools used in one drilling job

The tools above are a typical collection and include straight and tapered shank bits, a center, two chamfering tools, a ball bearing chuck and key. The only tool left out it the wedge used in the sleeves and spindle. The tapered shank tools are all sleeved up to #4 except the one large drill that is a #4 MT shank bit and the chuck. The 1/2" bit has two sleeves (2-3, 3-4), the center a 2-4 and the countersink 3-4. So one two step sleeve is in use.

This is a pretty normal setup. Holes were being drilled and tapped as well as drilled and counterbored.

Tapered arbors and sleeves are soft and it is common for them to get dinged up if not properly cared for. Often old sleeves need to be derusted and then hand dressed with a fine fire to remove the raised areas around dings. The collection in the photo above includes new sleeves and old ones that required hand dressing before use.
   - guru - Wednesday, 12/29/10 13:40:37 EST

Drill Chucks: I wouldn't spend a lot on the ball bearing chucks unless I really needed the large size and better grip. But there are times when you need the extra bite they provide.

For the few minutes it takes to disassemble a Jacobs chuck and put it back together rebuilding is always cheaper than new. The only way new might be cheaper is to replace the chucks with much cheaper models or brands.

The big problem is getting rebuild kits. They are not available for all the Jacobs chucks and some do not have all the necessary parts. In most cases all you need is new jaws as they wear fairly fast if drills slip in them at all and then the gripping edges rapidly become tapered and do not grip well or true. I've seen damaged nuts but it is unusual.

The first Jacobs chuck I repaired was an OLD #3 (0-1/2") that had been abused on a lathe. It had a shop-made tapered shank that did not lock well in the tailstock so it had been driven in with a hammer over and over until the nose was mushroomed in and out. . . I disassembled the chuck and trued the nose with a file and sand paper. I dressed the jaws on a sharpening stone until there was an even width flat where there used to be a sharp gripping corner. By creating an even width flat the gripping surfaces are true again. I put the chuck on a new arbor. The chuck worked very well but would not grip drills smaller than 1/8". A year or so later I replaced the jaws and nut. The two piece nut came with the jaws so it made sense to replace it with the jaws. I kept the old parts because they would still make a useless chuck usable.

There are some tricks to working on Jacobs chucks.

1) Getting the chuck off the arbor can be difficult. Wedges are sold that slip between the chuck body and the shoulder on the arbor. But sometimes the shoulder is damaged, the taper to tight OR you don't have the wedges. . . In those cases you drive the chuck off if there is a hole between the jaws side and the arbor side of the chuck body. Some chucks have a small hole some have none. The small holes are two small to use a punch through. The small hole can be drilled out OR a new hole drilled easily as the chuck body is soft. The hole can be 75 to 90% of the chuck capacity. Drill through the body, not into the arbor. Apply a little penetrating oil and then use a punch to tap the arbor out. You want to use a punch that almost fills the hole but not quite.

Note that there if there is no reason to remove the arbor then don't worry about it. The chuck can be rebuilt with the arbor in place. The above does not apply to thread on chucks.

2) Pressing the sleeve off and on is not difficult but requires a support to fit its edge. I've used large sockets, pieces of pipe or tubing (round and square), whatever fits. In the worse case you can make a tool using two pieces of angle iron cut the same length with a couple spreaders welded between them. This will give four points of contact which is sufficient to get the sleeve off. A smaller tube is used for assembly, not as critical a fit and usually easier to find.

Pressing the sleeve off can be done using an arbor press, a large vise, OR it can be gently tapped off. Assembling the chuck is best done with some kind of press or vise so that you can feel the sleeve bottom out on the shoulder.
   - guru - Wednesday, 12/29/10 13:48:12 EST

Hello, my name is Christoph,
I've seen videos on this site about Mr. McDonald's invention of a steel rolling mill and I was impressed with his idea of such a machine.
I also read that copies of CDs with construction plans of it are sold in the store, but I couldn't find it yet.
Can I still buy it anyhow or is it out of print?
   Christoph - Wednesday, 12/29/10 14:17:36 EST

Generally the cut off line for a straight shank drill is 1/2" or the metric equivalent.
That doesn't mean they don't go bigger but usually that is where a shop will start using Morse taper shank drills for larger size holes.
The bigger the drill the more torque is required to turn the drill while cutting.
The Morse taper shank relies on the "grip" created by the precise fit of the tapers and also the drive tang at the end of the shank, to transmit the needed torque from the spindle to the cutting flutes.
The typical three jaw drill chuck does this by squeezing the drill bit in the three precision self centering jaws.
The contact area of the three jaws on the straight shank drill is very small compared to the theoretical 100% contact of the taper in the spindle and the tapered drill shank.
I don't know what the smallest MT drill made is but I have seen them down to a 1/8".
The smaller MT drills are rather impractical because of the extra stock needed to form the MT shank. A 1/8" drill with a #1 MT shank would be allot of extra material you don't need in what would otherwise be a throw away drill.
A drill 1/2" and bigger with a MT shank is common enough that the cost of production is quite low as well.
Kind of like why most barns are red, because the red paint is so cheap, because most people paint their barns red, because the paint is so cheap....
There are also the straight shank Silver and Deming drills that all have a 1/2" straight shank. They start at 1/2" and go up to at least 2" as far as I know.
These drills were originally intended to fit in the spindle of the Silver and Deming post drills commonly used by blacksmiths and farmers.
I have a small handful of original S&D drills that have a set screw flat on the shank for holding them in the spindle of the S&D drills but they are no longer made that way.
One huge problem with using a S&D shank drill in a typical drill chuck is the S&D shank is often too long for the chuck and so sticks out too far and the drill shank gets easily bent or broken. The easy way around this would be to cut some of the extra shank off for a better fit or, only use them in a chuck or tool holder that is deep enough to accept them.
So my usual rule is 1/2" and under, go with a straight shank. 17/32" and over, use a tapper shank.
If you have a #4 MT spindle on your drill press then you are in good shape to be able to use drills up to the largest capacity of the machine, probably 1.5" in mild steel. You may want to get a MT sleeve adaptor to enable you to use #3 taper shanks in your #4 spindle. The #3's are usualy a little cheaper.
   - merl - Wednesday, 12/29/10 14:42:18 EST

Christoph, We have it available for immediate down load as a zip file and will have CD's in a few weeks. Mail coming your way.
   - guru - Wednesday, 12/29/10 14:42:32 EST

At the auto frame plant We used taper shank drills for all the often used sizes, as We had quick change tool holders on all the radial drills and mag drills, and the quick change adapters accepted taper shanks. There were torque limited tap drivers for the quick change also.

This type of setup makes for productive multiple tool operations. Everybody had a worn out drill bit cut off short with a concentric 90* point ground on it, this was used for centering in a punch mark. The quick change was made to release & grip while the spindle was turning, so a compromise speed was used for sequential operations, without disengaging the spindle.

Commonly We would :
locate, drill countersink & tap
locate, drill, countersink & ream
locate, drill, counterbore & countersink

If You have to stop the spindle, loosen a chuck, replace the cutter, tighten the chuck and engage the spindle for each operation, much more time is used to do the same work.

If a worn chuck is used, or any chuck used carelessly, the drill bit shanks get gaulded from slipping, and the bit no longer runs true. This was a non-issue with the taper shanks, provided the shank & socket were clean when put together.

I don't know if they are still made, but there were soft cheaper taper sleves made for salvaging taper shank bits with the tangs sheared off. The could be pinned or brazed in place. The auto frame plant welded up and re ground the tang if it sheared off, sometimes it worked, and other times not.

Many lathes do not use the tang to help drive taper shanks in the tailstock. If You have problems with a bit slipping in the taper, a pair of Vise Grips locked on the shank resting on the carriage or on a piece of wood over the bed ways will usually solve the problem.
   - Dave Boyer - Wednesday, 12/29/10 20:52:23 EST

Addition to above:
There were also salvage sleeves for taper shanks that required that You grind a flat on the taper to engage with the hole in the sleve, and this was the driving method.

The repairs I described in the first post were probably made using any soft sleve, not a special made one.

While mentioning taper sleves, they are available in hardened & ground or soft, the soft ones work fine if taken care of, and don't cost nearly as much.
   - Dave Boyer - Wednesday, 12/29/10 20:59:48 EST

I've seen the repair shanks in old catalogs but not recently. I suspect someone still makes them.

The lathe center above was being used to position a hand tap. We also use cylindrical centers in a chuck when it cannot be removed.
   - guru - Wednesday, 12/29/10 23:16:24 EST

At the valve shop we used taper shank drills in sizes fron 5?16s up. In some cases we also used straight shank bits, but most of the production machines were taper shank. We probably were using several million dollars a year in bits in the 80's
Then we started to move to inserted tooling in CNC's, but the big old fitting machines were too slow to use inserts to any advantage, so we still used lots of taper shank.
The advantage, in the times before very high speed spindles, we could hog metal beyond belief with a well ground twist drill.
Example, Forged steel Tee. The forgings went in the machine at 11.43# and exited the machine at 2.42# or 9.01# was made into shavings, per fitting, and that machine ran 270 fittings an hour. Used all twist drills except for the pipe taps. The transfer machine did this in steps and there were a total of 18 tsist drills. Some were tapered tap drills for the taper pipe thread. Some were 3" diameter drills only about 1" long that were used to pilot the 7 degree forging draft ends with trim lines. So short and massive as to be very stiff.
Taper shank is old technology, but nothing superior is to be found if you have a slow spindle and can't gain the benefits of inserted tooling.
   ptree - Thursday, 12/30/10 18:31:44 EST

Around here I've noticed used mid sized (5/8 thru 2") taper shank bits have gotten cheaper in the last few years as more guys get mag drills or start using annular cutters instead of twist bits. I try and buy them when the price is right. Sometimes they come in interesting sizes , i.e. 3/4" +.010.
   Judson Yaggy - Friday, 12/31/10 12:05:54 EST

I was offered a running Camelback drill yesterday for $500. Has working feed etc. I am going to neogatiate a bit, and if I can get the machine for the right price, I too will be back to buying bigger taper shank drills. I have a pretty complate set to 1 1/4" but nothing bigger.
   ptree - Friday, 12/31/10 12:16:41 EST

Many of the large bits I've got came with the my 25" Champion Drill. I think I paid $325 for the machine and got about $1500 worth of tapered shank drill bits with it plus chucks, sleeves, arbors. . . But I've also paid $65 to $100 each for specific bits when I needed them. . .

In most small shops you start with sets of small bits (number, letter, fractional, metric) in indexes and then buy larger drills as jobs require or when there is money to spend on them.
   - guru - Friday, 12/31/10 12:42:55 EST

"Camelback" Drills: These big old flat belt drill presses were going for $2500 in the mid 1950's when last sold. There was a brief period where some did not have the flat belt but had V-belt drives, the rest of the machine the same as the older machines.

This old style drill press was probably the most standardized machine made by multiple manufacturers. Parts from Champions, Rhyersons, Royersford and others in sizes from 18" to 25" are interchangeable. Spindles, bearings, gears and pulleys were all the same. Probably the most variable item was the power feed. The crank, clutch, worn and trigger were standardized but the pulleys and shafting tended to vary. Like many old back geared machines it is common to find broken gear teeth on more machines than not.

While they do not drill like modern rigid heavy duty machines they have the right speeds, excellent sensitivity, and were designed well enough that they did not change for over 50 years. They were the machines that built the modern world.

I paid $100 for my first but it was worn out and missing parts. I put a motor on it and got a great deal of use out of it as it was. I paid $325 for two more at different auctions in the 1980's that were complete but had 3PH motors. I bought another for $100 (an Aurora) that was almost complete but rusted solid. The Aurora has heavier gearing and is generally heavier for its size than the standard models. It is the only one I don't have running.

At one time I thought I wanted to setup all four in a row because they use common tooling and could be setup with different tools for each step of a job. But they are handier free standing where you can get long work on them. I am now down to three machines and will probably put two side by side and the other out where there is space around it.
   - guru - Friday, 12/31/10 15:43:39 EST

The camelback I am looking at has an old open frame 3 phase motor. Looks to be a 21", and is a Cincinati I think, but the thing is covered deep in dirt and dust. Sitting unsed in the back of an old long time weld shop. They also have a 1917 powered hacksaw , but it is a monster.
I have to go back when I have a bit more time and clean off the name plate and test it out.
Hopefully I will bring it home.
I finally got my circa 1900 Cincinati universal horizontal mill running today. The table feed is still in-op, and the lead screw nut needs adjustment, but I made chips! Finally got the grease out of the oil holes that some idiot had put zerks in and filled with grease. Longer I ran it, the smoother it got:)
All of the cutters I have are pretty dull, and the arbors have runout, but it is a start. Was able to square up some blocks of steel.
   ptree - Friday, 12/31/10 17:06:57 EST

thanks for info. Jacob Lockhart, this is in the mountains of central Calif. BEFORE the rest of you moan, i was born in Tucson,Az. raised on a working cow ranch in Benson Az. area. i don't like most californians either. part of my family goes back to the Gold Rush era. my direct roots are eastern Tenn. hills and the Commanche Nation.
   - bam-bam - Friday, 12/31/10 17:50:40 EST

Odball drill:
I have an old drill built somewhat similar to a camelback, but rather than having a horizontal top shaft, bevel gears drive a shaft that angles back and goes down to the base. A dished steel disk on this shaft is driven by a friction roll that slides on it's keyed shaft to give variable speeds.

There are no back gears, and no power fed, but it has the short 2 handled feed on the left side, a long handle that engages several places around the circle, and a hand operated worm fine feed on the right side.

The table is like a camelback, round & rotating with a screw & miter gears to raise & lower.

This is a 20" with a #3 taper spindle with about 6-7" stroke.

The down side is that the friction drive doesn't provide a lot of torque. If it was a good idea, there would be more of them around.

If I needed it more often, I would convert it to V belt drive to gain torque, but when the 14" Walker Turners aren't big enough, I use the Bridgeport or mag drill usually, and this oddity remains piled over with "stuff".
   - Dave Boyer - Friday, 12/31/10 20:10:46 EST

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