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Upshur progress to date. Connecting rod in the foreground still needs to be profiled.

March 26, 2019:  Four months have elapsed since the last update. The Upshur engine is starting to look like an engine. There's still a lot of parts to be made though. Progress may slow since outdoor activities take priority this time of year. Also, as the parts get smaller and more detailed, I like to model them in Fusion 360 and let it generate toolpaths. Most of the parts made so far have been hand programmed. It's good practice, but only makes simple 2.5D parts.

I've been looking for a Morse3 live drill chuck for the lathe tailstock. Sometime ago, I needed to make a 10-28 screw. That's a special thread...literally 10-28UNS. I had the idea to buy long 10-32UNF or 10-24UNC screws to get the socket head and single point the 28TPI further up on the shank. Problem is, a screw head isn't much to chuck on and the relatively long stickout deflects badly. Using a live drill chuck in the tailstock, I could grip on the original threads, cut my new threads in the right location and then cut the screw off to length. This idea sat on the back burner for a while, until a similar job came across my machine at work. A left-hand 5/16-18 bolt 2.5 inches long with 2 inches of thread. The only place they could source them wanted more than $250 each. Needless to say, I decided it behoove me to expand my custom bolt making capabilities.

With spring arriving, I needed to put out lime and fertilizer. I've had a pull-behind spreader for several years. Lately though, every time I want to use it, I first have to fix it. It's always the cable control that's broken and it usually fails when the hopper is full. This year, I checked before I hooked it to the mower. I was rewarded with a loud CRACK as the control broke. I cobbled it together so I could get through and starting looking for parts. The next day, I decided I could design my own and eliminate the weak point. I initially thought I would machine it on the Sherline but decided it would be strong enough 3d printed with the right wall thickness and infill. I'll have to wait til next spring to see how it works in use. It seems to work fine right now although it always does until I actually need it.

Another project still in the works is a lawnmower lift. Essentially a long set of ramps that once the mower is driven on, will be jacked up in the back. The whole mower will fit on them and when lifted, will be about a foot higher. Basically, a scaled down kwik-lift made out of a 2 by 8 and a piece of pipe. I'd like to gain enough room to be able to use an impact to change blades. We'll see how this works out.

More to come.

As always, check back often for updates.