Sounds indeed very much like my stuff.
>I have a jig, much like Bill's I suspect, for drilling the axle
>holes...This jig is not complicated, but must be solid
>enough to stay put once it's set up on the drill press.
With the T-nuts in the table slots. Most important is the steel guide for
the drill bit - and the best chuck money can buy.
>My jig for drilling bristle holes also has a stop against which the bottom
>of the jack slot is pushed. This jig was for me the object of some fairly
>painful trial and error over the years. It is now - finally - reliable. But
>I found it a challenge.
Even this sound very familiar. Mine, too, had been the subject of major
modifications - absurd really with such a simple thing - until about three
years ago when I also changed the vertical angle of the upward hole. This
thing has a steel guide, too, and this is the stop as well. The biggest
problem for me was and is the bit because it must be so long. I use a
common .6mm silk pin, here in Germany of hardened steel, mounted in a piece
of 5mm brass stock and ground to a three-sided point. Not very
sophisticated, but more durable than twist drills.
>Also a challenge was one other jig - that for putting quill mortises into
I forgot this. This is the only commercial single-purpose tool involved, a
rack and pinion hand lever press. A home-made steel matrix with a thin
sheetmetal extractor over the tongue is screwed on an incline to the base
of the press. After welding together, the whole of the marix was slotted
with the hack saw. As a punch, I use 2mm twist drill shafts, cheap and good
quality, ground flat on both side to .55mm for delrin and half-round one
one side for quill. The end is grond to a flat point from both sides like a
carving chisel and it is important that it is symetrical or it will bend
while punching. When I started making jacks 25 some years ago, I thought
this was the major challenge. I copied the punch illustrated in Hubbard and
it actually worked - with what I know now, probably would have worked
better. After aquiring the press and making the matrix (and learning the
proper form for the punch), there have been no further difficulties.
>Other than that it's all pretty much hand work with the aid of some holders.
A small watchmaker's hammer, an Exacto pin vise for the drill to clear the
tongue holes, a side cutter, that's it.
>Still - it sounds easy now that one has made billions of the things. Expect
>the first time around to be a challenge.
IT does sound easy, after so long and a lot of thought and a lot of
discarded jigs, it is easy. Don't be deceived. Unlike a piano action which
looks complicated but where virtually everything can be bent or regulated
to work, every jack has to be good enough from the start. I freely admit to
having bought Swainson jacks for years, although after having made jacks
Grooves in the tongues: I assume most everyone make the tongue from a
cross-grain profile. I make the little notch for the plectrum across this
profile before cutting off the tongues with a commercially available small
circular saw blade on which all the teeth are set on the same side. It's
handy for a lot of other things, too. The groove for the bristle is made
with a 1.2mm sawblade (same one I use for the rack) and the groves are left
rectangular; I can see no virtue in making them Vee-shaped, having done so
for many years with the mentioned parting tool.
Keyboard Instrument Maker