Friday, September 27, 2013

vise thing

So a long time ago I bought this miter vise/tube cutter.  I have this strange love hate relationship with this thing.  The biggest problem with it is that I never know if I am using it the right way.  I always use the death grip while I am filing or sawing and half the time I actually cut into my finger.  So I started using it in a vise which is super awkward.  Does anyone have a secret to these things?  Someone should make an attachment for the benchmate to hold these buggers.  ORRRR! maybe a freaking handle?



a few laser updates

So just a few laser updates.  I did confirm that there is actually no undo in the software. BOGUS.  They said that is might be added in the next update. Also since the bottom of the machine comes out, registration is a pain in the rear.  You just kind of roll the dice and get what you get.  I thought that I could fix this issue by etching the actual metal on the bottom of the machine.  No luck.  I think the steel is powder coated and I can't focus the beam far enough with the optics I have.  I didn't buy the lens that allows cutting past the bottom of the machine.  I guess I could get that.  It would have been nice to know this prior to purchase.

I think I am going to have to buy a sheet of anodized aluminum, double stick tape it to the bottom and then etch a grid on it just so I have some kind of reference. Or get two rulers and glue them to the bottom of the machine. I also noticed that the waffle board that they provided is actually smaller than the cut area.  It is probably in my best interest to figure this out soon.  I need to get cutting.

I did run across a few pleasant surprises.  When the software is firing a job it actually displays what part it is lasering on the screen.  It is hard to see in the video below but there is a little red dot that follows the cut path as the gantry is moving.  This is brilliant!  This will help with registration if you keep the lid open so the laser does not fire.   You can do an "air cut" to check location.

Here is a video of my first actual firing in the laser.  I actually caught the material on fire. I need to go buy a fire extinguisher or something.  The cardboard caught on fire while I was cutting and the wimpy air compressor they provided just wasn't extinguishing the flame fast enough.