Friday, November 13, 2009

Lew Bishop's Latest

Here's Lew's latest:

My old mahogany box salvaged from an old model flying buddy - in this case with some of the current crop of pens. Of note are the two on the right that are made from a 10 mm blank of fairly soft aluminum. Since the bodies are without the center band, a much more gentle shape can be turned. The finish is still eluding me and will require a lot more study and practice.

My current set up with the drawer box to hold the tools and act as a stand. The new additions are the longer dead center with more travel along with a new lever with softer edges and a cute knob on the end - borrowed from my b-in-law's parts drawer. The knob is also on the new tailstock lock lever as well as the new tool post lock.

The tool post is a refurb of the original tool post received with the purchase of the lathe many years ago. The hole was not clean so a new .25 hole was hogged out with a new shoulder recess to fit the new lock as well as new threads for larger hold down bolts for the tool. The anchor for the post is a machined 1/4 -20 bolt with the head milled and slots cut for the "t" to hold the bolt straight. Additional threads were required on the bolt to allow for proper clamping force. It works pretty well and loads into the slot very easily. I need to do a new post with the different anchor to test the process and to put the tool at the correct height without shimming. Later on the old post will be a guinea pig for an adjustable height device or something.

The latest pen turned from one of the rifle blank scraps that I cut last month. The grain of the walnut is just beautiful and is great to work with.

posted at as well.

Latest on the Power Feed Retrofit Kit

Taig Says:

"The K1016 is going to be $119.00 each. Should have them ready by next week. We are just waiting for the paper work to be printed."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ron Kiely's Latest Light

Ron says: "I have just made this off road mountain bike light at the request of a total stranger who lives in Portugal. Made from 45mm Aluminium bar it was quite a challenge for the rear mounted cut-off tool, these lights get very hot so require 7.5mm deep grooves in order to keep them cool, I almost run out of lead screw trying to get the cut-off tool that far back. Also lots of very deep boring for the electronics compartment but the taig coped very well."



Posted on as well.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Powerfeed is ready...

[EDIT: Taig just emailed me that they forgot to include the cost of the new carriage extrusion in the power feed upgrade they're on hold until they get pricing figured out...Orders that have gone into them get the $80.00 price but everyone else should hold off for now...]

Taig says the Power Feed and Power Feed retrofit kits are ready:

The power feed lathe is # L1015.
The lathe includes the power feed, pulley set and mounting board. It is $305.00 retail.

The power feed retrofit parts kit is # K1016. It is XXXX retail.

Details of the retrofit are up at Taig's Taigmachines site

As always I'll give 10% off plus S&H.
I haven't had a chance to try the retrofit kit myself yet.

Taig also does not yet have individual part#'s for those wanting to mess around with the new useful parts. I'll let you know when I know.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

The 2035ER Taig Boring Head

Taig sent me their 2035ER Boring Head to test out. The boring head is now for sale: 2035ER Boring Head $45.00

The boring head comes with two import carbide tipped boring bars.

This is a simple boring head. The large cap screw adjusts and locks the dovetail. The small setscrew front and back are used to adjust the position of the boring head. There is no graduated dial. You just adjust it close, and tweak the front and back setscrews to get it close, measure after cutting and adjust a little more. You can of course place an indicator against it to measure travel and I don't think it will be long before someone clever modifies it to have a typical screw feed. The boring head is made of aluminum and has a 3/8" shank.

As you can see it is a simple design.

Opening up a 3/8" hole.

As you can see I got a tiny bit of chatter. This is the biggest problem with boring on small mills. You need to take the time to experiment when boring with different feedrates and depths of cut. Generally you want to bore at the slowest spindle speed you can.

A large diameter hole (yup, same hole, I like to test things thoroughly). Again you can see the smallest amount of chatter.

Boring out a steel bushing. I did this at 1000 rpm just to see whether those with the 1/4hp mill motor could use the boring head. Again I got a small amount of chatter but overall the hole is round.

This is the largest circle the bar will bore with the boring bar in one of the holes, about .4"

Unfortunately this is the smallest hole the bar will bore in the next hole, about 5.5"You can get around this problem by rotating the bar 180 degrees (put a flat on it!) then you get a range in between the large and small range.

This is the largest hole, about 1.25" so the range of adjustment is about .7"

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Some Projects from Stephen Ellacott

Stephen Ellacott sent in pictures of his latest projects.

"I finally got your indexing plate mounted with a simple indent pin arrangement on the top of the tailstock - works great! Thanks! I made a simple jig to help remove the headstock pulley - 6 1/2" of 5/16" steel rod with a counter bore in one end to fit the point of the gear puller and turned down to 1/4" for a length of 1" at the other end. It is inserted through the headstock with the 3 jaw chuck mounted and the jaws tightened on the reduced part of the rod. The gear puller can't push the shaft through the 3 jaw because of the lip of the cut. I also made a simple spindle threaded 1/4-20 at one end and used it and a washer to hold the pulley on top of the vise while I drilled and tapped the three holes. The plate spins very well without any wobble at all.The indent pin is 5/32" in diameter and tapered to ensure it centers every hole in the indexing plate. It doesn't go all the way through the plate and has a slightly rough finish to stop it from dropping out. It is stored in the top right of the indent pin plate when not in use (see the second picture of Dean's center).In the first picture you can also see a small steel plate I use as a magnetic mount point for my test indicator on top of the headstock and the most amazing piece of brass swarf! After a year of dodging sharp little brass needles I finally found the recipe for turning brass! Zero top rake, 7 degree front/side rake and a 20 thou deep cut at 2100 RPM for a 1/4" rod. I was enjoying turning down the brass pin so much I had to scrap the first one!"

"A modification to Keith's excellent sharpening jig (well worth the effort to make!) which allows you to use it on a drill press without a vise by clamping through the center hole or slots on the table. Much easier to reposition! I also use a hard felt wheel and honing compound in the chuck with the jig to get a "scary sharp" edge on my cutters."

"Taig vise clamped to the drill press using a couple of vise clamps. The basic clamp design is on the Little Machine Shop web site, I just scaled it down for this vise."

"A modification to Dean's headstock center using a coupling nut tapered to fit the pulley. This gives you a self-centering rig which cuts down on vibration quite a bit."

Front view.

"3/4-16 spindle for the Taig chucks made from a 2" 3/4-16 bolt. The trick is screwing the bolt into the front of the four jaw chuck (without jaws) or the machinist's plate then parting off the head and turning the shaft down to 3/8 or 1/2". This ensures concentricity between the threads and the newly turned shaft. The nut is split and used to hold the machined spindle in the mill to cut the Weldon flat without damaging the threads."

Posted on as well.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ron Kiely's Taig Lathe and Bicycle Lights

Ron Kiely writes, "Thanks for posting the picture of my new Taig lathe back in May. I have done a lot to it since then and also a lot with it as I use it to make high power mountain bike lights and the housings have to act as a heatsink. I stole some ideas from others on your site and all is working nice and smooth, great to have the "T" slot on the new carriage to mount the dial as I didn't want to drill holes in the lathe. The dials were very important to me as I am in the UK and can only work in metric. "

Top View

Front View.

Bicycle Lights, Rear View.

Bicycle Lights, Front View.

Added to as well.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New Pics and Links Galore

I fell a bit behind last week so here are a bunch of pictures.
Lew Bishop sent these 4 pictures:

"The first group of pens that I turned. The interesting part of this project is that I have much better luck (control) of the shape and finish of the pen barrels by using the metal cutters purchased from you . By setting up a right hand cutter almost parallel with the work and using a fairly high speed, the cutter makes a very smooth finish and gets the size down quickly. "

"We took the shop apart and redid the benches, storage, shelving and the rearrangement of all the tools. It is working really well. he shop is 7'-5" x 9'-7" inside. Marilyn and I did a lot of thinking and planning to get it all in. There are still some additions that will need ot be made as more things get sorted out. I have already replaced my old belt/disc sander and done an additional rework of the band saw with new blades and a fresh alignment by my son-in-law ( an ex cooper). The base of the lathe is a work in progress also - built from left-overs and other scrap to provide a convienient drawer for all the attachments and to raise the work to an acceptable level for an old guy. "

Rick Kernell sent these great pics of his motorized top slide.

"the project that used the spare compound that you sent to me. The idea is to create a smooth movement when cutting precise tapers. I want to produce very precise pivots that will fit into sapphire bearings. I have cut them but I found that hand cranking the compound gave inconsistent movement. The thought is that the motor will move at a steady rate therefore making the cut into the rod cleaner. I am using a 5/12/24 component power supply and the 12 volt tap for this motor drive. I have set the pot prior to the DPDT switch and then the leads go to the motor via Radio Crap connector. This allows me to change the voltage feed linearly to the motor regardless of which polarity that the DPST switch is selected. The inductance of the motor is the primary current draw so the pot isn't much of a limit in comparison, but it is enough that I will change to a PWM driver pcb when I have all of the control components ready for the lathe and the mill. "

Also two new blog/pages of Taig related stuff:

Dennis Schissler's blog shows his awesome digital clock built with the help of the Taig CNC mill.

Wei Terk Mok's CNC page shows off his Taig modifications, also check out the jewelry he makes with the mill.

All the above added to as always.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Short Talk with Taig

Had a short conversation with Taig just now. The power feeds are almost (a few more weeks/month out) done, assuming all goes well. It will be difficult to retrofit the power feed to existing lathes. You either have to flip the bed around so the foot is at the tailstock end or you'll have to mill/file the lip that holds the rack off.

They also told me they are almost done with boring heads that have 3/8" shanks. I don't know what they'll look like but they're sending me one so I'll report on that when I get it.

I also asked about the rack/pinion pitch for a customer - turns out it's 64 DP 20 deg although the rack itself is off slightly (like 63.4 DP he wasn't sure) having been threaded on a special fixture. But close enough.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Taig on semi-vacation, etc.

The shipping dept. at Taig is going to be on vacation next week so nothing will ship during that time (Mon 14th- Fri 18th).

I have a terrible cold so I haven't done much of anything beyond treading water, metaphorically speaking.

My friend Derrick shows some Taig milling attachment action in his post over on the airgun blog:

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Free 4th Axis Conversion Program

Surfing the internet this morning I came upon this thread on the Vectric forum talking about a nice bit of freeware for 4th axis G-code conversion. Here's another thread about the use of it. I haven't played with it yet but it looks good!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Stephen Ellacott's Taig Lathe Powerfeed

Stephen Ellacott sent in pictures of his latest project. This is the first project I've seen that takes advantage of the dovetail on the front of the new extruded carriage.

"I hate lead screws...big floppy swarf magnets....there, I've said it. So I'm working on motorizing the carriage traverse to try to provide the same smooth finish as a lead screw. Here are some shots of the prototype version that I thought you might enjoy. The regular traversing handle and pinion has been replaced with the geared pinion and a block with the Geared Motor (5RPM) and drive gear attached."

"It slides onto the dovetail on the front of the carriage and is snugged against the pinion gear (whatever size you want) and tightened in place. I used two 12 tooth 24 pitch Acetal gears for the prototype - probably brass for the real thing."

"The 12V motor reversing circuit controls the carriage with three buttons- Forward, Stop and Reverse. You must hit Stop before changing direction. I'll package this up in a 1.5" x 3" swarf proof project box when I'm done. It draws about 70mA cutting .0010" in brass at a 3 inch/minute traverse with the one-to-one gear ratio (too fast, but it was easier to layout the prototype using like gears). The goal is to be able to loosen one thumb screw, slide the motor block to the left and have manual traverse back. Total cost - less than $30 (real dollars). The final pinion gear may just be the stock handle with gears cut around the perimeter....Hmmm...may have to order one.."

"A better shot of it installed using dovetail clamping (works great!) with the body cut down to size."

"Another shot of the back of the block. Just loosen the 10-32 set screw and it slides off under the cross-slide knob."

Pictures also posted on Cartertools.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Run of the Mill Projects.

I needed two tee nuts for my Palmgren x/y table. So I found two oversized 1/2" thread nuts and milled them down.

It's tough steel but milled fine.

I reduced the width as well. Then I found that the vise I was mounting would only accept a 3/8" bolt...not a 1/2"...and I found two nuts that fit perfectly in another drawer of clamping hardware...oh well. At least if I need to use a 1/2" stud on the table I'll have nuts to fit.

Turning a grooved dowel for a toy fishing rod repair.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A #1050 3 Jaw Chuck Jaw Boring Test

I thought it would be interesting to look at #1050 3 jaw chuck boring.

A relatively new #1050 chuck, with unbored jaws. I tested runout using dowel pins, which may not be perfect compared to gage pins, but will do for this. With the unbored jaws I found the runout was:

  1. 3/8" dia. pin, .001" runout
  2. 1/2" dia. pin, .004" runout
  3. 3/4" dia. pin, .008" runout

Boring the jaws using the factory supplied washer. I made sure to set the carriage depth stop so that the boring bar wouldn't hit the washer.

After boring.

I thought it was odd that the bored jaws didn't have a uniform width. I'm not sure why. Could be that there's enough play in the jaws that the jaw lifts, throwing off the boring. Or it could be that the jaws were slightly deformed, as I'd been using them for a while unbored.
In any case the results were:

  1. 3/8" dia. pin, .003" runout (+.002" over unbored)
  2. 1/2" dia. pin, .000" runout (-.004" over unbored)
  3. 3/4" dia. pin, .006" runout (-.002" over unbored)

So a slight improvement was gained except in the case of the 3/8" pin.

Next I inserted a 1/4" pin far at the back of the jaws.

And bored them out with a smaller boring bar.
The results were:

  1. 3/8" dia. pin, .000" runout (-.001" over unbored)
  2. 1/2" dia. pin, .002" runout (-.002" over unbored)
  3. 3/4" dia. pin, .000" runout (-.008" over unbored)

Which is pretty interesting. Note that when I say .000" I mean the needle didn't move even a quarter a division on a .001" indicator but may have wiggled a few tenths.

Next I bored out the jaws without any preload at all, just opened them up about an inch and bored them.

The results were:

  1. 3/8" dia. pin, .002" runout (+.001" over unbored)
  2. 1/2" dia. pin, .000" runout (-.004" over unbored)
  3. 3/4" dia. pin, .002" runout (-.006" over unbored)

Then I rebored the jaws with the factory washer and found that things had changed again...

The results were:

  1. 3/8" dia. pin, .002" runout (+.001" over unbored)
  2. 1/2" dia. pin, .000" runout (-.004" over unbored)
  3. 3/4" dia. pin, .001" runout (-.007" over unbored)

So what did I learn? I have no idea except that it's probably worth experimenting yourself to find the optimal diameter of the preload washer for a given diameter or range of diameters of workpieces. It does definitely suggest that leaving the jaws unbored is not a good idea.

It may be that it's a good idea to undercut the back of new jaws before placing the washer and boring them as any uneveness in the jaws will cause poor preload?