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rigmatch
07-03-2010, 02:53 PM
Hello

I am the leader of the Multimachine newsgroup (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/multimachine/ ). For the last eight years our goal has been to design a reasonably accurate machine-tool for use by people with little or no money. This is not the place to recount the twists and turns the project has taken but my most recent personal goal has been to make the machine capable of re-creating the first workpiece shown in this video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=139z62o6OhA&NR=1&feature=fvwp.

I think that a modified* Multimachine could have a total cost of under $600 and still do almost all the operations shown in the 5 axis MAZAK machining center video (very slowly!). Accurate work would be made easier because the workpiece would be moved just one time and that is when it is reversed in the four jaw chuck.

I need help on two related subjects.

The first is on the use of concrete based machine tools in WW1. This could be very important in many parts of the world today but seems to be an almost forgotten technology.

This is what one of our members, Shannon DeWolfe found out.

"The concrete machines that Romig eluded to were the brainchild of one
Lucien I. Yeomens..

Mr. Yeomens' genius was that he understood that production of arms needed to start as soon as possible and as cheaply as possible. There was no time to cast and true huge machines of iron to produce cannon shells and barrels. And, then, what was to become of these very expensive machines after the war? If huge amounts of capital was tied-up in mills and lathes, they HAD to
produce something. His idea of using concrete solved all the problems.
The plants he supervised were producing artillery shells within 60 days
of construction start. The machines were cheap to build and therefore
disposable after the war. They could be built to any scale. (In fact, I
read that a planer bed over 185 feet long was under construction when
the armistice was signed. Because his method was so inexpensive, the
planer was abandoned unfinished.)

But, after several hours of reading, I am sad to report that not one
instance of methods used to pour the machines could be found."

Does anyone have a book or Machinery magazine article that covers this very important subject?

My second problem is about HRS bar in the sizes that the Multimachine would need for ways and carriages. Does anyone know of a low technology, cheap way for a semi-skilled worker to smooth and straighten the tops, bottoms and edges?

Thanks
Pat Delany
rigmatch@yahoo.com

*Modifications
The machine tilted backwards so that the spindle points up 45 degrees. This is so that the vertical slide block will fall towards the main block rather than away from it when it is unclamped.
10" to 12" ways made from 1/2" plate.
A powered auxillary spindle (like a Versa-Mill).
A carriage large enough so that the powered spindle can be used at different angles on the side of the workpiece.
A tool post that will allow the powered spindle to tilt.
Degree wheel indexing for the main spindle, compound and tool post.

Liger Zero
07-03-2010, 02:57 PM
Holy... is there ANYTHING they haven't made out of concrete? I recall reading about concrete ships during one of the wars...

John Stevenson
07-03-2010, 03:10 PM
Holy... is there ANYTHING they haven't made out of concrete? I recall reading about concrete ships during one of the wars...

Condoms ??

Liger Zero
07-03-2010, 03:41 PM
Condoms ??

Doesn't the mafia use cement birth control?

MuellerNick
07-03-2010, 04:02 PM
This is not at all a forgotten art. It only changed a bit. Because concrete shrinks over time and is not resitent to coolant.

It now is widley used in high end machines and is an arificial stone. Made of resin and a mixture of split stone (sometimes granite).
In Germany it is called "mineral casting". Don't know how you call it.


Nick

djc
07-03-2010, 04:05 PM
I need help on two related subjects.

The first is on the use of concrete based machine tools in WW1. This could be very important in many parts of the world today but seems to be an almost forgotten technology.

Hardly a forgotten technology, so long as you take a broad view on what concrete is. The 'modern' term would be 'polymer concrete' or 'epoxy granite', for which there is reams of information over on CNCzone.

One presumes you have Googled the topic, as the first hit that comes up is this patent: http://www.freepatentsonline.com/4657455.html Study of this and the items it cites would be as good a starting point as any. Another good kicking-off point would be this paper: http://www.journalamme.org/papers_amme05/1415.pdf

Alistair Hosie
07-03-2010, 04:09 PM
What's wrong with concrete condoms there cheap.Alistair ps and they can be painted green:D

brian Rupnow
07-03-2010, 04:15 PM
Damn, yes---If I'd a had one of them concrete condoms 40 odd years ago, I'd never have got married the first time!!!:eek: :eek:

Your Old Dog
07-03-2010, 04:25 PM
What's wrong with concrete condoms there cheap.Alistair ps and they can be painted green:D

Actually Alistair, when I was in High School I was so "busy" I used the concrete ones as they lasted much longer. They turn green on there own after you've been through most of the volley ball team :D

MuellerNick
07-03-2010, 04:39 PM
YOD:
How much rebar did you need?


Nick

John Stevenson
07-03-2010, 05:51 PM
YOD:
How much rebar did you need?


Nick

ROTFLMAO :D

hornluv
07-03-2010, 07:25 PM
Wow. :eek: This went so far off topic so soon after the original post.

John Stevenson
07-03-2010, 07:38 PM
Yes but it's a slow day. :eek:

We need Smuttipedia to liven it up, fortunately I no longer see his posts which makes it more enjoyable :cool:

sconisbee
07-03-2010, 07:58 PM
Yes but it's a slow day. :eek:

We need Smuttipedia to liven it up, fortunately I no longer see his posts which makes it more enjoyable :cool:

Lucky bastard how did you manage that? or am I just being a completely dim and not seeing the ignore button?

oldtiffie
07-03-2010, 08:32 PM
Not forgotten at all:
http://www.google.com.au/#hl=en&source=hp&q=ferro+cement&aq=f&aqi=g10&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=&gs_upl=9891%2C4625%2C12%2C3%2C146%2C297%2C2%3A6&fp=57773f5064b4f071

http://www.ferrocement.org/

oldtiffie
07-04-2010, 01:36 AM
Here is some more reading on ferro-cement for ships and boats:

Concrete barges also served in the Pacific during 1944 and 1945.[11] From
the Charleroi, Pennsylvania, Mail, February 5, 1945:

Largest unit of the Army's fleet is a BRL, (Barge, Refrigerated, Large) which is going to the South Pacific to serve fresh frozen foods even ice cream to troops weary of dry rations. The vessel can keep 64 carloads of frozen meats and 500 tons of fresh produce indefinitely at 12F. Equipment on board includes an ice machine of five-ton daily capacity and a freezer that turns out more than a gallon of ice cream a minute. Three of the floating warehouses, designed for tropical warfare, have been built of concrete at National City, Calif., and cost $1,120,000 each. In the crew of the 265-ft. barges are 23 Army men.

from:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concrete_ship

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Palo_Alto

http://www.concreteships.org/ships/ww2/

http://www.concreteships.org/history/

http://www.google.com.au/#hl=en&source=hp&q=concrete+ships&aq=0&aqi=g10&aql=&oq=concrete+ship&gs_rfai=&gs_upl=16125%2C4719%2C15%2C0%2C274%2C1313%2C2%3A5% 2C4%2C7%3A1&fp=57773f5064b4f071

And "Helsal" aka "The Flying Footpath" - the ferro-cement racing yacht that gave an excellent account of itself in ocean racing:

http://www.google.com.au/#hl=en&q=helsal+%2B+image&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=helsal+%2B+image&gs_rfai=&gs_upl=&fp=57773f5064b4f071

bob ward
07-04-2010, 04:11 AM
rigmatch, I'm afraid the class is being a little unruly and inattentive today, probably caused by too much sugar and TV. They are in the main very intelligent and knowledgeable, and may yet calm down and provide sensible answers;)

FWIW, I believe Jaguar in the 60's used concrete tooling to make their E type panels.

RancherBill
07-04-2010, 09:42 AM
There are old articles on using concrete for machine tools. I think I have seen two or three. They were written during the war and address the issues of mass and stiffness.

I will look and see if I can find them.

There is a HUGE thread on another forum on Epoxy Granite that apparently is way better than concrete, but, requires more QC and equipment to get a 100% product and is costlier. For the low budget guy concrete is the way to go.

rigmatch
07-04-2010, 12:07 PM
A wonderful answer! Thank you very much.

Pat

hornluv
07-04-2010, 01:27 PM
I remember seeing an old popular mechanics article (maybe another magazine, but I'm pretty sure it was PM) on building a horizontal milling machine in this way. I had it bookmarked until my computer died and I spent the better part of the morning looking for it on Google, but no joy. AFAIK, they made a form for the column and put the rough spindle housing and overarm supports (basically big pipes) in the form and poured the concrete around it. Then they line bored the spindle housing for the spindle bearings. Since the column was solid, the machine was driven by pulleys on the back side of the spindle. I don't remember what they did for the knee ways.

For a lathe, it would be easy enough to cast the ways in the concrete with the help of some anchors attached to the bottom of the ways. Machining/flattening could be substantially done before hand and construct some sort of frame to hold them straight and parallel while the concrete sets. Then grind/plane/scrape them afterward. That part would take some ingenuity and/or big @$$ machines.

lwalker
07-05-2010, 11:58 AM
I can't believe no one linked to the CNCZone polymer concrete thread:
http://www.cnczone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=30155

David Powell
07-05-2010, 01:06 PM
In the great far north of Canada in the bottom of a lake lie the remains of a prototype ship built mainly of ice. The idea was to build a giant floating island of ice to use as an airfield from which to attack europe. It all looked like it could have worked but the war finished before serious work began.Regards David Powell.

quasi
07-05-2010, 01:13 PM
that ship is i Jasper National Park, in Alberta

lynnl
07-05-2010, 01:18 PM
In the great far north of Canada in the bottom of a lake lie the remains of a prototype ship built mainly of ice. The idea was to build a giant floating island of ice to use as an airfield from which to attack europe. It all looked like it could have worked but the war finished before serious work began.Regards David Powell.

Yeah, I saw a TV program about that a few weeks back. ...the Military Channel I think.

I've forgotten why they said the idea was abandoned, but I'm thinking there did arise some technical issue(s) which cast doubts on the feasibility.

Liger Zero
07-05-2010, 01:19 PM
In the great far north of Canada in the bottom of a lake lie the remains of a prototype ship built mainly of ice. The idea was to build a giant floating island of ice to use as an airfield from which to attack europe. It all looked like it could have worked but the war finished before serious work began.Regards David Powell.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Habakkuk

Neat idea, I understand the US is looking at reviving the "giant island carrier" concept to build permanent offshore bases in troubled areas.

Interesting side note, Habakkuk was a "boss" in the game Warship Gunner on the PS2. Enormous fortress-carrier that you had to defeat with "thermal" weapons. That's where I learned about it.

hh1341
09-22-2010, 12:42 AM
Also the Mulberry of WW2.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mulberry_harbour

Carl

tmc_31
09-22-2010, 01:42 AM
Condoms ??

step aside cialis

if you have a stoner for more than 4 hours, see a doctor!!

Tim

Duffy
09-22-2010, 11:46 AM
You might look into the properties of "sulfurcrete." A lot of research work was carried out by the Canadian Government in the 70s, I think. Basically, it is concrete in which cement is substituted with sulfur, in the same or similar ratios. The mixture is then melted and cast. It reaches full strength on cooling and is stronger than most "cement concrete" mixtures.
This all got started when Canada found it had a tremendous surplus of elemental sulfur from "sweetening" sour natural gas. Why it went no further, one can only speculate. The only drawback to this material is that, under certain conditions, namely anaerobic and moist, it does undergo bacterial attack. It does not pose any particular problems in a fire as the sulfur/aggregate ratio is too low. Also, it can be recycled; all you do is remelt it!
One "conspiracy" theory is that the entire cement industry, at least in Canada, is controlled by only two companies, and they were not too thrilled with the prospect of a competitive product which they could not control. Sulfur, by the way, is competitive in price to cement, but it really is NOT a driveway do-it-yourself method for making concrete patios! Precast blocks, perhaps.

camdigger
09-22-2010, 11:54 AM
There are propietary blends of cement that actually expand on setting. IIRC, the primary additive in expanding cements is plaster of paris.

ckelloug
09-22-2010, 02:43 PM
Hi there,

I hadn't heard about the concrete machine tools from world war I. I am however the Lunatic-In-Chief over on the cnczone discussion about Epoxy/Granite aka polymer concrete.

One of the largest problems with concrete for precision tools is that it takes centuries to set completely. This probably wasn't a big deal before laser interferometers were available etc to measure. But to make a machine tool to modern precision, I think concrete would be near-impossible to get stable enough to be ideal. The different things people have posted on the huge cnczone discussion suggests that your machine frame won't stay accurate down to .0001 inches like you would want.

Epoxy concrete which we call epoxy granite on that discussion doesn't have the problem of continuing to change over time. If it is postcured in an oven, E/G pretty much stays the same forever. There are a number of posts over there describing a lot of methods for things like what you want to do but other than hand scraping, nobody has found a non-capital-intensive way of doing them. Take a look at the following paper from MIT: http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/9373

There are a number of ideas for getting the flat parts as far as casting epoxy surface plates under the principle that a liquid seeks its own level. It works in principle and has been used by NASA a few times but nobody on the discussion thread has ever run the details to ground. There is a company that makes kits of epoxy to make surface plates but they are for automotive use and while they may have a flatness around .0001/ft, I'm not convinced that the surface finish is good enough to be a surface plate in the conventional sense.

At any rate, I invite you to take a look at what we've been doing over on cnczone. http://www.cnczone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=30155&goto=newpost

It sounds like we may have similar forms of insanity! Best of Luck. I'll drop you an e-mail.


--Cameron

tmarks11
09-22-2010, 05:41 PM
I can't believe no one linked to the CNCZone polymer concrete thread:
http://www.cnczone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=30155

+1 to that.

Actually: ++++++++10000

If you want to make a polymer concrete mill, then you need to wade through that thread. The individuals there have done a serious amount of work n coming up with the optimum mixes, some of which might even border on proprietary mixes used by some of the big boys.

demerrill
09-22-2010, 05:48 PM
Ferrocement optical astronomy telescopes anyone ?
http://books.google.com/books?id=7EP75a-gXzUC&pg=PA80&lpg=PA80&dq=ferrocement+telescope&source=bl&ots=dZQcHx_uH5&sig=H5nNjqMTb2kD7HiF9d_VyhWb9gc&hl=en&ei=b3iaTKacMYH88Aa3l80k&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

I saw some of these under prototype construction at a professional observatory in Grasse, France in the 1970's.

David Merrill

lazlo
09-22-2010, 07:13 PM
This is not at all a forgotten art. It only changed a bit. Because concrete shrinks over time and is not resitent to coolant.

Common "Non-shrink" grout expands as it cures. It's simply Portland Cement with aluminum or iron powder and a calcium compound that causes the concrete to foam when it's mixed with water.

See also: Harblock (concrete for reinforcing water jackets in racing engines):

http://www.hardblok.com/

JoeLee
09-22-2010, 07:54 PM
So what happens when your cement bed ways wear......... just point them up with a little top and bond ???? and scrape with a trowl.

JL.................