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The horror: cutting wood with a Deckel mill!

ballen

Titanium
Joined
Sep 25, 2011
Location
Garbsen, Germany
OK,Deckel fans, here's what happened...

So I'm doing some inside work on the house which involves extending an existing railing by about 15 feet (5m). I needed to set 10mm dowels in the centerline of the top rail, every 16cm, spaced 24.7mm apart. So I threw together a jig to locate the holes, a piece of 22mm plywood with the holes correctly spaced, two parallels screwed on to locate the jig on the rail, and started drilling. But for some reason, the torque of the drill, the phase of the moon, whatever, the holes were slightly cocked, about +- 0.5mm off the centerline. That's bad: it rotates the rails in a way that's immediately visible. Of course I only noticed this after the first five pairs of holes, which meant gluing in dowels, chopping them off, and redrilling. :cryin:

The problem was my crappy jig, so I start gathering the pieces for a good jig. Metal-based this time: some 8x10cm angle aluminium that I can clamp to the side, a thick backer piece so that the drill is guided. Anyway, I'm bandsawing off a piece of the angle when it suddenly strikes me, I don't need a jig, the mill provides everything needed to locate, clamp, etc. So two minutes later I've got another piece of angle iron clamped to the table to locate the rail parallel to X, I've got the vertical head centered in the middle of the rail. Clamp rail, jog X to under the 16cm pencil mark, zero DRO X, spin X to -12.35, drill, spin X to +12.35, drill, release clamp, slide rail 16cm, repeat. It takes less time to finish the rail than it would have taken to build a jig.

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This is terrible, right? Using a Deckel mill to cut wood, it's like using a Ferrari to drive to the grocery store. I'm ashamed. But this time those holes were not cocked more than a few microns, the spacing was woodworking-perfect, and everything fit and lined up like it should.

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Somehow I know this is wrong, but really, it was the easiest and best way at hand. Has anyone else here been in the same boat?

Cheers,
Bruce
 

Jersey John

Stainless
Joined
May 29, 2015
Location
Beccles / Suffolk, United Kingdom
Hi Bruce ... well as for the job - Well done!

... and using the Deckel for wood, why not!

I hear people scream about wood dust getting everywhere ... but then so does dust from working Cast Iron!

My only rider is that you spend time to clean the machine extremely well and that can be time consuming.

John :typing:
 

Hodge

Stainless
Joined
Jul 30, 2008
Location
spartanburg sc
Friend of mine needed hole location and size to be precise in some wood blocks. I didn't mind using the BP but I did have him hold the wand on the wet vac at the drilling operation so as to pull the wood dust away.
 

Screwmachine

Titanium
Joined
Mar 8, 2001
Location
Switzerland
I used a Sip Mk3 jig borer to open up a bass guitar body for a slide-in full length aluminum neck (made the neck on a Schaublin 213 mill).

Weekend job and the boss didn't mind as long as I cleaned properly. The coolest part was a swarm of bees landed on the bay doors behind the machine that day and wiggled their way in through some cracks; boss caught them one by one in a glass and released them out the opposite window as I worked. And he was allergic! That was a fun place to work.
 

Milacron

Super Moderator
Joined
Dec 15, 2000
Location
SC, USA
The 1989 FP2A D11, which was my first D11 Deckel, had not the first metal chip but quite a bit of mahogany dust to be cleaned up. It came from the prototype shop of TaylorMade in CA...I speculate they were using it for experimental golf club casting patterns before settling on a design requiring a high production mold, but don't know really.
 

Danny VanVoorn

Titanium
Joined
Nov 3, 2002
Location
St.Louis, Missouri, USA
Maybe a little bit of over kill but all types of materials have been milled before. I milled fiber glass, composites, and things I wasn't sure exactly what alloy they were on any of the mills I ran at work. Something like lithium aluminum that I found out when I was cleaning up that the metal put out poisonous gasses when heated. All they were worried about was that the chips weren't mixed with the rest of the aluminum chips? I look at wood as just a soft metal, if the need arose I wouldn't hesitate to mill it.
Dan
 

Stradbash

Cast Iron
Joined
Apr 13, 2005
Location
Michigan
I'm not horrified at all!
(My Hardinge currently has a fair bit of wood dust on it.)
I do see the possibility for inaccuracy though in using a drill that long. Variations in density and direction of the wood grain can push a drill off it's intended path.
Nice railing!
 

Charles_nl

Aluminum
Joined
Feb 21, 2008
Location
Netherlands
Do I see it correctly that the rail of the 1st photo is only half of the total length? In which case, the dowels are meant to be for joining the 2 parts? Not a very secure glue joint I would think.
But answering your original question, my mill is my most accurate drill, also for wood, no problem with that. The results look fine.

Regards, Charles
 
K

keithmech

Guest
Yesterday I had to make some brackets to support pew kneelers for
a church I am helping with.It would have been better on the deckel ( higher spindle speed)
but I have a Sharnoa knee mill as well ,so I spared the deckel the dust agony.
 

Lumberjack

Hot Rolled
Joined
Jun 3, 2006
Location
Sweden
Don´t be shy... Go all in and make an adapter for a chinese high speed "CNC-Spindle" on that thing and you got a nice little wood router :-)

More seriously, good use of good tools.
 

ballen

Titanium
Joined
Sep 25, 2011
Location
Garbsen, Germany
Hi Charles,

Do I see it correctly that the rail of the 1st photo is only half of the total length? In which case, the dowels are meant to be for joining the 2 parts? Not a very secure glue joint I would think.

You are correct, the rails are made of two pieces, joined together. The right way to do this is with a scarf joint that is at least a few times longer than the thickness, say 300-400 mm in this case. But in this case, because of the way that I have to install the rails (remodelling!) a scarf joint is not possible. Fortunately, here I don't need a very strong joint: the posts make the rail assembly very stiff to lengthwise forces, and the four dowels that you see in the photo make it stiff in the transverse direction. So you are right, a butt joint is not very strong, but in this case it's the best way.

Cheers, Bruce
 
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ballen

Titanium
Joined
Sep 25, 2011
Location
Garbsen, Germany
Hi John,

My only rider is that you spend time to clean the machine extremely well and that can be time consuming.

Yup, agreed, I had a shop vac next to me and cleaned up after each pair of holes. The material here is a form of oak, but with a finer grain than US white oak or European brown oak. To my surprise, it generated nice sized curls and very little dust.

Cheers,
Bruce
 

AlfaGTA

Diamond
Joined
Dec 13, 2002
Location
Benicia California USA
SOP for Pattern makers! Common for them to use mills to produce the needed accuracy in their wooden patterns......
Personally I stay away from working with materials that can't be welded....;)

Cheers Ross
 








 
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