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  • New powered drawbar project for mill just finished...

    Guys, if you don't have one of these, you should look into one. They are the greatest thing since sliced bread. Very easy to build, and mine works extremely well. I hate to sound like an advertisement, but I was just so tickled at how nice it is for no more trouble than it was to build!

    Here are a couple pix of the finished result:





    To operate, press the side of the lever marked "OUT" and the tool will drop into your hand in 2 or 3 seconds. Insert a new tool in the spindle, press "IN", and it torques it down again in another 2 or 3 seconds.

    There is a little movie of it on my web page:

    http://www.thewarfields.com/MT/CCMillDrawbar.html

    This is based on Joe Vicar's plan set, which are cheap and worked out really well for me:

    http://home.insightbb.com/~joevicar3/cheap_drawbar.htm

    The impact wrench you'd need was on sale at Harbor Freight not long ago, but I don't know if they still are. This would be an easy project to get running between Xmas and New Year's.

    Cheers,

    BW
    ---------------------------------------------------

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    Try G-Wizard Machinist's Calculator for free:
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  • #2
    nice work BW, that has been on the to do list.
    John

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    • #3
      Looks good,nice looking job,what did you use for the switch?Was it an off the shelf number,or a one-off of your own design?

      So does it actuate the air cylinder and the butterfly wrench in the same motion?

      I'm wondering if I could do similar,but instead of the air cylinder just mount it solid,but borrow the idea of moving the quill up from the Tormach design.In other words,mount the air wrench so the socket doesn't grab the drawbar hex unless you move the quill up into it and then hit the button?

      Anyway anything would be better than the wrench method.
      I just need one more tool,just one!

      Comment


      • #4
        Bob...very cool gadget! Looks like good use of the KISS principle
        Russ
        I have tools I don't even know I own...

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        • #5
          Originally posted by wierdscience
          Looks good,nice looking job,what did you use for the switch?Was it an off the shelf number,or a one-off of your own design?

          So does it actuate the air cylinder and the butterfly wrench in the same motion?

          I'm wondering if I could do similar,but instead of the air cylinder just mount it solid,but borrow the idea of moving the quill up from the Tormach design.In other words,mount the air wrench so the socket doesn't grab the drawbar hex unless you move the quill up into it and then hit the button?

          Anyway anything would be better than the wrench method.
          I got the plans from Joe Vicar:

          www.HomeShopAccessories.com

          This is the one labeled "2006 Power Drawbar Improved". Very nice design. The plans are very well done, and there is good narrative text and photos as well.

          The valve activates the impact wrench and the air cylinder all at once.

          There are a couple of ways to simplify the design further, and make the step of engaging the impact wrench manual. You could do so with the quill, but I know that personally I would be sure to fire up the mill with the darned thing annoyed and be picking pieces of socket out of my teeth.

          You could also just put it on spring loaded rods with a handle to pull it down. The trick will be to engineer a motorcycle throttle like grip that let's you twist to rotate the impact wrench either direction.

          This approach is so simple though, and the air cylinder with the impact wrench only cost about $50, that I would recommend just going with the plans. It really comes out slick. I showed it to a machinist buddy that came over for dinner, and he walked out starry eyed and shaking his head.

          When you consider what commercial drawbars cost, even the "Aussie" drawbars advertised on ebay, this is quite a bargain.

          Best,

          BW
          ---------------------------------------------------

          http://www.cnccookbook.com/index.htm
          Try G-Wizard Machinist's Calculator for free:
          http://www.cnccookbook.com/CCGWizard.html

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          • #6
            It makes me appreciate the simplicity of my Kwik Switch tooling.

            Although I do appreciate the ingeniousness, and the skill and the quality that is shown in this project.
            Last edited by SJorgensen; 12-18-2006, 01:19 AM.

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            • #7
              Draw bar

              Bob, great job!! I am making copies of all your pictures. I just got my driver. They are still available, we just have to select 3/8". For some reasons this one just does not come automatically when asking for the drivers (only 1/2" shows - price is changing though). Many thanks for the discovery and for the pictures. Makes it easier. Vic

              Comment


              • #8
                nice work Bob, two Q's, does the actuator bring it into position before it starts spinning? Secondly, on my R8 it takes a couple taps with mallet to loosen the tooling after loosening the drawbar, is that not required here because the impact wrench creates enough vibration to do it?
                .

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mcgyver
                  Secondly, on my R8 it takes a couple taps with mallet to loosen the tooling after loosening the drawbar, is that not required here because the impact wrench creates enough vibration to do it?
                  That is slick, like Mcgyver said. I'm also curious about using it on the Bridgy R8. My mill's "standard excessories" include one of those ratcheting box-end wrenches - a 3/4" for the drawbar. It sits on one of the bolts that secure the ram pivot so it's always handy. Then of course there's the rawhide mallet that has a little resting place on top of the ram - used for whacking the drawbar without boogering up the top of it.


                  -Mark
                  The curse of having precise measuring tools is being able to actually see how imperfect everything is.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Vic, you'll want to order this fellow's plans--they'll save you a lot of trouble trying to figure out my pictures, not to mention his pictures and plans better show some important details I don't think I'd have guessed too easily. I have not and will not show all the details to do it without the plans as I don't think that would be right.

                    RE drawbar whacking (gee, that didn't sound right!), the force applied by the air cylinder seems to be adequate so that it isn't needed. I suspect the knocking of the impact wrench also contributes. Those of you who've fooled with impact wrenches know they're great at working stubborn fasteners loose (or shearing them off too I suppose). I've had a number of mill holdres in and out with no hiccups at all. Just amazing how fast it works.

                    There is no delay between the cylinder and wrench, but the engagement happens quickly and smoothly. There are some interesting things called out in the plans that I believe contribute to this, but again, I will say no more as it wouldn't be fair to Joe Vicar.

                    I will be monitoring whether there is any undue wear on the drawbar. There hasn't been so far. I was told by someone who built a full automatic toolchanger around one of these that he decided to harden his drawbar without annealing it. Before doing so he also polished the threads. I had the impression this was more helpful in his ATC application than in a manual application, but I suppose it would be something to consider if you think your drawbar is getting beat up. As I say, I have seen no sign of trouble, but just started using it.

                    It's definitely been one of my top tooling projects so far.

                    Best,

                    BW
                    Last edited by BobWarfield; 12-18-2006, 10:16 AM.
                    ---------------------------------------------------

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                    Try G-Wizard Machinist's Calculator for free:
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                    • #11
                      Draw bar

                      Bob, I got the drawings when you first time mentioned it. It took so long to get the driver from the FH. That guy is really nice. I could not find the first set of the drawings he sent me so I call him, and he sent me another one. Thanks. Vic
                      Last edited by smagovic; 12-18-2006, 01:46 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Good job Bob, another one for the "to do" list.

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                        • #13
                          Yes, nice looking work Bob. I ordered my set this morning and when I came in this evening I had an email waiting with the plans attached. That's the cool thing about ordering stuff like this from the net. Same day delivery. I'll be gathering parts soon as it looks like a lot of bang for the buck compared to some other mods. Thanks for sharing.
                          Jonathan P.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by japcas
                            I'll be gathering parts soon as it looks like a lot of bang for the buck compared to some other mods. Thanks for sharing.
                            It's right up there with my all time best labor saving mods:

                            - Power feed for mill X-axis.

                            - Power drawbar for mill.

                            - QCTP for lathe.

                            - Variable speed DC motor for lathe.

                            - DRO

                            Each one of these has made me more productive in the shop, which is important, since I'm pretty slow even on a good day!

                            Unfortunately people keep asking over and over again, "Aren't you going to make anything with all these tools?" Somehow making tools doesn't count.

                            I know you guys probably hear that too!

                            Best,

                            BW
                            ---------------------------------------------------

                            http://www.cnccookbook.com/index.htm
                            Try G-Wizard Machinist's Calculator for free:
                            http://www.cnccookbook.com/CCGWizard.html

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                            • #15
                              Here is my version of a power draw bar

                              Air powered, manual down feed for a Bridgeport style. It saves a lot of time, and I can't reach the top of my mill easily, so a necessity for me.

                              Sid

                              Last edited by sid pileski; 12-19-2006, 01:09 PM.

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