Decision Making Process for buying a New Workshop Asset

While reading a hobby related magazine I saw the following note that I think speaks volumes  …..

When deciding whether or not to buy a new piece of kit for the workshop ask yourself three questions  :-

Do I need this tool ?

Do I want this tool ?

Can I justify this tool ?

If the answer to any of the above is ‘possibly’ then buy it.

If the answer to any of the above is ‘no’ then ignore it as it is probably a statistical anomaly.

If you feel you cannot afford to buy it then tell yourself you are in danger of becoming a cheapskate and buy it anyway.

Enough said ?

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Tooling Day

Each of my CNC mills has a home designed and produced tooling plate.  Both have a 25mm pitch matrix of tapped mounting holes and a further submatrix of 3.7mm tooling pin holes.   Why 3.7mm ?  So I can turn down 4mm silver steel for the tooling pins to create a retaining shoulder.

My small CNC plate has M5 tapped holes and the Tormach 440 has M8 tapped holes.   What struct me was that I has starting to create dual sets of hold down tooling, some with M5 and some with M8 mounting holes.   Not a good idea. (Entertaining and therapeutic though it might be to have ‘tooling days’).

Clearly a mounting with M8 holes was not much use with tooling having M5 mounting holes but the other way round would work if I had M8 to M5 adaptors.

As a result I have spent the day creating adaptors which you could call male and female.   Both are made from M8 hex head tensile screws with the female ones retaining the M8 head and the male ones utilising the cut off portion of thread.  I had to undercut the thread ends behind the heads so the female adaptors would sit flush.  Having undercut I then skimmed all the tops of the hex heads to be same depth.

All the turning was done with the ER25 collet chuck instead of the 3 jaw which is normally fitted to the Myford.  The male adaptor versions were a pain to turn down to M5 diameter and had to be done incrementally as the M8 threaded end could not be heavily gripped in the collet.

The female versions are quite useful if a job is being run on the Tormach that needs suspending above the table so it can machined to full stock depth.

Nothing revolutionary or original but a day well spent.

A picture explains : –

Male and female M8 to M5 adaptors

M8 to M5 adaptors in place on the Tormach tooling plate

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Microscope Update – Stand arrived

I had previously posted about the low cost HD microscope that I had bought to see if was any good.   For the price I was impressed by the microscope but not by the stand that came with it.  It only needed to be breathed on to wobble and the fixing was poor.

While browsing Amazon I spotted a more conventional looking stand for sale.  This was sold as being aluminium but when it arrived this morning this was a bit creative being mostly plastic.   However the microscope fits into the cup holder mounting and it makes a dramatic difference to the stability and therefore the usability of the microscope.   You can preset the height with a knob on the rear and then there is a rack knob to move the scope up and down.   You can focus using the microscope control or on the stand rack knob.

It is now a stable device to use and for the price of the microscope and the stand it is a useful addition to the tools available.   The stand comes with a calibration sheet to allow you get a feel for the magnification factor.   The picture below is displaying a 200um circle.

A 200um circle being displayed

 

Side view of the microscope stand

Stand link : –

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01HI2HYDS/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Microscope link : –

https://us.banggood.com/Wholesale-Warehouse-Mustool-G600-Digital-Portable-1-600X-3_6MP-Microscope-Continuous-Magnifier-with-4_3inch-HD-OLED-Display-wp-Usa-1119592.html?rmmds=myorder

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Microscope Addition to Assets

I often have a look on Banggood for tooling items for the workshop but the other day a low cost microscope caught my eye.   I regularly get thin slivers of brass and steel in my hands and fingers and they are a real pain to find never mind remove.   I thought for the price being asked this microscope might make a low risk purchase to help my failing eyesight.

It arrived today, looked really cheap and nasty out of the box yet I am staggered by what it does.   The screen is HD and there is a card slot for local storage.   You can record stills or video.   Have a look at the following link : –

https://us.banggood.com/Wholesale-Warehouse-Mustool-G600-Digital-Portable-1-600X-3_6MP-Microscope-Continuous-Magnifier-with-4_3inch-HD-OLED-Display-wp-Usa-1119592.html?rmmds=myorder

I will be using it for media shots on my blog that’s for sure.

Microscope set up out of the box showing part of a US 1 cent piece

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Abrafile Replacement using Axminster Coping Saw

Read how I modified a standard Axminster Japanese Free-Way coping saw to replace an Abrafile.

Axminster, Abrafile
Overall view of the modified Axminster Free-Way Japanese Coping Saw

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