Safer holding Problem: Holding a drill press vise by hand is not always safe or convenient. What's a simple, safe way to keep the part being drilled in place? Solution: Make a fixture like the one in the illustration. It can be bolted or welded together using light angle or bar stock. The vise is positioned by sliding it left-and-right and by sliding both the vise and fixture front-and-back.
Problem: Holding a drill press vise by hand is not always safe or convenient. What's a simple, safe way to keep the part being drilled in place?
Solution: Make a fixture like the one in the illustration. It can be bolted or welded together using light angle or bar stock. The vise is positioned by sliding it left-and-right and by sliding both the vise and fixture front-and-back. Safety is increased because torque from the drill bit is transmitted by the fixture to the drill press table.
Contributor: Randall Geib, Fenner Drives, Manheim, PA
Problem: Getting a good, straight start with a manual tap can be a difficult task. Is there a way to make sure the tap is straight up and down to get it started properly?
Solution: After drilling the hole to be tapped in a drill press, remove the bit. Leave the drilled part in place. Put the tap, with handle, in the hole, and place a bearing ball on the tap handle. Gently lower the drill so the chuck holds the bearing and tap steady, then begin turning the tap.
Contributor: Jim Fraley, Maintenance Director, Barkel, Inc.
Problem: Starting a Philips-head screw in a hard-to-get-at tight spot or with only one hand free can be aggravating. How can you ease the frustration?
Solution: Wrap the end of the screwdriver with a piece of electrical tape, leaving a little sticking over the end. Place the screw on the end of the screwdriver, and close the tape over the head of the screw. After the screw is started, a gentle pull on the screwdriver will pull the tape free. Remove the tape, and continue to drive the screw.
Contributor: Dave White, Titan Wheel Corp. of IL, Quincy, IL
Is it sharp?
Problem: Sometimes, it's hard to tell if the reversible blade in a utility knife has already been used and reversed. Is there an easy way to determine if your fresh blade is really fresh?
Solution: Before you put a new blade into a utility knife, color the cutting edge with a permanent marker. The color will wear off during normal use, giving you a fast, visual indication that the edge may be dulled.
Contributor: Ben Skaggs, Thermo Black Clawson, Middletown, OH
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Annual Salary Survey
Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey