The Hobbyist's Machine Shop – Blog

"One Perfect Part at a Time"

My Kind of SHOPing

I worked in the machine shop all weekend. I am trying to make spoked solid steel model locomotive driver wheels on my micro CNC milling machine. They are slightly over 3 ½ inches in diameter.

First I had to make a special fixture to hold the wheel blank onto the milling table. That took all day Saturday. Then I cut the first wheel on Sunday. That took about 7 hours!

I enjoyed the work but am not happy with the current result. I broke three 1/8 inch end mill bits working with the stainless steel. 🙁 I will try carbide… Continue reading

Outstanding Saw Blade

I bought a premium saw blade to go with my premium PM2000 cabinet saw. I have used many types of power saws in my 60 years but I have just been “blown away” buy this blade on the PM2000. The blade is a Forrest “Woodworker II” and one of the more expensive 10″ blades on the market.

blade2.jpg

The blade doesn’t look it but it is all purpose, both ripping and crosscutting. The carbide teeth are extreamly sharp. I understand the reasons on “teeth set” between ripping and crosscutting. This blade is different. I was wondering about this saw blade with… Continue reading

Taig CNC Ready For Action

I have the Taig CNC mill in place and firmly mounted.

Taig CNC mounted

The mill is now bolted to the bench with three 1/4-20 x 1.5 in. SS bolts (SS to prevent rusting). That is a commercial “bun” pan under the mill. Overall dimensions of the pan are 18×26. I don’t expect the pan to get all the swarf but it will help contain some of the oil and mist coolant when used.

I found what I call “panduit” in a very small size. I mounted it on the back wall to help heep the CNC motor leads up out of the… Continue reading

Miller Time

I got the CNC mill to cut the entire loco driver last night. The rough cut looked great. I included a finish pass in the code but using the same flat 1/8″ mill bit. Not so good there. Not yet ready for prime time. I also need to buy some solid wood for test blocks. I have been using multi-layer exterior plywood which is good for seeing the depth of each pass, but it splinters too easily.

I would also love to try wax. I have a sample. I may order a larger block and cut it into layers. Better… Continue reading

Wheelin’

Last night I had time to sit at my computer and work with Rhinoceros and RhinoCAM. Weird names but Rhino is a 3-D CAD program and the other converts drawings to CNC code.

Many months ago I designed a perfect drawing of the A3 locomotive driver and is one of the “driving” reasons for me to set the Micro CNC mill into operation. I ran my first output code on a wood block last Sunday and it was a disaster! The mill ran fine but the cutting was awful.

I ran the compiler again last night and produced another machine code… Continue reading

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