Sunday, November 18, 2012

Miracles with SuperGlue

I have this project. Unfortunately I cannot tell you why I have it or what its ultimate destiny may be. This is because what I am making could be for you! Keeping this blog going in the pre-Christmas months is a major headache. However, I can tell you this. I am making bearings. I have drilled out some steel rod to 3.15 mm which is some RGU. Now I have to cut a slot in the rod. I must mill this slot. I have the Taig lathe (on which I turned the bearings). I also have the vertical milling attachment. I refuse to buy the Taig mill. For one thing it costs $600. For another I have no place to put it! So we must make do with what we have.

For those of you who do not know the difference between a lathe and a mill: in the lathe the work rotates. The cutter stays put. So you turn objects of rotational symmetry, like cylinders. A mill works backwards. The cutter rotates and the work stays put. Aye, and there's the rub. Keeping the work put seems to be 99% of milling. So I have this cylinder, drilled out; I want to cut a slot in it along the long axis. Conventional wisdom says put I the cylinder in a V-block. Clamp it down. Yes, but my V-block clamp fouls. It hits the lathe, the chuck, everything. Can't do it. What now?

So there is a solution. Use super-glue! I actually super-glued the cylinder to the V-block. Then I clamped the V-block onto my home-built milling table. The aluminum clamper is starting to bend; must replace it with steel. No matter. It worked. I move the whole milling table up and down with its feedscrew. I am using a Taig milling cutter, about 1.6 mm wide. The Milling cutter is held by a Taig collet and I must say this is the first time I have found the Taig collets useful. They usually are either too small or too large.  Anyway, note the slips of paper between the clamping fixtures. These keep things from slipping and are very effective. Thanks to Myfordboy for that tip. See his blog, cited off this one.  Great source of information.

So I cut my slot. A bit too deep, but I can deal with that. Another use for my leadscrew, when I get it done.  Really have to hand it to superglue. In the end, superglue can be undone with heat. Just heat up with a butane torch.  Modern adhesives are a lifesaver.

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