I operate three PC type computers in my workshop and each controls a separate CNC machine. I have two Taig CNC mills and a home brew (HB2) CNC gantry router. Two of the computers are refurbished., small form factor size. I paid no more than $100 for each of them. One is an HP Compaq and the other is labeled a Compaq. Their styles are different. The third is very similar but larger bare bones built up. Probably $250 invested in it.
None of them have great internal cooling as they were designed to operate in conditioned spaces. My shop operates at outdoor temperature. It’s been running 95 degrees in there for the last two weeks. Outside it has been very near 100.
The larger case unit running the HB2 has stopped suddenly twice in the middle of a long run. It ruined one piece and almost ruined the re-run second. It is not going to be put back into service again in this hot weather.
The HP-Compaq computer is a sweet little machine, or at least it was. I just let it upgrade from Windows 7 pro to Windows 10. I use it with a smooth stepper so I don’t have to be concerned about pulse timing. The upgrade took many hours of loading and saving files. It converted just fine and MACH3 and the Smooth Stepper were performing well with Win10.
I left it on for a day with it doing nothing but staying on the network. I wanted to see if WIN 10 was going to do any self-updating since the install. When I came back to it the computer was dead. There is a single blinking LED on the motherboard constantly flashing at about 1 Hz with a slight audible click.
I did a lot… Continue reading
Maintaining steam but not building speed on the A3. I am coasting at the moment. A honey-do piano stool restoration has taken over the workspace in my shop. Staining, shellac and urethane require a fairly pristine atmosphere. With the cool temperatures and now (finally) a bit of rain the drying process is slow.
Staining is over but I am looking at about three coats of shellac and then a coat or two of polyurethane. Sanding between coats of course.
The teardown and rebuild is the easy part but finish work is laborious. Metal chips flying soon.
If this is not your first visit, you notice the look of this site has been refreshed. The content hasn’t changed but there is now a family resemblance between the THMS blog (here) and The Hobbyist’s Machine Shop.
They always work together and now they look like they belong to each other.
This blog site runs in a Content Management System (CMS) called WordPress and the Web site uses a CMS called Joomla. Conveniently I have a site design tool named Artisteer that permits me to share a site design between CMS systems. Some background info, but you can see the results.
I think is looks new and refreshing. I like the change.
I have constructed the tender coupler pocket for my Pennsy A3 switcher project. There is a write up in The Hobbyist Machine Shop HERE. There was a lot of work in re-making that little component. It was very good practice in fabricating small parts for silver brazing. Hop over and take a look.
I didn’t take a lot of pictures. Let me know what you like to see. I am not really trying to produce a how-to, but I do like to post some of the action.
I ordered in a Proxxon TBM 115 for personal testing because a visitor asked my advise on small or micro size drilling. Not ultra small drilling but in the number drill range, about 1/64 and larger. I immediately thought of the TBM but never used one.
My Proxxon dealer status is still viable so I ordered one in for my evaluation and perhaps passing it on to my new friend. The truth is I may keep this one for myself.
I have published a full, first look review in The Hobbyist Machine Shop. I was a bit undecided whether to publish it there or in Ramblin’ Dan’s Workshop. THMS got the post as I have another one there about the Proxxon MBS/E Micro Bandsaw. They belong together.
I think the TBM will be very useful in the A3 project as well as my silver work. I am always drilling small holes.