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Thread: B&A Precision
02-19-2013, 10:30 PM #1
Figured I might as well start a thread to share some of my goofy ramblings, and the opening of the new shop. Ive just about got everything lined up. Its a small industrial suite. 1350sq-ft. 250amps of 3-phase. large door. small office. and really crappy concrete. Its in a good part of town to open a shop. But, it has terrible visibility. A sign would do me no good as its hiding quite well. Although access is easy. The rent is reasonable. Ive got the lease handled. The power turned on. The alarm service is all handled. And all my T's are crossed, and I's are dotted as far as legalities go. The first machine that I will own outright by myself will land next Wed. A low hour 05' HAAS VF-2ss. not the most glamorous machine. But I work primarily with aluminum, and it will suit me just fine. I have a TON of HAAS experience. I am well aware of their strengths and weaknesses. A Makino, or Okuma would have been great. But I have a small time budget.
And next Wed. B&A will be born! Truth be told, this is the second iteration of my company. But, this time its just me (and my wonderful wife Allison)! long story, you guys can probably figure it out on your own. MY money, MY shop! I plan to build a reputation based on excellent customer service, accompanied by quality work, and product. With speedy lead times. Its a leap of faith, and will be a ton of work. But I love what I do. And I am as dedicated as they come. wish me luck!
Now for the bad part. I will be keeping my "real" job. No way I can afford to quit. Not until we get B&A rolling. That may take a while. Its okay though. My "real" job only keeps me busy 30-40hrs a week. I am a workaholic. If I dont work 70-80hrs a week, I go a little stir-crazy LOL. And that explains the whole reason for this endeavor. I learned a long time ago the grass is almost never greener. I could bounce around to every shop in the valley. But its all the same grass with a different flavor. I feel its time to plant my own grass. when I took my current job, overtime was pretty much unlimited. That was the entire premise for taking it in the first place. Like I said, workaholic. And life was great. Now there is zero overtime. And nobody is pounding the pavement to bring in more work. So the way I see it, if I am going to be forced to hunt down work (which I have been doing for a while now), that work is MINE!
So hopefully next week I should have some pictures of the shop. And my new baby. I have some products of my own I hope to be able to sell. I am trying to figure out the most effective way to market them now. I know there is a market for the parts. I just need to figure out how to tap into it. And I will take on any and all work I can get. My overhead is pretty low (even though I am now totally broke!), and I can react pretty quick, so I feel I will be able to be very competitive in the semi-conductor market. As, those guys always need everything yesterday. That's my specialty. Aluminum, fast, and right. Just need to get my feet jammed in the proper doors. There is nobody holding me back this time!
here is the view out from about 4' in front of the back-wall:
The mill will set directly in front of where I am standing. I already have some pallet racking built along the back-wall (that is why I was standing 4' in front of it). The restroom is to my right. Giant crack in the concrete. and the floor is heaved pretty good. about 1" at the crack. I originally wanted the mill on the other side, but I just don't trust that concrete. I am the end suite. And 10' on the other side of that wall is a large water retention area. and the transformer, and service that feeds the whole building. 14 suites. I have the most power. everybody else has 150-200amps.
And here is the mill:
I am pretty excited.
02-19-2013, 10:55 PM #2
I already showed off the new vises in a different thread. But I will bring them in here too:
Im really curious how the GMT vises perform, and hold up. I will definitely follow up with feedback on them.
I am pretty much tooled up:
That box is about 3 layers deep. All Accupro, and Techniks. all G-2.5 rated (except the integrated drill-chucks). I really like the Accupro stuff. it is really high quality, made by Haimer, at very resonable prices. Especially when you are an ebay hawk like me.
speaking of ebay.....it has been very good to me:
I've been filling that box for years. I bet I don't have 20% of retail invested in that box! its 6-8" deep. All carbide. Mostly 2 and 3 flute high perf. aluminum cutters. Its not nearly enough to run a shop on, but its definitely enough to open the doors. Its been hard to leave it alone, and not drag it to work. But I am sure glad i never did right about now!
02-19-2013, 11:18 PM #3
Today was kinda fun at work. We needed a way to quickly cut some 45' angled surfaces on semi-large part. Loose tolerances. quick and simple was the name of the game. 20pcs, with very high material removal percentage. So I whipped up this crazy fixture to hold a vise on the ROTAB:
Turned out better than i thought it would!! I can get 45' degrees out of it in either direction with about .125" to spare LOL.
I faced and turned a 14" long chunk of 8" 6061 to 7.9" (I only held on to 1" in serrated hard-jaws). There is a 2" boss to locate it center of the rotab platter (it measures 1.9995"). Then flipped it in bored soft-jaws. Indicated it dead (only took a couple whacks with the dead-blow). faced again. turned, and blended. It blended perfect. no step or run-out at all. and centerdrilled. Then stood it up in the mill, and drilled three holes. Then layed it down on the table in a tee-slot with one of the holes at 12o'clock, and, pocketed clearance for a bolt and wrench (that is the bottom hole you cant see). Put it up on the rotab with only one bolt in the bottom hole, and the live-center. Machined the shelf. and viola! We are swinging a vise now! LOL. fun stuff. If you look close you can see we had to relocate the stud holes to the rear, and clearance the cap-screws that clamp it to the ROTAB in the second pic. Will find out tomorrow if its solid enough to hog some material. the stock measures 4"x13"x16". About 50% of the material comes of the top side. Hope i didnt waste a day!
02-20-2013, 08:45 AM #4
Looks good, but I see a stripped worm gear in your future if you dont limit your rotation parameters. Keep the Pics coming and best wishes to you on your new business!
02-20-2013, 09:12 AM #5
02-20-2013, 09:15 AM #6
here is a link to a video about a 1970 camaro:
Marty Ceccarelli's 70 Camaro - YouTube
In the video you can kinda catch a glimpse of the billet dash, console, and heater-delete plate on the firewall under the hood. and all the billet rings around the gauges and shifter.
I made all that stuff for that car last year. Funny how the people behind the scenes never get mentioned huh!
Last edited by wheelieking71; 02-20-2013 at 12:31 PM.
02-20-2013, 09:19 AM #7
"Homing" the table will be the biggest issue.
If it homes inside your 90* window, and you know exactly where, and which direction it homes in, you could manually jog the table past that point before hitting the HOME routine so that it doesn't go all the way around. (or tries to anyhow)
...or just take the vice off if the machine needs homed....
Think Snow Eh!
02-20-2013, 10:11 AM #8
I just had my HAAS guy on the phone. we were able to limit travel to 45' in the + rotation. But for some reason, those settings limited it to 29' in the - rotation. I didn't want to destroy his whole morning with the issue so we put all the parameters back. And, we will "wing" it with one hand on the E-stop. It should be fine. Its just an index rotation. It cuts at 0', rotates to +45' and cuts, rotates to -45' and cuts, then rotates back to 0' and cuts again.
02-20-2013, 12:21 PM #9
so far, so good......
in the second pic, its actually indexed for the second angle cut. we pulled the vise, and dry ran the program a couple times to make sure it never tried to rotate under. should be done by lunch.
no chatter, or anything crazy. the steel jaws are undercut for a pretty sharp bite. I know it looks crazy, but its not so bad. I will make a dedicated set of jaws that are a little more robust when we go into production of the next 20pcs so I can lean on the tooling a little harder. will probably use miteebites. This is for an apparatus we manufacture in house for somebody else. our purchase order is to prototype one unit. then build 20.
02-20-2013, 01:07 PM #10
now it gets flipped, and a whole bunch more stock goes bye-bye. but we will do that down on the table.
02-22-2013, 06:45 PM #11
Read your posts yesterday but haven't been on much since. Wanted to say congrats to you for starting up the new shop. I know it's small but that's how you start. If your as hardworking as you say, you can keep the machines running, the jobs coming in, and before you know it you'll be buying more machines and running out of space.
I can't help but notice the similarities of your new rental to the one the local cnc shop here had when they started out. He was in a rental space just like yours and eventually outgrew it. He ended up buying a plot of land down the street and building a new shop. Now they have just about outgrown that one and plan on adding another new building soon for the manual machines and fab shop.
I can picture you doing the same thing.
Cool pictures of the work you did on the Haas. I like the ingenuity. Keep us posted with pics and stories, and good luck with the new business!!
02-22-2013, 11:18 PM #12
Thanks for the words of encouragement Abom! I will give B&A everything I have to make it work.
And I freakin' love reading your thread! the stuff you do in your shop is awsome. You guys that really know how to use manual machines (you know, REAL machinists!) are awe inspiring to me.
02-23-2013, 02:06 AM #13
Looks like a ton of weight on that 4th axis? How many of those did you have to make? Could you have just "3d"'d those angles?
02-23-2013, 08:09 AM #14
I think it was about 150#. I dont know what the Rotab is rated at. but I am sure it can handle 150#.
sure, I could have surfaced the angles. I even programmed it that way at first. but, I cut the cycle time by 80% doing it this way. And I was able to use tooling I already had. rather than come in with a 1" end-mill and chew at the angles, I was able to cut them in 7 passes per angle with a 3" shoulder mill @ 10k and 80ipm. I saved almost 75 minutes per part. that added up to 25hrs on the job. I will knock that down even farther after I have some jaws I trust a little more. once I am confident the part isn't going anywhere i will run that tool @ 12k, and 150ipm. all that and the finish is much nicer. this is a high visibility part in a clean-room.
And we now have a new universal fixture.
02-24-2013, 11:51 PM #15
spent the last two weekends building a work-station:
nothing I hate more than having to run all over the place grabbing "stuff". now I have it all in one spot, and its on wheels. nice 6" casters. it rolls very smooth. obviously, the tool-box is there. Toe-clamps hanging inside the left wall. heavy duty shelf for vises, angle-plate, 3-jaw chuck, etc. (10ga. stainless with lots of bracing underneath). there are .011"-.500" pin-gages under the shelf. nice soft aluminum work-surface (1/4" 5052). only thing left to do is add a CAT-40 tightening fixture. I will pirate the one that I hope is still on the back of the machine after it lands Wednesday. hopefully this will maximize set-up efficiency! time is not something i can afford to waste. and speaking of Wednesday, the mill is scheduled to land between 11-12!! WOOT! cant wait. just wish I had more work to put in it than the few straggler jobs I have lined up.
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02-25-2013, 08:43 AM #16
02-25-2013, 09:18 AM #17
02-25-2013, 08:03 PM #18
Nice job on the work stand. But you'll have it filled up before long and looking for more real estate to set stuff on!
02-25-2013, 09:29 PM #19
02-25-2013, 09:50 PM #20