Nerves of steel
Feb 7, 2020
I have continued to work on my assessment piece on the CNC milling machine, having used similar tools to those used on the manual machine. The assessment piece is a steel block on which I have to demonstrate different processes, similar again to the manual machine. I had to program the machine, set it, and run it. That involved creating pockets, drilling, tapping and reaming. I had a near miss whilst running it. I watched as the drill approached the work in a way that was unintended and was about to hit it but, I luckily pressed the emergency stop in time. Others in the group have not been so lucky since many have crashed their machines. Success and failure are all part of our learning process.
Angle plate challenge
Feb 14, 2020
I have been demonstrating the skills necessary to pass the CNC milling cell. I had to demonstrate the ability to prepare work on an angle plate, run a program on it, set two separate data within the same machine, and clock a datum around a circular pocket or extrusion with a DTI (dial test indicator). Setting the angle plate was quite simple since it is an easily transferable skill from the manual milling machines. Setting the datum around a circular pocket was quite difficult because I had to spin the DTI around the pocket; this would result in the dial facing away from me so I had to use a mirror to see it, but this reversed the image so I had to interpret its readings backwards.
Putting precision into machining
Feb 21, 2020
I returned back to work in company at the AMRC Advanced Structural Testing Centre. Whilst there I was being taught to thread turn to further expand upon what I have been doing at the training centre. It was different to other types of machining I have done in that the given size may not fit perfectly with the nut you are producing the thread for, so it involves bringing the thread down to size until it fits the nut securely. This results in the job taking a significantly larger amount of concentration because the tool had to be removed from the work and the chuck put into reverse just as the tool entered the recess at the back of the thread. The precision needed to avoid crashing the tool was challenging but that just added to the enjoyment of learning the important skill that is thread turning.