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  • Unimat question

    I recently got a Unimat Sl-1000 and the t nut to hold down the tool holder fell apart in 5 pieces on me. Does anyone know where I can buy these at? All I need is one to make a few off of.
    Dave

    "I haven't failed,,,,,I have just found 10,000 ways that don't work" Thomas Edison

  • #2
    Is it just a standard thread Metric? Or https://unimat.homestead.com/
    Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician - Fine Line Automation CNC 4x4 Router

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    • #3
      Originally posted by MountainMan View Post
      ...the t nut to hold down the tool holder fell apart in 5 pieces on me.
      Five pieces? What's it made of, dried out plastic? Making T-nuts should be part of everyone's practical experience. It's not rocket surgery.

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      • #4
        ..All I need is one to make a few off of.
        This last sentence tells me you've got a mill that you can use to make your own. If you've even got most of the pieces of the old one you shouldn't have any trouble designing a new one. Even if you didn't have the pieces you should be able to measure the T slot dimensions and design your own.

        Even if you don't have a mill and would be making a "top hat" shape then filing the sides down to make it fit the slot you should be able to fake it for now with something like a cut down nut or small scrap of steel that you thread to take the bolt. Then you can use the lathe to make the top hat which you then file to fit the slot.
        Chilliwack BC, Canada

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        • #5
          The original Unimat Tee nuts are a poor design. It appears that they were turned on a lathe, not milled. I think the chief purpose of it was to make manufacture cheap and fast - in the 1950s. They were probably made on an automatic screw cutting machine (lathe). All my original ones are either broken or severely distorted. Here is the drawing that I have been working from to make new ones. I make then in strips and cut off the lengths that I need as I need them.



          The dimensions do not completely match the original Unimat ones, but they have proven a lot more durable in use. I haven't had to retire a single one of the replacement nuts that I made. Part of the reason for this is this design has a lot more steel in places where it beefs up the nut. The dimensions in my drawing are to allow the use of a 3/16" x 1/2" strip. Only the 1/2" width needs to be reduced: you use the full 3/16" height. Almost any steel alloy will suffice.

          And YES, it is a standard metric thread: M6. Almost all the threads on the Unimat are M6. The headstock spindle is a non-standard metric thread: M12-1. There is a chart of Unimat thread sizes here:

          https://unimat.homestead.com/
          Last edited by Paul Alciatore; 08-10-2018, 01:54 PM.
          Paul A.
          SE Texas

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

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          • #6
            Originally posted by wmgeorge View Post
            Is it just a standard thread Metric? Or https://unimat.homestead.com/
            Great site, Thanks for posting it

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            • #7
              AAAAND..... PAUL SLAM DUNKS THE BALL! ! ! ! The crowd goes wild ! ! ! !
              Chilliwack BC, Canada

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              • #8
                Dang! Those are small.

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                • #9
                  And, on some that I have seen, parts such as that are made of something very much like zamak, which would certainly explain the "broke in 5 pieces" deal.
                  1601

                  Keep eye on ball.
                  Hashim Khan

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CCWKen View Post
                    Dang! Those are small.
                    So is the lathe! We're talking about something that overall fits easily into the footprint of a desktop 'puter's keyboard after all.
                    Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                    • #11
                      To make as many as you require, just get a bit of keysteel that fits into the B-I-G-G-E-R slot in the table, turn a shoulder that will fit the smaller slot and WILL NOT sit up proud of the table surface. Drill and tap it to whatever your heart desires, normally 6mm will suffice, cut it off anyway you can, be it with a parting tool or heaven forbid, using a hacksaw. OK, keysteel is crap steel, but so is the original T nuts also made from licorice.

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                      • #12
                        All the Unimat T slot nuts I've, and I've bought and sold quite a few over the years, have been steel and well made like the rest of the Unimat kit.

                        As for making them, all you guys suggesting so, have you used a unimat? Yes it can be done, but it would tedious enough that asking where to buy is more than a fair question.

                        try here, this guy buy and sells unimats so worth sending an email

                        http://www.tomstoolstore.com/
                        Last edited by Mcgyver; 08-11-2018, 07:49 AM.
                        .

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by CCWKen View Post
                          Dang! Those are small.
                          Well, M6 is smaller then 1/4-20. Not much, but a little. The Unimat is made to metric dimensions, but it is basically a 2 X 6 in English units.

                          All the OEM Unimat Tee nuts I have seen were steel. Soft steel, but steel. The real problem was that they minimized the design to the point where their strength was marginal, at best. The simple corrective action of just designing them more like standard Tee nuts seems to be enough to fix that. I made my replacements well over a decade ago: the drawing that I posted was dated 2002 in my files and it is a BMT, not the original CAD file. So I have been using that design for over 16 years and have had no problems or failures.
                          Paul A.
                          SE Texas

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

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                          • #14
                            Will take your word on the material..... steel is not known for "breaking in 5 pieces" though.
                            1601

                            Keep eye on ball.
                            Hashim Khan

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                            • #15
                              Well, I said all the ones that I have seen. I have the DB200, not the SL. Bought it in the 60s. The SLs are aluminum castings. I wouldn't be surprised if they went to using plastic for some parts.



                              Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
                              Will take your word on the material..... steel is not known for "breaking in 5 pieces" though.
                              Paul A.
                              SE Texas

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

                              Comment

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