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Old 02-11-2008, 05:52 PM   #1
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Questions?? Machining Own Parts

My grandfather is a Machinist and before I ask him to make the gear box housing, the chassis, and the controll arms into aluminum I want to know if he can do this, has anyone every made their own parts? He is going to also anodize them all and make them purple!
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Old 02-11-2008, 06:44 PM   #2
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Please Somone Answer
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Old 02-11-2008, 06:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stoptherockets3 View Post
My grandfather is a Machinist and before I ask him to make the gear box housing, the chassis, and the controll arms into aluminum I want to know if he can do this, has anyone every made their own parts? He is going to also anodize them all and make them purple!
If your Grandfather has anything he enjoys doing he'll say no.

He'll spend 10x the amount of time a CNC machine that is programmed to do the same thing would spend. He has to layout the chassis dimensions, blueprint it, layout the part to machine, cut, check, cut again...ect. ect.. He prob. will have 40-50 hrs building a chassis you can buy for $70.00.

Do you suppose his time is worth more then $2.00 per hour...if so...give him a break, and have him machine something you cannot buy.
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Old 02-11-2008, 07:15 PM   #4
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I'm a machinist myself. Even with something simple, I have time drawing it in MasterCam, I figure out the best way to toolpathing it, then I have to figure out how to fixture it because none of this crap is simple 2d, then actually machine it. The quality of the end part totally revolves around your setup and preparation. The older I get, the more valuable my time becomes. Some stuff is just plain fun to do, most of it isn't. Usually I trade my services for goods and/or services in return. Give the old man a break
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Old 02-11-2008, 07:30 PM   #5
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Most places that do machining don't do single parts for a reason...

Can he do it? well he has to have a blueprint to make it from, or be able to produce it himself measuring the part...But assuming he can do that (or you can do that and give it to him would be better ) it would be doable...that is what he does.

Another big question is does he have his own shop setup, or does work own all the machines. If he has a boss that boss would probably prefer his employees/machines are doing something that makes money.


Perhaps you would be better off coming up with a part that you could sell, footing the bill (w/family discount ) and selling them to others...just make sure you figure out how many you would need to sell to break even, and if you could REALLY get rid of that many (people are always willing to buy things until they actually have to give up money)
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Old 02-11-2008, 08:02 PM   #6
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This is going to take him a lot of time. First, he will need to take dimensions off a stock gearbox and arm, then make a drawing, then convert it to a dxf, then import it and mess with the g-code until he gets everything right. Next, he'll have to buy the material, cut it to size, make a jig to set it up properly, make sure he has the right tooling, make a few, then finally work the bugs out and get one perfect. There is a learning curve with anything as complex as a gearbox. You're asking a lot, especially considering how inexpensive parts are. My advise: Buy your parts and let him enjoy his life.

If he's doing it manually, it'll take even longer.

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Originally Posted by stoptherockets3 View Post
My grandfather is a Machinist and before I ask him to make the gear box housing, the chassis, and the controll arms into aluminum I want to know if he can do this, has anyone every made their own parts? He is going to also anodize them all and make them purple!
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Old 02-11-2008, 10:46 PM   #7
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Why don't you take a machining class at a local trade school and learn how to do it yourself. Then prove to your Grandpa that you know how to operate the machines (so you won't destroy his stuff) and make them yourself instead of burdening your Grandpa.

I've got a Mill and a Lathe but I won't do anything for anyone else because they couln't pay me enough to make it worth my while, compared to what I get paid as a contract programmer.
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Old 02-11-2008, 11:05 PM   #8
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Here's my experience making my own parts...

I wanted to design and make my own stuff for quite some time, finally came across a nice deal on a lathe and mill in good shape so I bought them and got them down the basement and running. That first week all I could tell anyone I knew was that I'd never buy another part that I could make myself.

Three months later after learning just how much skill it takes to even make two simple parts identical to each other, plus all the time sharpening/replacing tooling, learning how to setup a job properly, learning proper feeds/speeds, etc, etc, etc, I pretty much covered the machines up and haven't used them since.

Now all I tell anyone is "I'll NEVER make a part if I can just go out and buy it"

Your mileage, of course, may vary...
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Old 02-12-2008, 05:33 AM   #9
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Machining your own parts can be nice BUT there are manufacters like 3Racing, Atomic who probably make and SELL the same parts your grandfather can make for a lower price than he has to pay for quality aluminum. Not every alloy/aluminum is suited to be machined or welding.
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