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Gort's New Toy

A place to ask general spud cannon related questions.
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Gort's New Toy

Unread postAuthor: sgort87 » Wed Jul 07, 2010 8:12 am

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http://cgi.ebay.com/12-X-20-Combo-Metal ... 3a56f1a30b

I bought it.

I figured it was finally time to splurge on a piece of shop equipment that I should have been working with for a long time. I'm determined to use UHMW rod for my pistons, and my wood lathe is not doing it. It's eats UHMW for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and is probably going to kill me if I continue to work with it on there. Sure, the wood lathe is a great tool, and I'll continue using it for some things, but it's time to upgrade and make some better stuff.

So here's the question: What do you want to see come out of this? Product ideas, anyone?

I'd like to hear from anyone and everyone. Speak up, trolls. :P Throw me all your ideas. I can't wait to put this to your challenges!
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Last edited by sgort87 on Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postAuthor: Crna Legija » Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:08 am

whoa very nice, don't know much about lathes and stuff but it looks nice.
ill try get some pic of the lathe and mill we have at my new job, its massive.
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Unread postAuthor: inonickname » Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:10 am

Don't expect to machine extremely hard materials with the mill attachment. As a combination machine, it will particularly lack sturdiness in regards to the milling head.

I'd assume you have factored in tooling costs. If you have a bench grinder (and are fairly handy with it) you could try your hand at grinding your own tools from HSS blanks (this is very useful for making odd shaped cutters). But I can definitely recommend carbide (not those silly brazed ones, proper indexable inserts). The depth of cut, speed of cut and lifetime on them is amazing. Milling cutters (and collets especially) are a whole 'nother ball game. If you want a big collection, be prepared to splurge a lot of cash.

Of course, pistons. Perhaps rails/mounts for accessories like scopes, tac lights, grips, stocks etc. Nice machined barrel spacers, breeches, pretty fueling setups, muzzle brakes, spark strips, perhaps machining down existing PVC fittings (or making your own) for improved aesthetics..Truing and crowning the ends of barrels and chambers..

It's also excellent for sanding anything round on. Make sure you cover it before hand or clean it well after as grinding/sanding grit will slaughter the beds.
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Unread postAuthor: sgort87 » Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:22 am

I planned on making my own tools on my grinder. I'll really only be working with plastics, so I'm not too concerned about the mill's sturdiness or collecting expensive tools for it. Though, I still have to sharpen my tools every month or so, so maybe carbide is the way to go.

I wasn't expecting to use the mill part too much, but after seeing your suggestion list, it seems there's a bit more I can do with it than I had thought about.

I especially like that barrel support idea. What would you suggest as a method for making them easily?
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Unread postAuthor: Technician1002 » Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:27 am

Trust me on this one. For machining HDPE and other self lubricating plastic, don't trust the grip of the chuck. The stuff walks out of the chuck. Drill it and mount it on a threaded rod and chuck the rod. The plastic screwed onto a stick works better. The piston for my 2.5 inch walked out of the lathe chuck while I was trying to machine the OD.

Nice buy. Enjoy and be safe.

For projects, make a QDV.. I think you will like how it performs.
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Unread postAuthor: inonickname » Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:56 am

sgort87 wrote:I planned on making my own tools on my grinder. I'll really only be working with plastics, so I'm not too concerned about the mill's sturdiness or collecting expensive tools for it. Though, I still have to sharpen my tools every month or so, so maybe carbide is the way to go.

I wasn't expecting to use the mill part too much, but after seeing your suggestion list, it seems there's a bit more I can do with it than I had thought about.

I especially like that barrel support idea. What would you suggest as a method for making them easily?


If your mainly working with plastics then making your own tools won't be extremely time consuming. I work with (often extremely hard) metals a lot- particularly stainless, hardened and low grade high speed steels. For a lot of the exotic materials, only carbide will cut it. I tried using a HSS toolbit to clear the chrome plating from the outside of a hydraulic ram. It dulled in millimeters. With carbide it was running fast enough the chips were burning and the toolbit still made a good finish and didn't dull at all. If you choose carbide, keep a HSS blank or two (I have some 1/4" ones for final cuts and finishing). Also, being able to make the exact profile you need is often useful.

Well..the barrel supports. Start off with your plastic sheet in the appropriate thickness. Then I guess make a jig from card (or draw it in ACAD or similar) and lay it out onto the sheet. Endmills to do the flat sides (even that relatively small mill, even with cheap HSS bits will machine plastic with extreme ease). To do the radii of the barrel/chamber you could use a boring head or simply work the two feeds at once using an endmill. As a boring head is often extremely expensive you could probably use a fly cutter instead. They're dirt cheap. You could even make one easily.

@ Tech..I'm not sure I can wholeheartedly agree on that..I machine nylon extremely regularly and teflon or delrin occasionally..I have only experienced it moving in the chuck once while taking a far too deep facing cut too far away from the chuck (it was also a rectangular bar in a 3 jaw chuck- don't ask). But, it would be good to err on the side of caution.

Also..

Machined grips/carry handles..enclosures for ignition, mounts for fuel tanks and meters, custom chamber venting valves (like the one you use in the combustions you sell)..clean custom pilot valves..magazines.. With a lathe, your options are large. With a mill they multiply out exponentially (I wish I had a dedicated mill, I have to use a vertical mount that bolts to my lathe carriage..it suffers from sturdiness issues bigtime).

I quite like the thought of mounting rails such as picatinny, weaver, dovetails etc. I think a lot of (Americans) people would like the thought of being able to use the same grips, stocks, sights and lights they use on their AR15's and the like on the spudgun they purchase..
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Unread postAuthor: c11man » Wed Jul 07, 2010 10:32 am

well i have a project i need lathed but the parts need to be made out of steel. its not a complicated part just a harder material than plasitcs.
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Unread postAuthor: inonickname » Wed Jul 07, 2010 10:47 am

That lathe will do metals fine. If they were small parts I'd offer to do them, but as I'm not in the US (and Gort is) he would be the more economical option postage wise.

On that note, I'm thinking of offering a low cost machining service for Australia spudgunners/builders. Of course fairly innocuous parts only (I won't make a complete cannon and send it)..
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Unread postAuthor: c11man » Wed Jul 07, 2010 10:49 am

i know it will do metals fine but it sounded like he wasnt going to do much metal on it.

and the part i need is far from big as it is basicly a 7/8" cylinder with a oring groove. the hard part is the groove on the inside of a 3ft tube...
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Unread postAuthor: Moonbogg » Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:02 am

why hasn't anyone mentioned aluminum piston hybrid's? Well there, I suggest aluminum piston hybrid chambers and piston assemblies.
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Unread postAuthor: Technician1002 » Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:36 am

I have to ask. Did you buy the Carbide tip tool set, 4 jaw chuck, Face mill cutter, and live center with your order? I would consider those bare essentials to get started.

Next on the list would be the turning tool set and end mill chuck and collets With the latter, Dremel tools and router bits can be used.
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Unread postAuthor: sgort87 » Wed Jul 07, 2010 11:56 am

Ooo! hybrid pistons would be fun!

I opted out of the extras, as I figured I'd look for better deals if I ended up needing them. I'm not sure I'll need the 4-jaw chuck, unless I decide to do those barrel supports with it. I already have a live center. And I'm covered on lathe cutting tools. I'll be getting the mill tools figured out as I go.

Back to the stability thing... It turns out that this thing is about 620 lbs with the shipping crate. I saw it on the description, but I didn't believe it until I talked to the guys through email a little bit ago, asking if I'd really need a lift gate. And... without the crate, it says 441. Something that heavy has got to be quite a nice and stable machine.
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Unread postAuthor: jor2daje » Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:25 pm

I would check out craiglist and similar for extra tooling, I recently got a 1927 southbend junior for free, it came with two 3 jaw chucks a 4 jaw chuck, milling attachment, plenty of tooling, boring bars, face plate, morse taper chuck, mt 2 jacobs chuck, dead, live, drive centers, and plenty more. If you could find a good deal like this you could keep the tooling for your machine and sell the lathe and actually make a profit.

this is how I got it
Image


Im not done yet but it is certainly cleaning up a treat, this after about 3 days of work.
Image

btw 620 lbs sounds like quite alot but just the lathe without the legs on this relatively small 9" by 3' lathe weights about 370. Im sure your will be stable enough just letting you know these this are built to be extremely heavy to avoid any vibration.
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Unread postAuthor: ramses » Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:35 pm

I would suggest looking for an industrial surplus center near you. There are usually some really good deals on bigger machines

http://www.hgrindustrialsurplus.com/sub ... searchNAP=

http://www.hgrindustrialsurplus.com/sub/product_detail.aspx?id=70-751-001&searchtable=1&sortExpression=wbprice&SortASC=Yes&pageSize=50&currentPageIndex=0&searchNAP=


I believe that would be close to your price tag, and the machines are much bigger. Together they weigh around 5000 lbs, and are 3 phase, but...

Nice find with that southbend.
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Unread postAuthor: Technician1002 » Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:36 pm

sgort87 wrote: I'm not sure I'll need the 4-jaw chuck, unless I decide to do those barrel supports with it.


and

(it was also a rectangular bar in a 3 jaw chuck- don't ask).


The four jaw chuck is the tool to make square stock into round parts. Useful for boring and threading the end of square stock and such. Once you have a 4 jaw chuck you won't know how you got along without one. It's also good for offsets such as making cams since each jaw is individually set. The work does not have to be centered.

A 3 jaw chuck won't do offsets.
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