Thursday, March 31, 2011

Farewell Team 3!

Never thought I would write non-machining related post on this blog of mine. Today marks the last day of Team 3 at work. This team was formed almost 5 years ago with Reggie (my boss), taking the helm. All of us worked hard to keep it as a unit, taking it from also scratch to be the top team in it's 2nd year. We're brothers & sisters in arms (our financial calculators, be it FC100, FC200, the new FC100V, or TI). We stick together through thick and thin. Disagreements did occur but the spirit of the team smoothened all opened wounds. Of the original members, only 3 are left, new folks were quickly settled into the family that I hold dearly in my heart.

We came a long way. Sad to be dispersed due to the re-org. I will always remember the days we fought hand in hand, the laughters, the curses & swears, and even the arguments we had.

I'm missing it already...

Let's enjoy ourselves in BKK, our last trip as a team. Let no fear of what's coming at us ahead bother us these few days.

So long, Team 3...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Flycutter: Completed

As wife went closing a big case yesterday, I finished up my work on the "Wongster's Production Flycutter" (hehehehehe...).  The HSS roughing endmill is really worth the $$$ paid.  So glad that I bought it and thanks to jrmach from BobCad forum for recommending it!!!

I continue my work on the slot for the grub screws (aka set screws) with the rougher.  Went full depth (6.35mm) and step over between 0.2mm to 0.4mm with feed of 50mm/min at spindle spinning at about 1500-1800 rpm (more than 1/2 of the knob turned on the speed control).  I proceeded with 0.25mm step over for the rest of the job as it sounded better though I didn't have problem with deeper step over.

Both slots were finished with a Sherline HSS Endmill (a bigger 5/16" for the grub screws slot and a 3/16" for the tool slot). Same speed and feed but step over at 0.1mm at full depth of 6.35mm.  Lots of oil was use resulting in my table being almost flooded (I'm exaggerating, I know...).

Next ops, centre drilling of the 2 grub screw hole.  This was done using the XBox controller with the help of MDI to position the drill.  I dropped the feed to just 5% (extremely slow) and bring the drill down with the XBox controller.  Quite fun.  Too lazy to code for this simple job.  I started with a smaller drill and went with the #21 before using the spindle with a MT1 dead centre to guide the 10-32 tap.  Worked rather well.  I've 2 very square tap holes that I'm proud of :-)

The completed flycutter was tested on a piece of T6061 aluminium plate.  I'm happy with the result.

Milling the grub screws slot using a Dormer roughing endmill. Feed 50mm.min at 1500rpm. Full depth of 6.35mm and step over of 0.25mm per pass. The step you see is from my previous attempt using a carbide endmill at depth of cut of 0.1mm per pass at step over of 2mm.

Completed both slots with finishing pass using HSS endmill at 0.1mm step over at full depth.

Test fit with 1/4 square left hand tool. Perfect!!!

Using the squareness of the vise by laying it down on its side.  A square was used to make sure that the business end of the flycutter is parallel to the x axis using the mill table as a guide.

Dimples created by center drill to mark the grub screw holes.

Drilling with smaller drill to start the holes.

#21 drill for #10-32 tap.

Tapping using a dead center in the spindle as guide. The dead center was pressed against the hole at the top of the tap to maintain pressure.

Deburring with a larger drill.

Test fitting with grub screws.

Done!!! Time to test it out.

Lazy to put on the ER16 spindle for the 10mm shank. An adapter is used instead.  Not a good solution but good enough for the test. HSS tool blank was used instead of the brazed on carbide shown in the earlier pic as I'm cutting aluminium.

My next project is the drill chuck adapter for the ER16.  Once that's done, I'll be swapping the MT1 for the ER16 headstock.  That will, however, start after I assembled the 5410 mill from the leftovers of upgrading the current mill from 5410 to its current state (a hybrid of A2Z Y base, Sherline 18" table, and Sherline's 2010 column).

I'll end this post with an unedited (in fact, I don't know how to edit videos) clip of the flycutter in action. Pardon me for the quality (or lack of).

Monday, March 21, 2011

Roughing Endmills - a reminder to self

I'm posting this to remind myself to comment on the experience with the rougher. Really like the sound when it was cutting.

Edit: I don't know why I lost the ability to upload video to my post.  But this ain't no show stopper.  The link to the roughing endmill:

This is the 6mm Dormer rougher. Its a little longer than the regular length.  I'm using this for this job as I'm too lazy to swap in the ER16 spindle adapter for the larger shank size of the regular length.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Great Discovery!!!

I was introduced to Chan Man Lee Trading Company Ltd by Trevor Rymell through the help of Andyf of  Mr Rymell works in Singapore and Chan Man Lee has been his source of milling tools.  I've not have a chance to communicate with Mr Rymell.

Met up with Terence yesterday late afternoon for laksa in Kelantan area.  I was feeling hungry while rushing to clear my paperwork and wanted also to buy roughing endmills to see if I can speed up milling in steel (for the flycutter).  Terence was searching for straight shank slitting saw arbor.

The first shop we went only has the rougher endmill I need.  Bought a piece of 10mm diameter.  It is from Osborne and cost me SGD65.  We popped over to Chan Man Lee where I bought the dovetail cutter and some countersunk tools previously when I was making the QCTH.  We had such a good time there.

Not only they've what we need, the prices are much sweeter than the previous shop with the "Stanley" signage.  I bought 2 more roughing endmills (both HSS) and while leaving the shop, saw what I've been searching high and low for locally - toolmaker clamp!!!  Bought a pair with 38mm opening of British origin.

We were happy as we are getting dealer's price which is 30% off list!  Not only that, the guys there are friendly and accommodating.  They don't mind taking out the items we enquired to show us but ended up not buying.  The person attended to us even tpld us to come on Saturday where it is usually quieter so that he can bring us around his store to show us what they have.  Sounds like a road trip for the SherlineSG group.  Guys, what do you think?  Should we plan for our 2nd meet up with a tour of Chan Man Lee?

Oh... before I forgot and rush to prepare to go for my duty at Cabana.  The contact details of this fantastic shop:

Chan Man Lee Trading Co., Pte Ltd
75 Rowell Road
Singapore 208011
Tel: +65 6294 6338
Fax: +65 6291 4692

They've a web page at  Heard that they also have a shop over at Ubi.  Maybe Terence can chip in here for the address.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

New site on Sherline's Mods

One of our machining buddies has started his website today!  On his site, he documented some of his mods done to his mill which I've posted about in my previous posts.  Those videos were his work.

This guy is good!!!  I've added the link to his site as one of my favorite.  Check it out here:

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Impressive!!! Tang Kee's Tool Changer

You should see this!  Mr Tang has not failed to impress the members of the SherlineSG list with his latest modd to the Sherline mill.  The last was his modified version of Graham's precision leadscrew modd.  And now... (drum roll).... the Tool Changer!!!

Flycutter: Milling the tool slot

I've been thinking of my homemade flycutter-yet-to-be a lot lately. The day job kept me rather busy with late night appointments. With my showflat duty scheduled on Sunday (tomorrow), I've some time today in the shop while my elder daughter was having her tuition.
The mill was re-assembled after I failed to take out the slop in the table. The task today: mill the slot for the 1/4" left hand and if time permits, finish up the slot for the set screws.
To prepare for today's session, I redo the pocketing feature in bobcad to use a 4mm endmill and crank up the speed a little yesterday night.
These are what bobcad suggested:
Spindle speed: slightly less than 1200rpm
Feeds: 580mm/min
I set the DOC at 0.05mm per pass as recommended by Tang Kee, our guru of the Sherline list, Singapore chapter. I crank up the speed to about 1600rpm after the first pass, adjusting to the sound from the cut. The entire operation took 1hr 20mins. Painfully slow for such small depth. In-between each pass, chips were cleared with bottled compress air (1/2 a bottle was used and it cost SGD15 per bottle...). I don't like to power on the compressor due to it's loud noise when filling up. Maybe I should try to sell it off and get the Silentaire. But it cost more than SGD1,000 to acquire...

This is where I left off from the previous nerves racking session

I decided to follow Sherline's design to have the slot offsetted from the centerline

The slot done, 1hr and 20mins later...

Test fit with the brazed on carbide tip left hand tool from Sherline

The fit isn't good. Tool couldn't sit all the way in the slot

 No time left for me to do the other slot for the set screws. Still have to clean up this one to allow the tool to seat properly.