My Wednesday hammer….

This morning I was asking my nephew if he wanted to help me finish the hammer rack I was building. The conversation went something like this:

Nephew: “Do you really need that many hammers?”
Me: “Yes, yes I do!”
Nephew: “This is my Wednesday hammer, this is my….”

He is a funny kid. Might have a point though.

Thing a Week No 1. The Crowbar Rack

It is that time again, time to spring clean the project list, and that means Thing a Week is back! To get started – this weeks project is a crowbar rack.


If you are wondering why you would need a crowbar rack – you have obviously never had a multi hour crowbar hunt with your visiting father looking for the right one. Ok, being serious – crowbars are weird. You only need them once or twice a year – but when you need one you really need one. Having one of the right size also usually makes the job in question significantly easier.

Dad’s not going to be visiting for a while, but I am moving my machine shop next weekend and figured I would want to know where my crowbars and cats paws were.

(If the “Thing a Week” idea sounds familiar – I blatantly ripped the idea off from
Jonathan Coulton a few years ago. Its an amazing tool. )

New Watchmaker’s Lathe

Wahoo! My new watchmakers lathe finally showed up! I have wanted a watchmakers lathe like this, or a turn, for about ten years. Its hard to find a complete one in good condition.

Making a watch from scratch, meaning cuting everything from raw metal, is one of the projects on my bucket list. That project itself is long time off. For now I am just collecting horology books and tools and working on building basic skills. There’s a lot of skills and concepts to pick up.


So this type of lathe is made for turning very small objects between centers. What do I mean by very small? Well the lathe is bow driven, and it is not uncommon for people to use the core of a feather as the bow. The lathe dog that came with it is less than an inch long.


The lathe comes with a number of centers of different sizes, as well as several varieties I have never seen before. Several centers look hollow and bowed out forming a spring, so you can hold the work piece impaled on the pin. It’s a fascinating method for holding the work piece, but given the low masses involved – and the high stiction forces – I can’t see why it would not work.


I found the graver cross slide support is unusual in that it is only held in place by friction. The graver resting on the support translates into a downward pressure that should hold the cross slide in place. I was surprised at this design choice, since the lathe does use a screw turn just sets the cross slide support angle.


The turns are held in a bench vise, hanging out over the watchmaker’s bench.

So now to go make some very small round things!