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    Machining confession thread.

    I wrote a program, by hand to cut a large aluminum vacuum mold and the operator was testing it in air over the part. Boss come over and and is chewing me out for wsting time running it in air. So we lower the Z and start cutting. Right in the middle of the pocket the Z goes straight down...
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    OT: Roof between 2 shipping containers.........

    You can get greenhouse pipe bows up to 36' wide and use double poly for the covering. Why double poly? Because you inflate it with a tiny blower that gives you some insulation value and more importantly presses the inner layer agaist the frame while the outer layer stands free and it doesn't...
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    Halter automation universal 35kg system, is it as good as they claim?

    The slave/master question. If the CNC is the master it finishes a part does whatever clean up you program, then tells the robot to take the part. it could then do more cleanup you program and request a part. If the robot is master it is exaclty like an operator. It essentially presses the...
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    Looking for software to make blueprints from solid model

    Rhino is the swiss army knife of CAD programs. I find it to be an essential tool along side SolidWorks. When I get a crazy too detailed solid model from a vendor I often defeature it in Rhino first. It is a surface modeler so I can often get just a hollow shell of a part, no interior surfaces...
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    Setting up a new workshop

    Having run a Bridgeport, a Fadal, a CNC knee mill, a Servo 5000 bed mill, and my home hobby CNC which is a bed mill, I'd never own another knee mill. A bed mill with a quill is just so much easier to operate and versital, and if you have 3 axis CNC you don't need lots of the accessories you...
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    OT: Need a Mentor I can frequently bother with questions

    I just built a simple one with 7 axis and two spindles, let me know what you are trying to do. That mentor thing. I am a mentor for a FIRST Robotics team and also make all their machined parts. At my regular job I was hired to be a mentor to the whole company because I have an enormous amount...
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    OT: aging and decluttering

    Just turned 70 and started collecting SS and the week before that my job cut my hours way back as projects have been slow coming in. So I am kind of enjoying just doing projects that have been overdue. Probably be back full time soon. I have a very tiny hobby shop in a corner of our garage with...
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    Custom built large 4th axis

    Just built two machines with Nema 34 Clearpaths driving 25 to1 planetary reducers to Jack Screws. A third motor rotates a whole assembly on a 100-1 Nema worm gear reducer. Also just finished a 7 axis auto-load plastic pipe lathe using them. They are really quite nice little motors.
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    Basic hobby CNC Gcode from my computer to my router

    Get a copy of CamBam. Forty sessions before you need to buy and it is $150. Easist CAM program to use, imports DXF and has simple CAD drawing capability too. Need help with it, drop me a line, I am a mentor for FIRST Robotics and have made hundereds of parts for the team on my homebuilt...
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    Detergent for coolant

    When I was building ultrafilter systems for coolant recovery our goto first step cleaner was Caustic,Sodium Hydroxide, Lye at a pH of about 10 to 11. We occasionally did acid cleanings, ussually phosphoric if there were metals involved.
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    OT. Bandsaw blade welding, which way is best?

    Simple trick for annealing. Use a bar magnet. The correct temperature is when the hot joint becomes no-magnetic.
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    Any shop vacuum designers on this site?

    Find a Greenlee Blower Vac. Strongest vac you’ll ever find. All aluminum sitting on a galvanized tank with heavy duty wheels. Only problem, about $1100.
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    removing gummed up aluminum from cutting tools

    A little information about removing material with acid. You put a part in acid and some comes off but then nothing more happens, no matter how long you let it soak. The reason is because the acid solution can only hold so much of what you are dissolving. Dump the acid and refresh it a couple...
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    Prostate cancer, need I say more........

    A couple of other things. When they remove the catheter they tell you not to leave until you go pee. What they failed to say is after years of dribbling for five minutes you are now holding a firehose and it was damn difficult not to hit the far wall the first time! So who pulled out the...
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    Prostate cancer, need I say more........

    I had my prostate removed via the Davinci robot. I have a very good oncologist that advised me to look at all options then we discussed me. I was 55 at the time and otherwise in great health, and I am 70 now. My urologist wanted to do the Davinci surgery. My research showed that the surgeon will...
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    Quick Change Vise Jaws - Kurt

    I’ve made my own snap-jaws for my junk 4” vises and they save a lot of time. It occurs to me if the jaws were a little longer a tab on the bottom could locate against the bed of a vise making them very repeatable.
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    Internal corner 'fluff' when 2D machining of Polypropylene

    Quick pass with a propane torch and the fuzzies go POOF!
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    Automated pipe lathe

    Headers for solar water collectors to heat pools. 104 holes on each pipe.
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    Degree vs. Knowledge

    There is no question a 4 year degree is a door opener. I greatly regret not finishing 50 years ago! However I am far more educated than most simply by learning constantly on my own. If the goal here though is to increase the value of tour CNC people to the company I’d say start sending them to...
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    Easiest way to sharpen straight blades (like wood planer or jointer) on a surface grinder?

    I'd send them out. I used to get blades for our plastic cutters sharpened all the time. The company I used has grinders just for this and can do blades up to about 12 feet long. Its all they do. Not very expensive to have done.