Not all good repairs need to take a long time or lots of effort. Sometimes it’s the simple ones that are the most effective.
Vice Screw Replacement
The Axminster vice I’ve had for a few years works really well and between that and the pillar drill, it’s one of the most used items in the Workshopshed. Somehow, I managed to lose one of the screws that hold the jaws on. These are cheese head screws that for some reason don’t seem to be that common with countersink and pan being more popular. It does not seem to cause too much issue but basically one of the jaws can wiggle slightly.
The other evening I was putting my box of screws away after working on a Roadtest for Element14. I spotted the missing screw in the vice. So I unscrewed it and delved in the box. I found a hex head Philips screw of about the right length. Using the bench grinder I rounded the corners off the screw till the head fitted in the hole. I then use the grinder to shorten the length slightly.
I had to open the vice past its full width and slide it out further so I could get the screwdriver in to tighten the screws up. But I now have a good replacement and a non-wobbly vice jaw.
I’ve been a fan of moccasins since I was a young lad when I had a pair that I wore till the leather wore through. I find that they are most comfortable when the original lining has worn away leaving bare leather. So when the stitching went on my latest pair, I was determined to keep them going.
We tried patching them up with some regular thread but that quickly degraded too. So I purchased some waxed cord which was also used in the Roadtest. I also had some handy needles from a present earlier in the year.
My first step was to remove half of the existing stitching. The reason for this was so I’d have something to copy and to keep the shoe together.
I then stitched up that side to the middle. It was double stitched so each pair of holes has 2 threads. The lower body of the moccasin is crimped as you go along but as the holes were already in position this was fairly straight forward.
When I got to the toe, I tied it off and then unpicked the stitching down the other side. I finished stitching then tied off with multiple knots.
Stepper Motor Roadtest
As mentioned a couple of times above, I’ve been working on a Roadtest for Element14. This is a powerful stepper motor with a sophisticated controller chip from Trinamic. The chip can do acceleration curves and the motor has an encoder fitted so the speed, position and acceleration can be closely controlled. It also handles micro-stepping so even in the simple step and direction mode it will make 256 micro-steps for each step you send it. I’ve been using a large beam and a 3D printed drum to amplify the motion of the stepper and then checking the position.