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Browsing articles from "March, 2012"

Pardon Our Mess!

Mar 31, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog  //  No Comments

We needed to do some urgent upgrades to one of our servers, so we’ve stopped processing for trial registrations and orders.  You can still register or order, and they won’t be lost, but they won’t take effect until late Monday.
We’re sorry for the inconvenience.…

Small Injection Molding Machine: Morgan Press

Mar 30, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Cool, Products  //  7 Comments

I got a note from a machinist friend saying that he’d just gotten a used Morgan Press off eBay and had been able to get it working.  I hadn’t heard of one of these machines before, so I went and looked it up.  For the ultimate do-it-yourself or Maker small shop, this would be a…

Software Sale Ends Soon!

Mar 29, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog  //  No Comments

Just a reminder, our sale on the G-Wizard CNC Calculator will be ending March 31–just a few days from now.  Take advantage of our 15% off pricing on the 3 year subscription if you haven’t already.  Click the page linked above to register or go straight to our G-Wizard purchase page.…

10 Tips for CNC Router Aluminum Cutting Success

Mar 27, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, CNC Router, FeedsSpeeds, Techniques  //  28 Comments

Folks often ask whether a CNC Router can cut aluminum.  They’re used to seeing the primarily cut wood and plastics.  My answer to this question is always, “Yes, if you do it right.”
There are a couple of things to remember about how aluminum (and other metals) are different from wood or plastics.  First, they…

Hello CNCCookbook on Facebook!

Mar 25, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Software  //  No Comments

It’s not very well known yet, but we have a CNCCookbook page on Facebook.  If you like Facebook, you’ll be able to get a notification from there whenever a new post is added to our Blog here.  It’s an increasingly connected world we live in!  Please amble over and give us a “Like” if you…

5 Axis CNC Benefits

Mar 25, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Cool, Techniques  //  6 Comments

5 axis CNC machines are the pinnacle of milling machine sophistication.  They’re the most expensive machines to purchase, and due to the complex motions involved, even more cost is involved with the need for the most sophisticated 5 axis CAM packages available.
What are the benefits of 5 Axis CNC that justify all this cost?…

CNC Gear Hobbing with a Fourth Axis: It’s Simpler Than You Think

Mar 24, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Software, Techniques  //  No Comments

I ran across this new post from Dave Decaussin (one of the founders of Fadal, now retired and doing other things) showing how he cuts gears on his 4th axis:

He makes it look easy and fun to try.
He’s cutting a 40 tooth spur gear with a diametral pitch of 24.  Diametral pitch is…

Unit Conversion Calculator: G-Wizard Tips and Tutorial

Mar 22, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, Software, Techniques  //  1 Comment

So you need to do some unit conversion?  Our G-Wizard CNC Calculator has some feature designed to make working with lots of units especially easy.  Let’s see how.
Continuous Conversion Display
Continuous Conversion Display is an awkward name for a very simple and useful feature.   As you type in a number or compute a result,…

Machinery Skates and Toe Jack to move a 5000lb lathe: Basic Rigging

Mar 20, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Techniques  //  7 Comments

So you just located a fantastic deal on a piece of used CNC equipment.  Just one little problem–the cost and complexity of rigging the machine into your shop are giving you heartburn.
“Rigging” is the technical term for moving heavy stuff into position.  It covers everything from unloading a heavy machine (or other load) from…

C-Axis Turning and Live Tooling: Turning and Milling on One Machine

Mar 18, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Techniques  //  No Comments

I’m fascinated by the mill-turn machines.  They combine the best elements of a lathe and a milling machine to turn out complex parts quickly that would be much less productive if done as multiple ops across different machines.  Here’s a great video of a Haas CNC lathe turning out such a part:

The secret behind…

Spindle Orientation, Drive Dogs, and Repeatable Runout

Mar 15, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Techniques  //  1 Comment

Every CNC machinist has seen the ubiquitous “drive dogs” found on many tapers:

Spindle Drive Dogs…
They’re the two little “ears” that engage notches in the toolholder.  Not every taper has them, but many do.  Getting the drive dogs positioned to line up with the toolholder in the changer carousel before a toolchange can happen…

Mill a Strip of Parts in a Vise

Mar 12, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Techniques  //  1 Comment

So you want to make a bunch of small parts at once in one setup, and using one vise. Make a strip of parts in a set of big soft jaws:

The parts keep a strip underneath. To finish, flip the whole thing, drop it into softjaws of appropriate “negative image” of the parts, and…

Want to use a Smoothstepper and Servos for your CNC project?

Mar 12, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Techniques  //  No Comments

Due to a query from a customer, I put together a quick page that shows how I set up my CNC4PC boards and Smoothstepper for the Servo setup on my IH mill.

The Smoothstepper is a USB pulse generator for Mach3, and it improves the performance of Mach3 considerably.  I’m not sure I’d want to…

I Don’t Care What You Say About Us As Long As You Link to Us!

Mar 11, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Business  //  1 Comment

There is a famous quote about PR:
I don’t care what the newspapers say about me as long as they spell my name right.
It has variously been attributed to Mae West, P.T. Barnum, Will Rogers, and a host of others.
Times have changed, so I have changed the quote:
I don’t care what the…

Benefits of a Simple CNC Lathe Conversion in a Home Shop

Mar 11, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects  //  No Comments

I’m a bit video happy today.  Having just finished catching up on Steve Simpson’s amazing Millturn videos, I wanted to pass along this video of John Grimsmo using his CNC lathe to make some nifty parts for his knife-making business:

John has a great little CNC lathe there, conversions like he has done are very…



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