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Category Archives: Machinist

A Spindle Brake for the Mini Mill

A while back, I noticed that if I had a Dial Test Indicator (DTI) in my mill, usually to check alignment of a vise, the reading could be off if the spindle moved even slightly. I needed a way to lock the spindle. There are plenty of spindle locks for the Sieg X2 (sold by […]

“Have You Used Your Mill Yet?”

  A friend of mine asked – Have you used your mill yet? The answer is Yes! I built a fixture to hold N-scale locomotive shells so that I can drill accurate holes for various wire detail parts, like grab irons (sometimes called Hand Holds), and lift rings (much like an eye bolt). This fixture […]

Mini-Mill Part 3: DRO Completed

Well, the Digital Readout is finally finished on my mill, and it works well. I still have to figure out how to use it, and make sure that the direction of the axis make sense. This thing is really a small computer. Two projects remain on the mill. First, I need a chip guard to […]

It’s Alive!

This is the bare board for my Shumatech DRO-550 Digital Read Out, for use with my mill. It came mostly assembled, but may parts still had to be soldered on. I have to finalize the case construction. A case was purchased from Wildhorse Innovations, but the back isn’t available drilled for the connectors I’m using […]

Mini Mill Part 2

  Well, I have just about set up the Mini Mill the way I like want it. I have installed iGaging scales on all three axis in preparation for a real Digital Readout system. The remote readout nearly gives me this already, something I’ve come to call “The Ghetto DRO.” These remote readout scales cost […]

eBay Caliper Deals – follow up

Well, the calipers came, and I was a bit disappointed. They feel very rough. Much rougher (sliding) than the Harbor Freight calipers. So I ordered another pair of 6″ calipers from Harbor Freight, and they were a bit rough, too. Not quite as rough as the eBay deals, but not as smooth as my older […]

Mini-Mill – Part 1

It turns out that getting the mill was a little premature. Three things are needed before I can start setting up the mill: I had to have room for the mill. I needed light for the mill I needed a support for the mill Let’s go over each of these. I. I had to have […]

eBay Caliper Deals

I’ve been using the Cen-Tech brand digital calipers from Harbor Frieght for years, and with a price between $15 and $20 (depending on sales), I thought they were a good value. Imagine my surprise when I found these on eBay for around a buck a piece! OK, there’s a catch. First, they’re shipped from China, […]

Mini-Mill – Part 0

After years and years of avoiding this purchase, I finally broke down and bought a mini-mill. While I’d been envious of other model railroaders who had and used such a mill, I really couldn’t justify the expense for what I needed to do, versus what I wanted to do. Technically, what I needed was a […]