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Shaping metal without milling or using lathe???

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#26 whirlpoolm51

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:34 PM

Wow thanks guys!!!! I know have alot of ideas!!! what i have in my shop already is a 10" dril press. 10" bandsaw that i use to cut aluminum and it works wonders!!!

A bench grinder which is nice for aluminum too , angle grinder.plunge router, rotozip spiral saw and a table saw

I will try the drill press technique as i have already tried but thanks to you guys i have a better grasp on it!!! dont worry i wil be okay i was born with a gift when it comes to working wqith tools hahahaha

what i really would like to do is make my own focusers , nuts, bols etc stuff like that

I have made mirror cells , pretty basic ones though

but right now focusers are my main goal!!

#27 jasonharris

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:38 PM

I have seen focusers made with the tools you have, including crayfords if that is what you are trying to do.

Of course they included pipe that was available in the correct inner diameters, no lathe used.

#28 whirlpoolm51

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:43 PM

also i just ordered some aluminum brazing rods for my mapp torch so i can atleast do some little welds here and there!!

i would like to be able to cut large aluminum rings for upper otas also!!

Is there a cheap solution to welding steel??? can you braze it??

#29 Gordon Rayner

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:21 AM

I used the lathes and mills and saws at night school machine shops and still have much of the tooling which accumulated as needed. There really is no good substitute for a good lathe ( think: threading of arbitrary size, or metric threads, or tapers). A good, usually vertical, milling machine with a boring head, for certain applications, would be slow and awkward and imprecise to replace ( hand filing bandsaw cut racetrack shaped openings in aluminum plate?).

I sold a small Emco Austrian vertical mill because of space limitations. Have not tried one of the Asian mill-drills. South Bend drill press ( does anybody have one of the slow speed intermediate pulley cone, dual belt attachments for sale? My countersinks chatter) is very useful, but trying end mills in a Walker-Turner drill press (sold for space reasons) was a shaky situation, for the reasons already described here by others.

A Harbor Freight 12 inch disc sander has been very useful. Male dovetails , or multi-piece female dovetails, can be made with it, corners rounded, etc. " What mill did you use?". Aluminum plate discs can be circularized and semi-finished with a fixture clamped to the sander table. A central shoulder screw, or just a plain screw, is the pivot.

One of the Harbor Freight geared down for metal 7 1/4 inch blade circular saws, with the stock blade replaced by an aluminum cutting blade, leaves a nice, straight, smooth cut which does not need finishing. " What kind of mill did your use?". A track with Teflon lined ways I made, with a clamping system (Carr-Lane components) keeps the saw going straight. It might work freehand.

Were I to re-equip, I should look for one of the geared-down toothed blade 12 inch Makita , or the 14 inch Delta, or other toothed, geared-down chopsaw style saws. They are overpriced new,being just geared-down versions of Chinese abrasive chopsaws ( avoid those for aluminum) but I understand that they are available as returns or reconditioned specimens from the importers.

For finishing, the HF 8 inch grinder/buffer, with the grinding wheel removed, has been a good spindle for the 3M dish-scrubber pad style medium grade discs , for aluminum. I have not used a 3M convoluted wheel I bought ($$$) much yet.

#30 tim53

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:55 AM

I made the equatorial head for my 8" f/6 Springfield using a small metal bandsaw (in upright mode), a drill press, and a mill file. I used one of those adjustable circle cutters that looks like a fly-cutter with a pilot drill in the drill press for cutting the larger hole for the hollow dec axis/focuser, but it was pretty exciting!

Posted Image

Time for a restoration!

Since I made it 32 years ago, I've machined some of the bearing surfaces and focuser base, but it worked for several years with only the manual work done on it.

-Tim.

#31 Dick Jacobson

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 04:15 PM

I often use a HF 7x12 horz/vert bandsaw to cut and shape aluminum. The blade that works best for aluminum is a 4-6 tpi Lenox bi-metal at 255 FPM. This blade cuts aluminum like oak wood. For cutoff in the horizontal mode flood coolant works best. (a 10% solution of Valcool VP650 I use a refractometer to monitor the coolant concentration http://morebeer.com/view_product/18739 ) However in the vertical mode I use a Vortec 610 cold air gun for cooling without the mess. http://www.vortexair...coldairgun.html I typically cut-off aluminum rounds of 7” diameter (even 8" rounds if rotate the round) and easily shape ½”-1” thick aluminum plate with this bandsaw and Lenox blade.

Don Clement

Posted Image

Don, I have a very similar 7x12 bandsaw (Wilton brand) but haven't used it very much because it breaks the blade almost every time I use it. The blade always breaks at the weld. I don't know whether it's just a bad weld, too little tension, too much tension, or what. I don't use any fluid. Any insight?

#32 Pinbout

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 04:22 PM

I often use a HF 7x12 horz/vert bandsaw to cut and shape aluminum. The blade that works best for aluminum is a 4-6 tpi Lenox bi-metal at 255 FPM. This blade cuts aluminum like oak wood. For cutoff in the horizontal mode flood coolant works best. (a 10% solution of Valcool VP650 I use a refractometer to monitor the coolant concentration http://morebeer.com/view_product/18739 ) However in the vertical mode I use a Vortec 610 cold air gun for cooling without the mess. http://www.vortexair...coldairgun.html I typically cut-off aluminum rounds of 7” diameter (even 8" rounds if rotate the round) and easily shape ½”-1” thick aluminum plate with this bandsaw and Lenox blade.

Don Clement

Posted Image

Don, I have a very similar 7x12 bandsaw (Wilton brand) but haven't used it very much because it breaks the blade almost every time I use it. The blade always breaks at the weld. I don't know whether it's just a bad weld, too little tension, too much tension, or what. I don't use any fluid. Any insight?


I had two of them one wilton and the other I think from grizzly, 7x12 is a nice size cause you can get quality bimetal blades.

my blades never broke and I never did the coolent pump thing, but I really never got a good straight cut from it. I'd always have to square it up on my 20in disc sander.

#33 Howie Glatter

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:49 PM

> . . I really never got a good straight cut from it.

The blade guides at the ends of the length-adjustable arms, where the blade leaves and re-enters the saw frame, should have angle adjustments to make the blade square to the work. They have either ball bearings or carbide pieces as blade guides, and should also be adjusted for the thickness of the blade plus a couple thousandts of an inch.

#34 whirlpoolm51

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 06:13 PM

Exactly what howie said!!! my pap has a larger one of those and he has showed me multiple times how to line up and adjust the blade angle and depth , after i kept gettting frustrated becasue my cuts were never straight!! hahaha

i asked my pap about what i could use to cut and shape aluminum and at first he offered to buy me a lathe hahaha but i declined becasue hes just too nice and i can save for one but in the mean time he showed me a really neat trick to where i wont even have to buy a lathe....but...make my own!!!

Basically if you think about it all the lathe is , is very high torque and high rpm motor running the whole thing!! the only thing that makes the lathe unique is its chuck and the slide table plus adjustable speed right??

So my pap ripped open an old bench grinder he had and showed me that with a little time and patience i could make my own lathe with the motor!!! granted i could buy the 3500 rpm motor but they get pricey and hard to find with the right torque/RPM ratio!!

He is going to guide me along and help me build it!! i really nice and intresting project. He has a friend that owns a machine shop also that said he would help us build it and that if i ever want to come to his shop and use the machines i can!! and he even said i could use his aluminum!! how about that!!! all this time and my answer was right in front of me hahahaha

It also clikced that the arduino circuit boards i have are used in many DIY cnc machines which are easily made with the right know how and some junk laying around with stepper motors hooked up to a CAD program!!! has anyone ever looked into this??

#35 Gary Fuchs

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 07:03 PM

Basically if you think about it all the lathe is , is very high torque and high rpm motor running the whole thing!! the only thing that makes the lathe unique is its chuck and the slide table plus adjustable speed right??


Not exactly...maybe you and your pap should spend some time at your friend's machine shop? (hahahaha)

Maybe also have a look at something like this little book while you're building?

Gary

#36 jasonharris

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 07:40 PM

I would use your friends shop to do the odd job for astronomy, you will get your stuff made and use far less of his time than trying to build a lathe.

Speed and torque is usually more a result of the gearing in the lathe for which there are many combinations. Of course the speed of the motor has a bearing on this but it's not really the deciding factor as most lathes will have a basic 1440 or 2880 rpm motor, nothing esoteric.

Perhaps looking at the gingery lathe book may help, I have never looked at it but I assume it goes in to what is required.

My guess is that your dad is showing you something that will let you do some basic turning, more like a wood lathe but far short of what you can do on a metal lathe.

#37 m. allan noah

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 08:46 PM

You don't need to buy a copy of HTRAL, you can download it online: http://wswells.com/d...tral_index.html

Oh, and your pap is about as wrong as can be about what it takes to make a lathe. You want a large diameter, slow speed spindle, not a small fast one. Oh, and you want to be able to thread, and have a tailstock to support the work, etc.

You are still better off buying something and fixing it than building one from scratch, but you have to do your homework first.

allan

#38 tim53

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:47 PM

I have the same saw that don has. I get pretty good results by using the coolant always a d setting the feed as slow as I can stand it. Recently, the smoke got out of the original motor and I replaced it with an old one I had laying around. Now I k ow why it was laying around! I have to hold the sAw back or the smoke will escape that motor too. Will just have to buy a new one I suppose.

Tim

#39 mattflastro

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:51 PM

a lot of good options were suggested.
Some different options :

www.emachineshop.com

www.preciseparts.com

http://www.fotofab.com/

#40 whirlpoolm51

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:10 PM

I didn't mean it was gonna be easy I was just saying fro my grandpap it makes sense and he understands what it takes to construct certain machines. I understand there's a lot more to it but a lathe isn't exactly the most intricate tool around!!! hahaha my pap has worked in welding,machinig, iron works and even glass making in my mind he is ythe king of tools and I am 100 percent confident that he knows what he's doind hahaha if he can make his own mini cnc machines I'm pretty sure he can make me a mini bench lathe!!! plus it would be fun to eee how he does

#41 don clement

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 02:23 AM

Don, I have a very similar 7x12 bandsaw (Wilton brand) but haven't used it very much because it breaks the blade almost every time I use it. The blade always breaks at the weld. I don't know whether it's just a bad weld, too little tension, too much tension, or what. I don't use any fluid. Any insight?


The Chicom 7x12 bandsaw brands are all very similar. Wiltron brand used to be USA made but like most everything else nowadays... What material are you cutting? What type of blade and tpi? Variable tpi or fixed? What blade speed/feed were you using? The 7x12 doesn't have the largest diameter tires so any blade is going to have a limited lifespan, however I get decent lifespan from the Lenox 4-6tpi bi-metal blade when cutting aluminum. I do cut dry in the vertical mode with a table in place using the Vortec cold air gun with no real problems so I don't believe cutting dry is the issue. Aluminum needs a very coarse blade to properly eject the swarf/chips. Too fine a blade (high tpi) with aluminum could cause blade breakage. Blade tension is also a factor. Blade guide alignment and tire alignment can also be factors.

Don

BTW that is a Cenco lab jack in the vise behind the round. The lab jack allows me to hold really short rounds in the bandsaw vise and get the most from my stock.

#42 jasonharris

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 02:31 AM

You're knowledge of a lathe doesnt seem to be that great. If you had any amount of time on one I think you would have a better appreciation of what is involved, or you should if you have had to make precise parts.

Others have given you fairly good advise. If you really want one I would suggest you take your grandad up on his suggestion to get you one, pay him back even.

I would talk to him and be sure that what he is suggesting is something that would do what you want. I dont believe it is, building a lathe is something no one would undertake unless it was for the project itself. To build a lathe to use for work doesnt make sense if you can afford one.

#43 skinnyonce

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 03:09 AM

lets not forget ole Mr safety

#44 Mirzam

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 08:24 AM

Actually, to build a proper lathe, you need....a lathe. (And a milling machine).

Okay you could buy a lot of already made lathe parts and not need the lathe to make them. But then you might as well buy a used lathe.

JimC

#45 Pinbout

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:20 AM

I am 100 percent confident that he knows what he's doind hahaha if he can make his own mini cnc machines I'm pretty sure he can make me a mini bench lathe!!!



your absolutely right. I don't know why your getting all this push back on a dream you have. its great you can participate with someone that you totally look up to.

I got to try to make some things with my grandfather but that was when I was 12 [a long time ago]

#46 Dick Jacobson

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:20 AM

Don, I have a very similar 7x12 bandsaw (Wilton brand) but haven't used it very much because it breaks the blade almost every time I use it. The blade always breaks at the weld. I don't know whether it's just a bad weld, too little tension, too much tension, or what. I don't use any fluid. Any insight?


The Chicom 7x12 bandsaw brands are all very similar. Wiltron brand used to be USA made but like most everything else nowadays... What material are you cutting? What type of blade and tpi? Variable tpi or fixed? What blade speed/feed were you using? The 7x12 doesn't have the largest diameter tires so any blade is going to have a limited lifespan, however I get decent lifespan from the Lenox 4-6tpi bi-metal blade when cutting aluminum. I do cut dry in the vertical mode with a table in place using the Vortec cold air gun with no real problems so I don't believe cutting dry is the issue. Aluminum needs a very coarse blade to properly eject the swarf/chips. Too fine a blade (high tpi) with aluminum could cause blade breakage. Blade tension is also a factor. Blade guide alignment and tire alignment can also be factors.

Don

BTW that is a Cenco lab jack in the vise behind the round. The lab jack allows me to hold really short rounds in the bandsaw vise and get the most from my stock.

There is a noticeable "thump" every time the weld passes through the guide rollers, even with a new blade. Gradually the thump gets more intense until the blade breaks. I cut both aluminum and mild steel, occasionally stainless. So far I've used only carbon steel blades, maybe I'll try a bi-metal. I've had my broken blades welded at a local shop and the welds don't look real neat so that could be part of the problem, but I've also broken a few brand-new blades from Grainger. I've played around with blade tension and that doesn't seem to help, use a slow feed rate (1 or 2 on the dial) and tightened the spring to lower the vertical force.

I also have one of the little $200 4x6 bandsaws and do almost all of my cutting with it. At least it never breaks blades, although they come loose sometimes!

#47 whirlpoolm51

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:36 AM

found a used sherline lathe and milling machine package at a local used tool shop for 950!!!!!!! I aw this package on ebay going for 1500 with both lathe and miller and tools !!! I am going to get it!!! - I really do thank you all for your help all of your ideas got the ball rolling!! ecspecially the bandsaw ideas !!! the bandsaw is really an all around good tool

#48 Geo.

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:15 AM

How expensive is it, really? I have a Smithy Chinese made three way (MIDAS 1220 XL). These are not the greatest mills in the world, but you can do a lot with them. I found it in the Want Ad Digest and had to travel 20 miles to pick it up. I paid $700. The mill sells new for about $2050 with the freight. The seller tossed in about $1000 (retail) value) in accessories. I was able to get it out of the seller's basement and into my compact SUV. It's been a lot of fun learning to use it and I've been able to make a little money with it. One benefit of dealing with Smithy is that do provide parts support.

#49 tim53

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:43 PM

Old used machine tools are like old classic telescopes and antique cars - people want the new stuff so its not hard to find the old stuff in good condition for great prices. People collect classic scopes (or cars) because they like them, but they're still quite functional in the modern era, and since there are so many old ones in great condition still available, it doesn't make sense for someone to build their own or buy new unless that's specifically what they want (at much higher cost)

Tim

#50 Happy-Idiot

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 06:36 PM

I only wish i could do some of the quality work in this video for example






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