Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Never Overthink A Problem

I mentioned a few days ago boring (slightly) a square tube to hold a 2.75" OD round tube securely in the chop saw.  Today I realized that when I ordered some square tubing to hold the 2.5" OD acetal, so that I could make diagonal slices--the square tubing that I ordered was 2.75" x 2.75" inside.  I spent a lot of time figuring out how to get this tubing centered in the 4-jaw chuck again--and there was no point to it.

Trying to turn lemons into lemonade, I realized that maybe the fit did not need to be that perfect, since there are 3/8"-16 bolts holding everything in place.  So I drilled and tapped a bunch of 3/8"-16 holes, and what do you know!  It holds the 2.5" rod perfectly!  Then I trimmed the end to the same angle that I am cutting the rod to: 30 degrees.  Now I can cut slices that are 1.25" thick (the size that I need), and waste almost nothing, while leaving the fingers of myself and my son (who is doing much of the work these days) attached.

The fixture:

On the chop saw:

Imagine the acetal rod up against the black 30 degree angle stop.  I just loosen the bolts, and push the rod down after each cut until it impacts the stop again.  I will start with a longer piece of square tube next time, so that I can use the chop saw workpiece clamps, instead of a C-clamp across the back, just because the chop saw workpiece clamps are faster to loosen and tighten.

The nearly perfect little slices.  The one of the lower left is the last piece of the rod--the that was too small to make another slice from.

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