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don clement
Vendor (Clement Focuser)


Reged: 02/02/11

Loc: Running Springs, California
Re: Shaping metal without milling or using lathe??? new [Re: jasonharris]
      #5637410 - 01/22/13 05:33 PM

Quote:

I think a lot of you may have got lucky when using a drill press for milling, as pointed out they dont have a draw bar and usually have very small tapers which will usually fall out with side loads - if it's work for you though...




+1 Caution on using the drill press for milling from my own experience. My old drill press has a #2 Morse taper with no draw bar. Also using an Albrecht drill chuck for holding an end mill is not advised. Chicom Mill drills with R8 spindle are pretty cheap nowadays although I really prefer a mill with a dovetail column not the round column mill drill.

BTW it's not really the size of the taper but how the end mill is held and the design of the spindle. E.g. my Sherline mill has a #1 Morse taper in the spindle but end mills up to 3/8" are held in a collet with a drawbar. My Sherline 5400 mill (upgraded to a model 2000 8 way mill http://www.sherline.com/2000pg.htm ) can be carried by hand and stored on a bookshelf but can really do some pretty big mill work. I built my first focuser prototype that measured 6” on each side with the Sherline mill in the second bedroom of a condo in San Diego. So one doesn’t really need massive machine tools to do real sized mill work, just well designed machine tools.

Don Clement

Edited by don clement (01/22/13 06:10 PM)


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StarStuff1
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 04/01/07

Loc: South of the Mason-Dixon Line
Re: Shaping metal without milling or using lathe??? new [Re: don clement]
      #5637428 - 01/22/13 05:42 PM

I have used a large drill press with a sliding table to mill a few aluminum pieces. A very few as it was obvious one could easily get hurt.

In my shop are two small lathes. The smaller one is a Unimat. It has been a workhorse for smaller pieces such as eyepiece barrels and adapters.

Of all the tools in my shop: two tablesaws, oscillating spindle sander, disc sander, wood planer, band saw, etc, etc the one that has hurt me the most physically is the drill press. I just gotta learn to clamp things down and respect 2/3rds HP at 650 rpm.


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JohnH
Carpal Tunnel
****

Reged: 10/04/05

Loc: Squamish BC Moved!!!!!
Re: Shaping metal without milling or using lathe??? new [Re: StarStuff1]
      #5637563 - 01/22/13 07:06 PM

The first thing I did was I cultivated a relationship with a friend who did the sorts of projects using skills I needed.

Robin Allen http://www.thecrossbowmansden.com/Home.html organized the White Tower Society locally, and built various bows, crossbows and ring mail.

He showed me that you can go a long way with files,a hacksaw, a drill press and a lot of brains. Things like packing a files rills with talcum powder to get the last smoothing cuts perfect and keep the file from galling on aluminum.

He showed me how to cut aluminum tube and smaller stock on a table saw, and other pieces with a router and some jigs.

I agree that brass and aluminum are great materials to use. Soft enough to cut by hand if need be, workable with with common power tools most people can use in a shop without 220 wiring.

I did use 1/16" brass stock to face three cases I built for telescopes or accessories, and used a file to make it flush to the inside and at a 45 degree bevel on the other face. I did two of the three before Robin said you could just use a router and a flush and bevel bits instead but use a file for the final finish.


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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: Shaping metal without milling or using lathe??? new [Re: don clement]
      #5637634 - 01/22/13 07:59 PM

Quote:

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.biz/Cooling/ColdAirGun/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






Don:

That's a pretty nice saw. In my job, I do a lot of one off designs and work closely with a machine shop. They can do some amazing things with their saws, nice finishes with dimensions to within maybe 0.010." Those saws cost as much as a decent lathe or mill.

A couple of dozen donuts goes a long way in getting precision parts made.

Jon


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don clement
Vendor (Clement Focuser)


Reged: 02/02/11

Loc: Running Springs, California
Re: Shaping metal without milling or using lathe??? new [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5637775 - 01/22/13 09:08 PM

Quote:


Don:

That's a pretty nice saw. In my job, I do a lot of one off designs and work closely with a machine shop. They can do some amazing things with their saws, nice finishes with dimensions to within maybe 0.010." Those saws cost as much as a decent lathe or mill.

A couple of dozen donuts goes a long way in getting precision parts made.

Jon




Jon,

This Taiwanese 7x12 bandsaw was not really that expensive and can hold 0.010". I bought my 7x12 bandsaw from the local Harbor Freight down in the now bankrupt city of San Bernardino ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smfdZKg_XFc I believe this song sung by Jane Russell was a little joke from Howard Hughes about SB who was a writer and executive producer of "His Kind of Woman" 1951) was on sale combined with a 20% web coupon for IIR ~$450. BTW similar 4x6 bandsaws are going new for ~$200. The Lenox 4-6tpi bi-metal blade was perhaps $50 more. The blades are an expendable item so I have several spares. The one thing about having your own machine tools is that you can make changes and not have to rely on favors from some machine shop. In my case I also have a CNC mill so go directly from CAD design software to CAD software to producing parts myself- no middlemen. The bandsaw just makes it easier to put the raw aluminum stock into the right form to go onto the CNC mill.

Don Clement


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whirlpoolm51
professor emeritus
****

Reged: 01/05/12

Loc: pittsburgh,pa
Re: Shaping metal without milling or using lathe??? new [Re: don clement]
      #5637899 - 01/22/13 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!!


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jasonharris
sage


Reged: 09/16/06

Re: Shaping metal without milling or using lathe??? new [Re: whirlpoolm51]
      #5637907 - 01/22/13 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.


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whirlpoolm51
professor emeritus
****

Reged: 01/05/12

Loc: pittsburgh,pa
Re: Shaping metal without milling or using lathe??? new [Re: jasonharris]
      #5637924 - 01/22/13 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??


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Gordon Rayner
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/24/07

Re: Shaping metal without milling or using lathe??? new [Re: whirlpoolm51]
      #5638158 - 01/23/13 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.


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tim53
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: Shaping metal without milling or using lathe??? new [Re: Gordon Rayner]
      #5638655 - 01/23/13 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!



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.


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Dick Jacobson
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/22/06

Loc: Plymouth, Minnesota, USA
Re: Shaping metal without milling or using lathe??? new [Re: don clement]
      #5639179 - 01/23/13 04:15 PM

Quote:

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.biz/Cooling/ColdAirGun/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





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?


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Pinbout
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/22/10

Loc: nj
Re: Shaping metal without milling or using lathe??? new [Re: Dick Jacobson]
      #5639195 - 01/23/13 04:22 PM

Quote:

Quote:

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.biz/Cooling/ColdAirGun/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





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.


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Howie Glatter
Vendor


Reged: 07/04/06

Re: Shaping metal without milling or using lathe??? new [Re: Pinbout]
      #5639309 - 01/23/13 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.


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whirlpoolm51
professor emeritus
****

Reged: 01/05/12

Loc: pittsburgh,pa
Re: Shaping metal without milling or using lathe??? new [Re: Howie Glatter]
      #5639352 - 01/23/13 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??


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Gary Fuchs
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 05/22/06

Loc: Easton, PA, USA
Re: Shaping metal without milling or using lathe??? new [Re: whirlpoolm51]
      #5639434 - 01/23/13 07:03 PM

Quote:

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


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jasonharris
sage


Reged: 09/16/06

Re: Shaping metal without milling or using lathe??? new [Re: Gary Fuchs]
      #5639471 - 01/23/13 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.


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m. allan noah
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 08/14/09

Loc: Virginia, USA
Re: Shaping metal without milling or using lathe??? new [Re: jasonharris]
      #5639547 - 01/23/13 08:46 PM

You don't need to buy a copy of HTRAL, you can download it online: http://wswells.com/data/htral/htral_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


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tim53
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 12/17/04

Loc: Highland Park, CA
Re: Shaping metal without milling or using lathe??? new [Re: m. allan noah]
      #5639607 - 01/23/13 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


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mattflastro
Vendor - Astrovideo Systems


Reged: 07/31/09

Loc: Brevard County , FL
Re: Shaping metal without milling or using lathe??? new [Re: tim53]
      #5639727 - 01/23/13 10:51 PM

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

www.emachineshop.com

www.preciseparts.com

http://www.fotofab.com/


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whirlpoolm51
professor emeritus
****

Reged: 01/05/12

Loc: pittsburgh,pa
Re: Shaping metal without milling or using lathe??? [Re: mattflastro]
      #5639749 - 01/23/13 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

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