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MLA Filing Machine Kit

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  • MLA Filing Machine Kit

    I've often wondered about using a small die filer to make square holes in fragile materials like bone, mother-of-pearl and ivory for restoration of old guitar and banjo tuners. So, about six weeks ago I ordered the filing machine kit from Andy Lofquist at Metal Lathe Accessories. Unlike the things I've seen on eBay lately, this one seems just my size with its 7" round table. So far, I've completed the thing, but now I have to set aside some time to get to using it.

    I always figure that a kit is a questionable way to get something on the cheap, considering the time it takes to assemble. But this one is a great project for someone at my stage of, er, "development" in machining, and I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to spend some quality shop time.



    While I was at it I took about 150 "process" photos and put 'em up on my Web site, so if you're interested, take a hike over to FRETS.COM:

    MLA Filing Machine

    Cheers,

    Frank Ford
    FRETS.COM
    Gryphon Stringed Instruments
    My Home Shop Pages
    Cheers,

    Frank Ford
    HomeShopTech

  • #2
    Looks great Frank, and I loved the write up. But just reading the writeup makes me tired. Too much project for me I think...
    Russ
    Master Floor Sweeper

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    • #3
      Nice work, even better web presentation!

      Frank,

      I thoroughly enjoyed your web site documenting of each step as you put this toegther. I think I picked up a tip or how to on every page. Being a beginner, this is great stuff. Thanks for sharing your work with us.

      Dwayne
      "When it comes to paradigms ... shifts happen" - Alain Rossman

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      • #4
        Awesome stuff Frank! Luv the closeup pics and the clear, easy-to-read, properly spelled text. Get busy, we want MORE!

        I'm with the Bad Dog though....I'm tired now!
        Milton

        "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

        "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton

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        • #5
          More is on the way. You may have noticed my use of a "drive center" when I turned the bearings. Not having the big bucks to buy one, I made a 5C version for myself a couple of months ago. I took the photos as I made it and I'll get them assembled before too long.
          Cheers,

          Frank Ford
          HomeShopTech

          Comment


          • #6
            I almost got one of those to build some years ago, but decided that the odd "links" that hold the table looked like poor support. I was concerned that the table might tend to move, and/or the "links" might slip with a heavier workpiece on the table.

            Is there a feature that holds them securely upright that is not visible in the pictures? Or is it just friction from the single screw??

            It doesn't matter to me now, because I have a nice stand-mounted Oliver, but I'm still curious, now that you reminded me of the matter.

            BTW, of course that is an excellent job..... but that is what we have come to expect from what you show us!
            Last edited by J Tiers; 09-13-2007, 12:16 AM.
            1601

            Keep eye on ball.
            Hashim Khan

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            • #7
              Nice project Frank--Thanks for going the extra mile and doing the writeup!

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              • #8
                I am gobsmacked onto my heels by your attention to detail, planning, and sense of future with this project. That was a great half hour spent, Frank. Thanks for the effort!

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                • #9
                  Frank, great job on the filer and on recording its construction, you obviously put a lot of work into the photo's and web site - its appreciated
                  .

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                  • #10
                    As always Frank great workmanship, and for the documentation first class. Keep em coming guys a picture is worth a thousand words in my book regards.Alistair
                    Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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                    • #11
                      Superb, good photos and well written. Not to say well made too!!

                      I would like to know a little more about the files and how they are held on the reciprocating rod. It occured to me as I was reading your article that the Scotch yoke mechanism is identical to that on my Meddings fret saw that i've just finished restoring. To add a filing capability to that machine would really extend its usefulness so would like to know about where the files come from and how they are attached.

                      Thanks again for a wonderful web site.

                      Alan
                      West Sussex UK

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                      • #12
                        Frank very nice. I too learned something from reading and looking at your project. Your painstaking attention to detail is superb.
                        I ordered a couple kits from MLA last week and am looking forward to them.

                        Thanks for the great write up and pics.
                        Life Is Grand

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                        • #13
                          Very nice! I like the red color too! I've been thinking about the MLA filer as a project down the road and I really enjoyed your writeup.

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                          • #14
                            J. Tiers says that he worries the filer table might not bear up if he bore down on it with a great deal of weight. Let me just say that if I were J. Tiers I would be worried too. Andy Lofquist

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                            • #15
                              You know, I wondered about that, too. I figured that I could key the supports or do something to make them more solid if I needed to.

                              Don't let the spindly look fool you. My machine is on a heavy wood base with 14 gauge sheet metal top, and a stout little motor beside it. I don't have a permanent place for it yet, so I stash it over on the floor behind my band saw. When I pick it up, I just grab it by the table, and unbalanced as the load is, I have no problem yanking it right up to bench height and plopping it down. The table has yet to move out of adjustment with that kind of abuse, so I guess it's solid enough for me!

                              Cheers,

                              Frank Ford
                              FRETS.COM
                              Gryphon Stringed Instruments
                              My Home Shop Pages
                              Cheers,

                              Frank Ford
                              HomeShopTech

                              Comment

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