Friday, September 24, 2010

XL Mini QCTP for the C2 & Some DRO Progress

I've had problems uploading pics here in the last couple of days, so here those are:

I'm sure I could accomplish more of my own projects if I didn't have to make so many projects for class while I'm there, but all those will come in handy some day.  I just finished a pair of screw jacks that are WAY too large to ever use on a Taig, but I'm sure I'll own a milling machine with a vise big enough to put them to use in the not-too-distant future. 

Anyway, most of the power feeds on the Bridgeports there haven't worked in some time, so we installed a new table power feed on one of them the other day.  My plans were to use it today to fly-cut the 3x3x1/4" aluminum angle I'm going to mill for use as a scale mount and protector/cover for the table of my Taig, but I didn't have enough time after turning the caps for the screw jacks, "folding" the ends of them over to secure them loosely around the balls turned with form tools on the smallest adjustable section of the screw jacks (I'm not sure what that operation would technically be called-we used a blunt, radiused HSS bit set well above center to squeeze the small tapered lips of the caps around the balls via pressure from the cross slide), dressing the grinding wheel on the surface grinder, grinding the remaining faces of the new QCTP for the mini lathe, properly tramming the head of the BP, ordering a new cross slide casting kit for the same lathe (A-11 Atlas/Craftsman Style Milling & Line Boring Cross Slide Kit), picking out a few items to order from Enco, and wasting some time online.  I'll perform most of the milling to the aluminum angle Monday morning before I start on my next class project-a toolmaker's/grinding vise.

We've been using Esprit exclusively this semester (instead of MasterCAM, which I prefer), but I've spent a good amount of time in my 3D programming class drawing up parts for my Taig.  Even though it goes against my newer "less projects until more are finished" rule, I've also started drawing up an adjustable graduated tool rest for my 8" bench grinder with mutiple drilled and tapped holes on several patterns, for which I plan to use drill rod and linear bushing ball bearings to eventually build a two-axis attachment for grinding precise geometric shapes and angles in HSS tool bits, a rotating spindle attachment with a power feed-both driven by the same gear motor and coupled with a cogged timing belt and pullies providing ultra-fine feed rates for sharpening end mills, drill bits, and custom tool bits along with an indexing plate and fixture for the spindle for multiple purposes.  This project isn't high on my priority list yet, but it'll be there before too long.  I really need to finish a great deal more of the projects I have on my plate first though...

More soon.

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