Ted Ewert

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About Ted Ewert

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    Senior Member

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  • Location
    Mill Valley, CA
  • Interests
    Building stuff

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  1. Since I have been building projects lately which need to be painted, I have had to remove all the scale from the steel before painting. The 8" wire wheel works great for most of it, but then there are those hard to get to areas which become problematic. Consequently, I bought a Makita die grinder, which works really well for getting into tight places. It accepts all 1/4" shaft accessories, although you have to make sure that they are rated for high speed operation (25K max RPM). I have been using a small 2" wire wheel which gets into just about everywhere. It is especially good with small parts, which are difficult to work on the larger wire wheel. I make a fair mount of leaves, which the big wheel loves to eat. Now I can stick them in the vise and clean the scale off in a much safer manner. The unit was only $88.00 (with a $20.00 discount). I would suggest using a face shield along with this tool as small bits of scale come off the work at a high rate of speed. Eye protection is absolutely mandatory, and gloves and long sleeves highly recommended. Otherwise, it's easy to use and a worthwhile investment.
  2. I appreciate the encouraging words, thanks! I bought the plants at Home Cheapo which accounts for the plastic pots, but I'll re-pot when I get something nicer. Aus; those brass inlays are very easy to do. I just drill a hole the same size as the stock, then run a taper half way through each side of the hole. This gives a slight hourglass shape to the brass when it is hammered in and locks it in nicely. I cut the brass about a 16th oversized then grind it flush. Marc: Since I'm close to the ocean, any unfinished metal self textures quite rapidly all by itself. Also, being new to this work, I usually don't have to try very hard to have a well textured look as it is. I'm still working on clean.
  3. Here's a few things I made over the past week. I thought the shelf brackets I made would be a good base for a plant hanger, so I made a few... Here's one I haven't mounted yet I also made a back scratcher and hook for work.
  4. My daughter in law requested some shelf brackets for her bathroom. She wanted something unique and "blacksmithy looking", so here's what I came up with. I made her a pair of these, with sort of a sun motif. I learned a long time ago never to pick out colors for females. So, I told her to go to the hardware store and pick out whatever color she wanted, and to give me the can of spray paint. I also told her to buy some shelves she likes and to give me the width and distance she wants between the shelves. After 34 years of marriage I try and cover as many bases as I can before I start the project. If she doesn't like them, I'll be happy to take them back, repaint, and use them in my own house.
  5. Is that "magnet wire" you're using? It looks like bare copper, which of course would make a dead short across all the windings...
  6. Thanks Aus! Your wife is a keeper. The anvil wasn't difficult and only took about an hour to make. I used a piece of 2" x 1/2" flat stock and cut it to 5". I cut the horn out with my portable bandsaw, then shaped it on the 2x72" sander (a hand grinder would work with a couple different grit flapper discs). The hardie was mostly made on the drill press. 4 small holes in the corners and a big hole in the middle. Then just file it square. I also sanded and waxed it, but at a lower temperature so it didn't change color. LOL, maybe I'll stick it on the front door with a bowl of nuts next to it. I assume the other side of that wall is your neighbor's yard...
  7. Thanks Frosty! It tends to appeal more to the males I've shown it to. JHCC: I like it, it's a functional and visually appealing piece. Nice idea, I may borrow the concept (with your blessing) since I know a spinner who would appreciate it. What's the diameter?
  8. Nice trowel CC! I wanted to make a door knocker with a blacksmith theme. I started out making the anvil and this is what eventually materialized. I got the hammer at HF for about $3.50, and the rest was made from shop scrap. The bar is 5/8". I flattened out the end going through the hammer, split it in half and wedged it in. The wife informed me halfway through that it's not going on her front door. No worries, I just wanted to build it anyway.
  9. The weakest link is actually the drive roller. It has twice the pressure on it as do the the other two, which share a load. Larger diameter roller bearings would take a lot more to rack than these smaller ones. A press fit on everything is also optimal. 1.5" ID bearings would be just about right.
  10. Thanks Frosty, you know I'm not capable of building one version of anything . The first one is always to figure out how to build the second one (or third, or forth...). The 3/4" pin size is about max for the 1" bar, and works fine for the little stuff I'm doing. If I ever go bigger... the only limit is imagination and your pocketbook. If I got a hold of some large roller bearings, the rest is easy. I'm just too cheap to spring for new ones.
  11. I got some more 1" square bar so I decided to rebuild this thing. I dropped the frame down between the vise jaws to minimise the spread of the rollers. I used some sheet metal welded to the top to hold the assembly in the jaws. This configuration also puts a lot less stress on the alignment rods, which are located outside of the jaws. I was trying to roll a piece of 3/8" square bar and actually bent these rods in the former design. Anyway, this configuration works much better than having the frame above the vise.
  12. If I had to do it again, I would make it so that the alignment rods are outside the jaws of the vise. Then I could drop the whole frame down into the vise. That would alleviate a lot of the creeping; having the clamping force closer to the work. It still works fine as is, and I don't think I'll go to all the trouble of rebuilding it. Ran out of 1" square stock anyway.
  13. I decided to make a ring roller for a couple of projects I have planned. I looked on YouTube and found a couple of videos of simple rollers you can use in the vise and decided to go that route. I used 1" square stock for the frame. I ordered some 1" diameter roller bearings, and 12" of 3/4" axle steel. For the rollers I got some 1.5" inch OD, 1" ID tubing. I had to clean up the inside of the tubing on the lathe for the bearings to fit (basically just to make it round). Nothing is a press fit, but it's all fairly snug. To keep the whole assembly square, I used a length of 1/2" round bar through both ends of the frame. The off center pressure from the vise will cock the rollers out of alignment otherwise. Lessons learned... The crank roller needs to be a bit taller than the other rollers so that the handle will clear. Also, the two side by side rollers should be as close together as possible. This allows the ends of the work to be bent as much as possible without getting jammed in the mechanism. The 1/4" bar over the back of the two rollers is there to keep them from riding up on the axle. Despite the two alignment bars, the rollers still want to creep up. Pressed fits would take care of this, but my machining skills are not up to it, and I don't have a press. I also put a couple of springs in to open the assembly when I back the vise off. This is very handy. These are the first two rings I made. I didn't design this roller for big stock since most of the stuff I need is going to be 1/4" square. It takes a little fiddling to get the ends to line up square. After welding and grinding, I run the ring through the rollers again for a final rounding out since the ends don't get completely bent right. This thing cost me about $80 in parts, the rest of it I had in the shop. It works pretty good, and will be a handy tool for making odd size rings that I don't have a pipe size to bend around. Ted
  14. I found that I had to sand down the diameter of a couple of my hammer handles after suffering hand fatigue. That seemed to help a lot, even though I don't have small hands.