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Old Oct 04, 2012, 10:35 PM
looking up down under
scruffy1's Avatar
Australia, NSW, Fairlight
Joined Feb 2008
1,306 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by vtdiy View Post
btw, If it won't cut through 1/8" spruce, maybe invest in a better blade?
it cuts - but not as well as my razor saw by hand

a better blade sounds a good idea - getting one that fits might be the challenge
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Old Oct 05, 2012, 10:14 AM
Tail heavy, too much glue.....
delamite's Avatar
United States, IL, Peoria
Joined Apr 2009
108 Posts
being in skilled trades my whole life, I am prejiduce against such abominations. I too, have dreamt of having micro machines at my disposal, but the truth for me is that the upfront cost of true equipement is too great for as many models I can build in any year.

The best strategy (I think) would be becoming familiar with a CAD program and paying someone else to do the cutting for you. Many models can be built in exchange for the upfront cost of machinery.
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Old Oct 05, 2012, 04:34 PM
Registered User
san antonio, texas
Joined Mar 2002
1,897 Posts
little engine/lathe

I've had the taig lathe since the early 90's. Their milling machine also. I highly recommend them for their accuracy and durability. Great for making your own special parts. I made hubs for scratch built spoked wire wheels for a plane project.
Here's a little walking beam steam engine I built.

just finished beam engine (1 min 40 sec)
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Old Oct 05, 2012, 08:55 PM
One Thirty Second
oldtamiyaphile's Avatar
Western Australia
Joined Feb 2004
133 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by scruffy1 View Post
the base is insufficiently massive to remain stable, so requires an assistant to hold it while you cut, and it is a tedious process to push through 3mm spruce
Unimat sell an aluminium base or wooden crate for it to bolt to. Like most machines it really should be bolted down.

http://shop.sgtooling.com/index.php?...&productId=111

Quote:
Pour some Quickrete mortar mix in the base if there's a hollow place to do that.
Mortar and aluminium don't mix. If I just wanted weight I would fill it with BB's and epoxy. I plan on reinforcing the hollow alu. profiles with 6mm steel 'X' sections.

Quote:
a better blade sounds a good idea - getting one that fits might be the challenge
Here you go

This will give you a 8mm stroke instead of the 'child friendly' 4mm stroke It also takes different blades, which I think are just standard jigsaw blades (I'd have to check mine).
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Old Oct 06, 2012, 10:19 AM
low tech high tech
vtdiy's Avatar
Southern Vermont
Joined Feb 2007
3,028 Posts
I don't get it, this plastic thing isn't a Unimat by any stretch of the imagination, and you are recommending attachments for Unimats that cost more than the whole HK tool itself.

Do you actually own one of these non-Unimat plastic tools, and have you tried out what you are recommending to other people?

And if you have, how much do you have invested in attachments to actually make it do useful work?
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Old Oct 06, 2012, 10:26 AM
low tech high tech
vtdiy's Avatar
Southern Vermont
Joined Feb 2007
3,028 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtamiyaphile View Post
Mortar and aluminium don't mix. If I just wanted weight I would fill it with BB's and epoxy. I plan on reinforcing the hollow alu. profiles with 6mm steel 'X' sections.
It's plastic.

Or at least that's how it's been described so far....

And if the rails are aluminum extrusions then steel (and copper plating) and aluminum "don't mix" either if you're worried about corrosion. On the other hand since it would be internal to the rails, mortar wouldn't cause any more problems that BB's, unless you like to work under water.
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Old Oct 06, 2012, 10:47 AM
One Thirty Second
oldtamiyaphile's Avatar
Western Australia
Joined Feb 2004
133 Posts
I started by looking at the HK machine, but ended up buying a Unimat ML:



So To Repeat the HK machine is an exact copy of the Unimat 1:



The Unimat ML is an all metal version of the Unimat 1 (which I also have).

There's a fair bit of metal in even the HK version actually, the bed and slide bars are alloy. You even get brass collets while the ones that come with the genuine Unimat 1 are plastic.

It's possible to start with a $100 HK machine, and option it up as needed. IMO it's worth the price if you ever needed drill/ enlarge a hole in a piece of round stock (eg a pinion gear). Assuming the quality isn't THAT much worse than the real thing.

You can see how much metal is in the copy version with this anodized finish:

http://www.xendoll.com/En/ProductView.asp?ID=99

A chuck for the average mini lathe can set you back $300, that that has to be kept in mind for the people who would like to compare this to TAIG, Proxxon, Sherline etc.
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Old Oct 06, 2012, 11:11 AM
One Thirty Second
oldtamiyaphile's Avatar
Western Australia
Joined Feb 2004
133 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by vtdiy View Post
And if the rails are aluminum extrusions then steel (and copper plating) and aluminum "don't mix" either if you're worried about corrosion. On the other hand since it would be internal to the rails, mortar wouldn't cause any more problems that BB's, unless you like to work under water.
Mortar and (presumably) wall plugs for things to screw into on a machine tool? The epoxy would isolate the steel from the alloy, no corrosion issues. Mortar etches alloy on contact, and chances are it will end up on an external face no matter how careful you are, as well as shedding aggregate through any mounting holes.
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Old Oct 06, 2012, 11:57 AM
low tech high tech
vtdiy's Avatar
Southern Vermont
Joined Feb 2007
3,028 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtamiyaphile View Post
Mortar and (presumably) wall plugs for things to screw into on a machine tool? The epoxy would isolate the steel from the alloy, no corrosion issues. Mortar etches alloy on contact, and chances are it will end up on an external face no matter how careful you are, as well as shedding aggregate through any mounting holes.
There wouldn't be" corrosion issues" either way, like said unless you machine under water.

BTW "etching aluminum" is good practice before epoxying to it. And I'd rather get a little mortar "on an external face" and wipe it off with a damp rag, than get epoxy on the ways or "eternal face" as you put it.

I've had quite a bit of experience in aluminum for lathes and other machinery. btw. Here's one I built from scratch. No "wall plugs" just hand made patterns casting, scraping, etc.
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 06:32 AM
looking up down under
scruffy1's Avatar
Australia, NSW, Fairlight
Joined Feb 2008
1,306 Posts
i have to add a comment about the jigsaw

after a further go today with the base well secured with a clamp, i am much more impressed with the ability to cut through 3/16" spruce

the only complaint is that the blade is off square (which may be my building skills) so the wood has to be fed at around 3 degrees off perpendicular for the cut to track straight, but allowing for the angle of feed makes it cut straight and true

i can see it getting a bit of a work out when i need formers for a few projects, so i don't feel quite so "robbed" on the purchase

it sure beats a razor saw on harder wood
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 07:38 AM
low tech high tech
vtdiy's Avatar
Southern Vermont
Joined Feb 2007
3,028 Posts
Were you able to get a new blade? If the blade is square to the table in the feed direction, it's possible the blade itself is cutting to one side, if it is really cheap. Set could be off, or sharpening asymmetric.

If it isn't square to the table, that will have to be adjusted first. If you want to live with it, and are cutting straight lines, you can clamp a fence (like a piece of wood) on top of the table at whatever angle it takes to cut straight, and then it will rip true.

I actually do that when re-sawing fine thicknesses on a 28" band saw with a relatively narrow blade to minimize kerf. Lots of tension and a big blade will resaw true, but so will a thin narrow blade if you work with its natural tendency on a particular machine by offsetting the fence.
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 09:11 PM
looking up down under
scruffy1's Avatar
Australia, NSW, Fairlight
Joined Feb 2008
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i think i can adjust the blade clamp to straighten the line

but given i am following markings rater than freehand, once i "get" the neutral approach to the blade it isn't that difficult to just allow for the offset
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Old Oct 18, 2012, 04:20 PM
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United States, CA, Baywood-Los Osos
Joined Oct 2012
32 Posts
Does anyone know of a desktop combo that would be worth spending the money on? I have garage space for bigger machines, but I tend to occupy it with motorcycles...
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Old Oct 18, 2012, 07:08 PM
The Prez....... again
kenh3497's Avatar
United States, IA, Rockwell
Joined Jul 2011
3,824 Posts
Taig is good stuff. http://www.taigtools.com/

Ken
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Old Oct 21, 2012, 08:06 PM
treefinder
springer's Avatar
SE MI
Joined Oct 2004
9,466 Posts
Depending on how adventursome you are, you might be able to find a Craftsman AA lathe. Sears sold them from the 30's into the 50's, nice little table top lathe with half inch spindle. Biggest problem is it uses 0 morse taper fittings, which are tough to find locally, but I found that a lot of Taig stuff works fine on mine. I paid $150 for mine at a flea market a few years ago. I would probably go with a Taig if I didn't have mine. The Harbor Freight 4x10 lathes have been popular for a while and there are a good number of sites with hints and tips on how to use them.
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