Monday, August 14, 2017

The Workbench, Part 2

The previous occupant divided our basement into mostly small, oddly-proportioned spaces. One space just off the laundry area is too narrow for most uses, so we use it for storage. I sorted through it, removed a lot of clutter, and consolidated the rest, freeing up a space 5 feet by 12 feet. I designed my workbench to fit this space.

First I constructed slide members, rectangular pieces that support the bench top and hold the drawer slides. I wanted them to be 30" x 33" but particle board wider than 18" is pretty rare in RTA furniture, so I built each member from an 18" piece and a 12" piece. The boards at the top and bottom are pallet boards 1.25" x 3.5".  I'll add the drawer slides later.

Since the back would go against the wall, I had to start with the front side down and attach the back rails first.
I hit on the idea of using concrete blocks both to square up the assembly and to space the slide members. That meant carrying 36 blocks down to the basement. Was I sore afterward! I haven't brought them back up the stairs yet. I wouldn't recommend this method, and I certainly wouldn't do it again. It worked, but the blocks are just too heavy.

Here is the bench with the back rails attached.
Then I had to roll the bench upright. I managed to do it alone, but it would have been much easier with a strong helper.
Then I squared up each slide member and screwed it to the lower front rail. That held it square while I attached the upper front rail.

Somehow, three of the slide members ended up too tall. I sanded two of them down, but the third was much taller. I tried cutting it down with my circular saw, but that didn't work very well.The best tool for the job turned out to be a wood chisel.

Here is the wood for the bench top. South Bend recommends that a bench top lathe be bolted to a wood bench with a top at least 2" thick. I'm using pallet boards on edge. Even after sanding it level the top will be about 3" thick. I think that's about as rigid as I can get with a wooden bench. I started the top Sunday afternoon. I'll finish it next weekend.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Other Gingery Build Blogs

I am obviously not the first to build projects from Dave Gingery's designs, nor the first to blog about it, thus the title of this blog. I've been looking at other people's build blogs and pages to learn from their experience. Here are some Gingery build blogs and pages I've found. If you know of others, please link them in the comments.

Morgan Demers has a thorough and well-organized blog covering a variety of topics. Scroll down to the bottom on the right-hand side to select a category. Most relevant are the Lathe Project and Metal Casting. Check out his YouTube channel here.

Makercise Youtube channel featuring Gingery Lathe and Shaper builds.

Terry Brown has a site about "Aluminum casting etc, Lathe & other shed-type things." Note the Foundry pages, and scroll down nearly to the bottom for the Gingery Shaper pages. (42 of them!)

A retired Australian Motor Mechanic with an interest in machining, PGS has been posting videos over the past six months (so far) detailing his progress on the Gingery Milling Machine.

Gingery Metal Shop Series a new playlist at Paul's Garage. He's made some interesting videos on other metal working and DIY topics. He plans to work through the whole series.

My Garage John Schwytzer's page: Workshop, My Charcoal Furnace,
The New Propane Furnace, The First Melt at My New Shop, Foundry Tools, How to Cast Parts, Casting Problems, Lathe, Change Gears, Shaper, Mill, Drill Press, Other Projects, Sundials.

Jason Harris has a page called miBot documenting his Gingery Charcoal Foundry Build, Casting the Base for the Gingery Milling Machine, Calculating Change Gears for Thread Cutting, and Building the HobbyCNC 4 Axis Stepper Driver. Unfortunately, it appears not to have been updated since 2007. (Update: Jason says he bought a mill and built the Gingery Atkinson Engine and Stirling Engine.)

Rick Sparber has a large number of useful articles on his Metal Working pages. Of particular interest are the articles listed under Foundry: My Hartman Electric Furnace, A Simple Controller for an Electric Furnace, Casting and Machining Parts for the Updated Gingery Metal Shaper, Gingery Drill Press, Foundry Procedures, Home Made Crucible and Tongs, Welding a broken Kanthal Heating Element, and A Variable Volumn Flask. The articles under Plastic Injection Molding are about building and using Vince Gingery's Plastic Injection Molding MachineMachining contains a huge number of articles divided into 14 subtopics. Note A Thrown Together Sheet Metal Finger Brake, which is similar to  Dave Gingery's Sheet Metal Brake, and a series of articles about the Gingery Shaper. All articles are in pdf, so you can download them for further reference. a huge treasury of information. Seven furnace designs. Flasks, Refractories, and Crucibles. Casting Brass and Bronze. Melting Iron. Charcoal vs. Propane vs. Waste (Cooking) Oil vs. (Used) Motor Oil as Fuel. And, of course, his Lathe Build. Joe Hildreth's project pages. He covers such a wide range of topics, I found his Site Map most helpful.

Jim Builds a Lathe.

Bill's Home-Built Gingery Metal Lathe, and Fun with Molten Metal! Click on each photo for details on that part of the project. Also note Blacksmithing pages at

Brian's Metal Casting Project

Not a blog, but forum thread where xlchainsaw describes in great detail his castings for the Gingery lathe, and then how he changed his mind and converted a wood lathe to turn metal.