Weekend Watch: Metalworking with This Old Tony

CNC & Machining Digital Fabrication Metalworking Woodworking
Weekend Watch: Metalworking with This Old Tony

The “This Old Tony” YouTube channel, as Tony himself puts it, covers “metalworking projects, mostly machining.” He adds that, “I’m not big on ‘tips & tricks, but I’ve made one or two of those. I like to think of it as an open door to my shop.”

Although he deals mostly with metalworking, the video that really caught my attention, given that Halloween is coming up and it’s vaguely scary, is the “Step Stool – The Makening” video seen below. The video is inspired by the lighthearted rivalry between metalworkers and woodworkers,  which could be summed up (at least by one side) in the phrase, “The horrors of woodworking.”

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After watching that video, what really stood out was the fact that there is really nothing scary going on, but with creative use of lighting and sound, a dark atmosphere can really be conveyed nicely. Tony has no formal training in videography, though has always enjoyed photography and does have some art training. He does point out that his earlier videos were not nearly as good, so like many other things, practice makes perfect, or at least “better!”

Setting aside the the “Makening” video, most of Tony’s videos deal with metal projects. Tony even states that, “In all modesty, it’s disputably the undisputed best metalworking channel on youtube. :) ” One neat video is his Espresso Pot seen below. He actually builds an espresso maker that he uses with a torch around 29:00 to make the brew.

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As for where Tony’s interest in metalworking comes from, he says that:

I caught the metalworking bug at a young age when I watched a mechanic drill/tap a hole, and mount something to a piece of steel where once there was nothing to even hang a hat on.   I couldn’t tell you why, but at the time, that just blew my mind.

And I wasn’t even wearing a hat.
Part of me does this to return that favor… for all the people who shared their knowledge with me, or simply let me watch over their shoulders and endured my endless questions (Like: “Hey buddy where can I hang my hat?”).

One of his better tools is a “Fixed Gantry CNC Router” seen in part 3 of the build process below. Tony says that “I like to think of it as light duty milling machine, but call it a router to keep from sounding like a knucklehead.”

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Part 1 is available here, but the opening scene in part 3 seen here is definitely worth a look if you’re wondering what the “payoff” for this longish 3-part series is. The other payoff can be seen at 26:00 in the video above where he builds a lever-action rubber band rifle for his son. If he inspires  you to build your own, he provides CAD files for it here, but is quick to note that only models, not detail drawings, are included, and it should be considered as simply a starting point.

Hopefully those videos have whet your appetite for more. Many of them have a silly theme, as seen in the step stool video above, but generally show some really interesting and useful techniques a the same time. Be sure to check out his channel and subscribe if you want to see what Tony comes up with next!

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Jeremy is an engineer with 10 years experience at his full-time profession, and has a BSME from Clemson University. Outside of work he’s an avid maker and experimenter, building anything that comes into his mind!

View more articles by Jeremy S Cook


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