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  1. M

    Laser engraver for anodized aluminum

    I've seen a few recommendation threads dating back about a year but no recommendations. Let's see what happens here... First: What kind of power and type of laser is required to engrave letters and graphics on anodized aluminum? Black in my case. I have a bunch (about 1000) parts I need to...
  2. M

    Adaptix jaws

    Just watched this: Does anyone have first-hand experience? Also, how much? My first thought was "Neat!". My second thought was a series of thoughts actually: It might be too complex for long-term use (a custom machined jaw is as simple as you can get). How well do the fingers hold...
  3. M

    Right angle head recommendations?

    Any recommendations for a decent right angle head that won't break the bank? The application would be slitting saws, probably nothing thicker than, say, 0.125 in, if that. Haas VF2
  4. M

    Is UHMW a good choice for this part?

    I have to make a bunch of these little parts (roughly 2 x 0.4 x 0.4 in). I was thinking UHMW. It's a glorified spacer, so, no serious mechanical requirements. It should do well when exposed to water and the usual household cleaning chemicals. I have never machined UHMW. I wonder if...
  5. M

    Aluminum extrusion design and extruders

    Working on my first custom extrusion design. I have it done to a first approximation. Now looking for two things: - Design guidelines to double-check my work - A good extrusion company I've used a range of guidelines I found by searching. This is probably the best I found so far...
  6. M

    Storing coolant in 55 gallon drums to reduce evaporation?

    Being that our shop is not used for production, we can, at times, have period of weeks when the machines sit idle. Coolant evaporation is a problem. In case someone is curious, we use Hocut 795-B. No problems at all with it. It does not stink-up the place or deteriorate if sitting idle...
  7. M

    What's a good weldable anti-rust coating for mild steel?

    I am looking for a way to protect mild steel from rust post fabrication. This could be weldments or machined parts. Whatever the method it needs to be weldable. In other words, a machined part gets coated and put away and later pulled off the shelf to go into a weldment without having to...
  8. M

    Too hot?

    I just got done doing a bunch of dry machining of mild steel tubing using AlTiN roughers and endmills. I've never used this coating. I needed a no-coolant solutions that wasn't super slow because these tubes stick out of the side windows. Coolant would make an absolute mess outside the...
  9. M

    Capabilities request

    I have a job coming up that will require manufacturing somewhere between 100 and 200 of these frames, maybe even double that: The tubing is mild steel, 1 x 2 x 0.060 for the long pieces and 2 x 2 x 0.120 for the short ones. All, welded-up, of course. We CNC machined all the pieces to build...
  10. M

    Small bench top shear/break?

    Had a thought it might be nice to have a small bench top sheer brake for making small parts, like brackets. I looked around and found machines like this one: 12" 3-in-1 Sheet Metal Machine at Grizzly.com The issue is they are specified for a maximum of about 20 ga. mild steel. Now, this is...
  11. M

    Gloves

    Today, after several hours of machining mild steel using a fine rougher I got a stubborn little curly steel hair into my finger. It wasn't too deep but it took some work to get it out because it curled-up as it went into the skin. I had to use an x-acto knife to open things up just a tiny bit...
  12. M

    Going fast on mild steel tubing

    I have this project where we would have to make a few hundred parts that look like this: This is mild steel tubing, 2 x 2x 0.120. I also have some parts that are made from 0.060 tubing. I am very tempted to outsource this to someone with a laser tube cutter. I got a couple of quotes, one...
  13. M

    Laser welder vs. TIG welder

    I have a project that requires a fair bit of welding. Aluminum on aluminum. wall thicknesses from 1/8 in to 1/4 in. See image below (roughly 4 x 8 ft). I have to buy a welder for this job. I came across this LightWeld laser system. It looks interesting. They claim much higher speed...
  14. M

    OT: Kayak roof rack design

    Please delete without mercy if it doesn't belong here on anywhere else on this site. I need a couple sets of these: Well, nobody has any and nobody knows when they'll receive a new batch. Not even the competitor's equivalent system. So, I said, I have a nice assortment of manufacturing...
  15. M

    Forklift socket spacing

    I am working on a cart and would like to provide what I am calling sockets so that it can be lifted and moved using a forklift with some degree of safety. The entire cart is made from welded aluminum. The weight of the entire rig (with equipment on it) will be in the order of 750 lbs. The...
  16. M

    Best path to CNC a Bridgeport knee mill (no, no no, not what you think)?

    I have a Haas VMC, not looking to build a real CNC out of my knee mill or even pretend this would be close to a good idea. I get it. No worries. Hear me out. So, I am looking at this machine and every so often I think: It would be useful if it could do some basic CNC while keeping manual...
  17. M

    Overcoming residual stress in Aluminum

    Came across this interesting paper on the subject: https://prod-ng.sandia.gov/techlib-noauth/access-control.cgi/2007/076811.pdf One take-away for me was: Use 6061-T651 rather than T6 and, for most applications, this should take care of it. In looking-up details on T651 I learned it is...
  18. M

    How to achieve the lowest friction surface after machining an aluminum channel?

    I have to machine a custom version of these Igus channels: https://www.igus.com/product/723 I am basically integrating multiple channels into a single piece of aluminum in a way that can't be easily done by simply buying pre-made extrusions. These extrusions are meant to work with low...
  19. M

    No lathe...tooling and approach recommendations?

    I don't have a lathe but need to make a part like this. It's a 1.5 to 2 in diameter cable drum for small diameter cable --less than 1/8 in: I don't have any of the tooling I would need to cut the inside of this pulley. T-slot cutters seem to be an option but you have to drop a kidney to get...
  20. M

    Anyone using chip fans?

    Big Kaiser has them (expensive): Chip Fan | BIG KAISER And there are others, going down to so cheap they must be dangerous: Error 400 (Bad Request)!!1 https://www.redlinetools.com/itemdetail/RTF10?gclid=CjwKCAjwiMj2BRBFEiwAYfTbCsfPSwXcy7rHth...
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