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Turner's Cube

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Fabrickator

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#1
I started my 1st Turner's Cube this past week and although they've been documented before, I thought I'd post a brief description and some pics about my experience.

I researched a lot of other's posts and found that I liked a fixture that a gentleman named "widgitmaster" created some years back using his backing plate and he documented his experience well.

http://www.cnccookbook.com/CCTurnersCube.html

I plan on making more than one of these and so I thought a quick mount fixture sounded like a good idea. It is limited to one size though so I choose 2" because I have a 3' piece of 2" X 2" aluminum. I also happened to have a nice 6" aluminum round and so I replicated his fixture. I really enjoyed making the fixture and I gave my fly cutter a work out on this project. While I was milling the recess in the base, I decided to make it pretty deep so I could mill another 3" X 3" recess (or whatever) on top of it if I ever wanted to make a larger size cube. I would also have to make some longer clamps though.

I decided on a 4 Cube design and I started by turning the smallest bore first. Some do it the other way around. I did it this way because my good boring bar is 5/8" w/carbide insert and I didn't have the necessary clearance. I could have opened up the center hole to accommodate this but I choose to hone my skills in deep/blind boring with a 1/4" boring bit that I made. :lmao:

On the 2nd side, I got smarterer and changed my method to drilling the second bore with a .750 drill bit to minimize stock removal.

As is expected, the smallest bore is hard to inspect the bottom so I started using a mirror. I decided that a mag base adjustable mirror would be a cool addition to my tooling arsenal and leave both hands free for working. I took a chance on some things I had around the shop and found that combining an old DI mag base and a HF Helping Hands fixture, I got a quick, cheap and versatile mag base inspection mirror!

http://www.harborfreight.com/helping-hands-319.html
http://www.harborfreight.com/multipositional-magnetic-base-with-fine-adjustment-5645.html

I finished the first 2 sides and they turned out great. When I cut the third and started opening up the windows, I found that the large bore depth was a bit deep leaving a thinner than optimal margin between bores 1 & 2. In the future, I would reduce the depth of the largest bore. It's still a viable Cube though and I'm anxious to finish it. Only 3 more sides to go!

Equipment Used:

Grizzly G0602
LMS High-Torque Mini Mill

Rick

IMG_0734.JPG IMG_0738.JPG IMG_0741.JPG IMG_0746.JPG IMG_0748.JPG IMG_0744.JPG
 
Last edited:

Fabrickator

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#2
Here's the update pics of the finished turning. I still have to fine tune it with deburring and polish. Also, I plan on making a stand to mount it on the points so I can spin it for different views on my curio.

Earlier I said that I was working from the inside-out. I also tried 2 sides from the outside-in and returned to inside-out. I liked it much better, I don't know why. I was just more comfortable with establishing the bottom bore and working my way out to the easy bores.

The turning fixture worked great. I use my 4-jaw all the time, but this thing was brainless with no anti-marring pieces to deal with and it provided exceptional holding power. I think that it was well worth the time and trouble if you plan on making any more than one or two cubes.

Next time I'll try one of the loose, nested cubes.

Factoid: I weighed the cube before turning at 355 grams, a little over 12 ozs. After turning it weighs 65 grams, just over 2 ozs. That means I removed over 80% o f the material.

Rick

IMG_0760.JPG IMG_0765.JPG IMG_0767.JPG
 

mattthemuppet2

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#3
that is really really cool. Sounds relatively simple to make, but looks awesome. The loose ones are a little trickier from what I've read, with some funky angle ground bits needed, so I'll look out for that thread when you make it!
 

Dataporter

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#4
That's really cool. A work of art. Your way of doing it is genius.
 

Fabrickator

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#5
Here is the finished Cube after I made the display stand.

I made the base of the stand out of some Maple I had around w/ Cherry stain. I used acrylic for the vertical support so it blends well into any background. I designed it to maintain the angular and geometrical shapes of the Cube. The Cube rides on miniature ball bearings so I can occasionally spin it for different views (and disco light flashes). A bonus of using acrylic for the support is there are no adjusting screws needed to hold the cube in place. I lightly warmed it up with my heat gun and added a very slight bit of pre-load so I can lightly stretch it over the bearings. It can be removed in a second for holding it or displayed to keep kids hands off.

IMG_0787.JPG IMG_0790.JPG
 

Jamespvill

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#8
This is fantastic, I would love to make one of those for a display piece for my desk. Heck, I know a few people that I could gift one to also!
 

randyjaco

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#9
Nice work, but aren't the individual cubes supposed to be free to move within the confines of the next larger cube?

Randy
 

Fabrickator

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#10
You can make it either way, and the loose cubes are actually harder to make. Some people like them to roll around inside to frustrate onlookers who wonder how you got them in there. I find that the stationary-symmetrical stepped look is more interesting as a display piece because it's balanced to spin on it's axis. A loose Cube won't do that.

Rick
 

joe kozak

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#11
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