Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Some Quick Clamps

I needed some clamps for holding word down on a sub plate that were less time consuming to adjust for workpiece thickness. This type of clamp is available commercially (Rite-Hite, etc) but at their simplest they can be made from tubing.


Sawing some scrap thick wall aluminum tube that was handy.


Sawn into thirds


Slotting on the Taig mill.


I radiused the ends and deburred on my belt grinder.


In an ideal world I’d make some washers that had a concave radius to match the pipe sections. But no need for now.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Shimming The Dovetail To Align The Y Axis


Refer to my setup guides, V1, V2 part 1, V2 Part 2 first.


Sweep the indicator mounted in the spindle on the Y-axis. A 6” parallel is useful as you gain some diameter.


Note whether it’s higher in the back or the front.


Remove the headstock, revealing the dovetail plate.


Loosen the screws on the plate and insert a shim. Start with a .001” thick shim.


Depending on the condition you may have to shim the top or the bottom. You will have to realign the dovetail plate in X after this and tram again. This can make you crazy and you will probably have to do this a couple of times.  Don’t try to get it perfect.


Here’s a shim peeking out from under my headstock.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Joseph Osborn’s Indexing Pin Setup

Joseph writes:

I finally got my index pin block made. After failing to find any suitable aluminum locally, I had to get it online. I used your affiliate link with Online Metals, so you should get a royalty from the sale. I made the block as simply as I could; the brass pin fits tightly enough that I don't think it needs a clamp. The diameter of my pin (3/16") was just on the edge of being too big: three holes stacked together leaves very little metal between them. If I ever make another one I'll use a 5/32" pin and holes.

josborn03 josborn04

Clint Chron’s Taig Lathe & Project

Clint Says:

The motor setup is the Penn Industries unit with controller. I have attached one more picture of my setup. I had always wanted a Unimat lathe for the past 40 years, but never could afford one. Started looking on eBay last January and saw the very high prices for used units, so I ended up with the Taig. I made a storage box similar to the Unimat from a surplus high quality cabinet drawer.

cchron01 cchron02

The tool is about 95% finished - not perfect, but very usable. I need to shave off about 3/1000" from one side in order to minimize the run-out as I rotate the block. I have attached some pictures of the unit and my facing setup. I went back and used a different tool for the facing. Was using the standard Taig cutoff tool - about 1/8" wide at the tool end. Used a HF tool that had about 1/4" wide end. You can see the bigger tool in the pictures.

I am getting the hang of making very small incremental advances for each cutting. I need to look at getting a better way to make small movements on the cross-slide that attaches the tool post. Using the cutting tool in the tool post might be better than using the Taig fly cutter. I think that I can work on bigger pieces of flat stock, plus having the cutting tool stationary might be better as opposed to having it rotate on the head stock. You would have a much better idea on this.

This has sure been a good training exercise for me. I still need to get better at using the Taig boring bar. It is really too big to start with small holes and I had trouble with cutting off the first part of the hole while trying to cut off deeper into the hole. I picked up a blank stock and will try to make one that can start with a 1/4" OD hole. BTW - I have some countersink deburring tools coming - using drill bits just does not work too good :-).

cchron03 cchron04 cchron05 cchron06

Bob Eckstein’s Vortex Cold Air Gun

Bob says:

I have recently made several small vortex tubes which provide a stream of cold air that can be directed at cutting heads, lathe tooling etc. where you may not want to use a flowing liquid or spray for purposes of lubrication and/or cooling. The exit air is much colder than can be obtained by adiabatic expansion through a simple orifice. The model shown uses a little under 4 cfm. @ 90 psi. Depending on your source of compressed air, you can attach any of a variety or adapters to the inlet tube by way of compression fittings, solder, etc. Commercially available vortex tubes are pretty expensive, and this one is under $25.00 ( less if you raid the junk box ) The inlet tube is 1/8 brass tubing with an insert of 1/16 tubing sweat soldered inside it. The nozzle is protruding 1/16 tubing cut at a 30 degree angle. The solder I use is a 4% silver bearing alloy. The brass tubing may be found in craft / hobby supply shops ( K&S product ). Bob Eckstein

Vortex01 Vortex02 Vortex03Vortex05 Vortex04 Vortex06 Vortex07

Some Links

   Ken Ferrell, Woodchuck Tools, sells wood turning tools made on his Taig Mill.

Thomas Performance Parts makes motorcycle tools on a Taig Mill

Todd Schultz makes live centers for the Taig:

Live Center TSP&B Concave

Live center Lrg head[1]

Live center extended point

He doesn’t have a website but can be contacted at