"One Perfect Part at a Time"


Project Tessa

In case you missed this, here is a picture of a project I made on the HB2 router. I published it over on the Ramblin’ Dan blog too.

The layout was designed in Vectric Aspire and output for the  MACH3 controller. Of course it is MACH3 that runs the steppers on the HB2.

Four files and three tool bits were required. One file cuts the outline using a 1/4 inch flat router bit. It leaves tabs for support so I did this first. Next was the roughing file again with the 1/4 flat bit in 1/8 inch steps. The third pass was the finish (detailed) pass using a 1/8 inch ball nose bit with very shallow step over.

The last file was the V-Carve for the name and date.

Total run time on the HB2 was about 2.5 hours. Speeds were 100 IPM for the roughing and 70 IPM for the finish. The HB2 handled them all just fine.

I actually made three runs. The first one is where the coupling broke, the second I spelled Tessa’a middle name as Daniel (Horrors!) and then the final fully successful ran you see here. At least I had a test piece to practice the finish work (and I did).

Three coats of shellac gave the oak the color you see here (no stain). Then the color painting. Last a final coat of clear lacquer.

I also used a table router to cut a T slot in the back for hanging on the wall.

Oh yes, the date is correct. Tessa is one year old!

Just Getting Better

The parts breaking seem to be behind me for now. I have run several very long 3D projects with no qualms from the HB2. It has just been rolling along doing it thing at fairly high speed (at least to me).

I have increased the MACH3 frequency to 60,000 Hz and now been able to run the steppers as high as 200 fpm (1000 rpm on the steppers) but not reliably. My rapids are now set at 150 IPM and that is as good as I’ll probably need. I was running the roughing at 100 IPM and the 2 hour finish passes were running at 70 IPM. Working just fine.

Ahhh… Life is good!

North Texas Hobby Board (or Blog)

I sent emails to the posted contact persons for two (as they identify themselves) North Texas home machinist groups. Neither post that they have a web site, just a contact email. I offered to create a free message system (either a Blog or BBS) for North Texas home machinists to contact each other. I don’t intend to start another organization, just a common communication site, since they do not seem to have one.  My involvement would be completely invisible other than top level administrator. The board activities would be controlled by others. In fact any group could have their own space if desired.

No feedback yet so it is as I suspected, probably old contact data or they are waiting for their next “meeting”. In any case, if you are located near Dallas (That includes Oklahoma or elsewhere) and would like to see a localized board for posting about home workshop activities let me know. Does anyone think a bigger “service” area should be included?

What I would like to see is a place where any creative hobby can be posted, metalworking, woodworking, boat building, quilting (huh!), etc..  A place to brag what you do or ask questions on how-to. Also a place to find out about something you need. Say a quilter is looking for someone local who could build a nice wooden storage case. Get the idea?

This Blog is too personal for this and TEDEX works well but is also too associated with my activities. I dislike commercial boards (Yahoo, etc.) as they are heavily marketing directed. Maybe people like the ads and the fact they are tracked.

The truth is the software is free and I have already paid for all the server cost in my other activities. Other than the time… Continue reading

Not Makin’ It

After working in my shop on a successful project I sometimes ask myself if I could make a bunch of this or that and sell them for a profit. It’s fun to think about a running a little cottage industry. I bet any reader of this blog has thought the same thing about something they enjoy doing and making.

I have published many times my thought that most of the hobbies I do involving manufacturing are not because it is the least expensive way to make something. Usually it is the only way. The onsies and twosies items hobbyists make are more like expensive prototypes than mass production.

Examining all the costs and time involved, I have satisfied myself that most people including myself won’t pay for all the costs of something that can clearly be mass produced at a lower cost. The perceived value must be greater than the cost to produce plus reasonnable profit.

What we call “original art” falls into that  category. There is an emotional value with original art that makes it worth owning at higher than mass production price. A plain wooden mass produced box can probably be imported to the USA, completely built for $0.99 and after hand carving, painting or finishing at a cost of $10.00, can be sold for $25.00 at a boutique. Making the box from scratch, one at a time may have a COST to produce of over $25.00. If you are an artist with talent, the same box may be worth $250.00 to someone.

So the options are to become very good and fast at duplication or provide something special that has far more value than the cost of the time and material. I think it takes a little of both. Actually, getting paid well to make prototypes… Continue reading

Bakin’ Bench

It’s sizzling in Dallas (105 deg) but I went into the oven er… shop and painted the HB2 bench. This is close to where it will be living but  the stuff around and behind it will be moved. That is the 2nd layer of the MDF top standing on edge to the left.

The heat gave me a baked enamel finish!

My daughter gave me a Texas dew (doo) rag to wear and it helped a lot to keep the sweat drops out of the paint job. 🙂 To live up to the new image I guess I will have to park the Harley out front for the neighbors to see.

The color is the standard shop color I use which is almond but looks more like light gray.

NOTE: Log in is for admin and members only, not required to post comments.