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Old 12-12-2009, 10:32 AM   #1
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Default Question for you Machinists

I am a 3rd year mechanical engineering student and would like to start learning how to machine some parts just for fun. My school has decided that engineers no longer have to know how to use the machines in the machine shop, but I would like to learn how to use the machines, because i dont know how i am supposed to design something but no nothing about how it would actually be made. I have a professor who is willing to teach me how to use the various machines. I would like to know what kind of parts for a buggy would be fun and somewhat easy to make in order for me to learn the machines and actually be able to use the part. I wont use the parts for racing i just want to see the part i made actually work during practice or bashing around the track. I dont want to be one of the many engineers who come up with designs, shows them to the fabricators, and hears that its impossible to make because I am so out of touch with machining. thank you for your time.
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Old 12-12-2009, 11:49 AM   #2
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I'm not a machinist, but I would imagine that something like a chassis brace or a top plate, or a diff top plate would be pretty easy.
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Old 12-12-2009, 12:39 PM   #3
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Most Toe plates are flat stock alum that would be pretty easy to do....Just make sure to double check with the stock parts that the hole's are where they are supposed to be.
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Old 12-12-2009, 12:53 PM   #4
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when i first got my lathe i started machining aluminum and steel flywheels,head buttons,cooling heads,hubs,pullys,axles etc.
right now i am machining/testing my own pinch/resizing die sets.
if you have access to a milling machine you could make shock towers,chassis stiffeners,braces,suspension pieces,engine mounts etc..
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Old 12-12-2009, 12:58 PM   #5
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i think we need to know what type machines you will be trained on and then we can suggest some parts to make. we need to know if it's a lathe, mill, etc...
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Old 12-12-2009, 12:59 PM   #6
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Fievel,

Just dont let the actual building process of a product hold you back from the design. Its the engineer's job to design and a tool makers to figure out how to build it. But you are on the right track tho, its nice to know how it will be built. I dont know how many times a day I want to go up to the engineering dept. and just start screaming. I love the square corner pokets that they draw every time! I just ask them where the square end mills are at.

Good luck!
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Old 12-12-2009, 01:01 PM   #7
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I like your attitude.... I'm in the HVAC business, and some of those engineers I have to deal with I can tell they never stepped foot on a job site or a shop... I still have'nt figured out how I can get 12 inches of duct work in a 8 inch space... and it happens alot, and they wont back down, no comman sense...
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Old 12-12-2009, 02:15 PM   #8
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You need a special tool called duct work shrinker. It's similar to the lumber stretcher and left handed hammer.

What your doing to admirable. I've seen engineer design things and then they go to have it built it and there is no way it works. Then you put it with other equipment and then you don't have access to things you need to get to. Nothing replaces actual experience.
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Old 12-12-2009, 02:16 PM   #9
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the machine shop has couple of lathes and many mills, I dont know the name of all of the machines, but i know we have enough machines to build a race car because last year we had a SAE team that built a race car in the shop. I wanted to join the team this year but they didnt have enough people to start a team. I was thinking maybe making a shock tower, that would teach me how to use the mill. i have old D8 towers that i could use as a stencil. my goal is to be able to make a universal joint i figure that would require the use of many different tool and would really test me on how everything works. I have always wanted to be a mechanic but I also wanted to know more about how cars work. i am finding it very difficult to blend the theoretical engineering, with the hands on of a mechanic. it seems like everyone is either one or the other not both. thanks for the help.
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Old 12-12-2009, 03:50 PM   #10
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Hmm, the first thing you should do before you put your hands on any machine is get yourself a Machinist hand book.
Take some time and learn about tooling, feed rates per metal type, spindle speeds, mics etc.
There is alot to learn to be a good machinist, and to make any part correctly.
Safety also plays a large part, engine lathes and mills are very powerful machines and can seriously hurt you in a blink of an eye.

Before you try to make anything, learn the basics first.

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Old 12-12-2009, 04:39 PM   #11
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I really wish they would teach machining in conjunction with engineering. Instead we have to take a bunch of strange classes like "poetry of the 1800's" or "the study of the roman empire". I am hoping my professor who is also a machinist will be able to teach me all about the science of machining. It seems that machining even though the grunt work is done by the machine its more of an art than anything else, would you guys agree?
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Old 12-12-2009, 05:26 PM   #12
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Yes, it is an art.

90% of the work is in the set up, the rest is just the cutting. It takes alot of patience and prep.

Its a great feeling when you make a piece per your print and it mics out perfect!!
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Old 12-12-2009, 06:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
I love the square corner pokets that they draw every time! I just ask them where the square end mills are at.
I hear ya'....had a print the other day with four .125 slots through two inch material....huh???

So....I'm off to the wire EDM...trying to explain to nerd guy how easy it would be to put the tapped hole in the 2" piece and the slot in the 1/4" bracket...LOL

No clue...and I'm the fool that pays these people....just shoot me.
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Old 12-13-2009, 06:23 AM   #14
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Default Machinist hand book and tooling application

As Ralf said above get a machinist hand book....It a bible to and for anyone in the machining trade.

Second, Go through the cabanits and drawers in the shop you will be working and studie the tooling/fixtures available to support the lathe , mill , etcetera in shop there. The machines will not do squat for you without tooling to support its use. indexing heads, boring bars, center drills, tapes, dies, mill cutters, quick change holders, vices, signbars. The more you got the better off you are.

Next look at the machines available you. If you have a lathe, mill, band saw, EDM, press, kilm that has all the nessisery tooling and fixturing to support in application you are dialed. Its all about the tooling and understanding its application.

Have fun, Be safe, and good luck


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Old 12-13-2009, 07:12 AM   #15
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fievel,

Where are you located?
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