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Fasttrack
01-04-2009, 12:29 AM
My brother-in-law is thinking about buying a mill, but he isn't sure how much he'd use it. I told him that, if he decided to buy a mill, I'd come up with some drawings of useful shop tooling that would demonstrate some of the basic capabilities of a mill. Then, when I visited, we could work on some various projects together that would help him learn how to take advantage of all the capabilities of a mill and lathe.

So, what are your suggestions for good beginners projects? I'd like a series of projects where each one focuses on one or two specific operations. One of those projects is going to be a making a holder for a 3" DI that I picked out for part of his Christmas present. The Pacemakers don't have any fancy DRO or trav-a-dial so it's sometimes handy to have a DI to measure carriage movement. I'm thinking a die holder for the lathe would be handy, too.

dan s
01-04-2009, 12:47 AM
One of those projects is going to be a making a holder for a 3" DI that I picked out for part of his Christmas present.
You could make it A DI holder and carriage stop in one like this.
http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showthread.php?t=22151&highlight=carriage

If he is a wood worker he could make one of these, to ensure the table saw blade and miter slot are parallel (works well for dialing toe in/out on the fence as well).

http://img356.imageshack.us/img356/6598/mountedvw9.th.jpg (http://img356.imageshack.us/my.php?image=mountedvw9.jpg)

macona
01-04-2009, 02:25 AM
Heck with something useful. Frank Ford has a cool little beginners project on his site:

http://www.frets.com/HomeShopTech/StepByStep/TwoSlider/twosllider1.html

HSS
01-04-2009, 08:35 AM
The first thing I made with my mill was a boring bar holder for my lathe. Crude but servicable.

Pat

Edit: Crude, cause I'm a newbie.

John Stevenson
01-04-2009, 09:01 AM
First thing I'd make would be a DTI holder for the mill, without setting the mill / vise up you are starting in the unknown, then move on.

No limit to starter projects, just the order you do them.

In no particular order:- [ except the first :D ]

DTI holder for mill.
Bed stop for lathe.
Work stop for mill,
Packing blocks for mill
Clamps

.

HSS
01-04-2009, 09:05 AM
First thing I'd make would be a DTI holder for the mill, without setting the mill / vise up you are starting in the unknown, then move on.

No limit to starter projects, just the order you do them.

In no particular order:- [ except the first :D ]

DTI holder for mill.
Bed stop for lathe.
Work stop for mill,
Packing blocks for mill
Clamps

.
What are packing blocks?

John Stevenson
01-04-2009, 09:25 AM
Sorry parallels, A good cheap starter method is to get some lengths of flat cold rolled and just saw some lengths off.

I know I will be castigated for this as cold rolled can vary by about a thou but a thou is still better than trying to level a piece up in the vise by eye.

Later on you can replace them by lengths of ground flat stock or proper parallels when you can afford it or more importantly when you feel your skill sets requires them.

.

lazlo
01-04-2009, 01:03 PM
My first project on the mill was a set of strap clamps to fit the narrow slot in a "toolmakers" vise.

http://www.littlemachineshop.com/Products/Images/480/480.2356.jpg

Circlip
01-04-2009, 04:49 PM
My first project as an apprentice WAS a toolmakers vise.

Regards Ian.

HSS
01-04-2009, 05:03 PM
Sorry parallels, A good cheap starter method is to get some lengths of flat cold rolled and just saw some lengths off.

I know I will be castigated for this as cold rolled can vary by about a thou but a thou is still better than trying to level a piece up in the vise by eye.

Later on you can replace them by lengths of ground flat stock or proper parallels when you can afford it or more importantly when you feel your skill sets requires them.

.
John, My young bride brings me rollers out of old roller bearings she has removed from gearboxes she rebuilds where she works. I have mic'd them and they are the same size to .0005. (close as I could check with my mic)
The cost is wonderful, too. I have 12 of them and they are about 25mm and one of the another is about 125mm. The 125mm I use for a paperweight.:D

Pat

Fasttrack
01-04-2009, 05:26 PM
Hey thanks guys! I've been to Frank Ford's site before, but it slipped my mind. I like the DTI holder, too. That is definitely the right place to start!

Keep 'em coming!

Circlip
01-05-2009, 07:34 AM
As simple or complex as you like:-

http://homepage3.nifty.com/amigos/index-e.html

Regards Ian.

mlucek
01-06-2009, 04:23 PM
Heck with something useful. Frank Ford has a cool little beginners project on his site:

http://www.frets.com/HomeShopTech/StepByStep/TwoSlider/twosllider1.html
This was a fun little project for me. I had my "slider" last fall as a quickie project for my independent study machining class. Frank has some great instructions !!

Mike

ckalley
01-06-2009, 05:20 PM
I have been using some rectangular HSS cutter blanks as parallels for years. They are pretty accurate and they were in my Dad's toolbox, so you couldn't beat the price!

Craig