"One Perfect Part at a Time"


Weekend Puttering

While waiting for the new stepper couplings for the HB2 to arrive, I decided to do a little house cleaning around the shop. After pushing things around for a few hours, and sucking up what debris I could with the shopvac, I figured I should lube the ways on my machine tools. I can appreciate a one shot lube system as I have to do mine the long slow way. I finished and every machine is operating pretty slick now…

I spent a lot of time detailing out the Taig CNC mill. It is still in wonderful shape after all the machining it has done. That is really a great little milling machine in its size and class. I had to fire it up with the MACH3 in control and it wasn’t long before I was dreaming about the next project I should be running in CNC on that machine. In fact I “air cut” a couple of projects just to give the parts (mechanical and electronic) a little work out. It runs so sweet!

I have added a new Proxxon rotary hand tool to my workbench. I have more than I can handle (literally) but there is always room for just one more. This new tool is the Proxxon Micromot 50/E low voltage rotary hand tool. This is the first one of the 12-18 volt tools I have tried and I am amazed!

I already have and operate the Proxxon IB/E professional 120 Volt rotary tool. It is wonderful and definitely exceeds my two Dremel rotary tools in quality.

The 50/E is about ½ the size and power of the IB/E but is every bit as good. It is lighter, smaller and easier to hold for long periods of detail rotary work. I think I will prefer using… Continue reading

Broke My Axe

The HB2 broke a coupling on the Y axis again. The couplings have been fine for 6 months. Must be more loads on it than I thought, but it is the axis with the dual steppers. It should have ½ the loads. The X and Z axis have never been a problem.

I thought it was most likely an alignment problem causing the couplings to flex too much. I was very particular in checking the alignment in the last replacement.

This time I am ordering extra heavy couplings from PDJ. They are the same style and exact size as I have been using but are built much stronger. They are a bit less expensive too, probably because Phil buys them in greater volume.

The failure spoiled a project I was cutting. Always happens near the end don’t you just know… I am glad it was a concept part and not some valuable slab of rare wood.

Wood Plate

Here is a wood plate I made for a family friend. You can see the original in one of the pictures. It was used with a statue of a bulldog holding the plate like a butler or waiter (really).

It was given to me before I started the  HB2 project but I did have the Vectric software (but before Aspire). I knew I could make it but not with the smaller Taig mill I was using at the time.

Two of the photos are renderings in Aspire (software) where I designed the plate. Simple, yes but that is all that was desired. Aspire generated the G-code that was used in MACH 3 to operate the HB2. Aspire can be made to do 3D Carve type work if the user plans it well. 3D Carve is another Vectric program.

The board seen in the photos is 12″ x 12″ x .75″ and is Poplar. I was thinking of MDF but couldn’t find it in small quantities. I searched other materials and found 12 inch wide poplar. It is a light wood but fairly stable. I deliberately choose a board that was laminated from several strips.  I figure that will help reduce warpage of the thin plate. It kind of looks nice too.

The client will finish the plate and can do what she wants. You can see the original was kind of ugly (just my opinion) and was just painted over something composite like Corian. (That is why I considered MDF first.)

Bottom line, if I can draw it I can make it. Cut time was just over 2 hours but not optimized since it is a one-off project.

Be an Angel

Cherub is more accurate. I made this on the HB2 Sunday. I was of course running the Taig spindle. The roughing and the finish were both done with a 1/8 (0.125) inch ball end mill. The total run time was 1 hour and 35 minutes at 50 IPM. 10,600 RPM.

The spindle is now just slightly warm after that kind of run. The spindle break in has about 5 hours of run time. The motor was HOT but that is normal for the motor and that run time. Taig rates it as a continuous duty motor so heat is not a problem.

Another note:

The Sieg X3 mill motor controller has been replaced (lightning damage) and the machine is back into operation! Yea!

Listen, You have to see this.

Here is a video of the Taig ER spindle running on the HB2. If it will not run in IE7 or IE8 browsers, turn off the protected mode. Microsoft has gone psyco on protection!

In the close up pictures the camera microphone was about 6 inches away from the motor. Note that the Stepper “tunes” are not drounded out by spindle noise. The farther away shots give a clearer understanding how quiet the Taig spindle operates. The cutting in this video was at 10,600 rpm and the travel was 50 IPM.

I love this operation and have a complete new spindle setup on order. Actually several. I also did some V-carving as a test. Works as expected as I have been running this setup on the Taig mill for several years.

Here is a picture of the finished carving. Two passes in 45 minutes. Nothing fancy, just some pocketing to give the HB2 a bit of a workout. This is not a keeper, but looks great.

Name and Callsign

Name and Callsign

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