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Mini-mill on the way


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#1 havlicek

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 07:38 AM

I looked around and went for the "el-cheapo" choice. Still, at a little over $400 with free shipping, it could do as a (slightly) glorified drill press... as long as the motor doesn't need rewinding after firing it up. Looks like I'll be in de-greasing "heck" in a few days.

opplanet-woodstock-shop-fox-micro-millin
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#2 The Sawdust Man

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 07:54 AM

Keep us posted on what you think of this unit. I'm thinking of getting one myself.


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#3 havlicek

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 08:21 AM

I will Robert.  At 30 lbs or so, and with a similarly small footprint, I'm not expecting too much, but then again, I don't need too much.  My recent experience with the little Grizzly lathe has been very good so far.  Sure these things won't be able to hog heavy cuts in steel, and probably wouldn't even be on the radar of serious machinists, but I think that "going slow and taking light cuts" will (for the most part) get you there.  I've seen mixed reviews on the machine (mostly about the motor having issues), but I take that stuff with a heavy grain of salt, and you never know if people aren't trying to do more than they should.  I came close to getting the Sherline, but it comes disassembled so it basically a "kit", and something like twice the cost.  I don't know that it's significantly more powerful or more rigid, although it may be more "precise".  Add to that, the Shop Fox comes with a DRO which, even if it works fairly well is a nice feature to have.  

I didn't go for the vise or the collet set yet, but ordered a set of clamps from Little Machine Shop.  The vise seems OK, but not all that, and I'm not sure it's even the best option out there in terms of cost or function for the general type stuff I might do.  The collet set looks nice, but before I invest another $80 or so, I want to see what this thing is like.  I'm hoping for "good enough", but allowing for the possibility that I may be asking for a "Return Authorization".  :D


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#4 The Sawdust Man

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 08:43 AM

On a kinda similar note, I found a " membership based community workshop" a couple of miles from my house that looks very interesting. For about $100 per month you have unlimited access to any and all machines and shops. I got interested when I was trying to find a place where I could test out a $20K CNC (woodworking) machine to see if it's something I really could use in my shop. This place has a fairly complete woodshop, metal shop, machine shop, auto shop...and a computer lab, HD sewing and embroidering shop 3D printers, etc. I went to their open house last weekend and was very impressed. Might just have to become a member! www.thevillageworkshop.com


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#5 Don Weaver

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 09:41 AM

Digitals are the way to go!  Makes using the tool soooooo much easier. 

 

Don


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#6 olescratch

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 01:22 PM

John, did you take a look at Harbor Freights unit?  For the price, I thought it was a good choice.  Maybe $100.00usd more than what you paid for the Shop Fox, and comes assembled.  But, I'm looking forward to what you do with it.  I did purchase a collet holder, and a set of collets to replace the 3-jaw chuck to increase the accuracy of the unit just a bit.  I've seen quite a few posts stating that the 3-jaw chucks aren't to be trusted for accuracy!


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#7 wbugenis

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 02:02 PM

Magnet insallation parallels  from my Sherline mill.

 

You can never have too many of these:

 

023.JPG

 

021.JPG

 

022.JPG


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William Bugenis

#8 havlicek

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 02:13 PM

 

 

John, did you take a look at Harbor Freights unit?  For the price, I thought it was a good choice.  Maybe $100.00usd more than what you paid for the Shop Fox, and comes assembled. 

 

Hi John,

 

     Sure thing.  Looks like a nice tool, but even though it's a small mill, it's a whole bunch larger and heavier (130 lbs or so, as opposed to 30 lbs) and $700 + shipping as opposed to the Shop Fox' $422 and free shipping.  The Harbor Freight is a whole 'nuther thing.  Honestly, if I was spending that kind of money, I'd have got the Sherline, just because the size factor is also what I was looking for.  Grizzly has a couple of mills in that price range as well, and for all I know they may be the same machine as the Harbor Freight

Proxxon makes a tiny mill as well, but the motor is just silly...basically running at the same 5,000-20,000 RPMs as their hand grinder.  It seems really geared towards people who would be working with plastic and wood.


John Havlicek

#9 Geary Carrier

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 02:25 PM

Hi John,

 

Oh boy the wheels are turning now...

 

 

Thanks,

g


Yes, to be sure, this is it...


#10 Half Fast

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 02:57 PM

John-

 

Now you need an injection molding machine for end bells so you can completely manufacture motors! :)

 

Cheers


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#11 Bill from NH

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 03:22 PM

Bill. the hotter slot car motors use aluminum endbells, so John is all set. :)


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#12 Dave Crevie

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 04:21 PM

For those thinking of going this same way, two things to check. First, does it have Timken tapered roller

bearings on the spindle/quill? Too much wander due to play in ball bearings. And second, are the cross

slides nice and tight. Loose ways allow too much chatter.

 

The Sherline would be my choice. I have used them, and for their size are the best thing out there.



#13 wbugenis

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 04:32 PM

With one of these you can "zero" out  (no measurable runout) any Sherline tool - lathe or mill.

 

https://glockcnc.com...ategory=8597973


William Bugenis

#14 Tim Neja

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 05:38 PM

Oh boy oh boy oh boy!!! A NEW TOY!! Looks cool--have FUN with it!! I love my old Sherline Lathe!  It's all I've needed building 1/12 scale RC and slot cars.  Enjoy! 


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She's real fine, my 409!!!

#15 Samiam

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Posted 22 February 2017 - 11:17 PM

 as long as the motor doesn't need rewinding after firing it up.

Somehow I don't see this as a problem. :) 


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#16 Ramcatlarry

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 12:35 AM

No injection machine need now that 3D printing is in vogue.


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#17 havlicek

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 07:28 AM

 

 

No injection machine need now that 3D printing is in vogue.

 

 

I don't think (?) 3D printing can (*at least the commonly available ones) produce a piece from a material with the structural qualities and heat-resistance needed to make an end bell.  The detail/resolution has gotten better, but I think (and I could sure be wrong) the home-type printers use materials that are only good to about the boiling point of water 212F.  Even the old Mabuchi end bells were fine at that temperature, and dying them in boiling water not only didn't hurt them, it seemed to slightly "rejuvenate" them.

 

Maybe there are commercial 3D scanning/printing services that could produce an end bell that would be as good as a typical plastic end bell today.  Even if so, getting one end bell made up would probably be pretty danged costly!


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#18 Dave Crevie

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Posted 23 February 2017 - 03:19 PM

Nor can a 3-D printer make twenty pieces per shot, 500 shots or more per hour. It is not unusual to mold

simple parts at rates of 10,000 per hour. Even if it took only a minute for a 3-D printer to make a part, it can

not competed economically with injection molding. The great advantage to 3-D printing is that there are no

tooling costs. Very short production runs require a much lower capital investment. Assuming that you already

have the solid model CAD file already done, it may only cost $25 to get an end bell made. Thing is, if you need

end bells for 1000 motors, the cost and slow delivery rate can kill the project.  


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#19 havlicek

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 06:48 AM

True Dave!


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#20 old & gray

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 09:17 AM

I work in the aerospace industry and first used 3D printing about 20 years ago. The advantage to 3D is speed. Once the design is completed in the computer there is a model of the part as a solid. This model can be directly created with a 3D printer. This bypasses the time required to create tooling, and machine instructions to produce the part. The part can be tested for fit and function, then revised and rechecked; all without the investment in tooling.

 

The downsides include the limited number of materials which can be printed and resolution of the printing. I have seen current “home” printers which produce plastic, and paper & resin parts. In my industrial experience I have seen printers which produced parts in stainless steel and nickel alloy. The process of printing is creating “layers” one on top of the other. The result can be a “stair step” surface on any surface which is not horizontal or vertical. These imperfections can be overcome by post printing machining and part orientation for printing.

 

While 3D printing is producing some very interesting possibilities but we are not at the threshold of the Star Trek Replicator technology.


Bob Schlain

#21 Mbloes

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 10:19 AM

Dumb question. Does a mill effectively replace a drill press so you don't really need both?
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#22 triggerman

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 10:47 AM

Dumb question. Does a mill effectively replace a drill press so you don't really need both?


In this case what John ordered is essentially a drill press with an x-y postioning table. He might get by with VERY LIGHT milling cuts in aluminum and steel. I have the exact same machine that is set-up to drill and tap the 4-40 holes in my Knob Job dials. Once the center is found the tables are locked to eliminate slop.
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#23 Mbloes

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 11:42 AM

Don't you think the bearings are beefed up though vs a drill press to take the side loads?


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#24 old & gray

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 12:12 PM

Don't you think the bearings are beefed up though vs a drill press to take the side loads?

 

Generally a drill press has a shaft which travels in the vertical direction. A milling machine will move the motor with a gear drive so that the tool height can be positioned. The fixed motor to collet provides an additional stiffing to resist side loads.  


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#25 Dave Crevie

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Posted 24 February 2017 - 03:33 PM

As I mentioned earlier, a mill should have tapered roller bearings on the spindle, which can be adjusted to

zero side play. Any side play in the spindle/quill assembly will allow wander of the cutter. This means that

the cut will not be perfectly straight. This won't matter if you are only making cuts with the end of the cutter,

but if you try to make a slot to accept another part, the fit will be affected.

 

3-D printing evolved from RP, rapid prototyping. This is a method to create sample parts so that they can

be fitted with other parts which are included in the complete assembly before final tooling is built. In the

past, sample parts were machined in CNC machining centers, usually in aluminum or hard plastic. Going

back even further, the samples were made by hand in manual lathes and mills, which could take a very

long time. Rapid prototyping in an FDM or powdered media printer cuts that lead time down to hours rather

than weeks. Now that powdered media machines have become so fast, it makes sense to use that method

to make parts when only a few are needed.



#26 Booger

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 09:48 PM

Nice little mill!....

 

You will find out why round columns can be an issue soon enough!.....Just make SURE the head is tight on the column when setting up!....OH.....and don't move it if you need more room.... :D

 

They really are nice little machines.....I'm just joking some.

 

You can run into issues if you run out of room and need to move the head.You lose your setup with a round column,not so with a square column.....Can be worked around,but you need to keep that in the back of your mind when figuring stuff out.


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#27 proptop

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 04:42 PM

Been looking around for High Temp Plastics....  i.e. for endbells...just for the heck of it...rather than using Aluminum and worrrying about shorts, etc.

I found "Duratron"

Temp. rated at up to 500 degrees F.

www.boedecker.com/duratron-teg.htm

What do ya'll think?

 

Some of these plastics might not be too friendly to machining, and I wouldn't wanna breathe any dust, but if precautionswere taken...(???)

 

"Torlon" looks like another one...but I haven't seen the prices of this stuff...hope they don't want Gold-like price for it!? :)

 

nationwideplastics.net  looks like another place with some interesting raw materials


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#28 havlicek

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 05:33 PM

Sounds like a worthy thing to investigate Tom.  I've thought about that in the past myself, but never had a way to fabricate the finished piece...until lately!  :D


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#29 havlicek

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 05:36 PM

...and speaking of fabricating, the mill arrived today and I got it all assembled.  So far so good.  I did the recommended break-in at low/medium/high speeds and the power seems adequate.  I won't know what's what until I do some actual test-cuts, but the machine is sturdy and weighty enough to be stable.  That's all I got for now...except that the grease they pack these things in is a sloppy mess.


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#30 Phil Hackett

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 12:36 PM

Did you get the collet system for the spindle?

 

Except for drill chucks (and small ones at that!) JT1 spindle taper tooling is very uncommon.

 

DO NOT use endmills or other side loading spindle tools in drill chucks!!! BAD! BAD! BAD!

 

Get the collet system if you don't have it yet.


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#31 Phil Hackett

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 12:43 PM

 

 

I don't think (?) 3D printing can (*at least the commonly available ones) produce a piece from a material with the structural qualities and heat-resistance needed to make an end bell.  The detail/resolution has gotten better, but I think (and I could sure be wrong) the home-type printers use materials that are only good to about the boiling point of water 212F.  Even the old Mabuchi end bells were fine at that temperature, and dying them in boiling water not only didn't hurt them, it seemed to slightly "rejuvenate" them.

 

Maybe there are commercial 3D scanning/printing services that could produce an end bell that would be as good as a typical plastic end bell today.  Even if so, getting one end bell made up would probably be pretty danged costly!

 

There are high-temp parts made with 3D printers.... Stainless Steel, Inconel... it takes 2-3 weeks, 24/7 to get the part made but they come out useable with a minimum of work afterwards...


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#32 Dave Crevie

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 03:28 PM

Teflon should be heat resistant enough for what you are doing, John. It is available in round and square

bar, and easy to get. 



#33 havlicek

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 04:00 PM

 

There are high-temp parts made with 3D printers.... Stainless Steel, Inconel... it takes 2-3 weeks, 24/7 to get the part made but they come out useable with a minimum of work afterwards...

 

Yep, I'm aware.  I was only referring to the common/home type printers.

 

 

Teflon should be heat resistant enough for what you are doing, John. It is available in round and square

bar, and easy to get. 

 

For sure Dave.  Actually there are types of nylon as well that should be fine too.


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#34 Ecurie Martini

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 05:04 PM

A couple of comments - suggest than anyone looking at a Sherline mill check out the Taig - same package size, same price range but much better capacity.  Also - I had a Grizzly mini mill* -  solid tool once it was adjusted but, by the time I installed 3 axis DRO and had a good assortment of tooling - vice, parallels, collets, cutters etc.  I had about $2500 invested.  (sold it regretfully when I went from house to apartment)

 

EM

 

* has both rack and vernier Z axis so it functions very well as a drill press


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#35 havlicek

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 09:22 AM

I got to spend a little time with the mill to sort of feel how it reacts to actual cutting and drilling.  As I figured, drilling is fine.  When it comes to milling, I wanted to test some steel, as I assume that doing non-ferrous materials will be easier.  I grabbed a Hong Kong can, and set about removing the jumbo flare around where the end bell seats and then flattening the hole side.  After that I opened up the can hole to do some side cutting...nothing precise, just quick an dirty to see how things might go.  I didn't encounter any problems at all.  The column seems rigid enough to not start telling me..."HEY, DON'T DO THAT!".   Of course, these things are made from mild/soft steel, but just taking small bites, going slow and using a sharp tool seems to be the way to go...just like in woodworking.  Also (again just like woodworking), the machine seems to slightly prefer not to "climb cut", or whatever machinists call it, the way things work with a router.  After finishing, it took like 30 seconds on some sandpaper to dress-up the cut to make it pretty much perfectly smooth.

IMG_2014%20copy_zpstr26rsyt.jpg

 

I'm sure that the more expensive mini mills have distinct advantages in accuracy and power, but at $400 the Shop Fox M1036 seems entirely appropriate for doing the sort of things you might want to do with slots.  Certainly cutting harder steels would require paying closer attention and working slower, but I personally don't run into that scenario much...or at all.  

So far, so good!  The only significant question remaining is how the machine will hold up over time.  I guess I'll find out.

 

-john


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#36 Dave Crevie

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 03:20 PM

To climb cut you need a pretty rigid machine and very tight screws. For what you are doing, climb cutting is

not necessary. It's all about matching the machine to the type of work you are going to do, and I think you

have done that. By the way, I would stay with cutters 1/4" dia. or smaller. And avoid two flute cutters, four

flute cutters will give you a smoother cut with less chatter.


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#37 slotbaker

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 05:47 PM

A little bit of cutting lubricant could help with the finish, and prolong the life of your cutters too.

Doesn't have to me a great flood, and just dabbing it on with a cheap 1/2" brush is good enough.

 

Did you use anything when you did the can?


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#38 havlicek

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 07:10 PM

Thanks for the tips Dave and Steve.  I kinda figured that stuff and have no cutters even 1/4" wide.  I'm still learning-by-feel about speed for both the lathe and the mill, but am getting something of a grasp of where that's at.  Steve, yes, I've been using some dry lube recommended to me that works very well, but sometimes some oil as well.  

Anyway, after trying things out on the first can, I got more serious with another.  I did the flats on the mill and the radiused sides on the lathe, getting a very nice finish that only needed a bit of sanding (a half minute or so) to completely remove the tool marks. I'll hit the cutouts to finish the corners square with a little file, but it all is working fine.  Just like winding, I'm learning in front of you guys.  The only difference is that there are apparently a lot of machinists here, so I'm probably amusing you guys getting all pumped doing such basic tasks. :)  Anyhow, there's nothing at all "wrong" with these machines from where I sit.  I'm sure a real machinist could do fine work with them, if even a rookie like me can at least get by!  :D

IMG_2016%20copy_zpsg8gpber8.jpg

 

This "Hong Kong" Mabuchi just lost a bunch of weight.  Now I just have to take care of the bushing end.

 

-john


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John Havlicek

#39 havlicek

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 02:21 PM

I got the bushing end all done.  Made a bushing adapter, recessed on the inside so as not to lose any length in there, soldered that in, and milled the outside so it's all flush and whatnot...but not enough so that can screws won't have plenty to bite into.  End bell mounting holes drilled and the can is ready for magnets and then an arm.  All this stuff is definitely not what would be my plan on a regular basis, but it all gives me a much better idea of how to go about getting things done when I'm asked to do it.  Learn as I go.

IMG_2019_zps6mb2hvnn.jpg

 

I have some end bell work to do yet, but relatively little compared to the can stuff!


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John Havlicek

#40 olescratch

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 03:04 PM

Looking good!  I could see where there could be a need for some of them "adapter" thinggamajigs!


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John Stewart

#41 havlicek

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 05:08 PM

Looking good!  I could see where there could be a need for some of them "adapter" thinggamajigs!

 

Thanks John.  Well, any of these motors are needlessly long, heavy and "loose" because of those dumb Mabuchi rotating bushing carriers.  It may not be the big upgrade that'll make the motor a race-winner, but it does make a significant difference to substitute a can thingamajig.  :)

 

-john


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John Havlicek

#42 havlicek

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 08:12 PM

Magnets are in (stout C can ceramics) and shimmed to a .530-ish hole.  Can is painted "Anodized Blue" with a clear coat over that, so all that was left was a heart for this lovely beast.  I did the old G20 38/27 on a .460" long blank, for a very fast, but reliable D motor.

IMG_2020_zpsihxzjavf.jpg


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John Havlicek

#43 wbugenis

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Posted 22 March 2017 - 04:16 PM

Had to do some commutator slotting today, thought I would post a few pictures.   I bought an older Sherline (sold by Craftsman) mill for

under  $200  on ebay and used mainly Sherline tooling -  index head and tail stock.  It is a dedicated machine.

Robert Root had a very expensive custom built CNC machine to slot comms but when the Logic control gave me trouble,

I came up with this: 

 

 

Com slotter 002.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Com slotter 001.JPG


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William Bugenis

#44 havlicek

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 08:24 AM

Pretty neat Bill.  Looks like you are manually/visually indexing.  If that's the case, a large diameter index, relative to the diameter of the com, as shown should be pretty accurate.  is that how you're doing it?

 

-john


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#45 wbugenis

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 08:33 AM

The index head "clicks "in every five degrees.  I have 0, 120 and 240 degrees marked with the blue tape so I can

 

easily hit the correct click.   That black thing hanging off the right is a socket I just use as a handle to turn the indexer.


William Bugenis

#46 olescratch

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 02:27 PM

The index head "clicks "in every five degrees.  I have 0, 120 and 240 degrees marked with the blue tape so I can

 

easily hit the correct click.   That black thing hanging off the right is a socket I just use as a handle to turn the indexer.

I'm glad that you explained that socket!  I was just about to comment/question what that was doing hanging out of line with everything else.  The process looks GE (good enough) for small quantities, but I'd hate to have to produce a couple thousand parts using it.


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#47 wbugenis

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 04:11 PM

Over time, I have produced several thousand on it.   Actual time is not much different from the RJR CNC version - 

you still have to be there to load and unload the commutator. Accuracy is as good or better.

 

I use stops and markers to control feeds and movements. 

 

Sherline has the parts and this setup lends itself especially well to a CNC rotary table and X and Y axis controller.

I will do that in the unlikely event demand drastically increases.


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William Bugenis

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 06:12 PM

 

 

I will do that in the unlikely event demand drastically increases.

 

For years now I've been hoping for, trying to encourage even a small resurgence in individual winders.  Bill has quality coms, lams and shafts and people have been shown the way, not to mention those who still participate in the hobby who had previously done winding.  I'm starting to feel a little like Don Quixote.  Oh well, I've got arms to wind and motors to build.


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John Havlicek

#49 Jay Guard

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 06:20 PM

Hey John:

When you machined the flat side of the Mabuchi can did you have a problem with the open end of the can being deflected downward away from the cutter?  I would have thought you would have had to support the open end with a motor straightening slug or at least an old end bell. 


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#50 boxerdog

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 07:51 PM

 

For years now I've been hoping for, trying to encourage even a small resurgence in individual winders.  Bill has quality coms, lams and shafts and people have been shown the way, not to mention those who still participate in the hobby who had previously done winding.  I'm starting to feel a little like Don Quixote.  Oh well, I've got arms to wind and motors to build.

You set the bar pretty high, John.


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