Drilling down

The saga of my drill press continues.

For years, I have had a full height drill press – Woodman series, that I purchased pretty early on in the scheme of things, making the best decisions that I could at the time.  That is to say in hindsight, I have been a bit disappointed in it from the start.

I tried many different ways to deal with the shortcomings – different table tops

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zshed-4

(the second was very interesting, but WAY too heavy!)

different chucks, but what began the end-game was when one of the capacitors blew.  That was back in May 2014, and somehow I have been dealing without one ever since.

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Can’t exactly remember the timing, but either late last year/earlier this year I finally got around to trying to fix the motor, replacing the failed capacitor with another.  Seemed to work, and a few 5 second runs seemed to show it was back to being functional.  Still, after having it out of action for so long, I’d learned to work without it, so it didn’t get used.

I finally needed to on the weekend – a small hole with a forstner bit.  3/4 of the way down (20mm or so), and the motor on the drill press was smoking more than the workpiece!  Soon thereafter, and the motor ground to a halt, and this time it will be permanent (at least as far as I am concerned).

So it was off to the store once-known as Masters (now in liquidation), and picked up a bench-top drill press a couple of friends have also purchased, and have been pleased with.

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Got it for 10% off (liquidator’s price), then an additional 5% with my soon-t0-be defunct Masters trade card.  Cost about $350.

That will keep me going at least until the Nova Voyager drill press is finally available from Teknatool.

Can’t wait!!

Episode 111 Nova Infinity Chuck and Jaw upgrade

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!

Infinity Re-release

Appears the re-release of the Nova Infinity Quick Change Chuck (that’s a mouthful) is imminent. From the US Nova website, they are advertising the Infinity for Father’s Day (the US version of Father’s Day, June 15 this year), with the pre-orders being fulfilled by July 20.

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The initial launch was very unfortunately affected by a small batch having one component incorrectly hardened, which resulted in all the early stock being recalled.  Not sure why it has taken so long for the re-release, but I’m guessing a combination of having new batches produced, testing etc.  It may or may not have resulted in a change in manufacturing firm, which would have resulted in significant retooling etc.  I’d almost guess that didn’t happen – the delay has not been long enough.

The news must be pretty new – even the Nova Infinity website hasn’t been updated yet!

So that is really good news, and we can soon place this little hiccup behind us, and get back to using the most innovative change to lathe workholding since Teknatool invented the self-centering 4 jaw chuck.

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.

Episode 98 Upgrading Jaws to Nova Infinity

Episode 98 Upgrading Jaws to Nova Infinity

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