Author Topic: Hugh Currin's Shop - Again  (Read 2286 times)

Offline Hugh Currin

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Hugh Currin's Shop - Again
« on: May 29, 2020, 04:01:54 PM »
It's been about a year since I updated you all. I left you hanging last spring (yes a year ago). I was packing up the Traveling Sherline Show to leave Arizona for travels.

So, we spent spring/summer/fall mostly traveling around New Mexico. Bought a new to us 25' trailer as the 19' was a little small for the two of us and two dogs. Then went back to Brenda, AZ for the winter. We'd decided to keep a permanent space there and get a shed for summer storage and winter shop. The 10'x14' shop shared between my machining and Denise's lapidary (rocks). It took a good bit of time to wire and finish the shed. Then in January we decided to buy a house in Prescott Valley. We still plan to travel at least half the year using the PV house for summers. (crowded camping out there summers.) This took a good deal of our time. The result was very little machining this year and no work on the LTD Stirling.


Then around mid-March the Pandemic hit. We know at least one subconscious reason for getting the house was a nice place to sit this out. Been here some 2 1/2 months now. Was going to have a small detached shop built but this turned out to be VERY expensive. So, my wife allowed me to take over two bays of the three car garage for my new shop. I again have a 20'x20' area but now it needs to keep all the metal working as well as the wood. Had a contractor come in and put up a dividing wall, put in a lot more electric and a good heater. Earlier this month we felt safe enough to shoot up to Oregon and bring back all the stuff we had stored there. This included all my metal working tools, except for the Traveling Sherline Show. Just today we rented a fork lift to move the lathe and mill from a utility trailer into the new shop. A quick four corner tour:


It isn't nearly set up yet. I need to build some tool carts, metal and wood, one or two work tables, more shelving and storage, etc. I just ordered VFDs for the lathe and mill. Also have a TIG welder on order. I'm realizing it took 10-20 years to set up my last shop so I shouldn't be surprised this one is taking longer than I'd like. May well be into winter before I'm back to the LTD Stirling, but it's still on the list.

Also have on order a small lathe and mill for the winter shop in Brenda. I plan to CNC both. The Sherline is a little small for my needs and I have trouble doing work with it. I quickly run into its limitations. Glad to expand on why this is true for me, but this is long enough already.

So, I'm happy with all the changes, although much poorer than before.

Hope you are all healthy and happy. Have a good summer and I'll update as things happen.

P.S. For the full story see www.currin.us under Escaped Doodles.
Hugh

Online Kim

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Re: Hugh Currin's Shop - Again
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2020, 05:57:45 PM »
Great to hear an update from you, Hugh!

Glad you enjoyed the time out on the road, and nice to see your new shop too!  It looks very nice.  Can't wait to see it all outfitted and ready to run.

Kim

Offline Hugh Currin

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Re: Hugh Currin's Shop - Again
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2020, 01:05:34 AM »
I promised an update on the shop as it comes together. It still needs quite a bit of effort, but the pieces are coming together.

As I said, the woodworking and metal shop are now co-located in two bays of a garage. I have a table saw which I've added a router table to. I've had this for a number of years, very handy for woodwork.


For the new shop I built a flip cart. This combines my miter saw and planner on one cart. Only half the footprint and an easy way to move them around.




I decided to put most things on casters. That way I can roll them where needed and/or out of the way.

I really needed additional tool storage so built a tool cart. It's height is right for a tablesaw outfeed table and support for miter saw and planner. Multi-function.


I also built a computer cart for the CNCed mill along the same style lines. Must keep all the "furniture" matching. :-) This, and the Kennedy cart, contain most of the lathe and mill tooling, as well as metrology.


I did move from the parallel port to a Mesa card for the CNC. Got it configured using LinuxCNC. The parallel port worked well but I think the Mesa is a little more solid. May still be some minor issues but so far so good.

Thanks.
Hugh

Offline Hugh Currin

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Re: Hugh Currin's Shop - Again
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2020, 01:17:08 AM »
I gave my very large, very noisy, very heavy, very poor phase converter away before leaving Oregon. It was an ancient 20HP three phase motor with a small single phase motor connected to bring it to speed. If one connects single phase power to one of the three phases the 20HP motor it will run. Well, you have to bring it up to speed first, thus the small started motor. The 20HP motor will generate the other two phases, thus a phase converter. The quality of the three phase power is poor, but it ran my lathe and mill for many yeaes. I couldn't run my lathe in the highest speed as it would blow fuses when starting up, bummer.

So, I swore if I ever moved I'd get VFDs for both the mill and the lathe. I did this. The mill was easy, just run 220V single phase to the VFD and the resulting three phase output to the mills motor. A little configuration of the VFD and it'll run off the front panel, mainly on and off. Easy peasy.


The lathe was a little more involved. There is an on/off lever at the apron. I'm so used to this that I wanted to keep it. The VFD, both mill and lathe, have soft start and electic braking. These are very nice features but mean you can't just power up the VFD and then throw the switch on the lathe. You have to connect the on/off switch to the VFD which initiates a soft start or braking sequence. The final result was abandoning all the electic control in the lathe and wiring straight to the VFD. It took some time to track down the switches, run forward, run backwards, and panic stop with mechanical brake. Thankfully there was a mode in the VFD that took the switches as they are. I now have the start forward, start backwards and stop apron lever hooked up. The mechanical brake is activated by a foot pedal which also has a switch which originally de-energize the motor. I have it configured so the switch stops, faults, the VFD de-energizing the motor. The brake then stops the spindle without fighting with a running motor.


I should spend some time configuring the VFDs better. The main thing they need is tuning of the ramp up and ramp down sequences. Now they both require 5s to start up and to stop. That's awhile when standing there waiting, but doable.

All in all the VFDs are a big improvement over the crude converter, even without considering the now quiet shop.

I also sold my giant, forklift movable Miller TIG in Oregon. This was been in the plan for some time also. I purchased a smaller TIG here in Arizona, well via Amazon. Have only turned it on to see that it works but plan to have some work for it soon (toe jack).


Thanks.
Hugh

Online steamer

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Re: Hugh Currin's Shop - Again
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2020, 01:21:00 AM »
I still have a rotary on my big lathe.....but since I put a VFD on my Southbend  ( Thanks Don1966)....next time im in it...it's going to VFD 220 1ph in to 3ph out

Dave
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Offline Hugh Currin

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Re: Hugh Currin's Shop - Again
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2020, 01:24:40 AM »
The new shop is in an attached garage. The old shop was some 50' out the back door. There is way more chance of chip migrating now that before. She who allows me these toys and the time to use them really does not like chips in the house. SO, I decided to put a box around the knee mill table trying to capture the chips. It has been CNCed so the only need for access is set-up. The box is made from 1/4" plywood with 1"x1" framing. It covers the 42" table and mostly clears the 6" milling vice.


The plexi front window slides into tracks in the front. After the first use I found more clearance was needed for the knee to move up. Thus I cut a "window" in the back for this clearance. I have two 1/8" "walls" that slide into tracks covering part of the back depending on the job.


It is held in place with four T-nuts. Easly removable if the job becomes large, but most of my work is small.

It works very well in containing chips. A few escape but I think this will always be the case. I imaging it captures about 90%. Would leak like a colander with flood coolant. I think it'll work for mist coolant though. We'll see.

It is harder to put the vice in place. That thing just keeps getting heavier. Maybe need a hoist for it or a 4" vice. It's also harder to reach up and change belt speed positions. Not as needed with the VFD which has some speed control itself. It sure is nice to have the easy vacuum cleanup though.

Thanks for looking in. Stay safe and healthy.
Hugh

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Re: Hugh Currin's Shop - Again
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2020, 01:44:28 AM »
It's scientific FACT that iron gets heavier with age!...... 8)

"Mister M'Andrew, don't you think steam spoils romance at sea?"
Damned ijjit!

Online Kim

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Re: Hugh Currin's Shop - Again
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2020, 05:27:07 AM »
Thanks for the pictures of your new shop setup.  I really like your fancy rolling cart/storage units.  Very nice!
Kim

Offline Bobsmodels

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Re: Hugh Currin's Shop - Again
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2020, 02:54:04 PM »
Hugh

I had a shop at my last place that was in the attached garage, door went right into the Kitchen.  Chips were a no no.  I solved the problem with one of these mats, they are like a brush, got the stuff off just walking on it, a quick shuffle and clean shoes.  My shop now is in a separated building about 75' from the house.

Bob

Offline gary.a.ayres

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Re: Hugh Currin's Shop - Again
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2021, 07:11:11 AM »
Lovely spacious shop you have there! That big mill looks pretty small over there in the far corner.

 :)

Offline Don1966

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Re: Hugh Currin's Shop - Again
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2021, 03:17:42 AM »
Nice space Hugh and love your carts. i been selling off things I don"t use anymore to make more room in mine. I have an assortment of wood working tools also. Like you I been putting them on carts. I done my planer, drill press, clamp cart and dust collector. The drill cabinet has wheels as does the drill press. The dust collect is so I can roll it to each equipment when i use the since I cant install a vacuum system yet. I have my router to do yet it has a bosch table top table and i want it to be on a cart like yours.  I put a few photos for you to see.

Regards Don

Offline Hugh Currin

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Re: Hugh Currin's Shop - Again
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2021, 01:33:41 AM »
Gary:

Thanks. It looks bigger than it really is, a two car garage. Yep, the mill looks lonely in that picture. It's filled in some since.


Lovely spacious shop you have there! That big mill looks pretty small over there in the far corner.

Don: Thank for the pics. I have all my woodworking stuff on rolling carts now. Instead of a dust collection system I roll them outside and the wind, significant here, takes care of the dust. I was going great guns building carts but have become sidetracked setting up a winter shop (CNCing lathe and mill). I really need to build or find a good work table though. Currently I'm using the top of a cart and/or the table saw for work space.

The projects never end. Am hoping to get back to a Stirling engine this winter.

Thanks.
Hugh