I'm setting up an intro course for mechanical engr. students to learn the basics of shop practice - machining, fabrication, woodworking. We want them to be safe and reasonably competent for simple projects. I'm looking for suggestions on projects that they will learn from.
The main equipment/skills we want them to have are:
- hand and power hand tools, measurement
- woodshop: drill press, table saw, bandsaw, belt sander
- machining: lathe, vertical mill, drill press, cutoff saw
- sheetmetal: stomp shear, box/pan brake, bench punch?, notcher?, Beverly shear?, riveting That might be too much... we can trim if so. They'll learn welding, CNC, and plastics in their next manufacturing class.
Ideal projects would
- develop the basic skills above
- be just challenging enough for a complete beginner
- not have unnecessary safety risks
- give them a product that's interesting and useful to them, even if they aren't very interested in manufacturing (so, a hammer is better than a qctp holder).
- all be doable in a total of 13 3-hour lab periods.
On the one hand we want them to have respect for and experience with the basic prep work (e.g., grinding tool bits) but on the other hand we need to teach them how to actually make the product. So we'll need to gloss over some things like tramming a mill. Some kind of balance of prep-skills and product-skills is ideal. Some ideas out there: Small engine teardown & reass'y - hand tools and measurement intro. Grinding HSS lathe bits - almost certainly we'll do this one. Plumb bob - simple Center punch - also has hardening/tempering Hammer Machinist's clamp Stirling engine - fun but might be too much for a first course? The ubiquitous sheet metal box - how to make it more interesting/useful? Process plan and inspection of everything they make of course.
We have most of the wood and metal machinery above, except for sheetmetal. We're about to get those (see my other post).
Thanks for your input! David Malicky U. San Diego