Friday, December 23, 2011

My Great Grandfather's Machining Tools

I'm back in Mary Land for the holidays and I was hanging out in my pop's shop. I have never taken the time to check out an old metal lathe that was against the wall, so I pulled it outside and dusted it off. I cleaned out under the lathe bench and put my hands on all of my great grand father's old tools.

On the back of the bench there is a machinist vice and a bench grinder. I really dig this set up and as I am building my own shop I have a new appreciation for benches on wheels, with efficient tool set up. My pops built the bench, go figure.

There was a great belt tensioner built into the bench. You can see it in the bottom right of the picture. It is a threaded rod that threads into a female piece that is bolted onto a piece of plywood that holds the flywheel and electric motor (pictured on the bottom left side of the page). When you turn the handle on the very bottom right of the side it pushes the plywood (plywood slides) and tensions the belt. My great grandfather was way ahead of me.

Here is a dove tail jointed tool box for all of his machining tools. He probably built this with all hand tools and the blonder wood pictured on the left side of the box was to hold wood chisels.

Here are is an old school micrometer (before the days of dial calipers). On the bottom right side of the box are some glass ball bearings. These micrometers belonged to my grandfather when he worked at Westinghouse during the second world war. They were using glass ball bearings for radar to avoid metal bearings from interrupting the radar antenna when it rotated.

There were all kinds of measurement tools, taps and dies, and cutting tools for the lathe in the box drawers.

There were also sharpening stones and all kinds of interesting charts for thread information and decimal approximations for fractional measurements.

My favorite tool discovery was this small set of tongs. The blacksmith in me has a supreme appreciation for hand made tools.

Discovering my family history has been an informative way to learn more about metal working, craftsmanship and the strong connection that I have with building, designing and construction. It is becoming apparent that this is in my blood.

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