Thursday, October 30, 2014

Making A Pin Vise

A reader expressed some interest in my pin vise recently. Here's a view of  the vise.

It struck me that perhaps I have a saleable item here -- something that could earn me some money, if I could make copies of it for a reasonable cost.

It's been some years since I made that vise, and I made no record of how I went about doing it. In looking over the vise now, I have no idea how I produced the handle, with its 3/8" - 24 threaded stud implanted, like so.

I have a spare chuck that I can use, so I'll set about making another pin vise, this time with an eye to reproducibility.

A Complication

I have nothing on hand to use for the threaded stud, and the closest I have to 3/8" rod is 10mm rod. I'll have to fabricate a stud with a 3/8" - 24 thread on its end from 10mm rod.

Were I mass-producing vises, I'd want to obtain lengths of 3/8" - 24 threaded rod. That would simplify things a lot. Anyway, here goes with a fabricated stud.

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Here's the stud blank in the lathe. I've just turned down the 10mm diameter to about 0.373", in preparation for threading.

And here's my 3/8" - 24 thread for accepting a chuck.

I'm not a qualified machinist, and I'm sure that shows, but the thread I managed to produce will serve.

Now I have to cut the threaded stud to length, and get it mated with a hardwood handle blank.

- - -

Here's the handle blank just bored for the 10mm diameter stud.

The handle blank and the stud are ready to be mated.

The handle blank and stud together, ready for the handle turning.

The 10mm twist drill working in the somewhat resilient hardwood produced a slightly undersize bore; the stud was a very tight fit in the handle blank's bore. That's both good and bad -- good because it contributes to a tight, strong assembly; bad because the wooden handle may be prone to split. Were I using 3/8" - 24 threaded rod for a stud, I wouldn't have had the problem -- threaded rod's major diameter is normally a little undersize of nominal. If I start making these pin vises using threaded rod, I'll have to epoxy the rods into the handles. As I recall, that's how I constructed the prototype.

Anyway, here's the whole thing chucked in the wood lathe, about to be turned.

And here's the handle turned and sanded.

All-in-all, I'm quite pleased with the outcome.

Since I'm making this to sell it, I'll install a roll pin through the handle/stud, to be absolutely certain that they'll remain securely locked together. Then I'll give the handle a coat of tung oil for a finish.

- - -

All Done -- SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2014

Here's the finished vise, along with one of the 1/8" x 1" roll pins I installed through the handle/stud.

The chuck's capacity is 1/16" - 3/8". The chuck was installed with blue threadlocker, so it won't loosen in use.

I'll put up an ad for the tool on Kijiji, and see if there are any takers.

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