Gears & Grounds
We like to write about mechanical history, the shoulders of all the greats we stand upon, current tech, basic machine shop knowledge, plus give you as much perspective, references and insights as possible.
From old to new, and everywhere in between, we've taken our projects, experiences and interests, and curated them for hands-on people. We actually read the patents and do original research on the histories to give you some fresh and practical insight. For knowledge, and products that will get you headed to your shop, stick around for new content, and sign up for our Gears & Grounds newsletter.
Aug 19, 2020 Andrew Prestridge
Today we are standing on the shoulders of some very interesting innovators dating back thousands of years. They enabled clocks, navigational devices, water pumps, lifting devices, planetary computers, early internal internal combustion engines, machines of all kinds, machines that make machines, the transmission of horsepower and more. Here is our timeline of the people that made the biggest contributions.Read more
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.View Details
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.View Details
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...View Details
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...View Details
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"View Details
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.View Details
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.View Details
Screws, nuts, washers, and other fasteners are each designed and optimized for their intended use. Most of the time, what you have in your garage will work great for a quick built - but the diameter, length, pitch, and much more...View Details
Whitworth and Threads With the thousands of uniform screw options available now, it's hard to imagine a time with both more, and fewer options. Thankfully Joseph Whitworth standardized a system for the modern thread, giving a worldwide, universal playing field for interchangeable fasteners.View Details
Our modern world is impressive; it gives us instantaneous information through the Internet and this connects us for better or worse. But how about connecting across languages? English sources only show a fraction of what the world knowsView Details
Today we are standing on the shoulders of some very interesting innovators dating back thousands of years. They enabled clocks, navigational devices, water pumps, lifting devices, planetary computers, early internal internal combustion engines, machines of all kinds, machines that make machines, the transmission of horsepower and more. Here is our timeline of the people that made the biggest contributions.View Details