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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: 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

Thread: Cutting a 365 tooth gear
14/05/2011 13:46:44
Posted by JasonB on 14/05/2011 13:15:42:
Blowlamp, I'm keeping quiet on the CNC debate. Can't see what all the fuss is about I have to put up with in excess of three articles about trains in every issue of ME that don't really apeal to me
You have responded and that is enough
Thread: This months MEW are 3 CNC features two too many
14/05/2011 12:37:50
Posted by NJH on 14/05/2011 10:36:07:
Martin !!!
"......turns those awkward 1 offs into triumphs of little bundles of pleasure."
What are you talking about now ? !!!!!!
I'm not sure now, Norman, but I think it was along the lines of:
1/ A difficult job lands in my lap that others can't do (because they aren't interested in learning anything new), that's the awkward bit I refered to.
2/ I succeed in using CAD, CAM and CNC machine to make the thing, which I see as a triumph because I've overcome the problem.
3/ The little bundles of pleasure can be seen as both the part itself and/or the money I get for doing it.
By the way, can I ask the Luddites how they're managing to post their replies on this forum with their chalkboards, while I'm having to use a computer to write mine?
Why not work towards making Model Engineers' Workshop magazine, entirely non electric in its content?
A picture of a someone we can all identify with.

Thread: Cutting a 365 tooth gear
14/05/2011 11:53:59
Posted by JasonB on 14/05/2011 07:29:56:
Or treat yourself to a Division Master

Edited By JasonB on 14/05/2011 07:31:51

Isn't that bordering on CNC and therefore too easy?
Thread: This months MEW are 3 CNC features two too many
14/05/2011 09:12:18

So if you haven't stepped into the sunshine to read the Plato's Allegory of the Cave link, I think Peter Kay can be usefully referenced as the next best thing.

When a man that is set in his ways, is presented with the potentially life-changing experience of trying Garlic Bread for the first time, he responds thus:-

Garlic Bread...? [pauses for though], Garlic Bread...? [pauses again for though], ...Garlic and Bread?? [gives up and goes back to eating his Mothers Pride and Dripping sandwich]

That's you, that is.

As for me, I never hand write Gcode and hate looking at it - so I never do, because that's what the CAM program's for. In fact I'd have to think hard about a specific Gcode command to even tell you what it does.
I totally agree with IanH about the challenges of CNC and how it stretches your learning.


14/05/2011 00:29:02
Posted by NJH on 14/05/2011 00:00:22:
But Martin - surely repeating is just what CNC does so well?
True, so you could actually make some extras to sell too, but just to repeat myself, it also turns those awkward 1 offs into triumphs of little bundles of pleasure.
13/05/2011 23:49:15
Incoming flak!
I'm sure the first blokes that used a lathe of some sort got slated by their peers for missing out on the pleasure of bringing their work to the round by applying a hand-made abrasive device to its surface, whilst supporting it in the crook of a branch of an English Oak.
And what about the lazy git that first jumped on a horse to get somewhere instead of doing the decent thing of walking?
You see, I see CNC as just another tool in the arsenal. You don't have to use it for everything, but if a part needs an elliptical profile on it and you've only got a lathe and vertical milling machine, then how are you going to do it without making yet another 'never to be used again' attachment device?
Here's a part I made for someone that's about 6" in length . I think there's one straight line on it and he wanted it to have nice blends, so not much handle turning but plenty of filing, if that's what you like doing. Perhaps you could do it on a rotary table?
I take it none of you have moved on from your 78s to CD, or from your valve radios to the newfangled transitor?
Anyway, everything else has been covered before and doesn't need repeating....I said it doesn't need REPEATING.

Edited By blowlamp on 13/05/2011 23:52:02

13/05/2011 21:21:16

Well here's a vote for it.
I'm finding it strange that you can get fired up about these articles when they all relate to the activities of three Model Engineers in their Workshops, especially when that's the magazine they appear in.

The notion that CNC can or should, only be used for mass production, just shows that you've given insufficient consideration to the other opportunities that it offers.
Is this unworthy of thinking about? Or this? Or this

I use CNC for 1 offs all the time and find the CAD and CAM side of the job very rewarding as it just adds to the variety of things I get to do in this hobby of ours.


Thread: Facing Cuts - Requires the Carriage to be Locked?
07/05/2011 01:04:14
Does anyone else on here own one of these Wabeco lathes, that is able to offer advice on their use?


05/05/2011 11:23:12
Posted by Steve Garnett on 05/05/2011 11:05:41:
... so you'd have to leave the gib tight all of the time. Which is going to increase the wear rate over a long period, so doesn't sound like a good idea anyway.
Wabeco provided a lock, and clearly they intended it to be used.
Hi Steve.
Yes agreed, but in view of my preceding comments, my last paragraph was more intended to be thought provoking, rather than a recommendation.
05/05/2011 10:55:14
I'm not having a go, but you can't have it all ways.
In one sense, you want free movement (virtually frictionless) of the carriage for accurate turning, but at the same time want things to stay put (due to friction), when it's convenient for you for facing.
So, you can use the carriage lock and apply an infeed with the top slide, or engage the screw-cutting clasp-nut and use the leadscrew to apply a feed.
If you don't want to do any of that, then you could tighten the carriage gibs to create more friction to hold it when facing.
Thread: C A D for Mac
04/05/2011 19:27:09
Just a heads up for anyone still looking for a CAD program.

I've had an email from Punch! (ViaCAD) software about a 1 day offer (today) of 40% discount on all their gear, which I think also includes upgrades.
Might be worth a look?

**Enter coupon code LUNCH at checkout**


Thread: Dam Busters Channel Four tonight
03/05/2011 09:51:08
Posted by David Clark 1 on 03/05/2011 09:40:23:
Hi There
One of the bombs is at the Ringwood Town and Country Experience in Hampshire.
I was quite surprised how small it was.
regards David

It would certainly be an experience if anyone set it off
Thread: C A D for Mac
30/04/2011 11:07:06
Posted by david Garrett on 30/04/2011 07:51:05:
I have been using a $150 (£90 ??) CAD program called ViaCAD on my MAC for 3 years now. It is available here in the states ... not sure if it is available in the UK or Europe ...It I have used a several CAD programs on both Microsoft and MAC include Turbo CAD ... i have found ViaCAD to be significantly better for the $ than all that i have used ... I particularly like its tool that converts a 3D part into a 3 view 2D drawing ... i prefer to work from a 3 view drawing in the shop ...
I fully agree with you David. ViaCAD 2D/3D is actually $99.99 (about £60), but I've just taken advantage of their $99.99 pre-launch offer to buy ViaCAD Pro v7, which is usually $249.99
At launch, It's now gone up to $179.99, or there are upgrade deals to be had if you have a previous version.
Very useful software for me.
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