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Connecticut HSM Group

Last Modified: 29 December 2015 03:23 MST

April 2010 Group Photo

April 2010 Group Picture

Home Shop Machining in Connecticut

There are hobby machinist groups scattered around the USA including a small HSM group in Connecticut. Our CTHSM group is congenial and freewheeling: no rules, no dues, just people getting together to learn new techniques plus share thoughts on machining and other topics that arise. Meetings are held in member shops, nominally on the second Sunday of the month at 2pm. Anyone interested in attending a meeting please contact me (via the link below on this page)for more info and travel directions.

The December 13th meeting was at Frank's shop in Plainville, where he showed us his recently acquired small P&W mill plus the gear hobbing setup he made for it. (No new pictures, I forgot my camera.)

Die profiler This is a die profiler, used to polish and finish dies. Also used to re-finish dies after minor repairs. This unit is driven by a flexible shaft that connects to the bottom; a crankshaft turns the rotary motion to reciprocating motion of the tool. At left are two tool holders used to hold abrasive stones, carbide paper with a wood backing, etc. Small files can also be fitted directly into the unit.

Spindle and Holders This is a spindle which can be driven by a flexible shaft. It is shown held in a mount which can be clamped in a vise for convenient use with a small grinding wheel or similar tool. Below that is a holder for the spindle which can be mounted in a lathe tool holder to allow drilling, light toolpost grinding, etc.

Etching The etchings shown were produced electrically. The top etching was produced using direct current so it is not deep but is a nice dark color. Etch time was only a few seconds, where one could make multiple passes for a darker image if desired.

The lower etching was done using alternating current to make a deeper etch; DC can then be used to blacken the image further if desired. This image was quite deep, perhaps 10 thou, and very well defined.

These patterns were produced photographically using special paper. Alternatively, reverse patterns may be produced using a laser printer and then transferred to the work with heat from a flatiron (details can be found on the net using Google). Minor defects in the pattern can be touched up with waterproof pen or similar. The area around the pattern is protected with plastic tape or paint. Commercial patterns can be purchased when many identical etchings are to be made, e.g. a makers icon.

The etchant used for steel (as shown) was a few drops of mild acid plus a couple teaspoons of table salt in a quart of water. This was used to wet the cloth shown on the tool at right. This tool has a block of carbon attached to a block of metal, where one side of the power source attaches to the metal block and the other attaches to the work. The carbon block is helpful because it doesn't contaminate the work as would happen if the cloth were used directly on a metal block. With power applied the cloth, saturated with the etchant solution, is held against the pattern area. Caution is needed to avoid an electrical shock, of course.

The January meeting will not be held because of Cabin Fever. The February 14th meeting will be at my shop in Newtown.

As usual, bring items for demonstration and/or discussion. Plus items for the sale/swap/free table.

Home shop machining is often a solitary hobby, as are most hobbies now according to "Bowling Alone". The CTHSM group is an attempt to get area HSM's to know one another and thus make our hobby a little less solitary.

The much larger NEMES HSM group is 2-3 hours away so we share some members and occasionally have visitors from that group.

CTHSM Meeting Schedule

The CTHSM group has been meeting for several years now, mostly on the 2nd Sunday of the month at 2pm, but we deviate from this with some regularity. The January meeting is not held since Cabin Fever conflicts, February has seen a couple meetings cancelled due to weather, the May meeting is on the 3rd Sunday to avoid a conflict with Mother's Day, and we don't meet in July because many members are on vacation. Over time our meeting schedule has become predictably irregular...

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Pictures from our unusual "Music Machine Meetings"

A Few Pictures from prior CTHSM Meetings

GraverRest3 CTHSM_DiAcro Relief_Angle_Gauge CTHSM609 CTHSMAlexSaw RollieGS SilverBraze Rivett Ball Cutter CTHSMNov10 SketchUp Presentation CTHSM_Jan2011 Daves EnginesMar2011 Powder Coat Demo Apr2011 Steam Engine Wooden_Gears CTHSM_HotBlue CTHSM_Trike CTHSM_Master_MT4 CTHSM_MT2_Gauge CTHSM_Knife CTHSM_Ikea_Lamp CTHSM_Indicator CTHSM_Hole_Meas CTHSM_Parkerize CTHSM_CamVise CTHSM_Rifle CTHSM_UniVise CTHSM_AngleVise CTHSM_Ball_Handle CTHSM_Bishop CTHSM_Nemes CTHSM_wheel (1) CTHSM_Cow Catcher Ralph's Loco Locomotive Number Mike's Bender 5 cylinder air engine 4 cylinder air engine Eric's Divider Eric's Ball Cutter

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