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Browsing articles in "Techniques"

Making a Lathe Compound from Scratch

May 30, 2010   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Manual, Techniques  //  No Comments

This was an enjoyable video I came across:
I might follow a similar approach to make a gang slide for my Lathemaster 9×30.…

Limit/Home Switch Noise

May 23, 2010   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Techniques  //  1 Comment

I recently got my Home Switches going and decided to go ahead and enable them to act as limit switches too. That’s when I became aware of just how much noise there was on the lines. I was getting a gratuitous limit fault from noise about every 2 to 3 minutes. No worries, I did…

Gang Tool a Turret

May 18, 2010   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Techniques  //  1 Comment

Clever idea to get an extra ID tool in a turret (there’s never enough slots):

Think of it as a gang tool slide on your turret……

The Swing-Away Tailstock

May 17, 2010   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Products, Techniques  //  No Comments

A fourth axis can lead to tight quarters inside a mill enclosure. Enter the swing-away tailstock. Nikken tailstocks for fourth axis work have a swing way feature:

The tailstock up and ready for action…

And here it is down and out of the way so the part can be loaded…
Thanks to Boris on the…

What Are the Best Toolholders?

May 17, 2010   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Techniques  //  1 Comment

According to Google Analytics, one of the most popular pages on this site is the one about surface finish for milling. As a result, I am busy updating the page to include a bunch of newer information I’ve come across since I first wrote it.
For example, as part of the research, I recently read…

Rolling Into a Cut

May 15, 2010   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Software, Techniques  //  No Comments

Here’s a great tip, courtesy of Sandvik, with a hat tip to Don “Milacron” at the PM Boards. This Sandvik video explains the gist of it:
I’m fascinated by these geometric effects. Chip thinning is another. Isn’t it interesting how Mother Nature tends to like circles better than straight lines? Chip thinning, rolling into a…

Yaskawa Has the Mojo

May 7, 2010   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Techniques  //  No Comments

I correspond with a lot of machinists who bring me ideas for this blog or otherwise just want to talk over something they see here. My post on Yaskawa vs “Hobby” servos shook loose an interesting one. This is a machinist I’ve had a lot of great discussions with who does a lot of retrofits.…

“Pro” vs “Hobby” Servos

Apr 29, 2010   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Techniques  //  No Comments

How different are the performance specs of “Pro” vs “Hobby” servos?
I’ve heard a lot of claims, but it’s easy enough just to go look at the published specs. Here, I’ll take a Yaskawa 750W Sigma-5 AC Servo (typical axis drive for a Haas VMC) against the HomeshopCNC 850 oz-in DC servos I have installed…

Why Do I Have to Know a Range of SFM’s and Chiploads?

Apr 28, 2010   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Software, Techniques  //  No Comments

Saw a great question over on CNCZone this morning. A beginner was trying to understand why so many cutter manufacturers publish ranges of surface speed (SFM) and chipload (inches per tooth) values for their cutters. I suspect his broader question was how to know what number in the range to use when calculating the feeds…

More Shaper Tricks on a CNC Mill: Cutting Splines

Apr 27, 2010   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Techniques  //  1 Comment

I continue to be amazed, entertained, and intrigued when I see Simpson36’s work with his fancy 4th axis rig on his scratch-built mill. His latest is showing how to cut splines and other fairly exotic shapes using a lathe tool lashed to the side of the mill head:

Something to note: this is a very…

Kluber’s Magic Spindle Bearing Grease

Apr 27, 2010   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Techniques  //  1 Comment

Since having published the details of where to obtain it in small quantity (directly off their web store), I’ve seen a number of folks over on CNCZone pick up a tube. One fellow (gd.marsh on CNCZone) is now testing the spindle on his Chinese mill to 8000 rpm–cool beans!
After seeing all this, I finally…

Another Use for a Dual Indicator Rig (aka Traminator)

Apr 22, 2010   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Techniques  //  No Comments

I love my “Traminator” (what I call the dual indicator tramming tool I received as a gift), but had thought of it as a very special purpose tool only useful for tramming the mill until I saw this picture on a Practical Machinist thread:

Ray Behner created this tool, and what a cool idea it…

Kurt Vises for Sheet Metal Bending (aka Way Covers)

Apr 13, 2010   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, CNC Projects, Techniques  //  No Comments

Kurt-style vises have 1001 uses, I am sure. Maybe this is 1002. Having my nice set of Vise Jaws of Doom sitting on the table from an engraving project gave me an idea. Could they be used as a sheet metal brake? You betcha!
Here are the jaws:

Here they are being used to bend…

Machine Tuning as Preventative Maintenance

Apr 11, 2010   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Techniques  //  No Comments

I like to fiddle a bit with my machines every now and again to make sure they’re adjusted to tip top condition. The CNC mill seems to benefit from this the most. For example, the gibbs and sometimes the Mach3 motor tuning parameters benefit from periodic adjustment. Perhaps surprisingly, the tuning varies depending on conditions.…

Interpolated Holes Not Round!

Apr 10, 2010   //   by Bob Warfield   //   Blog, Software, Techniques  //  No Comments

Interpolated holes are a great test of a CNC milling machine because so many things have to work right for one to come out round and on dimension. The first reaction when an interpolated hole is not round is often that it is a machine problem. Backlash on one or more axes, improper number of…


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