Yea! A finished project – The baby bullet welding vise.
I’m pretty happy with how this turned out, it works well and everything lines up and functions as it is supposed to. The only thing I don’t particularly like is the shape of the jaws – too bulky and square. But that is cosmetic so no big deal.
I made the mandated by law “at least once per project catastrophic screw up” by mentally flipping coordinates and milling off too much on one of the jaws. A catastrophic screw up is one where you would scrap the part if happened early in the project but now there is so much work in the part the screw up needs to be fixed. In this case, braze in a patch and re-machine. It was so much fun, a few days later I got positive and and negative mixed up and blew past the zero point. Right next the first screw up. Sigh. Same fix. It is nice they can’t be seen in the video even though they are in full view (just below where the rear jaw bolts on, across the face and to my left).
I am developing a real love/hate relationship with the mill DRO. So much potential, so poorly presented. A big problem I have is I view the coordinate system inverted from what the machine people see; coming from a math/graphics background, I view the work (screen) as fixed and the cutting tool (cursor) as moving (vs work mounted on a table that moves in relation to a fixed tool). I tried reversing the “polarity” of the display but I think that may mess up some of the things the DRO can calculate.
The DRO calculator is a real piece of work – no operator precedence at all (for example 1+1/16 is calculated as (1+1)/16, a huge pain when you have to move some fractional distance), I regularly try something that causes it freeze, pressing +/- at certain times causes the right most digit to get overlaid with some other characters, +/- is lame in general, transferring numbers to axis’s is something I just don’t get. I don’t get it – four function calculators has been a solved problem for decades. Retail for 32 bit SoCs (system on a chip) is like $6.
The arc functionality is great, at least once I get the data entered; this number is entered with this sequence, the next number requires a different sequence, bah! Funny enough, I can figure that out but the “simplified arc” I can’t.
In case you care, this is an Easson ES-8A. I’m pretty happy with how position is updated. I’m just itching to re-write the head software but, having spent a decade or so doing low level firmware, I know that it is a tar baby. Then again, TouchDRO runs on a phone or tablet and looks pretty good.
Another wish: Ability to store a handful of position/offsets from the scale zero, for example, one corner of the vise which would give you an edge, no need to indicate. You can store 200 points from “absolute” zero but if you hit “zero Y” the stored points are offsets from the new zero (which is what you want when doing repeat parts). If you think ahead (unlike me), you can always be in Inc mode (basically a separate work space) but since the scales have a physical mark (halfway point) the reader can see, it would be nice to have some offsets from that point, they would be more “sticky”.