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New Kid on the Block

I want to meet my readers.

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Rick Sparber12/03/2012 13:33:36
9 forum posts

My name is Rick Sparber of Phoenix, Arizona, USA. The April 2012 issue of MEW contains my first article in this magazine. Most of my articles end up at my web site, rick.sparber.org but a few are published in Home Shop Machinist and Machinist Workshop.

It was difficult for me to write the MEW article because I do not have a sense of who my readers are except for "Alan" who encouraged me to approach MEW. Thanks Alan!

So my initial goal here is to learn who you are, what interests you, and how well you tolerate my rather strange writing style.

Thanks!

Rick

Ian Welford12/03/2012 13:42:56
286 forum posts

Welcome to the play room Rick. As yet haven't got issue 188 so cannot coment on your writing.

I'll nip and have a look at your web site now .

All the guys I've met, either in person, or by e mail, have been creative people who enjoy making things. Some enjoy making them for the sake of making them- "the journey is as important as the destination". Others just want the final result.

One thing they all have in common is a willingness to learn and to help others to learn and enjoy it. My interests are in making tooling with the long term aim of making a 5" Speedy loco. Also making "gadgets" for my wood turning . Repairing things for my 2 sons also gets a high priority !

Looking forward to getting 188 then will let you know!

Regards Ian

_Paul_12/03/2012 13:44:44
avatar
543 forum posts
31 photos

Hi Rick,

Are you the same guy that posts in the shaper groups? if so I looked at your unusual vice design.

regards

Paul

Rick Sparber12/03/2012 13:49:30
9 forum posts

Ian,

Thanks for the warm welcome. I too have not received issue 188 but hope the publisher will send me a complementary copy. My local bookseller does not carry it.

Although I find stationary steam engines amazing, most of my effort is similar to yours. I like solving problems I find in the shop. My last entirely new area is injection molding of plastic. Great fun! I can make a finished part in under 2 minutes and a very low cost. The machine is based on the one designed by Dave Gingery.

Rick Sparber12/03/2012 13:50:24
9 forum posts
Posted by _Paul_ on 12/03/2012 13:44:44:

Hi Rick,

Are you the same guy that posts in the shaper groups? if so I looked at your unusual vice design.

regards

Paul

Paul,

Guilty as charged.

Rick

Ian Welford12/03/2012 14:02:22
286 forum posts

Rick

don't bet on the complimentary copy! Plastic injection moulding- there's a thought ! Some of my recent work has been "remanufacturing" plastic bits in metal to make them more "son resistant"- kind of like "unbreakable" but then you let your kids have a go and they prove ( what ever it was) it is not.

Take care a friend had one of the die's on an injection moulder break and the plastic gave him quite bad burns! Mind you he needed a hair cut and the hospital did a fair job for free- the benefits of the National health Service you see!

Ian

Rick Sparber12/03/2012 14:16:59
9 forum posts

Ian,

Even though my machine is very small and manually powered, I have already had a mold leak. After the first small burn, I've learned to stay away. Of course, I always wear eye protection.

Rick

Les Jones 112/03/2012 14:20:01
2102 forum posts
144 photos

Hi Rick,

Nice to hear you on a forum again. It's a long time since we both used to use the Shumatech group a lot. I still use it from time to time but there are very few questions about the DRO350 now and helping those with problems is difficult with every post being moderated. It seems such a shame that we were not allowed to fix any of the minor bugs in the DRO350 firmware.

Les. (G8FUB)

Rick Sparber12/03/2012 14:33:10
9 forum posts
Posted by Les Jones 1 on 12/03/2012 14:20:01:

Hi Rick,

Nice to hear you on a forum again. It's a long time since we both used to use the Shumatech group a lot. I still use it from time to time but there are very few questions about the DRO350 now and helping those with problems is difficult with every post being moderated. It seems such a shame that we were not allowed to fix any of the minor bugs in the DRO350 firmware.

Les. (G8FUB)

Les,

I am very active on a few Yahoo forums and never stopped writing.

IMHO, the DRO350 is a very good machine but does have a few minor problems both in the electronics and software. I tried my hand at improving the Human/Machine Interface and was very happy with the results. But without the ability to change the firmware, it was purely an academic effort.

If you do own a 350 or 550, here is a fix that might improve the stability: put a 450 ohm resistor across power and ground of each slider. Early testing shows it helps with power up and noise immunity. YMMV.

Rick

dcosta12/03/2012 14:50:29
474 forum posts
205 photos

Hello Rick.

Welcome aboard!

The issue 188 arrived this morning. I look forward to the moment when I have the opportunity to read your article.

I continue to slowly build (with some good advice from you) my shaper machine. Now that the weather is warming up and my garage is becoming to be habitable without electric heating and I also gathered some of the material I needed to proceed, I'll spend a few hours a day in the workshop working on it.


 

Best regards

Dias Costa

 

Edited By dcosta on 12/03/2012 15:06:14

Richard Parsons12/03/2012 15:31:00
avatar
645 forum posts
33 photos

Hello Rick I want to build either a Box Planer (in Epoxy Mineral –if I can get the Epoxy resins) or a small shaper if I can get the metal. I live in Hungary so I have great difficulty in getting anything.

Have a look at this

http://www.scribd.com/doc/52308512/small-shaping-machine

It is about 7” (about 180mm) long mine about 9” (230mm) with the rest in proportion. The example is hand powered, but as I do not like pulling the ‘punishment lever’ so mine will be powered. And that is a problem I have not figured it out yet. Any Ideas?

The original was made in 1952 by a man with only one arm!

The Box planer is all drawn out but I need 10 to 12 litres of low viscosity of Epoxy resin the only supplier will only sell me 5 by 10 litre plastic jugs.

Regds

Dick

Gray12/03/2012 17:31:41
1023 forum posts
13 photos

Hi Rick,

welcome aboard the good ship ME/MEW/MHS.

I've visited your site onj several ocassions and found your input for the DRO350 invaluable, I still have one and would love that Scott release the firmware source to public domain, I don't see any reason not to now that it has been 'superceeded'.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your article in MEW 188, well written and very relevant. In the current climate, if we can do things accurately, and on the cheap then why not, you are employng basic principles which many have forgotten, this article brings all of these principles together in a very readable format.t

It reminded me of some of the basic things I had long forgotten since serving my apprenticeship in BSC (British steel Corporation), long since sadly subsumed by Corus et al. I remember the days......another story LOL

Thank you

Graeme

Versaboss12/03/2012 22:20:53
431 forum posts
51 photos
Posted by CoalBurner on 12/03/2012 17:31:41:

...

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your article in MEW 188,

Me too, as some people use to say. Except that I - even after reading the article 3 times - still do not understand it. But I know that my brain is not now as it was 50 years ago.

However, when you have a DTI and want to move a quill without depending on the scales, why not use it directly to measure the movement?

Well, I am sure someone will show me very soon where I am wrong (or daft wink ).

Btw, issue 188 arrived in Switzerland Saturday 10th of March. Speedy, isn't it? faster than for the natives it seems.

Greetings, Hansrudolf

Rick Sparber12/03/2012 22:39:39
9 forum posts

Posted by dcosta on 12/03/2012 14:50:29:

Hello Rick.

Welcome aboard!

The issue 188 arrived this morning. I look forward to the moment when I have the opportunity to read your article.

I continue to slowly build (with some good advice from you) my shaper machine. Now that the weather is warming up and my garage is becoming to be habitable without electric heating and I also gathered some of the material I needed to proceed, I'll spend a few hours a day in the workshop working on it.


Best regards

Dias Costa

Edited By dcosta on 12/03/2012 15:06:14

Dias,

It is great to "see" so many old faces! It is warming up here too. Will be above 115F in no time

Rick

Rick Sparber12/03/2012 22:47:03
9 forum posts
Posted by Richard Parsons on 12/03/2012 15:31:00:

Hello Rick I want to build either a Box Planer (in Epoxy Mineral –if I can get the Epoxy resins) or a small shaper if I can get the metal. I live in Hungary so I have great difficulty in getting anything.

Have a look at this

http://www.scribd.com/doc/52308512/small-shaping-machine

It is about 7” (about 180mm) long mine about 9” (230mm) with the rest in proportion. The example is hand powered, but as I do not like pulling the ‘punishment lever’ so mine will be powered. And that is a problem I have not figured it out yet. Any Ideas?

The original was made in 1952 by a man with only one arm!

The Box planer is all drawn out but I need 10 to 12 litres of low viscosity of Epoxy resin the only supplier will only sell me 5 by 10 litre plastic jugs.

Regds

Dick

Dick,

I think you have chosen a very worthwhile project. Many people do the same function by just moving the apron on their lathe back and forth with the motor off.

Is your goal to have this machine or the journey involved in making it? If you just want to have one, then maybe you can find a junk machine that can be modified. If it is the journey, which is usually my case, then maybe you would be interested in casting the parts yourself. You would need scrap aluminum, sand, clay, charcoal, and time. That is how I made my drill press:

<http://rick.sparber.org/Workshop/Gingery%20Drill%20Press/Gingery_Drill_Press.html>

Rick

Rick Sparber12/03/2012 23:02:14
9 forum posts
Posted by Versaboss on 12/03/2012 22:20:53:
Posted by CoalBurner on 12/03/2012 17:31:41:

...

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your article in MEW 188,

Me too, as some people use to say. Except that I - even after reading the article 3 times - still do not understand it. But I know that my brain is not now as it was 50 years ago.

However, when you have a DTI and want to move a quill without depending on the scales, why not use it directly to measure the movement?

Well, I am sure someone will show me very soon where I am wrong (or daft wink ).

Btw, issue 188 arrived in Switzerland Saturday 10th of March. Speedy, isn't it? faster than for the natives it seems.

Greetings, Hansrudolf

Hansrudolf,

First, let me say that I greatly appreciate you telling me that the article was unclear. Only with such feedback can I hope to improve my writing style. I hope you will keep asking questions until you understand what I was trying to say. Through your questions I will learn what to improve.

Let me first address your question and then try to clarify the article.

A finger Dial Test Indicator really measures the angular movement of the finger. If you secure it to a stand and put something under it, you can zero the dial. If you put something else under it and again read zero, you know that the two things are at the same height. This is the only case where a finger DTI is accurate. If it reads a non-zero value, the error in the reading is a function of how far the finger rotated. So for maximum accuracy, you can only trust a finger DTI when it reads the same value as it read when it was touching a reference surface.

In the article, I am using the finger DTI to tell me when I am on the surface of my precision slope. Using a DTI this way is more accurate than just chucking up a rod and banging it down on the surface.

The precision slope lets me greatly magnify vertical motion along a horizontal axis. Say the slope is 1:100. Then for a 100 mm movement along the X axis I will get a 1 mm vertical movement. Conversely, if I move 1 mm on the X axis, I will see 1/100th of a mm movement on the Z axis. This extremely fine control of movement combined with the repeatability of sensing a surface with a finger DTI, lets me set my end mill precisely.

How much of this precsion a given machine can give depends on the condition of the machine. If, for example, the quill was loose, then the end mill might bounce up and down 0.5 mm. This limits the machine's accuracy to no better than 0.5 mm.

Have I made matters better or worse with this explaination?

Richard Parsons13/03/2012 08:17:34
avatar
645 forum posts
33 photos

Hi there Rick. This is what I really want to build. The original was made by someone in the Romford M.E club. It looks as if it has a stroke of about 12” (304mm) and a width of about ½ of that. I do not want something quite so large but if I built one and wrote it up I thought that it should be able to machine the inside cylinders for a 5” gauge locomotive

I tried to ‘negotiate’ to get the castings from a local (Hungarian) foundry but there were 10,000 reasons why this could not be done. They wanted to make the patterns until I produced the one for the table from my bag. Although they needed work to stay afloat they were unwilling to do the work.

About 4 years ago some oriental gents appeared with suitcases of money. They were after metal. Now if there is one thing a Hungarian cannot resist is a suitcase or two of money. The land was swept clean of metal it all went (the machines, stock) even the roof trusses in the factory buildings went.

I then re-drew the thing to cast it in Epoxy Concrete, can’t get the Epoxy I want.

Ok a 1 ½ times the little shaper would do all I want but I am hunting metal again

Romford plainer

Ian Welford24/03/2012 23:10:07
286 forum posts

Well, have sat and digested your article Rick. Made me go back to school day trigonometry but that's no bad thing.

I loook forward to more "challenging" items. It's the variety of approaches / views on things that I enjoy about MEW. As has been said before, by far more eminent persons that yours truly, it's the back ground info that comes in useful. I now have a complete set of MEW and enjoy re reading or using some for reference for techniques / ideas of things to build.

Currently I have no intention of going CNC but all things can change. Otherwise we'd all still be planting our own crops and grinding corn / making bread.... etc.smiley

Yes I know some people enjoy gardeningand it's great form keeping SWMBO occupied wink

Please keep the stuff coming. The web site you have is also very interestingenlightened

Surely to give you a better idea of your readers needs dave should pay for you to attend Harrogate as "a cultural experience"???

Regards Ian

Rick Sparber25/03/2012 00:18:59
9 forum posts

Ian,

Thanks for the very kind words. I typically write one article a day and post them on my web site. Just now I posted one on getting a better longitudinal cut on a cylinder using a horizontal/verical bandsaw without measuring. I used the "twang" of the blade to tell me what to do. If you are interested, please see http://rick.sparber.org/cibc.pdf

As for going to the UK - I have been twice. Once on my honeymoon and once with my two daughters. It is like Mecca as far as I'm concerned. There is no better place to go to see examples of machining history. If MEW wanted to pay my way, I'd be there! By the way, after my older daughter went to the Kew Steam Trust, she was hooked. She eventually earned a Masters in Mechanical Engineering and helps design jet engines (proud papa...).

Rick

Ian Welford25/03/2012 22:46:36
286 forum posts

Now's the time to start being real nice to both of them- remember "they'll be choosing your nursing home!"

Good to see you don't hold the honeymoon against us! Everyones got to learn, sometimes the hard way.....

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