Sunday, 8 December 2013

level 8 complete

Finished the final practical course for my Machining programme today (note: 09-Dec-2007, almost exactly 6 years ago today). While it's a bit of a relief, I'll miss having access to the large equipment. Only classroom work is left to complete in order to obtain the certificate.

Shown here is the mini arbour press from Level 7 of course. I'll be using it to fit wheels and gears onto axles of various railway models. I spent more time than strictly necessary on this project because I know I'll be making frequent use of it.

In general, the programme content was fairly good. In addition to both rudimentary and more advanced threading exercises we created a tap handle, C-clamp, screw jack, DTI holder for a 2" quill, v-block with horseshoe & strap clamps, and a 5" sine bar.

I'd like to have seen some specific projects in the early stages, like a machinist's hammer + prick punch + centre punch set, plus a scribing block & engineering scale holder for use on the surface plates. These items would serve as the introduction to basic turning, knurling, milling, heat treatment, and surface grinding; these basic tools would then be used throughout the rest of the course.

Through the programme we've made use of surface grinders, lathes, vertical & horizontal mills, drill presses, bandsaws, and off-hand grinders. Some of our workpieces were case hardened by the school staff - with varying degrees of success. As the machines are in use 6 or 7 days per week, they see a significant amount of wear and tear. It was once said that if one could manage to complete their assignments satisfactorily using these devices, working effectivly in the real world shouldn't be a problem.

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