Nathan Asselin'S 2021 HIGH SCHOOL UPPERCLASSMEN LEVEL WINNING PROJECT
MACHINING A MACHINE BOLT:
Travers Tool is thrilled to announce the high school underclassmen level winner of our 2021 Travers Tool For Schools Scholarship is Nathan Asselin, a student at Tantasqua Regional Vocational High School in Massachusetts. Nathan's project demonstrated a variety of machining applications, and an eagerness to learn, as this one of his very first projects completed on a lathe.
I TOOK THE FOLLOWING STEPS TO COMPLETE THE PROJECT:
- Review blueprint.
- Secure a 3" x 2" x 2" block of mild steel into a chuck.
- Cut block to size and face the end of the material.
- Use a #3 center drill to drill out to a 7/32" diameter.
- Adjust set up and make required undercut.
- Align threading tool bit with center and thread as required.
The mild steel block was very warped and was very sketchy to work with, but all in all I definitely made sure that sucker was secured in a 4 jaw chuck. As it was only my second time doing a graded project on the lathe, and also the first time cutting a square block on the lathe, it was very fun. I did have difficulty, however, facing the end and cutting down to the size I needed for the threaded section of the material. Since the block was warped it was a challenge to not cut too much (but also not too little). But I figured it out with a little good old American Ingenuity. After facing the end of the material, I used a #3 center drill to drill out to a 7/32" diameter. After completing my center drill I moved onto changing my fastening set-up by adding a live center, made sure that was tight. After that I made an undercut 1-3/8" from the end 1/16" deep into the machine bolt. Now that was all over I moved onto learning how to use feeds and speeds correctly or I should say efficiently. I set the correct speed and feed for a threading operation, I also set the compound to a specific measurement that was instructed by the teacher. I used a 60 degree threading tool bit, aligned it with the center and started threading. It's quite slow but the wait is well worth it cause the threads came out beautifully.
Five years ago, my mother and I decided to move to Fiskdale, MA to attend Tantasqua. Ever since then, I have never been happier than I am now. The tech program at Tantasqua was very new to me and there were a lot of opportunities. The only hard choice I had to face was which opportunities I wanted to take. My name is Nathan Asselin and I'm 17 years old. I love nothing more than my friends, family, and work! On top of that I am also a volunteer firefighter because there is nothing more meaningful than helping others.
When it came time to choose a technical division, I choose Electrical. I enjoyed every second of it, learned very quickly, and I took pride in my work. Everything was great besides the fact I didn't see myself going anywhere after High School with this knowledge. So at the beginning of 11th grade, I decided to change my tech to Machine/Metalworking. I knew this was no easy task for me, I had to complete missing assignments, take safety-tests, and whole lot more. I'm great with my hands, and I work hard, so I had faith in myself. In a couple months, I got caught up with the rest of the class. At this point, I know for a fact I'm sticking with this trade. Unlike some kids when I hit my bed at 2100-2200 after a long day at work I still don't stop – I'm planning what I want to do with my life. I'm looking for machine jobs around town or places that allow co-op for when I get to 12th grade.
I do have to say though, sometimes it is a struggle in a Machine Shop. Missing Dial-Calipers, squares, broken edge-finders, and don't even get me started on micrometers. Kids just leave them right on the table of a Bridgeport to collect oil, or hot chips, and just completely destroys them. The immaturity of some of the kids in my class would appall you. But anyways there's not a single day that I regret switching out of Electrical. The Machinist Community is amazing and very helpful with any questions you have. It really is a great environment. If I were to win this scholarship, I'd get my very own tools to help me move along faster and get things done better and cleaner and more precise. After all that's what it's all about is in it? Precision...
Travers Tool For Schools Scholarships are co-sponsored by Dynabrade, our trusted partner. We appreciate their continued support of the scholarship and their commitment to the future of American Manufacturing.