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Inside the Shop

 

In these pages, I'll try to explain some of the tools and techniques that I use to make my tampers.  Please bear in mind that this is a work in progress -- I've already noticed, as I started writing this, a few changes that I'd like to make in my shop and the manufacturing process.  Nevertheless, I hope this will give you an idea of the way in which a JAGWAL tamper is made.

These pictures and descriptions show the steps involved in making a Big Daddy tamper.  The construction of a Pocket Rocket is similar, though somewhat simpler given the lack of the internal tool.

NOTE: The pictures are fairly large; in order to make these pages readable for those of you with a slower connection, I've thumbnailed them.  Hopefully they will be adequately viewable even in their thumbnail form.

 

Ingredients

The materials I use are fairly straightforward -- brass, Delrin, and stainless-steel rods of various sizes; trim materials such as ivory micarta; and wood.  I buy much of the wood I use in the form of "pen blanks," which are small pieces intended for turning of pens.  A "standard" pen blank is roughly 5" long by 5/8" square.

This picture shows the rods I use, pieces of ivory micarta and malachite composite, and a couple pen blanks.  The large piece of wood on the bottom is a 2" square piece of walnut burl.  Before turning this I would use a bandsaw to cut it down to roughly 3/4" square.

 

The Lathe

Given that I'm a Guy With a Lathe, you've probably guessed that my main tool for tamper-making is ... a lathe.  My lathe is made by Taig and is designed for small-scale turning of metal, wood, and plastics:

The Taig lathe uses a cutting tool mounted on a toolpost.  In the picture you can see the cutting tool (it's blue) in the toolpost (the gold piece).  The toolpost is bolted into a carriage that can be moved laterally with the large wheel, or forward and back with the small wheel.

Those of you familiar with Taig lathes will notice that mine is fairly standard.  The significant modifications I've made are a longer handle on the drilling tailstock (at right, complete with custom duct-tape grip), the keyless tailstock chuck, and the 3/4" headstock chuck.

 

Next: Preparing the Brass

 

Copyright 2002 JAGWAL, all rights reserved
Last modified: 12/08/02