portable handheld mortising jig "build blog" #11: making the handles complete with tapers, using my tapering jig.

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Blog entry by hobby1 posted 11-12-2013 01:49 AM 1398 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 10: couple more hours this evening, building mortise depth stop block and starting the handles. Part 11 of portable handheld mortising jig "build blog" series Part 12: adding the latch, and upgrading the length stops. »

Now I will first machine a small taper on the handle top, I will use one of the bars I just threaded as a mandrel to hold a handle top onto, then I will set up to machine a taper.
Because I don’t need to use the tailstock to support the workpiece, I can adjust the compound slide to the desired angle, a person aquainted with machining, will see in this setup the taper is being cut the opposite way it is usually done on a lathe, however it still works.

now instead of machining a large chamfer on the front end of the handle top, I decided to just work it to a round profile usiong a file, with the lathe running.

The piece on the left was not yet worked by hand filing the one on the right is after the finish filing.

now both handle tops are finished with all the profiling

I now want to enlarge the thread from 1/4-20 to 3/8-16 tpi, on the opposite end, to give more of a substantial attachment of the handle assembly to the subbase.
Here a 3/8-16 tpi. bolt is used to check for fit.

Ok now that the handle top and shaft is all drilled and tapped, and ready for final assembly, I still want to make a long taper on the shaft of each handle rod, to make for a more comfortable grip, as well as asthetics too.
This taper will go from the bottom to the handle top, increaqsing in elevation, However, I want a good support base at the bottom of the handle rod, so I will begin the taper up above the very bottom, so I first mark it off like this.

Now I can machine a groove to required depth, to where the taper will start at the small end.

After determining the depth of cut in, and the length of the taper, a quick trig, calculation, shows the arctangent of 0.25, which is around 14 deg.

Now I could again set my lathe compound slide to this angle, however because my workpiece is very small, and I have a very small area of grip in the chuck jaws, I need to use my tailstock to hold this workpiece, or else it will have great deflection, and ruin the work, so the only way I can use my tailstock and still cut a long taper, is to use my shop built tapering jig.
So here I have it set up as it takes the place of the entire cross slide on my lathe, and it is very easy to set up any angle I need, by using my protractor in combination with a ruler.
This setup is close to the 14 deg. taper angle I need.

With everything locked down I can start cutting away the taper.

And a look at the before taper and after taper, with the two workpieces.

Now I can place the workpieces back in the lathe to rough cut them to length.

And after facing them to final finish lengths, I have the tops dry assembled to each shaft, to check for fit.

And a quick look at where abouts they will probably fo on the subase assembly, on the mortise jig itself.

That’s all for today.
Have fun in the shop.

2 comments so far

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3330 days

#1 posted 11-13-2013 10:10 AM

Your machining work looks like as much fun as woodworking (did I say that?). If I weren’t so old I think I would take it up, but I’m not willing to use another 20 years to become quasi competent at it. I am really looking forward to seeing your mortiser in action. My guess is that you are making a truly wonderful tool that we will all drool over when we see it in action.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View hobby1's profile


335 posts in 2293 days

#2 posted 11-14-2013 12:32 AM

Hi Mike,

Yeh, machining is just as much fun as woodworking, now for me, metalworking is not as fun, I never really liked working with metal, and I still don’t, to me its to hard and heavy and bulky, material to work with, it takes to long to build things, and I don’t like welding much, but I do like homeshop machining, and artistery with metal, doing fine metalwork as an artistic piece I like doing, I love to build mechanical models with metal, because of the fine details that can be machined with great accuracy, when it comes to mechanical model designs and builds, that is the only time I can enjoy working with metal.

When it comes to big building projects, I like woodworking.
I would rather build furniture out of wood, then to weld up a piece of metal furniture.

Here are a few examples of my mechanical model builds, this shows to the scale I like to work with metal, something that can sit on a coffee table to me is the largest I’ll go with a metal project.

A few of these, I did as a “work in progress” projects on a machining forum, I also belong to.

this is a small scale model of my angle machinists vice.

Here is my swivel vice model

model of those portable hydraulic lift tables, works with water for the hydraulics.

then a representative model of those flight simulator platforms, only I don’t have the cabin attached to the top, it just works as a moing platform, this works with sewing machine oil, for the hydraulics.

And one from my collection of air powered model engines, this one I made to represent a aircraft horizontal engine.

If you are interested, here is a link to my photo bucket album.

Have fun in the shop.

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