06-27-2012, 08:25 AM
I have a few photos of the mini-mill build, but keep forgetting to bring them in. Plus, I see that PhotoBucket is down right now, so photos will be a bit longer.
The Workshop went well this year, with a total attendance of 145. The Saturday only rate and the swap meet helped to make Saturday a pretty busy day.
We had 12 people in the mini-mill class and all were very happy with the resulting mill. I think they were all up and running by Friday, which gave them some time to learn how to run things. Having the team from ArtSoft (Mach3) on hand and helping meant that all questions were quickly answered.
The maker of the hardware for the conversion, Paul Wilson of River Valley Machinery, was on hand as well and was a big help in getting everything together with a minimum of hassle. He brought along enough extra parts and tools to handle anything that could pop up.
Paul also assembled a mill, near the end of the event and managed to get it done in an hour. He knows these mills so thoroughly that he could probably assemble one blindfolded.
We also had an older CNC lathe show up that had a few issues and, while complete, was not running. Ron Ginger, Brian Barker of ArtSoft, and Steve Stallings of PMDX all spent a little time on it and the lathe was up and running in no time. It kind of speeds things along when the software and circuit board designers are there to lend a hand.
I had a great time and am looking forward to next year. Iíll need to be a little quicker at the swap tables though; a few things were gone before I could get my wallet out.
06-27-2012, 10:16 AM
PhotoBucket came back. Here is a shot of one of the mini-mills doing a test cut. Several people have promise to send me photos and I'll get some of them posted as they come in. Lots of guys with cameras there, let's see what you have.
Here is a shot of the mill that Ron put together this spring to prove out the design of the conversion kits and electronics. This one has a tilting column, but the majority of guys in the class went with LittleMachineShop's new solid column design.
06-30-2012, 08:49 AM
This was my second year to attend. George B allowed me to present on some CAD-CAM topics which was enjoyable as I got to meet with others of similiar interests.
The machine build workshop was fun to watch and the machines created were well worth the cost. I visited with several of the builders and all the comments were very positive.
There were some real "Gems" at the swap/sales event. There was everything from a "What was that used for" to some nice milling vises and other tools. For us "Left Coasters" getting heavy items or one of the "Build" mills home is a little expensive and probably saved me some money.
It would be nice if our name tags had our BBS name included. This would allow us to put a face with people we have "met" on the BBS.
All in all it was a great time and I look forward to next year.