You might recall that last week I took delivery of a brand new Grizzly G0463 Mill/Drill, also known as Sieg X3 or Sieg Small Mill. Once the mill was thoroughly cleaned, lubricated and put back together it was time to tram the column and the spindle. This step is often missed by new machine owners, but without proper alignment the mill will newer be able to produce accurate work. For instance, if the column is not square, center of the spindle (and thus the cutter) will shift in the horizontal plane as the head is lowered, so the dimensions will be off. On the other hand, when the spindle is at an angle, the holes won't be perpendicular to the table and fly cutters will produce concave surfaces. Fortunately, tramming the X3, although a bit fiddly, isn't very difficult and doesn't require any exotic tools. In fact all you would need is a machinists square, a dial test indicator and a way to hold it [the indicator].
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Sunday, March 10, 2013
|Grizzly G0463 on the shipping pallet|
A few weeks ago, after admitting to myself that I’ve outgrown my little Harbor Freight Mini Mill I decided to sell it [on Craig’s List] and get a larger milling machine. A few hours later, after a number of back and forth text messages it was spoken for and I officially became mill-less. My whole metal shop has to fit along one wall of a two car garage, Bridgeport type milling machines are pretty much out of question. From the get go a friend categorically talked me out of a round column mill/drill, so my choices were limited to Sieg X3, Sieg SX3, a Rung Fu 45 clone or one of the smaller knee mills. After some soul searching I realized that for my projects X3 is the most practical choice. Although pretty small, as far as metal mills are concerned, it still provides somewhat larger work envelope and the design seems to address most, if not all, of my pet peeves with the Mini Mill. On the other hand it’s still light enough to be moved by a few people etc.
After the budget was approved by the accounting department (AKA my wife) I went to Grizzly.com to place an order for a brand-spanking-new G0463. The order was placed late on Sunday, March 3rd and at 8:30 AM on Tuesday (yes, in two day) FedEx called to schedule the delivery. I opted for a “customer pickup” and at noon the same day a friendly FedEx employee was loading it into my truck.
Monday, February 25, 2013
It's been more than two months since the initial release of my Android Digital Readout application Touch DRO. The first version was very basic, offering only a few functions commonly found on a digital caliper. After bit over two months of work I'm getting close to releasing a new version. The new version has a number of bug fixes and improvements, as well as some long overdue features, such as point memory, position preset and the so-called 1/2 function.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Last week I posted my progress cleaning the apron on my “new” Jet 1024P lathe. As I said, I am very pleased with the overall condition and build quality. As I was putting the apron back together I realized that there are no provisions to oil the insides once it's coupled with the saddle. The only way to get any lubricant into the apron is through the opening around the cross slide screw, but it is normally covered with a piece of sheep metal bolted to the saddle. Getting to it isn't very convenient, but even once the cover is removed only some of the gears are accessible.
Saturday, February 16, 2013
|You won't believe it, but there is an apron under all this gunk.|
When I purchased my Jet 1024P lathe a few weeks ago I pretty much knew that I will spend hours and hours bringing it back to a serviceable condition. Although the important parts of the lathe appeared to be in good condition, there was something loose in the apron. Engaging one of the power feeds made horrible grinding noise. It didn't feel like a broken gear or a missing tooth, so my guess was a loose key or something similar. Before spending time on anything else, I decided to dig into the apron. Taking it off the lathe didn't take much effort: after removing the lead screw, I had to loosen two hex screws on the top and the apron readily disconnected from the rest of the carriage assembly.