Tips, Hints, Shared Ideas for the new Machinist or Hobbyist

Topics include, Machine Tools & Tooling, Precision Measuring, Materials and their Properties, Electrical discussions related to machine tools, setups, fixtures and jigs and other general discussion related to amateur machining.

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whisperfan
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Re: Tips, Hints, Shared Ideas for the new Machinist or Hobby

Post by whisperfan » Sun Jan 01, 2012 5:06 pm

Great tips guys, keep them coming.

I wanted a chip shield, and I didn't want to spend a lot of cash.

I went to my local Northern Tool and bought several replacement face shields. A short piece of piano hinge, a piece of mild steel, and a little piece of square tube. A few screws, a couple welds, and this is what I came up with.

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It does a great job of keeping coolant and chips where I want them.

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warmstrong1955
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Re: Tips, Hints, Shared Ideas for the new Machinist or Hobby

Post by warmstrong1955 » Mon Jan 09, 2012 4:36 pm

Good ideas guys.....my shop is always in a state of flux.....always lookin' for ways to organize & kinda stuff 20 pounds of stuff in a two pound bag.....

All made from scrap pieces of timber.... I like the JimGlass rack....but I didn't have any scrap dowel. Guess I'm too cheap....

Now I have room on the top of the roll-away, to clutter it up with other stuff.... :)

Bill
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Rolky
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Re: Tips, Hints, Shared Ideas for the new Machinist or Hobby

Post by Rolky » Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:20 am

Here is a handy little addition I made to my bandsaw. It's one of those horizontal-vertical type that takes a 5'4-1/2" blade.

First, you can use a Vise Grip style drill press hold down in the curved slot:
P1060730.JPG
Then you can drill holes with a step-drill anywhere on the surface:
P1060733.JPG
And use a Vise Grip to hold oddly shaped pieces:
P1060732.JPG
Eric

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warmstrong1955
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Re: Tips, Hints, Shared Ideas for the new Machinist or Hobby

Post by warmstrong1955 » Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:17 am

I built this table, with a fence, to make a bunch of angle cuts. My Grizz G9742 doesn't have much table space, and there's no access to the bottom of it to put on a clamp. It does cut angles, but not like the one in the pics.....
It has a bunch more tapped holes in it now, from cutting other odd angles on things. Works well when I have larger quantities.

I like the use of the drill press clamp Eric......gonna have to find me a couple of those & adapt 'em to my table. Right now, I use regular vice grips, or step block clamps.

Bill
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whisperfan
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Re: Tips, Hints, Shared Ideas for the new Machinist or Hobby

Post by whisperfan » Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:37 am

Great tips for mounting stuff in your saw.

My solution for mounting small parts (and short parts) that needed to be cut ....
I took a small vise and mounted it to a piece of mild steel, then I clamp the vise in the saw's vise and I have a nice small vice that can clamp short pieces of work very close to the blade.

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This little vice also works very well on the magnetic chuck on my surface grinder.

REMEMBER - If you use this type of vise, you just raised your work and greatly increased the amount of empty space under the work. So, when your saw cuts through, it will drop like a rock to the stop. You can either: 1) make a piece of tubing or pipe that slips over the saw stop to catch the saw (but this wont turn off the saw) or 2) you can just be there to catch the saw, and ease it down to the stop/off switch .... the 2nd is what I do

stevec
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Re: Tips, Hints, Shared Ideas for the new Machinist or Hobby

Post by stevec » Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:39 am

Whisp, cool, I dunno if your saw has the same little bent piece of tin dipped in plastic stuff that hits the switch but you could make a slotted actuator with a thumbscrew that would extend for use with the "add on vise" or be retracted to standard position.

Rolky
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Re: Tips, Hints, Shared Ideas for the new Machinist or Hobby

Post by Rolky » Thu Jan 12, 2012 9:38 am

I work almost exclusively in aluminum, so this might not work in steel.

First, drill the tap hole. In this case a #7 drill.
P1060809.JPG
Then take the vise and part over to the tapping machine, and tap. In this case 1/4-20.
P1060814.JPG
The tapping machine is made from 1-1/2" square aluminum with a 3/8" aluminum base. The shafts are 1/2". The bearing is a 1/2" reamed hole. With some oil for lubrication, the shaft turns like velvet. When tapping a 4-40, I have an excellent feel of the torque I'm applying. To withdraw the tap, the horizontal shaft can be spun quickly with a finger close to the center. The knob is a rotating type. The drill chuck is 1/2" with a 3/8-24 thread. Using a 1/2-13 tap is quite feasible. The maximum distance from the bottom of the chuck to the base is 7-5/8". This makes using the thing a little awkward, but if the height is any less, too many parts will not fit.

The step of drilling and then tapping without changing the part's position ensures a perfect tap. I've been using this device for over ten years and never broken a tap.

Eric

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SteveHGraham
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Re: Tips, Hints, Shared Ideas for the new Machinist or Hobby

Post by SteveHGraham » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:50 am

My biggest tip is: do not buy a Clausing lathe. The old ones don't do metric threading, and setting them up to do it is extremely expensive. New parts are so expensive they make the Army's $600 hammer seem cheap (try $400 for a plastic lever). Used tooling is very hard to find. Just don't do it, unless everything you will ever need comes with the lathe.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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wlw-19958
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Re: Tips, Hints, Shared Ideas for the new Machinist or Hobby

Post by wlw-19958 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:42 pm

Hi There,
SteveHGraham wrote:My biggest tip is: do not buy a Clausing lathe. The old ones don't do metric threading, and setting them up to do it is extremely expensive. New parts are so expensive they make the Army's $600 hammer seem cheap (try $400 for a plastic lever). Used tooling is very hard to find. Just don't do it, unless everything you will ever need comes with the lathe.
What handle costs $400?

Good Luck!
-Blue Chips-
Webb

stevec
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Re: Tips, Hints, Shared Ideas for the new Machinist or Hobby

Post by stevec » Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:59 pm

Steve, Just ponderin' here, I guess yer keepin' the Clausing eh? I mean ya couldn't ever conscientiously
sell it, could ya? :wink:

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SteveHGraham
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Re: Tips, Hints, Shared Ideas for the new Machinist or Hobby

Post by SteveHGraham » Thu Jan 12, 2012 9:26 pm

Well, that's a concern. After I describe it accurately, no one wants it. I should do what the seller did. Claim it's a 5914, tell people it looks like it has seen "very little use," and say, "I think you will be pleased."

It came from a prison teaching program. I should have realized it's not a good sign when a lathe is no longer good enough for a prison. Clearly, I can't donate it to a teaching program, because it has already been rejected by the bottom of the barrel. It works fine, and I got a good price for what it is, but when you try to make it do what other lathes do, you run into problems that cost money to fix.

The $400 was for a Clausing Colchester lever. Not my personal experience, I admit. I should not have posted that. The guy who made that claim could have been on PCP for all I know.

I did get quoted $450 for a few pieces of the big set of gears you need for metric threading. They were used. If I had bought them, waited 15 years for the rest of the metric set to become available, bought them, and learned to use them, I'd have a great lathe which would do metric threading after only twenty minutes of parts-swapping, and I'd only be down another thousand dollars.

Man, what was I thinking? I wish I could travel back in time and slap myself. I'm sure I have over $4000 in this thing, including the VFD, new chuck, shipping, face plate, motor, and so on. Think what I could get for that, right now. I really researched. I did my best to find out what I should buy. It's hard to believe I ended up in this mess, after all that work. I'm so glad I bought a new Chaiwanese mill. I've had some minor problems which were mainly due to my own ignorance, but I got exactly what I paid for, I got a great price, and I will probably never want another mill.

Actually, I got more than I paid for. The seller threw in a variable-speed head, which is wonderful to use. I also have a coolant system. Some day I'll figure out how to use it.

I got a mind-roasting quote on some new Clausing parts, but I can't find it in my email. I probably deleted it because it gave me nightmares.

I suspect there is a big contingent of old union guys out there who hate China and Taiwan for putting their companies out of business and knocking the wheels off the gravy train, and they show up on forums and tell ridiculous lies about the amazing quality of forty-year-old American machinery. As if that's going to bring back the American machine tool industry, or have even a tiny effect on China's success. I'm sure the Chicoms are wetting the bed in terror. The passenger pigeon and Kim Il Jong have brighter futures than the American machine tool industry.

The things these guys say are so stupid and so obviously wrong, it has to be deliberate deception. Surely no knowledgeable person thinks an American lathe used in production and then sold because of wear or obsolescence can compete with a decent Grizzly fresh off the truck. You would have to be psychotic to think that. And don't get me started on the service you get from used machine dealers, who are about as accountable as serial rapists. If you get a crappy lathe from Grizzly, you give them a call, and they send a truck to take it back. Try that with some character fifteen states away, who already cashed the check he made you write because he knows credit card companies do charge-backs.

Anyway, there are all sorts of machines out there that do more, for less money. I still can't believe I bought this crazy thing. I thought it was a bargain. Oh, well. I've had a lot of fun with it, and maybe I could make money parting it out. And when I get a real lathe, I'll appreciate and enjoy it that much more.

That's really what I should do. I'm sure it's worth more in pieces than it is whole. And there will be one less lathe out there to bite suckers in the rear end.

My advice to newbies is to buy new or like-new, make sure you get metric threading and lots of tooling, and have fun. Do NOT become a nurse for a geriatric lathe with outdated features, unless you get it for a hundred bucks.

I guarantee, someone will pipe up and claim I don't know good machinery when I see it, and that three nuts from a Clausing will cut more metal than a whole truck full of Asian lathes. But I promise you, he won't offer to put his money where his mouth is. Anybody who wants this lathe can send me $2250, and it will be on its way.

Sorry about the rant, but you probably knew it was coming.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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mcostello
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Re: Tips, Hints, Shared Ideas for the new Machinist or Hobby

Post by mcostello » Thu Jan 12, 2012 9:49 pm

Nifty trick that was a solution to a problem. I needed several heavy duty "C" clips, hardware store had all thin and anemic looking ones. I had the idea to use lockwashers, just slightly untwist, put around shaft and retwist and crimp in place. Might help someone out that's in a tight spot.

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