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Connecticut HSM Group

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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 June 13th 2021 meeting was at Craig's shop in Cheshire, CT. This was our second actual meeting since the pandemic began and, again, it was nice to see and speak with old friends we haven't seen lately. Frank showed two types of taper gauges used to measure hole diameters. Plus a rapid movement micrometer. Ralph brought a number of parts from the water handling in his locomotive's boiler. It was an interesting meeting where, as usual, a number of topics were discussed.


At the November 2019 meeting we discussed a CTHSM group project of building Kant-Twist clamps. Craig drew up plans for 2", 3", and 4" clamps.

Small Kant-Twist Clamp
Matt was able to have 30 sets of parts for each size clamp laser cut and the company Matt works for was kind enough to cover the cost. This provides a great opportunity for CTHSM members to enjoy the process of building these clamps free, the only cost being for some allthread and the parts that hold the flat parts together (likely available in the junk box of most member's shops).
At right are the parts for a 2" clamp. The laser cut parts are amazingly accurate; the edges need de-burring and there is a bit of spatter around the holes to be cleaned off and that's about it for prep. I drilled the holes out slightly so I knew the exact size to turn the ends of the pins.

2in Clamp

Here's the small version I whittled out last year along with a finished 2" clamp. I added a tern finish to the 2" clamp because I scratched the surface removing the spatter around the holes. I should have drilled the holes out slightly before removing the spatter rather than after - it would have avoided scratching the surface. I used E clips on the pins that hold the jaws so the jaws are easily replaceable.

Below those are 3" and 4" clamps with a design on them that I added using the crude air graver I made last year.


The August 8, 2021 meeting will be at Ralph's shop in New Hartford at about 2PM. Per the COVID guidance, all attendees should be vaccinated. Parts for Kant Twist clamps will be available at this meeting, another reason to prefer real meetings ;-)
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 since November 2008, 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 Screw slotter Turners Cube Die Filer Eric's Clock Height Gage Mike's Forged Hammer

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