"One Perfect Part at a Time"


Vertical Lathe

Photo 3a

Maybe not true vertical, but the X tooling moves in that direction…

If this photo grabs your attention then follow this link for the whole story in The Hobbyist’s Machine Shop — Visitors tab.  http://thehobbyistmachineshop.com/cms/visitors/george-moorehead

George Moorehead hails from Gig Harbor, Washington and is currently in the process of setting up a new workshop in his home for his retirement years. Sounds like we share a lot in common. This is a mod George made to two machines to create a CNC vertical X movement lathe. Interesting!

Thanks for sharing George.

Just Do It


Promoting Micromachining

At this moment I don’t want to take time away from my wax carving and lost wax casting but I am still enthused about my machine shop activities. Some of that is because I use my machine tools to machine wax models.

I love all my machine tools. It is just so cool to turn things from raw stock into dimensional accurate parts. I am totally hooked. Here is a size comparison of a micro lathe to my manual midi sized lathe. I also love CNC but it is not for everyone. I do not own a CNC lathe.

What really stokes me at the moment are the smaller machines like the Taig Tool products that I sell in my e-store. There is so much that can be done with this size of machine and so many people who really like to use them. It is a great product. The really interesting part is that many owners customize their Taig machines to make them unique. Why not? They use their machines to make parts and accessories for their machines. It is a part of the culture.

The Taig Micro lathe is very popular for custom modifications. It is one of those machines that have no intrinsic value to keep stock like an antique car. Accessories make it more valuable when done correctly.

I wouldn’t actually do it right now, but I can imagine myself choosing the Taig micro lathe and mill as my initial manual tools and modifying them to my needs the way JR Bently AKA “The Engine Man” has done. Yeah, he has moved past Taig brand but he and many others have shown what can be done with small machines tools. His modifications of the tools are inspiring. You see where he started.  I’ll never stand next… Continue reading

The Twins

DKshopI have a son and a daughter that are twins but they are not in this picture. Ha! What is here is my younger than today self and what I called the Grizzly twins. I think I used this picture in The Hobbyist Machine Shop when I first started writing it. I sold both of them (together) to a fellow who drove down from I believe Michigan just to pick them up.

I had them all tuned up and running sweet but decided to move up to the Lathemaster and the X3. I built the bench just to hold these two tools and the bench has seen a wide variety of machines mounted on its surface ever since.

I found this PIX while pursuing some old files and thought I’d share this blast from the past.

I Cheated

Low work bench clamping puck.

Low work bench clamping puck.

No biggie. I just posted some machining I did over in my The Hobbyist Workshop website. It was a small part of the article in the WOOD section called Low Work Bench. Click on link for a look see. It is about the middle of the article.

Not really much of a project as far as machining, but I will be machining a bracket for a hand screw to push on the puck. What it is, is a screw clamp to lock the drawer type bench in a fixed position.

Taig Lathe Add

There are some clamping moves that are repeated many times while making a series of parts on the Taig Lathe. Taig uses hex head 10-32 screws to lock the carriage gib and also clamp the tailstock and sliding center bar. It becomes a chore after a while picking up the correct hex wrench and fitting it to the screw head to make adjustments.

I have seen many examples where micro-lathe owners make a set of SS ball handle 10-32 screws and bend them about 80 degrees to act like a L handle. They look fabulous but you have to get the bend in the correct position.

What I show here are some store bought adjustable 10-32 threaded handles. They do the same job as the homemade handles except the handle position is adjustable. That’s much better in my book. Not quite as pretty as the homemade but a little more functional.

I purchased these at McMaster-Carr, Part Numbers 6271K11, 6271K19 and 6271K65. Pick the size you want. I bought all three sizes. I used the 9/16 length on the carriage. This is not a through hole so it shouldn’t bottom against the body. It works fine as is but could be a bit shorter. (grind down)

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