[sdiy] Special tools for SMT

Steve Lenham steve at bendentech.co.uk
Mon Feb 14 12:45:21 CET 2022

On 12/02/2022 17:06, Oren Leavitt via Synth-diy wrote:
> On 2/12/22 10:35 AM, Mike Bryant wrote:
>> As an 11 year old at my school a long time ago one of the things we 
>> had to make in metalworking class was a screwdriver.  Put a rod of 
>> metal in the lathe and slowly turn it down to the required shape, 
>> then grind the end to a flat blade.
>> Never did find a use for it !
>> The other thing we had to make was to beat a circle of copper to form 
>> an ash-tray.  Things were definitely different in those days :-)
> My "useless" screwdriver I made in metalworking class consisted of 
> steel or iron rod that I heated in a forge. While hot, I hammered one 
> end flat and then ground it into final shape. This was then reheated 
> and then quenched in water to temper it. For the handle, I placed the 
> rod with the finished blade in a sand mold with a space to pour molten 
> aluminum to fill out the handle. Finally I ground the rough edges of 
> the mold seam off the handle.
> Viola! A pry bar that thinks it is a screwdriver :)
Happy memories! At my middle school in the mid-80s we did exactly the 
same thing as Oren, though we went a step further by turning the cast 
handle down in a lathe then knurling it. The results were actually quite 
attractive and I still have mine somewhere. Metalwork was proper 
hands-on in those days, training us (you might say) for jobs which no 
longer existed.

Going well OT, the pinnacle of metalwork classes at that school was the 
building of a Mamod-style steam engine from scratch. As I went up 
through the school, I watched the final-year students running their 
engines up and down the corridor outside the metalwork room and yearned 
to build my own.

(Only recently, I discovered that the engine design almost certainly 
came from this 1972 book:

Of course, just as I reached my penultimate year, the powers-that-be 
realised that nobody needed hands-on metalwork skills any more and 
totally rejigged the curriculum to concentrate on design skills. No more 
steam engines. I was gutted, and it still rankles nearly forty years 
later ;-) Perhaps I should buy that book...


Steve L.
Benden Sound Technology
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