Just before beginning work on the winding stems we had another project that presented us with the opportunity to use the Schaublin lathes again. Our task this time was to make a brass staking block. This would become an important tool, enabling us to measure the length and diameters of our winding stems, and subsequent turning projects more accurately.
We started by cutting off a section of brass cylinder by hand. The block was then secured in the lathe using a three jaw chuck, ready for facing off the end and turning down the diameter. The block was then faced off and turned down using a high speed steel tool bit secured in a cross slide bed on the lathe.
Due to its size and how it was held in the lathe, the block had to be turned around and the same process completed on the other side. Once both faces were flat and down to size, a hole was drilled in the centre using a tailstock secured to the lathe bed.
We then used the dividing head and milling attachment on the lathe to evenly drill all of the clearance holes that would become the bottom of the staking block. With all of the clearance holes completed, the block was turned around and using the dividing head again, all of the measuring holes were centre drilled to mark there locations.
The block was then removed from the lathe so the centre drilled holes could be drilled to the correct diameters using a bench drill. Both sides of the block were then grained to give a consistent and flat finish to measure from. The block was now complete and ready to use.