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Archive for March 2nd, 2013

Gratuitous Engine Jeweling

While pondering whether I should use the carcass of an old Dell PC to house the stepper drivers and control logic for the LinuxCNC M2 project, I bandsawed a scrap of aluminum sheet to about the right size. It had some truly nasty gouges and bonded-on crud, so I chucked up a wire brush cup in the drill press and had at it:

Machine jeweled baseplate

Machine jeweled baseplate

It’s obvious I haven’t done jeweling in a long time, isn’t it? Even a crude engine jeweling job spiffs things right up, though, even if a cough showcase job like this deserves straighter lines and more precise spacing. The aluminum sheet is far too large for the Sherline, which put CNC right out of consideration, and I’m not up for sufficient crank spinning on the big manual mill.

I match-marked mounting holes directly from the harvested motherboard and drilled them, whereupon I discovered that the aluminum is a dead-soft gummy alloy that doesn’t machine cleanly: it won’t become the final baseplate.

Memo to Self: Use the shop vacuum with the nozzle spinward of the brush, fool.

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