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What to Buy

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  • Kevin Gregg <mrcodewiz@yahoo.com>
    Hello everyone! I just joined and I am a complete Newbie so don t be too hard on me. I am thinking about getting a lathe and/or mill and i have digested so
    Message 1 of 5 , Dec 10, 2002
      Hello everyone! I just joined and I am a complete Newbie so don't be
      too hard on me. I am thinking about getting a lathe and/or mill and
      i have digested so much information that I have reached overload.
      The only lathe I have used is a Sherline and it seemed pretty nice,
      but now that I have read up on them I think I will go with Taig which
      leads me to one question on the Taig: The Sherline hand cranks were
      marked so you could see how far you were moving but it looks like the
      Taig is not set up this way. how do you measure your travel? My
      next question is, what should I get?? I was leaning toward the
      beginner package on the Carter tools site. My interests are mostly
      firearm based projects. I bought a flashhider from a guy a while
      back who had used a mill and lathe and I thought that was pretty
      cool. For that, the beginner set looked adequate (except I would
      need the threading accessory). Eventually, I would like to get into
      some things that require a mill like working on 80% receivers. Would
      the mill attachment suffice for something like that or would I need
      to get the actual mill? So many questions...


      Thanks,
      Kevin
    • Tom Benedict
      ... Quick! What s the coefficient of thermal expansion for 6061 T651 aluminum!! Just kidding. I swear I won t give you a hard time. ... Man, I know what you
      Message 2 of 5 , Dec 10, 2002
        On Tue, 10 Dec 2002, Kevin Gregg <mrcodewiz@...> wrote:

        > Hello everyone! I just joined and I am a complete Newbie so don't be
        > too hard on me.

        Quick! What's the coefficient of thermal expansion for 6061 T651
        aluminum!! Just kidding. I swear I won't give you a hard time.

        > I am thinking about getting a lathe and/or mill and i have digested so
        > much information that I have reached overload.

        Man, I know what you mean. And since you're in a state of total mental
        overload, I'll go ahead and give you one more: If anyone here hasn't
        picked up a Lindsay catalog, it's well worth it. My tools are still in
        transit, so I've been doing very little except reading about machining.
        After a hundred pages of "Gear Cutting Practice", about all my head's good
        for is pounding my desk.

        > The only lathe I have used is a Sherline and it seemed pretty nice, but
        > now that I have read up on them I think I will go with Taig which leads
        > me to one question on the Taig: The Sherline hand cranks were marked so
        > you could see how far you were moving but it looks like the Taig is not
        > set up this way. how do you measure your travel?

        One is and one isn't. This is one of my least favorite features of the
        Taig, but to be honest there's so much backlash in the rack and pinion
        feed that moves the carriage down the bed, I don't know if graduating it
        would've helped me. The Sherline uses a leadscrew for this, so a
        graduated handwheel worked quite well.

        How does one measure travel? There have been a couple of fixes for this.
        At least one person has graduated their handwheel. Apparently it works
        quite well. My fix was to mount two 2" dial indicators on my lathe so I
        could directly measure travel. I think a more elegant solution would be
        to get some quill DROs and put one on each axis. It would give better
        results than the indicators, and as these come up on Ebay for less than a
        hundred apiece, it's not a bad fix.

        > My next question is, what should I get?? I was leaning toward the
        > beginner package on the Carter tools site. My interests are mostly
        > firearm based projects. I bought a flashhider from a guy a while back
        > who had used a mill and lathe and I thought that was pretty cool. For
        > that, the beginner set looked adequate (except I would need the
        > threading accessory). Eventually, I would like to get into some things
        > that require a mill like working on 80% receivers. Would the mill
        > attachment suffice for something like that or would I need to get the
        > actual mill? So many questions...

        Mmmm... I've never done firearms, so I can't answer that one for you.
        The milling attachment only has about 1.75" of travel on it, and it's not
        the most rigid thing in the world. If you're talking about cutting steel,
        I'd definitely lean toward getting a mill.

        Tom
      • pt_green <pt_green@yahoo.com>
        Gotta be honest here (i m highly critical sometimes so....) the milling attachement is not worth it. Maybe, with enough time and work spent on setting it up
        Message 3 of 5 , Dec 12, 2002
          Gotta be honest here (i'm highly critical sometimes so....) the
          milling attachement is not worth it. Maybe, with enough time and work
          spent on setting it up you could make reasonable accurate work, but
          it's just not worth it. because if you ever remove it you get to
          spend X hours trying to get it accurate enough, and it just does do
          accurate work (though anything can be *made* accurate with enough
          time) If you are going to be making metal peices that have to fit
          together (gunsmithing) then a full sized mill is the only way to go -
          save yourself the frustrations. The most expensive thing is time -
          don't waste it, get a mill

          You may want to start out with the lathe and get your feet wet there.
          While I am **satisfied** with the Taig lathe I have, it's not the
          most feature packed piece of equiptment. To be honest (again) if the
          sherline will handle most of your work that's probably a better
          option (although a bit more expensive). If you need something that is
          a little more robust and don't mind some hassle, The Taig will do.
          Bear in mind that my biggest complaint is that there's no way to
          measure the travel of the cut lengthwise on a piece you are working
          on untill you stop, measure, cut some more, etc. The rack/pinion
          method used by taig can also make heavier cutting into a piece a pain.


          On the other hand, the Taig mill looks to be the winner vs. the
          sherline. I ordered mine awhile back and will let you guys know how
          it goes.

          Someone mentioned getting a Quill DRO set for the Mill, I'm putting a
          3 axis DRO system together that will also display spindle RPM and 4th
          axis rotational movements, if it turns out as well as I intend it I
          might offer up a kit to assemble it - my goal is for it to be able to
          do more than the sherline DRO, as or more accurately (.0005
          resolution at least), and cost less (under $250).



          PTG

          --- In taigtools@yahoogroups.com, "Kevin Gregg <mrcodewiz@y...>"
          <mrcodewiz@y...> wrote:
          > Hello everyone! I just joined and I am a complete Newbie so don't
          be
          > too hard on me. I am thinking about getting a lathe and/or mill
          and
          > i have digested so much information that I have reached overload.
          > The only lathe I have used is a Sherline and it seemed pretty nice,
          > but now that I have read up on them I think I will go with Taig
          which
          > leads me to one question on the Taig: The Sherline hand cranks
          were
          > marked so you could see how far you were moving but it looks like
          the
          > Taig is not set up this way. how do you measure your travel? My
          > next question is, what should I get?? I was leaning toward the
          > beginner package on the Carter tools site. My interests are
          mostly
          > firearm based projects. I bought a flashhider from a guy a while
          > back who had used a mill and lathe and I thought that was pretty
          > cool. For that, the beginner set looked adequate (except I would
          > need the threading accessory). Eventually, I would like to get
          into
          > some things that require a mill like working on 80% receivers.
          Would
          > the mill attachment suffice for something like that or would I need
          > to get the actual mill? So many questions...
          >
          >
          > Thanks,
          > Kevin
        • Kevin Gregg <mrcodewiz@yahoo.com>
          Which brand has the least amount of backlash?
          Message 4 of 5 , Dec 12, 2002
            Which brand has the least amount of backlash?
          • Tom Benedict
            ... Even that s hard to say. The backlash on the Taig is mechanically adjustable. Mine s right around 0.001 on all three axes. (Or it was the last time I
            Message 5 of 5 , Dec 12, 2002
              On Thu, 12 Dec 2002, Kevin Gregg <mrcodewiz@...> wrote:

              > Which brand has the least amount of backlash?

              Even that's hard to say. The backlash on the Taig is mechanically
              adjustable. Mine's right around 0.001" on all three axes. (Or it was the
              last time I saw it, anyway.) For traditional leadscrews, you never want
              to go to zero backlash, because that puts unnecessary wear and tear on the
              screw and the nut. Ballscrews are the exception since they have a rolling
              fit instead of a sliding fit, and are designed for zero backlash.

              That being said, most software can take backlash into account. Supercam
              and EMC both have backlash compensation. I'm 99.99% positive the MaxNC
              software does as well. (I'd be more than 0.01% suprised if it didn't.)
              Once you've measured the backlash in each axis and put that information
              into the control software, backlash is compensated for.

              Backlash compensation has its limitations, though. Backlash with
              compensation won't be as rigid as a system with no backlash at all. The
              play's still there, but the software is overdriving the axes to compensate
              for it.

              For the level of work I do, this is fine. If I can hold +/- 0.001" on a
              cut, I'm doing well. At that point the rigidity of my fixturing and the
              rigidity of the mill itself will probably have more of an effect than the
              backlash on the leadscrews.

              Keep in mind, until ballscrews came along, machine tools had backlash. It
              was a fact of life. Every manual mill I've ever used had it to some
              extent or another. The mill I learned on had something like 0.020" on the
              X axis. It was extreme, but so long as you knew it was there and acted
              accordingly, it really didn't affect the quality of the work being done.

              Tom
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