First Project - Machinist Jacks

After getting my lathe setup (See Pics), I decided to make a set of four machinist jacks from the back of Doug Briney's book: Home Machinist's Handbook. Here are some pictures along the way.

You can click on the thumbnail to get a larger version of the picture, and you can click on the larger version to get the full size image.

After Facing

This is the starting point: a piece of 3/4" hex rod of 12L14 steel, cut with a hacksaw and faced on the lathe to a 3/4" length. Bigger...

First Taper

This is what they looked like after center drilling and tapping. The first one has had the 15 degree taper added (Hmmm added a taper by removing metal :) I used a 17/64" drill (a bit under the proper "I" size) and tapped with a 5/16-24 tap. Bigger...

First Taper

The last pic was a bit blurry but had the correct color. This one is in better focus but the color was changed by the light I was using. In order to get the pieces held in the 3 jaw chuck, I aligned the jaws so that one was facing straight up. I then placed two pieces of 1/4" HSS tool bit on the lower two jaws and put my piece on that. IMPORTANT: After tightening the jaws, slide the tool bits out. You don't want those flying out at you when the jaws start moving! This left enough room for the lathe bit to cut the taper. Also, before turning the lathe on, make sure that the cross slide won't be hit by the jaws when your tool bit is close to the jaws. I made this mistake and wondered why the jaws stopped moving when the lathe bit got close (but not touching). I now have a couple of little gashes on my cross slide to remind me. Fortunately, the speed was fairly slow (around 400 RPM), so nothing serious happened. A lesson well learned! Bigger...

All Tapered

Here they are, all tapered, with the bolt heads faced and cleaned up. I couldn't get the bolt heads to come out with a clean finish on the lathe, so I used a good old fashioned file, followed by a few swipes with some varying grades of sandpaper. I used 320, 600, and 800 grit sandpapers (one after the other) and wound up with a pretty nice finish. The second and forth bodies from the left were sanded on the lathe. The first and third ones were left as-is. Bigger...

All Tapered

Another view. The bolt head that's second in from the left was the first one I did. I kept trying different things trying to get a smooth finish on the lathe. With the last three, I just took off the lettering and bumps and finished as described in the previous picture. Bigger...

Closeup

Here's a closeup of one of the jacks. I think I got too much flash (from the camera). Bigger...

Oil Finish

I went to the gas station and picked up some 20W-50 oil. I dipped the bases in the oil and cooked them on my barbeque for about 30 minutes. This is what you get. Bigger...

Oil Finish Closeup

Here's a closeup of one of the jacks with the oil finish. I found out afterwards that the color had nothing to do with the oil, but rather is this is the temper color of steel that's been heated to 400-500 degrees F.

Sometime in the future, I'll heat these up to a dull red and quench in used motor oil to give them a black finish. Bigger...


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Copyright 2006 by Dave Hylands