"One Perfect Part at a Time"


Taig Lathe Add

There are some clamping moves that are repeated many times while making a series of parts on the Taig Lathe. Taig uses hex head 10-32 screws to lock the carriage gib and also clamp the tailstock and sliding center bar. It becomes a chore after a while picking up the correct hex wrench and fitting it to the screw head to make adjustments.

I have seen many examples where micro-lathe owners make a set of SS ball handle 10-32 screws and bend them about 80 degrees to act like a L handle. They look fabulous but you have to get the bend in the correct position.

What I show here are some store bought adjustable 10-32 threaded handles. They do the same job as the homemade handles except the handle position is adjustable. That’s much better in my book. Not quite as pretty as the homemade but a little more functional.

I purchased these at McMaster-Carr, Part Numbers 6271K11, 6271K19 and 6271K65. Pick the size you want. I bought all three sizes. I used the 9/16 length on the carriage. This is not a through hole so it shouldn’t bottom against the body. It works fine as is but could be a bit shorter. (grind down)

Having Fun in a Micro Machine Shop

I have been writing about small machine tools lately. I have said there is as much and actually more fun in making things with micro machine tools as the larger type. The Taig micro-mill and micro-lathe are a great example of the small size tools to which I refer. The Sherline products are just as capable and have a much larger product line. My preference is the Taig as the base hardware. I am not going to argue over tools. I own what I like, but know it is not a good over bad choice between either of those brands.

I currently sit on the edge between micro-machining and mini-machining (Proxxon PD400), owning and using both size ranges. For me, I am in the perfect fit with these options as (within reason) it is better to be a bit larger than you need in a machine than to push a small machine beyond its inherent limitations. But small micro-machines are totally capable when used properly.

I am well aware I am not the best micro machinist living on the block. I have seen some outstanding work produced on these tools and I know the time it takes to get to those levels of perfection. My honest excuse is I just don’t spend the time at this point to reach ultimate perfection, but I try to do my best for the time involved.

In micro machining, all the same moves are required as in making a big part. The touch and feel are a bit different but the level of fun and enjoyment of the work is in my opinion very much the same. A few big points of difference are the cost of materials and the working room and electrical power required.

Micro machining usually falls into the model making… Continue reading

Miniature Machining in Wax

I occasionally struggle deciding where I should post the project I am working on. I try to keep this blog on track by sticking to subjects regarding machining. Then there are projects that involve machining but include a lot of other skills as well.

I started a web site and blog for those non-machining projects called The Hobbyist Workshop (THWs). It is linked in the sidebar in this blog. The dilemma is where to post.

Here is a link to the recent machining I did last weekend and posted in THWs.  Making a Medallion. It is pure machining but the next step is rubber mold making and casting in pewter. The new mold looks great buy the way. I hope it works as good as it looks.

I have made quite a few attempts at this project and blogged on it several times and even made a video (below) of an earlier attempt, but it is not ready for a major article. The machining is fine. It’s the mold making. I call it a learning experience. I am getting a lot of practice time.

New Visitor Posted in THMS

I sold a Taig Micro-Lathe to Señor Alejandro Oliva Calzado in Madrid Spain. He was going to make some custom mods and set it up his own way. I asked Alejandro to send me a picture when he was done. Sure enough he did. That’s one of them here in this post. Go see the others here: THMS Link. Well done Alejandro!


Mini-Lathe 21 tooth change gear.

I received a 21 tooth gear in my mini-lathe upgrade gear stock shipment by error. At first I didn’t know where it could be used. None of the stock gears in a mini-lathe are 21 tooth. (See picture).

The upper 20 and 25  tooth gears are a part of the reversing system. They are small bore with no key way.

The lower two 20 tooth gears in the picture have a larger bore and a 3mm key way. So do the 21 tooth gears I accidentally received. I thought the 21 tooth gear may have something to do with metric threading.

I did some research and I found the identical 21 tooth gear recommended for replacing one of the 20 tooth gears to get closer to cutting certain metric thread sizes. Which one depends on the thread desired. Only one (1) 21 tooth gear is required. Both 20’s are used for some threads.

The mini-lathe because of it’s 16 TPI lead screw can never make all metric threads exactly on pitch.

So the mystery gear is no longer a mystery. The original 20 tooth gears are steel so they are not replaced in my upgrade kit.

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