Hand machined mechanical pencils



Vacuum cleaner motor commutator cleaning I skimmed a little bit off the commutator using the lathe to clean the surface and reduce sparking


Sliding bandsaw table A simple sliding table for the bandsaw to allow accurate straight and right-angle cutting

Cutting rubber tubing on the lathe A razor blade makes it easy to cut rubber tubing

Making a D reamer Simple stepped-diameter reamer, ground using the lathe

Grinding disc arbor for Sherline An M14x2mm adapter for the Sherline headstock so it can hold angle grinder discs

Hot foil stamping Adapting parts from a cheap manual foiling machine to an arbor press

Hot-melt glue as strain relief Using hot-melt glue on a cable connector to both protect the connection and provide strain relief

Arbor press ram machining Sprucing up a cheap 1-ton arbor press. Boring the end of the ram to take cylindrical tooling.

Powder coating starlock washers Another (better) example of powder coating, this time on to capped starlock washers

Split clamp for lathe Simple, strong clamp for holding cylindrical work accurately in the lathe

Bottoming tap modification Grinding the bottom off a bottoming tap to allow threading right to the bottom of holes

Eccentric turning with two chucks Using a 3-jaw chuck held in a 4-jaw chuck for eccentric turning


Measuring topslide angle How to accurately measure or set the topslide angle on the lathe

Tube swaging drawbench Making a quick-and-dirty drawbench for enlarging some stainless tubing

Extending a lens tube Extending a metal lens tube which had been cut too short - gluing in a metal plug and re-machining to size

Repairing a threaded hole in aluminium Correcting a poorly drilled hole in an aluminium part by plugging and re-drilling

Telescoping bore gauge Making a simple bore gauge for approx. 14mm bores

6mm broach A single-tooth broach cutter for producing an accurate hole in plastic

Sherline chuck arbor Mounting a Sherline chuck on my big lathe

Miniature tube drill I made this to remove small broken wood screws and enable plugging of the resulting hole


Tool for holding DC jacks This lets you tighten the jack entirely from the outside

Threaded retaining rings How to grip them when there aren't any screwdriver slots

IKEA lamp - modifications Turning an IKEA Jansjö LED lamp into a microscope lamp

Nail clipper wire strippers Nail clippers make very effective (and cheap) wire strippers/cutters

Laser-engraved panels Laser-engraved white plasticard + black enamel paint = simple, effective instrument panel

PCB drilling Automatically drilling circuit boards on the CNC router

Molybdenum disulfide laser marking Using dry lubricant spray to apply marks to metal and ceramic

Imitation Mitutoyo test indicator Pretty poor quality, but good enough

Bench punch leverage measurement How much leverage does the bench punch actually give?

Garage tour Quick tour around the garage!

A better hotplate Adding a frame and cooling fan to my electric hotplate

Nails as tommy bars Using some 4" nails as Sherline tommy bars

Test indicator contact tip bar Bar contact for the end of my test indicator - useful for turning eccentric work in the lathe


Sherline coolant tray Turning a loaf tin into a coolant tray for the Sherline mill

Vacuum hold downs A couple of vacuum hold down chucks for my CNC router

Powder coating Simple arrangement to do powder coating

Magnetic indicator arm Refurbishing a cheap Chinese quick-release indicator arm

Sharpening a tap An attempt at sharpening a tap on the lathe

Electric hotplate A high-temperature hotplate for soldering etc.

Thin diamond saw Small spindle for a thin diamond lapidary saw blade

Turning between centers My very first attempt ever at turning something between centers on the lathe

Sherline spindle drawbar remover Quick tool to remove the collet drawbar on a Sherline spindle without whacking it

Hot air pencil A scratch-built hot air rework pencil for soldering PCBs

CRT stem pin holder Simple jig to stop pins moving when fusing glass

Hunton bench punch The bench punch

LED ring light Turning a cheap USB-powered LED light into a ring light for the Sherline mill

Punch and die set for washers For punching washers from thin metal sheet

Hydraulic press My 20 ton hydraulic press.

Wire butt welder Butt welder for small wires, using a pulse from the TIG torch

Gamepad controller for milling machine Using a cheap USB gamepad as a control pendant for a Sherline mill

Sherline mill swarf guard Simple device to keep the ways on the mill clean

Travelling lathe steady Ball-bearing travelling steady for my BV20M lathe

Miniature rope knurling tool Lathe tool for doing decorative "rope style" knurls

Card creasing/folding punch Technique for creasing card so it folds nicely

DIY Diecutting Shows how to make a steel-rule die and use it for diecutting materials with a hydraulic press


Sandblasting glass Sandblasting glass through a laser-cut vinyl stencil to apply marks/decoration

Storage drawer retainer Simple means of preventing over-filled storage drawers from jamming when pulling them out

Single-arm water manometer For measuring small pressure differences

Propane melting furnace A propane burner upgrade to my little electric melting furnace for melting aluminium. Also example of sand-casting a part.

Uses for disposable syringes Some uses for disposable syringes (flux, grease, oil, solder paste etc).

Machinable wax Making some machinable wax

Lathe quick change toolpost Adding a new quick change toolpost to my lathe

Aluminium anodising Home anodising for aluminium - deep black colour

Lathe DRO Adding a digital readout to my lathe

Manual orbital TIG welding Making circular joints with the TIG

TIG footswitch and timer A footswitch for my TIG welder, which also does as a timer for doing short pulse welds

Ultrasonic drilling Drilling small holes in hard materials using ultrasound

Electric melting furnace A small electric furnace which can melt about 1kg of aluminium

Using solder glass Joining pieces of glass together using solder glass. Also using it to apply decoration.

Electrolytic etching and machining Very simple technique for etching metal parts, which can even be used for simple electrochemical machining.

Pulse arc welding using TIG How to use very brief pulses from a TIG torch to weld small wires and thin metal

Dual-spindle glass lathe A lathe with two synchronised spindles for glassblowing operations


Cutting glass tubing on the lathe Cutting glass tubing by scratching and heating with a torch flame

Degassing chamber Small degassing chamber made from a stainless-steel dog bowl

Spot welder A spot welder made from a microwave oven transformer

Pinchoff tool for copper tube Tool for sealing off small-diameter copper tubing, for example in vacuum devices

Micro gas torch A small oxy-gas torch which uses hypodermic needles as tips

Webcam crosshairs/alignment Using a cheap webcam to align things on the CNC router


CO2 laser cutter The setup, operation and modifications of a 40W Chinese laser cutter


CNC coil winder A coil winder attachment for the lathe