Friday, November 10, 2006

The CNC myth.

For the last two years I've had some kind of CNC machine in my Garage. I started with a small Taig Mill and moved up to the tormach. When people learn you have computer controlled machine tools they bring you all sorts of broken things to replace. They think that a CNC mill is some sort of magical printer that makes metal parts. The process of using a CNC machine requires that you know how you would machine the part by hand.

If you don't know how to read or write, a word processors is no more useful to you than a typewritter. (if you can't read or write both are useless) A CNC machine is a lot like a very dull, but very dependable helper. You tell it exactly what you want to do and it does it, no more no less. If you don't know what to tell the machine it's useless. For an overview of using CNC for a different project see my balsa wing rib cutting page.

Last night I finished the brackets and parts for my valve. In removing the chuck from the disassembled drill I broke the planetary gearbox. It' has a plastic outer case that is plenty strong when in its outer drill case, It's not so stron when unsupported. I've contemplated making a new case out of aluminum, but that would be an all day task. I'll see if the plastic one ends up being serivicable.

I'll post a bunch of pictures and a short video of valves on Sunday.

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