Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mill out of alignment AGAIN!!!

I was preparing 2 aluminum plates for the A2Z nut mount. When flycutting the sides, I realized that they are not square to the face of the plate. Ok, I don't get perfectly square work most of the time, but this time, the difference is too obvious to ignore; they're off but about 1-degree!

First thought, vise moved during
cut? No, that wasn't the problem after checking.

The stock is standing too tall in the vise? No, sandwiching it with the 1-2-3 blocks didn't help...

I put in the indicators to check. Boy!!! Along y axis, I'm off by 5.xmm!!! Along x, not too bad - 0.03mm.

During the first few passes of flycutting, key '1' on the keyboard got stuck and instead of doing a G01 move, the command became G0. This caused the table to move at 500+ mm/min! I hit the e-stop and started over. Too confident of my typing without looking at the keyboard and little pinky was too fast on the "enter" key...

I started cleaning up the chips to prepare to square up the mill again. Then a thought struck: "shake the mill", "shake the mill"... I rocked the mill holding it's base and the column bed. To my horror, I hear knocking sound coming from the joint between the base and the round column! I am very sure that I tightened the 2 bolts during the last clean up just a few weeks back. Argggh... I'll have to dismantle the mill again... Looks like it is also time to convert the mill back to 5410 for more rigidity...


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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A2Z Leadscrew Conversion - Nut Mount Top

I was extra careful this time in my preparation. The idea is to work from the 100mm square aluminum stock directly without cutting to size first. The only thing I did to the plate was to square off 2 sides as reference and drill 4 mounting holes. For the fun of it, I painted the top face with a red felt tip marker and marked out the features required. The markings will only serve as a guide, as how close I can cut depends on how aligned the stock is to the axes of the mill.

The mounting holes will be used to mount the plate to a block of wood. After the first screw, I indicated the reference side to the x axis.

After having it along x, the rest of the holes were used to fasten the plate down. The tightening of the screws moved the stock quite a bit but since I've sufficient material to work on, I didn't bother to redo the alignment. Only 3 screws were used as I've only 5 of such on hand. The other 2 will be for the inside piece.

The drilling routine was executed for the 4x5mm and 2xM5 holes. The 2 pan head screws were used to hold down the part during the profiling job.

The profiling job up next.

WD40 was used as coolant, creating the mess on the wall behind the mill.

And finally,

I like the cut out stock... Looks like some sort of stencil...

The part, standing proud.

A short clip taken during the profiling job:
YouTube Video
What's left to do on this are tge facing of the stock to 6.5mm and tapping of the M5 threads.

I'll be starting on the 2 side plates in my next session.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Gift from a bro

I returned to office today, after the 2 weeks' break, which I bumped around doing nothing constructive.

On my desk, a gift awaits; a Braun Buffel name card holder from a beloved bro.

Thanks Julian.

I'm now struggling to clear over 300 emails. Some are junk, some "For Info Only", some need my attention... Think today is mail clearing and clean up day!!!

Got to also thank my buddy, Andrew Goh for covering me. The Bapes clock is under way.

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Baby Sarah's Baby Shower

This is baby Sarah and her mommy, Helen. She is a month old.

Cute little one.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

A2Z Leadscrew Upgrade - Silly Silly Silly

I am so "talented". Can't believe I'm a "born hobby machinist"... I can even mount the stock upside down to start the profiling cut of the nut mount. Argg....

The 2 M5 holes are supposed to be on top. There goes the effort and precious shop time. I'll have to start over...

What a smart ass I am... I'll pray for wisdom later in church.

A video showing the cut. Don't know if you can hear the slight chatter. Feed is about 500mm/min. Spindle at 2800 RPM. Both numbers generated by BCC. DOC at 0.25mm. Maybe I'll bring the DOC to 0.2 to see if that helps.

YouTube Video

Two things I need to remember for the next piece; 1) mark the stock for orientation, 2) get a thicker piece of MDF.

It took me a while to figure out which side should be facing up as the job is not symmetrical on the stock. As for thicker MDF, the one I was using is so thin that the spindle is almost at it's extreme when cutting through the stock.

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A2Z Leadscrew Upgrade - Nut Mount Top: Session 2

Lacking idea what to name this post, I decided to denote each project with the session which the work was done from now on.

In the 1st session, the stock was sized. The surface finish was very much short of ideal but sanding down the ridges on the surface plate put it in an acceptable state. In this session, the 4 x 5mm and the 2 x M5 holes were done using gcode generated by BobCad-Cam V24 (BCC from now on). The profiling part was blanked out as I intend to use the mounting holes to hold the stock on a sacrificial piece before applying the profile cut.

Not much pics were taken. I was focusing on the progress as this was my first time using generated feed rate by BCC, which are usually much faster than what I'm comfortable with. I usually use feed of not more than 200mm/min but BCC output feed of more than 500mm/min. It turns out that the fear of high feed is unfounded on aluminum.

The 4 x 5mm in progress. Notice the 2 centre drill holes at the top - a little too shallow for my liking.

All holes done. The 2 holes in the middle were drilled 4.2mm for M5 screws. These will be the mounting holes for the anti backlash nut from A2Z.

Test mounting onto a MDF 6mm thick. The shortest wood screws I have are a little too long. Will buy some shorter ones tomorrow.

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Lathe in Trouble

It seems that I've not live through a session without having some problems for a long while. Hope that's just part and parcel of learning.

I started the morning session figuring out what is causing the stiffness in turn with the handwheels after installing the DRO housing. While removing the cross slide's motor, this happened:

The motor shaft was stuck in the coupler. Wiggling it out caused the coupler to bend out of shape.

I rushed down to Mike's place to quickly get a replacement. Along with it, I bought several other things (thicker slitting saw, 2 saw blades for the Proxxon mitre saw, and T-slot cutter). Don't understand why I have to left his shop blowing holes here and there in my pocket... He must have black magic applied to his door...

Anyway, when I got home late night, I saw that there were burrs and chips in the slots if the coupler:

Bad bad Sherline. Sloppy work. No problem there, I clean up the slots with a used and blunt slitting saw blade.

I continued my investigation on the stiff hand wheel and finally able to ease off the stiffness on cross slide. Few things were done. First, slight loosening of the gib. 2nd, easing the preload nut, and lastly, making sure the handwheel set screw bite onto the motor shaft properly. Now, turning the handwheel is easier without the DRO housing on. With that on, the stiffness appeared. I'll have to look somemore to figure out what's rubbing against the handwheel causing this.

Too late to do anything meaningful on the lathe at 3am, I took out the wire mesh bought from Daiso to fasten it with cable ties on the window grill. Now I've more storage space!

With the accessories on:

Cool!!! I'll stop here. Will be looking for a new base to place my lathe on. No more particle board. It should be a wide piece to allow the mounting of the lamp and DRO display but shorter than what I'm using so that the handwheel for Z axis is hanging off the edge for easy turning.

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

1st Anniversary of Wongster's Productuon!

Wongster's Production is one-year old this month! Only realized that I started blogging a year back when I was going through my past post.

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Quartz Movement

Dropped by Art's Friends in Bras Basah Complex after church to pick up a mini Quartz Movement. I'm planning to make a small clock face for a buddy who loves a monkey brand of clothing. I'm going this way (with the Quartz Movement) as I'm not ready to confuse myself with making gears. They look awfully complex. Maybe one day I would go into that but definitely not now.

As for the design, I'm still at CAD stage. Don't know if I will infringe any copyright posting the picture or having it engraved on the clock face. I'll tread carefully.

This is the pic:

Right after lunch, I picked up this brand new 22-degree wood in a preowned pro shop. I was told that it was a prize won by it's current owner who doesn't want it. The grip wrap is still intact, so is the sticker on the club face. Anyway, it's only SGD150. I like the shorter length of it's shaft. My current 21-degree is a little too long though it helped me save quite a few shots.

I'll add a few pics here when I get home.

Pic of the assembled mini quartz movement:

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Bandsaw Trouble

The little Proxxon bandsaw is giving me problem again. The cut is jerky and the blade moved forward, off the bearing supporting the back of the blade.

Called Mike. He agreed to take a look even though the bandsaw wasn't from him. Thanks Mike, you are the best!

Some pics:

The blade guide in the housing has a "new" slit... Likely the cause of my problem.

A short vid to show the blade running.

YouTube Video

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Friday, August 12, 2011

A2Z Z-Axis Leadscrew Upgrade - Nut Mount Top

I was home alone while my wife was attending a workshop at church. Though feeling tired, I urge myself to start working on the long overdue leadscrew upgrade at the home workshop.

Not trusting that the split vise is clamped flat to the mill table, I've to cut the stock for the top piece of the anti-backlash nut mount to fit my favorite Matchling 3" vise, leaving about 10mm on top of the actual dimensions. The markings were done using the height gauge on the surface plate. I was then stuck with my first problem for the session; the bandsaw gave some trouble when cutting off the excess stock. The blade was rather jerky and didn't sit properly in the bearing guide. But I managed to rough cut the stock to size.

Facing was done next to smoothen down the sawn sides. Though I don't need the 4 sides to be perfectly square, I took the opportunity to practice squaring up stock. The Japanese-made engineering square was put to use against the mill table and the best side of the stock. After going round the stock, I've an acceptable piece; the best almost squared stock I ever achieved.

Next came facing of the top to the required thickness of 6.5mm. I gathered that this is not a critical dimension from looking at Tang Kee's drawings. The gcodes was done using BobCad with a 1/2" HSS 2-flute endmill. The target depth to face is 2.98mm at about 0.25mm per pass. Step over was set at 40% of the cutter diameter.

The whole process took over 1 hour to complete! Midway, I realized that I was actually climb milling... The cutter was going from left to right, from front to back. No problem encountered.

I also observed that there were steps created every time the cutter stepped over the programmed 40% of it's diameter! What a pain!!!

This is how it looks under normal light:

I applied filters to exaggerate the surface:

I've tried my very best to tram the mill and yet... Sigh... I can even feel the ridges running my fingers across the surface.

Anyway, a short video of the run midway through:

YouTube Video

Anyone can suggest solution(s) to this?

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

More New Toys...

I was over at Church Street seeing a client this late afternoon. Popped over to Mike's place after the meeting since it is a stone throw away. Guess what? I left his place with my haversack stuffed till I hardly can zip up.

These are the stuff in the bag:

1) The Proxxon IB/E rotary tool, which Mike has been boosting about on it's 3 micron run-out. I'm planning to use it for engraving jobs.
2) The Right Angle Attachment for the Rotary Table to save me the trouble making one. The adjustable angle plate I have is a little cumbersome to use.
3) A cheapo Chinese digital caliper to make a poor man DRO (not very cheap at SGD29. But much cheaper than my SGD170+ Mitutoyo). Planning to mount it on the manual mill. Once I'm satisfied that it works, I'll buy 2 more for the other 2 axes.

I also received the iGaging digital depth gauge bought through Incremental Tools earlier today. Looks "plasticky" but for the price, I've no complain...

Seems that I'm still buying things to fill my shop but not making enough chips....

2 more days to end of work and to the start of my 2 weeks' leave!!! I'm really excited!!!

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Tree Wizard's Tribute to Mr Nathan

You may have seen this latest work of my friend, The Tree Wizard, of our President, Mr Nathan. Mr Lee can be seen in the background in F1 suit. Cool stuff, Chris! You're GREAT!!!

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Split Vise

I am writing this post in a showflat on National Day. Most of us dislike working on a public holiday, me included. For my friends in the other part of the globe, August 9 is Singapore's independence day. This year is the 46th year since we were separated from Malaysia. The celebration will start in about 2 hour's time at the Marina. It will also be telecast live on all local stations in 4 languages. But me and my buddy here will be sitting at this showflat till it closes. Sigh... I wish I can be home with my family watching the telecast munching snacks. Anyway...

Having only about half an hour to spare in the shop before lunch with my parents and before my showflat duty at Thomson Grand, I couldn't start on something too elaborate (to me as a newbie, I mean). The plan was to do up a split vise featured on "Tips from Sherline Machinists". This is Tip 51 from the master, Jerry Kieffer. The split vise allows long parts greater than the maximum capacity of the original vise (~2") to be clamped.

Since I've 2 Sherline's milling vise, I "scarified" the older one for this.

The straight edge clamp was used to guide the back of the fixed jaw. The bandsaw struggled a bit midway through the cut. Was that a sign of blade getting blunt? Strange if it is, as I barely use the bandsaw since the last blade change.

After quite some minutes, I've the 2" vise in 2.

The 2 cut faces looked pretty clean. Little deburring was needed. I plan to face the cut surfaces to make them smoother.

An aluminum plate mounted on the split vise. Couldn't get this piece in the 2" vise before the split. I am to face it to 6.5mm thick for the top piece of the leadscrew nut holder later.

4 sets of vise hold down are needed with 2 on each side. Even so, I still feel that the fixed jaw lifting a little when I fastened the stock down. Will mill the hold down slots on the 2 sides for additional clamping places. Alignment is a little tricky during setup, but I think as long as the 2 jaws are parallel to each other, a little misalignment on their sides should be fine. I can also make a straight piece in aluminum to help the side alignment. Will write about that if I ever get to doing it.

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Friday, August 5, 2011

Arrival of BobCad-Cam v24

Didn't expect to receive the software so quickly as I placed the order only last Friday. The courier appeared yesterday afternoon at my office to dropped of the brown box. I ripped the box open to uncover my purchase of the latest Pro version.

Had it installed after dinner with my business partners and friends the very same night. Too excited to wait despite feeling tired. I opened up the image of a baby dog which I was trying to program and apply the latest Advanced Roughing Toolpath. It sure look nicer than what the previous version can produce in simulation when backplotting. Just wonder if it will cut the same. I'm a bit hesitant to try cutting this. It'll take too long - more than 15hrs based on the cycle time displayed.

These are the 2 boxes received:

Gotta stop here to prepare for work.

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