Saturday, March 3, 2012

In the Machine Shop

I am thoroughly enjoying school. My mornings consist of AutoCAD, Math, Theory, Blueprint Reading, and CNC Programming. The afternoons are spent in the shop.

The year started with handtool use. Layout tools like scribes, squares, and punches, and cutting and shaping tools like hacksaws and files were covered. The first project completed was this drill point gauge.

We then moved on to drilling and sawing machines. Here's a shaped plate and a piece drilled and tapped with various imperial, metric, and taper threads.

The lathe is a challenge, it's not intuitive for me. Here's various step shafts and a plumb bob. I had to try for alternate sizes more often than I care to admit.

Internal boring is fun, but a little sketchy. The tool post is close to the chuck, the tool tip hidden inside the bore, and hot chips are flying everywhere. However, it is an extremely accurate way to make a hole with a very nice finish.

I do enjoy knurling and threading. Here's a bearing punch and a prick punch. The prick punch was annealed and hardened, and the tip flame hardened. I haven't polished it up completely yet. The threaded piece has left and right hand threads, as well as a thread that was picked up and extended.

We've done some CNC programming as well. Here's a piece in aluminum, known as the "Kelsey Ashtray".

My favourite machine is the mill. After years of using mortisers, drill presses, and routers the mill is like second nature. This vise is my favourite project so far, accurate to within .001, well inside the .005 tolerance allowed.

The milling machine with a shell mill in the vertical spindle, finishing the vise body.

Same machine, with a slitting saw on the horizontal arbour cutting the groove for the sliding jaw.

If you're looking for extreme accuracy and fine finish, the surface grinder is tough to beat. The table is magnetic, and travels both in and out as it goes back and forth.

This V block was milled, carberized, and case hardened before grinding.

It's as close to perfection as I've come with any of my projects, metal or wood.

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I'm a woodworker on the Canadian prairie.