OT random observation about size and perspective
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  1. #1
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    Default OT random observation about size and perspective

    Ok, this may get locked, but hopefully get a few replies and some reading...

    Before I started this job, a #10 screw was small, verging on tiny for me. I've done die making, production, job shop, etc, but never to either extreme of large or small, a varied mix in between I suppose. This job our "goto" screws and dowels are 1/16" dowels and #2 and #4 screws. The reason I thought of this was because I have a kit(?) on my desk that has 1 each #0 - #10 shcs, a few different size dowels, etc. Anyways, I noticed my #10 spot was empty. I looked at the #8 and thought "maybe they got mixed up, that looks pretty big" so I calipered the #8 and it was correct, so I went and got a #10 and thought "wow this looks really big!" (LoL)

    I know Tom does big castings and big drills and endmills, and a few guys do the small stuff like me. Anyone do micro-machining? Like lasers and granite lathes and stuff, working on things like .005" ish pins or whatnot?

    Anyone do the tiny stuff and the really big stuff? If so, is it hard to switch back and forth..? Inquiring minds wanna know

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    When I had my datsun I could tell the bolt head size by looking because it was designed that they were all even size heads. To this day I know most were 10,12,14mm. There was one oddball 9mm on a pressure regulator adjustment made by a different supplier.
    My Ford is a weird mix of odd and even so I have to try several wrenches to find the correct size. I am not sure if the battery clamp bolts are metric or English I have seen them called out for both wrenches.
    Wonder if architects and engineers have the same problem from real life to little desk top models.
    Bill D

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    For example, yesterday the boss told me to put the smallest wire start hole I could, like .007" or so. A couple years ago I would have laughed that off (as in ya good luck), but this morning I am programming that part and going to use a .005" drill, and if that doesn't hold up I will step it up basically .001" at a time until I get to .007-.008" and if that doesn't work we will have to hole pop it, we have tubes down to .2mm. The feature is a cross like shape that finishes at about .009 wide on the 'legs' with a full rad at the end of each.

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    Well, we use a lot of M1.4 and such, so a #10 is a pretty serious heavy duty bolt.
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KGKFNY2

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    Just finished some electrodes with .003 inside corners. Used a .005 x .046 endmill from Richards Micro-Tool to reach them. The biggest tool we run on the electrodes is the 3/16 endmill we use as a face mill.

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    Most of what I machine would be in the "average" zone.....1"diameter up to 8" diameter.
    The first job I had out of tech school was making replacement parts for steel mills. The "small" parts were 12" or so in diameter.....much of what we did was around 2' in diameter and up to about 8' long. Longest I ever worked on was a shaft that I was boring on a boring mill and was approximately 16" diameter x 20'. Mounted a large V-block to the table and used a hoist to support the far end. We used a carpenters level to get the part as level as we could.....clamped the crap out of it and went to town. (I would definitely say it was somewhat less than an OSHA approved set-up).
    The idea of using drills less than about .05" in diameter definitely gets my attention and makes me scratch my head.....I agree it all depends `on what you get used to.

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    I'm in Swiss.

    One of my smallest parts is about .060"Ø x .100"ish long, with a .035" slot through it.

    When I pick up a 1/4" drill/endmill/dowel pin/whatever, it feels pretty large to me.

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    My brother does really tiny stuff. His next to last employer used to make .001 edm holes by the thousands. They now claim shaped holes down to 10 microns with sub micron location accuracy.

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    We do a wide range of sizes in terms of seals, all the way from big follower seals 40-50 lbs each that I had to lug one/two at a time on my shoulder, using my hands to make sure it doesn't drag on the ground (FWIW I'm a tall guy at 6'3"). All the way down to these little guys:
    little-parts-2.jpg
    For what we actually need to do machining for, 1/2" would be small and 8" would be large. Pretty average sized stuff.

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    In the late 1950's, I was collecting watches and taught myself to repair them. That led to getting a watch lathe, a bench and a whole bench full of special tools, not to mention thousands of parts that take up very little storage space. If you need tweezers to hold the parts and microscopes to examine them, you are doing small work. Anything else is big.

    Larry

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    My range in size is probably 1/2 the size of a grain of rice to something as big as an automobile alternator case.

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    Gear shops tend to split into either fine pitch (all the teeny stuff) and normal. I can't think of any place that does both except maybe zahnrad. But he's a little off-center

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    My 1st job ever in a machine shop I was running a HES with a 24" chuck also had a 48" ( I think) face plate. they bought a hitachi 20sII 8 inch chuck it sat there for a bunch of months. So at night I would dick around with it. well they found out and it was mine then along with one of the HES's and a few big manual machines one being the jupiter.

    one day boss came up and asked if I could make a part on the hitachim we only had a 8" chuck and the stock was 1/4" inconel. they were little pressure shear pins with a .014 dia .020 wide groove in the middle rest being about .062 dia. made them about 500 of them over the year. wierd cause I would run 36" dia titanium seals for APUs on the HES 20 feet away and then little itty bitty parts on the hitachi at the same time. always funny as shit one tool on the HES would run 20-30 mins at 10-20 rpm and I would have 2-10 parts made on the hitachi before I had to reload a tool or change an insert on the HES.
    Fast foward 30 years
    now I got a swiss and I love small ass parts, we've made them down to .020 dia .050 long with grooves thousands of 2-56 and 4-40 screws of various shape. most of the parts we do can only be checks on a Comparator and maybe 1-2 places checked with a mic. my 10 " chuck machine just sits there and the citizen and Miyano run daily. on the mill we made parts down to .150 long 0-80 holes and a contour on the od of about .150 dia. we actually make them faster on a Mill than you can do with liver tooling on a lathe. Gotta love mittee bite fixtures.
    most of my mill stuff however is small/ media plates.

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    10-32? I did not know they made bolts that big.

    IBM (atoms) - Wikipedia

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1974 View Post
    Anyone do the tiny stuff and the really big stuff? If so, is it hard to switch back and forth..? Inquiring minds wanna know
    At work we're starting on a 115' 30 ton double box girder crane & hoist.....at home I'm rebuilding a tiny Levin drilling tailstock to make .003" holes for repivoting watch staffs.

    Variety is the spice of life

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    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    Gear shops tend to split into either fine pitch (all the teeny stuff) and normal. I can't think of any place that does both except maybe zahnrad. But he's a little off-center
    You wound me, Sir. I am more than "a little" off-center...

    Truth is, I have been actively making moves toward moving into larger and larger work. ( Both normal machining and gear making. ) But we keep getting new customers ( and requests from existing customers ) asking for smaller and smaller parts and gears. 90% of what we make never makes it to our social media pictures due to NDAs. The recent Segment Gears & Compound Gears that we made are a good example of a small job we were tasked with because they could not find anyone else stupid enough to accept it.

    But then, we have been making arrangements on a Fellows 36 for the new shop, too... If our work load looks schizophrenic, it's because that what we get asked to do.





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    On thing I've always wondered is why European car makers used mostly odd metric sizes while the Japanese used even sizes. For years i worked on my own cars (Opels, air cooled vws and the last was a 72 Alfa Romeo GTV) and could identify the size of a bolt head on sight. I was very suprised when i tried working on a Japanese car for the first time (90s Subaru) and found 14, 16 and 18mm fasteners where i was used to 13, 15 and 17mm. Kinda a pain in the butt.

    Does it have something to do with choosing a different starting point for preferred numbers?

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    Screws are made in whatever sizes that are needed. 0000 or 6" diameter, probably even larger and smaller, whatever is needed. I see nothing special about either of them nor of any of the sizes between. Only thing I take notice of is non standard size/thread combinations.

    I have a cotter pin laying around somewhere that is big enough to use as a hammer. The pins it fit were about 3 or 4 inches in diameter and held the ends of guy cables on a 1000 foot tower. I also have some cotter pins that are less than 1/4" long.

    Whatever floats your boat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zahnrad Kopf View Post
    But then, we have been making arrangements on a Fellows 36 for the new shop, too...
    A tiny little thing ! Why go halfway ? I can get you a great deal on a new 2 meter cnc shaper

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    We don’t deal with making anything really small, but a couple of years ago we integrated and programmed servo loops for 4 stages, each with 50mm of stroke. They were $200k each plus our work of integration and programming and came in just under $1 million.

    The two XY stages work in a vibration isolated vacuum chamber and can move and settle to within +/-10 picometers. They allow an electron beam microscope to creep up on electron orbits to estimate their energy state. Parts from Israel, Germany, and Japan that all required significant scrutiny from the authorities to track where they went and for what use.

    Servo loops clicked along at 20kHz and the operator interface ran on . . . Windoze NT / VB6 . . . talk about a contradiction in technologies . . .

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