johnsmachines

machines which I have made, am making, or intend to make, and some other stuff. If you find this site interesting, please leave a comment. I read every comment and respond to most.

Category: Tools.

Soft Jaws

The bronze gears which I cast yesterday were cut off the tree with small bolt cutters, band saw and hack saw.   Then a belt sander to reduce the daggy bits.

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The gears, and the tree trunk and branches which will be remelted.

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The faces needed to be flattened in the lathe, but how to hold the rather thin, delicate, irregular gears?

Soft jaws.

Soft jaws made of aluminium, and exactly machined to match the external diameter of gear teeth, so there are multiple contact points, and minimal chance of damaging the teeth.  I made these soft jaws ages ago, for just this sort of job.

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The soft jaws are machined to exactly fit the workpiece.

The soft jaws may be used multiple times, machined to shape each time.  Very handy in this situation.

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The larger gears are good.  I silver soldered some extra material on one of them for the shaft, then turned the shaft to size .  But, holding the small pinion gear is more problematic.  I will need to machine a soft jaw with a taper to hold the teeth.  Next session.  I should have anticipated this situation and designed the gear with a shaft to be PLA printed as one piece.

 

 

Making Sanding Belts

This idea is not original.  I spotted it on YouTube.

I have a very nice small bench belt sander  made by Sorby UK.  I don’t use it often, because the Australian made Radius Master is much more versatile and powerful, but occasionally it is the tool of choice.  Problem is the belts.   They are a really odd size.  Not available on ebay, and they are expensive.  So when I saw this method, I decided to try it.

Basically, you buy a roll of relatively inexpensive 50mm wide sanding paper, and make your own belts.   The issue is, the join.

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I have had this roll, and several others, for years, using a few inches at a time.

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I removed the old belt, cut it along its join, and used it as a model to cut some pieces off the roll.  The angle of the cut was 30/60º.  I used Tullen cutters in preference to scissors.

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And this is the method of the join.  Use “Iron On Mending patch”.  Freely and cheaply available on Ebay, and in haberdashery shops.

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I asked SWMBO if she had some spare IRON for my workshop, and this was produced.  Sorry about the confusing ironing board pattern.

Important:   the ends of the cut sandpaper are precisely aligned, and the side edges are lined up against a straight edge.   Then the mending patch, cut a bit oversize, is laid on the join, and the heated iron is applied according to the instructions on the mending patch.  In this case the iron was heated to “cotton” heat (whatever that means) and pressed down for 25 seconds.  Best to use some brown paper underneath, otherwise the patch will glue to the ironing board cover.

Then I tried it.  Click on the arrow to see a short video.

 

So, the test was surprisingly successful.   Later I made another belt, and applied the patch obliquely, at the same angle as the join.  It was MUCH improved, totally removing the noise of the patch running over the workpiece.   I would certainly recommend this modification.

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This patch was applied straight across, but it was a bit noisy and I kept wondering if it would hold.  It stayed intact.  But an oblique patch is better. 

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After some use, the join opened about a millimeter, but remained intact.  I probably should have let it cool totally before using it.  Or maybe the patch fabric in this case was a little stretchy.

I think that this will be a good method, and I will continue to use it.  It is inexpensive.  I got 4 joins per $AUD5 patch.  I suspect that I overdid the size of the patch, and could probably get double the number of joins from this size material.   Try it!

 

 

 

 

Axles for a Cannon Carriage

How fascinating is that for a topic!

Well, I found it interesting.  Maybe says something about me.

My 2 carriages have 20 wheels and 20 axles between them.  Plus the 4 big ones under the chassis’.  I had made the wheels.  The axles required some planning and thought, after all, whatever I did was going to be repeated at least 20 times.

I decided on stainless steel for the axles, and brass for the end caps.  The originals were steel, but they will be painted, so the appearance of the metal is irrelevant.

First steps were to cut up 20 pieces of 5mm stainless steel, 25mm long, and drill 5mm holes in 12.7mm brass rod, and part off 20 pieces 5mm wide.  With a few spares.

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The the brass end caps need to finish 4mm wide, so there was a machining allowance of only 0.5mm on each face.  So the silver soldering of the 2 parts needed to be reasonably precise.

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To assist with keeping the brass disks square to the rods while soldering, I drilled some 5mm holes in an aerated concrete block, exactly 21mm deep.

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Fluxed the mating parts, and silver soldered 5 at a time.  Very quickly.  I could have used Loctite 620, but would have had to wait until it cured before machining.

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A soak in sulphuric acid for a few minutes, then a water rinse.

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Then turned the end cap shape on the Boxford TCL125

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Not quite finished. M2 Holes to be drilled through the end caps, and threaded to the brackets.  I will use the CNC toolpost milling attachment which I made in 2019.  That might warrant a short video.

A short video.  Well, a bit over 5 minutes…

 

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The capscrews are not kosher.  The original cannons had large slot screws.  But will anyone notice?  (idea…  I could fill in the hex hole with JB Weld, and machine a slot?!).  Maybe.

In retrospect I could have done the entire shaping and drilling and milling of the brass end cap using the toolpost mill on the CNC lathe.   Would have been a lot more efficient.

A Chuck in a Chuck

Sometimes, the chuck in your lathe is too big.

I needed to machine some of the aluminium castings which I had made for the cannon chassis.  They were too high by 1-2mm.  But, the flanges were delicate and thin walled, and although the ends were flat and roughly parallel, they were not actually parallel.  I wanted to use my most rigid and precise lathe, which is the Colchester Master 2500.  But the bore on the chuck was greater than the diameter of the part which I was turning.

So this is the setup.  A chuck in a chuck.

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The Colchester 3 jaw is 200mm diameter, and it neatly holds a 80mm chuck off my Boxford TCL125 CNC lathe, which holds the part.  It is a centre column from the scale model Armstrong gun which I am currently assembling/making.   It is a bit irregular, with thin 2mm flanges and fins.  I really did not want to damage it, but it needed 1-2mm trimmed from its height.

So, I held the part in the 80mm 3 jaw, centre drilled it, and supported it in the 3 jaw and the tailstock.  It worked well.  No disasters.

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I machined the three castings which I had made.  And reversed them to machine the bases.   The setup worked well.   I need only 2 of these, and could use any of them.  The machining did reveal some porosity of the castings, but overall I am quite pleased with the end result.

p.s.  You might notice some advertisements in my posts from now on.  Unfortunately I am at my storage limit on my current WordPress plan, despite deleting virtually all embedded videos, and placing the main ones on YouTube.  I am facing the prospect of either deleting old posts, or increasing my WordPress payment plan to a business plan, which is substantially more expensive.  I have decided to see if monetising the site will cover the cost of upgrading to a business plan.  I do hope that the ads will not be too intrusive.  Let me know what you think.

Lost hearing aid.

Sorry, no photos with this one.  As I was leaving my workshop I realised that I was missing one of my hearing aids.  It was dusk, raining, and I spent almost an hour searching for it, but no luck.  Then I forgot to bring my camera.  So no photos.  Big cleanup of the workshop in daylight tomorrow.

A half day in the workshop today.  Finished silver soldering the chassis angle brackets, then fitted them, and secured them to the girders with bolts.  In order to make sure that the brackets are correctly located for the drilling, I glued them with Super Glue initially.

The first half of the day was spent on the computer, working on Queen Victoria’s Royal cypher which is on the top surface of the cannon barrel.

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The “VR is for Victoria Regina”.  “Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense” is the motto of the Order of the Garter.  It translates from the French as “Shamed be (the person) who thinks evil of it”.

It appears to have been machined into the barrel.  On my model it will be about 12.5 x 20mm.  My friend Stuart has a fibre laser which was used to permanently mark guidelines into 2 steel grinder rests (featured in earlier posts), and I am hoping that it will work similarly to put the cypher onto my model Armstrong cannon barrel.  Another option would be to V carve the emblem, using V Carve Pro.  Whichever method is used, I needed a bitmap file of the emblem.  I found several with a Google Images search, but they were very low resolution.  I should have made a rubbing of the cypher when I was at the originals at Port Fairy.

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236×277 but I have spent some time with a drawing program (Corel Draw) tidying up the image, then converting it to vectors, suitable for V Carving.  The laser can interpret a bitmap file.

The curve of the barrel must be negotiated during the lasering or V carving.  Still considering options for that.

So, when the Covid restrictions are lifted, that will be one of the first visits.  To Stuart and his laser.   A practice run on some scrap pipe first.

Armstrong RML Model Cannon Parts

Firstly, on the subject of metalworking lubricants, I have previously mentioned my homemade mixture of kerosene and olive oil.   And here is my favourite lubricant…..posing with the not quite finished cannon chassis girders…..

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For this model cannon I need quite a few sheet metal parts.  At 1:10 scale the final metal thickness is 2mm and 2.5mm.  Having had a good experience with laser cutting the HSS cutters for the rifling tool, I decided to send an electronic file to the laser cutting firm, and see how the parts turned out.  I decided to not include the rivet holes, thinking that the final positions might not be completely predictable.  If all goes well I will probably include all of the holes in future orders.

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I ordered enough parts for 2 cannons, and some spares for the inevitable stuff ups.  (or should it be stuffs up?).  If I do not use the spares I might offer them for sale later, along with my plans.

The accuracy and quality of the cuts seems excellent.  All of the parts will require final fitting and drilling for rivets, shafts, etc.   I was pleasantly surprised at the modest cost of these 30 parts.

 

So next I can start assembling the chassis.  Lots of riveting.  About 500 rivets per cannon. Another skill to be acquired.  Fortunately for me, one of my model engineering club colleagues used to work in aircraft manufacturing, and he has spent a session teaching me the ins and outs of installing solid rivets.  And loaned me a riveting gun suitable for the 2mm rivets which I have chosen.  Thanks Neil!

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The gun is about 40 years old but it works well.  The snaps are all imperial, so I made one, and modified one to fit the metric 2mm size.

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The blank snap in the ER collet is an unhardened punch blank.  Here being drilled with a carbide ball nose end mill.  Not exactly the right size, but with some fiddling I got it very close.  Since I am intending to use copper rivets I will not harden the snap.

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My initial riveting practice run in aluminium was a bit unimpressive…..

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….but I did improve.  These are almost up to scratch.   In aluminium.

And finally for this post, I drilled some holes in the muzzle of the barrel.  Do you know why they are there?

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A staged photo, using the 3D printed barrel, to show the drilling setup.

 

3D Printing is SLOW

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Crealty CR-10s 3D printer.  The machinists parallels were my solution to ensuring that the horizontal arm is parallel to the base frame.

So, I took delivery of the 14kg box, and spent a couple of hours assembling the printer.  It was partly assembled, as delivered, and if I had known what I was doing the final assembly would have been done in a fraction of the time.  The assembly instructions were adequate.  The wiring connections were well labelled.  The wiring connectors were delicate, and I took care not to bend or break them.

The vertical frame bolts to the base frame, and it is surprisingly rigid.  There are 2 Z axis stepper motors, and when not powered up, they can be individually turned.  It occurred to me that the horizontal arm which the Z axis motors raise and lower should be exactly parallel to the base, so I placed the machinist’s parallels as shown in the above photo and screwed the horizontal arm down onto the parallels to set the horizontal position.  I assume that the Z steppers will move the arm equally. (Hmm… I will check that assumption later.)

Next day, I downloaded the operating software.  An older version was supplied with the machine, and the newer version would not work on my old XP Pro Windows computer, so I used the old version.

I spent some time manually levelling the bed, then ran the automatic bed levelling software.

The printed operating instructions are very basic.  An Internet connection is assumed, and I did not have one available, so my first printed object was with default settings and the supplied white filament.

Somewhat to my surprise, it worked.

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The platten is aluminium.  A glass plate was also supplied, so I used that on top of the aluminium.

The filename was “dog”.  I had no idea whether “dog” was a 3D dog, a picture, or whatever.  Neither did I have any idea of its size.  After an hour, I had printed a disk about 125mm diameter and 1.1mm thick.  Then the disk came off the platten, so I aborted the print.

Today, after getting some advice from Stuart T regarding print adhesion I removed the glass platten cover and applied some special adhesive 3D printer cover.  It is called “3M double coated tissue tape 9080A”.  Then I printed 2 more items.  Neither broke free.  in fact they were difficult to remove at the conclusion of the prints.

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This tiny Tyranosaurus was printed from a 3D file which I found on my computer.  It printed in about 20 minutes.  Default settings again.  The supports were too big for the object, and when I broke them free I also broke off the T Rex arms.  Some settings for supports need to be changed.

The next print was a tool which I planned for the 3D printer…..

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The item is a speed handle for a milling vise.  It is 80mm diameter with some grippy indentations on the circumference.  The tricky feature to make is the hex hole, to fit a 19mm hex shaft.  This is the 3D drawing, imported into the Creality software, so the G code can be generated.

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First layers.  Each layer is 0.2mm thick

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The internal framework is a bit lighter than I wanted.  I thought that I had chosen 90% density.  (ps.  a couple of weeks later.  The speed handle seems to be standing up to the usual rough treatment in my workshop, despite my misgivings about its lightness.)

 

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The speed handle on the vise.  Nice fit.  The print took over 2 hours.

Not perfect, but too bad at all.

 

30 watt Laser in action.

Not mine, unfortunately.  This one is Stuart Tankard’s.  It is a Ytterbium generated, 30w, fibre laser, and the wavelength is such that the 0.01mm diameter beam will burn holes in metal.  Ytterbium, for those who can’t be bothered to look it up,  is a rare earth metal, atomic number 70,  Stuart has used the laser to cut parts from a 1.2mm thick hacksaw blade.  And in the following video he is making marks in a work-tool rest which I will use on my Radius Master sander grinder.

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It is a 360º protractor, and grid lines at 10mm intervals.   Looks purposeful.  Time will tell if it is useful.

Watch the video.  I am experiencing tool envy.

 

Listening to my own voice is pretty painful.  I hope that it doesn’t grate too much on you.

 

Melbourne Society of Model and Experimental Engineers. Xmas meeting.

The December meeting includes the competition for best model, best workshop tooling, and best engine.  The 3 happy winners were all from Geelong.

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Stuart Tankard, John Viggers, Swen Pettig

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Trevithick dredger engine model by John

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CNC lathe tools, toolholders and toolpost milling attachment by Stuart.

Following is a video of Stuart’s toolpost milling attachment in action.  It has been posted before, but is worth watching again.  It is quite remarkable.

(Photo of the flame gulper to be added.)

But, the best part of the meeting was this demo of a model aeroplane which was made by Don.  The plane weighs 2.5 grams!!!   The wing material is mylar which is 1 micron thick!!!  The flight was cut short by hitting a ceiling projector, but apparently the world record for a flight by a similar plane lasted for over an hour!  This YouTube video has had 360,000+ views in 5 days!

 

 

A modification to the Radius Master

The Radius Master is a quality 48″ x 2″ belt sander which is impressively versatile with its 7 work stations.

The work station which is vertical, and against a platten is the one which I expect to use most often.

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Vertical belt, and using the backing platten.

But the supplied work – tool rest is a bit narrow for my taste, and I decided to make another one.

I really like the one which was supplied with the Acute Tool Sharpening System (ATSS).

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The Acute Tool Sharpening System from Eccentric Engineering.

So I bought some 4mm steel plate and cut it to size (150 x 150mm), and CNC milled a support bracket to fit the Radius Master.

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The Radius Master with larger work-tool rest.

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The rest is adjustable for angle and distance from the belt.  Copied from the original.  The bracket is screwed to the plate.  I did not want to risk heat distortion by welding the join.

Then the penny dropped.

Why not use all of the ATSS fittings and fixtures on the Radius Master?  So that is what I have done.

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The ATSS system looks quite at home, yes?

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Hey Gary Sneezby, maybe you should do a deal with Radius Master.

I can quickly swap the ATSS fittings and fixtures between the CBN grinding wheel and the Radius Master.  It will be interesting to see whether the cubic boron nitride wheel or the belt is preferred for different applications.  I expect that the belt will be best for quick removal of material and the CBN wheel for tool sharpening, but we will see.

Oh, and by the way, the bigger work plate does not interfere with any of the other work stations.

And I will ask my friend Stuart to laser engrave some guide lines on the plate.  I have a new design to try.

And finally, here is a link to the video of using the ATSS, by Eccentric Engineering.  It is worth considering.  If you have not done so, I suggest that you look at Eccentric Engineering’s other tools too.  They are very interesting.  The lathe parting tool is the best one which I have used.  And the Diamond lathe tool gets more use on my lathe than any other.

 

 

 

A Modification to the Acute Tool Sharpening System

I have several tool sharpening machines, including an industrial Macson 3 phase machine, a Harold Hall grinder rest, and a Quorn Tool and Cutter Grinder.

But, the one that I use most often is this Eccentric Engineering “Acute Sharpening System”. It was made from a kit and plans supplied by Eccentric Engineering.

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Photo 1: The Acute Tool Sharpening System (Photo courtesy of Eccentric Engineering)

The system consists of a table which is adjustable for tilt and height, a work arm consisting of parallel links and a work head, a straight arm which is adjustable for position and angle and which the work head will slide along, and various fittings for holding lathe tools, ER collets, and others.

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Photo 2: My ATSS. The ATSS with cubic boron nitride wheel on the LHS, and the elegant but less frequently used Harold Hall grinder rest with diamond cup wheel on the RHS.

I purchased the kit of laser cut and spotted parts and the excellent 32 page bound plans from Eccentric Engineering. The parts in the kit require final machining, including drilling, reaming, tapping, turning and milling. It would be quite possible to use bar stock for the parts, having purchased the plans, but the kit is good value ($AUD 250 + GST) and it made the job quick and straightforward. A completely machined, assembled system is also available.  Details at https://eccentricengineering.com.au.

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Photo 3 These are the fittings which I made from the kit, and some extra parts which I bought later.

From the left: hex keys for quick adjustments, angle and gauge templates – most bought from Eccentric, but some made by me, tool holder centre, and collets on the right. Some of the collets are blank to be machined as required. Top right is an ER collet chuck.

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Photo 4 This collet holds a 6mm lathe tool.

This post was not really intended as free publicity for Eccentric, although I am very happy to give it a good rap. It is actually to show a modification which I made to the ATSS table. Shown in the next photos…

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My colleague Stuart Tankard recently acquired a CNC laser engraver which will engrave steel and brass and cut thin metal. I thought that it would be useful to have some accurate lines on the table in a grid, and others at angles to assist with setups. The grids are at 10mm intervals, and the angles are 30/45/60 degrees. In the above photo the straight slide is easily set parallel with the wheel face.

Of course, the cubic boron nitride wheel must first be accurately set to the table, and the grid assists with that….

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Photo 5 Straight edge lined up with the wheel edges and grid.

 

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Photo 6 And here the tool holder base is set at 60º to the wheel.

The angle gauges supplied by Eccentric will serve the same function.  Time will tell if the table marks are useful.

Also I am thinking that the work table on the RadiusMaster could use similar guide lines!

RadiusMaster

I have been watching Ebay for a year or more for one of these belt sanders, but they just never seem to appear second hand.

Then I wondered about making a 72×2″ belt sander.  I even bought a set of plans.   There are many versions of these sanders on YouTube, of varying complexity and sophistication.  The plans by Jeremy Schmidt looked very promising, well explained in his YouTube video, and the plans are thorough.  But the sander appeared to me to be fairly large and very heavy, and it was not going to be a cheap build.  I estimated about $AUD1000 by the time I bought a motor with speed control, and other materials.

Then, a stroke of good fortune.  SWMBO really wanted me to do a rather unpleasant job for her, and I was not enthusiastic.  She is renovating a small house.  The previous tenant had a cat which was either incontinent, lazy, or constantly locked inside the house.  Or maybe it was the tenant.  Anyway, the carpets stank to high heaven.  So bad, that SWMBO felt that she could not ask anyone else to remove the floor coverings and take them to the tip.   But she was prepared to ask me.  She knew that I really wanted to buy a RadiusMaster, and said that if I did the job, she would not object to the rather self indulgent purchase of the sander.  I had not really decided what to do about the sander….   buy or build…. but it would leave me free to make the choice.  So I did the job for her.  After the initial assault on the olfactory senses, it was not too bad.  Took a couple of hours.  And very thorough washing afterwards.

I still had not made a final decision about the RadiusMaster, so a few days later I drove to the dealer, and had another close look.  Meanwhile I had been reading reviews.  And I bought one.  The obvious quality, compact size, plentiful power, rave reviews, and ready re-saleability were all persuasive.

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It came with a stand, not yet attached to the floor because I have not finalised the position.

It is made in Australia, and I was looking forward to understanding the instruction manual for a change

Assembly was straight forward, took about an hour.  The instructions recommended a 2 man lift, but I managed OK solo.

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Enough power for my uses.  240V 8.19A.  No speed control, but that might be added in future.

Overall this is a quality machine, but one aspect was not up to standard.

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The vertical grinding table was noticeably not square to the platen.  In fact it was 2 degrees out.

I considered rejecting it and insisting on another table, but that would have involved another 2 hours each way to the dealer, so I fixed it myself.  The angle bracket was quite solid 6mm thick steel, welded to the table.  Some persuasion with a heavy hammer in the 6″ vise did the trick.

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The grinding table is now within 0.25 degrees of the platen.

This table will be temporary anyway.  I am intending to make a larger table, with fence slots, and and indexable protractors.

The RadiusMaster takes 48×2″ belts which are widely available and inexpensive.

The machine has 7 separate stations, which are selected within seconds.  I expect that the vertical one pictured above will be most used.  Others are…….

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The 8″ 200mm rubber wheel, for hollow grinding (used in knife making)

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The unsupported section of belt, and the notching wheels.  The guards swing easily out of the way.

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Horizontal positioning for pipe notching.  3 wheels are provided, and quickly selected, and other sizes are available. The horizontal position can also be used with an optional horizontal platen, which I have ordered.  Vertical-horizontal positioning takes a few seconds.

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Underneath view of the horizontal pipe notching rest.  If it looks confusing, it is.  This was one aspect where the instructions were vague and unclear.

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That large, heavy,  gold casting is the heart of the machine.  A lot of thought has gone into the design.

When I have had some experience with using the grinder sander I will write a review.  No buyer regret for a change.

 

 

 

Lathe Toolpost Milling attachment (CNC)

 

Although my recent posts indicate that I have spent  a fair amount of time recently on Google Earth Pro, I have also been busy in the workshop.  Mainly finishing the toolpost milling attachment for the Boxford CNC lathe, but also fiddling with the laser attachment for the CNC mill.  Neither of those projects is completely finished, but I thought that you might be interested in some progress photos.

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This is what the Boxford TCL125 CNC lathe now looks like from the front.  It is substantially modified from the original which I purchased 5 years ago.  To mention a few changes…..

the axis stepper motors are bigger and more powerful than the originals

the ball screws are now 10mm diameter, compared with the original 8mm

there are some adjustable axis limit switches

the 3 jaw chuck is replaced by an ER32 collet chuck

there is a removable toolpost milling attachment with ER 16 Collet chuck, with a speed controller, cables, and panic switch.

there is a removable safety screen (not seen in the photo)

And hidden in the electronics compartment….

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There is a 750 watt AC Servo spindle motor and controller (RHS, under the coiled cable)

The electronics have been replaced with a Mach3 compatible breakout board and associated peripherals.  Anyone with an original 1985 machine will hardly recognise these components.

And the software is now Mach3, running off an old Windows XP computer.  And using “Ezilathe” for most of the G coding, especially threading, and interpreting shapes which have been drawn as CAD dxf’s.

The new toolpost spindle works, but the software  needs a bit more fiddling to tie it into the CNC controls of the lathe.

The Boxford has provided an excellent base on which to make these changes, and I look forward to producing some videos soon of the renewed machine in action.

 

CNC Lathe Toolpost Mill

Just a quickie to show you a progress photo of my current project.

It is a very small milling motor with a small ER collet, mounted onto the toolpost of my Boxford CNC lathe, which will convert the lathe from 2 to 3 axes.

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At this early stage the toolpost holder and cylindrical motor have been mounted to the water jet cut bracket on the right side.  Pulleys and drive belt yet to be fitted and I will trim the shaft at the left hand end of the motor.  Then the motor wires are connected to a speed and direction and on-off controller.

The usefulness of this tool is apparent in the following video of a completed unit in use.  The main spindle motor of the lathe is now a 750w AC servo motor, which can be controlled from Mach 3, to go to programmed positions and hold the position while a milling procedure takes place.  Of course the milling procedure will be with small cutters or drills, perhaps up to 3-4mm diameter.

The idea, plans, and some of the parts are courtesy of Stuart Tankard, my very clever friend, whose completed machine is the subject of the following video.

Stuart’s video is republished here with permission.  The original, with comments, is visible on YouTube.  If you have technical questions about the setup, I suggest that you contact Stuart via his YouTube post.

CONFESSION

When I was making the triple expansion steam engine I turned the crankshaft from a piece of 50mm diameter stainless steel rod.   One centre for the main bearings, and 3 other eccentric centres for the big ends.  I spent a long time marking out the centres, then turned the bearings, gluing in a packing piece after turning each one, so that pressure on the ends of the crankshaft would not distort it.

After a whole day on the job, I was pretty pleased with the progress, and I lined up the almost finished crankshaft with the bearings on the bed, to see how it would look.

#%&*##

I had made a 3mm mistake with the position of one of the big ends.  It was a fatal mistake.

So I made another crankshaft the next day, and that one worked out fine, and is on the triple to this day.

The ruined crankshaft sits prominently on a shelf in my workshop, as a reminder.

Today I am making another confession, of another stupid mistake.

This was a beautifully smooth, accurate, keyless Rohm chuck which I used often in my mill, mounted on a quick release quality JT6 Japanese fitting.  I used it successfully on drills down to 1mm size for several years.

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But lately it seemed to have a bit of runout.  Inspection appeared to show that the JT6 taper part of the chuck had dislodged a bit.  Not the taper itself, but the sleeve that the taper was machined into.

So, I put it in the press to snug it back home.

No movement, so I pushed a bit harder.  (stupid stupid stupid!)

BANG!

I don’t know what let go, but I think that I cracked the tapered sleeve.  The chuck was seized solid.  Would not move despite heavy persuasion.  I had really buggered it.

O well, you live and learn.  I figured that I would remove the chuck, buy a new one, and install it on the expensive Japanese JT6 spindle.

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So I applied a gear remover, one of those double C shaped ones, with the hardened steel jaws, and tightened the bolts.  But it would not move.  Tightened the bolts further, and further, until I was not game to apply more pressure for fear of breaking the gear remover or the Sidchrome spanner.   Considered applying heat with oxyacetylene, but I really did not want to wreck the Japanese fitting as well, so I put the question to a colleague at the model engineering club today.  As a result of that conversation, this is what I did…..with an angle grinder.

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As you can see.

I considered putting it on the shelf next to the crankshaft, but you know what…. I don’t think that I can bear to look at it, so it is going out with the rubbish to be forgotten as quickly as possible.  (ps.  now sitting next to the crankshaft)

The JT6 spindle seems to survived unscathed.

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The other side of the chuck and the spindle, after separation.

In retrospect, I wonder if I should have tried some heat, but the chuck was busted, so it would not have made much difference.

End of confession.  But I dont feel any better.

A VIDEO GIMBAL

A gimbal is a device which keeps an object on a steady horizontal level, even as its support moves and tilts.   Such as a ship’s compass.

Hand held videos often show unwanted evidence of movements due to shaking, walking or distractions.

Expensive gimbals have been available to professionals for a long time.  Recently gimbals have become much less expensive, and available to people shooting videos on smart phones, mirrorless cameras, and DSLR’s.

The following video was shot on my iphone, without a gimbal, but about a gimbal, which I recently purchased.  The video is brief, and not intended to be anything but a glimpse.  To be honest, there is a bit of a learning curve with the gimbal, and I am just beginning.

I hope that it will help to improve my video shoots.

ZHIYUN CRANE M2

Workshop with security

Every time that I open my workshop I wonder if it will have been robbed.  So far, I have had unsecured implements which are stored outside, stolen, and an attempt at stealing my Landcruiser ute, but no breaking and entering of the workshop itself.  Mind you, any thief would have a tough time working out what to take…   everything is scattered around, sitting where I last used it.  And then there are the tiger snakes….

Reader Brendan has a couple of guard dogs for his workshop when he is not present.

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They might not look too scary, but they do make a hell of a racket when a stranger approaches.

And Brendan’s workshop is not all in one location.  I counted 5 separate locations….

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The computer room and security monitor.  Mostly CAD and G codes here.

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The laser cutter occupies the entry porch.   See the backing board pattern?  That is from the gasket for my Trevithick engine.

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Then the main workshop.  Hmm… what is that red thing?

Brendan bearing press

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2 lathes in the garage.  Hafco with DRO, and CNC with Siemens controller.

Meanwhile, in my workshop…

I am taking some of my stuff to an exhibition at the Royal Geelong Show in a week.  The beam engine working on steam always gets some interest.   And the Trevithick dredger engine has not featured at this event before, so that can go.   I am currently working on the vertical boiler.   The Southworth Duplex pump which is attached to the boiler, was working on air, but it refused on steam, so another tear down is due.  If I can get it going that will be the third entry.  If not, well, there is always next year.   Fortunately Keith Appleton recently produced some videos on the Southworths, one of which had a similar problem, so I think that I know where my problem is.

Incidentally,  I showed the beam engine, the Trevithick, and the boiler at an exhibition in Melbourne last weekend.   Mostly well received.  But I had a succession of people who said of the beam engine “very nice.  Except for the cap screws.”  When it reached 6 separate commenters on the same theme I was starting to suspect a conspiracy from these rivet counters.   Yes it does have cap screws as the main fasteners.  And no, they are not true to the period (late 19th century).  But I quite liked the look of them.  But, one does prefer approval in preference to criticism, and after this concerted barrage of criticism, I relented, and spent a couple of workshop sessions swapping out the cap screws for studs with hex nuts.

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The before.  With cap screws.

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After the upgrade with studs and hex nuts.  Was it worth the 2 workshop sessions?

Sometime soon I will paint parts of this engine, and apply wooden lagging to the cylinder.

 

 

A Workshop as Dark, Messy, and Dirty as Mine! Well, almost.

These shots were sent in by reader Russ, from Tasmania.  He reckons that he will tidy up the shop after retirement…. Ha!   Little does he know, that there is less spare time after stopping work…  there is so much other fun stuff to do.

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Is that a Porsche 924 or 928?

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No!  Much better! It is a Jensen Interceptor Mk 1. Love that aesthetic rear window.   Beautiful Tasmanian landscape.  Number plate ablated by me.

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Now that is a real man-cave!

I think that I still win the prize for the messiest, dirtiest, darkest workshop, but Russ comes in a close second.  Note that Russ is a busy surgeon.  Hmmm.

 

 

Workshop in the Deep North of Oz. North Queensland.

This one is interesting.  It is located in the basement of a multi storey apartment building,  in the centre of a major city, and occupies a car parking space.  It is screened off from the other car parking spaces, with security mesh and visual blocking.

In the photos you will see some of Peter’s projects.  Woodworking, kids toys, and metalworking.  Peter also is involved in model railways.

Nice to see some mess.  Must be genetic.

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Nice bandsaw!  I wonder what the bell is used for.  Maybe to warn the other apartment occupants that Peter is about to fire up some machinery.

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Heavy duty lathe.

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It is obviously used!

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A grand daughter will be very happy with that!

Thanks for those photos Peter.  It is interesting to see another workshop in confined space.  I do wonder how the other apartment occupants respond to woodworking thicknesser noise.

A European Workshop

Most of the workshop pictures so far have come from Australia, and one from UK.  This one is from Holland, sorry Huib, the Netherlands.

Interesting differences.  Huib built his own workshop, and he has some nice gear.  All of these photos came upside-down.  Funny how they consider Oz to be “down-under”.  Obviously their reference points are wrong. THEY are the upside-down ones.  I mean, we are walking upright, right?  They must be upside-down!

 

Hello John,

Here finally my contribution to your workshop series, as always I might want to show and share too much with others, that’s why I want you to show  what you can support and is in line with the possibilities you have on your blog. 

See if you can make one blog part of it or cut it into pieces. That’s up to you. I transfer the pictures with WE TRANSFER to you, as it is right you got a mail with the link to download the pictures.

It looks like the pictures that it is all clean and tidy maybe but appearances are deceptive, most of the time it’s not so tidy for me either, for the pictures I cleaned it up.

I have tried to be as complete as possible but if there are any questions please let me know.

I built the barn myself, so as the floor plan was drawn. First I built room 1 which is completely isolated and where I can work during the winter, there are also the most expensive machines. 

Later on I built room 2, to store also the wood for the stove. Finally, 5 years ago I built room 3, the largest room where also other things are stored as only hobby stuff, also our bikes and everthing els.

Room 1 is the room where I stay most in, coarse work I do room 2, such as sawing, sanding and coarse drilling.  In room 3 I mainly do business that need some space, the large, homemade workbench is a good tool for that. And as you can see, I can’t throw anything away and I keep everything I think of that can be useful in the next hundred years.

The photos contain references to the machine and the space where they are located.

I hope you like the total information.

Kindest regards

Huib

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The thing about Holland, is that they HAVE to make the world’s best pumps.  Otherwise they are under water.  Much of the country is below sea level.

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Now, that is nice!

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Ahhh!

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Ahhhhhh!

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Nice!  But I will stick with CNC.

Huib also sent a video of his steam plant.  Unfortunately I do not have the space to post it, but if Huib can remember the YouTube address I will include that later.

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Storage is always a problem no?

So, thank you Huib, for sharing your workplace with us.  It is very interesting to see how other model engineers work, and their equipment.  I have posted only a fraction of Huib’s photos, due to space limitations.    I hope that the chosen shots are of interest to my readers.

ps.  Huib, I found the YouTube video…Very nice work!