Saturday, February 09, 2013


ShopFox M1017 12x39 lathe/mill combo

I bought a well-used ShopFox M1017 12x39 lathe/mill combo in the spring of 2012.  I found a manual on the WoodStock International web site, but ordering parts was a painful experience.  I had to find a dealer, and they had to accumulate $200 worth of orders before they could deal with the manufacturer.  Additionally, Wooodstock only had a limited selection of parts.  I noticed that the Grizzly 4003 12x36 lathe looks quite similar to my older lathe in all areas other than the headstock and change gears.  I then ordered some parts from Grizzly (some fit, some needed modification) and spent months waiting for my ShopFox order (in all, it took 6 or 7 months).  Let me caution others that there are no guarantees that Grizzly parts will work.  Particularly, the headstock and change gear selection is different.  My lathe has twist knobs, the new lathes have selector pins.

Now that I have enough parts to get started, I am working on my lathe

The carriage feed control switch was busted - the cast iron collar around the feed rod was broken, and the cast iron plate that holds the control handle to the carriage was also broken.  This photo shows the white original collar, the new red one, and the green plate that attaches to the carriage (both replacement parts from Grizzly - the red handle part fit great, the green plate has bolt and pin holes that do not match my old ShopFox).

By the way, the collar had a key inside that attached with a small screw, so don't chisel it out like I did, or you will have to extract or drill out the screw.  I chose to re-tap it as National Course Number 6-36, instead of 2.5 or 3mm, since I don't have any metric taps below 6mm.

I like to tap on my drill press with a cut-off nail loosely held in the chuck.  This helps me square up the part and the tap, reducing breakage.  Of course, patience helps, and I like to "back-off" a quarter turn or more every time I do a half turn or when resistance increases.

Broken hub from the carriage wheel
I really hope some machinist out there can help me remove the broken hub from my lathe carriage!  All I can see is a roll pin on the graduated collar.  Will that do it?

I haven't mentioned the mill, but the ears that bolt the mill column to the lathe were broken off when someone tried to move it (not me).  I am pretty sure that can be brazed.  The mill is a bright spot in this effort, as the mill seems to run and move just fine - all I have to do is fix the carriage, mount the mill table, braze the column ears, and start using it.

I'm partly posting this so I can refer to it in my introductory post to Home Machinist, but others are welcome to chip in!

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009


My mother-in-law's Birthday Cake

My wife made a cute birthday cake for her mom, who is a Doughboy fan. She found a Wilton Pillsbury Doughboy cake mold (used) online at an auction site. She made a chocolate cake with white frosting, and managed to keep it a secret until the last minute!


Wednesday, April 23, 2008


First hummingbird of the season

If you missed last year's post, see "We have hummingbirds!".

My mother-in-law spotted a male ruby-breasted hummingbird on 4/21/2008. My wife bought a few replacement feeders that are easier to clean (glass). If you are shopping for a feeder, take it apart and see if you can sweep a rag across ALL of the interior surface. You might need a bottle brush for a few areas, but if you can't see the interior of the base, don't buy it.


Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Basic Rider Safety

I recently attended a Basic Rider Safety (BRS) course for motorcycles taught by Doug and Kat from the Oklahoma Rider Education program. The program uses material from the MSF (Motorcycle Safety Foundation). The course is about 70% riding, and 30% classroom. I rode a dirt bike as a teenager, but I felt the course taught many valuable life-saving skills like emergency stops, swerving, better cornering, and better low speed control of the cycle. In short - well worth the money. We rode Honda and Suzuki 250 cc street bikes provided by Green Country Honda (thanks guys!), but if you enroll, your course could use other brands. In Oklahoma, the Basic Rider Safety course can stand in place of the driving test required to get a license.

As a follow up to the license issue, you must take the BRS course, go to a public safety examination officer and receive an official form removing the "A" restriction, then go to the "Tag Office" to get an updated license.

If you ride a cycle, I would recommend that you take either the Basic or Experienced rider course. Our Basic course was held over a two day weekend, provides a bike and does not assume any prior experience. The Experienced course presumes 6 months or more of riding experience, and riders provide their own bike. As a fringe benefit, it lowered my cycle insurance, and it might even lower my auto insurance because of the defensive driving component.

The MSF also offers a Dirt Bike School, but not in my immediate area.


Thursday, May 10, 2007


We have hummingbirds

Since I have not been able to find a swarm of bees, I have slightly changed the focus of my blog to "Country Life". About 3 weeks ago, my wife saw a hummingbird at our sliding glass door and remembered that her cousin had given her a hummingbird feeder. She sat the feeder on the back steps, and had 2 or 3 birds sipping away! Three weeks later, and we have a plant hook (from Walmart) screwed to the side of the house, with a feeder right outside the door, and a double shepherd's hook (from Atwoods) with two more feeders. We have 8 or 9 hummingbirds visiting nearly every day. It really is alot of fun! The birds really seem to like the First Nature Nectar (the 16 oz bottle is cheapest). We are using the simple and functional hanging feeders with a red ring at the base, but Amazon offers some very attractive feeders too. Don't forget that ants and other pests want that nectar, so look for a feeder with an ant moat, or buy a moat like the cute umbrella below. If you choose to join us in feeding hummingbirds, please read the care and cleaning information that comes with your feeder. Keep our feathered friends healthy.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


For want of a brick

All I needed to do was put a brick on top of the hive.

Because I didn't do my part to protect my bees, they died. I went out to check on them on Christmas Eve, and they were very dead. The wind had blown the outer cover off, and they couldn't take it. I still want to get a few hives going, and this won't stop me, but it saddens me to know that I could have done better.

Stay tuned in 2006 for further adventures!

Thursday, October 20, 2005


Wax Moth control with B401?

I read on someone else's blog about a new wax moth bio-control agent that they are trying in europe! Here's hoping B401 will help. And while they are at it, I hope they can find a control for the small hive beetle too.

Update: B401 is available from a Canadian Supplier - BeeWorks. (Thanks Robo.)


Small Hive Beetles

I read recently on the local bee group's mailing list that the small hive beetle was found in Tulsa County. This pest is like a wax moth that eats anything! It sounds like a good defense would be to cover the ground with black plastic, so they couldn't pupate and complete their live cycle. This would be a good weed control solution too. Of course, the best defense is a good strong hive, but we as beekeepers are responsible for the environment surrounding our bees.

Possible actions:
Ground Cover (black plastic)
Seal alternate entrances to hive (cracks)
Combine weak hives (this is generally a good practice in today's environment)

If any fellow beekeepers have some good suggestions, post a comment!

As I learn more, I'll update this posting, or add a link to other entries on the subject.