"One Perfect Part at a Time"

micro machine

Micro Machinist Association

I know there are a number of Taig Tool owners in the Dallas, “North Texas” area. I have been contacted by about a half dozen in the past few years. Some close to Dallas and all within what we would call the metro and suburb area.

I believe there is an existing hobby machinist group in the area and I assume the members are more into general machine shop work (as I am) and perhaps less involved with the small (Micro) machinery like Taig (or Sherline). I haven’t pursued more information or membership as my time until recently has been at a premium. But I do run a fair number of web sites.

So what I am wondering is if there is an interest by a few local folks for an online low profile member only (private) meeting room for micro machining? No travel involved. (Maybe later?) I am open to all suggestions, but I envision a local club type BBS group where members get to know and help each other. Not a wide open “my tool is bigger than yours” brag forum.

I believe many home machinists may not want to participate in a wide open public forum. However, a private group of like-minded local folks (an association) may be just what is desired. I have had a request many times on how to “join my club” when in fact I never had one. I don’t want to own one either. I don’t intend to be the “main voice”. Just provide a communication service if I can.

The design for this registered member site is wide open for discussion. My offer is to provide whatever online service the members’ desire. New members join by asking. It could be a simple Taig or Micro Tool owners list, a forum… Continue reading

Seeing The Light

I am showing off my personal Taig Micro-lathe and some of the minor improvements I have made.  I haven’t done any super detailing but it seems everyone modifies their Taig Micro-lathe to the way they like it.

It is an older version and NOT exactly the same as the one being sold today. I wrote an article when I first obtained this lathe, so I won’t go into detailed coverage here. The biggest change is the carriage on the new lathes are extruded rather than cast, a much nicer looking detail improvement.

I like the motor on the left rather than behind the micro-lathe.  I don’t want swarf thrown all over it and there is the carriage clamp screw on the back side of the carriage I have to get to. The compound tool holder (not shown) sometimes has to stick out the back for angle cuts. Also the motor switch is far more accessible in this position.

I also like how easy it is to make accurate motor belt adjustments. Other owners can do it their own way. The motor base is a homemade copy of one shown in Nick Carter’s web site. I used to buy from Nick (including this lathe) until I became a Taig dealer myself. He is a good guy!

The motor is a Dayton 6XJ07. It was supposed to be TEFC (Totally Enclosed Fan Cooled) but the shaft end cover is open in this motor. I have checked… Continue reading

4 Axis Spruce-up

I have found a good project for my 4 Axis CNC mill and also my Rhino 5 software. If you have read  recent posts I have mentioned I am pursuing carving some small bells from wax for lost wax casting. Here I am re-configuring my original Taig micro mill back into 4 axis operation.

I need the tailpost to be able to slide into any length position I need. The stock Taig slotted table is perfect for that. I don’t need the multi hole set-up table for 4-axis. I set the rotary table up so I can just slide the tailpost against the back of its slot and it is in perfect Y alignment. The height is taken care of by the shims and the small adjustment in the tailpost itself.  After this set up it will be a very quick reset for the tailpost.

You can see I have placed a Chuck adapter in the middle of the table. I will use that (with a chuck) to hold the wax cylinder as I mill out the center of the bell.

I have a few seconds of video I made of a dry run of the 4-axis profiling run. It makes some interesting sounds as the X axis is moving very slowly and sometimes “jiggling” a bit. Not sure why, but it is playing that CNC music. You will have to imagine all the missing parts. Hey! Just do it!  🙂

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

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

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