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Ripping off Paul Alciatore

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  • #16
    First, I am delighted that some further use has been made of my ideas. No rip off here as I have been putting them in web posts for some years now in the hope that they would prove useful to others. So I am very happy to see this and hope it is as useful to you as it has been for me.

    How is vertical axis travel achieved? Well, I mill in what I think of as the Y direction, toward and away from me, the operator. The X direction, along the main lathe ways is set with the lathe's crank and a DI mounted to the ways. The vertical or Z distance is SET before the cut is made with shims and spacers. I have a collection of pieces cut from flat ground stock and shim stock in a variety of sizes that allow any dimension to be achieved in 0.001" increments. I can cut that down to 0/003" or 0.004" increments with aluminum foil shims (about 0.00065"). Not the easiest way to change that distance, but if you do not have a milling machine, it can be quite serviceable.

    Some photos illustrating these ideas.

    Click image for larger version

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ID:	1878585 Here you can see a 1-2-3 block plus a couple of those spacers cut from flat ground stock plus some shims holding a partially complete fly cutter I was making to fit the SB headstock. The finished fly cutter has two HSS cutters mounted on opposite sides for balance. The clamps are from one of my clamping sets and the 2-4-6 block behind the fly cutter is providing a stop so that both sets of grooves will have the same depth. It is a bit hard to read, but I have the table to spindle center distance written on the front edge of the milling table for quick reference when figuring out what spacers and shims to use for a cut. It has been some time since I made this fly cutter, but I believe I cut all the grooves with a single set of spacers before changing them. Hence the need for the positive stop (2-4-6 block) behind the work.

    Click image for larger version

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ID:	1878586 This second photo shows a smaller fly cutter of the same design at the first cut. In the lower left you can see the DI being used to control the depth of the cut. I did not think of using a 2-4-6 block for a back stop until after I had made this cut.

    You may notice that I choose to make a checkerboard pattern of holes using alternate locations on a 1" x 1" grid. That provides a lot of flexibility but it also provides a lot of tapping. My hand was very tired when I got finished. Nickle-city made fewer tapped holes and that may be enough. Of course, additional ones could be added at any time they were needed.

    I did not make any provision for aligning the table to the lathe axis. That can be done with a 1-2-3 or 2-4-6 block and a rod held between centers in the lathe. But, since there are no good, straight surfaces on it to align the work to, I choose to just align the work and let the table sit where it may.

    By the way, the DI holder in the photo is my old one that came with the lathe and it is not particularly good. Because the DI is held in the lower, nut part, it has a tendency to allow the DI to move about. I have since replaced it with a much better one where the DI is held in the upper part which has the Vee groove sitting on the lathe way. The DI is rock solid in that one. The lesson here is a DI holder or stop for the lathe ways should have the DI or stop mounted in the same piece as the Vee groove or other locating feature and not on a piece that can wiggle around.

    Click image for larger version

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ID:	1878587 Finally, here I am using the table to bore an accurate hole in an aluminum block. It needed to be both accurate in size (+0.001 -0.000") and very square to the sides. I was able to do this work fairly easily and accurately with my milling table and a boring bar which is also shop made. Again you can see the use of the pieces of flat ground stock and shims used to establish both the vertical dimension and the parallel condition to the top and bottom sides. I guess this could have been done on a regular, vertical milling machine, but that hole is a bit deep for a boring bar, if you ask me. And I would have needed a boring head.

    By the way, that block was also milled using the fly cutter being made in the first photo.

    Finally, here is the drawing for the table. The mounting is designed to fit a SB-9 but other lathes could be accommodated as well.

    Click image for larger version

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ID:	1878588 It shows only 1/4 of the full table which is 6" x 10". I had to do this because the full drawing would not retain the details when reduced for display here. The center point of the table is shown at the lower right and the other three quarters only have the 3/8-16 tapped holes in the same pattern. The mounting button is shown on the right and it is to fit the SB-9 cross slide in place of the compound feed which is removed when the table is used. I also made a 3/4" thick, spacer block to allow the table to pass over the cross feed crank which allows a greater Y feed. I did allow for three different mounting positions as you can see with the three sets of M5 holes. Oh, I used M5 screws because I have a lifetime supply of them: 10-24 or 10-32 would also work just fine.

    PS: I did buy an angle block which I have used on this table. It allows even more flexibility when setting up.



    Originally posted by Bob Engelhardt View Post
    How is z axis (vertical) travel achieved? Or even z axis alignment for that matter - bump adjust?
    Paul A.
    SE Texas

    And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
    You will find that it has discrete steps.

    Comment


    • #17
      In my previous post I neglected the question of alignment. I have used two methods. One I borrowed from my Unimat manual and use a face plate on the spindle as a reference surface. A 1-2-3 or 2-4-6 block usually provides all the spacing I need off of it.

      The other way is to put a nice test bar between centers and align to that.

      Which one to use is mostly dependent on the work being done and the precision needed. In any case, I can do very precise work on the table.
      Paul A.
      SE Texas

      And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
      You will find that it has discrete steps.

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by nickel-city-fab View Post

        Yeah its can be even more of a gamble. Problem I have is that *all* of the ebay sellers from china and india all of a sudden are away, or gonna take a month, or something. Even in "normal" times it took forever to get something from there.

        Couple years ago, I got real interested in British screw threads (expensive....) so I thought I would get a deal buying taps and dies from India... Quality was so-so, (carbon steel taps equal to what you could find in a US car parts store) the price was *very* cheap, but the shipping took like 3 months. The Brits actually have some very nice tool stores, and very nice tools, but their tap sets were starting at like $250 which wasn't gonna happen...

        Its a good bet I'm the only guy in the county with a full set of Whitworth and BSF tho....
        What, are you saying you don’t have BSCy (british standard (bi)cycle thread)
        Location: Helsinki, Finland, Europe

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by MattiJ View Post

          What, are you saying you don’t have BSCy (british standard (bi)cycle thread)
          Nope, I would have liked to, but I ran out of money. however, I do have BA and ME series also.
          25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by Paul Alciatore View Post
            First, I am delighted that some further use has been made of my ideas. No rip off here as I have been putting them in web posts for some years now in the hope that they would prove useful to others. So I am very happy to see this and hope it is as useful to you as it has been for me.
            Paul, thanks for stopping by, its an honor! You do a much better job of explaining, I'm afraid. But yes, it is set when you bolt your setup down. As for alignment, I stuck an indicator arm in the tailstock chuck just to try it out that way.
            25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

            Comment


            • #21
              I like the boring bar setup in the last photo. What’s the cross made out of galvanized pipe in the first photo?

              Comment


              • #22
                > vertical travel

                A) blocks and shims ("packing" in Britlish) to raise the workpiece to the exact height

                B) adjustable angle plate

                C) there's a milling attachment on lathes.co.uk that offsets the cutter centerline from the spindle centerline; the cutter can be rotated on the spindle nose to vary the height

                D) similar to C, except it bolts to the ways instead of the spindle

                E) vertical milling attachment; several shown on lathes.co.uk, also one on Harold Hall's web site

                Comment


                • #23
                  I thought you had bought a lathe, my eyes must be playing up.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by old mart View Post
                    I thought you had bought a lathe, my eyes must be playing up.
                    Oh yes, it's very multi-use! ...sometimes you just have to get creative
                    25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      I also stole Paul's table idea. The only change I made was to add two blocks coming off the bottom that are threaded 1/4-20. These blocks are at the rear (operator's end) of the plate, one on either side of the cross slide. This allows me to use two Delrin-tipped screws to bear against ether side of the cross slide to prevent the cutting forces from rotating the plate.

                      When boring the slide blocks for my Brooks cutter grinder, I had to set it up just like Paul's second photo with packing underneath to get the height right.
                      Location: Northern WI

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        On my home built CNC I drilled the table for 5/16-18 bolts on 40mm centers over the whole surface, about 120 holes. The reason for 40mm is the frame of the machine base is metric 8020 style aluminum extrusions of which I have lots in all different sizes so it is easy to create fixtures. 5/16-18 is heavy enough for a minimill size machine. Whats nice is the spherical clamp nuts are 9/16 hex, as is the screw on my 2 - 4" vises. My minilathe bed, spindle, and tailstock has a hole pattern on the feet to match the table drilling too.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Yes, that is a four way wrench made with standard pipe fittings. I needed some dedicated wrenches for use with my Quick Change Tool Post and I decided to combine all of them into one in the X configuration used for automotive lug wrenches. It has a socket and two Allen keys and that's all that were needed to mount and adjust the QC tool post. I used some JB Weld epoxy to keep the threads from unscrewing. You need to be real sure before you apply that to them. So far it has lasted well over 10 years. And due to the rounded corners of the pipe fittings, it feels very comfortable in my hand when I use it. The fourth arm was left vacant for a future addition.

                          By the way, this is actually a double or second generation rip-off. If any of you remember Evan Williams, he also had a SB-9 and he made a similar table for milling. I can't really remember which of us made it first, but I think I probably copied his idea. You can probably find some photos of his in some past posts. I believe he used it to make parts for his shop built milling machine. Of course, he may have copied it also. It is probably an old idea.

                          Galaxie, IIRC, Evan also had problems with the table rotating. And he had some kind of screws to prevent that. I have limited my milling in the lathe to light cuts and have not had any rotation problems yet. But then, I have a real mill now and only use the table for those problem jobs.



                          Originally posted by true temper View Post
                          I like the boring bar setup in the last photo. What’s the cross made out of galvanized pipe in the first photo?
                          Last edited by Paul Alciatore; 06-03-2020, 03:33 AM.
                          Paul A.
                          SE Texas

                          And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
                          You will find that it has discrete steps.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Be aware that the stock SB (and Boxford) cross slide does not have full length dovetail engagement, whereas the aftermarket t slot cross slides from MLA and Tony's Lathes.co.uk do, hence much more rigid for milling.

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