Shop Solutions January 2022 – Engine Builder Magazine
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I’m starting to see more and more cracked powder metal connecting rods these days. After checking that the size is correct, I use a deck brush with a few drops of oil to clean off any rust or dirt. If you have a finished set of rods that have been sitting for a while and have rust, you can also use this method to shine them. Works great for giving a finished look without enlarging the bore.
Joshua Pridgen, Parks Engine Service, Inc., Seguin, TX
SHARP EDGE EXTRACTION
I like to chamfer the sharp edges of the tappet bores after shot blasting the blocks. I use a spiral flute extractor and rotate it clockwise a few times with my fingers to remove the hammered edges. I find it works better than many of my bevelling tools.
David Matton, Automatic D and D machine, Bloomington, Minnesota
CHUCKS AND MORE CHUCKS
Here are some beginner’s tips that some veterans may have overlooked. The risk of a drill bit slipping in a Jacobs chuck, hollowing out the shank of the bit, can be greatly reduced by tightening the 3 “holes” in the chuck with the chuck key.
When clamping the outside diameter of a workpiece in a three-jaw lathe chuck, place one jaw in the 6:00 position (jaw with yellow dot in picture). Rest or hold the work piece against this jaw while you tighten the chuck. This will improve the centering and alignment of the part. When clamping the ID of a part, place one jaw in the 12 o’clock position; rest or hold the workpiece against this jaw while you tighten the chuck. This will improve the centering and alignment of the part.
With most three-jaw lathe chucks, tightening one of the chuck key sprockets usually centers the part better than the remaining two sprockets. Mark this gable with a punch (circled in black paint, top left in the photo). To determine which sprocket centers best, number the sprockets and clamp a precision round stock into the chuck. Tighten the chuck using only the first sprocket and test the pin runout with an indicator. Repeat the process for the other two sprockets. Punch out the sprocket that causes the pin to have the least runout. In use, start by lightly tightening the part using the pinion marked first. Next, tighten the other two sprockets, then finish tightening the chuck using the marked sprocket again.
Tom Nichols, Automotive Machinery and Supplies, Inc., Joshua, Texas
MOVE YOUR PLACE
Sometimes when I first spin a crank, the correction zone is off the counterweight. Instead of grinding by rod throw, try adding weight to the opposite end if there are already balance holes. I taped flat disc caps until the “dot” moved on the counterweight of this one (pictured). Be sure to clean the crank with lacquer thinner so the tape does its job, or you’ll throw them. This crank had the spot on the end nearly 15° and three plugs put it on the counterweight. Duplicate the weight of the plugs and create a TIG welding tip. It does a superb job on a racing crank.
Randy Torvinen, Torvinen machine shop, Menahga, MN
If you end up chasing wires or banging on a machine and don’t want to do a mess by blowing them, here’s a little advice. Drill a hole in the nozzle of your vacuum cleaner and pass the nozzle of your blower through it. Now suck up the shavings as you blast the holes. This will keep your lapping machine and work area much cleaner.
Ron Flood, cedar machine, North Branch, MN