Author Topic: A Nice Cold Ohio Winter Welcome!  (Read 2867 times)

Offline MetalMuncher

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A Nice Cold Ohio Winter Welcome!
« on: February 16, 2014, 05:12:13 PM »
Hi folks! I'm a retired trucker here in Ohio USA, who got into this addictive hobby back in December 2003. Saw a newspaper sale flyer for a Homier Tool show and while reading it noticed they had a small (7x10) metal lathe for only $199. (Those were the days, eh? Crazy how much these Sieg tools have inflated since then!) Lathes had always intrigued me, so I took a pro toolmaker (good friend of mine) along to check it out, because beyond the intrigue, I was totally clueless. Being a pro, he wasn't too impressed ( I had no idea why at the time) but I decided to buy it anyway.

Once bitten, I started down this slippery slope of acquiring and making tooling and modifications to improve the little beast's abilities. The very first thing I learned, with my friend's tips, was how to single point turn threads (which many would agree is a rather advanced topic on these hobby machines). Thank goodness for the internet, and websites by folks like Frank Hoose who paved the way with lots of information!

By April of 2004 I found myself buying a Speedway Mini-Mill at another Homier show, and have watched its price double over the years. I would never have gotten into this hobby with the machine pricing as it is today, so I am grateful I did it back then. It's been a fun and interesting 10 years!

Many have scorned these little machines for their lack of quality, ability, or sheer mass, all of which I have learned are important in this hobby. But they have a LOT of potential, and I have made many modifications to them both. The mill now sports a 3 axis DRO which I built myself from online kit plans and circuit board, and the lathe has a set of DRO dial gauges from LMS as well as a 12" digital Caliper I can snap into magnetic mounts of my own making, when I want a digital readout on its long axis. I have done several of the lathe mods available online as well as retail (lever lock set-back compound, lever lock tail stock, 5" chuck, 4-jaw chuck, aligned the head, chuck, and tail stock to make them run as true as possible, just to name a few. The first mod I did on the lathe was of my own design - a small fixture I added with an adjustable gib screw riding on the front way, to remove the saddle's tendency to rotate when put under a load.

I also have several mods on the mill, including a True-Inch X-axis power feed, Spring Air lift cylinder, Belt Drive, and a load current meter on the power feed motor, which comes in very handy keeping an eye on gib adjustments, as well as knowing how hard the table feed is working.

I am completely self taught, by experimentation and reading online, along with a bit of advice now and then from a pro, but it didn't take long after reading his borrowed book "Technology of Machine Tools" to come to the realization that these mini tools operate in a different dimension of their own, in many ways, from their professional sized brethren. So a lot of what I take to be standard necessity in their operation came from observing how they work with various speeds, feeds, and materials, and does not always jive with what is in the textbook. ;) 

I prefer to work with 6061 AL, as well as UHMW plastic, Acetal, Nylon, and brass. But I will work with 12L14 steel sometimes (I got some scrap rods cheap) as well as stainless and mild steel when the need arises.


Offline krv3000

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Re: A Nice Cold Ohio Winter Welcome!
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2014, 05:13:02 PM »
hi and welcume

Offline Stilldrillin

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Re: A Nice Cold Ohio Winter Welcome!
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2014, 05:51:41 PM »
Hi MM!  :wave:

Welcome to the Collective.  :borg:

With your background and experience, we should get along very nicely.  :thumbup:

I too, have mini lathe and mill. Works for me! Looking forward to seeing some of your work.  :D

David D
David.

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: A Nice Cold Ohio Winter Welcome!
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2014, 08:22:15 PM »
Hiya MM

Welcome to the collective :borg:

I have both of those machines too (HF variant). Been modding both as well. The 7x10 now sports at 16" bed. Would love to see pictures of what you have done.

Eric
Science is fun.

We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.

Offline AussieJimG

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Re: A Nice Cold Ohio Winter Welcome!
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2014, 09:48:55 PM »
Welcome from the fringes of civilisation as well.

Jim

Offline Manxmodder

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Re: A Nice Cold Ohio Winter Welcome!
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2014, 10:31:39 AM »
Hi MM, welcome to the Madhouse and hope you'll share the fruits of your madness with the rest of us madaholics on here.

You say you're self taught. I'd say it's the only way you really learn anything worthwhile......OZ.
Helixes aren't always downward spirals,sometimes they're screwed up

Offline superc

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Re: A Nice Cold Ohio Winter Welcome!
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2014, 11:39:02 AM »
Welcome.  Technology of Machine Tools is a great book for us.  I had to buy it as a college text when I took lathe and mill at the community college and well, my copy is getting lots of thumb marks now that I have these Sieg products.  I strongly also suggest downloading (PDF) a copy of the US Army Training Circular 9-524, Fundamentals of Machine Tools.  If nothing else, it has great appendixes.

Offline Meldonmech

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Re: A Nice Cold Ohio Winter Welcome!
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2014, 03:31:08 AM »

 Hi
                 Welcome to MadModder, nice to hear from you. I am sure members would like to see pics of the improvements you have made to your machines. 

                                                       Cheers David

Offline superc

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Re: A Nice Cold Ohio Winter Welcome!
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2014, 12:32:28 PM »
Also, don't forget youtube as a resource.  There is some great stuff on there I wish existed 40 years ago.