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Radius gauges

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  • Radius gauges

    Here's what I've done the last couple of days.

    I'd seen these radius gauges offered for panel beaters and I figured they'd be a not too taxing project.

    The first one had the upper pulley support bearing on the mill seize up in the middle of the engraving so that's a useable "whoopsie" if I stamp the other numbers. I think the next one had the end mill ramping into the characters from the outside, so I changed that entry to a vertical plunge and solved that. I've managed to get 6 or 7 done that satisfy me, though I did make some small tweaks to the code on the first two or three of them.

    These 4" x .220' (ish) 6061 extrusions are not very flat. I wasn't going to order some thicker stuff just so I could face it down. The pad sander with some coarse grit paper gives a nice non-directional finish that wouldn't be any good for bodywork but seems to look OK on these. Ideally they'd be anodized and then machined but that's not going to happen. I need to get a small brush to let me fill the characters with paint on the others as spraying the entire thing and then removing the excess paint is a chore.

    Run time is about 25 minutes each, 19 minutes for the engraving (1/16" EM) and 6 minutes for the edge profiling (1/2" EM). Prep time on the CNC code and drawings and "what do I do now?" is days. :-)

    The stock was cut to 16.25" and all edges get cut. The tooling holes are 1/2" to fit the studs for the mill table.

    The t-nuts for Mitee-Bitees are useful as they have a screw in them that lets you lock them in place. I did that on the left hole and that held the parts plenty close enough for the machining.

    I don't have flood coolant set up (I could, but I need to address the drains first as I don't want it going into the tank in the base of the mill and I need guarding on the table to keep the spray from going over everything) so I ran dry with just an air blast to blow out the grooves.

    I've used up my 4" stock so tomorrow will hopefully see me back at work on the English wheel which has also been getting some attention this past week.


  • #2
    Painting the letters might go fairly quickly if you spray on a light coat, then squeegee of most of it off. Follow that by wiping with a lint free rag and finish up with the pad sander when it is dry.


    • #3
      Hi Robin,

      I've got to go to the drug store today and I'm going to check out the nail polish selection. Bright colors, comes with a brush, and I just need enough to do a few of these gauges.

      FWIW, since I've had an inquiry I didn't make these gauges as a "for sale" item, and even if I had with my equipment it wouldn't be a big enough profit item to justify stealing time away from my other projects. If someone thinks they need a gauge Fay Butler has them in both plastic and anodized aluminum.

      Putting my website address and a funny name on the gauges was done to amuse me and those of my friends who will get one as a gift and wasn't meant to imply these were a commercial product.