"One Perfect Part at a Time"


Information directed toward the “The Hobbyist Machine Store”
The store now maintains its own Blog.

Sneak Peak 2

Version two of the CNC controller I have been helping develop is now in my workshop. I have had a chance to do some testing and it is performing very well. There is a “Sneak Preview Two” over in The Hobbyist Machine Store Blog.

This is my recommendation for the Taig CNC Micro-mill. Of course it can be used for many other CNC machines.  Taig has a somewhat unique issue against running at high speeds. The 20 TPI screws provide excellent torque but require 2,000 rpm to achieve 100 IPM (Inches per Minute) travel.  Most steppers max out about 1500 rpm and run most comfortably at 500-750 rpm. The original Taig CNC Micro-mill still brags about 30 IPM rapids.

The stepper motors are picked for low impedance and high speed and using a digital driver that can punch out the torque using the 36 volts, the result is solid 100 IPM on the Taig Micro-mill. It will lift the heavy Taig motor and spindle all day at that speed without stalling.

I don’t intend to do any machining at 100 IPM as the bits I use won’t take the force. It is an impressive “rapid” speed when desired. However, I also have some concern about potential increased wear with constant operation that speed. More later…

Taig CNC Ready Mill


Taig Mill #2

I have a fresh new Taig CNC ready mill as seen in this picture coming into the shop for awhile. I will use it for testing CNC controls. I need to experience setting it up as a new machine owner would.

Most followers of this blog don’t know my original Taig CNC mill is now 30 days from being nine years old! It is still running like new. Maybe better.  It’s hard for ME to believe I have been using it for that long.

This new Taig CNC mill should behave exactly like my nine year old Taig mill. I do not expect any surprises. The mill is exactly the same as it was nine years ago. The exception is originally my machine did not have the high speed continuous duty ¼ hp motor.

This is a serious investment in inventory dollars but I sold three Taig mills last month. Sales are good. I also don’t want to tear apart “Old Faithfull” just to test new control systems. I did consider doing that (in a different  blog) but I totally like what I have. I have a Smoothstepper built into my home built controller and I was fussing about losing that nice feature. It won’t be included in my recommended package simply for cost reasons, but is highly recommended, even necessary if you don’t have a parallel port on your PC. There will be a different serial adapter available.

So I will have a fully setup and well tested new Taig mill and a functional CNC system I can sell to recoup my investment. Everyone wins!

I could promote the Taig CNC factory package and I may still do that but I am considering something a bit different and I think with more… Continue reading

New Store Blog

I have just added a new blog as part of The Hobbyist Machine Store.

I have been posting store info here in this blog for some time. There is a category for THMStore.  but now with the new blog connected directly to the Store, I have a better place to post when I am talking about something commercial in my store. My intent is to keep this blog more on topic with what I do just for myself in my personal projects.

I will reference between the two blogs as necessary, but the Store blog will be more customer/product oriented. You will notice the Store Blog enjoys the security of the SSL certificate with the actual store website. Not really useful for a blog, but the SSL is there and you will know no one can track your password to log in.

The new site is totally undeveloped at this point as far as entries, but I am making some changes in the business and I plan to have a lot of the changes  documented in the blog as I move forward.

An Open Letter on Taig CNC

The Issue

Taig Mill #2

I am considering offering steppers and a controller for the Taig CNC Mill in my The Hobbyist Machine Store. A concern I have is there will certainly be some customers who will require more support and understanding about using CNC than I can personally provide as an available live resource. I simply don’t have the time as sole proprietor.

A customer with no CNC experience could be unaware of what is required to be fully successful in CNC machining. It may appear that when purchasing a complete system, it’s just “plug_and_play” with CNC operation from that point on.

This assumption could be made because there are some factory built very high cost single purpose small CNC systems (such as for dental and jewelry use) where this is almost true.  But with the Taig mill there is a very large learning curve and endless options and variables to understand and consider when setting up an omnibus hobby machine.

It’s this endless selection of options and variables that makes hobby CNC and CAM so versatile for any user’s needs.

One Solution

Many vocational high schools and Jr. Colleges offer full time students and night courses on introductory CNC machine operation. I have been contacted by a few in years past who looked at the Taig CNC Mill as good low cost training machine. They can afford multiple small machines and reduce the wait time compared to students running their programs on a large and expensive VMC. I highly recommend anyone just getting started with CNC to seek this structured training with whatever machine is used for the course.

Why  Taig?

As a Taig Tools dealer and a long time CNC user, I have a complete understanding of what the Taig mill can and cannot do. There are… Continue reading

Gearing Down

I am driven to make some changes in my “The Hobbyist Machine Store” e-Commerce business. If you are not new to my postings, you know I have been running that business for about seven years as a fairly low key sideline to my real profession as an energy management engineer.

Life changes and so does business in that period of time. I sold a lot of replacement gears for the Asian mini-mill and mini lathe. There was and is a sort of cult following for those machines. I was in on it too. I never broke any gears on my machines but there is a significant number of owners who have.

I hooked up with a supplier that could afford to make the large investment in a large purchase (actually several) of steel gears to replace the plastic ones used in the design. The new gears are not made by the machine manufacturers but an independent gear maker. To keep the unit manufacturing and shipping cost down, large  orders are required. The last big order took nearly a year to be made and delivered. There was some moisture in the packing boxes from storing and shipping that length of time and the surface finish process had changed on the gears. The gears were fine, but my supplier didn’t like the low priority service from the maker and how long he had his money tied up in the order.

Replacement gear sales have always been slow and somewhat inconsistent. They sell in short bursts, perhaps because a mention in a machinist forum from time to time. About mid way we started supplying the gears to another retail source. Also multiple quantity overseas sales help move inventory. The problem has been that as my main sales item, the turnover of the… Continue reading

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