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I am retired from the kid herding business (school bus driver) now, so I can devote some time to this site. I hope to get caught up on some of the things I've neglected over the past 10 years or so and get back into the business of keeping up with our country.

Being retired is properly named, in my opinion: RE-TIRED. I have more to do than I can get done in a normal day and my normal day is about twice a normal person's day. I have everything stacked up in piles except the winter's supply of wood.

Well, I went and done it. I went back to work for that SOB I swore I'd never work for again. Yup, I have gone back to work for myself.  I have been called smart, but there have been times when I have been told I have little or no common sense.

Forster has stopped building their TAP-O-CAP. I was talking with a couple of friends on the net, here and in Australia, and decided I could build such a thing. Checking with the patent office, I found that the patent on the original idea had expired, which was why Forster's tool didn't have a patent notice on it. I started in figuring out how to make it work in a reloading press, drill press or under an arbor press. That was in May of 2011. Here it is almost Juse of 2012 and I'm finally in production.

For those of you who don't recognise the Forster tool, it punches out empty percussion caps, to be filled with cap-gun caps and used as standard #11 caps. Mine will punch pop can material (~0.003",) beer can material (~0.004",) or 0.005" brass sheet from the hobby shop. My progressive die is not a pretty, chrome polished, fancy thing. It is a hand built tool, intended to do its job and not wear out. If you want pretty, find an old TAP-O-CAP and buy it. The last one I saw went at auction for over $130.00 delivered.

I'll have pictures soon of the finished product, but some preliminary ones can be found at the following link:
The first two pictures are of the cut/guide plate assembly and the bottom pictures are of the first prototype that worked. I spent over 50 years chasing electrons and making them behave and another 10 years chasing school kids and teaching them to behave. Let me tell you. boys'n'girls, metal chips don't behave the same a electrons or school kids.

I had to upgrade my hobby lathe and my hobby mill to handle the heavier load steel presents, compared to the brass, aluminum and plastic I had been working. I had to learn how to cut threads on the lathe. I had to learn how to bore cleanly, smooth finish a hole, reduce a rod to within 0.001" and other little things. I was silver soldering parts together, but finally broke down and bought a little 90 amp wire welder. I think that is going to save a lot of time and fuel cost, which will save you some money. It also means I am having to teach myself to weld.

All-in-all, it has been an interesting year.


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Last Update: 05/26/2012
Web Author: ec roberts
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