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  • New and looking for Machine information?

    Hello All,

    New to the machining world and looking to make only small aluminum parts for my motorcycle.

    This is one of the parts I would like to make. It’s a bracket that relocates a rear set which helps with comfort and control. I believe it’s made of 6061 T6 aluminum and it’s about 3-4” wide and 4-5” long and ½” thick.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Now here are my limitations. I only have 110v house current running into my 1 car garage where I store my motorcycle. Very limited amount of cash to invest in a machine or machines, now I’ve read a number of forums and seen a lot of different machines. Some people are very passionate about buying American and I’m all for that but for what I am trying accomplish I really can’t use or afford a 5 digit machine. If I can get a machine that is about $500.00 that would be great, I know that is asking a bit much out of a machine but I’m going to be teaching myself with books, DVDs and forum information.

    Also what are the machine manufacture names that I can start doing some research on? I’ve seen some stores like harbor freight but I think they might be selling imported machines which people frown on. I just read about a company called Grizzly but don’t know anything about them. Are there machines American made? If I could stay with American machines I would but if its out of reach I may have to do small and cheap.

    I would also rather have it small enough to sit on a work table.

    Hope you guys can help and thanks in advance for any information,

    Rick

  • #2
    Send me a detailed drawing and I'll buzz them off on the CNC and your done.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hello JoeFin,

      thanks for the offer but that would be cheating. I want to learn how to do this myself manually then start to designing and fabricating my own parts for myself and friends.

      Comment


      • #4
        You could make that part with a jigsaw and a drill press and a file, maybe some sanding drums to use in the drillpress..

        A trip to Sears and $150 and you can get started after buying some metal.

        $500 does not buy much of a milling machine, a fair sized drill press maybe but that would be a good place to start.

        Comment


        • #5
          As far as I know there is no American-made machinery any more. The only new option is ChiCom.

          The Horror Fright and Grizzley machines are ChiCom but really, they're decent. I have used a HF 9x20 lathe and a typical mill. I enjoyed using them. I am a total amateur newb however. They Say you should be prepared to make improvements/minor repairs when you buy these. My friend didn't need to. HF has sold many of these - there are a lot of web sites offering improvements and mods. The Grizzley and Jet models look virtually identical and in fact may be from the same factories. That doesn't mean they are identical of course.

          You can find mills on ebay or on craigslist often enough. As you'd expect, the older and more worn, the cheaper they are. It takes an expert to buy cheap successfully, so be careful.

          Comment


          • #6
            Shop equipment

            To make the parts shown could be done with a drill press and a jig saw and some files, one of the things you will also need are lay out tools, a good start would be a good combination square, a scribe, steel ruler, compass or dividers, prick and center punch, a surface plate and height gauge would be nice too if you can afford them. Go to your local library and see if they have any books on machining, check local collages for machining classes, if you can't afford to take any classes go and talk to the teachers, face to face answers to your questions might be easier to understand then over the web. You will probably out grow any small machine you buy , but it will teach you the basics to get you started, be careful mills and lathes can be dangerous if you are not careful.
            I don't have much experience with the smaller machine tools, I got a good deal on a Bridgeport and Logan lathe and that is all I use.
            Mike
            Brandon MI
            2003 MINI Cooper S JCW#249
            1971 Opel GT
            1985 Ford 3910LP

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ricracer16
              Hello JoeFin,

              thanks for the offer but that would be cheating. I want to learn how to do this myself manually then start to designing and fabricating my own parts for myself and friends.
              So unless you have unlimited time to invest in your venture then you may run into a small problem. Between the time it takes to equip a shop, build the parts and work on your bike.....

              You might not have any time left to ride it

              Again... if you have the market for the parts, having them made on a cnc and then selling them may put you a whole lot closer to having the money to buy your own machines or another bike

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ricracer16

                Also what are the machine manufacture names that I can start doing some research on? I’ve seen some stores like harbor freight but I think they might be selling imported machines which people frown on. I just read about a company called Grizzly but don’t know anything about them. Are there machines American made? If I could stay with American machines I would but if its out of reach I may have to do small and cheap.

                I would also rather have it small enough to sit on a work table.
                Any of the so-called 3-in-1 lathe/mill combinations will do what you need and fit in a small space in your garage. Grizzly sells them. They're made overseas like most everything else.

                This is what I use and it's worked fine for me - I also have limited space.
                http://grizzly.com/products/G0516

                Comment


                • #9
                  take your time and don't jump to quick. i looked for a mill for years. as others have said get some hand tools and measuring/marking tools. that way you can do little things while you look. also put down where you are, many people will be willing to help you out. if you lived close i would be willing to let you play with my machines.

                  unless you get lucky any cheap machines are going to be beat up or chinese or both. i got my bridgeport cheap but it had problems. if you want to get machining right away a used mill drill is a good way to learn and if it doesn't work out you aren't out a lot. i have run a friends mill drill and find i can do more accurate work and enjoy it more than running another friends clapped out bridgeport. and the guy with the bridgeport paid 5X what the mill drill cost.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JoeFin
                    So unless you have unlimited time to invest in your venture then you may run into a small problem. Between the time it takes to equip a shop, build the parts and work on your bike.....

                    You might not have any time left to ride it

                    Again... if you have the market for the parts, having them made on a cnc and then selling them may put you a whole lot closer to having the money to buy your own machines or another bike
                    i have to agree with joefin on this one,, i have a small shop and its already got me in for many thousands of dollars and i stil dont have a 4 jaw chuck or and index table for my mill amonge other goodies i need for building stuff so a few more grande and ill be on my way to making some really kick stuff.. anyhow , id take the offer if oyu gota market for the stuff it will get you alot closer so some nice machines instead of settleing for second rate stuff you wil be able to get some really good machines, so far its taken me 4 years to get my shop where it is now and i still gota long way to go yet and i need a bigger shop now to so thats another 10,000 i gota spend when i can save up any how

                    take care

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I tend to agree with Roy Andrews that one of the bigger and better mill drills bought second hand is probably the way to go for starters for this sort of work. The money saved over buying a conventional mill could be put towards buying a (8"?) rotary table, which would make cutting things like the curved slots in the bracket very quick and easy. If you want to upgrade later, you would probably not lose much on the mill drill, and the rotary table would still be suitable to use on a bigger mill.

                      franco

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Rick, you are 10X ahead many people, you didn't say "billet", you recognize that materials have alloy designations and heat designations. Now if you make them and want to sell them, call them "billet" you'll sell more.

                        Looking at those parts, the functional pieces are very very simple. Just from a quick look, a lot of the arcs and slots and curves are pretty much cosmetic, so the basic functional part should be a good starter project, and fun one since you will actually get to use it.

                        Originally posted by tony ennis
                        As far as I know there is no American-made machinery any more.
                        Take a look at Wells Index, still 100% American made with the best and friendliest customer service under the sun. Of course a new 847(standard verticle mill) will set you back 15k with no frills. I let two manual 847s go a few years back, one for $1000 with DRO, and one for $1250 with DRO and X axis power feed. I should have bought them both(shop I ran). Still have a '78 factory CNC'd 847, she still kicks when I need her, and she still has 100% friendly and knowledgeable factory support.

                        Rick, as has been said here and elsewhere before the price of the machine is just the entry fee. $500 isn't going to get you far, but depending on location, you may stumble across a steal.

                        As for the US vs the Chinese crap, as much as I hate chinese crap. At least its new crap, and you can get parts for it when it breaks(and it will). You can use it out of the box, or preferably somebody else's garage, it will be reasonably accurate, and if it breaks(and it will) you hop online, order the parts and you're done, well except for the fixin' part. But you won't lose sleep over where to find the part.

                        Grizzly is a fine company, they sell chinese crap with green paint, find a Rong-Fu or a Horrible Freight, or a Birmingham or a Cummings, and you can still get parts from Grizzly, its 95% the same machines(just compare it with the pics on their website), just different paint, maybe a little better finished. Grizzly also has downloadable manuals that are actually in real english(the american version). As an aside and don't tell anybody, as a money making CNC shop with big machines, and somebody that posts on PM a lot, there are at least 2 pieces of equipment that are from Grizzly here and a Jet 9X20, and they have all made money.

                        Rick, I think you just made the decision to enter a very fun hobby/business, and in the end it will cost you a heck of a lot more than $500, but every penny is worth it, its a heck of a ride and a lot of fun.

                        The best part of it is when you can go somewhere and say "PBBBB, I can make that". I don't care how long you have been doing this, that always feels good.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Rick

                          I don't mean to be insulting - I'm trying to offer you an honest solution. $500 isn't going to buy you much. Not in the way of good metal working equipment.

                          But what it can afford you is a very decent Anodizing Bench, and that kind of side/business with a little nurturing could afford you to make enough profits to buy some decent machining equipment.

                          It is very seldom you see anyone around here jumping in and buying a shop full of equipment to produce parts. And 95% of the time Finishing / Anodizing are after thoughts that never get addressed. Anodizing is also very popular with the "Rice Rocket Crowd" I am assuming you wish to cater to. Especially if you get into custom colors and color patterns which is all do-able with 6 feet of bench space and 110 volts.

                          Drop me a line I have some good .pdf files on the subject of building up an anodizing bench from scratch

                          Joe

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hey JoeFin,

                            No need to apologize but I do want to learn what I’m talking about and not just have designs in my head and on paper napkins.

                            I'm sure that down the road when I do have enough demand that I will need a manufacturer.

                            As for the anodizing bench, that is a great idea but I was thinking of leaving the parts alone unfinished until I have the need to go that route.

                            And yes as the parts I am designing are for Japanese bikes but mostly for track day enthusiasts like me.

                            I also wanted to say thanks to all the people that posted, the information is greatly appreciated.

                            I think I’ll start looking at http://grizzly.com/products/G0516 and what accessories should I need to start making parts?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              When shopping entry level machine tools Craigs List is your friend

                              http://losangeles.craigslist.org/lgb...019374104.html

                              You might run into trouble with that size machine in the milling function when your trying to mount a rotary table to cut radiuses. My personal preference would be to buy a seperate mill with substantial table load and travel limits and lathe with desent amount of swing. Not some thing you'll out grow readily as your skills and imagination increase.

                              Trick is to set your budget and keep checking for the deals. As many have said before "The right machine will find you"

                              You'll also need Calipers, Micrometers, indicator with base, scribe, square, and level for layout and set up. A surface plate helps but you can get by with a nice 12 x 12 x 1/2 piece of steel finished on a surface grinder.

                              Then for the mill you'll want a good solid vise, clamp set, tool holders for what ever type of mill you get, a good variety of end mills, drill bits, champfer bits, maybe even a small fly cutter and slitting saws, and don't forget boring head.

                              You're lathe should be equiped with tail stock, and steady rest. always nice to have a 3 jaw scroll chuck with 2 piece soft jaws and a 4 jaw chuck. Quick change tool post are great, but unless your running 14-15 in swing its hard to find Indexable (carbide Insert) tooling that fits the smaller AXA tool post.

                              I don't know if anyone told you yet - the tooling can easily excede the cost of the machinery

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