Month: May 2016

Moving a Maho Mill

Moving heavy machinery can be a very daunting task. The easy way would be to hire a rigger and have him move the machine for you. Obviously, such a service comes with a hefty price tag. The cost of having a rigger move a machine, would probably cost more than than the machine itself.  After all, it is a hobby and the budget is limited. The alternative is moving the machine myself. I still needed some help, put that was at a fraction of the cost of a rigger.

I bought the mill from a fellow in Michigan. He had the machine on a couple of 4×4’s and was moving it in his shop with a pallet jack. The Maho mill has a hole in the column and can be lifted overhead using a bar through the hole in the column. To load the machine onto my trailer, he called a tow truck with a boom. The tow truck was backed up to the door to his shop and the machine hooked on. The tow truck had no problem lifting the machine, and pulled out to the parking lot where I backed my trailer under the machine and it was lowered on to the trailer.

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To unload the mill, I had a friend come over with his skid steed loader. Again, we used a bar through the column and a couple of straps to lift it off the trailer and move it into the shop. The skid steer lifted the machine, but we where getting to its limits of lifting capacity.

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As for the cost of the move: The tow truck charged $200.- to come out and load the machine. I negotiated the loading into the price of the machine, and the seller was covering the cost. To unload, I was fortunate to have a friend to help me out, so the cost was a case of beer. The other cost for the move was the fuel for me to drive to Michigan, and I didn’t keep a tab on that.

Thank you for visiting my shop.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.




Duclos Gearless Ep. 13

This project is finished!

To make the engine presentable, I mounted it on a wood board. The board was made by my dad, as he is the woodworker in the family. The unsightly ignition module got hidden in a cutout under the board. The clunky spark plug cap and cable was replaced with reproduction spark plug wire that would be found on full size hit ‘n miss engines together with a clip. Two binding post where also added to provide a place to connect the battery.



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This concludes this build log (is that what blog stands for???).

I hope you enjoyed the journey as much as I did.

As always, If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.




Duclos Gearless Ep. 12

It is time to add some bling to the engine. Philip Duclos didn’t have a muffler on his engine, and even if he did, I most likely would have changed it anyway…

Inspiration for my muffler design comes from a typical disc type muffler which is seen on many hit ‘n miss engines.

I started with the lid, and turned the inside relief first. Before parting off, I also turned what will be the front side using the parting tool. I did this, because holding the narrow part for the second side will be tricky.

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I turned the part around and held it very gently in the 3 jaw chuck to not make any marks from the jaws. All I had to do was to clean up the front face, as parting off didn’t leave a nice finish. Holding the part like that is definitely not ideal, but for a very light clean up cut, it worked out OK. To clamp the part square, I held it against the tailstock quill.

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The back side of the muffler is turned and parted off:

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This part had a nice boss to grip it in a collet for the second side operation.

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Holes are drilled and tapped. Here the two parts before assembly, front and back.

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The muffler with a 2mm spacer, assembled.

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And the muffler installed on the engine.

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The last part for the engine is the Lubricator. It is fully functional, even though it’s probably a bit over kill, as few drops form an oil can would be enough for the short time the engine runs at the time, but it sure adds a nice touch.

For the glass I used polycarbonate tube from McMaster. Here the link to the product:

The individual parts, before assembly.

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The lubricator assembled.

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…and mounted on the engine.

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And to finish this episode, a short video of the engine running:


Thank you for visiting my shop.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.



Duclos Gearless Ep. 11

The last part needed before I can do some more running and test the hit ‘n miss governor, is to mount the hall effect sensor and timing magnet for the ignition.

I made a block to mount the hall effect sensor.

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The hall effect sensor and block mounted on the engine.

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To mount the timing magnet, I made a ring from aluminum and it will be secured on the crankshaft with a set screw.

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Now that we have all the pieces together, its time to let the engine run some more and see how the governor works.


I gave the engine a good shake down run and I’m very pleased how the engine runs.

After running the engine for a while, I started noticing a couple of issues I’ll need to address.

The first and biggest issue, is my built up crankshaft. I was getting a bit of flex in it, and with the big flywheels, there was a definite wobble noticeable. Even though my idea of building it up the way I did was a failure, I’m OK with it. I had to try it, and that’s how we learn.
Anyway, I’m remaking the crankshaft. It will be built up again, but the more “traditional” way.

First, I milled out a couple crank webs. As I was at it, I made a small cosmetic design change to the webs.

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I used a boring head to bore the two holes, to ensure that they are accurate and parallel.

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The shafts and pin are made out of drill rod, and are ready for assembly.

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I assembled the crankshaft with Loctite and set screws, and it’s ready to go back into the engine.

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An other issue that needed to be addressed was the latch. I made the first one out of brass. It wore out very quickly, which was no surprise. My intentions where to modify it by attaching a small steel plate, that could handle the wear. Unfortunately, in the process of modifying, I messed up the part.

So I had to make a new one. I decided to make it out of O-1, and harden the business end of it. That will take care of any future wear issues.

First, I milled out the part. Second operation was in soft jaws to mill off the rest of the material and mill it to thickness.

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And the latch back on the engine.

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Thank you for visiting my shop.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.