Update on the CNC mill

I’ve now spent a few days’ worth of free time working on getting the CNC mill set up, tested and adjusted. I finally got access to the more useful forums at Lumenlab’s web site, so I have some additional measurements, adjustments and run-in to do. All in all, by the time I finally get the spindle and am able to do some real work, I should have things set up pretty well.

I’ve still got some stuff to do with getting the wiring cleaned up, and I want to get the motor driver board and power supply mounted into the controller PC case. For the time being, though, everything is going well. With e Dremel flex head temporarily and not-too-solidly clamped to the tool head, I was able to do some test cuts on a scarp 2×4 and will do some more testing after adjusting for backlash and tramming (squaring).

I’ve got a LOT of potential projects lined up. Of course the primary use for the short term will be making the holes for PicoKeyer and other cabinets. I want to make a tabletop stand.cabinet for my Nixie tube clock. I want to do some engraving and see how well it does with relief carving in wood, with the idea that I might be able to make some plaques and decorations. There will be some bits and pieces for the Harley also, starting with new bushings for the removable tour pack kit.

A new toy – err, I mean, tool!!

For the past couple of days I have been working on assembling and figuring out the wiring and setup for the newest tool in the tool box.  OK, it would be a BIG tool box.  I’m just waiting for the rotary tool heads to arrive so I can do some real work with this sucker…

The M3's first words
Motion test -- not bad, for a start

Busy day!

Got up early this morning to make it out to the Ak-Sar-Ben Amateur Radio Club’s hamfest.  It was pretty much a bust as far as sales, and to be perfectly honest it was about as small and sparsely attended as any I have seen.  Still, it was nice to see some of the guys, and I did pick up a couple of cheap LED flashlights.

Got home and put a coat of clear polyurethane on the new desk.  I hope it’s the last coat, but I’m not too confident about that.  It’s looking pretty well, the 400 grit sanding between coats of clear satin are doing wonders for the finish.  I’m hoping to get it brought up and put together tonight.

Then I mowed the lawn, front & back, and trimmed some tree branches that were hanging too low to suit me.  Our grand-niece Natalie was over for a while, so I pulled the Vespa out & we went for a little putt around the neighborhood…  her first time on a scooter, I’m sure!  The Vespa ran surprisingly well, and started right up the second time after I fixed a bad fuel line.  I think I’m going to put historical plates on it so it stays registered.

Weather sucks.

Well, it looks like the weather forecast was off by a day. I had been hoping to get the bike out this afternoon for a little while, but it’s nasty and has been raining off and on since last night. I suppose if I were really dedicated I could gear up and ride in it anyway… but I think I’ll stay in and work on the new desk instead.  I’ve got about one more day before it’s ready, I think, just the clear coating and final assembly left to do. That sucker is huge.  I have emailed the pearl supplier to see if I can use the pearl treatment in brush-on clear, or if I need to spray it.

The office is coming along

We went to Ikea while we were in Minneapolis for a wedding.  I had heard a lot about Ikea, and most of what we saw was some fairly good quality stuff.  There was some dorm room quality stuff I wasn’t too impressed with, but for the most part it seemed to be an excellent value.

We settled on a Galant desk system for the office.  Unfortunately, one piece of the desk top is too big to ship UPS, so the shipping cost was going to be $300…  and we had driven Lisa’s car instead of the pickup.  Oh well.  I have ordered all the frame and leg pieces, and will be making the desk top myself out of some birch plywood.  The only part giving me any concern is a large radius cut for the top, and how to treat the edges.  I’m leaning toward some hot-glue veneer edge band, mostly because of that radius.

In the mean time, the floor is looking good and my buddy Stu tells me some satin polyurethane will touch up the finish if I need to do any trimming or sanding.  Have not gotten on the air yet, but it’s coming one of these days.  Oh, and the Fusion averaged about 36 MPG for the trip.  38 on the way up with a tail wind, 34 on the way back with a headwind.  It was getting around 36 each way on the east/west legs, with a slight crosswind.

Learning to checker

I’ve started learning to checker stocks.  I hadn’t given it much thought before, but in the process of doing the rebuild on the Remington I decided to re-cut the factory checkering.  I started out using a single line checkering tool, and have a couple of new cutting heads on the way.  The biggest challenge, really, is keeping the lines straight.  When I can keep the lines from getting off kilter, the results are really, really nice.