"One Perfect Part at a Time"


A Boring Weekend


I had a good weekend in the shop. I bored out some axle caps for use on a Harley motorcycle. I didn’t create them, but the owner updated his ride to a new machine and the caps would not fit the new bike. All I had to do was use the Lathemaster and bore the stainless steel caps to the correct I.D. Each was a different size.

Next I set up another HB2 heat sink on the Taig CNC and let it run for four hours. That got the motor side done on one blank. Then on Sunday I did the other side (another 3 hours) and I have a full heat sink complete. That’s three so far counting the test one. I actually have 3 and ½ finished at the moment, heading for five.

While the Taig was running and buzzing happily away over in the corner, I used the Wonderful little Proxxon PD400 to make 16 identical aluminum leg extensions for mount the HB2 heat sinks to the machine frame. I am going a lot fancier than the stock motor mounts.

The legs are ½ inch round aluminum 6061-T6 bar stock I cut to about 1.750 inches. I faced both ends to exact length; spot drilled both ends, drilled #24 holes for tapping, tapped both ends 10-24, and then chamfered the tapped holes. Repeat 16 times. Of course I had an assembly line type process for each step. The tapping was the most work.

I also did some computer work and filled a couple of orders and questions from the store. In all it kept me out of the bars this weekend! (As if I ever go to such places 🙂  )

Late January Ramblin’

Dan in shopTexas weather is going crazy as usual. It is 32 degrees (F) and raining one day then 62 and sun the next which was yesterday. This morning it is 35 and semi cloudy. I know they say this in every place I have lived but, “If you don’t like the weather. just wait a day…” 🙂

Outside Christmas deco was taken down (finally) yesterday. When packing it looked like I cornered the market on outdoor extension cords. I use over 35 to run all the circuits on the computer controlled light system. The weather was perfect and my back feeling good enough to tackle the task. Ten more months and counting… too long to just leave them up.

The online store is doing OK. Gears are starting to sell very well. I recently sold a Proxxon lathe and have two folks at present wanting to know when I can get the next one. The one I own is for sale but to ship it would double the freight cost as I already paid to get it to me. Shipping it again would not be for free. I may just pay the tax on it and keep it for myself. It is a great little lathe and actually the same size Kozo uses to build his 3/4 scale locos. His is an Emco with the attached mill, no longer available.

My shop is a mess at the moment. I have several projects to work on and Christmas piled all around me. We will fix most of the pile problem today with a trip to storage. Here in the Dallas, Texas area, basements are unknown. Shop space is at a premium and usually must be shared. I am actually willing (dreaming) to move the shop to a rental space… Continue reading

See and Seeing

I have committed myself to taking a fresh start and doing some more CNC work. The reason being is I have discovered some projects I want to do that will provide new products for The Hobbyist Machine Store. They will be best produced through CNC repeatability. The store has proven to me that I must produce my own product. Exclusivity is the key to success. My products may be similar to others but will never be the same.

I am doing some minor rebuild on the original homebuilt CNC gantry style engraver shown here, primarily a solid mount for the Dremel tool I already own. I am also considering making a mount for the Proxxon Professional Rotary Tool IB/E (NO 38 481). The working area of the engraver machine is 5.5″ x 6.0″ so the small hand engravers are a good match. My first projects will fit this small machine very well.

I have also ordered the basic parts for a second CNC power supply / controller. It will be set up to operate this little gantry machine. I will post that project in the THMS web site. I will use the same components as my first controller but in a different case and layout. I don’t like to mess too much with success.

Then, a new design is to build a larger gantry CNC machine that will be able to use more powerful spindle drives such as high speed routers. Table working area will be at least 12″ x 24″ and may approach the 24″ x 36″ range as anything bigger than this gets out of the reliable range for stepper drives. Extremely fast rapids are not required and I don’t want the expense of designing a servo system. Anticipated first project (product) is much smaller than the larger… Continue reading

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