Danny Gallant's
Work as a Machinist and
Tool and Die Maker Prior to LANL

If any of you have ever known a machinist, you know how a machinist always has parts in his pocket that he has recently made, and how he is always ready to show them off to anyone who is interested. Below is a small sampling of some of the parts that I've carried around; although, not all of them fit in my pocket.

There's a six inch ruler in the first two pictures for scale

Parts I made at Nelic Engineering Some parts I made at Nelic Engineering

Parts I made at Thompson Machine Some parts I made at Thompson Machine

Parts Imade at Power Industries Some parts I made at Power Industries

Here is a description of some of the parts. At Nelic Engineering I made all of the tooling dies that stamped out these parts and other workers ran the production runs with these dies. At Thompson Machine most of the jobs were for a limited number of parts, so I made the tooling and ran the jobs too. At Power Industries most of the jobs were short production runs of machined parts where I did the machine set-up, made tools and fixturing, and ran the job.

A Part I Made at Nelic Engineering The exterior shape and all of the features on this plate where made in a single hit from a single station die on a 180 ton capacity punch press. The plate is 1/8" thick aluminum, 8" wide, 12" long, and has 41 perforations. It made quite a loud bang when this part was stamped out, the shock from which seemed to raise you off of the floor.

A Part I Made At Nelic Engineering Manifold Cover made out of Sterling Silver. Formed in one hit from flat sheet stock and then the outer shape was trimmed to size in a separate die.

A Part I Made At Nelic Engineering. High Temperature Rocket Nozzle Cover made from nickel. Three station progressive die with carbide tooling components.

A Part I Made At Thompson Machine The row of copper pieces shows the progression of steps (draw dies) it took to make the final part shown at the right. The final part is made out of tantalum which is a very expensive material and copper was used to test out the dies before the production run. One hundred parts were required. The wall thickness had a close tolerance of + or - .0003". The flat stock material was already at the finished thickness, and therefore many reduction dies were required to keep from thinning the material out of tolerance.

A part I made at Thompson Machine. Stainless steel High Explosives Container for Sandia National Laboratory. A bolt was soldered in the hole in the can. High explosives were loaded in the can and then the lid was sealed to the can by crimping the rolled edge of the lid with a tool I provided. The lid has four very narrow .007" wide slits to direct the explosion in that direction. The limits of normal die making were pushed in two ways on this job: first the can was made in one draw which is extreme for the can's depth and small corner radius and second the width of the slits was less than the material thickness which makes the piercing punch very weak and a challenge to make (and run without breaking).

Parts I made at Thompson Machine Earrings made out of titanium. You may have seen these around. Titanium turns to many colors of the spectrum when it is oxidized and the jewelers have ways of producing many interesting multicolored patterns (not shown here).

Parts I Made At Power Industries Components for Ultralight Aircraft (those small airplanes that look like a hang glider with a motor). Clockwise from bottom left: Propeller Hub, Folding Wing Joint, Wing Flap Control Lever, and in the center a Cable Quick Connect. I Also made parts for the landing gear unit. By the way, I don't fly Ultralight Aircraft. ;-)







This web site was created by Danny Gallant
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Updated: 02/04/00


I created the background image by scanning in some of my machinist's measuring tools, an endmill, and a curled lathe chip. I then modifed the image in Corel Photo Paint.