I use a variety of techniques in the shop and many of them entail special equipment. In a number of instances it has proven beneficial to fabricate the required equipment. I offer a few examples here.
My extensive use of lathe turned metal parts requires a lot of finishing operations and, in the interest of taking the operation off of the lathe, I built a polishing lathe that allows easy switching of parts. A surplus Albrecht chuck is mounted to a low speed DC motor with a foot controlled switch. A fabricated mechanism allows one-handed opening and closing of the chuck.
Many of my camera designs incorporate curved, bent-laminations. This sander makes it easier to sand the concave surfaces. The drums are removable and allow for varying accessories to be used on the machine.
I borrowed the press design used by many jewelers and modified it slightly to use a pneumatic cylinder instead of springs for the return stroke. I use for general purpose press work as well as non-conforming die technique for forming sheet metal.
A variety of techniques entail the use of mold making and casting materials that require degassing to prevent air bubbles from interfering in the process. I built this design which provides both vacuum and a modest positive pressure for use in the molding process.
When I decided to experiment with roto-casting techniques it was clear that the core piece of equipment, this random motion producing casting machine, was too expensive for the budget allocated to the project. So I set a goal of using only materials at hand to construct the appropriate machine. I'll post a video of this unit in action soon.