Clocks all Change – Reading Memorial Clock

The last weekend in October is clocks change here in the UK with a one hour shift back to GMT.   For those that remember to do it, this delivers an extra hour in bed but it is a pain to change traditional clocks one hour back.   This is even more so with Turret Clocks such as those on churches and ancient buildings.   The easiest solution is to stop the mechanism on Sunday and come back to it on Monday one hour earlier to restart it.   While this is the easiest method it does upset these ancient mechanisms that have just had 6 months of stable running.  The alternative is to wind the mechanism forward 11 hours and drive those in earshot scatty with all the bell chimes one after another.

I was very fortunate to be invited by David Pawley to help him reset some of the clocks on his maintenance list and one in particular impressed me.  This is the Memorial Clock at Reading University.   The clock tower was built circa 1920 as a memorial clock to all those associated with Reading University that had not returned from the Great War.  There are some 101 names recorded from WW1 and further names from WW2 and latterly from Afghanistan.   It is a beautiful clock and a fitting memorial.   The only sad aspect was that its enormous bell is muted these days so as not to disturb patients at the neighbouring Royal Berks hospital. 

Reading University Memorial Clock

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NYC CNC Ding Video

First day back in the workshop after the holiday and I think I left my brain on a beach somewhere …. acute lack of thinking lead to poor stock referencing on the mill tooling table leading to broken tools and messed up material.   Much gloom and doom ensued.

In my frustration I walked away from the machine and thought instead I would catch up on NYC CNC activity while I had been away.   John had posted a video of CNC crashes that they had experienced.   I sat twitching and cringing and came away from watching it feeling so much better.

John does regular Wednesday Widget and Friday Fusion sessions and I have recommended to him he adds Thursday Therapy as a new series.

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Golf Caddy Locks and Ring Lights

Golf Caddy Locks

We have a couple of rigid golf caddy cases that take a full golf bag plus whatever else you can squeeze in when going on a holiday trip.   Last trip to Hawaii this included lots of shoes, snorkels, flippers etc.   These have or at least had two cabinet style locks on them but not anymore.  Customs / security at Seattle decided they wanted to have a look inside and took the easy option and smashed the locks off, had a look inside and then Gaffa taped the case back up.  Lovely.

Everything arrived home safely with nothing missing but now the debate on how to replace the locks.  Clearly the idea of locking them does not go down well with baggage security teams.   I have knocked up a design in Fusion that only needs a single cable tie to make it secure.  I have 3D printed a concept model from the Fusion design and I have now run the finished items in aluminium using the Tormach CNC.   I used a combination of CNC and manual milling to get the results and this highlighted once again that the combination of a CNC and manual is incredibly useful.

Gold caddy with 3D printed trial lock in place

 

Close up of the prototype lock without the peripheral shaping

 

Fusion 360 representation of the lock design without the locating pins and hinge pin.
Replacement latches for golf caddy security

 

Ring Lights

have been receiving requests for my machine spindle illumination lights using car headlight ring light clusters and have got the process fairly slick. 

 I first of all edit the centre clearance hole in the boss in Fusion in preparation for printing.  I then 3D print the power supply box and lid and while putting this together I get the boss print underway.  The boss takes around 7 hours to print on standard quality.  .   Given the amount of interest being shown I think a formal write up would be useful for others with perhaps the Fusion file as a download.  Working on it and more to follow. 

New ring light off the production line. Note that the baking foil reflector is getting easier to do.

Update – the ring lights are available on Amazon at around GBP14 per pair and you can select diameter (and colour).  Buy the largest diameter you can so that there is reduced shadowing around the tool point in the mill or drill press.  They are cheaper to buy on EBay from China but there is a longer delivery time.

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Hawaii, Combine Harvesting and Alibre v Fusion 360

Hawaii Ironman and Seattle

Having got home from Chicago I had a few weeks at home before we left for Hawaii where my son was participating in the Ironman World Championships.  This is a crazy triathlon event in 30 degree heat and he finished in just over 9 hours.

We played a few rounds of golf on the Makalei course on Hawaii which is at 2500 feet above sea level. Sometimes in sunshine, sometimes cloud and sometimes hissing down with rain all of which made it challenging.   We also visited Pearl Harbour which was quite moving and this included visiting the Aviation Museum on Ford Field.

No visit to Hawaii by a Brit would be complete without a visit to the Captain Cook monument in Kealakekua Bay.  We completely misjudged the arduous terrain we would experience in getting down to the monument and nearly came to grief with dusk fast approaching.

Captain Cook Monument Inscription Plaque in Hawaii

On the way home from Hawaii we stopped over in Seattle for a few days which was a culture shock on body temperature.   We visited the Pacific Science Museum and the Space Needle plus a tour of the Boeing works as part of the stay.  The PSM is brilliant for kids (and OAPs).

All in all a good trip but will now be glad to get back in the workshop.

CAD & Farming

Being away home and more precisely away from the workshop, allowed me to do a few write ups that might be of interest and both of which were stimulated by reading forum posts on MEW.  My waffle would have been too long to post in the normal way.

The first write up is about CAD/CAM and my concern that there will probably be unfilled expectations from the news about Alibre doing a special deal for MEW readers.

To 3D CAD or Not

The second write up is about harvest time in North Yorkshire that is based on my younger days in a farming family.  This has been on the stocks for some time and the posting on the forum kicked me into finishing it off.

combines and harvest

Hope you enjoy these two missives and more proper stuff from the workshop soon.

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IMTS 2018 Manufacturing Fair in Chicago

My visit to the MHUB/NYC CNC event also allowed me to visit the IMTS 2018 manufacturing show in Chicago.   My goodness what an event.  Lots of walking and lots of drooling over the latest technology for wasting metal.   Some of the machines were almost as large as my home in the UK.   I have never seen so many cutting tools.

I did fall in love however …. with the Datron Neo milling machine.  It has a small footprint but a big punch with a 40k RPM spindle, 24 position tool changer with tool checking and an astonishingly elegant software user interface.  It is way out of my pocket but for a small prototyping shop or educational establishment I think it will be very attractive.

I also picked up a Centroid Acorn OEM machine controller board which looks like a panacea for Mach3/4 based systems.  More will follow on this as we get to grips with it.

So a good trip all round.  Two good events.  Two aching feet.  Some nice memories of a very beautiful city.

‘The Bean’ on the Chicago lake front.

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