Swivel Feet for Small Clamps
© Frank Ford 2004; Photos by FF

I wanted to make up some small swivel feet on 1/4-20 threaded rod for some light weight clamps. So, I chucked up some 5/8" brass rod and drilled a shallow 1/4" hole.
Then I used a radius tool to form the contour of the brass pad.
Parting off is always easy with 360 brass!
To make the ball end on the threaded rod, I decided to whip out a simple form tool, so I drilled an angled1/4" hole in a piece of 1/2" square water hardening carbon steel. I wasn't particularly concerned with the angle, I just clamped the steel in the vise arbitrarily at an angle that I felt would give me a bit of clearance.
Then, approximating that same angle, I roughed off the end on the grinder.
I gave the 1/4" drill hole a few strokes with a 1/4" chain saw file just to clean it up a bit.
This ain't rocket surgery here, but I did make myself a nice little form shape. I figured I could skip side clearance since I'd just be running the tool in a short distance.
Two regular propane torches gave me enough firepower to get the end of the tool nice and hot.
And, a quick dunk in water brought it to near file-hardness. I didn't bother with tempering it. It seemed stout enough that it could take care of itself without bringing the hardness down at all.
A little honing on some fine waterproof paper laid on my band saw table.
My finished form tool, nice and sharp
Looking around the shop, I found a bunch of these all-thread carriage bolts that were just about the length I needed.
When I ran in the tool, the long leg parted off the end of the bolt.
The rest of the tool formed a nice ball on the end.
I wanted the ball to be about as big as I could make it, so it still showed plenty of thread depth on the circumference.
Here's a collection of parts, ready for assembly.
I made my last tool from a scrap piece of 3/8" thick cold rolled steel. First a quick hole.
Then a bit of countersink action.
The finished tooling hole.
I stuck the ball end of a rod up through the hole, placed a brass foot on the rod and gave it a hard smack with a hammer.
One blow, and the foot was swaged in place.
Some of the final product.

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