Making an Aerial-Match

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Nigel Rainton
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Re: Making an Aerial-Match

Post by Nigel Rainton » Sat Feb 17, 2018 11:25 am

I wondered about the swarf. The metal must be expensive to buy, does the swarf get recycled?

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Watermole+
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Re: Making an Aerial-Match

Post by Watermole+ » Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:01 am

...I will try and answer a few queries before the next post.

Firstly; Hovis, you are not so far with your summary. It is indeed a tricky procedure and you really need three hands! One to operate rotary movement, one to operate the motor and another to move the cam. I actually put the first try into the scrap bin after quite a few hours work-but that's how it goes. In order to learn, you have to make mistakes and sometimes these are expensive ones, but it all serves to drive the lesson home! You just get a little depressed, sit down and take a deep breath, then just write it off and pick up another billet of metal.
Scrap and swarf. Yes, I produce a lot of both. One reel usually makes enough aluminium alloy swarf to fill two rubble sacks. When I have a few sacks, it's a trip to the local scrap/recycling centre. What happens then, I do not know but presumably it somehow becomes re-used.

Until fairly recent years, it was the practise to make complicated shapes, such as reel backs-even spools-carburettors, kitchenware, electric drill & motor bodies from hot castings, using an easy-flow metal alloy nicknamed 'Mazac' which could mould the most delicate shapes and lettering even (see the "engraving" or "stamping" as it is called, on some reel backs). The downside is that any cast metal is not 'poured', but injected into a mould to fill the tiniest area and so is very dense-and therefore very heavy. Cast Duralumin is immensely strong-but oh so heavy!
Casting also means making multiple moulds, many of them, which is all expensive time and money.

Today, CNC machining is so brilliantly accurate and quick, it is far more economical to make shapes from a solid billet or piece of metal-or any other material, with the added bonus of knowing that when something breaks, only the current item is scrapped, not an entire batch. The other plus is that there can be no blow holes or hidden casting flaws. Modern materials are also much better and far lighter. To give you an example, I have almost finished the first Aerial-Match reel back and even now, it is over a third lighter than the original. Hardy Bros. used to make their reels from machined castings. Then they realised that, even including the scrap, they could make them from solid "barstock" material at a fraction of the cost!
Aluminium and it's alloys are made from Bauxite, which is the commonest metal ore in the Earth's crust, but it is expensive to get out! A bit like the gold in sea water, but less so.

Nobby; You asked about why the tool is in the lathe chuck?
It is merely a question of axes (plural of axis, not the weapon!) In order to cut a certain way, you have to 'think outside the box' to use a modern idiom. The lathe has two axes of movement, 'X' and 'Z'. i.e. across and right to left, but not UP! If I want to cut in this direction, I have to change things around to suit. The trick is to figure out first what you have to do, then work out the best way of doing it. I am trying to do a four axes job on a two axes machine, so have to improvise. The reason for the two angle plates is because the lathe is too small for the job in hand. If it was a four inch lathe instead of a 3 1/2" one, there would be a much easier way of doing it.


..Now back to the Aerial-Match backplate..

The last job was taking it down to thickness. I left the centre stub on to assist grip. Apart from drilling the holes, the last tasks will be to radius off the edges and produce the centre boss. The radii on the edges took about seven hours of hand filing alone. There is no other way for me to do it. There are still a lot of scratches to polish out but these are merely cosmetic.
Here are a few pics of the penultimate stages..


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This virtually completes the first one and it's look a bit like the real thing now!

I have already started on the line drum and taken some pictures, but will have to take a break from this for a while now... stay tuned in :Wink:

wm+

....But lay up for yourselves treasure in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal.
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also
..Jesus of Nazareth, King James AV

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Crucian
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Re: Making an Aerial-Match

Post by Crucian » Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:49 am

Wonderful work Wm+ looking very good indeed :Hat:

It's interesting that it took seven hours to hand file the radii, I am not surprised.

After completing an apprenticeship in carpentry and joinery, I joined the Army, Royal Engineers, and had the opportunity to learn another trade, I chose fitting and turning. The initial training took place at Brompton barracks at Chatham in Kent. The emphasis during this training was on bench fitting, the reason given was that it would enable us to effect repairs to machinery in the field, using basic hand tools only. The first few weeks involved making a tap wrench, completely by hand. We were each given a 6" length of 2'' square mild steel. After removing the mill scale and filing a face side and edge, the block was marked out and sawn to size before each component of the wrench was filed to final size. I remember filing the chamfers on the almost finished article, it took a lot of very careful work. We learned the different types of file and importantly, how to take care of them. Our instructor for the bench fitting was a civilian gentlemen, well past retiring age, always addressed as Mr Dawson. There were 12 of us in my intake, 4 of us passed the standard required, before moving on to basic instruction on machinery. It was generally accepted that hand filing was the hardest skill to attain, and I wouldn't disagree.

Sorry if I've hijacked your thread Wm+

Looking forward to further progress.

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Nobby
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Re: Making an Aerial-Match

Post by Nobby » Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:37 pm

Well that took me back Crucian! I have suddenly remembered learning to file chamfers on the edges of mild steel plates in Metalwork class when I was a teenager....getting the chamfer the same width back and front was not easy. You had to learn to feel what the tool was trying to do and correct it so each stroke bore even pressure at the beginning and the end of the stroke. It was boring as well.

We wanted to make things....not piles with files of metal dust on the floor...REAL things.

But it's only by learning these basic skills that you can progress.


I wish I could say that I now always remember to dip the file in paraffin to stop the aluminium from clogging up the file teeth....but I always remember afterwards.......


The reel back looks superb, Leszek and how interesting to learn that it is lighter than the original! Until I held one I thought these reels a bit 'clonky'. It was only when I held one did I realise they were pretty light...so an even lighter one will be really impressive.

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Watermole+
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Re: Making an Aerial-Match

Post by Watermole+ » Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:01 am

Again, sorry that I have not added to this thread for a while.
The temperature has been hovering about zero out in the workshop and everything is just too cold to touch so have left it for a while.

However, just to keep things ticking over, here are a few pictures showing the start of making a line drum, step-by-step.
It isn't anything very exciting but will show how, starting with a solid block, it starts to take shape.

The line drums for my version will be in dimensions exactly as the original, but with floors instead of pillars to make it more user-friendly to modern, monofilament lines. Pillars will be there, but as a complimentary part of the floor so the line will lay on a continuous circle. The weight added by this will be minimal and should not be noticeable in use.

Apart from the backplate being made from a billet of rolled metal instead of from a casting, other modern features on all reels will include my ball-ended spindle, which I first used in June 2012 which has proved itself to be a marked improvement in free-running.

Here the billet is just being roughed out. "Roughing out" by the way, is not a reference to rough handling of the lathe, it just means the removal of excess material by the most speedy means. Afterwards, the billet is allowed to stand for a day or so to allow it to stabilize.

Starting from a solid billet then..


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The first thing is to spot drill, then put a small, pilot hole through..


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...followed by a bit bigger drill, but this is only going part way through.


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Here I am roughing out the counterbored part.


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Purely for research purposes and out of curiosity, I stepped up a gear and used pure paraffin as a coolant/lubricant for the lathe tool, just to see if it would ignite.
I did have a fire extinguisher on stand-by, just in case-and made a terrific lot of smoke (it doesn't show too well in the photo) and smell, which hung around for ages but despite my best efforts, just could not get it to fire up, probably because the tool was too good.


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So I just went back to normal coolant here and roughed out the line groove.


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Here is a line drum all ready now for finish turning..

...just have to make another five of these now..


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Regards to all,

wm=

....But lay up for yourselves treasure in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal.
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also
..Jesus of Nazareth, King James AV

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Wallys-Cast
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Re: Making an Aerial-Match

Post by Wallys-Cast » Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:20 am

Much appreciated addition to the post Leszek but stay warm. I know what it's like when you are busy and itching to get things done but the warmer weather will be with us sooner or later.

Wal.

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Keston
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Re: Making an Aerial-Match

Post by Keston » Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:48 am

I really enjoy and look forward to your updates. I laughed heartily reading of using paraffin as a lubricant to see if it would ignite... for research purposes and out of curiosity .
It may well have been a scientific experiment but it made me chuckle .

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Marc
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Re: Making an Aerial-Match

Post by Marc » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:10 am

Don’t blame you in the slightest, WM+; I’ve hardly left the house in the last five days. Starting to get a bit cabin fever now though.

I’m starting to see where the reels heading now and I’m loving the word ‘billet’. Looking forward to the next instalment.
Marc. (Prince of Durham)

"Then, as it was, then again it will be. And though the course may change sometimes. Rivers always reach the sea"

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Paul F
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Re: Making an Aerial-Match

Post by Paul F » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:12 am

Great Leszek, but do stay warm, the reels can wait :Hat:

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Lea Dweller
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Re: Making an Aerial-Match

Post by Lea Dweller » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:25 am

Paul F wrote:
Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:12 am
Great Leszek, but do stay warm, the reels can wait :Hat:
I agree, your health and well-being are more important than anything else, however frustrating it may be to wait!
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall!
Confucius

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