Welcome to Jon’s Machine Shop!



February 16, 2021:  Six months to the day since the last update. I’m getting better at this but still not very consistent. I’ve got to do better. Every time I update this site, WordPress has changed something and I have to re-learn how to do whatever it is. This update is really just a large collection of mostly small, insignificant projects. 

I’ve gotten started in resin casting. It compliments the 3D printer really well. Prints are not really strong in my opinion. I can print a part, sand it smooth and then use it as a pattern in a silicone mold. I’m not sure a resin part is any stronger, but it feels like it should be. I’m currently using a cast trigger in my impact gun. The original broke a few months ago. I created a model in Fusion and had it 3D printed in steel by Shapeways. It was small enough that the price was reasonable and I wanted to see how it would turn out.

I’ve added a few projects to the tinplate page. I’ve made a couple funnels for specific purposes. I also made a toolbox riser. It’s surprisingly strong considering it’s made of flashing. It’s holding a fully loaded box and has allowed me to reclaim some of my workbench. Another tinplate project is in the works. A steam shovel replica. Since it’s more ambitious than the others, I gave it its own page. It’s currently in process, but should be finished in a few weeks at the rate I’ve been going.

As far as general metalwork, I’ve gotten a few small projects accomplished. It’s been finished for some time, but I’ve had a transaxle hanger on my mower that broke twice (not in the same place). The second time, I decided some serious reinforcement was in order. I’ve also had two separate projects involving parallels. One was a set in a wooden box (the box came out much better than the parallels in it). The other is one of a set of adjustable parallels. I also came up with a way to use taper mounted tooling in the Sherline mill without having to use a hammer to remove it. I still prefer to use the screw-on toolholders, but this allows me to use the flycutter that came with the mill. It leaves a really nice finish.

I’ve added several glass projects. Mostly small stuff like suncatchers and one fused ornament. The success with the ornament has me wanting a larger programmable kiln. I have completed one significant stained glass project. A precut Iris panel. The frame was cut by Cary Custom Carving.

The search is on for a replacement for Fusion 360. I bought a one year subscription last fall after their major announcement. It is really good CAD/CAM software, but I don’t like subscription based software or having all my work stored on their servers. I’d rather own the software and store my projects locally. Rhino is currently what I’m leaning towards. It should be able to support the rotary axis on the Sherline. That’s been a real sticking point in the search.

The Upshur engine is still in process. No progress has been made since the last update though. Machine work has slowed while I worked on glass projects.

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.