2021 Power Racing Series Build

2021 Power Racing Series Build: Dodge Ram

My neighbor donated his child’s abandoned “Dodge Ram” power wheel toy to me. We used it as the outer shell for this year’s PRS build. The split plastic body of the Dodge Ram posed benefits and challenges to the design.

Power Wheels Dodge Ram
Power Wheels Dodge Ram
1” steel members for the frame
Cleaning up the edges for welding with the Bridgeport milling machine
Welding the frame
Spindle camber set to 5 degrees. For reference king pin inclination (KPI) was set to 12 degrees.
Final electric go kart frame
Electric go-kart motor mount
First test ride

Brushless motor ESC learning wire instructions

  • Turn off power to ESC
  • Connect the learning wires
  • Turn on the power to the ESC – the motor should spin
  • If motor spins in correct direction turn off power and disconnect learning wires. All set!
  • If motor spins in wrong direction tap the throttle for a few seconds and wait for motor to pause and turn the other direction. Turn off the power and disconnect the learning wire. All set.

Lathe Tailstock alignent

At the end of last season I noticed I was getting a measurable taper on some of my Grizzly G4003 lathe turnings. I put an Edge Technology tailstock alognment bar on my Christmas wish list and Santa was good to me! Now that the weather is nicer and there is actually some free space to work in the garage I decided to inspect my lathe tailstock with the edge technology tailstock alignment bar.

Edge Technology Tailstock Alignment Bar Review

The thing works like a charm and paired extremely well with my 3d printer dial indicator for my quick change tool post (QCTP). It’s almost too easy.

Edge technology tailstock alignment bar
G4003 with spindle exposed after chuck removed
Edge technology tailstock alignment bar
3d printed dial indicator for the QCTP installed and ready to measure the tailstock alignment.

I zeroed the dial indicator at the left hand side and then moved it to the right to find the distance out of tolerance if any. Surenough

Spindle side – zeroed out
Tailstock side – measurement shows .004 out of alignment

Sure enough the measurements revealed the tailstock was .004” out of alignment.

After a few more mods to the tailstock I was able to get it within .001” alignment in short order.

Final alignment with the edge technology tailstock alignment bar


The edge technology tailstock alignment bar is easy to set up, sturdy, and makes an accurate tailstock measurement quick and easy. I would recommend it.

3D printing a 5C collet Chuck base

I’m pivoting over to CAD modeling and 3d printing storage bases to store the chucks for my Grizzly G4003 lathe when not in use. the concept was something with holes to accept the dowel pins face down and side grips to easily grab and lift the lathe chuck into and out of the tool chest. Simple right?

5C Collet Chuck Base Concept modeled with Autodesk Fusion 360
Slicing up the 3d model with Prusa Slicer software
3D printing the 5C collet chuck base with the Prusia 3d printer
3D printed Collet Chuck Base – the finished print
5C Collet Chuck prototype – proof of concept

The first concept came out better than I had hoped but I see a few areas for improvement. The next interaction I am going to increase the diameter of the dowel holes to make landing the chuck ridiculously easy and to make the side grips wider and longer to it’s less tippy in your hands.

Flea Market Bell Refurbushment

I came across this tarnished bell at a local flea market. It was the perfect candidate to test out my new Grizzly Buffing Polisher! The final results greatly exceeded my expectations.

Tarnished flea market bell
Tarnished flea market bell
Polishing a tarnished bell
Polishing a tarnished bell with a Grizzly buffing wheel
Polishing a tarnished bell with a Grizzly buffing wheel G1061 at 3450 RPM

Polished Bell

Final Result: Bell polished to an amazing shine with the Grizzly G1061

3D Printing a Vernier Caliper Tool Wall Holder

Pittsburg Tools Vernier Caliper Tool Wall Holder

I recently upgraded my precision measuring instrument (PMI) toolbox with a lovely Mitutoyo vernier caliper and a Mitutoyo micrometer. They are sweet! Buttery smooth precision.

My new Mitutoyo Micrometer
My Mitutoyo Vernier Caliper

That being said, I still have an economy Pittsburg Tools vernier caliper acquired from Harbor Freight that has served me well in years past. Especially when you consider it retails for under $20.

I still like to keep the Pittsburg caliper on my tool wall for quick and dirty measurements that don’t require three decimal place precision. I decided to model up a bracket for 3d printing to mount it on the tool wall.

Pittsburg Vernier Caliper tool wall mounting bracket 3d model

It took me three iterations to get the model right. The first prototype my mouthing angle for the angled base was off by a few degrees and the upper mounting arms were to thin and aesthetically too flimsy in my opinion.

The second iteration I was able to both add and remove material in various locations to optimize the print time down to 40 minutes.

Pittsburg vernier caliper tool wall bracket
3d printed tool wall

Dedicated Morse Taper Center Drill Holder

The pandemic has allowed me the luxury of more time to pour over some of my machinist books. While reading Machine Shop Know How – The Tips and techniques of master machinists, I came across a very enticing project to make a dedicated center drill holder for my lathe tail stock.

Machine Shop Know – How by Frank Marlow

I started with a 3MT To 2JT Tanged End Drill Chuck Arbor purchased from Amazon for about $12.

Prepping the MT Jig

The center drill I selected to be used in the dedicated Morse taper fixture measured in at 0.248. I put the jig in the tail stock and used my relatively new collet chuck to center drill the jig with the collet holding the tool piece. Next the jig was drilled on the JT end just undersized and then finally finished out with a reamer. Again both operations were performed with the collet holding the tool pieces. I had to purchase a custom reamer for this and made the error of buying an exact fix reamer (0.248) which made the fit too tight for the first fit up. (Facepalm). I then ordered a reamer .001 larger (0.249) which after being reamed fit perfectly into the Jacobs taper end of the fixture.

3 Morse Taper to 2 Jacobs Taper Drill Chuck Arbor
Drilling the MT to JT fixture to accept the center drill
Final reaming of the MT to JT fixture to accept the center drill

Adding a set screw

The text states to grind a flat on the center drill bit that will be used to accept the flat of a future set screw. This is best done on the surface grinder since the bit is hardened.

After the center drill holder was properly reamed to accept the center drill tool bit I drilled and tapped the Jacobs taper to accept a #10-24 set screw.

Drilling the MT to JT fixture to tap and add a set screw
The MT to JT fixture successfully tapped to hold a #10-24 set scew to secure the center drill in place.
A dedicated MT center drill holder

The finished product came out well! I slapped the dedicated MT center drill into the tail stock and put a center indentation in a piece of scrap stock. The center bit did move a little more inwards before fully settling and bottoming into the reamed out hole and the set screw subsequently had to be lightly retightened. Otherwise all was well.

It works!

This is a simple tool but one that will add efficiency to the shop. This will be a pleasant addition to my lathe toolset.

5C Collet Chuck for the Lathe

Bostar 5C Collet Chuck
Bostar 5C Collet Chuck on my Grizzly G4003 with a D1-4 base

My 3 Jaw Chuck Dilemma

After installing the new Digital Read Out (DRO) on my Grizzly 4003 lathe and doing some comparison cuts with the DRO and two micrometers I was made very aware that the preexisting 3-Jaw chuck could do no better than .005″ Total Indicated Runout (TIR) on the lathe. I was craving the ability to get faster more repeatable precision.

This desire for greater precision combined with recently seeing a few random collet chuck videos on YouTube spurred me to desire an entry level 5C collet chuck.

Ebay to the Rescue: Bostar 5C Collet Chuck

I finally settled upon a Bostar 5C Collet Chuck with D1-4 cam lock spindle mount purchased on EBAY for $139. The collet chuck was promplty shipped and arrived in less than a week.

Prepping the BOSTAR 5C collet chuck for installation
Checking the total indicated runout (TIR) of the newly installed 5C collet chuck

I found the installation to be relatively straightforward and easy. The old 3 Jaw chuck did need a few taps with my trusty orange dead blow hammer to nudge it lose to get it off. The Bostar 5C Collet chuck went on and I was able to get it to under .001″ run-out in just a few minutes. Success!

Now it is time to do some machining with this thing!