Thursday, September 4, 2014

Elnora Steam show this weekend

Several of the guys at work told me about the Elnora steam show. This will be the first time I go to this one. Suppose to have a huge flea market. One of the guys said the place they have it at has a working machine shop there as well with the overhead drive and the not so OSHA friendly long leather drive belts coming down from the ceiling to drive the works. Only about an hour to the north of here, so it isn't too bad of a drive at all. Starts today, but I won't be able to go until Saturday. Nice part too is the vendors should still be there Sunday if it rains Saturday where I don't go. A lot of the flea markets I go to, quite a few of the vendors start packing up early on Sunday. One of the guys at work said at this one, vendors have to sign a contract stating they will stay for all four days and wont pack up until four PM on Sunday. Makes it nice for those that can't make it any other day than Sunday.

 Brought my little CNC mini-mill in from the garage. Bench is filled up out there and I needed some room. Want to make a small enclosure for it to contain the mess. Picked up a thread mill for it so I can use it for threading. Hope to get the homing switches wired up this weekend and practice on a scrap pieces of aluminum. Figure I can make a couple of castle nuts for the buffer tube. Once I get it running good, I will mill the threads in the AR lower. I wanted to do it in the lathe, but I didn't like the set up I had for it. Just not quite rigid enough. Hope to find some decent used angle plates and such at some of the flea markets I go to and start accumulating some decent fixturing to make set ups a bit easier. I am eyeing a few set ups to convert my mill drill machine into a CNC. Shouldn't be too hard. Found some decent ball screw and nut setups, which I can put on to get rid of most of the backlash right out of the gate. I would like to set it up where I can run it as a CNC, and, leave the handles on so I can also run it as a manual mill for quick jobs. Figure the ball screws and nuts will improve function right off the bat and I can start slowly accruing the parts for the conversion. I use an old computer with MACH3 to run the mini, so I can set up another old computer in the garage for the bigger mill. Want to play with the smaller of the two lathes I have and convert it to CNC with a few stepper motors. I can run it off of the same software and computer as I will be using for bigger mill. Take some time to get there, but no hurry. It is just fun to play with.

Machine gun shoot is next month. Hope to pick up a couple of upper blank AR forgings to play with. Would like to pick up some 1911 frame forgings if I can find any. Found some in a catalog, but not in person yet. If you can find them at a show, cuts the shipping out of the equation, and you can sometimes get a deal on buying a few. I still have one AR lower blank to do after i finish the one I am working on. Figure the second will go a lot smoother than the first as I will know what to do, and, what not to do as well. Would like to work at a program to try cutting one on the CNC. It will give me something to play with over winter. Want to use one lower for .22 so if ammo ever becomes available again, I can shoot cheap. The other, a 7.62x39 for shooting the cheap easy to get surplus ammo. Want to try making some scope rails as well. Should be really easy and I am already accruing small scraps that are big enough to make mounts out of. One more day to get through until the weekend. It is weird. I am so use to working massive amounts of overtime and they have us cut back to forty hour work weeks for a while. I haven't worked forty hour weeks in many,  many years. Machinists don't work forty as a rule, they live at work. I feel like I almost have a life or something.

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