No more sneak peeks, testing is done and a report has been written. I have a controller to recommend for the Taig CNC ready Micro-mill. Follow the link HERE to “The Hobbyist Machine Shop“ for my usual in depth and photographic review. I have the CNC4PC product, the CS4PAO-3 CNC Controller all exposed for your inspection.
Quite awhile back I purchased a Grizzly G7297 12″ disk sander/grinder. It is one of the most used power tools in the shop. Sometime I just have to grind something off flat or square and this is a fast and accurate way to do it.
The switch is apparently the weakest part in the machine. It stuck in the always on position. As you can see the points are badly burned. The concept was good as it is a double pole single throw (DPST) switch. Both power and ground are broken when switching off. But not good when they weld both sets of points to their mate.
My assumption is this is the same switch used for 220 volt A/C models.
The switch is mostly plastic and the toggle has a plastic part that can be pulled out to supposedly lock-out the switch from functioning. I never used that function and I hazard an assumption that almost no one else does either.
I saw no good reason to use an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) switch as a replacement. I could have ordered a DPST toggle but I had a 20 amp single pole on hand. My shop is wired correctly for 120VAC and the power cord has a safety ground so no real need for a double pole switch. I wired my switch to break the hot side.
I had to fabricate a plate to cove the huge square hole that was in the junction box cover for the original switch. Not much of a task for a machine shop.
I offer a little machine shop rambling today. It’s getting close to the end of another year so I have been taking stock of what I have accomplished this year and what I need to be thinking about for the next year.
One big item is my operation of the “The Hobbyist Machine Store” website store. I already have written that I dropped one of the “me too” product lines. The store is too small to be a good income producing venture. I would have to say it financially compares to being slightly better than leaving my money investment in a low producing CD or savings account. However, the investment of time is nowhere near justified by that financial return. It certainly does not produce what I term a living income.
I began the THMS business because I wanted to establish a reputation for the store and myself. The next big driver for starting this small business was and still is my access to the mini-mill and lathe steel replacement gears. That product will definitely continue for the foreseeable future as long as the supply is available.
Future products will be single source or self manufactured. I will move away from only hobbyist machine tools. I am working on some saleable product ideas I can personally produce with small machine tools. I.E, products manufactured within a small machine shop. The store will be the outlet for those products rather than offering the machine tools themselves.
One consideration rejected was to bring back the model locomotive wheels I produced by CNC machining. Unfortunately rejected because it is an extremely narrow market niche. I have decided I am not going to invest effort (mass produce) extremely specialized, speculative products. I made the wheels for myself so it was not… Continue reading
I had to laugh at myself this week end. As usual I was pushing myself too hard and for too long in all the heat. Texas is having a very long spell of 105 degree weather. The high temperature must have made me wacky.
I know my PN has sapped most of the strength I used to have in stamina and ability to dead lift and carry things. Put the PN and the hot weather together and it doesn’t make for a good combination.
So my problem is how do I know my limits until I test them? I push hard enough to find those edges.
I have a small mini-lathe (a metal cutting machine tool) for which I sell conversion gears to buyers all over the world. I stored the machine on a bottom shelf of one of my work benches. It is made of cast iron and steel and weighs about 75-80 pounds.
Let’s say I used to be able to pick it up and move it. Well not any longer. That is now a limit I shouldn’t exceed. But I had to test that fact to be sure.
I was pretty sure this wasn’t a good idea but I didn’t let that stop me. I pulled the lathe out onto the floor off the shelf. Then I got what I thought was a good grasp and tried to do a power lift with my legs. I know my back is not good so I was looking out for it. Well, the legs are no darn good either.
I did not hurt myself other than my pride. I got the machine about a quarter the way up and my legs decided to quit. I sort of rolled back against the bench then off… Continue reading
I keep judging my shop’s quality. I consider, “Is this as professional as it should be? What are the right tools for me?” I feel it is so much a personal decision; I will never see or believe an answer from anywhere but within my own desires. If I am doing machining just for the challenge and personal pleasure to myself, no one else can tell me what’s right for me. One thing a personal machine shop is… is that it is personal. So be it… it is then a personal machine shop.
Is there a difference between a hobbyist’s machine shop and a personal machine shop? I think it is mostly just a difference in title, but that little change in thought from hobby to personal does make some subtle change in impression. To me it removes the vision of play and non serious application of time. It sounds a bit more “professional”. Maybe even to the imagined ability of producing professional grade work. The roles and actions have not changed at all. It is just word crafting to create subtle changes in how some people relate words to meaning. It is the basis of how “political correctness” works. What’s the difference between garbage man and sanitary engineer?
I have never had a hobby where quality wasn’t important. Many hobbyists find a way to maintain the very highest standards and output from the skills and equipment they have and can afford. Hobby machinists for example, can generally produce with a far better standard than is needed for professional work. Even with “hobbyist” machines.
I feel describing my shop as a “personal machine shop” can be an image enhancement to the non hobby person. The same reason the personal computer (PC) is now seen as a professional tool. The… Continue reading