"One Perfect Part at a Time"


24K Spindle Progress

The parts arrived yesterday. Exactly as shown in the previous post. I placed an order for some four conductor cable for the wiring between the Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) and the spindle motor.

I needed to see the clamping size of the spindle’s electrical plug connector. I didn’t want to select and order a cable that would not fit. The cable is on they way to me, so I created the adapter I needed to mount the new spindle on the Taig Micro-Mill.

The picture shows the results of my work as the spindle is now nicely mounted on the mill.

After I am finished with all the mounting, wiring, and set-up… and I have the new spindle working, I will write a detailed report on the mounting plate and all the work required in making the conversion.

I think the spindle looks like it belongs on the Taig!

The Way to Go

Choosing Proper Machine Way and Screw Lubrication.

RDS processed a half dozen orders for the new Taig ball-screw micro-mill. A question came to me from one of the customers, about proper lubrication requirement for the ball screws.

I have always used a 20 weight non-detergent oil on all my machine tools, which is packaged in small cans for the lubrication of electric motor bearings. I apply it on the ways as well as the screws and crank bearings.  I did not know what Taig recommended for the new ball-screws and bearings.

I contacted Taig and a staff person gave me two options. One was #2 way-lube and the other was automatic transmission oil. The transmission oil was a surprise to me.

I check on the way-lube and discovered most suppliers sold it in 5-gallon pails for a bit over $100. Five gallons on a Taig mill is a lifetime supply. My lifetime anyway. I found a supplier on eBay that was selling it in two one-pint bottles. They are shown in the picture.

In the meantime, I had the transmission oil in my shop so I tried it. It is very slippery and seems to hold a good film. I didn’t test it in long term use. One slight drawback is the unique odor of transmission oil, and this brand was colored red. (That’s so car mechanics can tell by the color what oil is leaking.)

Taig recommends either oil but I think my preference is for the Mobil Vactra No. 2 way-oil. It’s the real thing. The five-gallon pail was a killer amount for me until I found a lower packaged quantity, but more expensive for an equal amount.

I thought of repackaging for my customers, but I am concerned about the shipping regulations. The oil is non-hazardous, but… Continue reading

Taig Product Shipping

In this age of digital computer assisted communication, it is somewhat unusual to work with a company who still prefers to “communicate in the way we have always done it.” That seems to be the style of Taig Tools.

They are the designer and manufacturer of one of the best lines of micro machine tools made in the USA today. I am proud to be one of their dealers.

The basic design has not changed in over 30 years for their small lathe and milling machine. There have been changes and improvements for sure, but no major overall design change. One must look closely to see the differences through the years. The biggest visible change was when a power feed was added as an option to their tiny lathe.

They are introducing completely new products too, especially in the CNC controlled machines.

But the office operations are still “old school.” In my order process as a dealer, I am required to FAX all orders to the office as email is not secure or trusted. (They use an AOL email account, not using their own URL for email.) There was a time when a FAX was considered a legally binding document and an email was not. That has changed of course, and emails are as binding an agreement as FAX. Taig is staying with FAX orders.

When shipping merchandise, my eCommerce stores and most mail order business use computer live internet processing for shipping labels and automatic shipping payment. Tracking numbers are created the moment the label is created and the information is easily forwarded to the customer. I use Stamps.com and the tracking is sent by Stamps.com to the customer automatically (if there is an email address.) No extra work for me.

I have Taig drop ship machine orders directly… Continue reading

Taig Sales

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know I have an e-Commerce website where I sell Taig Tools. The URL is http://ramblindan.com  Known as “Ramblin’ Dan’s Store” a.k.a. “The Hobbyist Machine Store”.

It should be obvious it is a spin off from here, The Hobbyist’s Machine Shop.

I quietly sell Taig equipment and parts, without much promotion. It was never intended to be a major source of income. Until a few years ago, I had a very stable “real” Energy Engineer occupation managing very large energy solutions (energy savings) construction projects.

I am now retired with more time. With one product line, the store probably never will be a large money maker. I enjoy running the business part time and selling a good product that I like to use myself.

So, sales are usually sporadic and don’t require a lot of my time to fulfill. However, in the last few weeks the top has blown off the slow simmering pot. I don’t know (yet) what has turned up the fire, but it is a very good sign. I hope it is an indication that people are getting back to making things in their workshops.

One reason may be that the Taig CNC Mill and a CNC lathe are now available with ball screws. I have just filled two orders for them.

I use my newest Taig CNC mill for wax carving for cast silver work. It gets a lot of run-time. I don’t have the ball screw mill in my own shop, but it has been a thought… The problem is I don’t really NEED ball screws for what I do.

What I am seeing is my customers are buying lathes and mills, and a lot of accessories, so there must be a new surge in… Continue reading

Reader Email

I received a good question from reader feedback at Ramblin’ Dan’s Store. It was sent to me as a private email, but I think it is worth making my reply public. MPS2000 is a CNC micro-mill produced by MicroProto, the CNC division of Taig Tools. The question is about using a laptop computer for CNC control.

“Looking to see if there is a way to rum my machine (CNC Mill) from a lap top. Has the MPS2000 software been upgraded to true 3D?”

My reply,

Not sure of your question of “true” 3D. I don’t use or support MicroProto (MPS) controllers and am unaware of any (perhaps hardware?) issues about 3D mill operation and the MPS controllers. The software is MACH3 which can certainly run 3D CNC action in 3 or 4 axes on a single parallel port. I have been doing it for nearly 2 decades.

There may be purest fanatics with certain micro accuracy issues with MACH3 and such things as trajectory planning and my answer is, “don’t use it if it is a bother.” In practical use, it works fine for the hundreds of projects I have run. (Because of issues with Windows 10) I recently switched to LinuxCNC. Not perfect either, but is works for what I need. 🙂  BTW… I don’t recommend LinuxCNC to a non-programmer unwilling to hack code.

Tormach for example, has switched to their own (self-supported) version of Linux based CNC called PathPilot https://www.tormach.com/pathpilot.html

The problem with laptops is the built-in energy conservation techniques at the OS or hardware level that may shutdown ports or interrupt the critical pulse timing. Of course, laptops are being used, but there are too many variables for it to be recommended.  One solution is to use an external pulse generator… Continue reading

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