Gears and Grounds

  • I just want to make a gear...

    CAD and machine tools have been rapidly increasing in capability and decreasing in cost, so the ability to mill, route and 3D-print gears is in reach to a larger audience. So how do I get started? Here are some simple answers:
  • How to Measure Screw Size and Pitch

    Screws are defined by three measurements: diameter, pitch, and length. Diameter and length call out the overall dimensions while pitch defines the threads and ensures the screw can actually screw into the nut or threaded hole
  • How To Fix, and Maintain, Your Jacobs Super Chuck

    Jacobs Chuck Rebuild: Here's our guide on how to remove and repair your Jacobs Chuck - you can fix most problems in about 15 with a bit of cleaning, lubrication, and basic tools. With proper maintenance, your drill chuck can last generations with reliable performance.

  • Arthur I. Jacobs and his Super Chuck

    Jacob's Super Chuck, a broken gem

    Arthur I. Jacobs designed a great drill chuck and it has been in use for over 100 years.  One of the parts inside the chuck is intentionally broken.  It may be the only item you own that works and is broken at the same time.
  • Gears in a Nutshell: NASA Gearing

    NASA does a great job at explaining all the different types of gears and their uses.  A must have reference for any shop.


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  • Hydraulic Oils

    Hydraulic Oil, how it works, why we use it, and the cost
  • Paper Lead and Ink

    All Ideas need to start somewhere - graphical communication is key to recording and making the most of your ideas. In a modern technical world we're so quick to get on a keyboard and type, but the real value of ideas starts when you put your pencil (or pen!) to paper and start somewhere. We've come a long way from clay tablets, but the principles stay the same...

  • Lubrication & Tribology

    What is Tribology? Tribology may be an unfamiliar word, but it’s a familiar topic. Tribologists study the interaction of sliding surfaces, specifically for friction, wear, and lubrication. Any time objects are in contact and moving, two things are happening: there is friction, and there is wear. Oil is the common link to reduce wear and friction, but there is more...
  • Rudolph Diesel, a Patent, and Coal

    Rudolph Diesel is known as the father of the Diesel Engine, but how did we get to the modern Diesel Engine and Diesel Fuel as we know today? Born in 1858, Rudolph Diesel designed and patented the first Diesel Engine, originally claiming the engine could burn, "any kind of fuel, whether solid, liquid, or gaseous"
  • How to Prevent Thread Galling: Advice and Tricks

    What is Galling? Galling is a form of cold-welding that occurs in threaded components under high pressure, and may cause the threads to seize. Galling is caused by the asperities (high points) of one component puncturing the protective oxide layer of another, and then transferring material between the two.
  • Machinery's Handbook Guide

    Few professional books are as ubiquitous as the Machinery’s Handbook. This book can rightly be called a machinist’s bible, and not just for its super thin pages. Clocking in at nearly 3000 pages, the 31st edition Machinery’s Handbook adorns a special corner of my desk.
  • American Gear Manufacturers Association (AGMA)

    American Gear Manufacturers Associate (AGMA) sets the standards for gears