Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pete Rees' Mill Accessories

Pete Rees sent in these pictures of some of his modifications to the Taig Mill:

"Some stops to limit table travel in the X direction on the mill. I have seen a few variations done by other Taig owners on your web site. Here is what I came up with. Since the T-slot in the front of the table will only accept a 4-40 size screw, and I wanted the stops to be as ridged and repeatable as possible, I decided to use two screws per stop. Each block is 1" long and 1/2" high and sticks out from the front edge of the table 1/2". Both screws thread into the same "nut" as you can see in the exploded view picture. I made two of them. They are plenty rigid and work great."

"T-nuts and clamps for the table. I decided to use 1/4-20 hardware, so the T-nuts are threaded for that size. I made them (and the clamps and table stops) from 12L14 steel. The threads stop just short of going all the way thru, so that the studs bottom out before making contact with the bottom of the table T-slot - just like the "real" ones for the bigger mills. They are also 1" long - probably overkill, but that's not a bad thing, right? It gives them lots of contact area with the table, and being so long, they will never ding up the sides of the T-slots from twisting forces when tightening down the nuts. The clamps are also basically just copies of full size versions. I looked and looked but could not find any where that sold them sized for 1/4" fasteners, so I made my own. However, since I made them, I now see that A2Z CNC has some extremely nice adjustable "rite height" style clamps for sale. Had those been available at the time, I would have purchased those. I may still yet.To go with the T-nuts and clamps, I bought an assortment of different length studs, swivel-flange nuts, and coupler nuts from McMaster-Carr. Also, McMaster has some very nice American Made "Taig size" step blocks. Those work great, too. Whoever invented those was a genius!"

"For a vice, I currently only have one - a 2" precision "screwless" vice. I think, if I remember correctly, it was made in India. It works great - no complaints. Although I needed to make some clamps to attach it to the table. I made 4 identical clamps from aluminum. If the vice is going to be clamped on the ends, I use 2 clamps. But if I need to rotate it 90 degrees, I use 2 clamps on each side, for a total of 4."

"My 'poor man's' parallels - pieces of square key stock, cut to 2" lengths. I have a selection of 1/4", 3/8", and 1/2" pieces. They seem to work fine with as much precision as I need. They can be used either as one pair, or stacked up on top of each other - I.E. stack a 1/4 on top of a 3/8 to get 5/8."

"My cheapest and easiest mod to the mill (free!!): I wanted some kind of shield or cover to protect the bottom area of the Z lead screw and ways. I'm almost embarrassed to show you what I came up with. In the one photo with the vise in the foreground and the Subway cups (for swarf) in the background, you can see my solution - a 6" wide by 3.5" high piece of cardboard form a cereal box held in place by scotch tape. Don't laugh! It works great! It rarely gets in the way, but if it does, pealing the tape off takes all of 5 seconds. Some day I will make a nicer version out of similar rubber to match the other covers."

"I knew even before I got the lathe what my first project was going to be - a pair of extra heavy duty washers to replace the original two that hold the mill motor to its mount. The new ones are very thick and work good."

"A holder which mounts a dial indicator to the mill table to monitor X travel. This is way more complex than it needed to be, but I wanted to make it that way just for the challenge. Lots of hours in that part. Initially, most of the big areas were removed by very carefully using a hack saw. It is symmetrical, side to side, and can be mounted either on the left side of the table (as shown in the photo) or on the right side."

Thanks Pete!

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