Ten Thousandths of a Reason to Celebrate

Posted: September 22, 2011 in Celebrations
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So I figured it was time to, once again, pay my respects to another individual who, in some way, has made a significant contribution to garage projects. Of course there is no shortage of people worth mentioning and this months VIP is no less significant than the others. Now this guy has a few great credits given to him. His working life began with filling cartridges at the Arsenal at age twelve and then soon moved onto a carpenter’s shop and then a blacksmith’s forge. Eventually he began training as a blacksmith. So who is this “hands on” individual? It’s none other then Henry Maudslay a British tool and die maker, a machine tool innovator and an inventor. As you may have figured out from my past celebration posts that inventor’s are at the top of my books. Turning nothing into something is fantastic. Henry was born in 1771 to a father who worked as a wheelwright (now that’s cool! (the wheelwright part)).  What Henry did was eventually turn inventor. What is interesting is that Mr. Maudslay spent a number of years working with Joseph Bramah, the inventor of the hydraulic press. It turns out that Henry, at the age of 18, helped solve some of Joe’s issue. Henry leant a hand in devising a plan to economically manufacture a lock as well has he should be given credit for inventing the hydraulic seal used in Bramah’s press. Anyway…if you want to read up on Henry Maudslay you can check him out here. What I want to continue with is giving him thanks for 3 particular inventions all of which I use in my garage. Invention #1 is standardized screw cutting. Henry invented the first industrially practical screw-cutting lathe which eventually lead to the standardization of fasteners. Who can’t like that? Invention #2 was the work he did to achieve a lathe with a three-part combination of a lead screw, slide rest, and change gears. With the invention of this winning trio he was able to lead the way to great advancements in machine tools. Invention #3 is super-cool and that was the invention of the micrometer. He built a bench micrometer to measure to .0001” of an inch. Apparently he named it “Lord Chancellor” as the tool was used to prove the accuracy of his work to anyone who questioned it. So for these three inventions I salute you Hank! You rocked the show!

  1. Gord, an excellent article, thanks

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