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View Full Version : Bolton ZX45 and 12x24 lathe landing tomorrow!



Farndurk
07-12-2010, 02:31 PM
Pulled the trigger last Thursday. Shipped out same day. Those guys at Bolton worked with me and treated me solid so far. Got a break on the shipping too.

So, a pretty much standard ZX45 ... http://www.boltonhardware.com/category/bolton-tools/metal-lathes-milling-machines/mill-drill/gear-head-milling-machine.php

... and Bolton's 12x24 lathe ...

http://www.boltonhardware.com/category/bolton-tools/metal-lathes-milling-machines/metal-lathes/12-x-24-gear-head-bench-lathe.php

.... will land at Westair Welding Supply in Yuma tomorrow. We'll uncrate them there, fork lift them one at a time on our half ton truck. I'll use a hydraulic table to lower each one onto jack stands for one or two days while I finish welding up the benches.

After MUCH time and deliberation, and after a LOT of bugging you guys about the silliest things, I decided to go old school. CNC is great and fine and does wonderful things. But it also does all of that for anyone with a good Credit Rating. In other words, there is an element of craftmanship *somewhat missing* from CNC made stuff.

Look at any of the Hot Rod TV shows, or any of the *chopper* shows. When I see CNC carved parts, I don't get that feeling of "Holy Radioactive Coyotes Batman ... did you SEE that piece?!?!" Nope .. I get the feeling of *Wow, look what some geek did-up in his office on his desktop publishing program and a bazillion dollar MACHINE made for him". There is a total lack of craftmanship in stuff like that. Sure, you can *draw it up* and such in Mach3 and *yes* it takes a certain degree of knowlege to know how to manipulate the program to make it do all of it's little tricks for you. But that element of the blacksmith is 100% gone.

I know there are 10 thousand things *wrong* with what I just said .. however .. it's what I feel when I see CNC carved hot-rod stuff. It's like this feeling of *meh .. so what*. There are nearly no limits with parts made with CNC gear. On the other hand, there are MANY limits with non-digital gear. Those limits are what makes things charming. Designing things that have to work both mechanically and aethetically within those manfacturing limits is what makes stuff *charming*. And when we're making things for sale, charm is very impotant. Function has to be ther .. duh. But charm is very very important. And non-cnc stuff hasd more of that whole "built not bought" appeal to it that is attractive to SO many people.

CNC parts USED to be all the rage with the custom stuff crowd. Now (in my peanut brain) it seems like well-made non-cnc stuff is more appreciated. Especially since the average Joe has seen on TV how even Mikey at OCC can slam out a CNC part for a Harley that looks like it took a master machinst a week to make. It has devalued the craft. I've heard guys at bike shows say stuff like "Is that cnc'd or did the cat hash that out of a piece of steel?".

So .. I guess I've badged myslf here as one of them CNC Blows snobs. It totally has it's place, and it may even find a place within my shop someday. But for now, I've made the committment to join the ranks of Metalworkers rather than programmers. I am aware that I have choosen the harder of the two roads, but why on Earth would I ever choose to do anything the easy way? I am not that smart. :)

So ... be prepared for more of my notoriously stoopid posts. :) I'm sure I'm going ot have a bazillion N00b questions over the next few months. I'm not what you'd call *smart* but I learn mechanical stuff pretty fast though, so it won't be TOO long of a dumass period. Fortunately!

New Gear Day pics this week! Bc ..

oldbikerdude37
07-12-2010, 03:47 PM
Good deal on the new tools. :)

You dont need CNC at home, I think its cheaper to farm it out to shops with good programmers, lots of tooling and overall know how. You can have parts CNC made as easy as faxing a good print out.

I know if I had a CNC in my shop right now I would spend more time on my computer then making chips, there again I dont know much about programming a CNC.

Farndurk
07-12-2010, 06:11 PM
The main turning point for me was when I saw this video of an engraved wedding ring. This dude, sitting there in his white button up shirt and tie and all of his jewelry, basically went through about a 5 minute desktop publishing session where he goofed around a little with his name, some font changes, and a few spacing issues. Hit *send* and inside of 2 minutes the ring was engraved.

The machine looked basically like a copy machine, fully enclosed and such. It sat right on the desk next to his own.

It kinda made me sad to think that there are so many rings/jewelry out there that weren't hand-inscribed at all, just some overweight dude in a shirt and tie (reeking of far far too much funky cologne no doubt) punched in a few things to his *copy machine* and out popped an original work! Erm .. er something like that.

The programming end of cnc doesn't intimidate me at all. I've been recording music digitally for nearly two decades so learnig to use a sequencing program doesn't freak me out one bit. It's all the same thing. Certain events must happen at certain times alll in sync ... no different than music. The different axes are exactly like the separate tracks in a recording. A bass line, a drum track, and a guitar track. Same as X.Y.Z. All must be sync'd while each one has it's own independence of sorts.

Nope ... just gonna stay in the box that is Ol' Skoo. :)

Farndurk
07-12-2010, 06:16 PM
Oh Yea!

Just got the call!

The machines have landed!

Ordered on Thursday morning via telecon. Shipped out Friday morning. Arrived Monday afternoon. So far, excellent service.

Pics tonight! :)

oldbikerdude37
07-12-2010, 06:24 PM
Nope ... just gonna stay in the box that is Ol' Skoo. :)

Me too, I can do alot of work with a hammer alone. :D

Farndurk
07-12-2010, 06:51 PM
Me too, I can do alot of work with a hammer alone. :D
The Hammer is what got me into this machine tool stuff in the first place! I do this stuff 100% by hand ....

http://i278.photobucket.com/albums/kk101/SiloScience/Farndurk%20Shop/IMGP4794.jpg

http://i278.photobucket.com/albums/kk101/SiloScience/Farndurk%20Shop/ravenxx-001.jpg

... well .. I USED too. After building nearly three hundred of those pedals and thirty eight thousand hammerstrikes in two years time my elbow crapped out. Which prompted us to go into this panick and try to find a new way to letter these guitar pedals. It's what I do to feed the family ... I build guitars and guitar pedals. Anyhow, I came up with about a handful of new ideas that we'll apply with the new machines.

$5k worth of crap to replace a $10 hammer .. oh .. and one elbow.

:)

topct
07-12-2010, 07:03 PM
A laser printer will print out some very nice decals.

Farndurk
07-12-2010, 07:08 PM
A laser printer will print out some very nice decals.
You speak of scarilege.

NEVER will I ever use a stinky, smelly, non-forever, cheap-assed WalMart gimmick like a decal. It's 180 degrees opposite the point. :) Every guitar pedal made that you find at any Guitar Center (the McDonalds of guitar retailers) has a decal. I am not a *me too* builder.

Why don't we all just use a virtual game that lets us PRETEND we have machine tools? Kinda misses the point, que no?

Thanks for the suggestion. :) I know you're just trying to help.

topct
07-12-2010, 07:27 PM
You speak of scarilege.

NEVER will I ever use a stinky, smelly, non-forever, cheap-assed WalMart gimmick like a decal. It's 180 degrees opposite the point. :) Every guitar pedal made that you find at any Guitar Center (the McDonalds of guitar retailers) has a decal. I am not a *me too* builder.

Why don't we all just use a virtual game that lets us PRETEND we have machine tools? Kinda misses the point, que no?

Thanks for the suggestion. :) I know you're just trying to help.

"scarilege" ?

You use the words "solid state tube". That's scarilege.

Farndurk
07-12-2010, 07:31 PM
"scarilege" ?

You use the words "solid state tube". That's scarilege.
Nope .. that's innovation!

And excuse the typo .. I'm a bit dislexititaxitical... :)

KEJR
08-20-2010, 05:13 PM
How are the machines working out? I'm thinking of down sizing my bridgeport to a mill similart to this one, but I'm not sure how much space I'll really save. I'd also like to get a lathe that has a larger spindle bore, my current machine is 3/4" which is limiting since I regulary work with 1" stock. Are the machines relatively square? Does the mill have decent cutting power?

KEJR

ldn
08-20-2010, 05:17 PM
You make a good point about craftsmanship, but CNC would really have saved you a lot of time, especially with the lettering.

You can always program it to be a little sloppy if you like.

japcas
08-20-2010, 06:23 PM
I think you'll like that machine very well. Mine didn't come from the same place but it's virtually identical to yours. I have done a lot of work on it and it's very accurate.

The two best mods I've done to it were the power feed on the x axis and the power draw bar I built for it. I also added a DRO but I would do the other two mods first before I put a dro on it.

Be careful setting it all up as this stuff is heavy and can hurt you if your not paying attention. Have fun.

rohart
08-20-2010, 07:09 PM
Come on - it's not $5000 of crap to replace a $10 hammer - it's $5000 to get machinery that allows you to make as many tools to replace the $10 hammer as you want.

You could draw up a hammer replatement jig and get someone to make it for a few hundred $.

You've just got to watch that you don't get so addicted to making tools that you don't leave enough time for production.

Anyhow, you write fine, and you design fine. Your hammre replacement jigs'll be fine. I could do with a lettering/dial numbering jig.