A Start On My Own Hobby Pursuits

Discussion in 'Hobbies & Crafts' started by Frank Sanoica, Mar 20, 2016.

  1. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    Some members here have followed me on this path before; how many, maybe just a few. I am hopeful many others will get something from it, if not encouragement, then renewed interest in doing, building, making things "come to life".
    I got my small metal-cutting lathe at 12, my Dad being a machinist, and I wanted to be able to "make" stuff beyond what we did in Shop Class at school. Soon, I needed a larger one, which materialized when I was 14, with help from my Mother's "slush" fund, dough stashed from excess not spent for food (she never worked after I was born....Ha! For a living, I mean; worked pretty hard raising a little devil).
    Mostly, as cars became #1 in my life, I made custom parts not buyable otherwise. Here's a few metal parts I made recently, with that same lathe now going on 60 years old!
    Model train wheel, turned first in the lathe, here having shaped holes put in. The hammer gives size perspective.
    [​IMG]

    A bunch of those wheels, attached to a chassis. Supported by 5-gallon buckets.
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    The old lathe, turning a wheel. Lathes are used to make round things. The machine boring holes above is generally used to make things that are not round; it's called a milling machine.
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    Here's a bunch of small wheels, about 5 inches in diameter. Wheels and axles all made using the lathe. These wheels became a working part of the last pic, below.
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    The process of designing and building a model, live-steam locomotive, having no plans or prints, or cast-up preliminary parts, was one of the more daunting of my undertakings. I am NOT a machinist by trade, maybe something of a designer of things, though. I swore as a young man, that I would never be saddled to a job where I made parts for a living. Strictly for pleasure! And, I never have......
     
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  2. Von Jones

    Von Jones Very Well-Known Member
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    That is absolutely a wonderful creation @Frank Sanoica! I can't make out what it says, can you help me out?

    What do you do with all the metal shavings? It seems like a monster to clean up.

    Aren't five gallons bucket great for supporting things. I used them a lot when I what to clean my area rugs. My Mom showed me how to improvise.
     
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  3. Sheldon Scott

    Sheldon Scott Very Well-Known Member
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    Very nice Frank. I spent 39 years as a tool & die maker. Having a whole machine shop to work in, I made a lot of projects or made many repairs for our home. The worst part of retirement is losing the use of all those machines. I still do a lot of things but not much made from metal these days.
     
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  4. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    [​IMG]

    Thank you! Metal shavings are nasty, and always a slight problem. My Dad, a Machinist, came home often with "chips" as he called them, embedded in his clothing, pockets, etc. Mostly steel, if they went through the wash, they could rust and stain cloth. Once long ago, when I turned down my Dad's bowling ball into a cylinder for a coil form, it created a garbage can full of black rubber shavings! As a rule, shavings are just thrown away. One prominent problem is that often they are long and stringy, sharp as a "continuous razorblade", and can cut the fingers most deeply!

    Frank
     
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  5. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    @Sheldon Scott: In reality, my Dad was a Tool & Die Maker, but most folks relate more easily to the term "Machinist", I think. In my own case, I started making metal things on my early lathes, having the life-long dream of building a replica of the real steam locomotive that "bailed us out" during a steam excursion when the other engine failed, with a broken eccentric rod. That trip took place in 1959, when I was 17. As the years went by, I finally picked up a very old but serviceable Bridgeport Vertical Mill in about 1993, while living outside of Phoenix. I can go further with the whole story, if you like. It's twisted and convoluted, a long tell, but mostly bizarre enough to be interesting! Here's a pic of part of my shop currently, welders, tanks, bandsaw not in view.

    [​IMG]

    Actually, I think I would be lost if my machinery, or the physical abilities to use them, were to be lost!
     
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    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016
  6. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    What do you make now, Frank?
     
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  7. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    @Chrissy Page : Welllll.......Chrissy, trouble for others mainly, I'm afraid. Ha!

    I have slacked off, become disgusted with my lack of performance lately. Moving across country in 2012 disrupted some dreamy plans, namely, to start building another big model. Meanwhile, my nephew, Danny, in the Marine Corps., intervened with a request that I get a headstart on restoring an old vehicle which he will wrap up when he leaves the military. We have the vehicle bought, :
    [​IMG]
    Intent is to remove the old, carberetted 351 and install a fuel-injected, brand-new Mustang 5.0L engine, which is still awaiting the call to action. Decided to install a car hoist. Shop roof won't accomodate a raised vehicle, so must rework the roof to eliminate roof truss interference, BIG job! I'm procrastinating right now.....

    Endlessly pursuing one form of madness or another! Frank
     
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  8. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    @Sheldon Scott : A Tool & Die Maker just has to like this. The part pictured is a short portion of the two-foot wide strip, sawn off the end of the whole part, which is ten feet long. Almost 1/4-inch thick aluminum, formed and pierced in a progressive die, which my Dad built during the War. The die set was huge, big as a large dining table, a picture of him standing by it floated around for years, but is lost to history, sadly. If you happened to see the movie "Tucker" in the '90s, the actual Plant building Tucker leased in about 1948 was the same Plant still occupied by Ford Motor, building airplane engines during the war. My Dad had the die set trucked to that plant to test it; they were the only ones nearby with a large enough punch press. Die worked! He said it felt like the building shook, as it struck the thick sheet stock!

    [​IMG]

    These unusual-looking pieces linked together, note bent-up hooks along the sides, they were made by the tens of thousands during the final year of WW-II. Do you know what they were?

    Edit: The hunk pictured hung in our garage for years as I grew up. I saved it, bringing it along with a few other historic "artifacts" after my Dad died, and I left Chicago, 1972.
     
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  9. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    That does sound like a big job! You would have like my late husband, he was very similar. Even when terminal he would be drawing plans for something or other.
     
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  10. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    A man's true worth may be gauged by how deeply pervasive are his interests, more important to him than life itself. I envy your husband, and appreciate you saying this.
    Frank
     
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  11. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    This forum does not allow titling of individual posts within a thread?

    Reason Why I Started the Thread, then. The Burlington Railroad ran smack-dab through the center of my hometown, outside of Chicago. My family and friends spent many hours while growing up, watching the trains, plentiful as they were with 3 main-line tracks. My Dad often drove me and my mom to the local ice cream shop, on Sunday afternoons, to enjoy homemade sundaes and sodas while watching the trains. By high school age, the steam locomotives were mostly gone, retired in favor of the diesels. But now and then, a big steamer was run, making me shiver to the quick, standing alongside the track, the very ground shaking as a million pounds of ferocious power thundered past us.

    Senior year, my friends asked me to join them on a Burlington-sponsored steam excursion to Galesburg, Illinois, and back. It ran on a Sunday, in September, 1959. I was 17, fully aware of the nuances of enormous power-producing machines, already deeply committed to building car engines. The trip entailed a double-header, two locomotives, pulling a train of however many passenger coaches, as well as a Railway Express Agency baggage car, needed to carry the folks signed-up.

    Lead engine was a huge Texas-type No. 6315, followed by the slightly smaller Northern-type No. 5632, pulling behind them a baggage car first, then coaches. The baggage car's wide doors were open all during the trip, protecting foolish over-hangers from falling out by 2X6 beams nailed over the openings! I rode with my friends in that car! We stopped along the way, in rural cornfield-country somewhere, to do a "photo-shoot", where those who care to participate de-train with cameras, the entire train backs up about a mile, then gets a "running start", flying by the photographers. I chose to remain on board. The pic below was taken during that fly-by.
    [​IMG]
    The baggage car with it's 2 wide doors may be seen behind the second locomotive's tender. I was in that car, when this pic was taken. Note the date, if legible.

    After the photo-run, we continued on towards Galesburg. Not too far along the way, we stopped, suddenly. Turned out, the lead engine, 6315, had broken her right-hand eccentric rod clean in half! Woe that I had no camera! The rod was a steel I-Beam the size of my forearm! After about an hour of crewmembers hustling about, making certain following trains knew we were blocking one of the most-busy railroad mainlines in America, we were herded back on board. The engine behind 6315, Northern No. 5632, was employed to get the train moving again, forward to a switch-off where the disabled 6315 could be removed. 5632 struggled mightily, wheels spinning, as the cylinder compression of 6315 could not be relieved. Slowly, we moved. How far, I forget. A spur track allowed 6315 to be dropped of, and 5632 performed magnificently to get us to Galesburg, then back to Chicago.

    We were running several hours late, an unheard-of and unacceptable railroad situation. I dozed as we ploughed back towards Chicago, roused once while it was still light to look, amazed, at the telegraph poles along the way almost a blur! It was said, the "Q" (as Chicago, Burlington & Quincy) was colloquially called, allowed our crew to pull out the stops! We exceeded 100 mph. at times returning to Chicago.

    After that trip, I vowed to someday, somehow, build a scale-model working steam locomotive based on the 5632 Northern. The trip was in 1959. I started work in 2002, 53 years later.....

    Years later, after my Mother died, digging through her belongings, I found this, the original ticket issued by CB&Q for that trip:

    [​IMG]

    She had had foresight way beyond that instilled in her numbskull son! How I wished I could thank her, and tell her how much I loved her! Frank
     
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  12. Terry Page

    Terry Page Very Well-Known Member
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    A really interesting thread Frank thanks, your engineering skills are awesome, you must have a lot of patience to produce those models. I love everything to do with railways, and have always admired the working scale steam locomotives that enthusiasts make from scratch.
     
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