The metal machining area and tools of my workshop have seen some action today. The Taig CNC mill has been busy cutting the 6061-T6 aluminum making 1 inch wrenches I designed for the Taig ER16 spindle and collet nut. I have been selling them under the KautzCraft brand in my store. It seems appropriate that the machine the wrenches are designed to fit are also making the wrenches.
The aluminum was purchased from Online Metals. They have a distributor in Grand Prairie, TX which is southwest of Dallas. Round trip from my studio was exactly one hour 30 minutes. Tolls and gas were probably almost as much as shipping would have been. I had the time and I wanted to see the supplier. I didn’t get past the will-call, but it is a large impressive warehouse and cut to order shop. It’s actual business name here is ThyssenKrupp. I don’t know anything beyond that.
Win 10 was giving me a bit of a struggle running CNC as I forgot to disconnect the LAN connection and WIN 10 decided it needed to do an update in the middle of my wrench making. No choice. It just corrupted MACH3 and locked it up, luckily just after I finished a part. Only choice offered was load update and quit or load update and reboot. No wait until later.
I had to find something else to do for about an hour as Microsoft did its thing. I won’t forget to pull the LAN connection next time. I did just that when I resumed work. Next upgrade will be on MY terms. Grrr… I think there is a way to block internet connection while letting the computer access and share files on the LAN. That’s all I need it to do.
The wrench… Continue reading
I was in grade school in the 1950’s. It was way back then at least as I can remember that there was a big deal made about using the metric system. It was as if the U.S. (English, S.A.,E, etc.) measuring system of feet and inches (and all the rest) was under attack by the Metric system used in Europe and/or the “rest” of the world. It was the world of science and some engineering that was promoting this new “cause”.
As a “kid” what did I know. But I did get the impression that the USA was not going to change without a fight. It was like a foreign invasion, The emphasis was how to CONVERT from one measurement to the other. Awful conversions factors are required and it really was a math test.
I always thought it was stupid and awkward to do the conversions. I think it just made teachers feel good to have something in a math application they could grade (measure) for accuracy. Hmmm… Are grades in metric or English? How do you convert? Ha!
So we grew up dealing with both systems in grade school and awkwardly converting. It was like we had to preserve our “native” language. In reality, the total metric system actually has a lot going for it, but don’t say that too loudly.
Later in my life many published papers and drawings, where measurement are used, would group both measurements together. Let’s see that’s about 2 inches (51mm). That’s still done today. Most everything in commerce has both systems used in marketing as we are in a world wide economy. A rather clumsy accommodation, not likely to change soon.
Measurements and math are a form of language. In the real world, a person fluent in several languages actually thinks in… Continue reading
I have always looked forward to getting my copy of Model Engine Builder (MEB)
If you want to build model engines this is the publication to get. There is also a free Newsletter:
“Sign up today for our free newsletter at www.modelenginebuilder.com. The sign-up form is on the right of the page. This newsletter contains some articles from the magazine but more information about other relevant issues like taking good pictures of models, etc.
Go check out their website listed above or click on the logo and start your subscription today. I just re-newed my subscription and I am not even sure where I stood on my previous one. The fact is for me each issue alone is always worth the cost of a subscription.
The author, Michael Rehmus just sent me (and probably many other subscribers) an email regarding the timeliness of his publications. The schedule is intended to be tri-monthly. However, Michael has been and still is enduring some very serious heart problems. He received a new heart valve replacement and is presently battling an infection with that surgery.
That has understandably slowed down work on the magazine. The next publication has been pushed to late October, 2016. He and his wife Toni, run a very small publication house they call Elmwood Publishing, Inc.. But he hasn’t forgotten about his subscribers. Let me say his heart is still in it. Sorry Mike, bad pun, but it’s the truth…
I figured my renewal is a vote of confidence. If you have never subscribed, now is the time. It is not all that expensive and the information is priceless, whenever it comes.
If you ARE a model engine builder, this is the publication to which you want to contribute. Mike is always looking for tips, tricks, pictures of… Continue reading
I purchased a new 3D printer I have been using intensively for a few weeks. It is a low end hobbyist machine of what is called a RepRap design. You can read much more about it in Ramblin’ Dan’s Workshop. Here is a link to the section on 3D Printing.
What’s so cool is that now I am capable of both additive and subtractive creating. I have put the two together in an article, Taig Mill Swarf Blower, in the THMS main web site. The resulting combination is shown in the picture on the right.
I have a little struggle with where I should publish my efforts with the 3D printer. Does it really belong in with the regular “old school” machine shop? It’s certainly not old school but I think it would fit in well here. I have chosen to publish what I do with 3D printing over in Ramblin’ Dan’s Workshop as I include all my nonspecific to machining activities there.
The 3D printer I own and wish to afford cannot compete with the precision I can obtain with conventional machining. It’s the second reason I don’t publish it here. My output surface quality with the printer is a little bit in conflict with the “perfect” in my slogan, “One Perfect Part at a Time.” But that doesn’t make it a bad tool.
3D printing, as I can produce it with my machine, will have a lot of application in the machine shop. The first practical application I developed is linked in the second paragraph above. I can make plastic parts I would not try to do otherwise. The entire process is based on slicing a 3D object into 0.1 mm, 0.2 mm, or 0.3 mm layers. Then building… Continue reading
I like to consider my interest in tools from a philosophical viewpoint. I am not making a decision as to an interest being right or wrong as that is not the purpose. I note and explore the difference I see and am aware there are many reasons for the things I enjoy.
What I find for me is there is seldom a single reason. An interest is like love, there are a number of shades from pale to intense. The colors are seldom just black and white. The spectrum is not static and does vary with the passage of time.
The subject here is tools and machine tools. Specifically, I have explored what I own and use in my own workshop. I use this thought process for all of my areas of interest, It helps me understand myself and why I do what I do Yeah, perhaps I am a little weird thinking about these things, but that’s OK.
I am a technical and analytical type. I am also a bit creative and like to explore how things work. I like mechanical machines and control systems. That’s an area I have worked all my life. I understand the reason; I am just made this way.
I have made an observation about my use of machines and the systems that make them operate. I admit to an early interest in electronics and my nearly 50 years in amateur radio. Computer hardware was an early outgrowth of the radio hobby. I had a working computer before the PC was born. When I got interested in machine tools, the use of computer numeric control (CNC) to operate some of the machines was a natural extension.