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Old 21-09-2005, 01:03 PM   #1
Captain Sci-Fi
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Default Tube end milling jig

Thinking hats on please guys.....

I remember seeing in one of my old woodworking magazines dimensions for an MDF jig to end mill (shape) wooden spindles for a banister project. I am certain that it could be adapted for use to make the joints on the frame assembly. If I remember correctly it involed a slot to feed in the spindle (approx 12" long) with a hole to provide a drill guide at 90 degs through which the file rasp passed powered by the electric drill

I am sure I can make the jig to use with a standard electric drill. But I cannot put my hand on the magazine.

Proops Bros. stock all kinds of dental rasps and I am wondering if a suitable size tool could be bought from them as this will be the key component. If they do, who wants a frame shaping jig? I have plenty of offcut MDF and a full woodworking shop to make the jigs.

If anyone has a plan for a crosscutting clamp assembly save me hours of searching boxes in my loft and publish it here. I would be happy to make them for anyone who wants one for the price of return postage.
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Old 21-09-2005, 01:43 PM   #2
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I use a milling machine. Clamp a block of metal to the table and lock the "Y" axis. Mill a slot the same diameter as the tube you want to work with along the block of metal. Use a round ended bull nose cutter so the half round bottom of the slot completely supports the tube. Keeping the "Y" axis locked, plunge cut (the equivalent of drilling) a deeper hole in one end of slot and insert a pin the same diameter as the tube.

Before moving position, zero your dials or indicator to zero. The centre of the hole you just "drilled" is your datum. Advance the table along the "X" axis (i.e. along the slot) to the same distance as whatever length of machined brass you want. Lock the "X" axis. You need to form one end of the tube to suit the pin but after that, all you need to do is keep clearing the swarf with each plunge cut then slide the tube along hard against the pin. The slot will usually hold the tube sufficiently well that it doesn't move but if in any doubt, you'll have to arrange some clamping method. Fingers are more precious than bits of brass.

For machining the ends, I recommend a fresh/new cutter. Even then, you'll tend to get a slightly ragged end where the brass thins out either side. This is easily dressed on a bench sander. I would also recommend a bull nose cutter for taking the plunge cuts because it tends to spread the brass very slightly otherwise the advancing tooth of a drill bit or slot drill can snag and mash one side of the freshly rounded end.

This is another reason not to use tube that is too thin walled. To machine it this way, you need a rigid tube or rod. K+S is hopeless unless you plan to file all the ends by hand.
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Old 21-09-2005, 02:27 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by DX-SFX
K+S is hopeless unless you plan to file all the ends by hand.
*sigh* been there, doing that.
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