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  • Good "Starter" Projects?

    My brother-in-law is thinking about buying a mill, but he isn't sure how much he'd use it. I told him that, if he decided to buy a mill, I'd come up with some drawings of useful shop tooling that would demonstrate some of the basic capabilities of a mill. Then, when I visited, we could work on some various projects together that would help him learn how to take advantage of all the capabilities of a mill and lathe.

    So, what are your suggestions for good beginners projects? I'd like a series of projects where each one focuses on one or two specific operations. One of those projects is going to be a making a holder for a 3" DI that I picked out for part of his Christmas present. The Pacemakers don't have any fancy DRO or trav-a-dial so it's sometimes handy to have a DI to measure carriage movement. I'm thinking a die holder for the lathe would be handy, too.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Fasttrack
    One of those projects is going to be a making a holder for a 3" DI that I picked out for part of his Christmas present.
    You could make it A DI holder and carriage stop in one like this.
    http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/sho...light=carriage

    If he is a wood worker he could make one of these, to ensure the table saw blade and miter slot are parallel (works well for dialing toe in/out on the fence as well).

    -Dan S.
    dans-hobbies.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Heck with something useful. Frank Ford has a cool little beginners project on his site:

      http://www.frets.com/HomeShopTech/St...osllider1.html

      Comment


      • #4
        The first thing I made with my mill was a boring bar holder for my lathe. Crude but servicable.

        Pat

        Edit: Crude, cause I'm a newbie.

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        • #5
          First thing I'd make would be a DTI holder for the mill, without setting the mill / vise up you are starting in the unknown, then move on.

          No limit to starter projects, just the order you do them.

          In no particular order:- [ except the first ]

          DTI holder for mill.
          Bed stop for lathe.
          Work stop for mill,
          Packing blocks for mill
          Clamps

          .
          .

          Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.



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          • #6
            Originally posted by John Stevenson
            First thing I'd make would be a DTI holder for the mill, without setting the mill / vise up you are starting in the unknown, then move on.

            No limit to starter projects, just the order you do them.

            In no particular order:- [ except the first ]

            DTI holder for mill.
            Bed stop for lathe.
            Work stop for mill,
            Packing blocks for mill
            Clamps

            .
            What are packing blocks?

            Comment


            • #7
              Sorry parallels, A good cheap starter method is to get some lengths of flat cold rolled and just saw some lengths off.

              I know I will be castigated for this as cold rolled can vary by about a thou but a thou is still better than trying to level a piece up in the vise by eye.

              Later on you can replace them by lengths of ground flat stock or proper parallels when you can afford it or more importantly when you feel your skill sets requires them.

              .
              .

              Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.



              Comment


              • #8
                My first project on the mill was a set of strap clamps to fit the narrow slot in a "toolmakers" vise.

                "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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                • #9
                  My first project as an apprentice WAS a toolmakers vise.

                  Regards Ian.
                  You might not like what I say,but that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by John Stevenson
                    Sorry parallels, A good cheap starter method is to get some lengths of flat cold rolled and just saw some lengths off.

                    I know I will be castigated for this as cold rolled can vary by about a thou but a thou is still better than trying to level a piece up in the vise by eye.

                    Later on you can replace them by lengths of ground flat stock or proper parallels when you can afford it or more importantly when you feel your skill sets requires them.

                    .
                    John, My young bride brings me rollers out of old roller bearings she has removed from gearboxes she rebuilds where she works. I have mic'd them and they are the same size to .0005. (close as I could check with my mic)
                    The cost is wonderful, too. I have 12 of them and they are about 25mm and one of the another is about 125mm. The 125mm I use for a paperweight.

                    Pat

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                    • #11
                      Hey thanks guys! I've been to Frank Ford's site before, but it slipped my mind. I like the DTI holder, too. That is definitely the right place to start!

                      Keep 'em coming!

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                      • #12
                        As simple or complex as you like:-

                        http://homepage3.nifty.com/amigos/index-e.html

                        Regards Ian.
                        You might not like what I say,but that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by macona
                          Heck with something useful. Frank Ford has a cool little beginners project on his site:

                          http://www.frets.com/HomeShopTech/St...osllider1.html
                          This was a fun little project for me. I had my "slider" last fall as a quickie project for my independent study machining class. Frank has some great instructions !!

                          Mike

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                          • #14
                            Parallels

                            I have been using some rectangular HSS cutter blanks as parallels for years. They are pretty accurate and they were in my Dad's toolbox, so you couldn't beat the price!

                            Craig

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