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Thread: Rack Panel "Latch Molding" Bracket Repair

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    Wilmette, IL (north of Chicago)
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    I had wanted a Unimat since reading about them in Popular Mechanics as a pre-teen (back in the days when they were also advertising WWII jeeps for $99, still in cosmoline - but that's another story). Unfortunately, their collectible status has pretty much priced them out of consideration - I'd rather spend my money on over-priced collectible minicomputers. The Taig II is a much better value and support is excellent. When I had questions about their collet system, sales put me through to their chief engineer and that pretty much sold me on the brand.

    I will definitely not be sucked into the CNC wormhole. Probably.

    Jack

  2. #12

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    My immersion in CNC from ye bad olde dayes to the present day is why I like manual lathes. I'd have a manual mill too if it weren't for the fact that I already have an NC one.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Westchester County, NY
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    1,225

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    So the reason I thought Harry that you must have an NC lathe are the ball ends you have machined directly on the end of your posts. I have only ever used a fully manual lathe, just for basic turning with tool bits in a standard tool holder (turning cylinders and at most cutting o-ring gland grooves.) To turn the ball end, I would have imagined advancing the tool like sine and cosine. NC makes that easy. I just now googled how to do it manually and see the pivoting toolholder that is pictured about 2/3 of the way down this page: http://www.lathes.co.uk/rivett-918/ . Very simple and clever.

    Someday I would like a small tabletop mill and a jeweler's lathe. I just don't do enough of that work. The 3-D printer in the house is actually my older son's.

    Steve, I like your flexible post design. I will have a go at printing some.

    Lou

  4. #14

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    You don't need a fancy toolholder, or NC, to cut a ball, especially not one that small. Alls you gotsta do is grind a tool bit with a 135 (more or less) internal radius. You can do that by hand with a round file, a die grinder, even a diamond disc in a bench grinder.

  5. #15

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    For turning balls in soft material, especially balls which need be only roughly spherical, I have a few tools knocked up for the purpose. Essentially they are just bits of steel half-bored through, finished and case-hardened and I do it much the same way as you'd do some primitive wood turning. A few minutes is all.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by jackrubin View Post
    I had wanted a Unimat since reading about them in Popular Mechanics as a pre-teen (back in the days when they were also advertising WWII jeeps for $99, still in cosmoline - but that's another story). Unfortunately, their collectible status has pretty much priced them out of consideration - I'd rather spend my money on over-priced collectible minicomputers. The Taig II is a much better value and support is excellent. When I had questions about their collet system, sales put me through to their chief engineer and that pretty much sold me on the brand.

    I will definitely not be sucked into the CNC wormhole. Probably.

    Jack
    CNC shines when you need to make lots of something. For a "one off" you'll likely spend more time programming than machining unless you go all the way to CAD/CAM with CNC at the back end.
    "It's all bits on the bus, Cowboy! It's all bits on the bus!" -- Tom Beck, #1ESS Instructor, Southern Bell Opa Locka Training Center

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    United Kingdom
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    Lou
    I did find some spare time to use one of our cnc lathes to produce the ball ended spigots, this did make life a little easier, but anyone who has access to a small lathe could as KC9UDX mentioned, make a small form tool to produce the ball ends, they could be made in other material even alluminium, or brass for strength, it does'nt need to be that accurate, as it only relies on friction to hold the panel in place, a little trial and error would soon sort it. Probably various other ways to repair these mounts, as you, and others have well shown, I just thought I would share what I had done, using black acetal to keep things original looking.

    ....Harry

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
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    A form tool for this post could be made by drilling a ball-diameter hole in a piece of suitable material as mentioned, then cut away the straight bit and perpendicular edge where the ball tip is, then file those edges flat and relieve slightly. That should give a more accurate round ball than hand shaping the ball profile.

  9. #19

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    Theoretically yes. But not always, especially if your drill doesn't make a round hole. I don't know if I can anymore, but for a long time I could eyeball radii from .016" to .125" so light wouldn't shine between a radius gauge and the part.

    When you have to file perfect corner radii on sharp corner endmills four times a day every day for years, you get pretty good at it.

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