Adam Savage’s One Day Builds: Lathe Infrastructure Upgrades!

Just because Adam is under lockdown, doesn’t mean he’s stopped building! In fact, quite the contrary: Adam is busier than ever working on new builds and shop improvement projects. This is the first in a series of One Day Builds that Adam has filmed himself from the cave, upgrading the infrastructure around his lathe by organizing his many chucks and live centers. It’s a fun woodworking project that takes his mobile camera rig all around the workshop–hope you enjoy it!

Comments (13)

13 thoughts on “Adam Savage’s One Day Builds: Lathe Infrastructure Upgrades!

  1. holy CRAP, the amount of work Adam is doing on the saw and belt sander with the bandage flapping precariously close is making me CRINGE. one false move and its getting sucked in and pulling his hand along with it! Come on man! you JUST learned this lesson!

  2. Hey, Adam!

    You mentioned both VHB tape AND Rosco carpet tape in the same episode, saying you had to finagle the backing off the VHB with an Xacto knife and wondered if there was a better way.

    They may be, and it’s actually one of the common practices when using the carpet tape.

    I watched a setbuilder lay down carpet on a stage, and after laying down the carpet tape, his trick to begin to peel off the backing was to grab the roll of tape, peel back an inch of tape and use the “down” layer to pick at a corner of the tape on the stage.

    Just tap the roll down onto the corner of the backing, and it will lift the edge of the backing up ever so slightly that you can get a handhold. It’s no unlike the process of peeling the pricetag of an item, then dabbing the pricetag itself onto the remaining glue to leave behind a clean, non-sticky surface.

    Perhaps the same process will work with the VHB…?

  3. Watching these self produced cave videos is really great. The unpolished nature of them is so endearing considering the high quality well produced features we normally get from Tested. It’s a reminder that anyone who has something to share can find a way to do it.

  4. I like the 10 hole rack, not sure about the thing on the tails stock as I have impaled myself on a very sharp fixed centre more than once when in the tailstock. So this seem to be prone to sticking in your arm but then you just build something else ;-). A good thing to make is a tailstock plug/cleaner to gain space on a smaller lathe and keep if from perforating/hurting the back of your right hand and keep the taper clean

    First of all, Adam is a grown ass human and can do whatever he wants 🙂

    The following is just a PSA to keep everyone out of the ER and in the shop.

    Treat operating machine tools like bomb disposal.

    Move slowly and with intent, no alcohol or other things, don’t machine when tired. Best case you screw up a few hours of work. Worst case you are maimed and/or killed. I have had near misses when tired.

    Google lathe accident and prepare to have nightmares. I’m an anaesthesiologist and have stood in pools of blood and had lunch afterward, and I found it quite disturbing.

    But as a general tip around physical distancing and lathes but basically anything rotating or moving.

    The following items should be distanced from live machine tools.

    • You. Stand where you are out of the plane of rotation of a chuck. Train stepping away towards the tailstock when things go wrong, then reaching to the e stop. No grabbing, catching, saving, that is what a floor is for (wood on the floor is nice). A. you don’t get showered with hot chips, B. if something flies from a chuck (and it just will at some point) or the whole chuck lets loose you are out of the way.
    • NO SHOP RAGS. single to max double layer paper only (must tear) .
    • No dangly bits (hair, hoody cords,tails, no sleeves, no ties ( unless tucked into shirt that should be white and crisp with rolled up sleeves).
    • No watches or rings google “deglovement”
    • No wrapping of any kind around fingers while doing anything on anything rotary (sandpaper, scotch brite, paper towel) pinch between fingers or use a sanding stick
    • Fingers will never be inserted into any hole when the part is in the chuck unless it is disarmed it will do horrific things.

    General things to be aware off

    • Don’t approach someone that is working on a lathe or any machine tool before you made eye contact with acknowledgement of the operator.
    • Drill presses are really good are hurting people.Drills are corkscrews and will pull thin workpieces from a clamp or sling and make it into a killer mower. (When drilling into brass or sheet material with drills that have a diameter that is much higher than the material you are drilling into: use step drills, d bits or make a set a drills by grinding flats on the cutting edges with zero rake)
    • Move down guards on band saws.
    • Use a drill clamp with a band saw when cutting round stock (It can roll/crush fingers in new and surprising ways).

    Don’t forget tetanus shots.

  5. For thicker mediums with backing tape, I sometimes carefully score the backing somewhere in the middle, then flex the material so I can get a thumbnail to catch the edge. Depends on the medium though and how high-risk that scoring operation would be.

  6. Btw, there’s something quite endearing about the way these videos are edited with a single-camera one-man-band style at the moment without the usual final gloss. Like the little remnants left in of reaching for the camera stop button and occasionally checking to see that it’s recording and tripping over things and some slightly dodgy cuts. I don’t know, it’s like charmingly post-apocalyptic. “Day 273 in the cave – Still haven’t been outside, but heck, I still have some materials in the shop and there’s always something left to do, so I’m gonna work with wha… hey, is this thing on?”

  7. And I just noticed it was edited by Joey, so props to Joey for, I’m guessing, intentionally retaining this whole feel to the videos?

    Btw, there were 10 tools when Adam counted at the beginning.

  8. Adam,

    Seeing you work on accessories for your lathe reminds me of a question regarding your finger injury:

    Now that the lathe has tasted your delicious, delicious flesh, will it forever hunger for more, like Captain Hook and the crocodile? Will you get up one night to go to the bathroom, only to stop short as you find the lathe standing in the hallway. And it’s just standing there, all nonchalant, idly twirling its chuck, as if it’s just been out for a midnight stroll – but you know it was really creeping up to get another taste.

    Or maybe something entirely different is going on. Since the lathe bit you, have you had any… urges, say, around the time of the full moon? Like the desire to grip something tightly and spin it really fast? You did say that the wound was healing uncommonly well, and an unnatural healing factor is one of the common signs of latheanthropy.

  9. Dude, you really need two holes on the holder sitting on the lathe. That way you never have to hold both chucks at the same time. you remove one chuck, set it in it’s own hole then pick up the other. Always have a free space available.

    Also, check the speed you have the drill set on, those Forstner bits are low-speed drill bits.

    Bonus armchair comment: never rely on tape to hold something that is always under stress. the weight of that chuck will eventually pull the tape off.

  10. I too love the editing. It was great!

    Please get dust collection on the band saw. It is all so bad for you. I have been yelled at a lot for good duct collection.

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