Thursday, May 14, 2009

Tools for the Solar powered workshop

After six months of planing how to spend my redundancy money effectively. I have started collecting tools for the Solar powered workshop.

We decided to visit the National Model Engineering & Modelling Exhibition in Harrogate this weekend. We took my two of my youngest Daughters who had a great time looking at all the working Models particularly the tiny working steam engines.

My other half Midge also enjoyed the show with the girls buying all sorts of bits and bobs for her airbrush set-up. The next Model Engineering show will be mid October near Warwick / Lemmington Spa. Well worth a visit. I bought a few small bits and bobs as well.

First Purchase was a Time and Precision Ltd 3 axis x 55mm/2.20inch cubed aluminium positioning stage including stepper motors a steal for £40 with 0.00125 resolution on X & Y at 200 steps or 0.000625 Resolution @ 400 steps. The ideal basis for the baby Bertha project.

Second purchase was a the small Sieg C0 Baby Lathe from Price £165. Thus solving the frustration of trying to use pedestal drill or Afghan lathe etcetera.

Sieg C0 Baby Lathe

Swing Over Bed 110mm
Distance Between Centres 125mm
Hole Through Spindle 10mm
Spindle/Tail stock Bore 10mm
Spindle/Tail stock Thread M14x1mm
Spindle Speed 100-3800 r pm
Motor Output 150w DC
Cross Slide Travel 50mm
Overall Dimensions 440x270x210mm
Weight (net/gross) 13kg/22kg
Standard Equipment:
50mm 3 Jaw Chuck, Dead Centre, Tool kit

Third purchase and slightly unplanned was a Micro Mill also from £125.

This completes the mechanical hardware required for Baby Bertha.

Sieg Model X0 Digital Micro Mill


* Digital Depth Readout (Metric & Imperial)
* Feed Depth Set-up
* Fine Feed
* Variable Speed
* Highly Accurate
* Chuck Guard

Drilling Capacity 6mm
End Milling Capacity 6mm
Throat 165mm
Max. Chuck to Table Distance 205mm
(with spindle extended)
Spindle Stroke 40mm
Spindle Taper JT1
Spindle Speed (Variable) High 0-5000 rpm ±10%
Low 0-3600 rpm ±10%
Motor Output 180w
Overall Dimensions 165x275x460mm
Weight (Net/Gross) 15kg/20kg

JT1-ER11 Milling Collet Chuck Set with 6 Collets

The collet set required for Milling purchased from Chester Ltd for £29


  1. That three-axis positioning stage really is a find!

    Regarding the Seig "Micro Mill," that chuck and taper seem well suited for drilling, but I'm concerned that it could be dangerous for milling (despite the claims otherwise.) I think a JT1 taper could come loose from side loads, and drop out of the spindle. If it does, much of the rotational KE can turn it into a dangerous missile on the first bounce -- and there's no knowing which way it'll go!

    I suggest double checking (incl places other than Seig), that it's truly secure for the side loads that milling can produce. (Or changing to a different spindle/tool attachment when milling.

    Best Regards,


  2. P.S. to prev comment:

    I just googled with this search string:
    milling side load JT1 OR Jacobs

    and there are a number of cautions on this subject, including:

    If the drill chuck is on a taper shank, using it to hold an end mill is definitely not recommended. The side loading, combined with the downward pull of the cutting forces, can walk the chuck off its taper, probably giving you more excitement than you really want.

    If it's a screw-mount drill chuck that wouldn't be a problem, but a drill chuck really isn't the thing to use to hold end mills, in any case."

    Similarly, at this URL:

    Right off the bat, Do not try to MILL with a drill press. The Jacobs taper chuck mount is NOT designed for side loading, and has no retention feature. It may not have happened yet, but one day the bit will grab, and you'll have a two-pound ball of steel with a sharp- probably broken and jagged- bit in it turning 500RPM flying into your lap.

    Drills with Morse-taper quills are no better; endmills have a helix, which under the force of the cut tends to pull the endmill down. Neither the Jacobs taper nor the Morse taper have any form of locking feature to keep that downward force from pulling them out of their sockets.

    All you have is friction- but it's friction on a taper, so if that taper moves just a few thousandths, it comes completely free.

    Sorry to belabor this, but I'd hate to have a fellow reprapper hurt!

    -- Larry

  3. Larry sorry I missed your comment, when I bought the Mill I tied to avoid buying the JT1 collet chuck as it was almost half the price again of the mill, with The idea of screwing the standard drill chuck into the Taper this was sugsted by a guy on the stand.

    In reality it was not possible to do this. I will admit to carefully trying the drill chuck first though, before I searched the Inet and buying a JT1 collet chuck 25% cheaper at £29 it works great. Thank you for your concern.

    By the way when I was carefully testing the drill chuck at low speed it just fell off the taper.