Here is a list of all the postings IanT has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.
|Thread: Milling on a Lathe with a Vertical Slide|
I've had a look for my vertical slide but cannot see anything exactly the same. I guess the Chinese factories tend to do one-off production runs and maybe this particular version has now been superceded.
My table is 6.5" x 4" and has a vertical travel of about 3". It is very heavy. It also has vertical slots and came with vice 'jaws' that ran in them (and which always slip when tightened). However the slots do work OK to hold a small vice. The nearest I can find are the 5" x 4" slides that Arc Euro & Warco sell - although they are now about twice the price that I paid if I recall correctly. I remember lugging it back from a show but not the vendor I'm afraid.
Here's another photo - It's being used on my EW to hold a Taig ER16 milling head - something I sometimes still do in the winter, when I'm staying inside.
|Thread: Disposing of Gas Cylinders?|
I don't know what other local authorities do but my local Tip does accept disposable gas cylinders - I just hand them to the Man. Did it two weeks ago.
Re-fillable cylinders are a different thing - I believe they are owned by the 'gas' company - but since they can be exchanged for refills - I'd just stick any unwanted spare bottles on Gumtree.
Simples - The local tip - just hand it to an operative.
|Thread: MIlling cutter pulling out of collet|
Many years ago I ruined a very expensive lump of cast iron that I had been machining (to make a replacement mill 'saddle' at night school. The 20mm end mill was mounted in a plain collet holder in the Bridgeport I was using and was pretty tight - but the tool was just pulled into the work as you describe - about 10mm over the length of cut. I don't know what the problem with your R8 set-up is but my solution was to use a Clarkson collet chuck whenever I have a suitable Clarkson cutter available for the job - just for peace of mind.
I certainly use ER collets (for non-Clarkson cutters) and have never had one 'pull out' when doing so - but once bitten, twice shy as they say.
Edited By IanT on 03/05/2021 23:28:50
|Thread: Milling on a Lathe with a Vertical Slide|
That vertical slide looks about the same size as the one I have for my 2.5" EW. The one I was referring to is probably twice as big.
As with most things here, there are different experiences and opinions. I don't know what work you are planning to do - or how often you intend to do it. My parts are generally small and I do have a choice of machines available. But I'll try to give a bit more detail on my experience in this area.
Do you need to make vertical height adjustments whilst machining? Some operations (drilling, slot milling, edge milling/fly-cutting) often don't - and if the work can be correctly positioned and the right tool fitted - then a vertical slide might not be required, indeed a heavy angle plate might be better. If you know the 'bed to centre' and 'bed to top of cross-slide' measurements, then you can set work either on (or off) the lathe fairly easily. Packing blocks can give simple work height adjustments too by removing or inserting blocks of known thickness. Slip gauges are not required!
Apart from rigidity, there is another reason I don't feel 'swivels' work for many vertical slide operations. My large slide came with a rotary base but I soon discovered that most times I needed the actual table to overhang the cross-slide. This is because otherwise the slide's table will be mostly above the lathe centre height - and things like vices make lack of travel even more of a problem. Hanging the sliding face over the edge of the cross-slide really helps but also limits any use of a swivel. So I replaced my rotary base with a plain adaptor plate to match the vertical slide with the cross-slide, whilst giving a more secure mounting. Same for my EW slide.
So in summary, you can certainly mill in the lathe without a vertical slide and 'swivels' may not be as useful as they first seem (think of a vertical mill and it's table - generally the table doesn't swivel!)
If you have a simple milling job to do, why not try doing it with what kit you already have? Clamp the part in a tool-holder or on an angle plate if you have one. You could hold the milling tool directly in your 3-jaw but better to make a simple round tool holder (in mild steel - just drill or bore it and fit a grub screw). The chuck will grip the mild steel much better than the hardened tool and the grub screw will hold the tool if a small flat is ground in it.
Then have a go. Small cuts and slow feeds, saddle locked and with the gibs on the tight side. It may not be perfect but it will give you some idea of what is possible with patience and practice. You may decide it's not going to work for you - or that it's perfectly good enough. Either way it will help you decide what is best for your needs.
It might even be fun trying too!
I don't know the WM180 Bill but I started off milling in the lathe and still do so for some things when it suits my needs. What would I recommend?
Well for a start the most rigid set-up you can achieve, which in my book means forgetting swivelling slides - nice idea but rarely essential. My heavy (Chinese) vertical slide attaches to my S7 cross-slide (via an adaptor plate) and if there is any give, it's in the cross-slide - not the slide. For some items that don't need vertical adjustment once set-up, a simple angel plate will often be sufficient. I have a very nice solid 'V' angle plate that I use. The work can be set to the required height by packing, screw-jacks or sometimes just by eye.
The other thing you will need is a secure way to hold the cutter. The cheapest option is a single-size collet-holder but I'd get an ER chuck and use that. Mine are ER32 and they get used a lot for work-holding too.
So if you don't have the money, space or real need for a mill, then there is usually a way to do the work on the lathe. It might not be as quick or as convenient but for some folk that's not a problem in practice.
|Thread: "TINKER" tool & cutter grinder|
I purchased Mr Lautard's "The Machinists Bedside Reader" many years ago when visiting Canada. It was written and (self) published by him in 1986. I also have "Lautard's Technical index to Model Engineer 1920-1978" which he published in 1979. I would certainly like to have his other 'Bedside Readers' but the few I've seen for sale have always been offered at very silly prices.
I seem to recall reading that there was some kind of personal problem that was preventing him from re-printing his books or perhaps making him unwilling to do so. A great pity, as I'm sure others would like copies of his books too. He comes across in his writings as being a knowledgeable machinist, who I think would be in his mid-seventies by now - so not that old
|Thread: CNC - What's the Problem?|
Anyone know how different Solid Edge is from SolidWorks?
I ask because I recall reading that the (underlying) 3D CAD 'engine' that SolidWorks originally used was licensed by them from Siemens. So I wonder if there may be some product commonality lingering on from that previous association?
Either way - Solid Edge 2020 Community Edition is free to download and seems to be a very capable 3D CAD system - more than enough for most peoples needs I'd think.
This is a subject which has been discussed recently on the G3 forum and we are probably a mini-representation of the views I've read here - with one or two members making very extensive (and impressive) use of CNC to produce their models and others seeing it akin to learning Black Magic.
I've been a late convert to 3D Print but certainly don't see it as a 'do-all'. I see people printing things that would be more easily & quickly made in other materials for instance. I've looked at the gantry 'router' type machines but a G3 friend has advised they are simply "not rigid enough" - which I think also raises the question of "for what"
To my mind CNC is particularly useful to a Hobbyist in two areas. The first is to machine parts which have complex geometries. My current approach to this problem would often involve fabrication. The second is the area of 'mass production'
As someone has already commented - most hobbyists don't make multiple parts - although they do in fact often use them, in the form of commercially produced parts and fixtures. Using purchased components is usually the most sensible method to pursue, assuming that the parts you require are actually available and are affordable in the quantity you require. Has anyone tried to purchase 16BA nuts or bolts recently?
There are also some operations where it's all too easy to make mistakes if your mind wanders for a second (my mind does this frequently). Drilling multiple holes in small parts has been already mentioned but there are other things where it's very easy to make mistakes when doing repetitive actions .
I don't really need CNC for largish 'flat' parts in steel - laser cutting is a viable option for this and even smallish flat parts can be assembled (and brazed) to produce useful fabrications.
So within my specialist area (Gauge 3 Railway Modelling) I see several uses for (inexpensive) automation.
1/ A 'Micro' CNC machine - a kind of automated mini capstan lathe & mill - not removing huge amounts of material but capable of producing multiple small parts. It wouldn't need to be ultra quick (like its commercial counterparts) - simply fast enough to do a few dozen parts over a day or so. Not waiting for a commercial solution but hoping for a public domain one to pop up.
2/ An automated drilling table (probably already available in the form of the 3020/6040 type routers) - the issue being mainly cost for something that might only have limited uses.
So I think that 'capable of machining most things' CNC may be overkill in terms of price and technology for my uses - but smaller, cheaper, probably more specialist machines might be a better solution (for me). I certainly do use my 3D Printer but for things (I consider) best suited for it - e.g. not everything.
Just my thinking on CNC currently - but as things evolve so quickly these days, who knows what we will have available in another year or two.
|Thread: My easy solution to No More Clogged Spray Paint Rattle Cans|
Good idea - I'll try that next time around.
|Thread: ME magazine|
That may prove to be a blessing one day....
|Thread: Kingscale 5" models|
It may not be quite as simple as just making a set of "drawings" available these days.
I had a chat with Mike several years ago about the Kingscale design 'process' and I had the clear impression that some of the final design work was in collaboration with the Chinese manufacturer using their 3D CAD system. Mike apparently has access to this CAD software and I remember him saying that it was a very advanced system (of Chinese origin) and at least as good as anything he had previously seen or used from other CAD providers. A collaborative process would make sense, as there must be quite a lot detail in a manufactured design that would need to be influenced by the production processes.
So I think these things are a bit more complex than just the old concept of a "set of drawings" - although I agree that this doesn't preclude the provision of good supporting documentation.
Finally, I would also like to say that Mike is very well known and respected in Gauge '3' circles. His own-built locomotives are prized for their high quality and excellent performance. He was also probably one of the most prolific builders of small live steam locos in the UK at one time. I'm not sure of his total output but I'd be fairly sure it's well north of fifty engines - all built to very high standards.
|Thread: Barrier Creams|
Been using 'Gloves in a Bottle' for a little while now. Seems to work for me in terms of preventing rashes (as opposed to help to clean oily hands)
Purchased in my local High Street 'Superdrug' store about 18-24 months ago (I think...seems more like half a lifetime ago)
|Thread: What's the general consensus please?|
I think (as always) it depends on the work you expect to do Tifa.
I don't have vertical 'drilling' spindles on my mills (although they do have vertical heads) but if I only had a vertical mill for drilling, I might find it limited in space below the spindle (with chuck, drill bit & vice fitted) and not enough 'stroke' (only about 2"?) to cover all my needs.
My large Warco drill (benchtop 12 speed) is used for many things - including pre-drilling 4" fence-post bolting holes yesterday (it is used for both metal & wood working) and I have several smaller drills that get used regularly for various specific things too. I guess I could manage with just one tool (if I really needed to) but then I wouldn't have the convenience of choice.
So I'd go with the suggestion of storing the drill somewhere else and seeing if you miss it. If you've not touched it in twelve months time - then you probably don't need it - but if you have, then you may have found that your mill is not a 'solve-all' for your kind work.
|Thread: Mail Scam|
Yes, I had this one last week Shaun. We were expecting several deliveries and were annoyed when the text arrived, as we had (naturally) been at home all day. I was pretty sure no-one had rung the bell and thee was no 'red' missed-you ticket. The text message (to organise a re-delivery) was very convincing but I was puzzled when asked to complete my name & address (which I did) and more so when it asked for my birthday, which I completed but fibbed about (not the blooming PO's business I thought).
But the light finally went on when they demanded a £2.99 "re-delivery" fee and credit card details. I'm still annoyed that someone can now connect my mobile number to a name and address but at least they didn't get the credit card details. So I will have to be extra careful going forward. These scammers are getting very good at this lark.
So Watch how you go People!
PS Whilst I'm here - I must have a rant about Amazon.
Herself had ordered some books and we were in (surprise!) all day. I noticed an email saying that the books had been delivered (3 hours) earlier that afternoon. I went to the door and sure enough, there they were on the doorstep.
The next day I got a "How was your delivery?" email - with a "Good" and "Not Good" button. I naturally hit the "Not Good" button and was sent to a webpage simply telling me that the "Parcel was handed to Resident" - with no other ability to correct this statement or comment.
The next day, I received a request for a product review. I completed this as a 1 Star Review - with a commentary that Amazon should replace their Courier and improve their delivery feedback process.
The next day, I received a message from Amazon informing me that my review had been rejected because it did not relate to the product I had purchased! Is this really the future of Retail??
|Thread: Weller TCP soldering iron|
My old Weller (30+ years?) is still in regular use. I've purchased new 'PT' tips from Farnell UK in the past, who also stock spares for the irons themselves. It's good to see a product like this being supported with spares for such a long time.
So old tech but still my 'go-to' electronics iron - although the hot-air gun is getting used more often as SMD components become more common in my projects.
|Thread: 5 BA Cap screws|
Just checked my inside stock Brian. I have 1/2" 4BA cap heads but no 5BA caps I'm afraid.
I do have 5BA 3/4" slotted Cheese heads (in stainless) or 1" Hex head (in steel) if they were suitable though. I may have something else down the Shed but that's not quite so organised at the moment.... I'm just opening up after the winter shut-down...
How many do you need Brian?
|Thread: That little elf under the workbench again|
I have telescopic 'pick-up' magnets in both my shops for retrieving things that I can see but not reach (bending & kneeling is getting harder).
However, for small parts (that I can't immediately see) I now use a magnetic 'tool holder' that I purchased from Lidl some time ago. In fact I purchased three and only used two (one is mounted under a shelf & holds those little jam pots that come with cream teas - great for various small bits that can be seen at a glance).
The third stayed in it's plastic case awaiting use - until I dropped some 12BA steel nuts and realised that the 12"+ long magnet would make a good 'sweeper' - especially under benches and trolleys where escaping things might have rolled. It works very well and I just wipe the swarf & any bits collected down to one end and into a tray for closer inspection.
|Thread: Making hexagon nuts on a rotary table & mill.|
It's cutting on the forward stroke Ian - but the cut is very light in these sizes. A finger helps prevent any lifting/buckling - but I wouldn't try that on my 7B. The angled 'shelf' (the hex holder is sitting on) can be moved to level the holder with the block's cutting surface - there's a clamping nut on the rear side of the block. In terms of the 3rd to 6th cut, you are correct to observe that either the cutter needs to be lowered - or (as I now tend to do) a thin shim inserted underneath - meaning the cutter height is unchanged (locked) for multiple lengths. The material is simply advanced by unlocking the grub-screw in the hex holder. You can't really see it but there is also a slight relief filed at the end of the material where the 'cut' ends - to help the tiny swarf slivers fall away.
There are other ways to do this work of course - just with a file for instance - but a hand shaper can make quite delicate cuts (with a sharp tool) and is well suited to work where you don't need to remove large volumes of material.
If I didn't have the shaper - just a lathe - then I think multiple lengths could be set on a shellac (wax) plate and faced - then turned and faced again. Using a heat gun and tweezers it would take six rounds of 're-setting' the lengths but you'd get a larger quantity of small hex at the end. Not sure if it would be any quicker but I think it would be possible with care. Larger hex can be done as others have suggested of course.
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