A Very Old Burgess Bandsaw

I had a contact through my blog from a gentleman who had inherited a Burgess Bandsaw. I have published various support details for the BK3 so he was curious about the model in his possession and he sent me some pictures as shown below.

I have never seen this model before. The BK1 through BK3 all have a belt drive from the motor but this one has a chain drive. The shape of the housing is much more curved and both the blade wheels look to be cast and perforated rather than being plastic. It is clearly a very early model, probably before the design went through a manufacturing cost reduction.

The manufacturers plate suggests this is Serial #225.

If anyone knows the likely history of this version I would be interested to know more details.

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Three axis stepper controller PCB in stock

Some while ago I described how I had fitted stepper motors to my Myford VMB milling machine. It was not the intention to convert the mill to CNC but simply to give my arms a rest winding handles back and forth. This was particularly so with the Z axis. The secondary advantage is that the motor driven movement leaves a much smoother finish than my hit and miss erratic winding of the hand wheels.

The design is Arduino based and allows selection of a single axis at a time with variable speed control in forward or reverse direction together with the option to fit limit switches/emergency stop facilities. The PCB, with appropriate stepper hardware, could be applied to any other machine needing motorised movement.

You can read the full article here.

Following some recent publicity of the conversion, I received a number of requests for the unpopulated printed circuit board. I now have a few of these left in stock if anyone is feeling adventurous. Here is a view of the external connections needed.

This conversion started off as a ‘I wonder if I can’ and is now probably one of my favourite projects in terms of its impact on my day to day use of the VMB.

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Simple Water Level Sensor for Live Steam Locos

While coming to the end of a running session of my 5″ loco at the club raised level track I suddenly realised the axle pump was not making its normal rattling noise. Water level was likely very low and there appeared very little in the glass sight gauge. My state of panic endured until I reached the filler hose.

On returning home to the workshop I resolved to try to make this alarm situation more readily visible. The common solution is to add a second sight glass feeding from the water tank and visible in the ‘cab’. My engine did not have a great deal of room for this addition.

Sacrilegiously I began to consider an electronic solution which probably wouldn’t make me popular with the mechanical diehards but the challenge appealed.

The electronic solution turned out to be a multi faceted activity. An initial bird’s nest lash up was followed by a PCB designed in Fusion 360 Electrical. The PCB was milled on my vacuum table fitted to the Tormach 440 with the Gerber and Epsilon files converted to GCode using FlatCAM. Having completed the PCB board this led to a customised enclosure designed in Fusion 360 and 3D printed in the Qidi X Smart 3.

The circuit is a NPN transistor that is turned on by water conduction between two sensor probes which in turn drives a second NPN to illuminate a flashing LED. The module is powered by a CR2025 button cell.

The enclosure consists of three parts, the base, a snap on lid and a round boss that matches the diameter of the water filling hole on the engine side tank. The two water sensing probes are made from 16 swg wire protruding from the boss.

The round boss is held in place with a M2.5 countersink screw and could be dimensioned to suit different sized filler holes. Having it as a separately printed item is also useful in that it allows the enclosure base to be 3D printed without support.

Here is are some views of the completed assembly.

It seems to work quite well and is surprising sensitive down to the last few millimetres of the probe rods. Time will tell.

If you want more details then please send me a message.

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