After submitting drawing to the foundry yesterday, today I found out they would like me to supply casting patterns for the leveler feet. These needed to be made with a taper or 'draft' so they could be pulled out of the sand readily, and to be made 1.5% oversize to allow for shrinkage. I spent a while this morning working in SketchUp to produce drawings of the piece I would need to make.
And then I got wind of a company that offered CNC machining services with a quick turnaround time - millitnow.com - I gave them a call and found out they had worked with bronze in the past so that was no problem for them. They did however want me to submit drawings as '3D solid models', however the best I could do with SketchUp, having the 'pro' version, was submit .dwg files and have them produce the 3D solid models. So I spent another couple of hours fiddling around with that and finally submitted some .dwg file to the company. I thought I should see how much they would charge for milling the exact pieces from billet vs the alternative, which involves shop time for me to make oversize wooden patterns for casting, sending them off, having the castings done and then finding a machine shop to clean up the castings and fit leveler screws. Unless the price from Mill it Now is whacked, I'm likely to go in that direction. Seems a lot more straightforward.
Dealing with mill it now and their desire that customers submit 3D models with which they can program their CNC machinery reminded me of my goal to move on from SketchUp. At this point I'm considering moving to either Solidworks or Rhino. Hard to decide at this point. I'll be looking to upgrade to a more powerful, purpose-built computer for CAD work too. I always get the feeling with computer stuff that if I wait another month there will be a cheaper model with more power available....
Okay, that didn't leave as much time for me at the shop today as I might have liked, however I did get a few things done. I moved the joinery along on the table top slab to start with. After that, I tackled the dust panels which are to be fitted between the pillow blocks. That entailed some final dimensioning and it seemed like a day to bring the Kiyohisa 'kamon' smoother out for some play:
A superb plane. Love the white steel, want to plane more wood now...drool.
Now, where was I?....
After fitting the dust panels to the pillow blocks and aprons, I decked the top edges of the panels down using the same plane - a bit of a balancing act and it went well:
All fitted - but hardly complete given what is yet to happen to these panels:
A closer look:
At the end of the day I fitted the side panels:
Good progress was also made with the drawer support rails, which are, well, at least 25% along the way on their somewhat complicated journey. Another day at the shop should see those fitted.
All for now - thanks for tuning in. Hope your weekend is full of (pick one):
- blissed-out relaxation and recuperation
- exciting challenges and stimulating diversions