I’m a graduate mechanical engineer, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) 1961. Took me 8 years to get thru a 5 year program including some time in the Army. I always enjoyed working in the shop, operating machines, working on the assembly floor, or whatever. I always thought of myself as a dirty hands engineer. I really enjoyed the machine shop courses in school. Early in my student co-op employment I operated different machines while at the old Consolidated Machine Tool Co. in Rochester, NY. Later to become Farrell Corp. Following a 4 year Manufacturing Training Program with General Electric Co. my first off-program job was in Phoenix, AZ. I left GE to get into manufacturing sales in 1966. Later I got into real estate and spent the remainder of my working career in Commercial Real Estate brokerage here in Phoenix, AZ. I'm retired now and enjoying my wood shop and my machine shop...making things for Neil.
 
My current kick is building Hit ‘n Miss Model engines. I've become a fairly accomplished machinist and engines give me a vehicle to show off my work and have some fun while doing it. I enjoy building something that “runs” or something useful, like a special tool.
 
This is my selling web site created especially to show off and sell specialty machinists tools, accessory items I've made, a little woodworking, and anything else that may be of interest. I also have another web site; www.nbutterfield.com, a more personal web site with some of my engines and other projects. My latest addition is an ER40 Collet Chuck for my 9" South Bend Lathe. Photos and construction details are included. I really love this tool and wish I'd made it years ago. Of course I didn't even know what an ER collet was then.
 
Products of this nature seem to evolve. As a home shop machinist my lathe Tailstock Tap/Die Holder evolved from a tailstock die holder I made for myself from articles in past Home Shop Machinist magazines. Adding the tap holder, so the sliding handle could both hold a die for threading and hold a tap in a tap chuck for tapping began by using a Jacobs Rubber-Flex Tap Chuck to hold a tap. Just a few years ago the Jacobs Tap Chucks could be picked up on eBay very reasonably. That all changed with the prices going up dramatically. So, I changed my design incorporating an altered T-handled Tap Wrench and started selling on eBay. Not knowing what the future will bring concerning eBay I recently started this web store and started advertising in Home Shop Machinist magazine. Recently I started purchasing tap holders, the 1/4", 1/2", and the 3/4" tap capacity holders, from a US manufacturer that makes the shank to fir my knurled sleeve...no more altering of T-handled tap wrenches. So far my sales of the Tailstock Tap /Die Holder have been very good. Who knows what the future will bring.

 The Ignition Buzz Box came from my need for an ignition source for my model Hit 'N Miss model engines. On my early engines I used an old Model T Ford coil and from that experience I rebuilt a few Ford Model-T coils and sold on eBay. With that it was a natural to try and make a buzz box for engine builders that would be easy to use without an electrical engineering degree. With the help of my very good friend electrical design engineer Ron Bindl, I made a Buzz Box for myself which included a small gel cell battery and a "wall wart" charger. For hook-up to an engine all that was needed was three wire connections, spark, timing and ground. My engine building cronies liked the result so I started selling on eBay. Unfortunately they are not cheap to make but they certainly do the job. They are very easy to take out of the package and quickly hook up to that just completed engine building project. With a recent cost analysis redesign I now purchase a pine box, rather than the costly red oak box that I made myself. The electrical "innards" are the same so the operation remained the same but production costs came down. There are other Buzz Boxes on the market but I believe mine is the only one that includes a battery and "wall wart" charger.

 I've used lathe center drill holders for years. I had four, two came with my 9" South Bend lathe when I purchased it used about 20 years ago and I believe I picked up another two in the early days of eBay. I thought every machinist used center drill holders but found out in recent years that some guys didn't even know  they existed. From my experience having my Tailstock Tap/Die Holder parts made by a local CNC shop it was only natural to have the center drill blanks made by them too. I then drill and tap for the set screw and ream to size as needed. Another product was born...not a great invention just an adaptation of an older tool. In my 1966 reprint edition of the renowned South Bend book, "How to Run a Lathe," a brief mention and drawing of a center drill holder appears on page 66. Sales of the Center Drill Holders have not been that good given the cost and difficulty of production, difficult primarily because of the many options necessary for the different sizes. So I made the decision to cease offering them. If you are interested in them I suggest you make your own. They are not that difficult to make and you can make exactly what you need. Tempering (if necessary) and altering an off the shelf inexpensive Morse Taper arbor of some sort can be easily used if you're uncomfortable turning a Morse Taper.

 The production of the Red Wing construction photo CD was a result of previous photo interest in my model engine building. As an amateur photographer I've always taken many photo of my engine building projects. As a result I had frequent requests for copies from other builders. When my neighbor and friend Larry Carter and I decided to build two engines together it was an easy decision to build an extra for me and really take a comprehensive series of photos of the complete project. The idea of selling a photo CD was the primary intent from the beginning. The resultant CD is the result of over 1000 photos edited and "photoshopped" down to an over 500 Photo CD.

Thanks for reading,

Neil

Call me if you like. 602-944-8589