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iusedtoberich 05-25-2019 05:48 PM

Taig CNC Mill & Dayjob shop show and tell
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I bought a Taig CNC mill about 2005, when I wanted to make cues:) It sat in a closet all that time:( Fast forward almost 15 years, and I have a new day job, that has a use for it. I brought it into the office, and got it making some parts. I'm at a startup, and I set up the whole shop.

I'm an intermediate I'd say at CNC, and thought it would be fun to share my 15 year journey in the making:)

Pictures below.

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Wheeling it into the office after 15 years in the house collecting dust.

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CNC setup. I had everything 15 years ago (computer, software, axis driver, steppers, etc), but never did anything with it except one test engraving of my name all those years back. Its running Mach 2, Xylotex cheapo 4 axis driver, I think 24v power supply, stepper motors. I upgraded it just now to the ER16 spindle. It had the old style Taig spindle before, that only accepted up to 1/4" shank tooling. Now I can go to 3/8".

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Space was super tight, and I wanted to get a minimum of basic tools in this room. Cheapo drill press from Amazon.

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Makita metal cutting saw with aluminum specific blade. I'll be cutting a lot of 8020 T-Slot. It works amazingly well.

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High quality knock-off vise, 2 ton arbor press, 1" kalamazoo belt sander, delta disc sander.

Continued next post.

iusedtoberich 05-25-2019 05:53 PM

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This is a VFD bandsaw. I put a Starrett variable pitch blade on it. I can cut steel, aluminum, plastic, or wood on it, by varying the speed from 100 SFM to 4000 SFM. Having the variable speed is awesome. It brought the price of the saw from 1100 to 1700. I convinced the boss to spend the extra money because we would be cutting all of those materials on a regular basis. It also has a blade break from the VFD, so you don't have watch the blade spin forever after turning off the saw.

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This is the column for the drill press. I cut it shorter, because it was too high to use. The tables are all from Home Depot, and I have them set at the highest height of 42". I'm 6'-3" tall, and set up this whole shop to stand in. Still, the drill press was too high. After cutting the column, its a good height now.

iusedtoberich 05-25-2019 06:02 PM

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My first part on the Taig! It took about 10 tries to get it right. I had to learn the machine, and also learn MasterCam. I do have a decent machining background, having worked for 2 years in a machine shop years ago. But I did everything manually then on Bridgeport knee mills, or with G-code on an old VMC. This was the first time I used a CAM package. I'm glad I spent the time learning it (still am!!!), as it is way faster than g-code for anything but basic shapes.

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For some reason, the OD of the parts I've made have been on the money! I mean within .002 inches. But the ID has been undersize about 5 to 10 thou. I've tried climb and conventional milling. I haven't figured it out yet, but its good enough for now. I was actually surprised how good the dimensions are, considering I'm on 1/2-20 V-thread lead screws. I'll chase down the ID error as time allows, or live with it for now.

(These pictures were all about 2 months ago, I'm finally getting around to sharing).

iusedtoberich 05-25-2019 06:41 PM

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I couldn't find T-nuts anywhere that fit the Taig's table, so I decided to design my own. I order CNC parts from the big boys a lot, so I tacked these T-nuts onto my last order. I had them laser etch the thread size onto them. I used 10-32 instead of the coarser 10-24 threads, as Taig sells a tooling plate that uses 10-32 screws, so I would be consistent (even though I don't have that tooling plate yet). They came out great. I ordered 10 or 12 of them. They are made of low carbon steel.

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iusedtoberich 05-25-2019 07:00 PM

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Here is the actual parts I needed to CNC for my Dayjob. They are custom PCB's we had made, but the design of the outline changed after receiving the PCB's. They started as square with 4 mounting screws, one in each corner.

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Here they are stacked 5 high with the existing mounting holes as the workholding and positioning features.

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Step 1 was to drill 4 new mounting holes to work with the changed design.

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Step 2 was to put screws in the new holes.

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Step 3 was to cut out the new profile to work with the changed design. The Taig cut full depth using a 3/32 end mill with no problem. I think I was about 10 IPM, I forget now.

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All cuts made.

Continued next post.

iusedtoberich 05-25-2019 07:01 PM

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The finished PCB with the new perimeter and mounting provisions. I cut 25 like this.

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iusedtoberich 05-25-2019 07:08 PM

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I did the same basic procedure with a bunch of other PCB's, except they were fully populated (PCBA's). These were super sensitive, and we put grounding straps on me and the boards and anything that went near the boards so as not to risk damaging their components. In total, I machined 100 boards of 4 different designs.

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I designed the fixture (and had it made in a CNC house) so that the component side of the board was face down, and buried in a pocket. This kept any chips from being thrown onto the components, and possibly damaging them.

iusedtoberich 05-25-2019 07:11 PM

I did have one problem with the Taig. With the original spindle, it got to full speed (without any load) with zero problems. When I upgraded the spindle to the ER16, the motor would struggle to start up, and never reached full speed (when in the top speed mechanical pulley arrangement). But at the lower pulley speeds, it worked ok. I called up Taig, and they gave me a few suggestions, but nothing worked. They then said they used to have a lot of problems with the older motors, and the newer ones have a special start circuit in them. I might get the new motor, I think its about $150. Or live with the old motor at less than top speed.

iusedtoberich 05-25-2019 08:08 PM

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Made a fence for the metal cutting saw. Took about an hour using some scrap 8020 I had. It is night and day faster to cut material now, even for one single piece. No measuring, and the cut is on the money. The last picture I cut all of those pieces in about 15 minutes. The blade is jam up. Its an aluminum cutting blade from Japan. It is ice cold after cutting, as is the material being cut. No deburring needed either.

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iusedtoberich 05-25-2019 08:13 PM

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The aluminum cutting blade also does ok with wood. The hook angle is very shallow, so it much slower and takes more force than a dedicated woodworking chop saw and blade. But, its good enough. (oh, the RPM's on this saw are half of a woodworking saw)

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The saw ships with a steel cutting blade (I purchased the aluminum cutting blade separately). Here it is cutting some junk steel shelf standards. They came out ice cold, and no burrs. I'm amazed how well this saw cuts metals.

iusedtoberich 05-25-2019 08:17 PM

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And that brings us to the present.

I just made and hung these shelves yesterday. My goal is to remove the plastic shelves in the corner, to free it up for storing tall items. Its the only free corner in the room.

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rhinobywilhite 05-26-2019 04:57 AM

You have a great setup in such a small space. Also, about the cleanest dang work area I have ever seen.

Also, it seems that you are having fun and making money at the same time. Win-Win!

MVPCues 05-26-2019 05:26 AM

Delightful posts. Nice work. I love the chop saw fence.

iusedtoberich 05-26-2019 06:06 AM


Originally Posted by rhinobywilhite (Post 6403630)
You have a great setup in such a small space. Also, about the cleanest dang work area I have ever seen.

Also, it seems that you are having fun and making money at the same time. Win-Win!

Thank you. It is clean like this all the time, after 3 month of almost daily use. Its a necessity. The space is so small, that if a single tool is left out on a table, it blocks using another tool. Plus, I'm an anal mf'r about clean shops:)

iusedtoberich 05-26-2019 06:08 AM


Originally Posted by MVPCues (Post 6403643)
Delightful posts. Nice work. I love the chop saw fence.

Thank you. I bought the tape measure from McMaster for about 5 or 6 dollars. And I calibrated the stop with a test cut. Its within I'd say 10 thou on length.

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