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Browsing articles from "April, 2012"

Be Sure to Upgrade to G-Wizard Editor Latest Release!

Apr 30, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, GCode  //  No Comments

Those of you who are beta testing our G-Wizard Editor, be sure to upgrade to the latest 0.437 release.  I have fixed a crash/lock-up bug that could very commonly strike while editing code.  Thanks to our user Don for finding a set of steps that would reproduce this problem every time.  Once I had that set of steps, I was able to find the problem very quickly and fix it.
Click here for the G-Wizard Editor Install Page.… Read the rest

How Much Torque on a Kurt Vise?

Apr 29, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Techniques  //  2 Comments

Found a good little tip over on CNCZone. One fellow says he put a torque wrench on his Kurt vise and discovered the fixed jaw starts to move if you torque it more than 45 ft lbs. Obviously you’re also asking for trouble if you crank your vise down with a workpiece only sticking partially on one side of the jaws.
Supposedely the Kurt 3600 has a pull, not a push screw, and is beefier in the right spots. This reduces flex 80%.
If you’re concerned about these vise torque issues, I have written in the past about Measuring and Controlling the Clamping Force in a Vise.  … Read the rest

A Couple of Very Cool 4th Axis Videos

Apr 28, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Cool  //  1 Comment

I’ve been watching and corresponding with this fellow for a little while now, and he has just released two new videos:

Being able to lock the axis opens up some possibilities, like slotting keyways. I’ve been thinking about this possibility for a while, though not in conjunction with a 4th axis…

 Love the two speed belt drive too!
I’ve been accumulating some parts to build a 4th axis along these lines.… Read the rest

10 More Things Beginning CNC Milling Users Need to Succeed

Apr 25, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, Techniques  //  6 Comments

At the end of my first article, “10 Things Beginning CNC Milling Users Need to Succeed“, I promised a second installment.  It’s taken a little longer than I had hoped (things always seem to), but with the help of our good friends at CNCZone, I now have 10 More Things to help the beginner succeed:
1. Get a copy of Machinery’s Handbook and compare it to the information in a tooling catalog
The folks on the ‘Zone were adamant about the importance of Machinery’s Handbook.  I have one, in fact, I have 2 different editions of Machinery’s Handbook and one edition of another handbook, and I have a confession to make:  I refer to them very seldom.  … Read the rest

Guest Blogging Guidelines

Apr 23, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Business, Guest-Post  //  No Comments

CNCCookbook loves to get pitches for guest posts on this site.  While we’ll always have a lot to say ourselves (hey quit chuckling out there in the audience!), we realize we’re not the only ones with something to contribute. We have a large and engaged audience of machinists from all walks who interested in what you might have to contribute.  In fact, we’ve even created a special blog category for our Guest Posts.  And, we’ve had some wonderful guest posters including Art Fenerty, the Father of Mach3, and Robert Grzesek, founder of Grzsoftware and creator of the excellent MeshCAM 3D CAM software.  … Read the rest

Tramming Your Mill

Apr 22, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, Techniques  //  No Comments

I noticed we were getting a lot of traffic to the Mill Tips and Techniques page from people searching for how to Tram their Mill.   So, I made a special page just about Tramming a Mill, added even more content to it, and put a few new things onto Mill Tips and Techniques since I took the tramming information off that page.

Got my spindle squeegee, Traminator, wrenches, and pry bar (helps to have a little leverage when tramming).   All set for an exciting afternoon tramming the mill, woohoo!
Hopefully it helps people find what they’re looking for sooner.… Read the rest

Our Blog Posts, delivered to your inbox, whenever there’s something new.

Apr 21, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog  //  No Comments

Why keep checking back in your browser for changes manually?
Instead, sit back and let us tell you whenever there’s something new posted on the CNCCookbook blog. We check once a week, and if we have new posts, you’ll receive an email digest of those posts. Each of our digests will be chock full of the sorts of things you’ve come to expect from us:
1. New Techniques
2. New Projects
3. Ideas and Inspiration
4. More Software and Deals
Go ahead, click the button and subscribe:

If you ever change your mind, there is an “unsubscribe” link on every email we send!… Read the rest

New G-Code Course Chapter: Tool Changes and Tool Offsets

Apr 19, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, GCode, Software  //  No Comments

These new G-Code Course chapters come fast and furious when I am working on the G-Wizard G-Code Editor/Simulator and the addition of a new feature prompts me to write about it.
This chapter is called “Tool Changes and Tool Offsets” and describes how to go about programming tool changes in g-code on lathes and mills, and it also talks a bit about Tool Geometry Offsets and Tool Wear Offsets.
This completes the Basic section of the Course, which is a major milestone.  We have some chapters written for the Intermediate and Advanced sections, as well as reference materials like our G-Code Charts, but there is still quite a lot of work to be done before we can truly call the G-Code course finished.  … Read the rest

New G-Code Course Chapter: G96 Constant Surface Speed Programming

Apr 15, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, GCode, Techniques  //  No Comments

If you’re familiar with feeds and speeds, or if you’ve ever read through a tooling catalog, surface speed is a quantity used to define how fast the tool tip can move across the workpiece. It is handier than spindle rpm because it is independent of diameter. For a given rpm, surface speed changes at every distance from the center.
For example, suppose we’re running a lathe at 2000 rpm, and we want to face off a 2″ diameter workpiece. At the start, the tool is 1″ from the center of the workpiece. At 2,000 rpm the surface speed may be calculated as follows:
Surface Speed = RPM * Pi * Diameter
So, our surface speed is 2000 * 3.14 * 1, nearly 6300 inches per minute.… Read the rest

Radio Controlled Submarines: What Else on a Friday the 13th?

Apr 13, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Cool  //  No Comments

I was casting about for something kind of fun to post about this Friday the 13th and serendipity struck.  I went first to a classified for a CNC Router, which happened to be on a forum for submarine builders called “Sub Pirates”.  It didn’t take me long to wonder what sort of place I had landed in and the rest, as they say, is history.  I had no idea this hobby was so popular, but I quickly found several sites dedicated to pursuit of happiness building radio controlled submarines.  Go figure!
Anyway, this does seem like the sort of thing where having access to machine tools and the know-how to use them might come in pretty handy.… Read the rest

How About Building a Scale Tank You Can Ride Around In?

Apr 13, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Cool  //  No Comments

Continuing our Friday the 13th fun theme, I had also come across these nearly full scale tanks various folks are building some time ago.  My favorite was this series from an Aussie.  I must say, I’ve never met an Aussie who didn’t know how to have a good time, and this chap is no exception.
Here is part 1 on building a Sherman Tank replica:

He also has a site called
Man, I’m going to need a bigger workshop!… Read the rest

G-Wizard Goodies for the CNC Router Gang in GWC 1.635

Apr 11, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Router, FeedsSpeeds, Software  //  No Comments

There’s gotten to be quite a few of CNC Router folks using our G-Wizard Calculator so I wanted to do a release that addresses some of their special needs.  I have just uploaded G-Wizard Calculator version 1.635, and it includes several nifty things.
First, it has direct support for downcut, compression, and straight flute router cutters.  They can be selected from the geometry drop down menu:

Feeds and Speeds for Router Cutters…
Second, we’ve now added a Minimum RPM setting to the machine profiles so you can tell it the minimum speed your spindle will go.  Many routers have a pretty darned high minimum rpm for their spindles, so this is an important feature.  … Read the rest

Welcome to Gearotic Motion

Apr 10, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, CNC Router, Guest-Post, Software  //  7 Comments

This is a guest blog post by Art Fenerty, father of Mach3 and now the Gearotic Motion software.  I asked Art to tell us in his own words what was really great about Gearotic Motion and that’s what he’s done.  If it sounds interesting, please check out the various deals we’re offering on Gearotic Motion.
Hi, my name is Art Fenerty, and Bob (your host here) has asked me to introduce Gearotic Motion to you and will be offering it here from this site. Its Bob’s thought that an introduction may help explain what Gearotic is all about and give you an idea as to my background.… Read the rest

Announcing Our New Partnership with Art Fenerty’s Gearotic Motion

Apr 8, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, CNC Router, Cool, Software  //  1 Comment

Happy Easter all!
I’m proud to announce this new project with Art, where we’ll be offering his unique Gearotic Motion Software here on CNCCookbook.
Even if you don’t know Art, you probably do know Mach3.  Art was the original father of Mach3 and still works Brian on special projects.  He’s one of the CNC world’s software geniuses as well as an amazingly helpful and nice guy, and we’re proud to be working with him.
Aside from Mach3, Gearotic Motion is one of Art’s other creations.  Think of Gearotic Motion as a special purpose CAD/CAM system for designing, simulating, and producing g-code for making gears.  … Read the rest

CNC Router Cutter Types and How to Use Them

Apr 6, 2012   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Beginner, Blog, CNC Router, FeedsSpeeds, Software, Techniques  //  5 Comments

While you can use endmills and twist drills that are typical of the non-router (or gantry mill, if you prefer) CNC world, there are a number of special cutters than can help out in a variety of situations.
Let’s do a quick survey with some tips:
Upcut vs Downcut

Upcut router bit – aka conventional endmill…
Depending on which way the spiral goes on a cutter, you get a cutter that either moves the chips up or down.  Whichever way the chips are going, there is also force exerted on the workpiece in the same directions.  So, an upcut will move the chips up and out of the cut, and it will tend to pull up on the workpiece.  … Read the rest



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