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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 me about $120, and installation was the most challenging thing. I used the mill to construct some of the parts used to mount the scales, so this gave me some practice.

The next step will be construction of the Shumatech DRO-550. I’ve bought all the parts needed to complete the construction from Wildhorse Innovations. All that’s needed is to fire up the soldering iron, and get started. Which reminds me. I got tired of using the cheap Weller soldering iron clones that Radio Shack sells. They’ve served me and my father well, but things have improved now, especially with the introduction of lead free solders. I’ve really wanted to get a temperature controlled solder station, so I ordered one. More later, when it arrives. Others have had more problems than me, but my chief complaint is how fast the tip corrodes and erodes. It will also be nice to have a real holder for the soldering iron, and not rely on the coffee can (don’t laugh – my father the EE used the same thing!)

Unfortunately, the table on my mini mill started to rust. This isn’t surprising, given Florida’s hummidity. I scrubbed the rust off with oil and a green Scotch-Brite pad, followed by polishing with some Mothers Billet Polish, and then protected the table with a coat of good old Carnuba paste wax. Home Depot also had a sale on a dehumidifier, so that now sits below my mill’s work bench. The bucket filled with water overnight, so I hooked up some tubing to run outside the garage. This should help ALL my tools from rusting. It should also make working in the shop a lot more bearable in the hot summer months.