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Member postings for blowlamp

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

Thread: Gib Adjustment - how tight is too tight?
17/06/2011 13:07:29
You can fiddle with the screws 'til the cows come home and still not be happy.
The best way of adjusting the slides is to nip the adjusting screws down so that movement is just a little tighter than you need and then tap the slide (on the same side as the adjusting screws) with a mallet or hammer + wood etc to reseat everything until you get a nice even movement.
It's how it's done in the factory
Thread: Explorer 9
17/06/2011 00:02:21
Hi John.
I'm using Internet Explorer 9 for this message, on Windows 7.
Thread: ME and MEW index
16/06/2011 23:40:05
Jammie Dodgers
© blowlamp
Thread: Arc Euro Trade High Speed Spindle Motors
14/06/2011 22:59:50
I've got the equivalent Chinese motor and inverter combo from Ebay that John mentions.
To all intents and purposes runout is non-existant, as is motor noise, so I imagine the Arc Euro products would be as good.
As an indication of how little noise emits from the motor at full speed, I can tell you that the cooling fan for the inverter is noisier and the cutting process is far more significant in its contribution.
Thread: Tachometer.
12/06/2011 21:37:22
The cycle computer used in the article has an RPM feature and so doesn't need calibrating.
Thread: The ongoing saga of John's floor
11/06/2011 14:16:29
Assuming the old nut was still usable: Bolt it to your miller bed and in alignment with the (also bolted down) bore of your new nut. You could somehow attach a single point cutting tool to the end of the threaded rod (a bit like a between centres boring bar) and use it to cut one of the starts. Repeat the operation seven more times by indexing the threaded rod within the old nut.

Edited By blowlamp on 11/06/2011 14:17:51

09/06/2011 11:51:05
Posted by John Stevenson on 09/06/2011 09:04:33:
Not by CNC

I'll throw it open first for all the manual guys to have a guess.

John S.
You've gotta tap!
Thread: Living with the digital copies
07/06/2011 22:39:30
Is everyone aware that you can quickly zoom your screen size by pressing CTRL and + (plus) or - (minus) keys before taking a screen-dump, to get the size and level detail you need?
Thread: Prams and teddies again
06/06/2011 11:14:50
Posted by Martin W on 06/06/2011 00:00:06:
It is a pity that this information hasn't, as far as I am aware, been presented in MEW in this type of format. Rather than showing screen shots of computer screens with code etc. a simple explanation of what is required and the relative costs would encourage some to take the plunge into the CNC way of producing widgets etc. While I can't justify the expense of going down the CNC route, nor do I have the room, I would certainly be interested in reading an article along these lines.
Not so much about what is produced but the setting up the component parts and how they interact plus relevant/typical costs for a small workshop environment.
In one of my earlier post I classed myself as a CNC Luddite, not because I can't see the advantage of CNC but more because what I produce doesn't warrant CNC and while I am still learning I get great pleasure in hand mangling bits of metal.
I have supplied an article along these lines to David at MEW, but I don't know if or when it might be published.
In it, I've tried to show how a part can be draw quite simply in an (affordable) CAD program and transfered to an (affordable) CAM program, to produce the instructions (G-code) for the CNC milling machine/router to run.

As John S. points out, there's virtually no need to look at, let alone fiddle with the code once the CAM has produced it. The whole point of a CAM program, is to relieve you of the tedium of figuring out the right numbers and appropriate instructions and allow you to concentrate on other, more important things.
Thread: New technology in Model Engineers Workshop
21/05/2011 18:19:18
OH MY GOD!... He's done CAD drawings as well!!... When's it going to end ...Aghh!!
Thread: DRO,s fo Mini Lathes.
20/05/2011 14:07:10
Whilst not as elegant as a more expensive setup, I'm finding (the one) I have fitted to the cross slide of my Clarke CL300 lathe to be quite useful and accurate. I haven't fitted a DRO to the top slide because of it's bulk.
If you forget about trying to use them in the way you would a 'professional' DRO and think of them simply as 'digital dials', i.e. allow for backlash, then they make some sense. Don't forget they work in imperial and metric too and are switchable at any time.
Thread: This months MEW are 3 CNC features two too many
19/05/2011 00:11:00
Posted by John Coates on 18/05/2011 21:54:10:
Posted by blowlamp on 18/05/2011 14:04:39:

Frankly, this says more about the mentality of some people rather than the reliability of Windows software. After all, if a stranger took a hammer to your Mac and destroyed it, then you'd surely agree that it wouldn't be fair to blame Apple for that - I think the principle carries through in this context too.

Martin - my mentality is fine. I blame the openness of Windows for its vulnerability, not the attackers. If your car wasn't easy to steal they would eventually give up and go away. Linux is more secure because it is a full implementation of the basic Unix dispersed model of access rather than the bodged affair that is Windows. Hence the ease with which it can be subverted. I can harden our Linux installations to stop all but a direct attack i.e. gaining control of the PC past the logon password. Linux doesn't fall over after a simple system update which was the reason for my last visit to a friend to spend 2 hours fixing his Windows PC because the update had disabled its DHCP.

I know there are CAD programs for Linux (QCAD) so I'll give them a look
I was questioning the mentality of the virus writers and those that set out to cause trouble to others - not yours.
I can't agree with your angle on which party is to blame in the event of a virus attack though.
Because of the huge amount of hardware and massive number of software applications, Windows has to try to be all things to all men. Reducing its openness would reduce choice for us all, as third parties would find it harder to develop applications. Because of this necessay versatility, my view leads me to believe it's going to be more vulnerable to the hackers and virus writers. I can't really see that Microsoft would actually want to keep writing patches and updates, but they have to for the sake of their business.
Good luck with the CAD.
Thread: Why did my Flywheel Wobble?
18/05/2011 21:34:48
More than likely a problem with the boring tool, such as a lack of rigidity, wrong clearance angles (which cause the tool to rub), or off centre height, giving 'bell-mouthing', etc.
Could also be hard spots in the casting. Something like that anyway.
Thread: This months MEW are 3 CNC features two too many
18/05/2011 14:04:39
Posted by John Coates on 18/05/2011 12:34:38:

Hi Martin

One of my points was that I cannot/will not add the cost of Windows to buying the CNC kit itself. I am glad that John S confirms that CNC/CAD/CAM programs can run on Linux as that is my chosen OS.
I work for a local council for my industrial/business experience of computing and their Windows based PCs don't tend to have problems but the network suffers outages. At home its a different story. I got sick of SWMBO moaning that the Windows PC was slow or wouldn't work because the teenager's internet trawling had loaded the thing with viri and malware. We now have one Mac (using this now) and everything else is Linux as I can install it and maintain it and we have been problem free ever since (excusing the actual failure of hardware).
It's personal choice and I prefer to be using the tool rather than constantly fixing it.
Frankly, this says more about the mentality of some people rather than the reliability of Windows software. After all, if a stranger took a hammer to your Mac and destroyed it, then you'd surely agree that it wouldn't be fair to blame Apple for that - I think the principle carries through in this context too.
When it comes to other O/S's then apart from EMC2, there is very little choice of CAD/CAM/CNC software for the Linux platform.
As far as I am aware, there is some engineering CAD software available for the Mac, but offhand I can't bring any CAM or CNC controller software to mind, as I haven't needed to look.
Thread: My skeleton clock
18/05/2011 10:22:48
That's some lovely work you've done there!
As for the Balance Spring, did you ever try wrapping the wire around a threaded mandrel to keep the pitch even?
Thread: This months MEW are 3 CNC features two too many
18/05/2011 09:22:08
Posted by John Coates on 18/05/2011 06:43:31:
... My budget simply won't stretch to CNC machines...
... I loathe Windows and have a Windows-less home for all our PCs and laptops so if CNC runs only on that pile of rubbish I can't actually use it...
I see what you're saying, John.
But if CNC only runs on Windows, then I conclude that the other Operating Systems either aren't up to the task, or they don't have a user-base that is large enough to warrant development of the technology.
My experience of using Windows is a positive one. Without it, I wouldn't be able to do what I do with CAD, CAM and CNC, because there is no affordable equivalent at this time.
Thread: What's Next after CNC ----3D printing?
17/05/2011 08:54:33
They're already avaiable here and I think some people are building their own by utilising defunct plotters and printers etc.
Some 'printed' parts are shown here too
It won't be long before they become relatively commonplace, in my opinion.

Edited By blowlamp on 17/05/2011 08:56:12

Edited By blowlamp on 17/05/2011 09:01:08

Thread: This months MEW are 3 CNC features two too many
16/05/2011 21:11:52
Posted by David Clark 1 on 16/05/2011 17:14:51:
Hi There
I have no budget to put program code onto the website.
I have a certain amount to pay for magazine artilces only.
regards david
Why do you need a budget to put downloads on the website - do you mean for royalties?
15/05/2011 15:58:49

An excellent post and it's absolutely true that there is seldom a time that you need to be writing or editing the Gcode yourself.

I know a few responders to this thread have remarked that CNC machining is about programming the part. If they've come to the conclusion by seeing all the Gcode, that they've got to learn how to write it, then I can see why there is little enthusiasm for the subject. In short, pages of Gcode in the magazine are boring and unnecessary.

As for 3D CAD/CAM being expensive, well industrial grade stuff is, but I'm set up and happily churning things out for about £155.00 or $250.00. My software consists of ViaCAD 2D/3D @ $99.99 and CamBam Plus @ $149.00, which enables me to do loads of interesting stuff quite easily, quickly and reliably. And I never edit the Gcode either.

After talking to David Clark a while ago, I made a submission to him using these two programs in concert with one another, which culminated in the production of a simple Connecting Rod. In my opinion, it was a nice, non-technical, step-by-step introduction to the matter of CNC, with only a very short mention of the actual Gcode. I still think it has some value and would like it to be published.


15/05/2011 00:48:36

Here are some other non-CNC topics in issue 177 of MEW, that some people might object to being published, on the grounds that they've all been featured before, in one form or another.

Two Wheel Knurling Tool

Using Collets In The Lathe

A Drill Sharpening Jig

Metric Screwcutting

Now if I start a thread and kick up a fuss, because I've seen this all before, or I'm bored by it and want them 'banned' from the magazine, what's left for others to read?

Just so we know for future reference, could the 'We Don't Want Any CNC Articles Brigade' please tell the rest of us at what date time stopped, so the sniffy ones don't accidentally appreciate - or indeed ask for something - that the self-styled arbiters of content here, find is too modern for them to digest?


Edited By blowlamp on 15/05/2011 00:52:12

Edited By blowlamp on 15/05/2011 00:54:40

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