Home made tools or jigs

Discussion in 'Tips & Tricks' started by Dave Harris, Nov 29, 2008.

  1. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    The same would apply to the rotary milling/drilling device. Though not mechanically challenged, I haven't the remotest idea of how it works....:cry:
  2. thumsup

    thumsup Member

    :v8: You peopleannounce1
  3. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member

    Never thought about anyone not catching on as to what it is for steamhead , sorry.

    OK -- lets say you want to drill a set of holes around a boiler front & have them evenly spaced & on a true circle.

    The table is clamped to your drill press& centered under the bit. The small holes in the top are threaded for hold down clamps ( 1/8 square bar stock) Now off set the drill table 1/2 the distance of your circle pattern. You can also off set it when mounting it if your press won't allow an accurate offset in the head or bed.
    Then determine how many holes you want, to find how many degrees apart they must be ( 360 divided by number of holes----- lets say--- 8 holes = 45 degrees)
    Drill a hole , rotate the table 45 degrees & drill, repeat.
    To mill a circular slot simply start milling & rotate the table.
    It can also be used on a lathe by mounting it on the carriage using the 90 degree legs that are on one side of it which gets it in line with the lathe chuck.

    The point of this homemade one is it's size & cost, commercial ones are usually about 8 to 12 inches in diameter & cost hundreds of dollars, far too big & costly for hobby work. This one is about 3 inches & probably cost less than 20.00 bucks to build. By using a car window motor as the base it required little in the way of machine work as the critical part ( Gearing) was already complete . Hope this helps a bit.

    Attached Files:

  4. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member

    What?? Take a loco apart to demonstrate the tool??
    You mean to say you can actually get one back together after you take it apart!!
    Send the quarterer to me I've got all kinds of locos in pieces , thats ALL I can do is get em apart --- never knew they actually would go together again wall1--- why do you think I'm so big on building junkyards! :twisted:
  5. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member

    Here is a little simple tool I made that should be pretty self explanatory, I have posted it before but this IS a tool thread.
    It is a device to make corrugated panels like roofs & such.
    This little doo dad most anybody can whip up to make all the material they will ever want using Kitchen foil. I recomend Reynolds Wrap Heavy Duty-- it seems to be the strongest OR I have used & I really like the aluminum Foil repair tape -- kinda like duct tape--- It's really super but a bit shiny so you will have to scuff it with Sandpaper OR etch it for a rusted effect, works on the renoylds wrap as well.
    I made this from 1/4 X 1/8 brass bar, top & bottom are 1/4 square. You can see the two small pieces of channel in the top half, they are to keep the threaded "pressure bar " from turning, as the ends of the bar are ground flat to slide but not bind or twist & do have to be pretty close tolerance for side to side movement as well.
    If I recall correctly the threaded rod I used to make this was 4/40 but depending on scale other sizes could work . 4/40 is perfect for HO.

    To use it you must get the two screws to "mesh" , thats why the stationary screw is slotted -- once its lined up it pretty well stays ok -- I had not used this in 3 -4 years till just now & It needed no adjustment.
    The whole tool is about 1 1/4 X 1 1/2 excluding the screws.
    To use it just cut a strip of foil, slip it between the screws & tighten the pressure screws down a bit & gently , steadly pull the foil thru. You tear a few now & then but foils cheap!

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  6. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Now I see.....The corrugating tool I got the first time around....!!! :mrgreen:
  7. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member

    Glad to hear that--- Now, have you made yourself one yet? Mine has saved me a bunch of change!!
  8. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    Thanks for pointing me @ this thread. I'll watch it, and add to it next time I use a jig or home made tool! might need one of those corrogators, If youve noticed, my sawmill doesn't have roofing yet.

    Bill Nelson
  9. Sawdust

    Sawdust Member

    Hey Dave, nice tool you have. I have been doing this for a while with more scrap than usable material by clamping strips on my bench & holding two pieces of threaded rod with my fingers & pull. The good stuff I get looks great but too much scrap. I do have a jig using two knurled rollers but have not perfected the rollers at this time. I may just build your type for now.
  10. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    cutting board tool

    When I first looked at this thread, I thought "I don't have any Jigs." but I was wrong. I'm putting together some I beam framing for the machinery for the Surry Parkers. I'm doing this to give the bottom end of the machinery a heftier look, and to make the smoke stack stick a little further through the roofs, which ended up a little more steeply pitched than planned..

    under the white plastic I beams is a small cutting board. the piece of wood glued to it at a 90 degree angle allows me to but two pieces of material tightly to the piece of wood, so I can cut the second one using the first for a reference.

    In front of that is a jig like I will make if I have a whole lot of pieces that need to be the same size. it has the piece glued down ant nintey degrees to but the material up agaist tightly, and another glued along side that makes a length reference. the one shown is for cutting bridge ties-the pencil lines show where the rails will land, and if i coppy those pencil lines on the brigeties as I cut them, it makes it easier to glue the ties down to the stringers cenered properly, and then when the glue is dried it helps to guide the position of the rails as they are spiked.

    Bill Nelson

    Attached Files:

  11. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member

    Bill, Now we're cooking!!
    I have not checked in on this thread for a while , glad to see some additions to it. :thumb:

    You proved my point , jigs & tools need not be fancy or complicated to be VERY useful.
    All they need do is insure quick , easy duplication of a part or action , time after time.

    I know there are a lot more out there --- lets see em guys.:wave:
  12. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    smilar, but more complicated

    In my closet I founfd this jig. It is similar to the one for making bridge ties, but this one is for scratchbuilding Tweetse hopper cars in HOn3.

    I wanted a bunch of these. they are available as a kit, but would cost, by the time trucks and couplers were involved over $30 a piece, and I want lots!

    The Narrow Gauge & Shortline Gazzette published plans for this car in On3. I wanted lots of cars, and I want them stout. My Narrow gauge is way high, and for the most part not forground. I wanted good operating cars, and was willing to cut corners on construction for strength and easy mass construction. Before I designed the car for mass construction, I wanted to understand the car thouroughly, so I built two to the plans in the NG&SLG in ON3. One got trucks and couplers, and I gave it to my train buddy Mack Montgomery, in Rome Ga. the other is in this picture.

    The construction board in the photo has the material making the jig elementss that is identical to the material to be cut, so I could measure the wood on the jigs, cut wood to match, and be ready to build more cars. The jig for the car side is just as tall as the car side ,and has pencil lines that show where the stake & pocket castings from Grant line , which other than the trucks , couplers and screws are the only comercial parts on the car.

    When I started I cut enough wood to size for 8 cars, four have been assembled and painted. at some point I need to build the other four, and start cutting the wood and gathering the parts for another round of eight.

    There are no plans! I have a sample of a floor piece, and a bolster, and this construction jig. This is all I need to replicate these cars, and it will reatly speed up cutting the elements to size, and assembling them into sub assembilies, a great tool!

    Bill Nelson

    Attached Files:

  13. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member

    Thats pretty slick Bill !!
    Some where I still have the rest of the jigs I built to make the 20 log cars I made a few years back. The ones I showed the jig for making the braces at the beginning of this thread. I was making copies of a MDC log car. The only hitch was that I used wood , MDC used diecast metal , after I got them done I found out why---- the car NEEDED to be heavy! The only way I coud run my cars was to have weighted logs on them ALL the time -- otherwise when they came to a curve they pulled themselves off the track & into a straight line !!

    Here are a couple pics of the cars. I had jigs made for all the parts. Most of the car was wood, some parts were brass, the braces & reinforcement plates. I had jigs for drilling those, jigs to cut all the wood pieces, angles & all.

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  14. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I've played with a few jigs.

    Window forming jigs tended to be more time than they were worth to me...free hand assembly is easier (I use a NWSL chopper to cut the parts).

    I love grab iron bending jigs. I started off using my collection of them from Grandt Line kits, and I create new ones whenever I need a different length/shape grab iron than I have from GL.

    I'll make a cutting jig for any type of cutting curved parts I need. I've never had luck using heat to form parts, so I set up a little jig which holds my part in place while I use a compass with two pointy ends to score an arch. I usually cut a blank to guide my cutting and forming of roof carlines (the arched parts of a clerestory roof). I'll create my blank specifically for that car's roof profile. (the roof arrangement varied from passenger car to passenger car...I want all of my cars to look unique).
  15. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member

    NKP ------- Sounds interesting , but I can't quite get my head around it. Any chance to show us a picture of what it is & how you do it? :idea:
  16. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Of which? The grab iron, window, or a roof variety?

    Here's a jig I used to hold the clerestory in place as I assembled the lower car lines...
    (it is sitting in between the partially completed roof and the square)

    Here's another thing I did when cutting out supports to keep my 2-8-0s project's boiler round...

    Here's one of the jigs for cutting arched parts...


    Here is one of the window jigs...what a waste of time, effort, and brass!

    Trestle Bend jigs

    And although I can't find a car line blank, here's a full car's worth of completed car lines from before I sheathed it...

    When I started building trucks, I created both bending and drilling jigs, but realized very quickly that they didn't really help much with the techniques I settled on using. I'm thinking about taking a stab at brass again...see if it is worth the extra time...as well as casting with a different type of resin...
  17. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member

    Some homemade tools are a bit more involved.
    Here are some pictures of a rivet machine I made , similar to NWShortlines which was a bit pricey for my taste. The most technical part of this was a high quality ball bearing drawer glide which I salvaged from an electronic cabinet of some sort the US govt. had scrapped which I found in a metal salvage yard . I bought about 20 of the little jewels for a buck apiece!! I am sure something similar could be found in a good hardware store & still be less costly than a NWS riveter.
    The rest was pretty inexpensive stuff , the gears are from a model race car, the drive screws are 1/4 x 20 threaded rod. 1/4 x 20 is used because it advances at an easy rate to calibrate --.050 per revoloution. all the rest came from the metal salvage yard. I just love wandering around in one , once I found a BUNCH of brass sheet discarded by a trophy maker , they all had a colored finish & ingraving on one side , simple matter to turn them shiny side up & build trains out of them !! I got em for less than a buck a pound --still using them years later!

    I will try to give you enough pics that you might be able to build your own if you want.

    Attached Files:

  18. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Dave, that is very nice. I like seeing homemade tools...laser cutters, riveters, resistance soldering units, etc...
  19. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member

    The rest of the pictures.

    Attached Files:

  20. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member

    Looks like you showed us ALL of them.

    Great stuff!!
    Your celestory roofs are fantastic!! I don't think I have ever seen anyone make a completely built up celestory roof before. Your entire car is a beautiful piece of work. What scale are they?
    The jig for curved cutting is slick, I never would have thought of that. I can even see myself using one like it to mark brass for cutting if I need some uniform parts of brass one day. Thanks.

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