Sunday, February 9, 2014

Fly Press Tool Rack

I needed to test a couple of things with the fly press and couldn’t quickly find the tool I needed.  The reason?  It was somewhere in a pile on the shelf and not in the rack.

These days I’m paying more attention to why some things don’t work well.  This is a great example.  I made the rack when I had made only a few fly press tools like a center punch, slitting chisel, small ball punch, etc.  Later I changed the way I made the tools and developed a standard method of building them.  I wrote about that in March 2011.

After that the width of the hex head of a 1” bolt or the width of a 1” nut was the parameter which determined the width of the tool.  The spacing of sockets in a rack would have to accommodate that width for the tools to store nicely.  I had made the sockets too close together so only about half of them were useable.  When the number of tools exceeded the number of useable sockets the pile began.  

I had not anticipated the design change so I couldn’t very well plan ahead.  And when I made the design change I didn’t plan again.  It would take more time than I have right now to fix the problem but I decided to sketch out a solution in case I ever get around to it.  This is my proposal.  I’d make the socket from short sections of 1.25” square tube just like in the original version.  I would make some small separating blocks of, perhaps, 3/8” square bar.  I’d make a test piece and check the actual spacing to be sure.  I would weld them to a backing bar, perhaps 3/16” x 1.5” flat bar, which would leave the bottoms of the sockets open.  I'd also check to confirm how much standoff was needed from whatever the rack would be attached.

In the meantime I used the cutting torch to cut away part of the hex width so more sockets could be filled.  This type of inelegant solution annoys me, but it is quick and I have plenty of examples of such.

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