Patience My Ass

Sometimes I just don’t have any.

Since I was kind of dead in the water until the actual 15mm stubby drill bit I ordered gets here so I could finish that little upgrade on the mini lathe cross slide, I said screw it and headed up to the hardware store early this afternoon.

Yep, just as I thought.

They had the 19/32’s drill bit I needed.

And they were pretty damn proud of it too.

$27.00 for one damn drill bit.

Spendy or not it came home with me.

After I got back and was getting ready to open that 9/16’s hole just that much, I peeked inside to see how much material was back in there and discovered I had enough room on the shaft and inside the casting to put two of the little bearings in there so a drilling I went.

They slid right in there like they belonged.

No slop or anything.

Then it was game on putting things back together. I had a hell of a time with this thing.

It just went past Midnight here and I just came back in the house about twenty minutes ago.

I messed with that stupid lathe all day and all evening.

I had the entire saddle off and apart a couple times, drilled a hole in the new lead screw end bushing and pressed a little brass oiling port into it, had the carriage out and messed with that too. The little gib for the half nut was loose and I had to do some fiddling around with that too.

Then I had the compound off, flipped it over and drilled two new holes in it to access the damn screws for loosening it up when you want to change the angle on it. As is from the factory, you literally have to use the dinky little hand wheel and back it all the way off until it disengages from the lead screw to expose the two hold down screws, change the angle, tighten them back up and then screw the damn compound all the way back on. You damn well hope you got the angle right too because if you didn’t, you get to repeat that whole process.

I screwed the thing in until I figured it cleared the riser for the tool holder mounting pad, clamped the whole thing in my machinist’s vise on the drill press and then went through the two existing holes, half way through the gib and the dove tail on one side and partially through the dove tail on the other side.

Then I took it out, flipped it over and chamfered the holes on the top side.

Now I can stick an Allen wrench through the holes from the top side, either go in or out until it lines up, loosen the screws and set the angle exactly where I want it and tighten the damn screws back up without having to basically take the damn compound off to do it.

Thank you, General Kung Pow.


I messed with the old tail stock a bit just for fun and then started in on changing out the dinky little hand wheel on the cross slide.

I had to make brass bushings, fit and refit things, take things apart and put them back together again and all kinds of fun. The little aluminum disc I have to make the hand wheel out of had a boss on the inside that almost but not quite, would go over the little dial behind the little handle that came on the lathe so I had to swap the jaws out on my chuck, get it to sit in the jaws, tighten them up and then use a little boring bar to open that up a whopping .007 so it would just fit over the outer edge of the dial yet still allow it to turn independently so I can set it to zero if I need to.

While I was messing around with all of this, the bolt for the QTP was irritating me because every time I need to rotate the tool holder I have to dig up a damn Allen wrench.

At 8:00 I got fed up with that and dug out the original tool holder that has a handle on a stud you turn to tighten the thing down.

At 8:25 I discovered the original stud wasn’t long enough to put the handle on with my quick change tool post.

A quick check of Teh Google showed me all of the hardware stores around here were already closed but if I hauled ass I might be able to make it to the nearest Lowes which was closing at 9:00.

So I lit out and managed to get there with 15 minutes to spare, went in and had to do some serious searching but I finally found a 10mm bolt long enough for me to whack the head off of and put some threads on so that I had a double ended stud.

I managed to get that little project done and started to tackle a little handle for the new hand wheel when I discovered the little 10X24 bolt that I had that fit perfectly caused me to be needing a little 10X24 tap. so I could thread the end of a hunk of 1/4 brass rod I am going to use as the center of the handle. I am going to drill and tap both ends, bolt one end of the brass rod hard to the outer edge of the wheel in a counter sunk hole and then cut a hunk of steel tubing that slides over the rod, just a wee bit shorter than the rod, and put a washer and a bolt on the outer end. This will allow the tube to spin on the brass rod and make a handle that rotates instead of the little solid handle that came with it.

Just like the drill bit, I have taps and dies out the ying yang but I ain’t got one of those 10X24’s.

So I am kind of dead in the water again until I get one but I managed to do a whole shitload of work to that little lathe fixing crap that has irked me since the day I got it.

Just a bunch of little things but they add up and when I finally get this little hand wheel done and then the new tail stock put on it I think I am going to be a whole lot happier with the rotten little bastard.

It will damn sure be a lot more user friendly anyway.

10 thoughts on “Patience My Ass

  1. Damn Phil, I bet Ol’ Xi has a whole squad of psy-op specialists just thinking up ways to dick you around, the cunning Commie bastards!


  2. If that had been me I’d look at it this way. I just spent 27 bucks supporting my local small business hardware store. Which for me would be cool because they’re great people who run a really good operation.
    Now I’ve just got to break myself of the habit of buying a new Stihl saw every time they have one at a price I can’t pass up.


  3. Some folks sure have strange tastes in entertainment. And that includes keyboarding out the whole sordid tale for us to enjoy and poke fun at here. So thanks Phil and fellow wierdos and tool nerds here too.


  4. Phil, you are just like I was 45 years ago. Only pussy. I’m not mechanical. But pussy just like you and that China machine. I thought I had 207 bones in my body until I was about 40. Thought I broke it. Doc just laughed and said welcome to old age.


  5. After I left for college my dad would, on occasion, report that he had spent all day ‘puttering around’. That was his way of describing what you just went through.


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