Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Remote CNC Stop and Monitor

This project provides an inexpensive means of remotely performing a STOP (ALT+S) to Mach3. This is accomplished with a Raspberry Pi (RPi) + Camera connected to a PC via a USB cable. Monitoring and activating the STOP on the CNC is done with a video streaming web application running on the RPi. Using this solution should be done at your own risk. I highly recommend contacting the manufacturer of your CNC, and purchase and install the recommended remote emergency stop specified.

Full instruction can be found at Remote CNC Stop and Monitor.

Note: This is not the same as an Emergency Stop (EStop) wired into your CNC control panel, but the execution of a hotkey to perform a STOP of Mach3.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Woodturning Live Center with Collet Chuck and Drawbar

I needed a means of holding and turning long thin spindles in such a way as to reduce chatter and vibration.  Live centers can introduce some problems if the tailstock is over tightened compressively.  Therefore, I wanted a means of holding the stock securely and without axial compressive forces which would contribute to vibrations and chatter.

My solution was the combination of a Collet Chuck and Live Center with a Drawbar.  Mounting this combination in the tailstock and securing the work piece in the collet chuck.  Next, move the quill on the locked tailstock  away from headstock and create some tension in the workpiece/spindle.  As a result, the workpiece is held firmly and steadily by the collet chuck.

One thing I noticed after turning very thin pieces (5/16" or 8mm) was the thin spindles demonstrated the ability to oscillate axially when the lathe was stopped.  Exerting a small amount of torque to the collet and releasing it would cause the spindle to oscillate axially in the fixture.  In any case, I have been very happy with the performance of this live center.

Live Center with Collet Chuck and Drawbar holding a spindle.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Digital Vacuum Regulator

This is a Veneer Vacuum Press (Vacuum Pump) which has been modified with a Digital Vacuum Regulator to operate with a selectable vacuum pressure. This device is a replacement for the Vacuum Controller in my DIY Veneer Vacuum Press built with plans from VeneerSupplies.com or JoeWoodworking.com. These are great plans and the pumps operate very satisfactorily as designed. However, I'm a tinkerer, and I wanted to enhance my pump with the ability to easily and readily control the pressure settings (without a screw driver) over a wider range of pressures with a digitally controlled regulator.

Instructions for the project can be found at Digital Vacuum Regulator on Instructables.