Thursday, August 13, 2015

Manufacturing In SemiAuto Mode

I am approaching the ability to machine the part I need from aluminum, but enough orders for the easy products to make  are arriving that those have to take priority.  One part I usually make by planing acetal scrap I bought at a bargain price to a particular size, drilling a hole through, and fitting it into several different tripod legs.  As an exsperiment, I tried milling it to size.  It was slower than using the planer, but more precise and a bit more fun to mill by clicking the mouse.  I tried using a fly cutter, but the results were not so pretty.  The best part, however, was drilling the holes .783" from the end.  Yes, you can do that with a manual mill, but it was so nice to tell the mill to move that distance from the end then drop the center drill into the surface.  This hole is the pilot hole for a twist drill on the drill press.

I had originally planned to make the part in two separate orientations, which means two separate determinations of where X, Y, and Z are relative to the workpiece, but now I have decided to do everything with the workpiece in one position.  There is a slice that comes off the back, in this case top of workpiece, then I rough out a slot with an end mill.  These steps are done.  Next, turn the round cut from the 1/2" endmill into something with square interior corners by running a 1/8" end mill along the interior of the slot, and then cut two edges with the same end mill.

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