Thursday, April 7, 2011

some homemade tools - pin wrench and floor scraper

The PC is now working (sorta) - the original motherboard died and took with it 2 of the hard-drives. A substitute motherboard was sourced on Ebay which should have taken the existing memory, CPU, graphics card etc... The motherboard was brand new, but over 5 years old. Basically it didn't last too long - failed in a different way and I was fighting a losing battle trying to repair this "on the cheap"
The "new" PC is simply a new motherboard ("Mainboard" as I was told by the sales guy) with new CPU, RAM and this also entailed a new OS since I exceeded the 4Gb of memory. I still have a few teething problems with my PCI SATA2 card, but I am working on it.

This article covers a few things I had to build during the outage on the PC.

Super Scraper
First is a tool for chipping cement off a concrete floor. There are floor scrapers available to taking plaster off floors, but this tool will remove tiles, cement, lino, cats, whatever you point it at. The secret to this tool is the heavy duty blade, coupled with it's weight.

Figure 1 - The super scraper leaning against the shed door

The blade is a bricklayer's bolster - a broad "chisel" which can be picked up in the discount tool stores for around $15. the bolster is modified by removing any rubber handle/covering, and then welding the handle to/inside a pipe handle of around 1500-1800mm (5-6') long. I deliberately choose heavy walled pipe for this job since you want a fair bit of weight in the tool. Since this one was made away from my scrap pile, a short length of thicker pipe was used to form a socket, and then a slightly thinner pipe was inserted to achieve the desired length.

Figure 2 - The head of the "super scraper"

The tool is used by simply sliding/ "driving" it along the concrete floor at an angle of around 45 degrees s the blade skims along the floor and the weight carves the "stuff" off the floor. A nice touch is to close in the other end of the pipe handle so there is no chance of cuts on any burrs or edges. It seems to self-sharpen as it wears on the concrete, but the bolsters tend to be pretty tough and don't wear that quick. This one was made to help a friend remove the leveling cement from under the tiles in his kitchen renovation. Prior to handing it to him, it was tested on the apron of my brother's shed where it removed lumps and cement dags with hardly any exertion.

Grinder Spanners

Another tool I had to make was some replacement wrenches for an OLD 9" (230mm) angle grinder. This grinder is an heirloom, and is so old it doesn't have spindle locks or any form of softstart. This means the spindle torques up really fast, and this seizes the retaining  piece on. I modified an old 7" pin wrench and 17mm spanner to undo the retainer in the past, but during some work the retainer became so tight the pinwrench failed during attempts to undo it.

Figure 3 - old wrenches alongside new wrenches - the ruler is 300mm (12") long

Figure 4 - old wrenches which failed

I made a new pin wrench using 1/4 x 1 1/4" flat bar with some grade 8 bolts filed down to make the pins. (4.6mm diameter on 28.1mm centres) The handle to this new pin wrench is twice as long as the original and once used the cheap modified 17mm spanner started bending. More scrap steel and I made a heavy duty 17mm spindle spanner.

Figure 5 - bolts used to provide pins in pin-wrench

Bonus Shop Tip - Cigarette Lighter Parts

Figure 6 - Disposable lighter found on road - cracked and empty

I walk the dog each day and often find discarded broken cigarette lighters. I usually pick them up and take them home to pull apart. What's worth having in a cigarette lighter?

Figure 7 - parts inside a disposable cigarette lighter

There is 2 springs and a "jet" which can be useful. The springs are a useful size for making detents in small tools, and the longer flint propelling spring is a size which is sometimes found in rifle ejectors. I've only started collecting the jets since I figure I can use them to solder into larger brass pieces instead of trying to drill such a tiny hole - useful for a burner in my project list.

Next articles will be the construction of the lathe stand.

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