Sunday, September 29, 2013

The arrival of Cecil

For a long time, my machining capabilities have been limited. I did not have a mill. I did have a lathe. In a lathe, the cutter stays put and the work rotates. So you turn stuff. Candlesticks, for instance. A mill is exactly the opposite. The cutter roates and the work stays put. You mill stuff on a mill. I have a milling attachment for the lathe, seen in previous posts; but the travel is extremely limited. I made do with it for a long time, but finally Fluffy found me a tremendous deal on a Proxxon mill. Now as mills go this is micro. But my little metalworking shop (a hallway) has no room for, say, a Bridgeport mill of any size, plus the floor would collapse under its weight! Even a Chinese cheapo mill is a bit too big, plus it is very expensive. The shipping costs more than the mill!

So as soon as the mill got there, John christened it Cecil B. de Mille.

This baby is very small. Fortunately it comes with a whole lot of gadgets, among them a collet (kind of like a chuck) which accepts Dremel accessories.  So I ambled over to Home Depot when I was in Anchorage, and procured some usable cutters. Above Cecil is milling out some slots for my homemade steady rest for the lathe. I am using a Dremel router bit, which cuts aluminum very easily.

OK, time for a harder test. I must make a stand for my lightweight dial indicator ("clock"), and the hard part of that is milling out the clamps.  First thing I found out is that my Taig milling vise actually fits Cecil. The difference is only a few tenths of mm. BTW, Cecil is metric. And he has zero-able dials! Heaven at last.  One turn of the dials is one millimeter. No more of this "one turn of the dial is 1/20 inch". Lemme see. Ah yes .05 inch. Why these RGU I cannot understand. Why make things so complicated? Why use fractions at all? (Rant off now.)
Anyway, above, I am using a Dremel saw attachment to slit the clamps. Note the Taig vise. I built a table for Cecil. and will sometime soon add a drawer to it. The clamps are brass. But Cecil rips right through it. I am soooo pleased with Cecil. Thanks, Fluffy, for locating this jewel.

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