My teen son has a job working at his college machine shop, cleaning up and general maintenance. I mentioned to him that I had wished even as a hobby that I took some machine shop courses as I enjoyed wood shop back in high school.
He mentioned it to his boss who was kind enough to arrange a 4th year student give me a crash course on Saturday mornings. He was happy to get out of weekend cleaning, happy times two.
Today was my first lesson and I decided to make two tampers. One for my Zacconi and one for my VAM/Caravel. I was able to make both tamper bases and get started on the rod. Not bad for half a day's work on a metal lathe. Only catch is that I used steel and not stainless for now. The new tampers are not as shiny like the chrome type of the original either.
Here is my work showing the poor fitting Caravel tamper vs my new tamper.
New VAM tamper base with barrowed rod\handle
Original large gap VAM tamper
New bases without rod\handle.