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PeterB
01-29-2010, 12:22 PM
Hi All,
Peter here. I'm a student at a local community college in the machine tool program. This is the second semester of the manual machining year and next year will be primarily CNC machining. Among other courses, I'm also taking a SolidWorks 3-d modeling class and an Autocad course. For the second half of this semester in machining we are free to work on projects of our own choice/interest. For the second half of our SoldWorks course we are required to submit a design project of our own choosing. So I'm looking for suggestions. Something that would be suitable for machining and Cad requirements. I was thinking of something along the lines of the Tesla Turbine engine that I came across in the sept/oct issue of HSM. I just have the 1 issue so i woiuld have to see if I could get the follow-up back issues.
But I thought I would put the question out there to other machinists, experienced machinists. What would you suggest for a project? Are there project books that you could recommend. I know there are the HSM project books but i would like to know what is included in a particular edition before purchasing one.
FYI. I'm not a young student out of high school. Far from it. I'm 51 years old. Always been mechanically inclined and have had a an aptitude for the way things go together. I've spent most of my working life as a builder/contractor and then as cabinetmaker/shopowner. I won't go into the details of why I'm not doing that anymore but the economy has played a large part. I think it's, just barely, not to late to shift gears and try something anew for a vocation.
Also. just before entering school i purchased a 9" southbend lathe with drawers and boxes full of tooling. I haven't really had a chance to get it fully set up and organized yet but I'm looking forward to it. The 1 thing that it didn't come with it was a taper attachment. Does anyone know where i might get plans for one?
I look forward to interacting here on the BB. I've trolled through some of the posts and can see that there are a lot of very skilled folks with much experiance who are generous with thier time and advice. I liked alot the shop made tools thread- although I haven't gone through it all yet.
reagrs,
Peter

RB211
01-29-2010, 12:34 PM
Anything Model engineering related will work. I use solid works for designing steam locomotives. Too complicated and long term for your class. Try some tooling, like a knurler for a lathe, or an indexer head for a lathe. Model Engineer Workshop has a online subscription for the back issues, loaded with drawings of things you can use for around 35$

George Bulliss
01-29-2010, 12:56 PM
Peter,

The Tesla Turbine build series is now in book form and available from Village Press. Included in the book are three other projects from Jeff Maier. The other three chapters are titled; “Two-cylinder Uniflow Engine,” “Terry Turbine,” and “Horizontal Uniflow Engine.” This book is available by calling (800)447-7367. This is also the number to use for requesting back issues.

If you will email me at gbulliss(at)villagepress(dot)com, I will attach a doc file to my reply that contains the table of contents for our project books. This should help you get an idea of which one may be right for you.

Good luck in your career change; I wish you all the best.

George

camdigger
01-29-2010, 01:16 PM
For the second half of our SoldWorks course we are required to submit a design project of our own choosing. So I'm looking for suggestions. Something that would be suitable for machining and Cad requirements. I was thinking of something along the lines of the Tesla Turbine engine that I came across in the sept/oct issue of HSM. I just have the 1 issue so i woiuld have to see if I could get the follow-up back issues.
But I thought I would put the question out there to other machinists, experienced machinists. What would you suggest for a project?
Peter

Personally, at this point, I'd ask what your interests are? Do you have other hobbies that have potential projects? Do you like model engines?
For example, if you do not intend to run an engine and are not interested in making it "go", you may have trouble with motivation and the overall project will suffer. OTOH, if you're an avid flyfisher, there are several reel, and reel seat designs perfect for design tweaks and machining from solid. Brian R is an excellent example of someone who had an opportunity to get into engine design with a skill pack few modellers will ever have. He's done some amazing work.

ulav8r
01-29-2010, 02:11 PM
I don't have links for a taper attachment, but a little searching should get some good information. The taper attachment could be a good project, about 5-6 major parts and a few fasteners and pins. You could model it to fit your machine and then fabricate/machine the parts.

Back about 1999 John Stevenson sent me some sketches on a taper attachment. They were probably lost when my computer died a few years later. That was initiated by a post on this forum that might still be available but I don't have time to look for it now.

camdigger
01-29-2010, 03:43 PM
'Course you could always look around here for inspiration. Threads like this one come to mind.... http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showthread.php?t=39202

Bones
01-29-2010, 04:31 PM
If it were me in your situation, I would try to make as many shop items and tooling I think I would want or need in the future, saving the expense of buying then, or the time building them later on. Vise, Rotary Table, angle blocks etc.


bones

whitis
01-29-2010, 06:42 PM
A taper attachment for south bend:
http://www.strippingknives.com/tools/taper.htm

This mini-lathe one can do tapers or profiles:
http://www.toolsandmods.com/library/ralph_patterson_taper_attachment.pdf
The vertical posts should be replaced with something more rigid.

Of course, after you take CNC next year, you won't need a taper attachment.
The difference between cutting a taper and a cylinder is which numbers you put in. You might consider making some stepper mounts for your lathe and getting a head start.

JTToner
01-29-2010, 09:27 PM
Peter, welcome. I'm new to this group as well, but these guys are great. They are nothing short of a living, breathing encyclopedia of knowledge. Myself, I'm just a hack. I was almost 70 years old when I began a 3 semester manual machine course and a one semester CNC setup class at the local J.C. I want to go back and take a few more classes but my shop widow doesn't agree. The SB 9 was an excellent choice and should serve you well.
Johnny

Paul Alciatore
01-30-2010, 12:46 AM
Suggestions? You could spend a year just reading the posts here. Many, many ideas there. I also would probably try to make some useful tools. It seems like I spend about half of my shop time making the tools needed to make the latest job. If you are going to be a machinist, any head start is to the better.

Beyond that, various types of engines are popular. Models, clocks, telescopes and mounts, practical things like trailers, auto accessories (I purchased a used Volvo which had no cup holders so I made two), candle holders, puzzles, green energy devices like sun tracking solar cell arrays, I plan to make a microphone mount tomorrow for recording the church choir, your own design flashlight, ....... The list is endless.

gda
01-30-2010, 06:49 AM
Take advantage of the equipment that the school has - that you may not have for a long time - or at all (cnc, surface grinder) to make yourself custom tools.

Use the CNC to make dividing head plates and then sell them!

Do you need the project to be approved and graded, or do you just have free shop time? (Although at 51 yo I'm guessing that you do not need to play the grade game)