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Squarepeg09/09/2021 15:10:01
26 forum posts

Having been a reader of this forum for a while now with only a few posts I thought I should at least say hi and thank you as I've found it a great source of information that has really helped me.

I work as an engineer, more specifically a design engineer so engineering isn't something new to me. I've recently purchased a Chester DB8VS lathe so I'm trying to get back into machining having not done it since my younger years starting out as a toolmaker and my college days. I haven't got any specific projects in mind yet, but hope to start out with some of the simpler engine models soon before progressing from there. To begin with I've just been making a few nice metal twist pens and aluminium+brass press fit spinning tops and similar simple projects. They may sound simple to some people in here but having not touched a machine in over a decade they've been a good learning curve for me, and have kept the kids entertained too. Being a design engineer means it's easy for me to quickly model stuff up and draw it rather than have to figure it out as I go along, I can deal with most issues on the screen and then just make the parts. So far I only have my lathe and a 1T arbour press but hope to add a milling machine in the near future.

Anyway, thanks for reading and for all the advice I've found so far. I'll be reading a lot more as time goes on and happy to chip in when and where I can.

Edited By Squarepeg on 09/09/2021 15:10:36

Harry Wilkes09/09/2021 15:43:06
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1218 forum posts
64 photos

Welcome to forum

H

Andrew Johnston09/09/2021 16:28:39
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6323 forum posts
679 photos
Posted by Squarepeg on 09/09/2021 15:10:01:
Being a design engineer means it's easy for me to quickly model stuff up and draw it rather than have to figure it out as I go along, I can deal with most issues on the screen and then just make the parts.

Welcome to the forum.

That's how it should be. Sort it all out on paper, or in CAD, first to iron out any problems and then parts only need to be made once.

Andrew

Squarepeg09/09/2021 16:39:45
26 forum posts
Posted by Andrew Johnston on 09/09/2021 16:28:39:

That's how it should be. Sort it all out on paper, or in CAD, first to iron out any problems and then parts only need to be made once.

In theory yes, however I'm finding that in practise I'm still making them multiple times due to lots of schoolboy errors in machining... All classed as experience I guess!

Thanks guys.

Howard Lewis09/09/2021 17:53:43
5562 forum posts
13 photos

Welcome!

We all have to learn. Experience is what lets you recognise the mistake the next time you make it. So, by that standard, I am experienced.

But you wouldn't think so seeing the simple things that I make. Little skill and even less patience!

I thought that the back of an envelop was for drawings!

My wife had a book by Monica Dickens on cooking. She said that what was important was not the dish, but how you recovered it when it went wrong!

Howard

Andrew Johnston10/09/2021 12:24:29
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6323 forum posts
679 photos
Posted by Squarepeg on 09/09/2021 16:39:45:

.....making them multiple times due to lots of schoolboy errors in machining...

That happens to me too. I'm building two identical engines, but produce enough scrap to have made three. That's due to mis-reading drawings, making dumb mistakes or set ups not working the way I'd hoped. At least using CAD prevents what I'd call avoidable mistakes such as holes in mating parts not lining up, or parts interfering with each other. It also helps eliminate errors in the official drawings, and there are a lot of those!

Andrew

Mike Hurley10/09/2021 13:01:10
210 forum posts
70 photos

Welcome to the forum - enjoy!

I think there are two main classes of people in this field ( obviously there are loads in between! ) - those who plan and document precisely or the back of an envelope sketch and try-it type. I suppose the first type might be considered a 'proper' engineer but I can't think of a term for the second even though their skills might be equal to or even surpass those of the first type?

I fall into the sketch it and make it group which 9 times out of 10 means I end up modifying what I have made or chucking it in the scrap and re-making it properly from what I learned first time around. It matters little using this approach with most type of stuff I do, but in the end I generally enjoy the process, which is what a ' Hobby ' is all about..

Personally I tend to find using CAD rather tedious as I always seem to spend more time working out why this dimension doesn't click to that line, or where the hell a whole layer of drawing has disappeared to after 2 hours of work on it! etc rather than doing the bit I really enjoy which is cutting metal. However, I do fully appreciate the need for high accuracy drawings / CAD / CAM with complex or critical assemblies and quite essential in industrial scenarios. As I said earlier - its supposed to be a hobby, so just enjoy doing what floats your boat.

Take care. Mike

Squarepeg14/09/2021 08:18:51
26 forum posts
Posted by Howard Lewis on 09/09/2021 17:53:43:

My wife had a book by Monica Dickens on cooking. She said that what was important was not the dish, but how you recovered it when it went wrong!

I like that, that'll get used for sure!

Mike, that's what I'm finding at the minute, I have a plan and a drawing but it's the process that I'm learning. It can be frustrating at times to spend an evening in the garage after having a plan in my head all day and then walking away back at square 1 having produced nothing but scrap. However, I suppose I'm walking away having learned something and spent some time in the garage instead of sat watching the TV.

Thanks for all the responses.

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