Thursday, September 17, 2015

Quote of the Day

Former Stasi member to Manage Facebook posts.


I guess it's like riding a bike, if the bike were made of razor blades and killed people every 5 minutes.

Mill Comments for Dan

Saw this response this morning:
I will address these points line by line cause I will not let this libel go unanswered.

1.  I do not use slave labor.  Nor do I use sweat shops.  Sweat shops do not hire skilled engineers to run CNC machines and pay them 20-30K USD a year.

2.  My bearings, linear guides come from Japan and Taiwan.  My electronics boards are made in Italy.  My power supplies come from Taiwan.  Everything else is made in the Philippines on US made Haas, Japanese CNC machines, Spanish Kondia mills and Bridgeport mills.  

3 Since you have not been paying attention to the news, The Philippines is not having good relations with China right now.  As such there is opportunity to make and sell machinery to the growing, rapidly modernizing industrial base. 

4.  99% of my sales go to Asia.  Why should ship stuff to Asia from literally half way around the world?

5. Dan: Stop bitching.  Put something on your sore pussy and do it your damn self instead of being a whinny little cunt. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Mills Available Now and Other Ramblings

I got 2 mills ready to ship bare bones.  No stepper motors, or control boards.  Steel frame and will handle aluminum and plastic.  To finish it out You will prob have maybe $1500 in it tops counting shipping and ebay parts.

They come from one of my manufacturers in the Philippines.  Its made at a job shop owned by a Chinese guy whose family fled the commies back in the day.

They have some pretty good equipment there even by US standards.  He is not as cheap as China but on the other hand I don't have to worry bout my stuff getting sold on Ali Express before I get to sell it.

It is not a super duty production machine. It is a entry level machine, that in the hands of a experienced guy can tune it up to some very tight tolerances.

My personal business model with these little machines are the super entry level grade. 

Little CNC machines that if you are a guy who is starting out, or a student, or a third world shop, the ability to get one of these little machines and make stuff.

It can be used to fabricate a even better machine for example.

Right now I have prototyped with this machine and one of my plywood mills with a cheap trim router as the spindle.  I started off with the Dremel, as it was all I could find without going to China or spending $200 on a Bosch motor until this one recently came on the market.

As someone who has spent a lot of cash sending stuff out to machine shops to get made and ended up with parts that did not work because they were prototypes;  I have found that these little machines have saved me a ton of cash and time the last few months.

My ultimate goal is a sub $400 machine. 

So far I am getting closer to this goal.  It may not be super fast or 5 micron accuracy, but then again it will make useful stuff.

The plywood mill was prototype one of this series of machines.  Next machine I am making from half inch acrylic. 

The end goal is a China price beater in the entry level market and selling them by the container load on eBay.

The other machine I am looking at is a sub $400 CNC router.  Something for sign making and furniture making.

I had a breakthru the other day in the design of that one.

Basically my entire goal of that project is to use as little or no China parts as possible.  This means no China timing belt, No China linear guides, no China electronics. 

My inspiration for this comes from the Shapoko CNC Router that starts at $600.  Based on the measurements I am getting from the stock stainless tubing my supplier has, the material is straight enough to use as a linear guide. 

I have been toying around with bushings on it, but I have come up a design that uses roller bearings with delrin wheels that roll on the tubing.  Basically the Shapoko machine concept that does not use the extruded aluminum that will require a substantial investment.

The entire design can be made on a 2D CNC machine like my small CNC router, although for real production I would send it out to a laser shop for most of the parts and ship as a kit that fits in a small box.

Machine working area is a tentative 2x2 feet and uses open source electronics. 

If anyone wants to get one of the CNC routers or the acrylic mills as a beta tester (and get them at a big discount) let me know via the contact form.

Dumbest Thing I Have Read All Year

Got a little project involving some metal.

So I am brushing up on my research and came across a guy on forum flat out state that one should not prepare their body armor a certain way cause it might start to fail after 10 hits or so.

To that I say:  WOW!!

I been in combat.  More than once.  Scary stuff.

However it seems to me that if one gets hit 10 times and it is only the plate, they must be the luckiest SOB in the world, cause one freaking hit or possibly 2 with a full auto weapon on the plate is luck.  I just can't imagine a scenario where someone in combat gets 10 or even 5 times just on the plate and isn't put put of action cause they got other body parts not covered by Kevlar or plates also.

I sure as hell ain't John Rambo, I'm just a former scumbag truck driver who makes interesting sh*t for a living. However I do know a few things....

Monday, September 14, 2015

Cheap Plywood Mill After Action Report

It has been a month since the plywood mill has gone into service.

In the beginning I had issues with nuts vibrating off, and the bearings on the DIY linear guides slipping out of place.  After repeated tightenings and various little adjustments  the nuts no longer come off.

The stainless steel threaded rod I use to drive the ,machine is now well broken in.  Turns smooth almost as smooth as a ball screw and so far no backlash.  I expect it will eventually develop backlash, and then it will be a matter of buying either a new nut or threaded rod for only a few bucks.

I neglected to initially machine the bed flat in the beginning.  Stupid mistake I know.  Just couldn't see running a 8 hour job to machine flat the entire work area with a Dremel.

I did however machine the spoil board flat last week, and fashion some clamps to hold the stock material to the machine.

I have machined aluminum with it however the results were rather poor.

I also burned out 2 Dremel tools.  

This time I purchased a trim router and some better quality bits in 1/4 inch.  

The new spindle is 440 watts vs the 100 watts of the Dremel.  For plastic it is sufficient.

I did discover that with a brushed motor I have to occasionally remove the brushes and clean them.  Mine ingested some plastic dust and got a little on the rotor.  

Acrylic machines better than polyethylene.  The polyethylene leaves fine wispy dust  and no chips.  More than likely because I have no speed control and it runs too fast.

I also machined some plywood with router bits to good effect.

So far now my biggest issue is the software and operator error.  I'm still learning.

I have someone order a acrylic plastic version of this mill so I will be making another very soon.  Using half inch acrylic with it and pretty much the same files.  I may swap to bushings instead of roller bearings.

Accuracy and being square:  it's pretty darn close.  Square is off by 0.05mm which is good enough for something as cheap as this.   That's 0.00196inches. 

Dimensional tolerances are pretty good too being off a little bit but I suspect it is a software or operator error at this point. It seems to be consistently short by 0.0236 inches no matter if I cut a 20mm square or a 300 mm x 75mm rectangle. 

It is really noisy however.  Have to use ear muffs.  I also need eye protection.  It is also very messy.  The shop vacuum has gotten the most workout it ever has had.

The other mill made from steel, have not put it too work yet.  I only got one in stock so I'm keeping it nice and pretty for a customer.  

Union Members

Sunday, September 13, 2015

People Repellant

BBC has reported on a foul smelling substance called skunk water

Police departments in the United States are reported to have bought a foul-smelling liquid developed in Israel to repel protesters. What is "skunk" and how is it used, asks Yolande Knell.
It is a truly putrid stench. Palestinians who have been sprayed describe it as "worse than raw sewage" and "like a mixture of excrement, noxious gas and a decomposing donkey".

Interesting stuff and it's effects.

However there is a off the shelf substance that has the same effect and available in the US.
It is called Bee Go.  It is used by beekeepers as a bee repellent to remove bees from bee hives to harvest honey.  It is applied to a pad on a beehive lid.  Usually just a rag stapled to the inside of the lid.  A bit is applied via a squeeze bottle and it lasts for hours in its intended purpose
For Humans though, that smell is noticeable for days. 

As to health hazards, It is caustic.  I was never stupid enough to get it on me.  However I heard one report of a child spraying it on a cat.  The cat was washed off with water, however all the cats hair fell out.

From product reviews:

Disgusting product
I bought two bottles of this by mistake. Used one once. I found the smell so disgusting that I took the board off of the hive early as there is no way that it wont impact the taste of your honey. A big mistake and now I have two bottles !!
Say NO to Bee-Go!
After using this stuff I mistakenly put the fume board in the back of my SUV for 5 minutes. I did wrap it in a plastic bag, but apparently I didnt seal it completely. Its been two weeks and the terrible odor has not completely left my vehicle. Ill never use this stuff again! It does work at moving the bees out of a super, especially if it is a 70 or higher degree day, but youd better store the fume board in an open pickup truck!!
- John Alexander, GA
Bee Go
Be careful not to spill this stuff on paint. I was driving back to the barn and my bottle spilled in my wagon. Just 5 mins of contact with paint stripped it to the metal.
Used it once... not again
This stuff works as advertised, but it is nasty. The odor is incredibly strong and very persistent. If the smell of sour milk vomit offends you, then pick another fumigant. I used this product once and took the remainder to household hazardous waste recycling. My opinion is this stuff is too powerful and too nearly toxic to use around food. Read about the main ingredient Butyric anhydride on-line and decide for yourself.

You can buy it from Dadant Beekeeping supplies.  Can not be air shipped.

One of these bottles will make a building uninhabitable for a long while.