Do you guys do wooden parts on your mill/drill or metal lathe?

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Harlock
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Re: Do you guys do wooden parts on your mill/drill or metal lathe?

Post by Harlock » Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:52 pm

Greg,

I can sympathize with a lot of what you said. Coming at woodworking from a metalworking perspective, I'm always looking for more accuracy than what common woodworking tools are designed for, especially since I am putting together scale cars where if there is inaccuracy you'll see it easily.

The best thing I ever did was to add a nice digital scale to my 13" craftsman planer. The little gauge they put on there as stock was practically useless.

The table saw requires a lot of trial and error to dial in, but I have a nice one now with a table top that's actually flat, not a portable one with a cheap aluminum bed. They say you buy two of everything, the second or third time you figure out what you really need. I think the table saw would be awesome if the rip fence was made out of solid steel and moved on a lead screw like a mill. The clampy-fence is super inaccurate, even the nice upgraded one that came with the saw. might have to design something better sometime.

My dad is a master woodworker and has taught me a lot of about the very intricate table router setups he uses to get the siding etc. on our fine scale cars done. They are indeed about the same amount of work as a mill setup. Lots of finger boards, both side and top. Once you get it set up though, the repetition goes very quickly.

I do have the problem of not having enough space for a wood shop. When I want to use the planar or the saw (or any hand held tool that makes a mess) I have to go out on my driveway, on a nice weather day. It's motivation for having a shop building some day rather than using the garage.
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Greg_Lewis
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Re: Do you guys do wooden parts on your mill/drill or metal lathe?

Post by Greg_Lewis » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:35 pm

Mike and all my other friends:

I’m still working with the stock fence that came with the Craftsman saw. I have squared it up and flycut the surface, and sometimes I put a dial indicator against it when I need to make fine adjustments. But the Biesemeyer fence is the standard that the Serious Woodworkers all seem to use. There is a spot somewhere on the net about how to make your own. If I was to make a new fence I’d set it up on leadscrews like the photo below. That little one is the saw I made during my HO days for ripping stripwood. The blade is a slitting saw, and it’s not adjustable for height or angle. It’s just a rip saw. As I mentioned in an above post, I can rip to plus/minus .003, which is far more accurate than 99 percent of wood projects need to be.

Also pictured is the Proxxon motor tool with accessory router base that I use for routing really small stuff. The Proxxon is a better tool IMHO than the Dremel (and at a higher price), and I recommend it. There are tiny router bits for it with which you can do basic router stuff.

I also made a fixed miter gauge for the table saw. I rarely use angles other than 90 degrees, and the adjustable gauges are rather crude. There are aftermarket ones that are better but I made this one from stock on hand in about an hour. And I think angles are more accurately cut using a sled. An important table saw addition is a zero-clearance blade insert. Again, I made the one in the photo but commercial ones can be had.

Finally, it goes without saying that wood cutting tools need to be sharp and free from pitch and crud. Even a slight buildup makes a difference. I clean my table saw blades with Simple Green and a brass wire brush, and on large projects I do it frequently.

Here's the little table saw with the leadscrew fence.
IMG_7301.JPG

I like the Proxxon motor tool better than the Dremel. This router base works great.
IMG_7303.JPG

On the right is the fixed miter gauge I made from some aluminum stock I had. At left is the zero-clearance sawblade insert, also home made.
IMG_7302.JPG

Not everything we do is trains. Here's the latest project, a tall case clock of quarter-sawn white oak with lots of blind and through-tenon joints.
IMG_7307.JPG

This little mantle clock has some very tiny mortise and tenon joints, all cut with the Craftsman table saw.
IMG_7309.JPG

The eight doors in this built-in bookcase in our back hall have a total of 64 mortise and tenon joints, a project that became rather tedious after the first 12 or so joints!
IMG_7312.JPG
Greg Lewis, Prop.
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Pontiacguy1
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Re: Do you guys do wooden parts on your mill/drill or metal lathe?

Post by Pontiacguy1 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:40 pm

Very impressive! I like good woodworking! My grandfather was a contractor when he was working, and entertained himself with making furniture and such when he retired. He could make pretty much anything, and like you, usually made all his own trim, etc...

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gwrdriver
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Re: Do you guys do wooden parts on your mill/drill or metal lathe?

Post by gwrdriver » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:09 pm

The clock is spectacular. My favorite style.
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NP317
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Re: Do you guys do wooden parts on your mill/drill or metal lathe?

Post by NP317 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:10 pm

Fitting that some of your products are Craftsman Style, made with your Craftsman table saw.

I inherited my Father's 1950s vintage Craftsman table saw. All cast iron surfaces, still flat, and the saw does excellent work.
I'm fortunate to have it.
~RN

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Re: Do you guys do wooden parts on your mill/drill or metal lathe?

Post by rkcarguy » Tue Mar 13, 2018 5:00 pm

shild wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:35 pm
rkcarguy wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:12 pm
I wipe down before, and after. The "before" gets rid of all the grease and oil that might trap and hold sawdust, then it doesn't stick as much. Then afterwards, vacuum and wipe it up, and oil/grease again.
Nice! What do you run for a mill if I may ask?
I've worked at three different machine shops so I've ran a lot of equipment. Most of it was job shop quality and we ran pretty much anything on them. Phenolic was the worst and I ran way covers and rags over the machine to protect it.
The Hardinge dovetail lathe I ran at my first job in a tool and die shop was in showroom condition and we never ran any wood or composites on it.

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NP317
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Re: Do you guys do wooden parts on your mill/drill or metal lathe?

Post by NP317 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:55 am

As for bad things to machine on precision equipment: Beware PVC plastics. They release chlorine gas during machining.
I always cover precision surfaces with oil prior to machining PVC. Then wipe down and re-oil immediately after finishing the work.
I taught my University student this and I'd STILL occasionally find well rusted machines the next morning.
The culprits were always identified (machine check-out lists) and they got to clean it up before using the Shops again.
~RN

pete
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Re: Do you guys do wooden parts on your mill/drill or metal lathe?

Post by pete » Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:41 pm

Since I've no room for dedicated woodworking machines and don't do all that much non construction grade woodworking then I use what I have. What machine manual ever said it's not a good idea to pull a mills table or even a lathes carriage once in awhile to clean those impossible to get at areas anyway? And my lathe or mill manual says nothing about not turning or milling wood. As others have said a properly aimed shop vac hose gets almost all of it anyway. I'd bet cast iron castings and the fine chips and dust do more harm to a machine than wood does. If you really care then bagging a machine up with 6 mill vapor barrier and duct tape wouldn't take long and would keep pretty much everything out a shop vac misses. Pattern makers used and still use what are basicaly metal working lathes and mills to get the required part shapes and accuracy there craft demands. Likely spindle speeds get increased on there equipment, but there still not much different looking than what the metal working machines look like. Today the big foundrys use CNC mills and lathes.

About the only common joints I can think of that a manual mill couldn't easily do would be square sided female mortice's and half blind dovetails. A mill limits the project size, but it takes a whole room full of those "proper" woodworking tools to do everything a mill can. Years ago they made what were called Wagner Saf T Planers, lots of Youtube videos about them. They were designed before the cheap off shore smaller planers and jointers were around and made to be used in a drill press. The original company is now out of business but there's copies made and sold today. Think of it as a 3" diameter 3 tooth face mill for wood with user resharpenable HSS tips. They work 10 times better in a mill, and a dro with a table feed and the part locked in a milling vise almost makes me feel like it's cheating. :-) Those rotary planers will chip the wood out on the exit side, but clamping a piece of cheap sacrificial wood in that area and planing across both stops that problem. My Napolean cannon model project requires many of the walnut parts to closely fit the metal parts. Any gaps or inaccuracy would be very noticable. Few of the wood parts are without a taper or radius. A 13 degee taper set with a sine bar and gage blocks then planed to dimension with that Saf T Planer makes the whole job easy. What other woodworking machine could do that perfectly every time with hardly any set up time and no trial and error until it was perfect? A rotary table or boring head makes any size of radius or hole just as easy. I know a lot less about grinding the correct rake and relief angles for machining wood than I'd like to. But If I ever (not going to happen) gave up metal working for real wood working I'd still have a Bridgeport type mill even with a full wood working shop. For smaller parts where high accuracy does make a difference then a mill gives master craftsman results and hides the wood butchery skills I really have. :-) Some wood species are very easy to get burn marks from the tool. Cherry is especialy bad. Too high rpms or dwelling and stopping the feed for a moment with the tool rubbing are what causes it. My mill tops out at about 4,000 rpm. For me I seem to get cleaner cuts at that speed with actual end mills than with a router bit.

If I ended up with a larger woodworking project like those really beautiful clock cases I'd probably take the time to build an adapter to fixture a proper router to the top of my mills knee ways and swing the whole turret with the head out of the way while it was being used. Yes a mill is quite a bit slower than the correct machines, but you use what you have handy. If I had a mill with dro that had the glass scales I'd be pretty careful about keeping the dust out of those. But the rest I don't really fret about.

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Re: Do you guys do wooden parts on your mill/drill or metal lathe?

Post by Harold_V » Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:44 am

pete wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:41 pm
My Napolean cannon model project requires many of the walnut parts to closely fit the metal parts.
Hmmm. I'm just like a kid at Christmas when it comes to muzzle loading cannon. I've loved 'em since I was a kid.
Do you have any pictures you can share? I'd enjoy seeing anything you have, even if it isn't completed.

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

pete
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Re: Do you guys do wooden parts on your mill/drill or metal lathe?

Post by pete » Sun Mar 25, 2018 3:38 am

Let me see what I can do Harold. The drawings I'm using were done by a proper machinist who lucked out and had a contact with one of the people working at one of your state parks. One was being restored so he was able to measure up a full sized Napolean and produce proper drawings the way any machinist would.

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Re: Do you guys do wooden parts on your mill/drill or metal lathe?

Post by Harold_V » Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:18 am

Sounds like a winner, Pete. I'll appreciate anything you can provide.

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

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Re: Do you guys do wooden parts on your mill/drill or metal lathe?

Post by John Hasler » Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:14 am

Harold_V wrote:
Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:44 am
pete wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:41 pm
My Napolean cannon model project requires many of the walnut parts to closely fit the metal parts.
Hmmm. I'm just like a kid at Christmas when it comes to muzzle loading cannon. I've loved 'em since I was a kid.
Do you have any pictures you can share? I'd enjoy seeing anything you have, even if it isn't completed.

H
You would have liked (or hated) the buried mortar we used to fire up north. It put a bowling-ball up to about 5000'.

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