Sunday, January 11, 2009

Tedious machining

Sorry, more machining. I'm still on my quest to rebuild/improve the mini table router.

The previous table supports were hacked together from a bunch of aluminium box, drilled and bolted at one end. It wasn't fastened at the other end, and the structs were overlength (I had never cut them to the right size). The ho

Today I drilled and tapped holes into both end brackets for the table support structs to bolt onto. This was drilling 14 holes, each 5 mm diameter, 35 mm deep, and then tapping said holes. Suprisingly, the bulk of the time went into drilling the holes. I suspect all my 5mm drill bits are getting blunt (I use 6mm bolts almost everywhere) so it may be time to invest in a drill sharpening tool. It took almost half an hour to drill the 14 holes. Part of the time was fiddly adjustment (release table clamps, wind table to x+70mm, fiddle back and forth until it was exact on the DRO, clamp table) but it just wasn't cutting very fast either. I get bored and wound up using the quill auto-feed and auto-stop to do the bulk of them.

The tapping by comparison went very fast. I love the VFD I fitted to the mill. It's just so nice to dial up 40 rpm, and let the tap just thread straight in. I press reverse when it's in far enough, and the VFS nicely slows the mill to a stop, and then winds it up into reverse. Makes tapping (at least in Al) very quick.

I followed this lot of tediousness by milling slots into the ends of all the table structs too. 28 slots (12mm slots on top, 6mm slots on bottom). Man, I'm glad I don't do this for a living.

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