Chesapeake Area Metalworking Society

Review of 25 November 2008 Meeting
Mason District Governmental Center
6507 Columbia Pike
Falls Church, VA

contributed by Charles Keeney

The November 25, 2008 CAMS began as most CAMS meeting do, with members searching out good deals from others that have too many and by catching up on what other CAMS members are doing.


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Milling about prior to the meeting.


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More milling about prior to the meeting.


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Some of Alan's wares. Because the November meeting followed the yard sale so closely Alan brought a smaller than usual offering.


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Al Haracz had some freebies that included old technical text books and some vintage holiday cards. In the background was some screw assortments that Dave Bluett was offering.


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Chris Daniel was offering some knurled thumbscrews and some stainless fastners.


Chris Helegesen kicked off the meeting the traditional round-robin self-introductions. Twenty six CAMS members were present at this meeting at some point including several late arrivals. Tom Hubin noted that Cabin Fever is coming fast upon us. For those not familiar with Cabin Fever, it will start this year with a consignment auction on Friday, January 16, 2009 and the actual show will be on January 17 - 18. Here is a link to the event to those unfamilar with it: Tex Rubinowitz followed Tom with an announcement of the next CNC meeting. Tex noted that the first Tuesday of every month is the scheduled CNC group meeting and that the Gear group meets on the second Tuesday. Alan Weber shared that on January 3-4, 2009 is a antique tools show at the Show Place in Richmond. Alan noted that several well known dealers in machinist-related tools would have tables at the show including Andy Dellums from New York and himself.

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Chris Helgesen kicks off the meeting.

Al Haraq started a discussion about good rust preventatives for ferrous metals. The most popular responses were Boeshield, which Tex noted could be purchased locally at the boating store near Fischers Hardware in Springfield, Virginia. Other popular choices were LPS 2 and LPS 3, paste wax, and camphor (camphor is not a coating but rather it sublimates and displaces moisture). A discussion ensued about the exact mechanism by which camphor does its magic (actually sublimating and then placing a microscopic coating on everything in the tool box or just simply displacing moisture). Suffice it to say that camphor has been used by generations of machinists who placed small amounts in their tool chests and believed in its protective powers. A Google search is suggested for anyone wishing to explore the topic further.


With that, the floor was turned over to Eric Hoffmeyer, a former U.S. Army helicopter pilot, who proceeded to give a talk on helicopter flight principles and control mechanisms. Though not a purely machining subject, Eric spoke about all the various factors that helicopter designers had to learn the hard way in order to make such craft fly. Eric noted that there is a reason that helicopters are called "rotary wing aircraft" and after his talk virtually everyone in the audience had a greater appreciation of the problems that helicopter designers face when they build such craft. Eric followed the old show business adage of "Leave 'em asking for more" because by the end of his talk almost everyone wanted to know more about how rotary wing craft control mechanisms work.

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Eric at times used his entire body as a training aid, much to the enjoyment of the assembled membership.


Next Tom Hubin stated that there will be a class on Mach3 at Cabin Fever this year. He also presented some jam nuts he made on his Sherline lathe.

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Tom speaks about CNC.


Chris Helgesen spoke next about a parametric modeling system for this Hurco CNC mill, noting that the software originally designed for the Hurco is limited. Chris is making a control pendant and noted some anomalies that he has encountered which making some milling cuts.

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Chris details the obstacles he has encountered.

Chris then spoke about a project-within-a-project - making a high speed spindle for his Hurco using a Bosch palm router. Chris stated that he needed a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter to make the project successful and he was able to locate such an adapter made for a Dumore at MSC. This will now allow him to use 1/8" tooling.


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Bosch palm router with 1/8" bit installed.


Tex took the floor to speak about a clever South Bend dual inch-metric cross slide dial that he recently acquired. The device can be used to feed in cuts using either the inch or the metric system. It was noted that this item was pre-DRO but it was a handsome piece of craft and skill. Tex observed that under magnification that the gears were perfect involutes and not simply notches rolled or cut into the dials.


Tex explains the origin and the function of the dial.


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Tex's Inch-Metric Conversion Dial for a South Bend Lathe. Red indicates metric distance and black for inch.

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Note the remarkable relationship between the sets of gears.

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End view of Tex's Inch-Metric Conversion Dial for a South Bend Lathe. The lettering reads "Made in U.K."


Charles Lessig spoke next on tap wrenches he made to facilitate tapping using a drill press.

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Charles Lessig's custom made tapping wrench. The stud protruding into the cylinder actually fits into the recess for the drill chuck key.

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This photo shows how Charles uses the wrench in relationship to the drill chuck. Not present is the drill press itself that was too bulky and unnecessary for the demonstration.

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This photo shows the wrench attached to the drill chuck. Unfortunately, the handle of the wrench is pointed almost directly towards to camera lens so the relationship is difficult to see. Look between Charles' right-hand index and middle fingers for one of the protruding handles.


Charles Lessig then showed a device that did not have any practical use as such but that provided considerable amusement. The device was simply two flat bars with two pivots, one of which was attached to the table via a clamp. If the two flats are started into movement relative to each other they commence to fly helter skelter in random orbits.

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Charles Lessig's flailing device. Note that Charles is standing well clear of the reach of the device.


Alan Weber showed a Moore and Wright try square with about a 4 foot blade and a 2 foot base.

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Certainly the dollar is shrinking but it's not as bad as it appears.


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This photo of Alan beside the square puts things in a better perspective.


Charlie Savich noted that he was offering to give away a small air compressor to anyone interested.

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Charlie Savich gave away an air compressor suitable for low volume needs such as air brushing, etc.

Gordon Crago announced that he had brought some quartz heater tubes to anyone with a need.

And with that the meeting adjourned and all went their ways although several stalwarts were certain to have been off to a late supper/early breakfast at a nearby restaurant.

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