Many hours wasted this evening. I tried printing replacement parts for the Portabee using the Portabee but nothing, except the modified Y Bearing Holder, turns out well. It all started with wanting to replace the 2 gears on the extruder which are falling apart. They look like they're going to disintegrate anytime soon with strands of plastic coming off. The round portion of the smaller 9-tooth gear looks ok when printing. The print took a worst turn at the teeth. 4 tries were made with none looking like a gear.
I tried printing the modified Y Bearing Holder posted on Romscraj's githhub to see if I will encounter the same problem. Sad to say that it took me 3 prints to have a successful part being printed.
I'm turning to Mike for help. Maybe he can start selling replacement parts for the Portabee or even Durbie. If this goes on, I'll have to thrash the Portabee and stick to learning to play with my mills & lathes.
I planned last Saturday for a good long session in the shop today to make the stainless steel bushings for my dad and to make the couplers for the Portabee. As of yesterday late night, I know that it'll not come to pass when my mum called saying my grandmother has been warded. We were over at the hospital visiting her till past midnight, reaching home bashed.
This morning, I spent about half an hour in the shop to complete a piece of the coupler for the Portabee. As I ran out of aluminium of the right size, brass was used instead. Machining brass is such a joy and I went absolutely coolant free. Tapping the M6 and M3 presented no challenge at all. I don't know if it's the effect of the 2 new HSS taps I got from Mike or it is just the nature of brass. And, no additional effect is required to make brass look great.
This is how it looks installed:
I'll be machining 2 flats to aid in tightening the nut against it.
Got home late yesterday night and went straight to the shop to complete the job. The aim was to make another coupler for the other stepper motor and mill the flat for adjustable wrench. The 2 couplers turned out rather different; the flats were milled too deep for one.
Hope the difference will not have any impact on the overall performance of the Z axis.
Next up, the lead screw conversion for the Sherline CNC mill. Further upgrade to the Portabee will continue after this.
Printing with the Portabee has been a frustrating affair. I've the print head melting the previous layers resulting in mashed up jobs. The initial suspect was the Z couplers coming loose. I tried tightening up the set screws and the 2 nuts till one of them gave way. Given the current state of the printer, I'm unable to print a replacement.
I thought of seeking help from Mike, who kindly printed the Y end stop holder for me using his latest toy - The Replicator 3D. But I don't want to trouble anymore than I already did. The only solution presented to me is to make the coupler out of aluminium. Should be a simple job.
I went on with the job. Got a good start. This is how it looked before the set screw hole was done.
The idea of using a nut to hold the M6 threaded rod came from Mike. I find it a simple solution but am concern that it may come loose easily. Maybe a drop of Loctite will cover that issue.
I brought the coupler back into the mill to drill & tap for M3 set screw. This was where I got into trouble - the tap broke.
It started with the tap going into the 2.5mm hole without cutting any thread. It kind of like bore through the hole, enlarging it on the way in. I rotated the job around to try again. The bite came mid way into the hole and despite my constant clearing and reversing the tap to break the chip, I somehow manage to break the tap alone with the chip.
I don't remember having problem tapping in aluminium. The smallest I ever gotten down to was M4, just a week or two back. The feel while tapping M3 is not good. Don't understand why it didn't bite into the work. Maybe I should try a bigger size.
The printer still stand in pieces...
Mike just brought in these:
He has been sending me pics of his printout... Quite a show off... But, the result from the Replicator looks so much better than the Portabee, likewise it's price... Will I? Will I not? Don't think, don't see, don't hear... Poison!!!
I've been rather inactive lately in the shop. Nothing much was done though I've several things to do in mind. I was feeling rather lazy after work, preferring to laze around reading or watching mindless TV serials.
This week, I took delivery of the 50mm Boring Head set & the 50mm Face Mill from CTC Tools..
They were beautifully made. I've yet to try them out. Maybe today, before church, but I'm on medication for my fever and my irritating cough...
I want to finish up with the mounting of the iGaging scales and move on to fabricate the bracket for the Sherline leadscrew conversion. Milling the acrylic parts for the 3D Printer is planned for right after.
Good news to share. I've just received an email from Germany that my mill was picked up today by the forwarder! It will travel by air to me. I'm still waiting for the forwarder to give me the ETA.
Problem is, I've yet to clean up the shop to make space for the mill...
Better turn in now. Got to get up at 3am in the morning. Team trip to Taipei.
After reading Michael Slater's comment on the time his Way Train took to cut though a piece of 6061 5"x2", I tested with a piece of 25mm square piece of 6061 I happened to have around. Wanted to hear how loud it is in action. It cut through the piece at lowest speed setting in about 1 min. with just the weight of the saw arm (any name for this?).
I took a vid of it, as requested by Mike.
Noise level, better than the Proxxon. But to be fair, I push up the speed on the Proxxon when cutting aluminium. Will try pushing up the speed of the Way Train to test.
One thing I note, which I don't really like is the moveable jaw of the clamp.
It is unable to cut shorter pieces like the one shown in the pic above.
I believe I read about a mod somewhere online on this issue. Will have to google around to find it.
Steel cutting will be next. Thinking of making a bigger flycutter for the Wabeco. I'll document the process when I get to it.
An often heard phase, especially in hobby forums, it has it's truth in human mind. The self justifying process one goes through each and every time when faced with temptations. I lost that battle today; the battle I fought long and (not so) hard.
And this is the result...
The good side said that I've already the Proxxon vertical bandsaw which can do most of the things I need it to do, though slower and noisier. The evil part of me said it would be convenient to have the horizontal bandsaw which can cut bigger diameter round stock, it can be converted to vertical bandsaw, it's has an auto-stop function, it has... The list goes on...
Evidently, evil prevailed.
I accepted my fate, acknowledging the weakness in my flesh. The promise made of not buying another still rings in my mind. Why did I do it?!
The scale was tipped when I was introduced to the Sales Manager of Hup Hong, which happens to be a camp mate from 40SAR (and later 425SAR). I don't really know him as we were from different company. We started talking and I shared about the hobby. The rest happened just too quickly for my numbed mind. Before I knew what was going on, I was already punching in the PIN on the NETS terminal.
Sigh... There goes more of my savings... I'm now wondering what will hit me next...