Sunday, May 29, 2011


Only one day a week to split my time for my parents, wife, children, and myself... The rest of the week spent working. Tough balancing. Sometimes, I lose focus and spent more than half a day on myself. Even on the free day, I'm still disturbed by phone calls. What can I do to find more personal time?

I want more time with my wife, more time with my children, more time with my parents, more time in the home shop... I need solution(s).

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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Nose Gear Stub Axles

I hope that I didn't get the name of the parts I'm making. Dennis told me that it is some part of a landing gear on a R/C aircraft. From Dennis: "The pin is used to connect the landing retract assembly to the landing gear leg that the wheel is fixed to, so there is one pin for each retract / landing gear leg." Thanks for the info, Dennis.

I managed to do some work before being interrupted by phone calls. Short of the flat, which I intend to do on the mill, the rest of the features were completed.

I started with cutting off 2 pieces of stainless steel of 80mm length, 7.96mm in diameter.

Using the 3-jaw, one end was faced.

After turning a section to 5mm.

Nice looking chip...

Cutting the groove using the part off tool. I screwed up this one. Supposed to be 3mm but I made it 4mm...

Facing the 4mm diameter end to length. The groove at this location is for circlip.

Comparing with the sample. The flat will be done later on the mill.

I started planning for my approach on the 2nd piece (which will be considered the 1st as I boo boo'd on the one I just completed, or almost complete). Th plan is to use the ER16 adapter with collets instead of the 3-jaw chuck, supported at the end with the revolving centre.

Less prone to flexing of the job, especially when it gets smaller in diameter. But the 3/8 shank of the holder couldn't reach the end of the job. How I wish the new revolving centre I ordered from RDG Tools UK can be delivered to me the day I put in my order. It has a longer point which I think can solve this problem.

For now, it's tilting of the QCTP.

Ok, 5mm diameter across a length of 65mm done.

Got to stop here as my dad has arrived to pick us up. Going over to the Singapore Food Expo where his company has taken a booth. This is a yearly affair which my daughters enjoy serving up samples of their grandpa's products.

Ruth serving up the little sample cup of pudding while daddy laze in one corner writing his blog...

I hope to get back to work when I get home. Long day at showflat tomorrow. Lots of work to clear on Monday. When is my next session after tonight??? Sigh...

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Pins for Dennis

This is going to be short. Barely can open my eyes now.

I've done up the 3D model and drawings after measuring up the sample provided by Dennis. Just realized that the total amount of pieces to make has been increased to 8; 2 for each of the 4 sizes! Think I'll be obedient and do up the code to machine it using CNC. Maybe I'll leave a couple of pieces for manual lathe work.

Here's the drawing:

I go rest now. Hope to finish at least half of what's required by tomorrow.

Dennis, which size is the most needed now for your flying object? I can make that first if I can't meet your deadline and give you the rest later.

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Friday, May 27, 2011

My new project

Nothing to write about this project at the moment till I start working. Picked up the sample of a pin for R/C aircraft from Mike this afternoon with some drawings while I was over at the other office of ours. Someone Mike knows contacted him to machine the pins with some features on each. I'll take photos of the sample when I get home. For now, the drawing Mike forwarded:

I'm supposed to make 3 sets of 2 pins each with slight difference. The circlip groove is only 0.7mm wide. The width of my part-off blade is 1mm. I was told that that's fine. Will put in the dimensions after measuring the sample with my trusty Mitutoyo digital caliper.

Mike suggested writing codes to do the repetitive part of the job. But I'm thinking of machining them manually. More confident of getting the required accuracy turning the wheels by hands. Maybe after I tune up the lathe...

Hope to put up my progress soon.

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Brass Torch

I meant to post this build log when I made the LED brass torch a year plus ago. But for whatever reason didn't make to complete the write up. So here is a mix of what was written then and added on now.

I stumbled across this fascinating site while searching for interesting projects to practice with. The site owner, John Somers, is a kind soul. I wrote to him to ask him about the brass torch and he forwarded me the plan on the smaller version and guided me along with the construction.

The originator of the brass torch is Ralph, aka Divided Head; another nice guy I met on the Mad Modder forum.

Enough said, now some photos.

The hand drawn plan provided by John.

Starting with brass stock of slightly bigger than 15mm dia

Sidetracked to make a die holder to cut the threads on the brass stock.

The tailstock die holder in use.

Threads completed. O-ring glued on. The metal surface is slightly below the O-ring to create an open circuit in normal position. When screwed tight against the mating half of the brass torch, the brass beneath will touched the button battery terminal closing the circuit.

The halve housing the LED completed. The inside was tapped M10 to match the male threads.

Test fitting the threads. Right on.

Innards done, it works!!!

and now for some detailing - knurling.

and the hole for
keychain to fasten to.

All done, except I didn't have any keychain with me to see how it looks.

I gave this to Jay, my god-son. It was quite a fun project to do.

Thanks to John and Ralph.

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Grinder Rest - 3D Model

I've been looking around for a grinder rest ever since I acquired the Taiwanese grinder.  Freehand grinding of my lathe tools or using the little rest that came with the grinder didn't work well with me given my "superb" skill.  While looking for the item, I ran across this photo log of a gentleman on the  He mentioned that his modified build is based off Harold Hall's design in his book "Milling: A Complete Course" (Workshop Practice Series No. 35).  I've that book but it looks beyond my capability.  But that brought me to my attention of the other book that I've in the same series - No 38 Tool and Cutter Sharpening, by the same author.  It has plans and photos of a simpler version.

As of all my projects which involved more than one parts, I drawn them up on the trusty 3D CAD program to provide some visual.

This is what I ended up with:

Front view
From the bottom. Where do I get the 25mm plastic ball with M6 hole...

Quite a few parts for me and it is made in steel.  My experience with steel on my Sherline has yet to be good.  Maybe after the cleaning up and tightening of a few things on my mill can changed that.

Let's see how soon I can get to work.  If everything goes well, I should be on leave for a couple of weeks in June, my usual month for taking a break other than December.  This June, I will not be traveling with my family due to Alicia's preparation for PSLE end this year, except a couple of games with my business partners and friends in JB to clock my 3 to 4 sessions a year on the course to dig up some holes, lose some balls, and get myself all beatened up.  But hey! I proud that I still able to maintain my greater than 100 but less than 110 score without practising in the range or play often enough.

Ok, time to prepare to go to work.  A client is coming by to meet me at the showflat later in the afternoon.

Until next time....

Mill in pieces...

This is my first post using the iPhone app BlogPress. Hope it works.

My mill was spun out of alignment when I was fabricating a new holder for the 2 indicators trammer. When brooding over what I can do to solve the problem, recent posts on the Sherline group caught my attention. Christopher Brown suggested that the mating surfaces of the column should be wiped down with acetone to remove any oil or grease. I happened to purchase a bottle of 3M Adhesive Remover from Popular a week ago, not knowing what I would use it for at the time of purchase. So I started stripping down the column to clean up the parts.

The motor and spindle was first removed.

The column bed was next

The arm and round base taken off

Dismantling the rotating disc that holds the bed.

The pieces after a good wipe down with 3M Adhesive Remover

The arm after wiping down

I'll be putting all parts back together slowly, indicating and squaring them as i go along. I was wondering if it make sense to use paper between the mating parts to provide some bite.

Anyone with any suggestions, please drop me your comments.

Ok, it's 3.55 am now. Timeto turn in (what feed and speed? Pardon me. I'm being lame again...). Showflat duty awaits...

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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Manual Mill - Assemblying from leftovers

I was standing in the shop staring at the messy bench thinking if I should start working on the leadscrew upgrade.  Feeling a little lazy after the walk to the polling station, I decided to work on assemblying the manual mill.  Througout the one odd year, I've been upgrading my mill from 5410 to 2010 with longer bed, table, and base.  The exercise left me with almost sufficient parts to build myself a 5410 with Mike helping me with the missing components.  This was an easier job than starting on the leadscrew upgrade as the only machine work required was the drilling and countersinking of a hole for the thrust collar screw on the bed.

The job began with the 11" column bed fastened to the vice after the vice was indicated in.  The Mach Blue micro was used to find the edges and moved the spindle to the correct position, which is 0.5" from the top and at the center of the width of the bed.  I did this thrice to make sure that I don't screw this up to have to buy another bed to replace.  Next came the center drill, a 3mm drill, and finally the 5mm (the screw measured 4.x mm).  The 82-degree countersink drill was next.  This one posed quite a bit of problem given the noise and chatter encountered.  Lots of oil was used and I went in bit by bit, using the Xbox controller at the lowest feedrate.  I tested the screw in the hole till I get sufficient depth with the flat head screw sitting just below surface of the bed.

Starting the hole with a 3mm drill after centre drilling.
followed by the final size drill of 5mm. Very slow feed used.

82-degree countersink bit in use.  Loud noise and some bit of chatter. Hate this...

Test fitting the flat head screw. Nice... head is slightly below the surface of the bed.
Thrush collar installed to see if I've got the hole location right.  Perfect!

Once done, I put on the thrust collar, leadscrew, handwheel etc.  All components fit well.  The only thing that cost me to stop work leaving the job uncompleted was: none of the gibs I have can go through the gap between the dovetails of the saddle and bed.  The best was the brand new A2Z gib (expensive piece of plastic); it only managed to go in half way....  The saddle is brand new.  I'm surprise that it doesn't work out of the box.  I went through Sherline's site looking at all the relevent exploded diagrams for possibly different part numbers for each type of mill - there is only one saddle for the Z axis.  I've to start filing down the gib to make it thinner.  Will leave it to the next session, whenever it is.

This is how the mill look, partially completed.

All 3 axes up. Next is to install gibs and handwheel for X.  Got to order or DIY a handwheel.

I'm feeling so tired today.  Slept rather late watching the result of the election on TV and online into wee hour in the morning.  I encountered some problem fixing up the gib for Z axis.  Even brand new piece from A2Z couldn't squeeze through.  Something is wrong with the new saddle I bought...

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Z-Axis Leadscrew upgrade - 3D Model (Updated)

After much measuring, adjusting, and tweaking, I've finally gotten all the components in the 3D model to line up properly.  I realized that I do not need the extra piece used in Tang Kee's plan for the motor mount as my A axis bed is the 15" version, about 4" longer than the stock which Tang Kee uses.  The only one part which I'm not confident about when transfering its dimensions and hole locations is the Rotating Disk (colored red in the model below).  Seems a bit wrong visually comparing with the machine.

Several hole locations were taken from Graham's plan.  The dimensions provided in his plan work with the hardware I have, tested during my previous attempt in the same mod.

Hope I have some time to start at least with the nut holder after polling today.  Let's see...

The completed model

Back View

Something interesting from my friend, Chris the Tree Wizard.

Mr Lee, Chris' idol, and now his backpack.

Another of Chris' work made into a backpack for storage of his iPhone, keys etc.