Author Topic: The end is in sight  (Read 8533 times)

bogstandard

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The end is in sight
« on: June 18, 2009, 05:45:28 PM »
I have been rebuilding my workshop for twelve months now, new machinery, tooling and a good clearout of many years of garbage collection.

During this time I have had to return machines that weren't up to spec, wait for months for delivery of another machine, still carry on making bits that people want and also making the odd bits and pieces for myself, and over six months of illness that has stopped me working in the shop for days on end.

Now after spending a few hours at a time over the last few months, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, still a little to do, but that is because the tooling I require has been out of stock for over 3 months, so that will have to wait until it eventually arrives. So you will see little blank patches, that is for the expected tooling.
I am a firm believer in keeping the tool for the job close to where it will be used, and within easy reach, the most used nearest, the least further away. To achieve that, I will make special little holders and brackets so that I can get it onto the usually most underused part of the workshop, the walls.

So this is the last shot of the lathe area that you saw, just after I had finished making the toolholder rack.




So this is what it looks like now. I will not dwell on the lathe too much, just to say that in between the two cabinets on the stand, I fitted a very heavy duty shelf, and on that is stored all my chucks and heavy equipment for the lathe. The top shelves in my shop are used for little used items, but are easily reached. Anything that doesn't fall into that criteria is stored in the back metal prep area. Namely consumables and spares.




So this is the headstock end of the lathe. I use most of the time two types of chuck, ones with soft jaws that I bore to fit the component, or the most used one which is my collet chuck. As you can see on the LHS, the collet chuck is very well supported. At the bottom of the bottom rack are specials such as machineable mandrel collets, emergency collets etc, up from those is a set of square, both metric and imperial, then a full set of full size metric collets. The middle rack contains a set of imperial collets in 1/64th stages. This setup allows me to hold in my collet chuck almost anything of standard shape up to 1" diameter, very accurately.
The top wooden rack hold sets of expanding mandrels to hold things with holes thru them, plus two types of backstops for c5 collets (both in use).
A bit further round you will see my tool holder rack, which you have seen before. Above that is a dowel with four grades of emery rolls on it, and the change gears for the machine. You will also notice, I have piped air around the shop, using braided airline and quick release couplings, and have droppers and extensions at convenient places, plus air blowers on the lathe and mill. There are also droppers installed for when I make my spraymist units for each machine I have.
Notice the little red circle just below the wall socket. This was sighted thru the spindle and a mark put on the wall in line with the spindle bore. If ever I get a very long job, it will be just a matter of using a hole saw to go thru the stud wall and that will give me four more feet to play with by going into the metal prep area, so that should give me just over 6 feet in total (there is designed clearance to load from the tailstock end of the lathe). Any length over that, they can spin on it, because no way am I going to drill thru the outer wall.




Around the corner on the middle shelf I keep grinding dresser for my toolpost grinder and a DTI for those special little setups, followed by machine reamers and all sorts of little doodahs that need to be kept close to hand. The top shelf is just a few engines and in each basket is a project either started or waiting to be started while materials are gathered.
A point to note is the machine lamp, this was attached the the saddle and was a PITA, always getting in the way. So it was moved to a fixed position on the backsplash. At the same time, I also lifted all the DRO cables out of the swarf on the drip tray and clipped them up to prevent damage to them.
Also notice the power driver hanging above the headstock. This is supported by a balance unit that allows the tool to be moved to a position and it will stay there. All my main key chucks on this lathe use 3/8" drive, so this is fitted with a 3/8" extension so that it can be used on any of them. But it won't be. It was fitted because of my collet chuck, because it takes about 30 turns to fully extract or fit a new collet (that is 30 turns to get the old one out, 30 to screw the new one in). So with me having a bit of a duff right arm and hand, this will save further wear and tear on them when it comes to changing collets.




Carrying on along the middle shelf you come to the oil rack. Each can containing the correct oils for lubricating the machines, which I do religiously, to such an extent, I usually have oil dripping off my slideways and spindles. Behind those, are all the chuck jaws for the chucks, usually covered in oil where the cans have dribbled a little. Also there are my tapping oil bottles.
You will also notice an adjustable spanner hanging down. About 25 years ago I purchased four Bahco adjustables, 3 small ones and a middle sized one. Despite being used continuously since I bought them, I still have them all, and all are as good as the day they were bought. They were the original designers of this style of much copied 'shifters', and to me they are the best in the world of the type. I have them hanging at strategic places around the shop.
There are also two redundant scriber stands on that shelf, one is going to be used for a little project, and if successful, the other will be disposed of to whoever wants it.




This is my tailstock rack, and is situated, would you believe it, just behind the tailstock. Most on here are fittings that are used in the tailstock, but also a few headstock pieces, purely because it was easy to store them on the same rack.
On here are tapping holders, die holders, rotating chuck, solid and live centres etc etc, plus a full set of hand tightening chucks, from 8mm to 16mm.



So that is it for now. The rest of the shop is finished, just needing a good clean down with soap and water followed by an oily rag.
I will show you some more if you are interested when that is done.

I would just like to say that this is NOT a boast post or tool gloat. It is just what I have achieved over the years thru hard work and thought, coupled to trying to get a workshop that feels like a pair of slippers, where anyone is welcome. I managed that feeling with the 'old' shop, I won't know about this one for a while yet.


Bogs

Offline Bernd

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Re: The end is in sight
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2009, 07:01:40 PM »
John,

That is one very well orginized "lathe area". I'm a bit enveious.

Can't wait to see the rest of the shop when finished. I always liked when in the modeling magazines they had some modelers shop presented. Never know what you might find that one can use to equip your own shop.

Carry on.

Bernd
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Offline DeereGuy

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Re: The end is in sight
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2009, 09:32:57 PM »
Ditto on what everyone else has said John,  looks like a great place to work in.

Offline ozzie46

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Re: The end is in sight
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2009, 09:50:49 PM »


 Man, The things I could do with a setup like that!  :dremel: :dremel: :dremel: :dremel:  Oops forgot knowledge and experience. :( :(
Still it would be nice to have. :thumbup:
 
  Ron

Offline rleete

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Re: The end is in sight
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2009, 07:47:31 AM »
I would just like to say that this is NOT a boast post or tool gloat.

Nothing wrong with a bit of boasting.  You said straight off that you'd been working on it for a year.  Lots of time, money and thought put into it.  Looks good, serves the intended purpose and makes things easier for you.  That deserves it's own fanfare, just as much as a well tuned engine or any other completed project.

Not to say I'm not jealous of all the nifty tooling...
Creating scrap, one part at a time

Offline Darren

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Re: The end is in sight
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2009, 07:50:19 AM »
Having visited Johns shop I must say I found it truely insparational....

I just hope some of it rubs off on me....

Oh, John and the family were cool too.....made me feel very welcome :thumbup:
You will find it a distinct help… if you know and look as if you know what you are doing. (IRS training manual)

Offline Stilldrillin

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Re: The end is in sight
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2009, 08:09:59 AM »
We had three or four workshop reorganisations/ rebuilds during my 34yrs with my last employer.

He would stand quietly beside me & tell how the outcome would be, "a little meccano workshop".  ::)

He never really got one......

BUT, you have John!  :thumbup:

That`s blummin well done mate!  :clap:

David D

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Still drilling holes... Sometimes, in the right place!

Still modifying bits of metal... Occasionally, making an improvement!

Offline Brass_Machine

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Re: The end is in sight
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2009, 10:23:06 AM »
John,

Very nicely organizes shop! You seem to have placed what you want, where it will be best used.  :med: there is some harmony in there!  :med:

More pictures would be nice. I think most of us feel this isn't gloating. Showing what you have, as nicely as you have done it... is not gloating.

Well done sir!

Eric
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Offline SPiN Racing

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Re: The end is in sight
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2009, 11:16:22 PM »
Awesome Shop John!

I am getting back in the garage myself, and am going to get the mill stop done, so I can get the tool holders done, and then make up one of the Bogs Tool holder dowel boards finished. Also SWMBO came by and was looking at the pics there and said "Ohhh you could do that with all your tailstock thingeys too couldnt you?"  ::)  Of course honey. The thingeys I have for mine are the same.. and yes its a board with holes in it.   :smart:

SO yeah... very informative John.. Its nice to see how others who know what they are doing are doing the organizing of the shop.

I was helping a co-worker out 10 or so years ago who was our backup guy. He needed to teach me to install backup tapes, and change the old ones out of the 6 changers we had. I asked how to do it.. he told me, and said it should take 15 minutes........
It took me a HOUR to get the changers loaded and going.
I went in with him the next day and asked how the heck he did it... He then showed me how to load the tapes on the cart.. in what order. And how to PICK THEM UP.. so you could make one fluid movement of picking them up, opening the box, pulling the tape out, closing and putting the box back, while bringing the tape up, opening the tapes door with one hand, checking the leader, closing it, and then pulling the old tape out with the hand that just put the box down, and then putting the new tape in place.
After practicing I could change one tape accurately in about 3 seconds.. 4 tops. There were 30 in each of the 6 changers.

The methodology working in a factory environment, or someplace where you need to do repetitive movements accurately and precisely.. is something those of us without any real toolroom experience are missing.

Seeing things like the rack to hold a load of tools is a good thing.

Most of us grew up with a tool box with a load of tools poured into it. We would rummage around for the proper tool, and go from there. Changing the basic thought process of where to place the tools when done, and always knowing it is in that place.. thats a HUGE time saver.


And my boys wonder why I get annoyed when they take a 14MM wrench and leave it someplace odd.
SPiN Racing

bogstandard

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Re: The end is in sight
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2009, 08:36:51 PM »
Before I go any further, I will just explain something. I was going to repaint all the walls before rebuilding the shop, but because I was naughty, and was caught doing work in there when I should have been resting, the comment for being disobedient was, "if you can't do as you are told, you are not going to paint those walls". SWMBO was obeyed, and the walls never did get painted.

I was going to do a bit of machining this morning, but really didn't feel up to it, so I took a few walkaround piccies for you to look at.

The main shop is about 15.5 ft long by 8.5 ft wide, while the metal prep and storage area is 4 ft by 8.5 ft. So almost everything in the shop had to be fitted to inch precision to get it all in, and still allow me to get around without bumping into things, hence the walkway straight down the middle.

This is the view as you enter from the main door. Notice the two rows of full workshop length lighting. Couple that with light coloured walls and ceiling and mainly white shelving gives brighter than daylight conditions in there. Auxilliary lighting is very rarely required, and because there is more than one strip light, stroboscopic problems don't occur.




The bottom LH corner contains the buffing spindles (converted 8" offhand grinder) and the old surface grinding machine (it will be getting a major overhaul early next year if all goes well), both with their consumables on shelves above, within easy reach of each machine. In the foreground is the great die filing machine, kindly donated to the shop by our own Stew. There will be major projects earmarked for that machine later in the year.
Also notice the black roller blind attached to the ceiling. This is rolled down to the floor when I am surface grinding, preventing contamination of the buffing area with grit particles.




You have already seen the lathe, so this is a shot looking back up the shop from the back wall.




And another looking up the other side.
Notice how much wall space has been used, especially on the lower levels. Lots of things within easy reach when sitting at the bench.
Under the bench are lin bins containing all sorts of general hand tools, and under those are my roll out boxes containing my internal metal storage stash.
The top shelf has all my tap and die sets plus misc boxes of o-rings, circlips etc.




Between the lathe and the mill, I shoehorned in a 1 metre wide el cheapo kitchen cabinet. The drawers and cupboard house all my real precision instruments (I say that because I have rough and ready mics, calipers, squares etc dotted about the shop for general rough measurements and setups).
The top drawer houses all my drill sets and drilling related items.




On the top of my cabinet is what I call my projects benchtop. All laid out in the order they are to be processed.
From left to right, a S.T. engine that a chappie has sent to me, he built it, he wants me to put it right and get it to run. In front of that are a load of blank 0.5mm plates, they are for a contract job making miniature stoking shovels for garden rail locos. Next, a set of large drills to make a stand for, followed by the metal to make a retracting toolpost, and behind those, a lump of cast steel to modify to make a pressure weight for my power hacksaw.
If that isn't enough, next comes a blank R8 arbor. A friend last week gave me a 'few' thin slitting saws in both HSS and solid carbide. The problem being, they are 5/8" bore, so I need to manufacture a good quality slitting saw arbor for me to hold or gang them correctly. Following that is a little box containing all the consumables for making 5 Liney Halo rotary engines. Next are the part finished bits to make a super sized ball turner. The big blue machine on the end is a horizontal, water cooled lapping machine, that was used by opticians to grind the glass lenses to fit the shape of whatever frame was required. That will eventually become an all singing, all dancing tungsten carbide lapping machine, to allow me to resharpen or reshape the tips of tipped tooling.
I think that is enough to keep me going for a week or so.




Onwards and downwards. This was a cabinet that used to support an old type of photocopier. If it could stand the weight of one of those, it can easily take the weight of my milling table accessories.




Onwards and upwards brings you to the shelf that holds v-blocks, clamps, parallel sets etc, next to the rack which holds my collection of large tungsten milling cutters.
The shelf above has air tools, assorted machine reamers (individual, not sets) plus all sorts of assorted knick-knacks. The very end of the shelf has all my machine manuals, charts, plans and collection of suppliers handbooks and old reference books. I am never short of something to read in my shop.
There are blank wall spaces around this area. They are for R8 collet sets and racks, when eventually the ones I require come back into stock.




The other side of the mill houses all my 'working' tooling for the mill. These consist of collet holder, flycutters, a range of hand tight drill chuck plus all sorts of other bits that are used each time you turn the mill on. Below that is my tooling rack that contains all my smaller milling cutters and saws. If you notice, all within easy reach of the mill, no groping around for anything.
There  is another ceiling blind mounted at the side of the mill. When I am flycutting, this is normally dropped down to prevent chips going all over my tooling.




So now we enter the 'back room' or the metal processing area as I call it.
In here, I had the benches made to perfect height for myself when standing in an straight upright position (no pain position). The main item is a powered hacksaw, and if the door is opened, I can operate it from outside if it is a real nice day, or if I have really long bits to cut up. With the door closed, I am limited to cutting about 9" lengths.




In between the hacksaw and bandsaw is a very rarely used scroll saw (you will have to believe me that it is there). The bandsaw has been part of various workshops I have had, being a birthday present over 20 years ago. This is what I cut most of my non ferrous materials on, even a 5" diameter bar of ali it took in it's stride, and it has never let me down except for when it needed a blade change.
A little further down is a 3 in 1 metalworker. A great idea, crap design. It can bend, guillotine and roll, but it does none of them exceptionally well. I just wish I had the space to put in dedicated machines. The last item is a little press for assembly, disassembly or punching.
On the far wall you can see that I mounted up plastic guttering, this holds all my small long length stock.




This shot shows just how high I have gone with the shelving. I store all sorts of consumables and very rarely used items, and some things not directly related to the workshop.




This is the thing that nearly gives me a heart attack every time it kicks in. Hopefully, in the future this will be mounted outside, on the other side of the wall. The neighbours can then have all the noise, I don't mind sharing that with them.



So thats it. A shop that is designed and made specifically to fit me. Nothing special needed, just a bit of thought, ingenuity and luck.


Bogs



Offline Darren

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Re: The end is in sight
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2009, 05:43:23 AM »
John a quick question... :wave:

Knowing how you like to use a small air blower around your machines, do you find with all the open shelves and boxes this becomes a problem with swarf?


It seems that everytime I turn a machine on I end up with a clearing up opperation that can takes up valuable time. Ok sometimes it's nice to just go in and potter about and have a tidy up. Just wondering if you had any tips on this?
You will find it a distinct help… if you know and look as if you know what you are doing. (IRS training manual)

bogstandard

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Re: The end is in sight
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2009, 07:30:06 AM »
Darren,

I only normally use the blower very close up and try not to hold down the handle too much.

I know what you mean about the swarf going everywhere, but on the lathe I don't usually have much trouble in that area, mainly because I grossly over lubricate the slides. The small swarf just gets stuck to the oil, and the blower moves it about rather than blowing it airbourne.

The mill is a totally different kettle of fish. Because the oil is hidden away on the slides, and the table is usually fairly dry, the swarf can easily get airbourne, so it is just a matter of trying to control it and having a good clean up every so often. The roller blind, when down, controls the swarf very well and it just ends up as a nice pile at the bottom of it, and protects my tooling rack from inundation.

Nothing you can do will ever keep swarf under control, unless you completely shroud the machine with guards. It is just a matter of keeping it under control, and when it gets to ankle deep, get the boss to clean the shop out for you.


John

Offline Darren

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Re: The end is in sight
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2009, 07:45:50 AM »
get the boss to clean the shop out for you.


John

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You will find it a distinct help… if you know and look as if you know what you are doing. (IRS training manual)

Offline kellswaterri

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Re: The end is in sight
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2009, 08:13:31 AM »
Hi Bogs, my compliments on a very well thought out lay out for your shop...how is it heated ? that B&D band saw, is it one of the off the shelf products, with a metal cutting blade? ...I had been thinking of a Hegner for metal cutting but have not decided yet.
All the best for now,
                                John.

bogstandard

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Re: The end is in sight
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2009, 09:55:32 AM »
Darren,

My wife Mal is a rock, she helps me whenever she can in and around the workshop.
If she wouldn't help, I would swap her in for a new model :lol:

John,

I don't think this B&D model is available any more, last time I saw one for sale was years ago.

Almost any bandsaw will cut metal, it all depends on what blades you fit. I purchase mine in bulk from Axminster and buy the finest toothed 1/2" ones they have. I use the bandsaw almost every day, but never for cutting ferrous materials. A normal blade will last about 3 to 4 months. I did do an essential mod when I first received the machine, and that was to make ball bearing guides, both top and bottom. I think it is that which made the saw so stable and able to do so much work before needing a blade change.

As for heating, I have tried them all, and the best one yet is what I am using now. For a very small shop, I would recommend an infra red heater. These warm you from the inside out and not heat the workshop, so you can walk in, turn on and almost anywhere you stand within it's rays you will be warm.
For a larger shop such as mine (UK sizing, not US), it is a PITA carrying the infra red around with you, so last winter, I tried out a small oil filled radiator on the recommendation of a friend. If you look at some of the long shots above, under the 5c collet rack next to the lathe, you will see the rad. It cost less than 20 squid from Wilko, in fact my mate bought it for me as a Christmas present. I turned it on, set the therm to mid range and left it on 24/7. In a couple of days, the whole workshop and all the machinery had been raised to a nice workable ambient temperature, around 60 degs f. That is a perfect winter working temp for myself. Even though it was on continuously, I saw no rise in fuel costs at all, in fact it was slightly less than when I was using the infra red. Supposedly they cost less than a penny an hour to run. I turned it off at the end of April, and will turn it back on again when we start to get chilly days.

John

Offline Bernd

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Re: The end is in sight
« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2009, 04:16:54 PM »
John,

You have created a nice and cozy looking shop. I'm sure we will see some nice models or projects coming out of there fairly soon. I do envy your organizational skills though. If I had those I could be a bit more productive.

Anyway very nice model shop. Now all I need to do is save up my pennies and me and Eric will be over for a visit.

Bernd
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bogstandard

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Re: The end is in sight
« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2009, 04:53:12 PM »
Bernd,

I know we go on in jest about the size of your workshop, but in all honesty, I think a much larger workshop would be of no real benefit to myself. I can now move and machine with ease in this one.

I think the only thing I would like is a tiny bit more space to put a small CNC mill in, and I even feel I might be able to squeeze one of those in here if a give a couple of places a little move around.

I even did a bit of machining this afternoon, I made myself that swish swarf rake I have always wanted, rather than the bent bit of rod I normally use, but I made it dual purpose. I made a fairly heavy PVC handle for it, to use as a fine persuader, instead of using a plastic handled screwdriver for tapping things gently into place..

Be happy with what you have.

John

Offline John Hill

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Re: The end is in sight
« Reply #17 on: June 22, 2009, 01:13:07 AM »
John, I expect you are right about size of workshop,  I have plenty of space, least I would have were it not for clutter so I am thinking of some high density storage and a smaller shop in the space currently occupied by one cluttered shop!  I do have another 'shop' and that is where my lathe is in a small area in the end of one garage.
From the den of The Artful Bodger

bogstandard

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Re: The end is in sight
« Reply #18 on: June 25, 2009, 05:31:37 PM »
The last parts of the jigsaw are starting to fall into place.

For the last few months, I have been trying to obtain a set of metric R8 collets. But everywhere that had reasonable prices had none in stock.
Then out of the blue, I had an email flyer from a large tooling company that are normally very expensive for things like this, but this time they were on special offer, at less cost than my normal retailers, so I got a set ordered and they arrived today.



The Imperial set and rack I have had for a while, but had not put it up until I had these metric ones in my grubby little hands.
These will allow me to get a few inches more depth of throat to play with when using the RT or dividing head, or even a large lump in the vice. They allow me to hold cutters directly in the quill, rather than having a collet chuck in there.


The other bit that turned up today as well is one of the cheapo new fangled DTI stands. This is the smallest one they do, only 5" long. For 12 squid, they are just not worth trying to make yourself.
This is the final part for my tungsten lapper project, so when eventually get to it, everything is ready to go.



I have no excuses now for hanging back on my projects.

Bogs.