Machinist (Or other clever TDPRI'ers) Help Please.....

Texicaster

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¡Bueno!™

MY bread and butter are these simple rings photo below. They are 6mm wide bands, parallel sides. I've been using a Covington wet sander. As you can see in the photo the hard water in the SW has killed it. There was a platform that sits square to the belt and I could put a perfect flat spot on the rings to quickly solder to a back plate. Clean and square. It's aluminum but actually broke off. Not only the hard water but they used a steel bolt which reacted with the aluminum. Please see the brand new photo of what it's supposed to look like.

This one cost me ~$300 ~3 years ago. Now $450! Plus it was never the perfect tool for the job. They are not designed for a solid stable 90° bed but adjustable. So a challenge to keep squared up.

I've been trying to find an alternative to do this. I did it by hand yesterday; a file and a perfectly squared clamp (engravers block) and it works but ~5 minutes compared to 5 seconds.....I've used woodworking disc sanders in the past but they sandpaper never lasts as it gets too hot and not made for water cooling.....

The $450 does hurt too bad but I'm taking the opportunity to consider other options.... I've been using these machines for years and never had one fail like this one. Even in the SW..... I'll at least have to modify with stainless steel or other non reactive bolts

Any ideas?

Thanks!

ring.jpg


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cov.jpg
 

Texicaster

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Does that machine need a continuous supply of water, or do you just fill the lower reservoir? If you just fill, you could use cheap distilled water from the grocery store in a new machine.

Yes you can buy a pump and have it work off the reservoir on the bottom. But Pumps never last long.

I generally have a quart bottle I pour over the belt by hand. I never have an issue with over heating the belts. They last for weeks/months.

While distilled would be ideal but it would be a hassle to say the least.

I recently installed a water softener and may try that all the time but it was too late for this one.

I'd like to find a better set up; some way to quickly square up these bands..

Thanks!
 

schmee

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If you are recirculating water, you could put machinist lube in it. Basically "water soluble oil". There are many special types or just the plain old "water soluble oil". Machine shops use this all the time.

Could you get a water softener to take care of the water issue?

Another option might be an undersink Reverse Osmosis unit. They are only about $150
 

Texicaster

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Could you get a water softener to take care of the water issue?
Another option might be an undersink Reverse Osmosis unit. They are only about $150
If you are recirculating water, you could put machinist lube in it. Basically "water soluble oil". There are many special types or just the plain old "water soluble oil"

Thanks!

I'm sure I could do something to prolong the life of one of these but I'm curious about an alternate approach; some sort of small portable edge sander that can give me that perfectly 90° flat spot on a round ring.

You wouldn't believe how hard that is to do! Even a degree or two ends up making the ring all wonky looking. Making sure it's flat is hard to! After I use the sander I have a heavy steel block with perfect 90° edge and I place that on sand paper and clean it up to get a perfect fit.

I'd love to find an accurate one step method. Most jewelers don't do the volume I do so don't mind taking 5-10 minutes per shank to make perfect. I average about 1000 rings a year so you can see how that adds up. Dang I just did the math! At 10 minutes a shank that's 166 hours a year! So even 5 minutes makes it 83 hours a year! 2 full weeks of work! A good spot to figure a better way...even if it costs $1000++
 

schmee

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Do you grind the flat spot on tubing prior to sawing into rings? If not, do that.
I'm thinking of a sort of sliding bed you pull through the grind maybe. You'd still need a jig to hold the tube.
You are just holding the ring or tube by hand?

Sliding jig example, could be simpler than this is:
0:15
 
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Wrighty

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Seem to remember many years ago the aircraft engineering place I worked turned to air cooling for some kit. Effective but noisy. Maybe no good in your case………………I’ll get my coat!
 

Texicaster

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Do you grind the flat spot on tubing prior to sawing into rings? If not, do that.
I'm thinking of a sort of sliding bed you pull through the grind maybe. You'd still need a jig to hold the tube.
You are just holding the ring or tube by hand?

Sliding jig example, could be simpler than this is:
0:15


The rings start as flat wire,6mm x 2mm, and are formed into rings. I make a lot of custom sizes so there would be too much variation for tubing to work.
 

moosie

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The machine isn't the hard part. There are many wood and metalworking machines that will grind / sand at a perfect 90. Add in the water requirement and your choices narrow, but I'm sure there are still some.

The task is to figure out how to hold the workpiece in perfect orientation. Safely, and repeatably. And as @schmee says, do it on a larger piece if at all possible. With a proper jig the small pieces aren't a safety issue, but it's still the hassle of jigging up every piece, vs doing it once for a dozen rings.

EDIT: I read more posts, and well, if you gotta do each small piece, so be it. Still doesn't change this:

In a perfect example of synchronicity, I read this, decided not to comment, and the very next thing I read was an email from Fine Woodworking, and this is what they wanted to tell me: How to do perfect flush / template sanding.

Now, they're working with wood of course. And it's a disc sander, which only works if you remain doing single pieces. Probably better to keep a setup similar to what you have, with a larger belt for cooling (even without water).

But the key is the way they show use of the miter slot. With the table 90 to the sanding surface, and the miter slot parallel to it, well, you can probably put the pieces together in your mind, as well as I did.

 

schmee

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Have the rings made in China from thick wall tubing. They could machine the ID to different sizes. A CNC screw machine would probably crank out 5-6 a minute. :lol:
 




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