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What I've been working on all week

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  • What I've been working on all week

    I've been working some long hours all week making aluminum domino's for a company in Puerto Rico. There are 28 domino's in a double six set and 56 in a double nine set. They ordered 26 double six and 10 double nine sets so it all added up to a bunch of small rectangles with dots and lines. The dots are made with a 90 degree spot drill so it gives a prism affect and the lines were made with ball nose end mill. I also did all the anodizing.

    Tomorrow should be an easy day I just need to ship them and clean the shop.

    If anyone is looking for an idea for Christmas gifts they can make in their shop the domino's might be good one.
    Mark Hockett

  • #2
    They`re spot on, Mark. Very attractive gift idea. Surely they were not all individually hand made?


    • #3
      I assume they were done on a cnc Vmc.


      • #4
        How did you make the actual blocks with those nicely rounded corners and edges?
        Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
        Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
        Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
        There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
        Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
        Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie


        • #5
          Very classy looking. Tell us more.


          • #6
            Very nice Mark. I have a few questions if you don't mind.

            How do you anodize them and avoid obvious contact blemishes?

            What dyes do you use?

            What sort of basket do you use?

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            • #7
              Nice sets, looks like they will wear well. Do you know if they will be used in some sort layout or just as fancy give aways for the company. great work as always.
              Been there, probably broke it, doing that!
              I am not a lawyer, and never played one on TV!
              All the usual and standard disclaimers apply. Do not try this at home, use only as directed, No warranties express or implied, for the intended use or the suggested uses, Wear safety glasses, closed course, professionals only


              • #8
                The domino blanks are exactly 1" x 2" x .390". I start with strips of 1/2" x
                1-1/4" x 24" stock. The piece is clamped in a 24" soft jaw mounted on 2 vises. I use a Fadal VMC to face the stock with a 3" face mill, profile the sides of the blanks with a 3/8" EM and cut the .032" radius on the edges with a radius tool. This process leaves a thin web holding all the blanks together. I then turn it upside down and repeat the process to finish the blanks. The blanks go into a vibratory tumbler and after that are ready to anodize.

                To anodize them I start by placing the blanks in a special rack made out of titanium. The rack has fingers with a V notch at the end. Because of the design of the V the contact point is very small, it leaves a small spec that you almost need a magnifying glass to see. Most noticeable marks can be touched up with a felt pen. The process is then to place in a degreaser, then a caustic etch (lye), then deox/desmut (which is acid based), then anodize (sulfuric acid), then color using US Specialty dyes and the last step is to seal the blanks. I use a 180آ°F nickel acetate sealer from US Specialty. For power during anodizing I use a 40amp power supply. I anodize at 16v but 12v works just fine too. A full set of domino's with rack will draw about 7 amps. The blanks stay in the same rack through the entire anodizing process so I don't use any baskets.

                After the blanks are anodized they go back to the machine. There are pockets cut in the same soft jaws used for making the blanks. The anodized blanks go in the pockets and a strip of clear packaging tape goes over them to protect the finish. Then I hit the start button and dots and lines are cut. The way the programs are set up I use one fixture offset for the whole operation so whatever part I do I don't have to change the offset.

                I also make the domino's in stainless steel every so often. The finish is polished on the edges and grained on the surface. The stainless ones often get engraved. I have even made aluminum domino's with a nickel-plated finish. I have a small electroless nickel-plating set-up.

                They could be made on manual machines it would just take a little longer. I would probably start by truing up the edges and faces on strips of stock. Then saw cut into oversized blanks and mill the ends in a vise with a stop to locate length. That would leave you with a rectangle blank with all six sides cleaned up. Using the same vise stop I would then turn on edge and use a .125" radius tool to cut the corners. I put a .032" radius on the edges but just using a buffing wheel to break the edges and polish the blanks would be fine, I do this when I make the stainless steel domino's. The anodizing is very simple and a set-up like I have is not needed to do good quality work. I have done small parts in a Tupperware container. The anodizing article in the Aug/Sept MW gives a good example of the streamlined process. It also gives the best web site for home shop anodizing instructions and a source for chemicals needed.

                If anyone does decide to make a set and you don't want to anodize them yourself I would be willing to anodize a set of them for you N/C, as long as I don't get slammed with a bunch of sets. I would just need enough the pay the return shipping.

                The company sells high end domino tables.
                They wanted a custom domino to sell with the tables. They also make wood boxes for the dominos. I guess dominos are very popular in Puerto Rico, kind of like poker in the US.
                Mark Hockett


                • #9
                  $349 for the professional sized double 9 sets.

                  $229 for the professional sized double 6 sets.



                  • #10
                    Dominoes are Big is Texas Too!

                    That is some fabulous looking bones there Mark. Now I understand the high end value. Lots of work goes into those even with CNC. Nice job! Us po-folk in the South have to use custom Puremco Inc. bones.

                    What would Saturday night be without 42?


                    • #11
                      Very Impressive!
                      "The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the greatest liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth." H. L. Mencken

                      "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed, and third, it is accepted as self-evident."

                      "When fear rules, reason and logic are ruled out."


                      • #12
                        Nice work,one question,after you cut the dots and lines do they go back in the anodizing bath to clear the newly nekked aluminum in the dots/lines,or did I miss that part?

                        Looks like you get some of the oddball work we do.Once made a SS pig for a BBQ resturant sign
                        I just need one more tool,just one!


                        • #13
                          See, another example of the fine work, generosity and goodwill that exists here. Thank you so much Mark.


                          • #14
                            Very nice work...I'd give you more complements but I don't think I could beat the customer's site, so I'll just repeat some of the compliments they pay your work:

                            "When you are ready to move up to premium luxury dominoes....."

                            "a sensuous feel that will impress you at first touch with their size and power."

                            "command respect just to hold them. These are very hefty, professional sized dominoes not for the timid."


                            • #15
                              These are very hefty, professional sized dominoes not for the timid.
                              I didn't realize that dominoes is such a tough sport. Is it also advisable to wear body armor?
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