"One Perfect Part at a Time"


Sneak Peek

Here is a sneak peek at a brand new Taig CNC ready mill running some 185 oz/in steppers with a new control I am testing and evaluating. There will be a few updates before I can discuss the new features. Here it is running a 3D carving program at 50 IPM. Short micro moves on the Z axis are creating the crunching sound. Sweet music to a CNCer.

Here is the complete test layout.



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

Flight of Fancy


I had a long hiatus (about four weeks paid time off) away from my regular employment, creating time to take a good long at the route I should be heading with my at-home workshop activities. What I do for the rest of my life should be something I really enjoy. I have been making small wax carvings by hand and machine.

I have come to a personal decision about my capabilities in creating precision miniature wax carvings. The results of my experiments have shown that even with my PN, I am capable of detailed hand carving but not in the speed and degree of accuracy that I would like to perform. I suppose that is because I have spent most of my life being very accurate with dimensions and machine tools and maybe six months wax carving by hand. Duh?

My plan at this point is that I am going to continue putting effort into perfecting my CAD/CAM creative effort but not abandoning the hand work.  I have discovered both to be very enjoyable. To those of you who follow my “in the shop” ramblings about machines and machine software, you will see that machine carving will continue.

Everything I do in my CNC interests is scalable. That means the effort and skills to do small scale carvings are the same whether one inch high or twenty four inches high. The size of the tool bits and the machine just change.

I am totally blown away by what I can do with small machines and tiny milling bits. This is where I have spent most of my time and money. I presently have what I need as far as the machines capable of doing the detailed work. I will be writing a lot more about how they work and how… 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.

G-Wizard Update

No, this is not a user update report on the software program G-Wizard. It is still a great CNC must have application.  I just did a new update to my personal copy that I have been using for more than a year with several previous updates. Look here for the original  REVIEW. G-Wizard just keeps getting better. What I want to mention is just a little quirk in this latest upgrade.

I ran the new update without deleting the existing program on my computer and got the install error message as is described on the G-Wizard update page. It has to do with some new security files that are incompatible between versions.To actually install the update (after downloading) I had to manually delete my old version using the windows control panel. No big deal and this process and reason is clearly explained on the download page so I won’t describe it further here.

My only hesitation was if I deleted the old version using the control panel I might loose all my settings. I was confident Bob Warfield (CNC Cookbook and designer of G-Wizard) would have warned me about that so I didn’t hesitate very long. I also know windows seldom if ever does a truly complete “clean wipe”  deletion. I am sure that is by design, just for reasons such as this.

The update was otherwise quick and painless and I was presented with a new looking calculator screen. There is also a huge increase in the program speed. All my old setups returned and now we are running at a new and faster full speed ahead.

Keep the good stuff coming Bob!

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