I've started working on a George Thomas style Pillar tool that can be
made on the lathe and mill.
My recent bout of insanity consists of wanting to build a Pillar Tool
using my Taig lathe and mill. Right off the bat I looked at the price of
castings and the difficulty of machining large bits of cast iron and
then thought aluminum. I had some chunks of cast aluminum, being cheap
with a small shop I don't have any power cutting tools so I used a
hacksaw. I sawed up 3 pieces of aluminum 1 1/2" thick x 5" long. It took
20 minutes each... Good exercise!
For most anything we do on Sherline and Taig sized machines, why not use
a hacksaw? Cheap, reliable and very safe.
The top and the bottom must be parallel, so I bolted the chunks directly
to the mill table and flycut them off. I also flycut the sides, but I
the Taig vise for that excersise since that was more a cosmetic
operation. There is no easy way on the Taig mill to flycut off something
the table and I don't have an endmill that's long enough either, so I
faced off the ends on the lathe, using it like a horizontal mill.
I've also added some new tips and such to the site.