"One Perfect Part at a Time"


Hotter Than Hades

Triple Aces!

I just spent the Father’s Day week end wanting to start a project in the workshop. I say wanting because nothing quite got started that I would call a machining project. The old road to Hades is paved with good intentions.

There were a lot of other things that got done though. Even with the intensely hot (100+F) Texas temperature I did get some shop cleanup work accomplished. I did think I was in Hades while I was working in all the heat. Ha! This is my annual rant about the Texas heat.

I envy but do not quite covet those folks who work in conditioned spaces. I know what it cost to maintain the temperature differential of 20 to 30 degrees. I think if I had a full time shop (not just a weekend warrior) I could justify maintaining the space temperature at a more human bearable setting.

However, the problem with intermittent cooling of a garage workshop with steel and iron tooling is the temperature variation with adjustments and calibrations constantly changing. Worse is the cooled down shop suddenly exposed, through opening a double garage overhead door, to the inrush of very hot and humid outdoor air. Instant condensation and rust on all cold metal surfaces. All the built up expensive cool air will simply dump down the driveway.

My tools have very minimal surface rust as their surfaces never get below the dew point of the outside air. So moisture in the air doesn’t condense. I take a cold Dr. Pepper to the shop in the summer and the can immediately begins to sweat. It is well below the dew point of the air.

I never set a cold beverage can on a metal tool surface or directly on the workbench. I don’t enjoy cleaning… Continue reading

The Toolmaker

I just watched an interesting video over on the Tormach Blog site, copied here. It is a simple little YouTube video talk about toolmakers by a man named Bishop “Bud” Wisecarver. He has done a series of these, a look back at his career as a machinist. I have viewed them all and this is the one where he really makes an interesting point about toolmaking. I found it interesting to explore what he has to say before this point. There is a link on the bottom of the viewer that will take you to the other chapters in his story.

<Video no longer available>

Toolmaker is an important title and one of which to be proud. Bud sheds a renewed light on what it really means. If you make useful things from raw materials, then you too are a tool maker.

Shars Preminum ER16 Collet Holder

I just received this R8 to ER16 premium collet holder from Shars Tool Company in St Charles, IL. It is brand new and rated at 0.0001″ runout at the face. What that means is that this collet adapter should be able to run at well over 10,000 RPM without problem.

When you spin that fast and faster, things like balancing the collet nut become necessary. You can see that has been done on this adapter. I will never get close to that rpm on the X3 mill but it is nice to know it is that good.

I have some projects that need machined with small end mills. The manual Taig mill with an ER16 spindle would be perfect. My Taig mill is set up as CNC and although it could be controlled manually, I like to use the X3 with the DRO for manual milling. Higher RPM would be nicer on the X3 for small bits, but I can live with 2000 RPM and slow feeds.

The adapter looks like is was made from stainless steel but it is nickel plated to avoid corrosion from cooling fluids.

Price range $50 – $60. On Ebay I bought at the lower price.

12 Inch Slip Roll

Finally, I found a high quality small slip roll.

This is the highest quality 12 inch slip roll you will ever see, use or own. I just unpacked this new sheet metal forming machine and will soon have a full report in The Hobbyist Machine Shop.

This product is so exquisite compared to the Chinese junk I once owned for a few days, I can hardly stop starring at it.  This picture barely does it any justice. The complete report will show a lot more close up pictures.

This is the model PR12W made by Accu Cutter. A definite high end machine tool. Well priced for the professional high quality US made tool that you see here.

I haven’t cleaned it up at all at this point. It still has a light coat of white grease which will be seen in all the “first look” photo’s taken. I will show how it was packed for shipping which was also first class double boxing.

UPDATE: Full writeup, more pictures in The Hobbyist Machine Shop – Under the “Workshop” tab.

It’s The Little Things

The small bits and pieces are going to get me. All home machinists know the purchase of the major machines is the big money decision in getting started. No doubt about that. But there is something more insidious to my available funds.

What gets me after the big purchase is the constant cash flow required in getting all the little bits and pieces I need to get projects completed. It’s not really any different than any other hobby. All my other hobbies I enjoy seem to be cash eaters too. Maybe I should take up whitlin’ if I can find some free wood.

I was just sitting here at the computer ordering a few restock parts from McMaster-Carr. I am updating my starter and countersink drill bits both 60 degree and 82 degree. They generally last a long time but mine have seen better days. I’m getting a five piece set of each angle. I need a couple of #2-56 taps, two because I’ll break the first one. With two I won’t break either. That’s the way it works, I know.

OK, throw in some #2-56 flat head machine screws, only a few bucks…

What happened?  (!!) That total can’t be +$80.00! Wow, its right. My theory is correct. It’s the little things that bite me the hardest.

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