JT's Machine Shop


JT's Machine Shop

This page has links to photos of my machine shop and other things of machining interest.

My Machining History

I build my first machine when I was about 15 years old. I took an old motor and got an adapter from the hardware store (remember them) to mount a grinding wheel on the motor. Then I screwed the motor down to a piece of plywood and installed a flush mount switch and a cord. My first Bench Grinder and I still have that one...

Bench Grinder

I built the first Briggs and Stratton outboard motor in my mid 20's. I had acquired an old Evinrude 7.5hp outboard and a beat up Sears jon boat. I would load the boat into the back of my Volkswagen van then pile in the motor and gear and head to the Singing River to try and fish. The power head burned up so out of desperation and lack of money I took a lawn mower engine and grafted it to the lower unit. After several trips to the river and trimming down the prop until the lawn mower engine would achieve top revs I was good to go. So I like to make things...

Somewhere around 2003 I purchased an Enco manual mill. It was pretty sloppy but was a giant leap from my old drill press. Next up was a Samson engine lathe. My world changed to CNC when I purchased a Bridgeport Series 1 mill with an Anilam 3 axis CNC conversion on it. I had been trying to get EMC to work on a computer for years and never could get a distro of Linux to successfully install. Then came the EMC LiveCD... and it worked for me. Wow I could make a CNC machine now... So using the BP mill I built a CNC plasma torch from scratch and it works great. Next up was a Hardinge CHNC chucker lathe with a dead control. I converted it to EMC after unsuccessfully trying to revive the old control. My last machine is a Bridgeport Discovery 308 VMC that still runs the 80486 computer with DOS6.22 OS.

Now my garage is full of machinery and the only spot left is for my wife's car and the motorcycles... So I'm building a new machine shop attached to my garage.

In the summer of 2010 I started doing the dirt work for the new shop. I had to move hundreds of yards of dirt from behind the garage to the north side to build up the ground level. On December 23, 2010 the slab was poured. YEA! Concrete for Christmas. In January I started framing the walls up for the new shop. It took 3 weeks to get the walls up due to bad weather. By the end of January I had the trusses up and the roofing party began. By the middle of Febuary I had the roof decked in and ready for the shingle party. Typically it was a party of one. On March 13, 2011 I nailed up the last ridge cap, what a happy day that was.

It's the middle of June 2011 and the insides are done, doors up ready for mud and tape on the sheerock.

It's now the middle of September 2011 and the smaller machines are in the shop and I've completed a rolling gantry to be able to move heavy things in the shop.