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Introduction D Martin

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  • Introduction D Martin

    Hello I just joined The Home Shop Machinist and thought I ought to introduce myself. I have been reading the threads here for about a month or more and have seen some very good information. I have worked in industrial maintenance positions all my life and am 56 years old. I had serveral years of machine shop at VO Tech in High School and at my 1st job as a maintenance man for 7 years we had a Reed Prentice Lathe and Bridgport mill that I ran regularly. I then got more into Industrial Electrical and instrumentation and controls and am currently a Maintenance Specialist (Major Maintenance Coridinator) for one of the leading industrial gas suppliers in the world. I work at our bulk gas plants for air seperation which supply Oxygen, Nitrogen and Argon as gas and liquid. Most of my work is overseeing plant shut downs for maintenance. We have many large compresssors, turbines, associated piping and control valves, along with cooling towers and pumps. I haven't done much machineing myself for awhile but still rember the bacics for lathe and milling machine work. I just got a lathe and milling machine for my shop out back and plan to do projects as a hobby and to keep busy into retirment. I own a small lumber mill for a hobby and have built a couple buildings with it on my hunting woodland but cutting trees and logging is not good for someone with back problems. So I need a new hobby and I am excited to get back into doing some machining. There are many new things that I am unfamilure with such as a steady rest and DRO. I don't currently have a DRO on either machine (Grizzly G730 mill and G4003G Lathe) but it looks that it would be very helpful so I may add a DRO to both. In reading the posts here I already learned alot but I will be posting some questions so thanks in advance for the help. I will try to post a picture of the machines, have a good day.


  • #2
    Hello Dwight,
    Welcome to the forum. Looks like you have plenty of room to grow in that shop.
    Sorry about the delay in your post; your thread got stuck in the auto-moderation queue for new members. You should be all set now.


    • #3
      Welcome, Dwight!

      Steady rests have been around for a long time but they don't get used very often; only on long pieces where flex is an issue. I have a steady rest from 1943 that needs to be cleaned up and put back into service! DROs are definitely handy on a milling machine, but somehow they never seem as useful on a lathe. Although, it would be handy to have either a DRO or a Trav-a-dial type instrument on the longitudinal axis of the lathe.

      That's a nice looking shop area. The tall ceilings and gantry will be really useful; especially if you fall ill with the "old iron disease" and start "collecting" machine tools


      • #4
        Hi Dwight

        First off welcome. I am jealous of the free floor space and the generous height of your shop. :>)

        I didn't have a much time to plan for retirement, but I enjoy it. Two things my buds used to tell me while I was still working after they had retired turned out to be true.

        "I don't know how I found time to work."
        And as to when to retire they just said " You'll know when its time..."
        They were right.

        I have ham radio, blacksmithing, all five types of welding, electronics, cars and motorcycles and metal casting to count amongst my current distractions.

        Stay busy

        ARS W9PCS

        Esto Vigilans

        Remember, just because you can doesn't mean you should...
        but you may have to


        • #5
          Thanks for the welcome, the delay didn't bother me, maybe I am getting a little more patience as I get older. I think the picture makes the shop look bigger than it is, it's 24' by 28' but there is room for more tools. The gantry is nice but it is not mine, I borrowed it from a friend. My neighbor and I were talking about it and decided that it may be better to have a friend with a gantry than to own it yourself. I also have a couple of welders and may keep my little saw mill because I agree "stay busy".
          I do have a question, the lathe also came with a follow rest which I have also never used before but I thought that it might be more useful than the steady rest. Are there any opinions on the follow rest? Oh and by the way I did use the lathe to make a brass ram rod for a muzzle loader pistol that I just got. And I also did my first easy project on the mill which was to make some clamps to clamp the lathe to the floor as I didn't like the way the existing holes were set up on the lathe base. Have a good day.


          • #6
            welcome to the forum! hope you enjoy your stay.

            Steady and follow rests both have there place. But its mainly when you need to machine something really long compared to its diamiter (Like over 10 times as long as it is wide) and need precision along the length.

            Mainly I find using the tailstock with a center gives most work enough rigidity for what I need to do.
            Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.


            • #7
              I know you're going to add some valuable input and interesting projects to the forum. Thanks for joining us!!
              Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.


              • #8
                Lots of luck with your new hobby...

                Originally posted by dmartin View Post
                ...And I also did my first easy project on the mill which was to make some clamps to clamp the lathe to the floor as I didn't like the way the existing holes were set up on the lathe base...
                Not sure if your familiar with this, but it would be a good idea to make sure your lathe (and i would guess mill also) is 'flat' ( no twist - another set of words people use is to 'level a machine' (but the word 'level' can create a very long thread )) and also making sure the head stock is square. If your not familiar with this, the forum has some threads about it and im sure a new thread will also receive a lot of attention.

                Have fun...

                ~ What was once an Opinion, became a Fact, to be later proven Wrong ~


                • #9
                  I've used my steady rest on a couple of different occasions. I used it when I was making a hydraulic reservoir out of a piece of 4" well pipe. I needed to clean up the interior of the pipe, so chucked the end in the 4-jaw, and used the steady to support the other end as the pipe was 16"+ long. My lathe doesn't have a 4"+ spindle bore, so I needed a way to hold the pipe for this operation. It worked real well for that.

                  I don't have a follow rest, though it may have been handy a couple of times. I've never actually used one.



                  • #10
                    Welcome to the machinist water cooler. Always good to have more members here on the best forum on the net.
                    Paul A.

                    Make it fit.
                    You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!


                    • #11
                      Welcome to the forum Dwight! How about a pic of that sawmill? I have a little forest and have contemplated building a bandsaw mill for some time now (when I have time, HA HA).


                      • #12
                        I did use shims and a good machinists level to level the lathe and milling machine and rechecked it a couple days later and found them still level.
                        So I guess they will stay that way. The one problem that I did find with the lathe is a large amount of metal filings in the gear head. I changed the oil after doing the recomended break in and there was alot of fine metal chips in it. After removing the gearhead "lid" I dragged the bottom of the enclosure with a strong magnet and collected quite a bit more chips. I do think that Grizzly makes a fine product and do not say this as a cut to them but it would be good if they cleaned the parts before assembly. By the way I left the magnet in the bottom of the gearhead enclosure and plan to change the oil again very soon. Hopefully any chips that are left will be stuck to the magnet. It is a very strong magnet so no worries about it moving and causing damage. I have attached some pictures of the lumber mill, it is a Timberking B20 and has served me well for the last few years. If I actually do any machining that needs a follow rest I'm sure I'll have a few questions for you. Have a good day.


                        • #13
                          That mill looks top notch. I like that you put plenty of windows in that building. You can never have enough windows in a building like that!


                          • #14
                            Pull up a chair, you'll fit right in around here.



                            • #15
                              As BF said, a follow rest is vital for long and thin things, like making a replacement screw for your cross slide. That's the second stage of the illness. First comes acquiring stuff. Next comes fixing it.

                              What do you do with all your equipment ? Err... I use one thing to fix the other thing. See ?

                              I once had a shop that size. Before I was into machining. Shame.
                              Richard - SW London, UK, EU.