Shop Solutions November 2021 - Engine Builder Magazine

Shop Solutions November 2021

Check out these Shop Solutions from builders across the country!


If you have one of these style sharpeners, we have found the rest and stop can be adjusted to sharpen your drill bits on the appropriate angle for a sharp tip every time.

Adam Cofer, Don Ott Racing Engines, York Springs, PA 


Occasionally, when clamping an odd-shaped part like a cylinder head or small engine block on our Bridgeport mill, the mill table’s T-slots are not always spaced for convenient clamping. To make the job easier and faster, we machined a pair of steel T-slot “bridges.” We tapped them to accept the same T-slot fasteners used on our Bridgeport mill.

Tom Nichols, Automotive Machine & Supply, Inc, Joshua, TX


When baking and shot peening cylinder blocks, I leave the main bearing shells and the cam bearings in the block to protect surfaces and maintain concentricity. 

Anthony Rotella, Anthony’s Marine & Service, St. Petersburg, FL


For those using the common block deck indexing fixture, here’s an easy way to check accuracy of the front plate. When you finish squaring up a block, flip the plate backwards and check the deck across the surface to the plate again. It should read the same if it’s perfectly 90° from bank to bank and 45° from the cam tunnel.

Ron Flood, Cedar Machine, North Branch, MN


When I need to polish the main journals on a camshaft, I use a straight shank center, or a large center drill will work. Insert the center deep enough in the chuck so the cam pin or a stud will rest against a chuck jaw. All cams have the centers on both ends, so in the rear have a center in the tail stock. Take up the slack and go to polishing. The “old machinists” did this with drive dogs on their crank grinders and lathes. 

Randy Torvinen, Torvinen’s Machine, Menahga, MN


Because we have a stack of work orders, about an inch thick, we have a system that helps us match a customer with their job, when they call. The work orders are kept in numerical order on a clipboard. The customer is assigned a work order number, he is instructed to save and remember that number to be referenced when calling for info, or when emailing for updates. We also use these numbers to track emails for parts inquiries and as a purchase order number as well. 

For example, Joe Blow’s 540 on work order #2158 would have the work order (W.O.) # JB540/2158. When a customer calls for info and gives us the W.O. number, we can find it in the stack very quickly. When invoices come in with this as a PO, we can match it to the W.O. as well.

Rich Jones, Redline Automotive Competition Engines, Davie, FL

You May Also Like

Shop Solutions April 2024

Shop Solutions provide machine shop owners and engine technicians the opportunity to share their knowledge to benefit the entire industry and their own shops.

Engine Builder and Engine Pro present Shop Solutions in each issue of Engine Builder Magazine and at to provide machine shop owners and engine technicians the opportunity to share their knowledge to benefit the entire industry and their own shops. Those who submit Shop Solutions that are published are awarded a prepaid $100 Visa gift card. Submit your Shop Solution at [email protected]. You must include your name, shop name, shop address and shop telephone number. Submitted Shop Solutions not published will be kept on file and reevaluated for each month’s new entries.

Shop Solutions March 2024

I always keep a pair of needle nose pliers and a small, straight screwdriver in my blast cabinet to hold small parts when blasting.

Shop Solutions – January 2024

Before installing cam bearings, make sure to chamfer any oil holes and clean up back grooves of any sharp edges.

Shop Solutions December 2023

Check out the latest shop solutions from builders around the country.

Other Posts

A Different Dyno Design

The dyno is a valuable tool, so it’s nice when an engine builder feels confident in the setup of it. Enter the shipping container engine dyno design.

Properties of Pistons

Pistons are perhaps one of the more sophisticated chunks of metal in the picture. Here’s what you should know.

A New Take on the Rotary Engine

What if we could design a new rotary engine that addresses certain limitations without violating the laws of physics? This is what LiquidPiston has been working at for over a decade.

Perfecting Ring Seal Soup

Using modern honing machines, surface finishes, crosshatch angles, ring materials, and coatings all combine to create a more efficient engine.