This page is to coordinate people offering and requiring training on the machine tools (lathe, mill and 3-in-1). If you have previous experience you will normally be allowed to use the small lathe and mill freely, and the 3-in-1 after a short induction session (to cover any queries and provide a brief guide and warnings).
The problem with these machines is that there are hundreds of techniques to learn and much needs to be done hands-on, so it isn't practical to run lectures. Most people will have knowledge only of the techniques that they have needed to date. You will only need to learn basic rules and the techniques important to you, but getting started and gaining a proper respect for the machines to ensure your and their safety requires some instruction. Once you have learned to use the machine safely, you will have to acquire more knowledge through asking people, reading books, and from internet resources.
If you have no previous experience you will need much more careful training probably in small groups or one-on-one. It will probably be best to do some initial sessions on the small machines and move to the 3 in 1 if required or when ready. This need not be long unless you're especially hamfisted, but even this requires a reasonable effort from people willing to offer training so please appreciate the level of commitment required. This is not a 5 minute talk and a bit of software.
Adding your details to request training will not result in you being contacted. It's just to help gauge the needs and show the information needed. Please make contact with trainers yourself.
|Name||Offered / wanted||Skill level||When available|
|Oliver||induction wanted||familiar with lathes and mills||weekends|
|Adrian||offered||familiar with other machines, less so on LHS machines||When you can catch me, or arrange|
|R. Hacker||mentor wanted||zilch||evenings but not mondays|
|S. Hacker||induction wanted for 3in1||already familiar||tuesday night or as arranged|
|zeroknowledge||mentor wanted||no experience||weekends|
|Billy Smith||Offered and wanted||Got the basics. I can explain those. Looking to extend my skill-set. I know that i don't know the full range of what these things can do... Maintenance on the mini-lathe, i am happy to share what i know.||Whenever i am in the space. Usually at night. Shout me...|
|JDublock||Wanted||Need to be shown the ropes||Weekends|
|booyaa||Induction wanted with the view to learning how to maintain the machine||Used a lathe in my CDT class (secondary school) about 20+ years ago||Tuesday or Thursday but not both|
|Leigh Simmons||Wanted||Familiar with concepts, but no practical experience||Anytime, but preferably not weekends|
|Blobface||Wanted||Used a lathe at university, refresher / where things are kept etc||After 7pm / weekends|
|Steve Ganly||Offered||Need induction on the lathes at the space, than can offer training - have my own 3 in 1||When you can catch me, or arrange|
|Ed Rosten||Wanted||Have used larger lathes and mills before for simple things.||Any time, but preferably not weekends.|
|Alex P||Wanted||Used it under supervision; done some minimal machining.||Any time.|
|mentar||Wanted||Know the principles from lathe repair attempts||evenings, always try to make tuesdays|
Aim : To be able to use the machine safely and produce a simple piece of work, e.g. a cotton reel shape.
- Basic safety
- Chuck key
- Check clamping
- Check unobstructed operation
- Choosing a cutting tool
- Mounting and setting centre height
- Tailstock chuck
- Choice of speed
- Changing gears
- Facing off
- Centre drill
- Drilling from the tailstock
- Parallel cut
- Short taper with the compound slide
- Thread cutting (optional)
Steve Ganly's thoughts on training
We want to help people get used to using the lathe - at least for basics. It's impractical to give people a whole long course and impractical for people to learn far more techniques than they need to start making basic things. Work out what basic training is needed - it's more like a pyramid than a linear stack of skills, but here's a start...
Level 0 is about safety - not hurting yourself, others, the machine or the tools. How the motor turns the chuck, what happens when things get caught in it - either death or parts of bodies removed. Can be very safe once the basic safety is understood. Things that can get caught: hair, sleeves, gloves, ties, etc. Bare hands and bare arms are best. No jewellry - no exceptions.
Level 1: Basic lathe. Start with an easy material like nylon, delrin or aluminium. Should be round bar and the bar should be less than 30cm to avoid excessive wobble. Chuck up the bar. How the chuck works. Re-iterate dangers of leaving the key in the chuck. Test turn by hand before power on. How the work can wobble - work with less than say 10cm from face to chuck for now; any longer may need turning between centres which comes later. Planning how to face the end of the stock (assuming it's been hand sawn so can be fairly wonky). What tool to use? How to move it? Approaching the work, moving the tool across the work. Checking tool centre height and setting centre height. Do the facing... intermittent cuts versus solid cuts. Depth of cut. How would the tool break? Where would it go if it broke? Turning a bar to a diameter. What tool? How to move the tool across the stock? Depth of cut. Surface speed.
Separating your work piece from the bar stock. Remove and hacksaw for now since doing it on the machine (parting off) comes at a later level. Rechuck the workpiece the other way round and face the new rough end. Chamfer the sharp edge.
Repeat in one or two new materials. Get signed off for being competent at Lathe Level 1.
Level 1.5: Basic construction
We'll make something useful for the hackspace: an equipment stand (like a lab stand used in Chemistry, etc.)
Look at drawings or photos of existing ones (not available yet as I've just dreamt this up).
Square base with four legs. One leg piece is longer than the others so it goes through a through hole through the base (fixed with two grub screws). Other two legs screw fitted into blind holes into the base. Can do all kinds of variation on base shape and legs. Upright of the stand screw fit into the base - missing the legs...
Upright is longer so is to be turned between centres. Screw threads for the upright to be cut on the lathe? Others can be done with tap and die.
Clamp for the stand can be square that has a central hole - drilled then bored to size? With a gap cut by slitting saw to allow the clamping action. Use modified bold for the clamping - making the bolt head round then fluted or knurled to be finger friendly.
Make parts for the legs to the right dimensions.
Level 2: Basic mill. Understanding the machine some more - configuring for mill and drill. How the basic mill differs from the lathe - the work moves past the cutter instead of the cutter moving past the work.
Cut some plate or bar stock to size. Square up the stock.
Drill some of the holes (as accurately as possible).
And so on... the idea is to build up a selection of stands for the space as demo items of what people have made on the lathe. Can have some snazzy round bases... The first piece cut in plastic could make a good clamp or spacer for the stand...
The current maintainers on the 3-in-1 are, Ian, Adrian and Russ
MIT have made a series of videos about safely working in a machine shop. The relevant ones are:
- Lathe 1: Lathe basics; turning and facing; cutting off a part
- Lathe 2: Tapping; boring; knurling; cutting tapers; turning shafts with a live centre; single point thread turning
- Lathe 3: Chucking large items; using lathe arbours; turning between centres; working with irregular shapes & thin materials.