Welcome to Jon’s Machine Shop!


August 16, 2020:   Somehow, eight months have elapsed since the last update. I haven’t really accomplished anything worthy of putting on here. The menu bar has been changed slightly. I changed the ‘Projects’ tab to ‘Metalwork’ to more accurately reflect the scope of work found there since anything could technically be a project. I have added a Tinplate page. It doesn’t have much content on it yet as I’ve just started playing with it.

I have spent the past few weeks changing settings in Cura to improve quality and reliability of the 3d printer. I thought I already had a good profile set up, but a recent “simple” print required a lot of attempts before I got one I was satisfied with. After quite a bit of printing, I have a good profile set up and a better understanding of slicer settings.

I have also gotten the rotary axis on the Sherline working. I’ve not had any problems with the machine, but getting a good program out of Fusion 360 has been a problem. The Sherlines operate on LinuxCNC. I haven’t found a good Linux post-processor for the fourth axis. The ones for the lathe and mill are good, and I use them for lathe and 3 axis mill work. I realized that ANY fourth axis capable post-processor would generate a valid toolpath, I would just need to edit the header and footer of the program it generated. Fusion has a “Haas with a-axis” post, so I used that and with a little editing, I had a good program.

I’m still learning more about glasswork. Currently, I’m just working on pre-cut kits rather than original works. It would be nice to find someone locally with a waterjet cutter to cut complicated shapes. Cutting glass is pretty easy as long as the cuts are pretty straight.

Working with glass and lead, I have become interested in improving my soldering skills. To that end, I’ve discovered tinplate work. Soldering is brilliant in that it joins very thin metal parts with no danger of burning through like welding. Solder will also join dissimilar metals unlike welding. I had a part in for repair recently that required joining steel with a nonferrous metal. A low-temp solder got the job done.

The Upshur engine is still in process. No progress has been made since the last update though. Machine work has slowed while I worked on glass projects.

I’ve added a plastic welder and also a vinyl cutter/plotter to the stable of tools. The vinyl cutter serves to cut stencils for the enameled and etched glass.

Another project still in the works is a lawnmower lift. Essentially a long set of ramps that once the mower is driven on, will be jacked up in the back. The whole mower will fit on them and when lifted, will be about a foot higher. Basically, a scaled down kwik-lift made out of a 2 by 8 and a piece of pipe. I’d like to gain enough room to be able to use an impact to change blades. We’ll see how this works out.

More to come.

As always, check back often for updates.