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Author Topic: An interesting conundrum involving metalworking  (Read 2132 times)

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Offline camlornTopic starter

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An interesting conundrum involving metalworking
« on: April 28, 2009, 05:49:29 PM »
Hello,
    As my first post, and since this seems to be the purpose of a forum, I think I'll start with a question. But first, one fact must be made clear. I'm blind. In real life. See the bottom of the message for how I use the computer; someone always asks when I post, and I welcome the questions, but I figured I'd put it here instead of waiting. Anyhow, that's after the on-topic part:-d.


    As I said above, I'm blind. This makes looking into metalworking in general a chore. Welding, souldering, brazing are all going to be difficult. I've taken an interest in these topics of late, and am interested in maybe purchasing a mill.  The problem is, CNC is impractical; I'd need manual. I can't use CAD software to any extent.

So, my question is rather simple. I know there's a few types of mills. I'm looking for a type with tactile feedback of some sort, other than pain, so I can try my hand at making parts. I haven't a lot of money either, so small dollar amounts are good.

    I've heard that some of the older mills from the 1970s/1980s used patterns, in a format that I may be able to produce. I think this technology is an ideal way to go about it; I think I could rig something that might work.  Ideally, feeding the mill a cardboard cutout, or other such pattern, would be easiest, though drawing is possible, with some equipment I have access to. Tactile pattern making preferred, though, as drawing is tedious at the best of times.

    I'm having so much trouble on this topic as I can't find a tutorial on how to use any manual mill I might be able to purchase, and would greatly appreciate feedback. If, for example, I can move the head with controls in fixt increments, that would work.  Unfortunately, I'm probably getting in a bit over my head; I'd still like to know what might work.

I'd much appreciate opinions on this matter.


So, the how I use the computer part, since someone's probably read this and wondered...

    I use a special siece of software (jaws for windows is the name), which runs on top of background processes and uses the windows API to get keyboard hooks. The system has no mouse, for that matter, as one simply is unnecessary. Everything I'm typing now is read, as well as everything you'd click on. It is a bit more complex than just reading, though, and would take a paper to explain, so I'll leave it at that.

Offline dellagd

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Re: An interesting conundrum involving metalworking
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2009, 05:57:47 PM »
I don't know much, but this might help.
I know theren ARE some mechines that take a master (be it cardboard or anything else)
and reproduce that in another material. I'm sorry but I don't know what these are called, or where to get them. But these such things do exist today.
Innovation is a product of Failure, which leads to Success.

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Offline camlornTopic starter

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Re: An interesting conundrum involving metalworking
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2009, 06:44:38 PM »
Thanks. I'll wait for more feedback, someone's going to probably come up with the answer.

For some ideas of other things that'd work.

CNC with manual options is not out of the question. If I can move the piece/whatever by fixed increments in a specified direction, I should be able to do it. I was on a MUD (wikipedia it), and talked to some people about it, and they said some CNC mills can be operated this way.

We'll see what people come up with. It's not a serious hobby, yet, so i don't need this thing tomorrow, thankfully. I do have a microcontroller (picaxe, for a hovercraft project that's still not started), so I'm set there.

Offline ArcMan

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Re: An interesting conundrum involving metalworking
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2009, 02:29:21 PM »
I'm having so much trouble on this topic as I can't find a tutorial on how to use any manual mill I might be able to purchase, and would greatly appreciate feedback.


This site taught me alot about machining with the inexpensive Chinese mini mills.

http://www.mini-lathe.com/Mini_mill/Main/mini-mill.htm

Offline Admin

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Re: An interesting conundrum involving metalworking
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2009, 05:35:46 PM »
What do you plan to make out of metal?

As you obviously already know, the world is designed for those that can see . . . so perhaps you should think out of the box and try an entirely different approach.

For example, perhaps plastics can do the job you need. You can do vacuum forming and plastic molding all with tactile feeling. Cleverly shaped plastic can be *very* strong. And its much safer than large spinning blades around a blind mans fingers :P

Oh and I remember seeing a table saw that instantly stops if you touch it with a finger. Not sure how reliable it was, but perhaps worth tracking down.

Offline SmAsH

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Re: An interesting conundrum involving metalworking
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2009, 01:37:57 AM »
Oh and I remember seeing a table saw that instantly stops if you touch it with a finger. Not sure how reliable it was, but perhaps worth tracking down.
how would that work? would your fingers have something covering them? how would this differentiate between wood and human? and stop "instantly"?
Howdy

Offline Admin

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Re: An interesting conundrum involving metalworking
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2009, 07:22:13 AM »
Oh and I remember seeing a table saw that instantly stops if you touch it with a finger. Not sure how reliable it was, but perhaps worth tracking down.
how would that work? would your fingers have something covering them? how would this differentiate between wood and human? and stop "instantly"?

Smash, it works by searching google and clicking the second link:
http://www.sawstop.com/howitworks/how_overview.php

 :P

Offline robologist

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Re: An interesting conundrum involving metalworking
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2009, 01:18:32 AM »
That sawstop is absolutely amazing, very cool what someone thought up to protect people.

About milling, lathe work, perhaps some of the smaller, more precise machines would be a place to work with. They'd do less damage at least if a problem occurred and are known for their ease, though they don't remove a lot of material in a pass. These would be the Sherline http://www.sherline.com/ products. An even smaller type would be the Clisby http://www.clisby.com.au line, almost suited to making pens and dollhouse furniture, though still capable of metals. The reason for suggesting these is partially safety. Where the small fractional horsepower motors of the Sherline might skin someone up, maybe break a finger, the next step up in power in the Chinese bench tools might have enough power to cause some severe damage, break limbs. The most likely scenario would be some loose piece of clothing getting snagged and dragging whatever is attached into the spinning working head. With a Sherline, probably just a little shake up and a small injury, something bigger might remove parts.

Unfortunately I don't know of a template mill, unless something like the Craftsman Compucarve http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00921754000P was meant. It has preprogrammed patterns that it makes in wood, creating very intricate panels. It can do plastics but not metal. Looks like a large laser printer that you lay your board in, then hit a button and it does it's moving and carving. Other machines might be those that deposit material rather than remove it. The expensive commercial ones are usually under the heading of Rapid Prototyping and called 3D printers, but smaller home built efforts such as RepRap http://reprap.org/bin/view/Main/WebHome are coming together.

Offline guru

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Re: An interesting conundrum involving metalworking
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2009, 09:55:26 AM »
Machines that take a template and make a copy: you are probably talking about a pentagraph. My father used to use them to make eye glass frames. You used an armature to trace a given pattern, the cutting tool followed the armature.

I don't know much, but this might help.
I know theren ARE some mechines that take a master (be it cardboard or anything else)
and reproduce that in another material. I'm sorry but I don't know what these are called, or where to get them. But these such things do exist today.

Offline awally88

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Re: An interesting conundrum involving metalworking
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2009, 09:23:07 AM »
I personally think that Admin's idea of working with plastics is possibly a better idea. It is a bit more expensive than a milling machine but it would be so much safer than using dangerous moving parts.  With plastics you wont get the same properties as metal but can be a lot safer.

I've seen videos of the saw that wont cut flesh before, I imagine that something new like this would be horribly expensive though.

Offline VegaObscura

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Re: An interesting conundrum involving metalworking
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2009, 06:37:49 AM »
I've seen the saw that stops before cutting flesh before plenty of times.  The major downside to it is everytime it uses its emergency stop it lodges the blade into another piece of metal, ruining the blade and the blade has to be replaced everytime.

Offline dellagd

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Re: An interesting conundrum involving metalworking
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2009, 07:14:32 AM »
well thats no good is it!
Innovation is a product of Failure, which leads to Success.

If I helped, +1 helpful pls

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Offline SmAsH

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Re: An interesting conundrum involving metalworking
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2009, 08:34:13 AM »
well, what would you rather replace, a blade or your finger?
Howdy

Offline dellagd

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Re: An interesting conundrum involving metalworking
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2009, 07:32:06 AM »
well I said "thats no good" because how often does he plan on touching the bade?
Innovation is a product of Failure, which leads to Success.

If I helped, +1 helpful pls

I Won!
3rd place! I'm taking $100

 


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