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Old 07-02-2012, 03:33 PM   #1
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Default Eyeball Engineering

Figured I ought to start my own thread and let the real machinists carry on with theirs. Thanks to CreeperBob for the name idea.

This thread more or less should chronicle my journey from eyeballing hack to precision machining god. Or at the very least, a slight progression from a hack to a low tolerance hack.

Nothing too terribly exciting going on, just making odd things I keep finding that I need, or things I've always wanted to try. I did make a slip-on replacement trigger for my GT3B that was pretty trick, but somehow I lost it. Sucky.

On to the projects!

Todays item: a T nut. You may be asking yourself, "did he really just spend an hour or so making a $2 part?". Yes I did. My clamp set was missing one, and the ones holding the vice down aren't all that great, so I gouged out some aluminum and once the carnage was over I had this...

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 07-02-2012, 03:53 PM   #2
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Default Re: Eyeball Engineering

hack away!
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Old 07-02-2012, 04:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: Eyeball Engineering

You hack miester, aluminum T nut?
This is gonna be fun , subsribed.
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Old 07-02-2012, 04:26 PM   #4
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Default Re: Eyeball Engineering

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Originally Posted by CREEPERBOB View Post
You hack miester, aluminum T nut?
This is gonna be fun , subsribed.
Any experience is good experience. Just be glad I didn't make it out of teflon.
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Old 07-02-2012, 04:30 PM   #5
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Default Re: Eyeball Engineering

Or delrin , or styrene.

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Any experience is good experience. Just be glad I didn't make it out of teflon.
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Old 07-02-2012, 04:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: Eyeball Engineering

What a great way to learn. I'm taking machinist in September cause it's so much fun! Looking forward to the new projects you make.

Rob
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Old 07-02-2012, 04:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: Eyeball Engineering

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Or delrin , or styrene.
Oh I've got plenty of delrin, but I'm saving that for the cool stuff.

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What a great way to learn. I'm taking machinist in September cause it's so much fun! Looking forward to the new projects you make.

Rob
It is fun, I love it. I've spent hours doing nothing more than truing up chunks of billet and blocks of plastic. It's nice to have a machine of your own so you can walk out and make any old dumb thing that comes to mind without any kind of classroom time crunch.

Something that has developed, which I will deal with in the near future, is that occasionally the mill will kick the breaker. Turns out that all of the outlets in the garage (excluding the one I installed) are on a single circuit, which includes the mill, overhead lighting, air compressor, battery chargers, the wifes treadmill, and most problematic, the deep freeze. Looks like I'm going to have to run another dedicated circuit.
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Old 07-02-2012, 04:47 PM   #8
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Default Re: Eyeball Engineering

Yep the time to work in the classroom is nothing like having your own machine. I took industrial mechanics last year and love making odd projects.

Hope it's not to hard to fix the wiring problem. Keep those projects coming!

Rob
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:36 PM   #9
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Default Re: Eyeball Engineering

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Any experience is good experience.
Exactly!!! Keep the chips flying!

Very cool to see you running this thing Chris. I know you were talking about it for a long time, so I'm happy to see it's everything you had hoped for
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:01 PM   #10
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Exactly!!! Keep the chips flying!

Very cool to see you running this thing Chris. I know you were talking about it for a long time, so I'm happy to see it's everything you had hoped for
Thank you sir! No regrets here!
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:13 PM   #11
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thats how i started, and you got the right attitude about it...

before you know it your signing a deal with the devil on a $400k machine ...
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:16 PM   #12
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thats how i started, and you got the right attitude about it...

before you know it your signing a deal with the devil on a $400k machine ...
I could only be so lucky to NEED a $400k machine.
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:04 PM   #13
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Default Re: Eyeball Engineering

[QUOTE/]$400k machine[/QUOTE]

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Old 07-02-2012, 10:40 PM   #14
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Default Re: Eyeball Engineering

Second verse, same as the first. Actually, there are three now. 1 and 2 were tapped by hand, for 3 I gathered up my courage and let the mill do the work.

Click the image to open in full size.

I found my trigger, which is good, I've got to go racing in a couple of days. So now that I've got it back in my hands, I can discuss it, maybe get a little insight.

Pictured is the first attempt. I have an incredible amount of beginners luck at most new things I try, and this came out pretty fair IMO. Not the greatest, but it does what it is supposed to do. Version 2 was made from aluminum and looks like ass. Its terrible. Version 3 met a catastrophic ending last night when it broke and the mill spit half of it all the way to the far corner of the garage. I was 90% done with it too.

I guess my biggest problem is how to hold the damn thing. Once I start shaping it, the brake portion gets very thin and way to weak to work. Obviously I need to figure out the best method of attack here...any ideas?

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

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Click the image to open in full size.

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Old 07-02-2012, 11:00 PM   #15
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Default Re: Eyeball Engineering

Awesome Indeed, any practice is better than none. I've been hack machining for about 8 years now on my little sherline.

Holding and machining a part is always the most difficult, and everybody has their own style. What I would do is leave a support connecting the main trigger body to the braking part and use a dremel to part off the support when it is done. On something so small you could hold it down with double sided tape, then flip the part onto a riser block since it has a width change. If you can curve it a bit instead of kinking it, the part will be stronger as well. You figured out curves with the handwheels? Find an etch-a-sketch and make new wheels for it that are copies of the lathe handles if you want to practice without going through your scrap pile.
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:10 PM   #16
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You figured out curves with the handwheels? Find an etch-a-sketch and make new wheels for it that are copies of the lathe handles if you want to practice without going through your scrap pile.
I'm working on it. I'm not quite to curve status yet, more like shaky diagonals.

There is a vision in my head of a couple of power feeds controlled by a joystick. That would make my world so much easier.
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:18 PM   #17
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Yes it would. I almost built a servo setup thinking the same thing. Then I said screw it and got a CNC that is getting delivered this week.

Yer Tnuts look nice. I wanna see some made of styrene now
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:25 PM   #18
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Yes it would. I almost built a servo setup thinking the same thing. Then I said screw it and got a CNC that is getting delivered this week.

Yer Tnuts look nice. I wanna see some made of styrene now
I wondered if a couple of high turn sensored motors and some gear reduction would do the trick. Probably not...

I don't have any styrene blocks that big, only .040 sheets, and my lamination skills leave too much to be desired. I did come across a big chunk of fiberglass composite that is pretty cool. Don't know if I could tap threads in it though.
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:33 PM   #19
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I see the future of new parts and ideas coming up.!!! Nice
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:10 AM   #20
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Any motor would work with sufficient geardown. A sensored motor would be great, or an industrial brushed motor. Brownie points for keeping handwheels on the motor too!
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