I’m Back, Baby

Quoting a certain Bender Bending Rodríguez.

The Christmas break has finally arrived, so finding just a little time to breathe, including seeing the inside of the shed!

After giving a very quick cleanup (not much more than opening the doors, and using compressed air as a broom), started working through a few quick, but long outstanding jobs.

Starting with the Nova DVR lathe.

For a long time, I’ve been finding it doesn’t always start on its own, and needs to be given a bit of a spin before turning it on, or giving the blank a little slap afterwards to get it underway.  I had the opportunity to catch up with the Director of Teknatool at the last Melbourne Wood Show.  Among other topics of conversation, I mentioned this (relatively minor) issue.  He suggested it is probably no more than a bit of dust impacting on a sensor, but I hadn’t had a chance to now to find out.

Quick blow out with the air compressor, then tried the lathe out at various start speeds, from 500RPM right up to 3000RPM.  No hint of an issue at any speed – problem solved.

Next, time to do some maintenance on the 3D printer. It hasn’t been running for a few weeks as I simply haven’t had time to look at it.

The main problem I was having that I could tell, was the filament (being somewhat hydrophilic) had absorbed too much moisture, and was spluttering a lot while it printed.

Took one roll of filament and placed it in an airtight container, along with a packet of DampRid, and a hygometer.

The hyrometer is a bit flash for the job, but I really liked the look of this one from Carbatec

BA984It is a combination of both a hygrometer and thermometer.  Beautiful piece, German engineering.

The container (and contents) started at 55% humidity.  After a few days with the DampRid, the moisture content in the container had dropped to 12% at 25C.

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Seemed a good start.  Next, I needed to change out the nozzle.  I had played with a 0.2mm nozzle for a while, but wanted to change back to the 0.4mm one.  Unfortunately, one had damaged thread, and the other was completely glued to the other printer head with leaked plastic (that head needs a complete rebuild to remove the faulty (leaking) component, and a damaged heater).

Only problem is, removing a nozzle is easy, if you can heat it to normal operating temp (200C).  With the heater not working (yet also glued in with leaked plastic) there was a bit of a difficulty.  I briefly tried a soldering iron, but there was no way that was going to achieve the temperature needed overall.  So next option – LPG burner.

Being careful with the flame, I was able to get the nozzle up to temp, and it unscrewed easily.  Continuing with the flame for a bit longer, I cooked off the nozzle, getting rid of plastic on the threads and inside the nozzle as well.  The nozzle on the printer was easy – a working heater and thermister makes it very straightforward to remove one, and replace with the other.

A quick print of a mini robot proved everything was working, so I dropped a 5 hour job onto the printer as a bit of sink or swim.

It swam.

I still have some new components coming for the printer – more on that later.

Finally, I took a quick factitious photo of the cameras, mics and CNC router bits all ready to be used with the YAS Engineering CNC mill when it arrives.  Checking with YAS Engineering, and the CNC is only one simple component away from being delivered.  Just one electrical connector to go, and the unit will be ready.

Photo 22-12-2014 15 21 09Can’t wait!

Burl Bowl

While I was shedless for a year, working out of a cramped (uninspiring) garage, I made a start on a bowl from a Mallee (?) burl.

It was an excuse to use the Teknatool Titan II chuck on the DVR XP as much as anything (the chuck was certainly a lot more powerful than the job necessitated!)

The bowl sort of progressed, then was put aside, had a bit more done, then set aside again over a 6 month period.

I found it in the garage the other day, and took it to join the lathe in the shed.  With some more turning, quite a bit of sanding, then polishing with friction polishes from Ubeaut, it finally got finished.

Photo 4-05-2014 17 51 24 Photo 4-05-2014 17 51 50The base may look heavy, but other than the rim, the whole bowl is a pretty consistent thickness.  It is 180mm in diameter, 80mm high, and has a 4mm wall thickness.

Finished by sanding to 400 grit using the Skilton sander, then polished, first with Ubeaut EEE Ultrashine, then Ubeaut Glow to give it a rich gloss.

A birthday present

Photo 4-05-2014 8 16 40A 70th birthday present for my Uncle.

Happy birthday Peter!

Acrylic pen, turned on the Nova Comet II.  With the drill press out of action, it took a couple of seconds to remember that I now had the Nova Pen+ Jaws from Teknatool

6034_JawsThey worked perfectly, and worked with the pen mill as well mounted in the chuck.

It was nice not to rush this job – I had time to take my time.

Pen sanded to 12000 grit with micromesh acrylic sanding pads.

Lathe Area Organisation

Further progress on the turning corner. Shelving in, light installed, chisels mounted, sawdust made :)

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Upgradeable technology- the DVR advantage

Normally when you buy a lathe (or drill press), you look at the features, make your choice and that is it- they are the features your tool will have for the remainder of its life.

You normally would expect those features to be static, ‘locked in’ as it were. Fundamental things like torque, but also the operator interface as well, preset speeds, how you can change speeds, safety features (such as chisel dig-in detection) etc.

Not so with a DVR lathe from Teknatool. I was not aware of it, but there was an older version of the DVR lathe that didn’t have some features of the current machines, and an owner of an older one could be left wishing their machine had more of the features of the current machine. Instead of replacing the lathe with a newer model, a DVR owner can simply upgrade the control board to get the higher torque, the safety features and the variable speed selection by replacing the “plug’n’play” computer control board.

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Not that I need to at the moment, as my DVR lathe has all the current features, but it is great to know that if (or rather when), Teknatool come up with smarter ways to implement the onboard DVR technology, and add software improvements (as well), that existing owners are not left behind. They can choose to purchase the upgraded control board.

That is a pretty cool concept!
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Day of the Machine

After taking much of the day to do some family things (beach before, and BBQ after) for Australia Day, I also moved a number of machines into the shed, now that the electrical was completed and therefore the machines wouldn’t get in the way.

Heavy buggers, especially over soft, churned up dirt the backyard has become.  The pallet jack is such an asset – able to lift the heaviest machine easily, and with reasonably wide wheels, can even manage the ground to a certain extent.

Even so, it was too much to move the thicknesser on my own (230 or so kg), so with a brief assistance of a couple of neighbours, it flew across the back yard.

Paying the price for it all now though!

Never-the-less, a good number of moves was achieved – slowly emptying the garage, and the shed starting to take on real character.

Placement/layout is by no means locked in (never is in my shed!), but am roughly placing them still in accordance with the original plan.

What was moved in this time was the Jet lathe (still uncertain about its long term plan), Jet 14″ bandsaw, Torque Workcentre, the workbench, thicknesser.

Episode 98 Upgrading Jaws to Nova Infinity

Episode 98 Upgrading Jaws to Nova Infinity

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