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Thread: Machine shop projects

  1. #1
    *Flashaholic* precisionworks's Avatar
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    Popcorn Machine shop projects

    CPF already has the Materials/Mechanical/Machining forum & this thread is not meant to duplicate a forum that works very well. Rather it is intended to offer a look at some of the projects that go through a typical small job-shop. The term job-shop means that virtually any type of work is accepted whether big or small, complex or simple, from any customer who walks through the door (or sends an email, text, fax, etc.) The goal of a job-shop is simple - understand what the customer wants, do the work, move on to the next project.

    Some job-shops run contract work that involves the production of multiple pieces of the same or similar parts on a repeating basis. The work provides a somewhat dependable source of business & helps eliminate the peaks & valleys of working on a day by day basis. Sometimes the work is interesting & technically challenging but other days it is sheer drudgery ... imagine drilling one hole in each of 500 steel blocks & then going back to tap those same 500 holes. Not as bad as it may sound once a system is developed to efficiently process the work.

    Look for lots of images of work in progress. Quite a bit will be light related while some will cover other areas that I hope are interesting to the reader. We'll have to see where this goes but there's quite a bit of interest on CPF about how things are done. This thread should help answer some of those questions.
    Last edited by precisionworks; 03-15-2012 at 07:52 PM.
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    *Flashaholic* precisionworks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Machine shop projects

    Please Note - Shipping Charges

    Anyone who's done business with me knows that they pay actual shipping charges. No "handling fee", no add on cost, I just pass on what ever I'm charged for the shipping service. Most items go out by United States Postal Service flat rate - if it fits into a flat rate carton that's the way I prefer to ship. But ...

    USPS seems to raise their rates with every new moon. If you see a shipping charge quoted in an old thread or old post it's probably too low. If I provide a shipping quote in March (for instance) and USPS raises their rate in April when your light is ready to ship you'll be charged the new (higher rate). I don't make a penny on shipping so I have to pass any shipping price increase on to you.

    Domestic rates for the USA are up somewhat but International rates have increased at a faster pace.

    If you prefer shipment by UPS or Fedex that's fine - just let me know before I provide a total.
    Last edited by precisionworks; 04-11-2013 at 06:02 PM.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Machine shop projects

    Well?? ICno work!!?? Someone is slacking...

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Machine shop projects

    No work because it is already half past beer thirty in Illinois.

  5. #5
    *Flashaholic* precisionworks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Machine shop projects

    Quote Originally Posted by BarryH View Post
    No work because it is already half past beer thirty in Illinois.
    At the Precision Works shop the Bud Light is always on

    Well?? ICno work!!?? Someone is slacking...

    Allow me to whine a bit but don't panic ...


    The past week saw nothing done in the shop as I was working on an electrical installation in a customer's factory. It started simply enough with a site evaluation, something that should have taken an hour under normal circumstances. Finished that ten hours later & found out that the company would not pay my bill for the ten hours as they considered it "bid preparation time". That was Strike 1 but the project still looked profitable so onward we went.

    Contacted my regular assistant who rescheduled his work around this project. Advised the plant manager that I'd be bringing my assistant at no charge to them & the manager said no, they would provide any help that was needed. That was Strike 2 and the little voice in my head said "this is not going well". Since it seemed it could get no worse I stayed in the game.

    Went out & purchased all the parts, roughly $10k USD. Then the email arrived from the on site engineer advising me that he would not allow the utility company to disconnect the 480 volt supply at the transformers. Said more clearly, we'd be working at the bottom of the panelboard & the top of the panelboard (about 24" or 0.6m) would still have 480 volts at the main breaker lugs. Strike 3 & I bailed. Wrote a quick email of withdrawal from the project & offered to deliver their parts, got that done at 1500 on Friday, got the check immediately to the bank & called it done.

    Rant over. Got back into the shop today & started to catch up. May soon post a photo or two of an interesting project fabricating a stainless steel fuel manifold. It certainly has to come out better than the electrical installation
    Last edited by precisionworks; 03-17-2012 at 08:30 PM.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Machine shop projects

    YEah it sounds like it Barry.. I awaken here early with a major splitting headache (way too much Techquila for the Saint) & can't see straight.. Hope you both got to let loose alittle and made it to a bed safely.. I'm going back to sleep.. G'nite..

    Oh Barry, I have a few more pieces that I need to ship over to you.. Could you PM me your addy again.. ThanXx

  7. #7
    *Flashaholic* precisionworks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Machine shop projects

    Quote Originally Posted by MrSypher View Post
    Hope you both got to let loose a little and made it to a bed safely.. I'm going back to sleep.. G'nite..
    Turned out the lights at midnight & saw your post at 0310 when I got up for a glass of water. The Android touch screen is way too small for a reply at that early hour

    Oh Barry, I have a few more pieces that I need to ship over to you.. Could you PM me your addy again.. ThanXx
    PM's are disabled but an email was just sent.
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  8. #8
    *Flashaholic* precisionworks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Machine shop projects



    This is a skid plate for a large finishing mower. The owner wanted it built heavily so I sectioned a piece of 8" diameter (203mm) Schedule 80 pipe. The thinner plate clamped in the vise jaw is only 1/4" thick ( 6.4mm) so the heavy pipe needed lots of preheat before welding. Flame is from a 100,000 btuh oxygen-acetylene rosebud tip. Even with this much heat input the pipe required almost five minutes to reach a uniform 400° F (204° C).



    A clamp was positioned on each side to tightly draw the parts together & welding began ... but I forgot to take photos of that
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    *Flashaholic* fyrstormer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Machine shop projects

    They wanted you to work on an electrical install and they wouldn't even shut off the power in the vicinity of your work? Hmm. The proper response is "no sir."

  10. #10
    *Flashaholic* precisionworks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Machine shop projects

    If the gear were any larger (or my lathe were any smaller) this would not work:





    This item is made by Boston Gear & replaces an identical gear that cracked in half after 60 years of service. The old gear had been repaired a number of times and could no longer be fixed. Boston Gear supplies this one with a 1.250" (31.75mm) starter bore & that is enlarged to the needed size. Finished bore will be 1.775" (45mm) and that is done with the boring bar shown in the images.

    The fixture that holds the gear for machining is called a face plate. It has a number of drilled & tapped holes and threaded studs are screwed into the holes. Aluminum flat bars are used to spread out the clamping load.

    FWIW Boston Gear sells that item for $550 USD & it still had to be bored to fit.
    Surefire® boring including E-Series & Weapon Lights, gun repairs, blueing & custom work * PM's disabled * Please Email & PayPal through www:Precision.Works

  11. #11
    *Flashaholic* fyrstormer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Machine shop projects

    Wow. 60 years? That's a good run. I hope some of my tools last that long.

    That gear looks like it's cut to mesh with a worm gear. It must rotate fairly slowly. I thought lathes spun very fast?

  12. #12
    *Flashaholic* precisionworks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Machine shop projects

    That gear looks like it's cut to mesh with a worm gear.
    Good call, that's exactly the purpose of the gear. It is used to tilt the table (images below) that goes on a large radial drill.

    Right hand inside the base casting & left hand moving the shaft outward so a good mic reading can be obtained.



    Measured the shaft is six places & got good repeat readings so the gear is ready for final boring:



    I knew a gantry crane was needed & this job will pay for the steel & casters that were used for this build. Foot print is small, only 5'x5' (1.5mx1.5m) and height to the top of the I-beam is 95" (2.4m). There's just a touch of clearance above the I-beam so the gantry can be rolled around. The trolley & air hoist were purchased some time ago & the whole project took just 8 hours.

    The current air hoist is pretty small, rated at just 500 pounds (227 kg). I'll pick up a 2000 pound (907 kg) hoist whenever a good deal comes along. Although the structure could easily lift more weight the casters are the limiting factor.
    Last edited by precisionworks; 05-10-2012 at 03:19 PM.
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  13. #13
    *Flashaholic* precisionworks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Machine shop projects

    Dean, Smith & Grace 25" (635 mm) swing with 10" (254 mm) hollow spindle. About average size for this shop which manufactures down-hole drill equipment. A 4-jaw chuck mounts at each end of the spindle so that long work is well supported for threading near the chuck without using a steady rest.

    This one gets a well deserved facelift - clean, fill, prime & paint. I bid the job at 30 hours which seems about right for a machine with a 120" (3 m) bed.





    Images above were taken after 4 hours of initial cleanup
    Last edited by precisionworks; 05-11-2012 at 05:37 PM.
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    Flashaholic* Mattaus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Machine shop projects

    I don't even want to know what it takes to move this stuff around.

  15. #15
    *Flashaholic* precisionworks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Machine shop projects

    Quote Originally Posted by Mattaus View Post
    I don't even want to know what it takes to move this stuff around.
    LOL. They are surprisingly easy with the right equipment. Bigger factories often have a pair of overhead bridge cranes - imagine the gantry crane shown in post #12 but with the vertical supports 100' (30 m) apart, located right next to the inside walls of the building. Use a chain sling to attach each end of the lathe to one hoist, lift only enough to see a little daylight under the machine & move it anywhere the bridge crane will take it. A mid sized machine like the DS&G isn't too bad to move this way.

    Factories that don't have overhead cranes can use "machinery skates". These are low profile wheel rollers & a forklift (or two) is used to pick up each end of the lathe so the skates can be positioned under the machine. If the concrete floor is smooth & level it takes only three or four people to push it around.

    This machine weighs 18,000# (8160 kg) & the big challenge is to lift it off the flatbed transport truck, swing it over to the factory door & get it inside the building. The owner rented a mobile crane for this job

    Image of the lathe at the previous factory:



    Slowest spindle speed is 4.2 rpm & the top speed is 290 rpm.
    Surefire® boring including E-Series & Weapon Lights, gun repairs, blueing & custom work * PM's disabled * Please Email & PayPal through www:Precision.Works

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    *Flashaholic* fyrstormer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Machine shop projects

    What on earth would you use a 4.2rpm lathe for?

  17. #17
    *Flashaholic* precisionworks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Machine shop projects

    Quote Originally Posted by fyrstormer View Post
    What on earth would you use a 4.2rpm lathe for?
    Excellent question

    Let's do the math first. This machine swings 25" over the bed but will also swing 45" in the gap, exactly where faceplate work is done. Running a 45" (1.1 m) part gives a surface speed of 50 sfpm (15 m/min). Just the speed for turning harder materials, those around 400 Brinnel.

    Most of today's shops won't use that low a speed too often. But low speeds were common in the 1950's when this machine was made as high speed steel was the tooling of choice. As carbide tooling became more & more prominent the speed range of most lathes moved upwards. Most large swing machines from the 60's & 70's will go no slower than about 10 rpm.
    Surefire® boring including E-Series & Weapon Lights, gun repairs, blueing & custom work * PM's disabled * Please Email & PayPal through www:Precision.Works

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    *Flashaholic* fyrstormer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Machine shop projects

    I'm afraid I have to admit I don't understand anything you said in the first paragraph. The second paragraph makes sense though; it's a heat-dissipation issue, right?

  19. #19
    *Flashaholic* precisionworks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Machine shop projects

    it's a heat-dissipation issue, right?
    Exactly

    A large diameter part (say 45") at 4.2 rpm has a surface speed of 50 sfpm (15 m/min)

    A small 1" diameter part has to turn at 191 rpm to have the identical surface speed. Surface speed of the part has a great effect on machining. Run a hard material too fast & the cutting tool can cause the part to harden even more. Cutting tools break down much more quickly if the surface speed is too high.

    This machine will often turn material that's of larger diameter so the slower spindle speeds are necessary to keep the surface speed in the optimum range.
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Machine shop projects

    Right, I forgot that the outer surfaces of large objects can have high angular velocity even at low rpm.

  21. #21
    Flashaholic* RedLed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Machine shop projects

    How about a photo of the shop. The first thing I wanted to see when I flew out to the USS Ronald Reagan was the machine shop.
    Check my Web Site: www.Redwayphoto.com

  22. #22
    *Flashaholic* precisionworks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Machine shop projects

    Quote Originally Posted by RedLed View Post
    How about a photo of the shop.
    Anyone who looked at that would never send in any work

    Actually I've thought about that but really don't know how to capture any images in a way that conveys the information.
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    *Flashaholic* fyrstormer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Machine shop projects

    Quote Originally Posted by precisionworks View Post
    Anyone who looked at that would never send in any work

    Actually I've thought about that but really don't know how to capture any images in a way that conveys the information.
    Invite SuicideGirls for a photo shoot and have them pose looking like they're using the equipment while wearing knee-high platform boots for extra, um, leverage. As a bonus you might even get paid for their use of your facilities.

  24. #24
    *Flashaholic* precisionworks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Machine shop projects

    Quote Originally Posted by fyrstormer View Post
    Invite SuicideGirls for a photo shoot and have them pose looking like they're using the equipment while wearing knee-high platform boots for extra, um, leverage. As a bonus you might even get paid for their use of your facilities.
    If you'll take care of this I'll be eternally grateful. Let me check my wife's calendar to see when she'll next be out of town

    Until then, here's the street view:



    Machine shop area behind the small overhead door, welding & fabrication room behind the larger door. Commute from the house ... about 50m

    Size is 30' x 70' (9m x 21m) with 9' (2.75m) sidewalls. Central heat & air conditioning, full bath room, small kitchen.
    Last edited by precisionworks; 05-31-2012 at 07:39 PM.
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    Default Re: Machine shop projects

    Quote Originally Posted by precisionworks View Post
    If you'll take care of this I'll be eternally grateful. Let me check my wife's calendar to see when she'll next be out of town

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Machine shop projects

    Quote Originally Posted by precisionworks View Post
    Anyone who looked at that would never send in any work
    Trust me guys, Barry is being very modest. I live close by (fortunately) and get to visit his shop often. It is very organized and very well laid out. The only problem is, half the time I visit the shop I end up buying something.

  27. #27
    *Flashaholic* precisionworks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Machine shop projects

    The old girl with a fresh coat of paint





    25" chuck with 11" bore on the back side of the spindle:



    I'd call this a big jaw:

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  28. #28
    *Flashaholic* fyrstormer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Machine shop projects

    That jaw is huge, and it tells me your hand looks mighty tasty. I'd keep my eye on it if I were you.

  29. #29
    *Flashaholic* precisionworks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Machine shop projects

    Quote Originally Posted by fyrstormer View Post
    That jaw is huge, and it tells me your hand looks mighty tasty.
    LOL

    Most everything they turn is 4140HT, about Rockwell C 28-32. Their average part is about 6' (2m) long but it isn't unusual to work on parts twice that length. Threading is done close to the front chuck & that imposes a tremendous load on the rear chuck if most of the part is left sticking out. A bearing failed last year on one of the machines ... $5000 USD for the bearing & another $5000 for installation.
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  30. #30
    *Flashaholic* precisionworks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Machine shop projects

    I love the smell of hot compressors in the morning. It reminds me of victory

    Started this job early yesterday morning because a refrigerated air dryer was down & the factory uses lots of air. Determined that the problem was a bad cooling fan & ordered the new fan for A.M. delivery today. Outside temps are running around 90°F at noon but compressor room temp is 25° higher because of the heat of compression & waste heat.

    Had a small battle fitting the new motor in place. Even though it was listed as "direct replacement" it took an hour longer than planned, most of that bent over doubled while sweat poured down my face. Image below shows a 10hp rotary screw at far left, refrigerated dryer in the middle tan cabinet, a pair of 500 gallon air storage tanks stacked on the right & the corner of a 25hp rotary screw is just visible.

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