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WORK The Work Magazine Reprint Project

Issue No. 84 - Published October 25, 1890


Work Magazine LogoIssue No. 84 - Published October 25, 1890 4

Issue No. 84 - Published October 25, 1890 5

Controversial to say the least. When I bought my first lathe (a small, stout benchtop model for small parts and jewelry) it came with a grinding arbor and several small wheels.
Issue No. 84 - Published October 25, 1890 6
"Throw those out!" said the shop teacher who'd helped me pick out the lathe. At this point I'd had enough bench experience to know about abrasives and bedways. Letting the two come in contact with each other was verboten. If an operation required the use of even the smallest scrap of sandpaper, the machine surfaces were first covered with canvas or rags, and thoroughly cleaned afterward. A lot of extra work can be avoided by simply eschewing abrasive lathe operations. Still, I couldn't bring myself to throw out the tiny grinding accessory. The hoarder in me didn't want to see anything wasted.

Looking back, that little grinding setup saved my bacon more than once over the years. For the few times when I really couldn't freehand a small grinding job, I've been very glad to have it. Was my shop teacher wrong to warn against the accessory? Not really. But with all the resources of a university shop around him, he was operating with an entirely different set of concerns.

Students aren't likely to take as much care of machine tools, bench grinders were everywhere, and shop hours were hectic. By contrast, I was just starting out with a personal workshop. I had close to nothing in my possession, save care and time.

123 years ago, any home shop tinker with his own lathe was looking to get the most out of his investment. Crazy attachments and homemade hop-ups were the Raspberry Pi hacks of their day.

So what of my learned shop teacher and his ill-heeded advice? Well, he is recently passed and dearly missed. As I write this it occurs to me that his warning only made me take extra care when disregarding it. It's entirely likely that he knew precisely how I'd take things, and my lathe is healthier today for it.

Issue No. 84 - Published October 25, 1890 7
Issue No. 84 - Published October 25, 1890 8

Disclaimer: Articles in Work: The Illustrated Weekly Journal for Mechanics describe materials and methods that would not be considered safe or advisable today. We are not responsible for the content of these magazines, and cannot take any responsibility for anyone attempting projects or procedures described therein.
The first issue of Work was published on March 23rd, 1889. The goal of this project is to release digital copies of the individual issues starting on the same date in 2012, effectively republishing the materials 123 years to the day from their original release.
The original printing was on thin, inexpensive paper. There are many cases of uneven inking and bleed-through from the page behind. Our copies of Work come from bound library volumes of these issues and are subject to unfavorable trimming, missing covers, etc. To minimize harm to these fragile volumes, we've undertaken the task of scanning the books ourselves. We do considerable post processing of the scans to make them clear but please bear with us if a margin is clipped too close, or a few words are unreadable. We would like to thank James Vasile and Karl Fogel for their help in supplying us with a book scanner and generally enabling this project to get off the ground.
You are welcome to download, print, and pretty much do what you want with the scan for your own personal purposes. Feel free to post a link or a copy on your blog or website. All we ask is a link back to the original project and this blog. We are not answering requests for commercial downloads or reprinting at this time.

• Click to Download Vol.2 - No. 84 •

Issue No. 84 - Published October 25, 1890 9 Issue No. 84 - Published October 25, 1890 10 Issue No. 84 - Published October 25, 1890 11

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