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Blame it on Marleysky!

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Thinking Blame it on Marleysky!

Post  fredvon4 on Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:32 pm

OH so Marleysky mentioned about a Brother Scan n cut II in a post about dealing with a PRINT WOOD kit and he later posts a link to a rather inexpensive laser cutter*

Recently I got my wife the latest and greatest Brother Scan n Cut II for her hobby factory and of course I send her images all the time to make me vinyl decals or cool graphics

The blades are expensive and the machine not really robust enough to cut out balsa except the very thinnest and lightest weights.
Mostly having some trouble with cross grain cuts or following a straight, with grain, curve-- and tending to follow the grain.
 I solved most of those issues with using shallower cuts and then just doing multiple passes...but changing the cut depth each subsequent time is a royal PITA and pretty much anything balsa over 1/16th is out of the question....

That said...it is possible to accurately cut Balsa with Scan N Cut--- but the machine generally sells for $299~$399, When you can find one in stock.

On to the Laser cutter...

But first:

I have several "can't justify cost"  tools ---I WANT...but the cost of admission for my seldom NEED is too high
Small Metal lathe
Small Metal Mill
TOOLING and adapters for above
CNC Router
CNC Laser Cutter
CNC 3D printer

OK my personal squeal point for cost is actually pretty high....but I am some what pragmatic.

So, if something I need once or twice a year is $800~$1200...My brain immediately thinks about all the other cool stuff I could accumulate for the same price...  Good table saw fence system ( Like INCRA system Ian has) Kits, covering, engines, yadda yadda on and on

*Then comes Marleysky linking to a sub $400 laser cutter...OH crap!

Now I gotta spend a day or three investigating all that is OUT there NOW
http://www.banggood.com/2500mW-A3-30x40cm-Desktop-DIY-Violet-Laser-Engraver-Picture-CNC-Printer-Assembling-Kits-p-1003863.html?rmmds=search

Last I looked, about 2 years ago, the entry level Laser Cutter DYI kits were in the $900 and up range

I also know there are several free versions of CAD software---- BUT there are way too many easy and hard versions-  Recommend and must stay away from version--- and some are very intuitive very easy recommended ones ..but I find they are usually Big $$ to get.
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Thinking Re: Blame it on Marleysky!

Post  rsv1cox on Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:44 pm

Ain't progress wonderful Fred. We are ALL going broke on the progress express... Smile

Bob
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Thinking Re: Blame it on Marleysky!

Post  fredvon4 on Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:28 pm

But bob...If we leave it ALL to our heirs... they will eventually turn 50~60 and be in the same boat...So our plan is to spend most of it ---just to save them the grief of learning the same hard lessons I/we learn...with just about every purchase

Plus I heard some time back:

"He who has the most toys ---WINS!"

Big Grin


PS how is the catalog of all the Enya's going?....your son appreciates the effort

OK, sorry, that was not meant to sound as dire as it does...  I should delete but I suspect you may get my Rye humor
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Thinking Re: Blame it on Marleysky!

Post  rsv1cox on Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:27 pm

Now your talking dire humor Fred. Smile

But, my son is a car guy through and through. Fords in particular ever since he found a K code '65 Mustang fastback when he was 16, we had fun putting it back together from pieces. He's more interested in my transportation.

I am thinking hard about this one for sale on ebay.





My first car, only in black. You could stuff a lot of kids in the trunk for free drive-in movie passes. Eighty bucks in 1954, 30 large today. Mechanical brakes occasionally stopped me in time. Steering wheel lock was broken and would engage on it's own, one time climbing a banking longitudinally with three of us in there, Started to roll over, we all leaned and got out on the upside. Gradually with hands supporting it, regained level ground. Smile Drilled out that lock shortly thereafter.

Bob

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Thinking Re: Blame it on Marleysky!

Post  ian1954 on Sun Feb 19, 2017 6:42 pm

I could fill a book with this topic.

I probably have more "toys" than anyone on this site but no "heirs" (apart from fellow hobbyists whose adoption of my "toys" would only be for a limited time before passing to their heirs). I only have SWTSMBO to provide for and two little doggies. None of whom appreciate the finer arts of the hobbyist but are already provided for! I do have a plan but that is for me to know and you to wonder!

I have scant regard for money (well not quite true see later) but like to think my spending is justified.

What do I mean by justification? Simple - it helps if a tool or machine pays for itself but that is not necessarily a prerequisite to a purchase.

A current example is my new workshop. I suppose it could be argued that I don't need a hobby workshop but I haven't done that sort of build for some years and need the practice and organisation that goes with those projects. I will be building a fitted kitchen, a utility room and now the SWTSMBO has seen the workshop; she is making plans for all sorts of storage areas.

So back to the workshop. needs 47 doors. All but two of these are a standard off the shelf size but one of those could be modded. The cheapest door, no style and a melamine type finish in some horrible faux wood look is now £33. £1,551!!!!! Then I would have to tick over and think perhaps £200 for fitting and levelling. So I now have potentially £1,771 to play with already having saved a fortune building the cabinets and trimming and fitting the worktops.

I ordered the MDF sheeting and the door bases are cut for building. Total £180 plus glue (£20) plus paint.primer and undercoat (£100). £1551 - £300 = £1251.

To me - that is a potential of £1251 worth of tools to speed the job up and make the build easier. It justified £100 battery operated circular saw (and a Proxxon Jig saw for my hobby!).

I suppose this also depends on whether you value your time. A  couple of Yorkshire phrases (the County I was born in)  - spring to mind

'Ear all, see all, say nowt;
Eyt all, sup all, pay nowt;
And if ivver tha does owt fer nowt –
Allus do it fer thissen
.



Translation for non Yorkshire brethren :

'Hear all, see all, say nothing; Eat all, drink all, pay nothing; And if ever you do anything for nothing – always do it for yourself.


So for the majority of expensive tools that I have they could be regarded as an investment. After all - I have renovated seven properties - built six kitchens, three staircases - apart from normal joinery - window repairs, floor laying ................... so what if the odd "hobby" tool creeps in for finer work.

Also, they have their uses in time saving. I had liked the look of a Proxxon chop saw for some time - variety of blades make it ideal for cutting tubing, piano wire ........but I then realised I could use one for cutting mitre joints very neatly on quarter round beading trim for windows.  Next day delivery, fine cuts that my larger mitre saw can't achieve in foam cored uPVC and a fraction of the time with a razor saw and jig!

So all in all I find "professional" tools reap rewards.

Hobby tools -perhaps not but .......

The ubiquitous lathe and milling machine. I had never dreamed of owning one - never saw the need even though I had been well trained as a small boy in using one and tune, rebore engines, make small engine parts, NVAs, drive washers, spinner nuts .............I left all that behind when I went to University and then started work.

Many years later my mother took up lace making as a hobby. She was always into sewing, knitting, crochet work and liked to keep herself busy. However, cheap lace bobbins were bulky and rough and the finer well finished ones were very expensive. So I bought a small lathe - a metal lathe - made a tuning rest and ran up lace bobbins. I took to wood turning and advanced, turning out lace bobbins with captive rings and individually matched pairs. I found it absorbing and quite relaxing and made hundreds of them with my mother beading them and distributing them to her friends.

I also made pens using very rare woods and they made ideal gifts. I found this a very relaxing hobby but there are only so many bobbins and pens you can make! So I started to use the lathe to build steam engines - I bought castings and plans and enjoyed the challenges. I quickly realised that tooling up for a lathe was expensive but again many of my steam engines are still on display in friends and relatives homes but then again many have been junked by their "heirs".

I upgraded to a larger lathe (Myford Speed 10) and a milling machine many years ago and never looked back. They have probably paid for themselves financially in an indirect way but I have never taken any money for the things I have done. I have traded parts, built and swapped engines and done many, many repairs to the strangest of things - made carburetor parts for motorcycles and cars - the list is almost endless. I even make work holding and lathe accessories. I have built a precision drilling machine, a tool and drill grinder ...............

I find lathe and milling machine work relaxing and escapism. Learning new skills is what I like and developing an admiration for people who are (or have been!) much better at it than me. I have a list a mile long of things still to make!

I have also built my own CNC lathe and two milling machines. I also built the controllers and learned G Code, how to use Mach3 software, upgrade to a motion controller and use several CAD packages. I still uses these and must make it clear that as a learning experience it was not only challenging but enjoyable. Will they ever pay for themselves - A definite NO! The time spent to develop and test code, trial runs ......... is astronomic.

I quickly learned that for one off parts - manual is more efficient and you have to make many repetitive parts to recover time spent. Do I still use them? Yes I do but not as often as my manual equipment.  Although they can do things in 3D that a manual lathe or milling machine would find extremely difficult - I really don't do enough to justify them in time, effort and the money I spent on them (even though home built!).

Now you may think that I would not recommend CNC but there is an exception and I have covered this a few times in other topics.  After seeing the Brother scan and cut - although more expensive - this is the only CNC machine I have that covers the investment.

The Stepcraft.



I was probably one of the first to get one of these as a kit - build it yourself - here it is picture with a Proxxon drill grinder. Since I first showed this I have replace the drill grinder with a professional model and also have a cutting blade attachment. One of my pals also used the 3D print attachment and has fitted a laser cutter (but this is only really suitable for engraving - it is not powerful enough to burn through wood!)

I got this as a 3D router and used it to cut ribs and formers using some not very cheap but excellent software (I should mention here that the USB version of the Stepcraft incudes a software bundle).  I also use it for door signs and door numbers. They make useful present that you can't buy. Moulding blocks for canopies, bellcranks from carbon fibre, Crankcase machining for castings. Engraving and personalising items.

I like creating unique items. The knife blade I use for decals, lettering; cutting felt paper and leather.

The justification comes from being able to create often unique items but also as the learning experience. As we oldies age - to me it is important that we carry on learning and, where possible, improve skills. Adapt and overcome but recognise our limitations.

I still have that first steam engine





and my latest (still work in progress)





My first complete engine - the Weaver (I didn't keep the failures!)

I could fill a book with this topic.

I probably have more "toys" than anyone on this site but no "heirs" (apart from fellow hobbyists whose adoption of my "toys" would only be for a limited time before passing to their heirs). I only have SWTSMBO to provide for and two little doggies. None of whom appreciate the finer arts of the hobbyist but are already provided for! I do have a plan but that is for me to know and you to wonder!

I have scant regard for money (well not quite true see later) but like to think my spending is justified.

What do I mean by justification? Simple - it helps if a tool or machine pays for itself but that is not necessarily a prerequisite to a purchase.

A current example is my new workshop. I suppose it could be argued that I don't need a hobby workshop but I haven't done that sort of build for some years and need the practice and organisation that goes with those projects. I will be building a fitted kitchen, a utility room and now the SWTSMBO has seen the workshop; she is making plans for all sorts of storage areas.

So back to the workshop. needs 47 doors. All but two of these are a standard off the shelf size but one of those could be modded. The cheapest door, no style and a melamine type finish in some horrible faux wood look is now £33. £1,551!!!!! Then I would have to tick over and think perhaps £200 for fitting and levelling. So I now have potentially £1,771 to play with already having saved a fortune building the cabinets and trimming and fitting the worktops.

I ordered the MDF sheeting and the door bases are cut for building. Total £180 plus glue (£20) plus paint.primer and undercoat (£100). £1551 - £300 = £1251.

To me - that is a potential of £1251 worth of tools to speed the job up and make the build easier. It justified £100 battery operated circular saw (and a Proxxon Jig saw for my hobby!).

I suppose this also depends on whether you value your time. A  couple of Yorkshire phrases (the County I was born in)  - spring to mind

'Ear all, see all, say nowt;
Eyt all, sup all, pay nowt;
And if ivver tha does owt fer nowt –
Allus do it fer thissen
.



Translation for non Yorkshire brethren :

'Hear all, see all, say nothing; Eat all, drink all, pay nothing; And if ever you do anything for nothing – always do it for yourself.


So for the majority of expensive tools that I have they could be regarded as an investment. After all - I have renovated seven properties - built six kitchens, three staircases - apart from normal joinery - window repairs, floor laying ................... so what if the odd "hobby" tool creeps in for finer work.

Also, they have their uses in time saving. I had liked the look of a Proxxon chop saw for some time - variety of blades make it ideal for cutting tubing, piano wire ........but I then realised I could use one for cutting mitre joints very neatly on quarter round beading trim for windows.  Next day delivery, fine cuts that my larger mitre saw can't achieve in foam cored uPVC and a fraction of the time with a razor saw and jig!

So all in all I find "professional" tools reap rewards.

Hobby tools -perhaps not but .......

The ubiquitous lathe and milling machine. I had never dreamed of owning one - never saw the need even though I had been well trained as a small boy in using one and tune, rebore engines, make small engine parts, NVAs, drive washers, spinner nuts .............I left all that behind when I went to University and then started work.

Many years later my mother took up lace making as a hobby. She was always into sewing, knitting, crochet work and liked to keep herself busy. However, cheap lace bobbins were bulky and rough and the finer well finished ones were very expensive. So I bought a small lathe - a metal lathe - made a tuning rest and ran up lace bobbins. I took to wood turning and advanced, turning out lace bobbins with captive rings and individually matched pairs. I found it absorbing and quite relaxing and made hundreds of them with my mother beading them and distributing them to her friends.

I also made pens using very rare woods and they made ideal gifts. I found this a very relaxing hobby but there are only so many bobbins and pens you can make! So I started to use the lathe to build steam engines - I bought castings and plans and enjoyed the challenges. I quickly realised that tooling up for a lathe was expensive but again many of my steam engines are still on display in friends and relatives homes but then again many have been junked by their "heirs".

I upgraded to a larger lathe (Myford Speed 10) and a milling machine many years ago and never looked back. They have probably paid for themselves financially in an indirect way but I have never taken any money for the things I have done. I have traded parts, built and swapped engines and done many, many repairs to the strangest of things - made carburetor parts for motorcycles and cars - the list is almost endless. I even make work holding and lathe accessories. I have built a precision drilling machine, a tool and drill grinder ...............

I find lathe and milling machine work relaxing and escapism. Learning new skills is what I like and developing an admiration for people who are (or have been!) much better at it than me. I have a list a mile long of things still to make!

I have built over 100 diesel engines and over 50 steam engines. I still have a couple of steam engines plus one in progress (slowly) and eight sets of complete castings to build another series. I also have some "Cox" twins built and am still working on a plan for a Cox Bee variant.

I have also built my own CNC lathe and two milling machines. I also built the controllers and learned G Code, how to use Mach3 software, upgrade to a motion controller and use several CAD packages. I still uses these and must make it clear that as a learning experience it was not only challenging but enjoyable. Will they ever pay for themselves - A definite NO! The time spent to develop and test code, trial runs ......... is astronomic.

I quickly learned that for one off parts - manual is more efficient and you have to make many repetitive parts to recover time spent. Do I still use them? Yes I do but not as often as my manual equipment.  Although they can do things in 3D that a manual lathe or milling machine would find extremely difficult - I really don't do enough to justify them in time, effort and the money I spent on them (even though home built!).

Now you may think that I would not recommend CNC but there is an exception and I have covered this a few times in other topics.  After seeing the Brother scan and cut - although more expensive - this is the only CNC machine I have that covers the investment.

The Stepcraft.



I was probably one of the first to get one of these as a kit - build it yourself - here it is picture with a Proxxon drill grinder. Since I first showed this I have replace the drill grinder with a professional model and also have a cutting blade attachment. One of my pals also used the 3D print attachment and has fitted a laser cutter.

I got this as a 3D router and used it to cut ribs and formers using some not very cheap but excellent software.  I also use it for door signs and door numbers. They make useful present that you can't buy. Moulding blocks for canopies, bellcranks from carbon fibre, Crankcase machining for castings. Engraving and personalising items.

I like creating unique items. The knife blade I use for decals, lettering; cutting felt paper and leather.

The justification comes from being able to create often unique items but also as the learning experience. As we oldies age - to me it is important that we carry on learning and, where possible, improve skills. Adapt and overcome but recognise our limitations.



I still have that first steam engine





and my latest (still work in progress)





My first complete engine - the Weaver (I didn't keep the failures!). It is almost three years since I last ran this one up - must dig it out!



One of my rescues - well a clapped out DC Wasp dieselised. (How it should have been anyway!)



I often wish I had more time to video things, take photographs and make more postings but tracts like this are time consuming. If we were all live close to each other - our wives would never see us while we cared and shared.

I made a 3D printer and this also does excellent work with free shareware software. Slic3r and Repetier.

https://www.coxengineforum.com/t5934-3d-printing?highlight=printing

I just love learning and always take the attitude that the only thing I am short of is TIME!

Do I make bad choices? Yes, indeed. A year ago I bought a laserengraver/cutter. It is an enclosed unit and water cooled. It only has a small bed and the laser beam is water cooled. The beam is project through a sequence of prisms and mirrors.

It had been knocked out of alignment during delivery and I had the lid open wondering why it wasn't working.

I was burning a hole in a book at the other side of the room.

That corrected - after realising I could have wandered off and set fire to the house - I realligned everything and installed the supplied software. There was a "hooky" copy of Corel Draw and two other poorly translated Chinese packages.

My PC refused to install them as one tried to install a virus and the other a trojan. Not good but buy cheap and a bargain isn't necessarily a bargain.

The controller board is also "non-standard" and so I will replace that and then use my standard Mach 3 controller software. It isn't that simple as I haven't identified the stepper motors or the drivers.

I regard this as a challenge and have made and tested some stepper motor drivers that operate the motors but now that needs calibrating. Again, time is of the essence but I don't give up!

With any CNC equipment - quality software is expensive. I am typing this on my new laptop - my old one (10 years plus) died on me last weekend and beyond repair. Wondows Vista and it wouldn't let me recover.

Luckily I have full backups but here is a warning.

It has taken me all week to build my new machine. Windows 10 and the majority of my problems were software! The majority of my expensive software is licensed to a single machine and so reinstalling requires contacting the supplier and having the licenses transferred.

A few of the "golden oldies" don't like Windows 10 (neither do I!) and I had a great deal of messing about with "compatibility" settings.

So as well as the CNC hardware - the software can be time consuming! I keep a list of "license codes" bu,t as I have mentioned, not all software is easily transferable.

As a last word - if you see something you like. Do the research and go for it. Keep that brain challenged!


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Thinking Re: Blame it on Marleysky!

Post  Marleysky on Sun Feb 19, 2017 11:42 pm

Thanks Ian!  You're correct, you should write a book!
I really like the justification you are using by calculating the savings to finance your hobby(s) from making your own shop cabinet doors. I use similar mental justifications for myself, using the deferred cost of a pack a day of smokes, to purchase an engine, model kit or new tool.
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