Monday, March 1, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

Lot's going on now. Still working on getting the lathe fixed. I started putting it back together but I need to make some shims for the headstock. It's got a rather ingenious setup for setting the bearing clearance. The spindle runs on a split bronze bushing with the bearing cap having a wedge type of gadget to set the spindle to bearing clearance. The bearing cap also has shims under it to set the "crush" on the bearing. Instead of replacing the inserts when they wear, like you would on a car crankshaft, you can change the shims and adjust the clearance with the wedge and still use the same bushing. So as soon as I can figure out a way to make some nice holes in material that's only .002" - .003" thick, I'll be in business.

I made a new coil mount for the Rickati. The other one just looked like crap. I'm machining up a couple of little bosses now for the skid plate mounts. I picked up a lathe for the school and I'm getting that tooled up at the same time. I bought a tool post and a lathe file. I already had a set of cutting tools that has a boring bar, knurling tool, threading tool as well as the turning tools. A few more things and it should be a real handy addition to the shop. I'm planning on adding some machine shop work to the program next year. Most of these guys have no idea what a lathe and mill are, let alone what the machines can do. It's a little scary thinking about turning some of these guys loose on rotating equipment, however.

I've been teaching metallurgy for a few days to my beginning classes. Whew, that's a real chore. How do you get a high school kid interested in things like martensite, cementite and critical temperature? I'm going to keep pitching and hopefully they'll at least try to do some catching. Usually we end up with a lot of passed balls but even if they don't learn a lot, I've managed to keep them awake through the whole thing. That's not all that easy an hour after the school lunch, regardless of the subject.

Getting geared up for the Gloves at the gym. Jimmy sparred with just about everyone this evening and I did the same with the mitts - for about an hour and a half straight. Arms are a little tired tonight but I'm going to sleep good.

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