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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 March 8th meeting was at Frank's shop in Plainville, CT.

Brake wheel dresser Paul showed a brake wheel dresser, capable of truing surface grinder wheels including diamond and CBN wheels. The unit is gripped by the mag chuck with the axle parallel to the grinder's spindle. The wheel being trued is traversed across the dresser's wheel, just barely touching. This spins the dresser wheel fast enough so that centrifugal force causes small brake shoes inside the dresser to contact the round brake drum. This causes the dresser's wheel to grind the high spots on the surface grinder's wheel, thus truing it.

At the November 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.


Here's a finished 2" clamp along with the small version I whittled out last month. I added a crude 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 they're easily replaceable.

As mentioned at the March meeting, the April 19th meeting will likely not be held due to the corona virus situation. When the corona virus issue is resolved the next meeting will be announced here and via our mailing list.

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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