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Discussion Starter #1
I asked this in another thread but now I think it will get better exposer here

Can you guys post pictures of you metal working stuff. Mills and Lathes and stuff.

I got some Ideas and I would like to see what you guys are working with.

I have on the drawing board a CNC Plasma Cutter.

My thought with that is to build better Industrial sites. Like Ore Conveyors and the like.

Better looking bridges. Pedestrian walk ways and such

PS VIVA SPELL CHECK
 

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RE: MILLS & LATHES & METTAL STUFF

Can I contract with you to have parts cut when you get your cnc plasma cutter :)
 

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John,

CNC plasma machines are interesting beasts. Are you planning to buy one, or to build one from scratch?

The latter is not that difficult, though it takes a lot of time and effort. If building one, there are several online resources you should check out:


http://www.mechmate.com/forums/index.php

http://www.talkshopbot.com/forum/discus.cgi

These first two are CNC router sites - the former is about how to build one from scratch - an absolutely enormous site with detailed plans and multi-page discussions on virtually everything down to the size and type of bolts to use. The second is also about CNC routers, but in this case the propietary ShopBot - I include this site as there used to be quite a few 'Botters that wrote about using their Bots as plasma cutters - you'll need to go to the archives and search there. A CNC plasma cutter is nothing but a CNC router with the torch subsituted as the tool head. There are some additional modifications that are necessary - sheilding the wiring as well as the racks/pinions - but they are not too onerous. From what I've read, the only brand of plasma cutter to go with is the Hypertherm line - not cheap but you never read of anyone ever complaining about them either.


There are also some Yahoo groups to join:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CncManualPlasmacutting/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CAD_CAM_EDM_DRO/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DIY-CNC/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mach1mach2cnc/

One fo the main things to consider is where you're going to put the thing. Vaporized metal is a rather nasty substance and will deposit on EVERYTHING within 50'. Computers have to be well sheilded with industrial grade filters for the cooling fans - that metal will short out the motherboard in short order. You also need someway to extract the fumes - in many jurisdictions there are serious obstacles to setting one of these up because of the hazardous smoke these things generate.


By way of disclaimer, I do not have one, but I do have a ShopBot. I considered a plasma cutter several years ago, but the hassle seemed to far outweigh any benefit. Whenever I need something cut, I take it to this one job shop that gives me a choice of plasma, waterjet or high powered CO2 laser cutting.

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #5
First I looked a "PLASMA CAM"

I fully assembled one is 9 to 10 K

They sell the software alone for 2K

Then I looked at " TORCH MATE" They are more reasonable and it comes in kit form. Some weare around 2.5 K

Then I found this book called " CNC ROBOTICS" It tells how to build one from scratch for about 1,500

I think I got enough stuff around here to do it.

The only expensive part is the Plasma Cutter itself.

I think the cutter I get will do stock about 3/4 in thick.

I bid on some Linear Bearings and bar stock and I am waiting to hear back.

I also got a bid in on some ACME LEAD SCREWS. I need three.

Soon as I get all the stuff together I will start posting picture.

Once I get it all together and test it I will be open to making parts or stuff for everybody.

Also still got a little to pay off on my trip to Marty's Which I am making great progress on.

I am figureing aprox 2 months to get it together.
 

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RE: MILLS & LATHES & METTAL STUFF

Dwight, modern shop technology is great, but somehow I don't have any of it in my shop.

Milling machine-- circa 1900 Van Norman #2, originally driven by flat belts from overhead jack shaft, possibly steam powered. Saved it from going to scrap. Now equipped with a Rusnok vertical head. Even the company that bought out Rusnok is now gone.

Lathe--South Bend 10x24 toolroom model with quickchange. First put in service in 1942 by US Navy. Still has War Production Board and Navy brass ID tags, and original paint. It came to me via Rutgers University, which had been doing military contract work.

Drill press--Leland-Gifford 3/8" bench model, with all ball-bearing pulleys and spindle. Don't know date or history, but it was also originally flat belt driven from overhead. I removed the clutch and built an electric motor drive.

Bandsaw--old 12" Sears (60's?) with a reduction gearbox fitted for metal cutting. 6" pedestal grinder and bench arbor press, both bought used. 12" DiAcro sheetmetal shear and finger brake, both rescued from scrapping and restored.

Have to admit to a recent machine--an ENCO band cutoff saw which I bought new a few years ago. Got tired of hacksawing.

Shop and bench items--some made by me during my toolmaker apprenticeship 1957 to '61 at Bell Labs.

Larry
 

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Posted By Larry Green on 10/27/2008 2:11 PM
Dwight, modern shop technology is great, but somehow I don't have any of it in my shop.

Milling machine-- circa 1900 Van Norman #2, originally driven by flat belts from overhead jack shaft, possibly steam powered. Saved it from going to scrap. Now equipped with a Rusnok vertical head. Even the company that bought out Rusnok is now gone.

Lathe--South Bend 10x24 toolroom model with quickchange. First put in service in 1942 by US Navy. Still has War Production Board and Navy brass ID tags, and original paint. It came to me via Rutgers University, which had been doing military contract work.

Drill press--Leland-Gifford 3/8" bench model, with all ball-bearing pulleys and spindle. Don't know date or history, but it was also originally flat belt driven from overhead. I removed the clutch and built an electric motor drive.

Bandsaw--old 12" Sears (60's?) with a reduction gearbox fitted for metal cutting. 6" pedestal grinder and bench arbor press, both bought used. 12" DiAcro sheetmetal shear and finger brake, both rescued from scrapping and restored.

Have to admit to a recent machine--an ENCO band cutoff saw which I bought new a few years ago. Got tired of hacksawing.

Shop and bench items--some made by me during my toolmaker apprenticeship 1957 to '61 at Bell Labs.

Larry




You could make a guy drool with that list of equipment... but I bet you have one more thing that I know I ain't got...

TALENT.
 

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JJ You are talking in an area I am really famaliar with, we run a plasma 5-7 hours every day, we are setting our second one up now hopefully to have it going real soon. We run the Thermal Dynamics plasma, we were actually selected to test the new non high frequency machine that requires no shielding, Our system has been running for one year on the test machine and three years on its replacement, Our second machine also has the exact same machine.
My systems are run by a controller made by a guy in Phoenix, it works very well and does not have a few whistles and bells that some programs have but for the price I love it. We have three of his controllers 2 plasma and one router. He did not build the machines theirselves just the controllers and the programs. With the things you mentioned you maybe overbuilding your machine, the only acme screw we have is the Z axis lift , all the other drives are stepper motors with linier slides driven by rack and pinion, works very well, if you would like some more info just give a call at the business at 800-766-8263 if you want I could shoot you some pictures. The smoke is a real serious issue, and yes I use it alot for modeling I love it for that.
Dennis
 

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RE: MILLS & LATHES & METTAL STUFF

You are correct--I have experience. But, many of my friends in the hobby come from all professions and have become accomplished machinist/modelmakers. From real interest and a willingness to learn, comes the skill. For hobby or to earn a living. One member of NJLS, a retired banker, doesn't build models--he buys old machinery and shop stuff to restore, just because it interests him.
One of the things that makes model railroading, in all its many variations, such a great hobby, is the exposure to so many skills involved. For me, it seems hard to believe after all these years, that I signed on for my apprenticeship so I could learn how to build a live steam locomotive. True! I knew what a lathe was, but never heard of a milling machine.
BTW, I will be wearing my MLS shirt for the first time this weekend, at the Syracuse Train Fair.

Larry
 

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RE: MILLS & LATHES & METTAL STUFF

JJ
Will post pic's of my mills, lathe other stuff when I get back home this weekend. I have everything but the grid table to build a 5' X 9' CNC plasma table.
On mine I will be using ballthread and ballnuts. This is 100% better than using leedscrews in that the ballnuts never need adjusted for slack play. You can
get the ballscrews up to 10 feet long for less than most leedscrews go on e-bay. I will also post the more information on them when I get home also.
Rodney
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Good Piece of information Rod. I was under the impression that ball screws were more expensive than Leedscrews. Cant wait to see what you got.
 

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RE: MILLS & LATHES & METTAL STUFF

I couldn't believe, when I came to the Chicago area, that there are actually companies that call themselves "ACME."


And there is a van that pulls up to the building labeled, "Speedy Delivery." I haven't asked if he was Mr. McFeeley.
 

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RE: MILLS & LATHES & METTAL STUFF



This is my Bridgeport mill. I've installed 2 axis DRO (digital read out) and a digital scale on the quill. It has power feed on the X axis, and I will
install it on the Y axis this winter. I have a rotary table with dividing head. I also have a right angle drive and arbor support, for horizontal milling.
This is a kind of rare one in that it is has a factory single phase motor on it.






This is my 14 x 54 Clausing lathe. It is also has a single phase motor on it. I want to install a 2 axis DRO sometime in the future




This is a Harbor Freight mill drill with a 2 hp single phase motor. This is the first machine tool that I bought. I have 2 axis DRO on it also.


[http://www.grizzly.com/products/7-x-12-Mini-Metal-Lathe/G8688]
[http://www.grizzly.com/products/Mini-Milling-Machine/G8689]

I have one of each of these that are disassembled to convert to CNC. I have the ballthreads made for the mill and one of them for the
lathe.

Rodney
 

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John: Here's my little shop. I only work on Gauge 1 stuff

Lathe is Atlas 6". I love it. Been in the shop 31 years.



The Mill-Drill is a small Grizzly. Excellent drill press, but a worthless mill.



Bench next to the Mill.



Bling on the walls.



Here's the way it really looks:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hey Bob
You Mill lookes like my shop right now.

I am working on a larger one and the old one will be for train storage.

Thanks for the pic's
 

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RE: MILLS & LATHES & METTAL STUFF

Bob,

I just got a Atlas 6" but the newer blue version. Had to replace some bushings on the carriage to tighten up the travel wheel. Otherwise its a strong little lathe. Have a 4" 4 Jaw and a 3 Jaw. Picked up a ER collet holder and collets from 3/32-1"

Im working on some dial indicator stops so I have the ability to use a indicator on both directions. They didnt think to leave much area for a magnetic base on these except for the front of the bed.

Id really like to find some larger dials for the handwheels with a thumbscrew. A friend did that on his SB heavy 10" and they are so much easier to see and reset.
 

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Hi Jason: You will like that Atlas 6". You can make a lot of stuff for it or adapt parts from other lathes. Check out:

http://www.littlemachineshop.com/default.php

They have a lot of small lathe parts. They have 1" x 10TPI blank adapter plates to fit the spindle nose. In case you have an odd chuck or face place you want to mount. Go to "Products" then "Lathe Chucks" then "Adapters".
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hey Bob
Thanks for the link. I just added it to my Tool section in My Favorites.
 
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