"One Perfect Part at a Time"


Looking Ahead 2012

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

Grizzly G9955 Dust Filter

I decided I needed to add dust control to my high speed rotary carving. Actually I decided that a long time ago. I have finally taken the first step. The Grizzly 9955 is about the cheapest version I could find as none of them do (that is filter) as well as I would like at a reasonable price.

I can’t fault this machine for that problem as it is the very nature of filtration that the smallest particles are the worse kind for human lung health and are also the hardest to filter out.

This filter says it will filter down to 5 microns but I have serious doubt of that, at least on a continuous basis. Most filters actually become more effective (not efficient) the dirtier they become (up to a point of no air flow or media failure) so where when is the 5 microns determined?

Yes, I am an air filtration expert from over 50 years in the HVAC business and having owned an air filtration service.

My propose here is to test the subjective effectiveness of this unit. I don’t have expensive test equipment to make critical measurements and I also don’t think in my case it is worth the effort to be that critical.

Note Grizzly on the label recommends (requires?) the use of the face mask filter when using the machine. So it is pretty clear the user should not depend on just this filter to provide safe breathing air.

I adjusted the poly carbonate panels to provide a narrow gap at the work area. This produces a higher velocity to the air flow at this point and better ensures the dust will be carried back to the filter material.

The filters are listed as 2 inch. That is a bit… Continue reading

Broke My Axe

The HB2 broke a coupling on the Y axis again. The couplings have been fine for 6 months. Must be more loads on it than I thought, but it is the axis with the dual steppers. It should have ½ the loads. The X and Z axis have never been a problem.

I thought it was most likely an alignment problem causing the couplings to flex too much. I was very particular in checking the alignment in the last replacement.

This time I am ordering extra heavy couplings from PDJ. They are the same style and exact size as I have been using but are built much stronger. They are a bit less expensive too, probably because Phil buys them in greater volume.

The failure spoiled a project I was cutting. Always happens near the end don’t you just know… I am glad it was a concept part and not some valuable slab of rare wood.

Be an Angel

Cherub is more accurate. I made this on the HB2 Sunday. I was of course running the Taig spindle. The roughing and the finish were both done with a 1/8 (0.125) inch ball end mill. The total run time was 1 hour and 35 minutes at 50 IPM. 10,600 RPM.

The spindle is now just slightly warm after that kind of run. The spindle break in has about 5 hours of run time. The motor was HOT but that is normal for the motor and that run time. Taig rates it as a continuous duty motor so heat is not a problem.

Another note:

The Sieg X3 mill motor controller has been replaced (lightning damage) and the machine is back into operation! Yea!

Listen, You have to see this.

Here is a video of the Taig ER spindle running on the HB2. If it will not run in IE7 or IE8 browsers, turn off the protected mode. Microsoft has gone psyco on protection!

In the close up pictures the camera microphone was about 6 inches away from the motor. Note that the Stepper “tunes” are not drounded out by spindle noise. The farther away shots give a clearer understanding how quiet the Taig spindle operates. The cutting in this video was at 10,600 rpm and the travel was 50 IPM.

I love this operation and have a complete new spindle setup on order. Actually several. I also did some V-carving as a test. Works as expected as I have been running this setup on the Taig mill for several years.

Here is a picture of the finished carving. Two passes in 45 minutes. Nothing fancy, just some pocketing to give the HB2 a bit of a workout. This is not a keeper, but looks great.

Name and Callsign

Name and Callsign

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