Springs are in just about everything from couches to cars. They are also a project that can appeal to both the novice and experienced machinist. Given that there are many different kinds of springs, you can choose one that is suited to your level of experience. Springs can be made out of common objects such as guitar strings or any kind of wire that you have sitting around you workshop. You will need a pliers as well as something to wind your spring around that is the proper diameter.
Ball Peen Hammer
The ball peen hammer is an essential part of any machinists' toolbox. It is also a project frequently given to beginning machinist students. The ball peen hammer is made out of a headstock that screws onto the handle. You will have to knurl the handle for a good grip. Further, you can hollow out the inside of your ball peen hammer and cap the bottom with a screw-off cap. This allows you to store things such as screws, nails and small tools in the handle of the hammer.
When starting out as a machinist, almost all of your work will be done right on the chuck. However, many projects require that you use a dead center. This allows you more flexibility in your projects than simply using the chuck that already comes with the lathe. A dead center will put basic lathe metalworking skills such as tapering to the test. You will also want to add a draw bar to the dead center. This will provide you with an opportunity to practice cutting threads, as dead centers often have long threaded attachments at one end.
Collapsible Nested Scribe
The collapsible nested scribe allows you to practice your lathe metalworking skills while also making a tool that won't stab you when not in use. The scribe is an easy project for beginners that uses skills such as knurling, threading and tapering.