"It’s like a mini-Bedside Reader on a CD."

In 2005, I put together plans and How-To notes for making several tools I figured my guys would like. As an experiment, I decided to offer this material on a CD, rather than on paper.  As one person said, "It’s like a mini-Bedside Reader on a CD."   I've recently (early 2011) been considering re-naming it, but I have not come up with a good name for it yet.

On this CD you will find complete plans for 3 very nice tools you can make, namely:

1) a Universal Vise for holding small parts for hand work.  This vise can be set to many different orientations, on about 3 different axes, hence the term "Universal".

click here for a larger view of the above photo

2) a Surface Gage closely patterned after one made about 120 years ago by the A.J. Stevens Arms & Tool Company of Chicopee Falls, MA.

surface gage

3) a Small (3 oz) Hammer Head for fine work.

Each of the above projects is presented as a set of How-To notes together with fully dimensioned Working Drawings right in with the relevant part of the text, plus various hints, tips and very nice photographs (I bought a digital camera in 2000.  After taking over 8000 pictures with it, I am getting pretty nice results.)  Additional photos are also provided in a separate document for two of the projects.

ALSO on this CD you will find:

4) 3 short "shop stories".

5) The address for a web site (not by me) where you will find an excellent photo essay on how to make a very hefty small sheet metal brake that will handle sheet steel up to 6" wide x 1/8" thick.  A brake that can handle 1/8" thick sheet metal would be useful for making all sorts of brackets etc.

6) the web address for a page of links to dozens upon dozens of metalworking, welding, blacksmithing and other interesting sites.

7) A complete description of some simple-to-make lathe tooling that will make it easy to machine the OD of a disk of metal where you cannot have a hole at the center.

8) An easily-made mallet that a machinist can make, and that woodworkers like.  Commercial examples cost about $75.

9) Some other extra stuff  -  more vise ideas and other workholding gadgets you may like.

10)  A 7- page letter from one of my customers with numerous good ideas in it. One idea concerns the matter of facing a piece of material in the lathe to bring it to a desired length.  In 30 years of metalworking, I have never heard of this excellent idea before, nor thought of it.   I now use it, and I love it!  You will too, if you have not heard of it before.

11) A short letter from another of my guys concerning how to prepare steel and aluminum for painting, and a note about a rust removal product that another guy says is the best stuff for the purpose that he has ever tried – cheap, effective, and environmentally friendly.

12) A section on a neat and simple way to make attractive little boxes for protection and storage of things like V-blocks, precision levels, dial indicators, screw jacks, and other fine/small machinist's tools that are better not kept loose in your toolbox or a drawer.

These boxes use simple, butted glue joints, but they are strong and they work well.  They feature a novel and effective latch that is very simple to make, and I also show a neat hinge (ideal in many cases where a bought hinge would NOT do), that costs almost nothing, other than some time to "install" it. 

Also detailed in this section is a gluing fixture that lets you glue up the 4 sides of a box, with every corner at 90°, and with all the pieces in proper vertical alignment, with no effort or difficulty at all.  Plus, I also show a simple box gluing clamp which takes just a few minutes to make and which will pull your box corners together very neatly and securely while the glue cures.  I made two sets of these
(one for small boxes, and a larger set for bigger boxes) and I like them. They work very well!

12)  And more. 

The reason I say "and more," is that, as usual, I do not want to oversell what I have cooked up.  If you get it, and you like the stuff you knew you would get, or most of it, and you also get some unexpected extras that are not listed here, but that you also like, you will be pleased with what you got from me.  I'd much rather your re-action was, "Wow, lookit all this neat info I got from Lautzie! What a haul!" than that you think, "Well, it is what he said it would be, but only just barely.... :-( "

(BTW: A paper version of pretty well everything* on
the Gruppo #1 CD
 runs to just over 110 pages.

* except for a few of the photos, which I left out of the paper version,

If you absolutely MUST have a paper version of this item, I can accommodate you,
but it is more expensive to print, and to mail it, so the price is US$38.95 to the US.  I have
not figured out a price for a paper copy for someone in Canada - please e-mail me.

Supplying plans on a CD is a new idea for me.  There are some obvious advantages. The CD should provide a reliable and durable medium to store the info on.  The photos will look MUCH nicer on your computer screen in full color than they will as photocopied black and white pictures. (Some of the pictures on the CD are b&w, as you will see, but that doesn't matter – they are not very colorful subjects anyway, and I seem to be able to make real nice b&w photos.)

 Gruppo #1:

US Price: US$24.95 
Canadian Prices: (includes postage and applicable taxes)
    $25.68  AB SK, MB, QC, TY, NT, NU
    $27.39  BC
    $27.64  NB, NL, ON
    $28.13  NS, PE

Offshore Price: (customers outside of the US and Canada): Cdn$27.00

Please also see my How To Order page.

Finally:  Where did I get the term "Gruppo"? It is a bicycling term, and refers to the components that are required to turn a bike frame into a rideable bike – the wheels, brakes, cranks, shifters etc.  This CD has a group of things on it, so .... it's a Gruppo!

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