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  1. #1
    The cat's name is jake
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    I'm warning you, this is probably going to be boring...

    Well, you're still reading, so I might as well put some pictures up. Again, I'm warning you it's probably not worth your time. There is an episode of The Venture Brothers out there somewhere, waiting to be watched instead.

    Everywhere I've worked, there have been some good ideas people come up with, and some not so good ideas. One of the good ideas from my current place of work is coping tubing with a lathe. This is done with toolpost mounted tube holders, and utilizing the compound rest swivel to set the appropriate angle. I decided to make my own set of toolpost mounted tube holders, including making the dovetailed toolblocks.

    I'm warning you, this is probably going to be boring...-dsc05027.jpgI'm warning you, this is probably going to be boring...-dsc05031.jpgI'm warning you, this is probably going to be boring...-dsc05032.jpgI'm warning you, this is probably going to be boring...-dsc05041.jpgI'm warning you, this is probably going to be boring...-dsc05037.jpg

    I had spent some time tuning the servo drives on the Deckel, which is 29 years old now. I'm not sure when the drives were tuned last, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was 29 years ago. Interpolation moves were getting a little outside of where I'd like them, accuracy wise, so I spent some time getting to know the drives. I was amazed at the results - even in cold rolled stock, which is dimensionally fairly unstable, I was able to make very accurate bores. I pocketed the bores halfway from one side, flipped the part, then ran the same cycle again, and amazingly the bores matched up almost without any detectible intersection. I've never been able to do that on any machine I've owned.

    Now that I have these tools done, I need to start making a new frame fixture. My old frame fixture is too heavy to bother with, and I'd like to mimic what I use at work for single bikes, which is an Arctos style jig. They are simple, easy to setup, and I think I can make it a bit lighter and still be fully functional. Since it only gets used for a few minutes while taking a frame together, then gets put away, I'd rather it not take up more space then necessary and feel like a boat anchor.

  2. #2
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    Dude, those look awesome! Nice machining work!

    Also, that's a sweet lathe. I've used some Deckel mills and really liked them.

    I tried to set up an old 9" craftsman atlas lathe for tube mitering using a similar approach, but it turned out to not be rigid enough. How are you planning on getting the centers dead on?

  3. #3
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    And you're selling these for how much?

    Eric
    If I don't make an attempt, how will I know if it will work?

  4. #4
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    Well done! It's pretty rewarding to make a machine better than you found it. I sure learned a lot too rebuilding a Nichols mill.
    Maybe dead centers for the center?
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    not sure how to place that 3rd center, bet you can figure it out with some mount. This was from a main tube miter jig I made for the Nichols.
    Eyeballing really doesn't work, like Adarn is alluding to, you've made it pretty precise so far. This really is the best looking lathe mitering solution I've seen
    cheers
    andy walker

  5. #5
    Nemophilist
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    Ummm...

    False modesty is truly not necessary, Peter. Beautiful as always. Glad the Deckel is purring. I know it was a trial. Are you using end mills, or annulars?
    Most people ply the Well Trodden Path. A few seek a different way, and leave a Trail behind.
    - John Hajny, a.k.a. TrailMaker

  6. #6
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    I'm warning you, this is probably going to be boring...

    Freaking awesome. That is all.
    Where do you work?

  7. #7
    The cat's name is jake
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    As doctor Nick from the Simpsons would say, "Thaanks evverybody!"

    Adarn - I'll center them the way I center most things: with an indicator revolving around the spindle, and adjust the movable object until it indicates true when the spindle revolves 180 degrees. Even then, tubing tends to pull with the cutter, so I'll probably have to offset it somewhat. Trial and error gets the ends square in the end.

    Eric - Heh, I kinda gave up on making tools for money, except in special cases. For the right price I'd make more, but you guys can make your own if you liked them, based on the pictures I think. Probably come up with some improvements/personalizations too! Most people who make bikes seem to also have the desire to make their own tools, I've decided. Part of that is through necessity, as that many of us don't have cash laying on the ground, and part of it is just the interest in making stuff ourselves!

    Afwalker - what's that vise you've got that is holding the tube holding blocks? I'm trying to run through the options in my head, and not coming up with the maker (can't quite see the whole thing). I like some of those small production job mills, too. More pictures!

    John - I like holesaws. Call me cheap! I've just gotten used to using them, as it's what both places I've worked at used, and seemed to get good results for years. If you are good, you can even resharpen them. Starrett 6-pitch seem to be the best...

    Meriwether - I work for Co-Motion Cycles now. I worked at Bike Friday for a few years, prior to that. I'm one of 2 welders at CM, but I've also been a brazer/finisher there, as well as pulling "mitering" (wrong word, but that's what everybody calls it) duty sometimes, and helping in paint sometimes.

    Thanks again for the responses. I hope it might be useful to somebody!

  8. #8
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    I'm warning you, this is probably going to be boring...

    Nice. Coping is the proper term?

    So my Southbend has pretty meager graduations on the compound rest and I can't imagine setting an accurate angle like with a rotary table. Is the Deckel easier/better or do you have another system?

    Why did you choose steel blocks and not AL? Just curious since I'm not one of the toolmakers, I'm pretty clueless in general!

    Thanks for sharing.

  9. #9
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    It's a self-centering vise, pay no attention to the cat-in-the-hat stack of nuts for spacers I was using for a hold down
    Woodstock D4064 Precision Self Centering Vise - Amazon.com
    The Jaws are the nice Votaw's, I think Meriwether's idea:
    MAGNETIC 'V' BLOCK UNIVERSAL VISE JAWS - VISES - GENERAL SHOP TOOLS - TOOLS

    Good point on the cutter pulling into the tube, even when all 3 tips are lined up, I have to adjust with some trial and error. Maybe if I calculated the inches per second the cutting teeth move at with an angular intersection with the tube allowing for centrifugal acceleration I could calculate the offset. But I'm not a machinist! Just trying to build bikes. Please don't look up the calculation I could use even if you know it
    cheers
    andy walker

  10. #10
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    Hey, my comments were humour only, as I am very impressed. I whole heartedly agree with your reply/observations. Its amazing what you can do with a bit of wood, even if you can't handle the wood smoke.....

    Eric
    If I don't make an attempt, how will I know if it will work?

  11. #11
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    Whit;

    I imagine Peter would say that aluminum wears very quickly and can become unstable in short order. Steel if very tough and is far better suited to repetitive processes like clamping. It also has better damping characteristics for use in machine fixtures. Obviously, it helps to know what you are doing in the creation of such bits, as Peter obviously does. I've got some of his really old cast off fixturing, and while they might be a bit crude by his standards, they still are quite well made and function very satisfactorily.

    I have used hole saws on my vert mill mounted on arbors that Peter made for me. As long as I use the fine quill feed and a super slow speed, they have cut very nicely for me. I have considered annular cutters, and even center cutting end mills, but perhaps I should first try a better brand of holesaw than the generic Milwaukee or Lenox stuff you get in big box stores. One would like to think that the Morse or Starrett saws may be a tad better quality.

    By the way, Peter. When these become too crude for you to stand any longer, and you look toward your next upgrade project, I will help you dispose of them.
    Most people ply the Well Trodden Path. A few seek a different way, and leave a Trail behind.
    - John Hajny, a.k.a. TrailMaker

  12. #12
    The cat's name is jake
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    Eric - I totally got the mood of your comment, it was very kind. I was just letting my stream of consciousness sort of flow - sometimes it takes somewhat circuitous paths.

    Meriwether - Yes, coping is the proper term, though no one in the bike industry that I have met uses it. I sort of cringe at that sort of thing, but have to perpetuate the usage myself or risk not being understood at all. When I say "cope" at work, everybody looks at me funny.

    With the Deckel FP2NC, there are a bunch of ways to skin that cat. However, the angular measurement on the compound of the Monarch 10ee lathe is plenty good enough for bike work. Working to a half degree is probably as good a resolution as one needs - there's often touch up grinding work even on perfectly machined tubing - fitup is inevitably a little individualized for each bike (even if doing bikes back-to back that are the same size). One nice thing about using the lathe, is that once the blocks are set, height wise, they will always be in correct alignment. Since the lathe has one fewer axis than a milling machine, it's easier/quicker to get setup, unless a machine is dedicated for the purpose.

    With the Deckel mill, I'd personally just use the angular adjustment of the vertical head, then use the quill movement to cope the tubing. It has a good, easy to read angular markings. It also has a remarkably accurate 0 position stop. I can return it to 0 degrees (or 90, however you wish to think about it) using the hard stop, and the head is trammed within considerably less than .001" deviation across 4". There are also both manual and NC controlled rotary tables available. I'm not a big fan of rotary tables however. There's a good discussion in Holes, Contours, and Surfaces by the Moore company as to why it can be problematic. I used to use them for not just tube coping, but for regular machining operations before I had a CNC mill. There are lots of opportunities for error to accumulate, and rotary tables themselves, unless rigorously designed and made, can have inaccuracy built into them. Again, not such a big deal for bike work, in most cases.

    Wow, I think John said everything there is to say on material choice. It's mostly just a matter of steel holding up to chips and such. Since the clamps will get used for fabrication work other than bikes as well, they'll probably have to deal with ERW tubing with poor roundness, burs, etc. I'll put you first in line for any cast offs. I actually have a pile, of parts from my last frame jig, but I'm really too embarrassed by them to pass them off to anyone.

  13. #13
    will rant for food
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    Quote Originally Posted by BungedUP View Post
    I actually have a pile, of parts from my last frame jig, but I'm really too embarrassed by them to pass them off to anyone.
    *cough*

    Dude don't hold out on us!
    Latitude: 44.93 N

  14. #14
    The cat's name is jake
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Diller View Post
    *cough*

    Dude don't hold out on us!
    Really - I built it around 2006 (maybe?) and it is an abomination. I mean, I could build straight bikes with it (including some pretty weird ones at that), but anyone's opinion of me would just go straight through the floor after seeing it. Actually, the problem was the whole package and how it operated, more than anything. It was just cumbersome. I hadn't been exposed to bikes for very long, and my previous machining experience had been a decade earlier (I played a stint as a biologist for awhile before making bikes). That didn't stop me from using company machinery after work to try and make a frame fixture. It served it's purpose though, so I won't bash it anymore than necessary.

    I do have a bunch of "gate blocks" (I'm not sure why I called them that) that are basically just squares of aluminum with a bolt going in one axis, and another 90 degrees to that, which held 1.5" wide t-channel extrusion for a seat tube holder and various other weird attachments on "the monstrosity". I'd mail them to somebody for postage and some semblance of a scrap fee.

    To that end, I'd be willing to make duplicate parts for the Arctos style fixture, if anyone wanted. You'd have to pay for material, and then whatever it was worth to you after that (up to you), but assuming it wasn't a whole giant production run, I'd rather that then know my abomination was out there somewhere.

    Oh, and dang it! I called it a "jig"! There I go, being a hypocrite about terminology. It's a FIXTURE, Bungum, FIXTURE! Sorry. Probably won't be the last time.

  15. #15
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    I'm warning you, this is probably going to be boring...

    Quote Originally Posted by afwalker View Post
    The Jaws are the nice Votaw's, I think Meriwether's idea:
    MAGNETIC 'V' BLOCK UNIVERSAL VISE JAWS - VISES - GENERAL SHOP TOOLS - TOOLS
    Not my find, saw another user post that link here a few years ago. But great vise jaws!

  16. #16
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    Very nice work and I'm looking forward to seeing more.

    I have the old fashioned little baby brother to your mill, a 1965 FP-2 and I'd so much rather have it than any two bridgeports. I'm amazed at the capabilities of the thing despite its relatively tiny footprint.
    Sean Chaney :: Owner/Builder :: Vertigo Cycles LLC
    flickr :: www.vertigocycles.com

  17. #17
    The cat's name is jake
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    Hi Sean,

    They are pretty great machines. For 80% of what I do, it's unbeatable. There are times when I miss the table travel of some of the bigger machines I've owned, and I'd like to have a manual machine again sometime as well. If I can ever get my hands on a well kept Abene (Rick Hunter that sonofa***** has one of the handful that are around) I'd be in hog heaven. If I had a nice manual Maho, Schaublin, Mikron, or Deckel like yours as well? Well, the joke I have with my wife about just sticking a cot in the shop would probably become reality.

    Where'd you pick yours up?

  18. #18
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    There was a Steinel that I don't even remember bidding on half a year ago that I just got a notice that I didn't win it. $500 more and it would be jammed in my shop right now performing a task that doesn't come close to taking advantage of what a useful machine it is.

    I'm 100% with you on the travel. That's really the only bummer about it. I find myself at the limits all too often on the Y and the X but I'm always blown away by how much steel it can hog out and the accuracy it can maintain.

    I got mine from a guy in San Diego who never even hooked it up. He bought it from someone on the east coast, spent a boatload to rig it and have it hauled out only to never use it. I guess he never figured out the VFD (sad but apparently true).

    I bought a Tree 425 last year but a shop lease debacle has unfortunately prevented me from firing it up. With any luck, it'll be moved by mid Feb and hopefully I can finally run some parts on it.

    Do you have a Dynapath control on the Deckel? If so, can I pick your brain some time?

    If I put another machine in my garage, I wouldn't have room for a cot

    Where are you finding all of your wonderful toys?
    Last edited by smudge; 01-30-2014 at 07:56 AM.
    Sean Chaney :: Owner/Builder :: Vertigo Cycles LLC
    flickr :: www.vertigocycles.com

  19. #19
    The cat's name is jake
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    I saw a horizontal Steinel once - a little guy. It was a VERY attractive machine. Only one I've ever run across.

    That's interesting about the TREE Master Journeyman- that's the OTHER small CNC mill I'd consider purchasing for my uses. I still keep my eye out, but it seems they have become scarcer. I used to get quotes from machinery dealers on them, but they just kept going up. I started getting quotes for a few thousand, but the last few were 8-12k, and some of them weren't in very good condition, it seemed.

    I do have the Dynapath control on it, and I like it. It's not integrated into the Deckel as cleanly as the dialog controllers probably are, but the control itself is reliable, full featured, and very, very easy to use. It's also quite advanced in many ways. I have 6 manuals for the Deckel - 3 orange books, and 3 dynapath books. There is a lot of capability within the control, including pretty extensive ballscrew mapping, backlash comp (which Dialog controllers don't have), axis switching, and just seemingly endless other adjustable parameters.

    I've bought and sold a fair amount of machinery, and it's come from all over. My monarch 10ee came from Michigan (I think it was originally owned by GE or something like that), the Deckel was from Maine, I have a small automatic lathe that came from a retired machinist here in Eugene, welders from all over the country too. I used to do lots of ebay machine shopping, then started signing up for auction notices, talking with machinery dealers, etc. I haven't often found some of the really incredible deals that some seem to find, but everything I've bought has usually paid it's own way, or gone a long way towards that (some more than others).

    I see you are in Portland - I don't get up to Portland too often, but any interest in letting another Deckel owner check out your machine?
    Last edited by BungedUP; 01-30-2014 at 05:47 PM.

  20. #20
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    Absolutely. If you're up here, get in touch. I rarely get down to Eugene, but if I do, I'd love to check out your Deckel.
    Sean Chaney :: Owner/Builder :: Vertigo Cycles LLC
    flickr :: www.vertigocycles.com

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