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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    NSW
    Posts
    170

    Default Commander Keen's Project Log

    In case you were misled, I am not working on a log. Wood is the devil's material.

    Thought I'd document some of the things I've built out of my tiny shed.
    I'll probably add to it when I feel like it, or ask for some advice on my latest project where needed.


    Pipe vise
    I inherited this from my partners grandfather, a BHP steelworks plumber for the majority of his working life (well, the working life in Australia at least).

    It's a Millerchip brand pipe vise, up to 3" dia.
    When I got it, it was rusted solid.
    Gave it a bath in phosphoric acid, worked the chain loose with a hammer and WD40 (AKA Man perfume), and it was good to go.
    The paint is an aussie made enamel by Norglass. Pacific blue is the colour.
    Gave it 2 coats of primer, a guide coat, and a final sand.
    2 coats of colour, applied by brush.

    I am not much of a painter at all, but really impressed by the paint and the results I could get with very rookie hands.

    IMG_0886.jpg

    IMG_0888.jpg
    Good for handling a big shaft. Will come in handy.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    NSW
    Posts
    170

    Default

    An oldie but a goodie. Who doesn't love a work bench?



    Scored this bad boy for nothing. Mate working on a big project had to vacate site and had to rehabilitate the site, and 'leave everything as they found it'. Since the bench was made for the job, it had to go. Win for me.

    Legend has it, it was 'knocked together one lunch break' by some non-english speaking Korean pressure welders. It has some nifty welding features like a angle channel for aligning components, a few strategic holes for fixturing, plus a home-brew pipe vise.

    The unit as a whole was surplus to my needs, so I chopped it in half and made 2 benches out of the 1.



    Did some reinforcing of critical components to ensure rigidity of the top surface and bottom shelf.
    Also welded in some nuts and big bolts for a ghetto leveling feature.

    All in all, a valuable addition to the workshop. I keep one indoors for assembly and other tasks, and one lives outside for the dirty tasks- grinding, painting etc.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Newcastle, AU
    Posts
    94

    Default

    That vice came up nicely - I haven't seen that brand before. I do rather enjoy finding stuff ex-BHP, there's regular little bits and pieces that turn up around here. Found a section of the last ingot that came out of the No. 1 Bloom Mill (1982) in an estate sale a few months back.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    NSW
    Posts
    170

    Default

    GMF 8" bench grinder


    Finished this project off today. This is a 8" GMF bench grinder, going off the serial number, either a '69 or '78 vintage.
    It belonged to my grandfather, who was a dutch immigrant sparky. This unit was originally in a workplace, but by the looks of it, had some kind of fault, and was condemned. There is 'signs of a struggle' with non-standard switchgear and wiring inside which may have been its reason for a trip to the workshop skip bin, and subsequent second life after a trip thru the turnstyle in the tuckerbag for later repair.

    I didn't take any before pics, but it was a classic GMF green/gold hammertone paint, which had been repainted with green housepaint sometime during its life...
    It came with a stand, which I have not yet touched. Not sure if shed space will warrant a freestanding unit.

    The resto (liquid rebuild) went something like below:

    Pre tear-down checks showed bearings and electricals were OK.
    Unit was disassembled in entirety.
    Paint was stripped with a Haymes product, the strong stuff, and it worked a treat. Smells like S&V chips, and stings when it burns thru rubber gloves.
    The casting blemished etc were filed down, and given a light going over with a die grinder and a few different grits of paper.
    2 coats of Norglass primer, guide coat and sand to 1200 grit.
    2 coats of Norglass enamel in 'pacific blue'.
    Accents were painted in Dulux epoxy enamel, bright red (this is usually my go to paint brand in an aerosol can, but my results with a brush finish were bloody good).
    Switch was renewed with a rocket switch, as the last switch looked like a repurposed switch off a Mains circuit board. The sparky vibe was strong with this one!
    Hardware was wire brushed to a rust free finish, and reinstalled into their threaded holes which were chased with a tap.

    I am missing 1 of the 3" flange washers with a 16mm dia centre hole - If anyone has one off a similar vintage GMF grinder, OR has a matching pair, let me know...
    I am also looking to convert this to a polishing rig on one side- so will need a tapered spindle with a M16x1.5 thread... apparently a unicorn, as the modern grinders are a coarser 16mm thread.

    Anyway, we are all here for pics, so enjoy.

    Not my pic, but it originally looked like this- green/gold hammertone.


    It also appears that in the below pics, I might have setup the tool rest and water trays ass-about. I have not yet installed the safety visor, still getting a lick of paint. I'll also make a new top spark guard for the wheels- the vertical strips which almost contact the top face of the wheel.

    Also, it needs new grinding wheels. They both 'ring' when tapped, but I'd rather have something new on there as their age is unknown. One is also clogged / peppered with aluminium, I could dress them, but I'd feel safer with new ones.

    Finished product:





    (Sneak peak at one of the other projects I'll talk about some day)



    And here is some glory shots of the paintwork in progress. It's almost too fancy to use! ...But Andy









  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    NSW
    Posts
    170

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by J.C. View Post
    That vice came up nicely - I haven't seen that brand before. I do rather enjoy finding stuff ex-BHP, there's regular little bits and pieces that turn up around here. Found a section of the last ingot that came out of the No. 1 Bloom Mill (1982) in an estate sale a few months back.
    Thanks. I'm going to use it, so it should be good for another 30 years at least.

    Millerchip and 'Sydney' are cast into it. J.Millerchip & Sons Pty Ltd was the brand.
    Probably long gone and another manufacturing casualty following big multinationals swamping the market (Looking at you, record, Irwin, rigid, et al)

    Seems like the company was listed on this website- https://www.htpaa.org.au/hand-tools/...tralian-makers

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Newcastle, AU
    Posts
    94

    Default

    Nice work on that GMF. I wish I hadn't sold mine. Darn solid grinders... and you have both of the buckets too!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Murray Bridge S Aust.
    Age
    67
    Posts
    4,355

    Default

    PM me your address please, as I have a choice of flanges for you, a pressed metal one and a cast one. I don't want to confuse you, but take your pick..
    Regards,
    Kryn
    To grow old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Ipswich QLD
    Age
    64
    Posts
    1,755

    Default

    CK for someone who b3liev3s Wood is the Devils Material you sie seem to use a lot of it! In fact you mention using it throughout. Guess its a point of it has you under its spell and you just don't realise it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    NSW
    Posts
    170

    Default

    Wood- it's good for burning. It turns a tough old brisket into the best meal you'll ever stick in your mouth.
    On the smoker, there is a slab of ironbark, and some decking planks, which is the extent of my woodwork to date.
    Oh... and a wood pallet compost bin which is held together with 8 tek screws, if that even counts.

    I'm at no risk of selling the welders and getting a table saw any time soon, trust me.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Ipswich QLD
    Age
    64
    Posts
    1,755

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Commander_Keen View Post
    Wood- it's good for burning. It turns a tough old brisket into the best meal you'll ever stick in your mouth.
    On the smoker, there is a slab of ironbark, and some decking planks, which is the extent of my woodwork to date.
    Oh... and a wood pallet compost bin which is held together with 8 tek screws, if that even counts.

    I'm at no risk of selling the welders and getting a table saw any time soon, trust me.
    So all you hammers, wire brushes are metal handels? All your funiture in the house? Too?
    I once made a similar broad statement about how much I hate pine (Radiata specifically) but I love Huon, Norfolk, Spruce, Juniper.

    Even I burn Ironbark rather than use itCommander Keen's Project LogCommander Keen's Project Log

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    NSW
    Posts
    170

    Default

    Picked up a few hours in the shed this arvy...
    After a bit of a holiday on the bench, I'm getting back onto the freshen up of a record #3 vise.

    Can't remember what I paid for the vise, but it was a steal. It had, however had a tough life- the usual story- hacksaw gouges in places that should have had a hacksaw near them, and the slide being used as an anvil. A perfect candidate for a bit of a freshen up as a second vise (I have others, but from what I understand, this is a G rated establishment).

    I started this project a number of months ago, with a strip-down of the components, and a bit of a wire brush down to see what I was working with.
    Gave some spots a bit of love with some NiFe electrodes (it's cast steel), and did a bit of build up on the affected areas.

    Picked it back up again today:
    Not having a mill, I gave it some grinder surgery and draw-filed the slides back to true- and it's sliding nice and smoothly now (workers of the wood will be shocked to discover that my files have plastic handles).
    Gave the surfaces which had suffered some neglect over the months a coat of phosphoric acid to passivate any surface rust and any rust pits that may form.

    Plan is to paint strip it thru the week, do some more smoothing of the casting where needed, then get some primer on it.
    Not sure if I'll brush on more of that Norglass blue (there is a trend happening here, but I have 1litre of it, and all the thinners and primers to suit), or just give it some epoxy enamel out of the rattle can.

    This will drop into some holes on the work bench as a removable vise.

    My main vise is a swivel job, which I mounted to a truck brake drum and a post (might be another post on this some day). It's handy, but I keep it outside under the lean-to, as I need a lot more space around it to work than I have available inside the shed.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    NSW
    Posts
    170

    Default British steel (and aluminium)

    You don't have to be old to be wise, but sometimes I surprise myself.
    Been living after midnight quite a bit recently, breaking the law with the metal gods. The result is this victim of changes- a record #3 vise. Made in England. BRITISH STEEL.
    Halford would be proud.



    As usual I don't have any true 'before' pics, but as below, the outline of repairs included some welding of the casting with some nickel rods, and filing back to smooth.
    Paint was stripped, wire brushed down, and phosphoric acid to passivate any remaining rust spots. PRO TIP- don't buy the rust converter in the little expensive bottles in the paint area, get the big cheap bottle of phosphoric acid from the birck-laying aisle of your favourite big green hardware store- much cheaper. Can also find hydrochloric acid and muriatic acid waaay cheaper than the other offerings.





    Gave it all a coat in an epoxy filler. and filed down to 120 grit.






    Primed by brush.




    Painted by brush in a Norglass enamel (I've got so much of this left over...)




    I re-tapped a dodgy thread for the jaws, and installed new fasteners.
    The jaws were passable, so the old ones were used.

    Also added a new washer set, spring and split pin on the thread bar within the vise, so no slop anymore (was a good 1/4 turn before!)

    Greased the slides, and left some of the filler on the unpainted surfaces for character.

    This one is a keeper.

    Rock on. \m/

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Bendigo
    Age
    55
    Posts
    61

    Default

    Looks the good, no matter what you clamp in that at least you will be able to Ram it down.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Frankston south
    Posts
    82

    Default

    For whatever reason I see no pictures??

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Newcastle, AU
    Posts
    94

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by waxen View Post
    For whatever reason I see no pictures??
    Maybe try refreshing, or clearing your cache and reloading the page? They are appearing OK over this way

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