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Browsing articles from "March, 2011"

Tormach Tool Changer Getting Closer

Mar 27, 2011   //   by   //   Blog, Cool, Products  //  2 Comments

There was an update to their blog a few days back, so check there for full details. The beta test has been underway for about 1 month for some lucky Tormach owners. You’ve probably seen the original Tormach ATC video, but this new one shows a lot of other cool features:

You can see from…

What Price Machine Rigidity?

Mar 25, 2011   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Software, Techniques  //  6 Comments

Machinists know that there is no substitute for beef when it comes to the rigidity of their machine tools. That made me wonder whether we could verify and quantify this notion in some way. How much beef does it take to achieve a level of rigidity?
I frequently recommend to G-Wizard users that they think…

We Have 2 New CAM Programs at CNCCookbook!

Mar 22, 2011   //   by   //   Blog, Software  //  2 Comments

A warm CNCCookbook welcome to Mecsoft’s Visual Mill (and RhinoCAM) and HSMWorks. Their owner’s have graciously extended evaluation copies so we can try them out, review them, and provide feedback.
VisualMILL 6.0 CAM Software
Visual Mill and its cousins were extremely popular on our recent CAM survey, and I frequently hear about it from our…

Carbide vs HSS and Chatter for Small Mills

Mar 18, 2011   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, Techniques  //  No Comments

I came across a great thread this morning on the 1911Forum, a gathering place for Colt 1911 handgun enthusiasts with a good sub-forum on gunsmithing. The question was being asked of whether Carbide or HSS tooling would be better for reducing chatter on small mills. I responded as follows:
Carbide vs HSS for small mills…

Carbon Fiber Wingtips for a Jet Fighter

Mar 15, 2011   //   by   //   Blog, Cool, Techniques  //  10 Comments

As I mentioned recently, I got the chance to see some serious carbon fiber work in action–building a set of wingtips for a jet fighter. To be precise, these wingtips are going on Czechoslovakian L-39 Albatross planes destined in some cases for the Reno Air Races:

Talk about a cool project!
This is Sky Greenawalt’s…

Carbon Fiber: UFO Quality Material

Mar 12, 2011   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Cool  //  No Comments

Carbon fiber has always captivated me. Its such a space age material, and when done right, it looks awesome. I’m fortunate to have owned a car or two with beautiful carbon fiber work, for example on the dashboard. I’ve always been interested in possibly making something out of the material, but have never had the…

Henderson “Piggy” Motorcycle is the Coolest!

Mar 11, 2011   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Cool  //  No Comments

I need to design some cool looking brackets to mount some glass shelves in our home. I plan to CNC these, and I wanted something with a cool design motif, so I started cruising Google Images with searches like “Art Deco Brackets”. Somehow, I came upon this Henderson motorcycle, which has to be the coolest…

G-Wizard Spring Deals are Coming

Mar 9, 2011   //   by   //   Blog  //  No Comments

As I’ve mentioned here before, we have two distinct audiences for CNCCookbook–professional machinists and talented hobbyists. So it is with G-Wizard, our CNC Machinist’s Calculator. I wanted to let folks know there is a special Spring promotion coming that has something in it for both groups that I think you’ll really like. I’ll be sending…

Speaking of Art Suitable for Billionaire Playboys: Welcome Back Widgitmaster!

Mar 6, 2011   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Cool  //  No Comments

I’ve followed Eric, who goes by “Widgitmaster” for a long time and corresponded frequently. He’s been one of my remote machinist mentors, and I’ve learned an awful lot from him. He’s been out of the shop for quite a while owing to some family issues, but recently came back to build this exquisite display of…

A Photo Album for Machinists and Billionaire Playboys

Mar 5, 2011   //   by   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Cool  //  2 Comments

Ever since seeing the owner’s manual for Billionaire Playboy Larry Ellison’s custom Cobra, I have wanted to make one. In many ways, it is cooler than the car itself, which is no small feat. But the thing is, I’ve seen a lot of Cobras, and have even owned 2 (one of which I stiill drive).…

Great Video Series from Hoss on Tramming a Small Mill

Mar 4, 2011   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, Techniques  //  3 Comments

Squaring up and tramming their mill is often a puzzle for new home machinists. Hoss makes it look easy in his great video series. Here is the first one:

Hoss Trams a Mill–Pt 1
The other parts are here:
– Part 2
– Part 2B
– Part 3
Those videos are taken from his CNCZone…

MeshCAM: Great Ease of Use in a 3D CAM Package

Mar 1, 2011   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, Software  //  9 Comments

Most machinist I talk to go through the same experience the first time they try CAM–total bewilderment and frustration. Everyone has this idea that you create a 3D solid model, load it into CAM, push a button, and out pops a finished g-code program. If only it were true!
Instead, you generally have to wrestle…


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