Monthly Archives: June 2013

Spindle Bushings

I came across an interesting video revealing the bushings of a early 1900’s South Bend Lathe.

I’ve worked with bronze before when I machined a hot-end nozzle for a 3D printer (never became functional, but the hot-end worked).

It should be possible to take bronze bar stock which I have left over from that hot-end and drill a spindle hole through it on the drill press.
4 bar block w/ spindle hole

Not sure yet how I would turn the outside. You need a lathe to make a lathe. But a lathe can be very simple…
Spindle hole and machined outside

Stair/shelf continued

We finishe the overall structure of the stair shelf last night. It still needs shelves, and wheels. We cross braced the every corner we could, and put reinforcements across all the short 2×4 pieces, and it is sturdy enough to use as stairs. If you stand at the top and start shaking your hips it’ll wobble, but that’s good enough for now. We’ll see how long it lasts and we’ll make repairs if need be. For now, we have a staircase.

I tried to take a video of the whole build, but forgot how much battery life it drains to take video on my phone. The phone shut off without saving any video, and I wasn’t able to take any shots of the finished structure with cross bracing.

More later…


Building a Stair/Shelf

Isaac and I are building a combination staircase and set of shelves. It will come to 7′ high and allow us to access the second floor of our mezzanine structure in the semi-private space. It will also be on wheels, allowing it to be used to access other high parts of the Lab 🙂

We are using entirely reused lumber, which we scrounged from pallets dumpsters and alleyways. Using found material makes it a creative exercise even more than just creating something. It forces us to work with the materials we have in hand, rather than devising a plan and simply implementing it. Found material also creates a very appealing asthetic, with visible signs of previous uses, weather and decay.

I will try to follow up with more photos as we continue and finish the build.

Here’s the base of it. Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo with the two stairs on it before we put it away.

Here’s some of the mess we made while working.

And these are some of our reference drawings on the big beautiful black board wall! Yay!

The Lab was very busy today, especially during drop in hours. It’s always nice to stop and chat while you’re busy getting shit done.

The Aluminum Foundry

The aluminum foundry is propane fired using a venturi nozzle built from pipe fittings. The burn chamber is an old propane bottle that was thoroughly cleaned out before being cut open with a cutting wheel on an angle grinder.

Here’s an example of what I’ve done with it.


The mould is made from greensand (a mixture of fine silica sand, bentonite clay powder and water)