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Thread: B&A Precision

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abom79 View Post
    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!
    OH-YEA! I'm sure of that! LOL. started building a pair of shelves to mount above the work-surface tonight. also gonna weld some bracing across the bottom (front to back) and screw a sheet of marine-ply down there to set "stuff" on. And now the wife is telling me to take it all apart so she can paint it. She's worried about the shop being pretty. I just wanna make chips. I also picked up a 5'x10' sheet of "pickled and oiled" 3/8" plate to build a table (dang thing weighs 638lbs!). that will be very handy! and, at one point in the not so distant future will end up doubling as a frame-jig when i box the frame on my project truck. but that's a whole other story LOL. Right now I am just counting down till Wed. noonish! Im ready to build some tools, and make some chippies in my own place! I'm already watching the used lathe market.

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    Its been a loooong day, But it's finally home! I had to work this AM. I went in at 4:00 because I had a doctors appointment. And then the rest of the day was consumed by this:







    Finally! after the riggers left, I went home. For two reasons. First to clear my head. This whole deal is quite the undertaking while you are also juggling a full-time job that you actually take very seriously and care about. It can be very difficult not to let one interfere with the other. And also to get my air-compressor, and haul it back to the shop. I was able to get the compressor in, and lagged to the floor. And I was also able to pirate enough electrical supplies off the walls to install both the compressor, and the mill!! That in itself was like a miracle. I thought I was gonna come up one 3/4" romex nut short. But rooting around in the bottom of the main panel I found one. The fact that I did not spend one dime, or need to run to home-depot was a sweet ending to a hectic day. I have the actual install scheduled for tomorrow. And, chips flying by midnight!

  3. #23
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    Congradulations on the new machine! Its always a good feeling to add new machinery to the inventory. And I can understand how it is to take on two full time jobs, and keep them seperated, In the same boat myself.
    So now you have two VF2's? Do you have any plans for a lathe in the near future?

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    You mean that you CAN take a compressor off of the skid that they come lagged to?









    -------------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    nope, just one VF2. I use (or used to use) the machines at work allot. wont have to do that anymore. And yes, I am already shopping for a lathe. Not sure yet exactly what I am after yet. I would love to have live-tooling. But I need to hold off and see how this goes before I take that plunge. And I already am wishing for/needing a pair of manual mill/lathe. I could have made $100 just yesterday for about 15minutes worth of work from the neighbor, had I had a small manual lathe in the shop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    you mean that you can take a compressor off of the skid that they come lagged to?









    -------------------------

    think snow eh!
    Ox
    thats funny stuff!

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    up and running!


  9. #28
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    Awesome! So what's the first job you did?

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    well, I haven't yet. I guess I jumped the gun with the "up and running comment" a little bit. I should have said "leveled, and powered up". I still had a few details after last night to tend to. My "guy" recommended i clean out the way-lube reservoir, and change the filters. So today after work I cruised to the HAAS joint for parts, and the lube joint for 5gal. of way-lube, and 5gal. of coolant. just got home from finishing up that maintenance. now tomorrow morning I need to run to "work" to cut up the stock for the first job. and, to turn about .030" off the back of the Tee-bolts that came with the vises. they are just a wee-bit to thick for the Tee-slots in the table. then I can run 420pcs of the dumbest parts I will have ever made! LOL
    ohh, and I also figured out today while I was changing the cabinet filter that the fan in the cabinet door is siezed up tight. Soo, there will be another trip to HAAS monday (unless i can find the fan cheaper online)

    I will also add: I am soo ready for all the "red-tape" to be over-with! I just want to go to work. work I enjoy. All this other crap, I do not! knowing that this time its ALL ME though, eases the pain a little bit. I will never go into another partnership again. I can guarantee that!

  11. #30
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    finally, tonight, I got to run a few parts. Its a simple part I have made before. so far, other than the seized cabinet fan, I do have a fairly bad issue with the mill. the Z-axis is very noisy. it feels, and sounds like a bad bearing. I dropped the way-cover, and took a real good look at the ball-screw. it appears fine. nice and clean, and oily. being from the midwest, it really has no rust to speak of. the paint is in excellent condition, inside and out. the spindle sounds great. X, and Y sound perfect. it cut nice parts tonight. but, Z sounds really bad. I am going to call the salesman monday and hope for the best. maybe they will help me fix it? although, I did purchase it "as-is". this place has a pretty good rep though.

    I also plan check the tram tomorrow. my tool pre-setter was acting weird today. I think somebody crashed it for me as the indicator is sticking. but, the way it was acting could also have been caused by a misaligned spindle. will confirm that in the A.M.

    and finally, as promised, a little feedback on the GMT vises. first up, all the supplied hardware for clamping the vises down is 5/8". its high quality stuff. But its huge. I don't see these vises as being that heavy duty that you need 5/8" studs holding them down. Also, there isn't room for 5/8" hardware! I relieved the radius under the head of the the 5/8" T-bolts this morning. they then fit the slots in the VF-2 table (barely!). And you can slide the bolt with a washer and nut into the slot in the side of the vise. (again, barely!) BUT, you cannot get a wrench on the nut! I ended up using the toe-clamps supplied with the vises, and 1/2" studs and nuts from my TECO kits. GMT also touts the slots in the center of the vise body for mounting. LOL, "yea-right". there is no physical way to get any of the supplied hardware in there. I will see if there is room for 1/2" stuff in there tomorrow. so, first impression: mounting is cumbersome. the supplied hardware is not a good match. And they also hit a pet-peeve of mine. the clamping surfaces are painted. and when you clamp on it, the paint chips and flakes. so, now I have a bunch of orange primer spots all over my new vises. again, first impression: EHH? whats up with the paint guys? I will admit though, function seemed fine. smooth operation. parts were held plenty solid. I think after I get a good clamping system figured out. and, get all the paint worn off the edges, they will work out just fine. I just really need to figure out a better way to hold them down.

  12. #31
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    the Z-axis is very noisy. it feels, and sounds like a bad bearing.
    Sounds like noisy thrust bearings to me. Fairly easy to change out, and the bearings should be affordable. Haas should have the procedure to change them...

    Good luck with your new shop!

    The Catman.

  13. #32
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    Not sure how to post a video, but i will try this:



    Nothing special, but you can hear the noisy Z during the tool changes. Its much worse in person. Got ahold of the salesman today. He told me not to worry, that he would take care of it. So, that was good news. I am going to check the tram on the spindle tonight, and the fluid level in the tool-changer. And I think I will be good to go after they fix Z. Got a few jobs lined up. nothing extraordinary. But, work is work.

  14. #33
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    well, the little dude is all better. it received a complete overhaul of the Z-axis. new ball-screw assembly, and both bearings. and a new cabinet fan. it runs smooth as silk now. and, the seller flipped the bill. just in time also as I have a few jobs to get done this weekend. I am finally starting to settle in to the new shop area. I finally managed to get the saw on casters so I can quit tripping over it. now I need to get power to it, and give it a little love. the power is on the wall already. I just need to add a receptacle. the coolant system on the saw needs a total overhaul, and I need to figure out how to get a little more uhmpf in the lift assist as it is quite heavy to lift the arm. also have plans to meet up with a gentelman today to check out a nice Sheldon lathe he has for sale. things are rolling right along.

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    I spent the weekend in a mad dash to prototype a hand operated jack for the bike racer dude that dwells two suites down from me. He is headed for the big race at Daytona. I guess their pit-stops are just like NASCAR. They need to be super fast. So he needed a jack that could lift the front of the bike in one pump motion, and not be in the way for changing the front wheel. So, he had the theory, and bought the material, and dropped it in my lap so he could focus on other stuff getting ready for the race. Here is what became of that:



    There is allot more to it obviously. A lever, and some linkage. And legs welded to the bottom piece that extend under the bike. I just handled the machined parts. The sliding piece that is propped up with the sharpie will have a 1" tube that sticks out about 18". That slides into a corresponding tube inside the bikes frame, from the side. Then there will be a lever that pivots in the pyramid shaped block thats bolted to the bottom piece. and linkage between the lever, and the slider. When the lever is rotated forward, the slider, and bike, go up. It will stay up because the linkage will go over center and lock. He said its not a new idea. There are other companies that make them. most notably Yamaha (YRC). But they are hard to get. And he wanted the lever to rotate in a different direction. So, that was a fun weekend. It turned out better than he, or I thought it would. The tubes are just polished sticks of plain old DOM. But, the slider moves smooth as silk. Pretty cool. He seems to think he can sell a bunch of these. If he gets enough interest we will sit down and engineer a bunch of weight out of it, and give it some more style to up the "trick factor". All he was worried about for this prototype was git-er-done, as he was quite behind on his schedule. Made for a busy weekend in the shop! Fun-stuff.

    And, the mill ran smooth as silk all weekend! I believe I am past the initial fear-factor of buying a used machine. It really does run extremely well now that everything on the Z axis is new. And the machine itself is in fantastic physical condition. I feel I did pretty good on the purchase.

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  17. #35
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    Here we are, a month later already. I have been busy to say the least! B&A is jammin' right along. Work is coming in. And I am getting it done! I have managed to get a couple happy repeat customers. Don't know how long they will stick around. But, they came back happy with more, and paid the bill. I am working over 100hrs a week right now between the "real" job (40hrs), and B&A. I'm a workaholic though, so that's no sweat. If I knew the work would keep flowing as it has been, I would put my notice in tomorrow. But its still to soon, I need to see a nice steady flow for much longer than one month. Don't want to jump the gun. Its coming much sooner than I anticipated though. I figured I would be barely scratching by for at least 2 years. That doesn't appear to be the case. But, we shall see. Like I said, don't want to jump the gun.

  18. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelieking71 View Post
    Here we are, a month later already. I have been busy to say the least! B&A is jammin' right along. Work is coming in. And I am getting it done! I have managed to get a couple happy repeat customers. Don't know how long they will stick around. But, they came back happy with more, and paid the bill. I am working over 100hrs a week right now between the "real" job (40hrs), and B&A. I'm a workaholic though, so that's no sweat. If I knew the work would keep flowing as it has been, I would put my notice in tomorrow. But its still to soon, I need to see a nice steady flow for much longer than one month. Don't want to jump the gun. Its coming much sooner than I anticipated though. I figured I would be barely scratching by for at least 2 years. That doesn't appear to be the case. But, we shall see. Like I said, don't want to jump the gun.

    Good on you!

    I found that running a shop on the side was nearly impossible. Business happens between 8 and 5. It was really hard to call customers, reply to emails, and chase down more work while staying committed to a day job. It might work for a really small operation doing work for individuals or very small companies.

    The absolute biggest thing that sucked was getting supplies. I could never be at the shop for UPS. I would have to book it to the local metal supplier to pick up steel after work. Forget about arranging a truck to deliver 20 foot bars.

    The same thing with insurance agents, accountants, tool sales reps, and customers wanting to drop off or pick up. What a pain in the ass.


    At some point you just have to decide what you want to do, regardless of the business case. I'm guessing you didn't rent an industrial space and buy a Haas as a hobby.

  19. #37
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    NO Sir! Definitely not a hobby. It just so happens I love what I do. I am not doing this because I think its a good "get-rich-quick" scheme. I am doing it because it is the one thing that I know I wont get tired of. I truly love what I do, and I do want to retire someday. So I need a job that I will naturally bust my ass at, for the long-haul. I know way to many guys that do what they do because they were only worried about the $$$. And they hate it. And they are stuck, and miserable. I am here because I want to be here. The wife is the ONLY thing that can drag me away. I really feel that passion about what I do is what will enable me to succeed.

    Lucky for me, I have had a working relationship with my metal supplier for years, and I was able to get residential delivery. The wife is home all day running her daycare (for the last 18yrs!!) so that is handled. MSC delivers to the house just fine. And I am able to monitor my email throughout the day. Its not easy, don't get me wrong. But, I'm making it work. And, it can only get better when I will be able to devote, as you kindly pointed out, the normal business hours to B&A.

  20. #38
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    I guess I have a few more pics I could post before I hit-the-hay. Shop from the outside:



    I am tucked back in a corner. I like it other than the way the neighbors think they own every parking space within 10 spaces of my bay. They have been there 13 years, so they seem to think that should relegate me to 60 yards accross the lot. Right now its not bad because our schedules seldom overlap. But the girl who parks in what i consider "MY" spot is in for a rude awakening as soon as I go full-time day shift at B&A! see the little 3x3 concrete square next to the door? and the parking space that is one walking step away from that square? She says, and I quote: "I have been parking there 13 years. that's kinda just my spot". To which I replied nicely: "uhh, really? okay, I think". LOL

  21. #39
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    And my beastly saw that i finally got up and running:



    Thing is a tank for sure! Heavy, cumbersome, and ugly as could be. But it runs smooth as silk, and cuts like a dream. I put it on casters. Scraped, wire-brushed, and shop vac'ed the coolant tank out (that was very nasty!) Re-wired for the coolant pump (as it was, if the saw was plugged in, the pump was running). Re-plumbed the coolant lines. Greased all the Zerks. Sprayed the whole thing down with "deep-creep". Installed a new one of my favorite blades. And we have a cutting machine!
    But not before I had a place to plug it in:



    I am sure its not to code. but its plenty safe.

  22. #40
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    All the OSB that you see screwed to the bottom of the walls are the off-cuts from the 4x8 sheets i used on the pallet-racking (plus one sheet):



    The bottom of the dry-wall was already tore up some. And I am probly not gonna do it any more favors. So i figured, for a box of dry-wall screws, and some wood that would have been scrap anyways. It makes a nice "toe-kick".

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