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Home Page - Projects and Articles on Our Forum!


Working With Plastics

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Some people are not very familiar working with plastics. So we will continuously be adding useful info about plastics, here are few first ones we put together: Joining and Gluing ABS Painting parts with molded-in colors - a great partnership. Your Guide To ABS Drop us a note if you find this info useful. If you have more questions/topics you'd like us to cover in future posts, please respond to this thread or submit suggestion on our website using this form
The Power of Smallᵀᴹ
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Do you remember the time when most of the things were made here, they were durable, repairable and they would last for a very long time? Do you remember the time when shop and other hands-on trades training were part of the school curriculum? And you also probably remember when all this deteriorated, was bought and moved oversees and centralized by mega corporations... And this is great for few industries, but for a lot of small shop and inventors, makers and hobbyists, there is a real need in local distributed manufacturing. We are looking for your help to spread the word about our new initiative which we call "The Power of Small". What is The Power of Smallᵀᴹ ? • Small businesses doing big projects with low amounts of capital; • Office-desk sized machines making large parts - 100lbs and more; • On-shore, distributed manufacturing on a national or international scale; • Converting 100% waste plastics directly into viable finished goods - affordably and locally; • A...

Clausing 1771 Drill Press Restoration

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I picked up a Clausing variable speed drill press from a Craigslist ad. I offered the guy $200.00 and he accepted. The drill press was in decent overall condition, and had a new motor on it. I disassembled the machine and cleaned up and painted everything. Mechanically, it was in very good condition, and the only real repair work I did was to straighten a few of the handle arms. One really nice feature is the table lift, which works great on that heavy table (btw: the table doesn't have a single drill mark in it!) This is my second Clausing variable speed drill press. The first one is in my metal shop, this one will be in my wood shop. Jack Fort Loramie, Ohio
Rebuilding the head on a South Bend 4219 1956 mill
VN Finally Got A Slotter Attachment
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Finally picked up a slotter attachment that I have been looking for. Probably paid a bit much, but it's practically new. Stripped it and cleaned out the old gunk. Back together already, quickest rebuild yet. Missing one oil cap and the arbor, but I have a print for the arbor. All I did was clean it. Jason

I Need Ideas-New Electric Motor-Different Shaft for Pulley Mount

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Help. I purchased a replacement motor from Graingers for my band saw refurbish. 1947 Delta 14" band saw gets a new power plant. The old motor has a 1/2" shaft with a flat for the allen bolt to mount. The new motor has a 5/8" shaft with a key way. Should I bore out the pulley? Can I buy one that fits? What would you do? Thank you for your help. Jeff

My First Home Made Spring%^!!??^GE%!

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I watched "This Old Tony's Video", on making your own home made springs. I need 2 springs for my sheet metal brake. I knew my set up was a gamble. I had my auto feed to 8 TPI, I had my 13" South Bend in Back Gear. I stood back and turned on my lathe. Not what I was expecting. Lessons learned though. I need a better wire tension device. Heck, I need a new set-up entirely. The 3/4" ID by 3" compression spring will be made to order once I fine tune my arrangement (smile). Hey, it takes inner strength to post this. This is better than TV right? Jeff
Drill/Tap chuck jaws
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Folks, what would you recommend for drilling and tapping jaws on a 3-jaw chuck to add dovetail jaws for bowl turning? 6" chuck, thinking of 1/4-20. Thanks, Dave

Would this wiring mistake have blown a motor?

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Question: Would this mistake have blown a motor? I was given a 230/460 motor that was used – but supposedly good. To test it, I temporarily wired it to my lathe VFD today. Access and visibility inside the panel was limited and I stupidly had gotten two of the motor feed wire under the same connector. So the L1 motor lead was connected to the L1 terminal, The L2 terminal was empty and L2 and L3 leads were attached to theVFD’s L3 terminal. I also ran a ground from the motor frame to the panel . I started the VFD with the Potentiometer at zero and slowly increased. The motor bucked a few times and a small arcing occurred at the ground. I then rechecked the wiring and corrected my mistake. Trying again I set the pot to zero, flipped the run switch and the motor would ramp up about one fourth of the way then it would trip out the VFD. I reset the VFD and got the same results on the second try. I do not remember the error code. I am not knowledgeable on electrical and just...

Rockwell band saw motor tripping GFI

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Happy Labor Day, I am working on this 1947 Delta 14” band saw. I am getting close, just need one more bearing and I thought I was ready to go. I replaced the electrical source 14/3 wire. Plugged it in and the GFI tripped immediately. I checked my work, all looked good. I removed the end shield and cleaned the points. They were pretty bad. I also discovered a chaffed wire. One of 3, there are two sets of 3 wires. See pic. I taped the damaged insulation assuming that was it. Blew all the saw dust out of the motor etc. I plugged it and it ran perfect, for about ten seconds, then tripped the GFI. I haven’t checked amp load yet. This is a 115/230 ac motor. 1/2 HP, frame is 56. Rated at 7.7 amps at 115 v which is how it is wired now. Please excuse the improper names I applied to the components, I really am an idiot when working on anything electrical. I would like to save this motor. I’ll look for more shorts in the mean time. Do you think it can be saved?

Mill for sale

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Not mine, but on local CL. FYI:https://joplin.craigslist.org/tls/d/horizontal-mill/6686690381.html

Vertical milling slide for lathe

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I keep coming across projects that need a small amount of milling. I have read a lot of peoples comments on how they are junk. For someone without a drill press or any other means of milling I am starting to consider adding a 4"x5" vertical mill table to my lathe. https://www.ebay.com/itm/LATHE-VERTICAL-MILLING-SLIDE-SUITABLE-FOR-MYFORD-ML7-SUPER-7-BOXFORD/323319715164?epid=25020893189&hash=item4b475b555c:g:9QoAAOSwxBtbbSAa It looks like I would also need some sort of clamping set up to hold my work..... https://www.harborfreight.com/42-piece-machinist-clamping-kit-90752.html I know you all have way more in sight on this than I do having never used a mill. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Combo-of-Round-Vice-mounted-on-4-Inches-100-mm-Rotary-Table-Milling-Clamp/323380922244?hash=item4b4b014784:g:6REAAOSwstJZOrR3 I was wanting to make a...
Are You A Mechanical Engineering Genius?
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So you think you know about mechanical engineering, eh? Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz from engineeringclicks, a website dedicated toall things mechanical engineering. Let us know how you did by leaving us a comment! https://www.engineeringclicks.com/quiz-are-you-a-mechanical-engineering-genius/

Do you have extra insurance for your machines/tooling?

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I haven’t looked into it yet, but as I sit here in Tucson sipping coffee, I worry about the security of my empty home in Northern California. I’m sure most of us,have in excess of, $30,000 worth of tools and machinery in the shop. I am curious what some of you have done insurance wise. If I had a theft or a total loss, I have replacement value up to a certain amount. If a few pieces were stolen, I would be out some money for sure. I have taken pictures and videos of my tool inventory for a record. What are your thoughts?

Using a Fly Cutter

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What is the purpose of a fly cutter and why use it instead of an endmill? Thank you Nicolas

What we Learn from this Picture?

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The attached picture indicates a cut using an endmill and it says it should not have been done this way but I don’t understand why. Picture is taken from https://toolingaround.ca/lms.php The text on the picture also says “..for some cuts, it is appropriate…” What are these appropriate cuts? Thank you Nicolas

Chuck problem

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I have a 4" D.E. Whiton 3 jaw chuck that I took apart to clean and lube because it was not working smoothly. When I was backing out the jaws I don't recall them being at all tight or difficult to remove but now that I try to reassemble it one jaw fits fine, one is tight close to the inside portion of the slot and one won't fit at all. What happened?
Inspire Creativity Using Plastics! - Video link
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Good news everyone! Plasti-Block™ products are going to start being featured on a YouTube channel . Currently dedicated to woodworking. To this point, the owner of the channel has only ever posted videos about working with wood, but after trying his hand with some of our ABS blocks, he couldn’t resist the opportunity of demonstrating different applications of our material. Kennyearrings1 will be featuring these videos from time to time on the new “Alternative Tuesday" edition of his program. Get a taste of some of the projects kennyearrings1 has been working on by looking at the pictures below. So creative! The first episode featuring our Plasti-Block™ products will air on Tuesday September 4th, 2018. About the channel: A fun YouTube channel where weekly videos are posted on a variety of different woodworking topics. It is a very inspiring and creative place to visit for ideas and information. In addition, this channel ensures to allocate time for safety and shop tips, a...

Where to start?

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I have a slug of 2" diameter aluminium 4" long that I bought just to learn on and play with. Ends are not cut exactly square and when I chuck it in my 3 jaw, about 1/32" from being all the way into the chuck and bottoming out, it has 0.037 runout. I tried repositioning in the chuck but couldn't do much better on runout. I've checked other round stock and get between 0.011 and 0.015 runout, which sounds high. One piece is something I turned and the other is a piece from a tool i just bought. How do you start trueing up the slug? Could the slug be that out of wack or is it just how it is chucked?

Everybody Is A Designer

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Hello everyone! We are excited to announce that we started knowledge and innovation discussions. We will be posting articles contributed by people who are passionate about innovation, hands-on prototyping and local manufacturing. We hope to inspire young people to have more involvement, learn trades or have interests in design and engineering. The first article was published today. Its title is Everybody Is A Designer. Design is the answer to a need and anyone can be one! You can read it on our Facebook page or on our blog. We really encourage you to participate in the discussion by leaving us a comment here, or on our FB page or on our Blog. Thank you! Plasti-Block Team
What is it?
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Looking around the house and cleaning up, I found this and have no clue what it does or is. Looks to be heavy duty made in the USA:D Has a polished steel ball at the end of the threads.

Odd surface plate question

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So someone on craigslist is selling a couple of surface plates. They are from his father's estate and he says they are in good condition. So far so good. He has no documentation or knowledge of the manufacturer. One is a basic 12x18x3 black granite, which seems normal enough. But the other is 12x18x0.75. I've never heard of a surface plate so thin and suspect that it is unlikely to be as stable as the 3" inch think version. But it will be much easier to move around the small area I have available. It also looks like it's two pieces bonded together horizontally. I wonder if someone was using it as a portable "good enough" plate. Even at that thickness it's probably a lot more accurate than anything I'm capable of. I just wondered if anyone had ever run across such a thing. It comes in its own wooden box. He's asking $45 for each one. Price isn't fabulous (assuming Grade B on the 3" version), but shipping is cheap since it's a 10 minute drive from home.

1" round rod, what can be made?

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Found a 10' long section of round steel 1" in diameter. I cut off 12" length and cleaned it up a little, as it was buried in the dirt of my backyard. I was thinking maybe a hammer but it looks like most machinist hammers use a aluminum handle. What sort of stuff would you make or could be made from a 1" steel bar? With lathe only, no milling here, yet.

Cross Slide Stop for threading on my 13" South Bend?

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Hello, I am struggling to return the cross slide back to the zero point in order to feed the compound in for another pass when threading. I have a single gear box (1941) 13" South Bend. It has the small dials with some backlash like all lathes. If I could dial back the cross slide to clear the threads, move the saddle back to the starting point then move in the cross slide to a positive point each and every time, then I could feed the compound with confidence. I am looking for the locking device, guide, stop or whatever will perform the intended cross slide location. Thank you for your help and I apologize for my ignorance, I don't have very much experience. Jeff

Calculating Spindle Bearing Grease Volume

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Quick question / request for links... I am replacing the spindle bearings in my CNC (G0704) and I need to pack them with grease. I have an empty 7007B (https://www.vxb.com/7007B-Angular-Contact-Bearing-35x62x14-p/kit8891.htm) and an empty 7005B (https://www.vxb.com/7005B-Bearing-Angular-Contact-25x47x12-p/kit8889.htm). I have Kluber IsoFlex NBU 15 grease and a 1 ml dosing syringe. Both have Phenolic cages. I know that higher end bearing manufacturers have tables for these values, but any idea how I can figure out how much is needed in these?

Progress on projects

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Having fun making some basic projects on the lathe. My knurler is tough to figure out, only the top wheel really digs in even when the two wheels contact the work at the same time. I suspect it's a cheap pos. But it could be me..lol Turned down a bolt for my tailstock eject function with a new drill chuck. The chuck has a hollow mt2 taper and would not push out when the drill action retracted into the tailstock. Now the bolt head catches inside tail and when I retract the drill bit all the way it pushes the chuck out. Completed a wiggle bar tonight out of some scrap steel rod. Really enjoying working on the lathe and trying new cuts.

Arduino Code Help

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Not sue if this is the correct forum but here goes. I'm hoping there are some Arduino guru's here. I trying to setup a feed motor that uses the state of two IR sensors to control a relay to cycle a motor on and off. The intent is to give some head room in the feed system to keep the motor from turning on/off constantly. The sensors will be spaced apart, high and low. When the space between the two sensors is full (both beams broken) the motor is of. As the system feeds the the top beam will become unbroken but the motor stays off until the lower beam is unbroken. When both beams are unbroken then the motor turns on. As the feed tube fills the lower beam will become broken but the motor stays on until the feed tube is full (both beams broken) then the motor turns off. I have a single sensor working but I'm struggling on how to incorporate the second sensor. Code so far. /* Feeder */ #define LEDPIN 12 //Motor staus LED is on pin 12 #define RELAY2PIN 10 //Feeder...

Gibs adjustment

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Well after making my 1st project, (aluminum container) I cleaned up all the mess and lubed stuff up. With my compound slide off I noticed a little pin with a aprox 50 degree angled face laying on my chip tray. Pulled out the parts diagram and found it's an adjusting pin for the gibs, 4 of these slide into my compound slide to adjust tighten the gibs. Oh no, I only have 2 pcs. Don't know if I dropped them or what but they be gone. So I found a box of nails and matched diameters up and filed the angle to match and cut with hacksaw to length. Working great and a little smoother now. Anyone else loose those little pins?

Suggestions for Horizontal Test Indicator

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I currently have a .0005" Fowler X-Test Swiss type horizontal test indicator that I use for 95% of my setup work. I would like to pick up a new indicator with a .0001" resolution for finer work. I'm hoping to find one that is a swiss style with the swivel shank and .016" of travel (so two needles, the main one and the rev indication). The only one I can find is a $450 (edit) Interapid. Anybody know of a less expensive option?

Toaster - a conversation starter

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Toaster is a great conversation starter about materials usage, resource management and sustainability. We wrote a short article to start the dialogue. (https://www.plastiblocks.com/single-post/2018/08/10/Toaster---a-conversation-starter) It is so sad that majority of people who have skills don't bother repairing slightly broken, old appliances. And people who don't have skills - have no one to help because repair shops are almost extinct. I hope you can participate in the discussion we started on our blog by commenting there or here and maybe share any repair projects of house hold stuff to encourage others to do so as well.

Aluminum Repair With TIG Question

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Hi, A co-worker asked me if I could fix his "Gold Buddy", Slues box. Please see the pics. These are bullet holes, someone pounded out the extrusion. I plan on cleaning as good as I can and placing the sheeting on a thick piece of aluminum to reduce the heat. Do a bit of pre-cleaning with the TIG torch then form a puddle and fill. Any other procedures or ideas/problems with my plan? I do have some scrap material that is the same thickness so I can get the settings close before I tackle this simple to you job. Thanks for the help.

What kind Endmill is this?

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I found in my shop 6 similar endmills in a box which I bought in 2011 and have no idea what they are for. Total length is 1.75”, 1/8” Shank, 1/8” OD and 2 are 2 flute, 2 single flute and 2 V shape ends. What the purpose of the orange sleeve at the end of the shank? If I will use them to trim aluminum what will be the recommended RPM?

How to Machine This Part

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A friend at work asked if I could machine a new handle for this super old clamp I think it is. I know he's got an old manual drill press that needs fixing but this looks like a handle from a clamp. I think the end on the screw can be pressed out but not sure how to get the handle off. Thinking this must be cast iron. He wants it remade in cast iron which I'm not to excited about but said I'd think about giving it a shot. Any ideas how to go about it?

DRO but Which One?

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I know this horse has been beat to death.The more I read and watch Utubes my headache getting worse,I have read post back several yrs ago and different forums to kinda present day and time.Guys I am just weekend wannabe machinist type person just doing this for fun so nothing serious but I want it to be spot on and trouble free(possible) I know that comes at a cost.Guys I can't come close to afford one of those top shelve models so I have in mind DROpros but thats little above my budget but maybe.So guys 1)DROPros but what would you pick as your Second choice?I have look over on auction site and they are there by boat loads and are very cheap which kinda scares me little.I want the magnetic scales but looks like on ebay its all glass.What I want to put this on is a mill say 2axis and also 2 axis for my 11" lathe later down the road.On Ebay I can find 3axis for 300.00 but glass and its hard to resist that price but again which one and from who?I know that at those prices support...

What to practice on lathe

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Hello everyone, I was thinking you all could list some practice cuts or things to start off practicing on the lathe. I have only done face cuts so far and starting to think I should practice steps, curves, shoulders, etc Really no idea what to practice first or what will build up good lathe skills for when I actually turn a project. I have heard some people practice making bullets? What is that all about? Thanks

1st chips, no blood

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Finally did it, took .030 " off the end of a 1" rnd aluminum bar stock. 1st cut ever!!! So excited to finally make a pass on the new metal lathe!!:eagerness::excitement: Couldn't contain myself, lowered the tool post slightly and took .005 off. I am loving it, made great swarth, nice long pcs and some 1-2" spiral pcs..haha I know my technique is bad as I have no practice, I could tell I was not steady in the feed rate and I see the lines in the face cut. Will practice more, play with angle and tool selection and eventually go power feed vs manual turning. Thank you all for helping me with my most basic newbie questions!!! You guys Rock!!:grin big::congratulate:

My Power Feed Broke

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Just stopped working. Suddenly I started hearing a loud tick. Stopped the machine to investigate. There is a collar that the feed rod runs through. I'm pretty sure that normally this collar (thinking it might clamp down on the rod) is stationary not rotating like it is now. Ideas? Thanks in advance.
Machine Grade Rods & Blocks
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Our plastic raw material products will enable small, medium and large companies, including manual & CNC shops, makers, designers, model builders, furniture manufacturers, cabinet makers, hobbyists, prototyping bureaus and more. Our machine grade blocks and rods are available in small quantities, in different colors and at very affordable prices that can boost creativity and will help your business thrive. Currently we offer HDPE and ABS blocks and rods. We will be regularly expending our product offerings in the coming months to include CAB, Acrylic and PEEK and other products forms including sheets. If you fabricate, CNC machine, or make something cool with our materials, send us a picture and we will post it with a reference to your company if you wish. We believe in distributed infrastructure solutions and so we aim to achieve this through our line of consumer-friendly products and user-friendly equipment. Plasti-Block™ blocks, rods and sheets are just a first “stepping block”...
Trying to Weld Unknown Aluminum Scrap-No Success!
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Hi, I am trying to get to know my Miller Diversion 180 with regard to Aluminum. I picked up some bent scraps at the local source. All I know is it is aluminum. I have read that some aluminum alloys can't be welded, I guess I found one. I have had success welding aluminum so I am not a total newb. but close. I set the dials to "Aluminum", 1/8" = 105 amps AC. The cleaning action is normal, the puddles will not join. I wait for the puddle to develop, introduce a bit of 4043 rod .093". The rod melts but will not come together. I used a wire wheel, cleaned with acetone as always. Anything obvious? Thanks, Jeff

Tight/loose compound?

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So setting up Grizzly G0602 for first time, adjusting gibs and backlash i came across this situation. The top tool compound seems to go loose then right while turning its adjusting collar. Gibs don't really affect it nor backlash. Thoughts? Thanks guys

First real part...parting woes!

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Been awhile since posting so I thought Id share the first actual part I made on a lathe that actually will serve a purpose...drawbar spacer for the Atlas 618. Everything went well until I decided to try to part off, way too much chatter. I have the qctp from LMS and the blade type cutoff tool that fit in the tool holder. I will read up on the parting issue as I know there is much info here on this. I already understand I was running too fast to part off. I've only had this lathe running for a couple weeks so overall I was happy with the outcome. So thanks to all who contribute their knowledge here, without that I do not think I would have gotten this far so quickly. Any recommendation on alternative parting tools I would be interested to hear. Lastly here is the 618, got it 2 years ago in a box of pieces and finally got it running with all the help offered here.

Newb quick change tool post/tooling suggestions

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Good evening fellas. I am picking up my G0602z at the UPS hub in the next few days (renting a trailer so I can drive it directly into my garage) anyway, I was looking at QCP as I won't have the patience for the stock one. Any suggestions? I realize it is a budget lathe so of course I'm not looking at a $1000 setup, but if it doesn't work well and isn't good at being....well, a quick change then....I A couple ideas, ALORIS & DORIAN. Also size/series. Now along with the post....the tools. Remeber, this is a whole new field for me. I understand the different types for different approaches/cuts, but brands/material? I need to get in ordering soon! Anything else that will make my life easier? Thanks as always!

Tramming my Mill

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Does anyone see a problem with tramming like this. I like to use the vise as that is where my work is held. The parallels are 4-way Anton .0003" accurate on height, width and straightness.

Indicol 178 and Starrett Last Word 711

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I probably should have done my homework before buying these two items. Can anyone here tell me what attachment I need that will make these two compatible? The 711 came with a body clamp for a 1/4" diameter shaft and the 178 is rigged for an indicator with a dove tail.

Tapping for 10-32

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I do a fair amount of 10-32 tapping on aluminum and it’s a hard going. I use a 5/32” drill which came as a set with the tap but I wonder if another drill size may do the job faster As an example I also tap a lot of M5 and I was using #19 drill which was also a hard going but I discover from a thread in another forum that an 11/64’ drill is much better and in it is. Is the 5/32” drill the best for 10-32 tap?
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