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Member postings for Bob Rodgerson

Here is a list of all the postings Bob Rodgerson has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Setting Up A Tormach PCNC Mill With ATC
20/07/2014 08:07:58

I am currently installing a PCNC 1100 mill which seems to be taking me forever, mainly because I have so little time of late to devote to getting it fully set up.

Building it up after delivery was fairly straight forward despite a severe lack of space to move it around and the initial set up was ok. Last time I was home I ran the demo programme and all went well.

I decided to order the ATC shortly after I ordered the mill and this arrived in time for me to. Getting the ATC fitted without anybody to help me was not too bad a task, however the set up and the installation of the software was fraught with problems which resulted in me having eventually to re-install the restore disc and re-load the software again which proved difficult and took quite a few attempts before I got it installed.

With this done I started the set up process again, during which I noticed that the spindle nose with the Z axis zeroed was about 1/16" below the top of the tool holder in the tool tray. In order to give the desired clearance I adjusted the stop point of the limit switch on the Z axis. Further into the set up process I went to set the spindle height at which it point the auto Draw bar clamps the tool holder shank. It is here that I get the message "Cannot set position Insufficient distance from Z"

I think that I might have to run the restore disc again then install the software for the mill with ATC but am reluctant to do so as it is not easy to do, given that the controller runs at 110 volts and it is switched via the 240 volt supply from the mill and I do not have a suitable plug to go directly from the computer to my 110 volt transformer.

I have been in touch with Tormach but of course it is a weekend and nobody is at home and would like to press on and get this sorted as I still have the fourth axis to instal.

Am I on the right track, is it worth trying to re instal again?

Thread: What did you do today? (2014)
18/07/2014 22:08:09

I spent a pleasurable late afternoon wandering around Chester, It amazes me how busy the place is even at four o clock in the afternoon, most city centres would be getting quiet but people were still cruising the car park looking for a free bay.

When I got back home I did battle with my new mill, I got into all sorts of difficulties trying to install the software and set up the auto tool changer, I kept getting messages telling me the power draw bar USB cable wasn't connected. ~Via emails I was advised to run the restore disc, I did this but couldn't get the controller to shut down after installing and it kept trying to re-install the software during re-start.

I cleared all the CNC files off the hard disc using the control panel (Remove programmes) and after another attempt I got the software re-loaded properly. This time the controller shut down automatically after install. I then loaded the software for a machine without the Auto Tool Changer. This was followed by then installing the software for the machine fitted with an auto tool changer and hey presto it loaded properly and seems to work OK. I enjoyed operating the tool changer and draw bar, watching the tool tray moving in and out and so on.

Tomorrow I shall get the alignment of the tool tray sorted and concentrate on fitting the fourth axis hardware and installing the software for that.

Right now I am enjoying a nice glass of wine watching the thunder clouds building up over SK8. I think we are in for a spectacular display tonight.

13/07/2014 08:36:51

you'll have to cut the romantic chit chat next time,
then you will be finished quicker. Either that or go to MacDonalds.
Just to update you re- the CNC mill: I have finally got round to
running the demo programme and all seems to be fine. On Tormachs
advice once you have checked out the controller works and the demo
programme works, fit the auto tool changer and other accessories such
as the fourth axis, I managed to get the auto changer fitted last time
home but have still got to align it then reconfigure the controller
before doing the same with the fourth axis. I hope to get back onshore
on Wednesday and hopefully will get the rest of the set up done before
going back offshore again. I am picking up our new motor home when I
get back and the second weekend home I have a holiday planned for us
to try it out. Give me a call or drop me an email and we can arrange
to meet perhaps if you want.

18/06/2014 06:14:45

Graham, I use insulation tape for my depth stops.Like the Boring bar though.

Thread: BH600G Saddle lock
14/06/2014 17:24:51

Once I get the CNC mill fully built up, software and accessories installed /Fitted and the machine into final position I should be able to tidy up and move in the workshop without finding a machine handle poking me in the backside or tripping over some of the gear that is scattered about.

I will then be able to turn my attention to replacing the saddle stop on my BH 600. As you described the original is useless the bolt on mine sheared last time I used it. I was thinking of doing something like your idea with the plate but using a lever actuated cam lock mechanism similar to one which I have on the steering damper on my 1929 Humber motorcycle. When I get round to doing it I will take a few pictures.

Thread: What did you do today? (2014)
05/06/2014 18:42:32

I have had this happen on at least three occasions with my Volkswagen Tiguan and Audi A-4. It is my own fault for keeping to much junk in my pockets.

Thread: Ken Sprayson
02/06/2014 17:16:32

Today I have been trying to advance the installation of a Tormach Mill in the workshop to the point that it is all ready to plug in and install the operating system (Mach 3) I should get it all finished tonight and then tomorrow I have to return to work for another two weeks. I will leave installing any software until after I come back home in a couple of weeks by which time I should have received the automatic draw bar and tool changer, then I will load up the software and give it a whirl.

It has been a big job getting it set up, particularly given that my workshop is fairly tight for space but I am pleased with what I have bought. Oompa Lumpa (Graham) you are more than welcome to come and have a gander once I get back next trip.

Thread: What did you do today? (2014)
25/05/2014 21:32:35

In between unpacking all the goodies that came with my Tormach Mill, cutting up the cardboard containers that all the stuff came in into small easy to handle squares, stacking the half rain forrest worth of plywood that made up various crates that it came in, installing the arm for the LCD display, the arm for the tooling tray and patting the tooling away in the storage cupboard in the mill stand I managed to get My Velocette Thruxton Venom Motorcycle running again after magneto failure when I was last out on it last month. I also fixed the lights on it, the headlight wasn't functioning but a bit of detective work behind the front end of the fairing found a wire had parted. I was well chuffed with the fixing of the lights as the bike is due for an MOT on Tuesday and it has to have them working for that.

28/04/2014 12:48:03

Hi Graham,

it was good to meet you yesterday and I'm glad the mill will be going to somebody who will use it more than me. Just to let you know I have borrowed a palette truck for a few weeks so that I will be able to transport my new mill from the roadside to the workshop so we should be able to move the Tom Senior without having to use rollers.

Bob Rodgerson

P.S. Just to keep things on topic, I do like the look of the air rifle, kind of elegant.

27/04/2014 10:47:48


I know this is off topic but Iv"e just sent you an email regarding the Tom Senior Mill.


Bob Rodgerson

Thread: Getting started with CNC Machine & software choice
03/04/2014 00:08:18

Oh well That's it, the order is in. A hefty chunk of readies will disappear from the bank balance in a few days. Once the stuff arrives I will get some pictures as I build it up in the workshop and hopefully some video of it in use.

02/04/2014 19:17:47

Hi Andrew,

the lathe attachment will be reserved for very light work but I wanted a smaller bench top lathe anyway so I will still go with it. I have also ordered the 8" rotary as a 4th Axis. Tooling I have ordered the starter tooling set as well as the CNC operators sets there should be plenty of holders to get on with. nI have two mills in the workshop right now so I have a good selection of tools.

Thanks for the advice,



02/04/2014 14:28:34

MetalHacker (Andries) asks,


"Wasn't that the subject of some recent articles in HSM? I recognise the photographs"!

You are absolutely correct Adries. I penned that article and a couple of others that appeared in HSM. I also wrote a whole series of workshop articles for the motorcycle magazine "Real Classic".

I think if you do a search on Google of Bob Rodgerson & Humber some of my very early stuff will come up.



02/04/2014 14:23:49

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for the info. I was kind of expecting anything up to £1K but I will probably have 3 boxes because I am going for the full package along with the small lathe that mounts on the table.

I will probably place the order tonight.



02/04/2014 12:17:31

Hi Andrew,

I have been checking the workshop and I reckon if I get rid of my old Tom Senior and cut and cut down the width of the stand that my Drill Press stands on I should have enough room to squeeze in the machine on the factory made stand. I have still got my large Warco manual mill which I will use while I acquaint myself with the intricacies of CNC, G code and all that good stuff.

I did notice that the shippers that I contacted have a pointer to insurance of he goods shipped so I will obviously make sure that I get that sorted out before placing my order. I will keep you posted, hopefully my order will be placed this evening if the shipper gets his finger out regarding quotes.

Out of curiosity can you remember roughly what the shipping costs were?

01/04/2014 22:23:13

Hi Andrew,

prices are very competitive and like you I am VAT registered so I get that money back. The package options are very good too. I am looking at finding enough room to fit it into my workshop. I think both of my manual mills will have to go but it should help free up a bit more space.

I contacted a recommended shipping agent and they will get back to me with a quote for shipping etc. Once I have the figures I will probably place my order. I will keep you posted.



31/03/2014 22:32:29

Hi John,

I must admit that I quite like the look of the Tormach 1100 and after speaking to my accountant today there is room in the budget for one. I will have to consider what options to go for with it and find a forwarding company to import it into the UK. Over the next week or two I will make some calls and probably set the wheels in motion.

I will have to widen the door into the workshop that separates the workshop from the motorcycle garage area so that I can get one of my manual mills out and move in the Tormach.

I will look up your blog too. In the meantime is there any reading you would recommend?

30/03/2014 23:38:14

Hi John,

I couldn't see one with Mach software in the price list but maybe it's a special on request.

I live in the south east manchester area.

Thread: Machining slender crankshafts
30/03/2014 22:44:55

A long time back I machined the crankshaft for a 360 cc flat six.

In order to minimise deflection and chatter while machining the various journals I filled the gaps between the webs of previously machined journals with polyester resin by masking off most of the gap and leaving just a small hole through which the resin is poured. When finished drop the crank into a tank of Acetone to dissolve the resin.

Thread: Getting started with CNC Machine & software choice
30/03/2014 22:27:57

Thanks for that John. I am visiting my accountant tomorrow and available budget figures for the machine will become available.

The way things are looking I might just go with the Wabeco machine fully fitted with stepper motors/servo motors and ball screws but buy my own controller and software.

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