This is a tale of going to TOG to do one thing, but ending up doing something completely different. The intention was to write some code to talk to some electronic hardware. Actuality was taking the lathe apart. You can’t get more different than that.
One of our members reported that the lathe was unusually noisy and also a faint burning smell. We thought that it may be splashes of oil burning on the hot halogen lamp, but soon ruled that out. We disconnected the drive belts from the motor. The motor turns freely by hand, but seems to be hesitant in starting. It’s also drawing way too much current. Needs a bit more troubleshooting. Hopefully just a bad capacitor or something else simple.
Update…. so its bad news. One of the motor windings is burnt out. But it’s no big deal really. We’re sourcing a new motor. They’re not that expensive. A nice project will be to add some overcurrent and thermal monitoring to it, as well as an RPM readout. Sounds like a job for an Arduino!
A few months ago we’ve mentioned a DIY build of a CNC router. The project turned out to be more complicated than we anticipated. The steel-based construction is not very forgiving, and the large size of the machine doesn’t help. Still, due to all the help from many members we managed to overcome a number of difficulties and do a few test engravings in MDF.
MDF is not a difficult material to mill – the most noticeable problems are the awful dust and the fluff around the edges of the cut. The furry edge is easily fixed using sand paper, but the dust will probably require some more drastic measures in order to protect our lungs. Eventually we’re planning to cut and engrave a variety of materials, many of which have interesting properties but are incompatible with our laser cutter.
Visit us during one of our Monday CAD nights to see the new machine in action or in the video below.
Continue reading “First cuts with TOG’s DIY CNC router”
We are always doing upgrades and improvements in our space. Below are some of our latest.
We have added in extraction systems in each of our toilets. We have disabled the urinal and changed the toilets to be gender neutral.
More desks. We have added a new desk near our lathe and another one in the electronics room.
General clear out. We also filled a skip with building waste and general stuff left over from the move.
Check out our gallery for a full photo set of the changes.
Our lathe is finally getting some good use! This time, a small part was made from aluminium, a coupling for connecting two pieces of tubing for the water cooling system in the upcoming CNC router project. It will replace the existing temporary hose-and-clamps hack.
A piece of bar stock was clamped in a 4 jaw chuck, made into a cylinder and turned down to about 16mm diameter. Next we turned half of it down to about 6mm and drilled a 4.5mm hole through it, using a drill chuck. Lastly we smoothed the edges slightly and parted the whole thing off.
The end result is more functional and looks a lot better!
The whole operation went smoothly in overall retrospection. However, we had few small issues to deal with on the way. Firstly, it wasn’t obvious how to set gearing for the power feed, as the manual wasn’t very clear. Another problem was that the square shape of stock, required the use of a 4 jaw chuck, which is not self-centring. That adds a couple of extra steps to set up, as centring of the stock has to be done manually in such a case.
We have a lovey new electric gate installed in out space over the last week. It will make it easier for our members to come and go from the space. Check out all the photos from the install in our gallery.
One of the big stumbling blocks of our new space has been the slow internet speed. We have been hit delays in getting a suppler into the space. For the last few months we have been living on 4G mobile broadband only. We are happy to say, we now have proper internet in the space. Ask any member for the key the next time you are in the space.