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Complete Newbie - need help!

gm_86

New Member
Hello everyone,

Not sure where to start....

Basically, I know next to nothing about metal work. My primary interest stems from 'refinishing' golf clubs. This has largely consisted of machine sanding, media blasting etc so far. However, I am now interested in learning how to mill some things and not sure where to start. I have been looking at some mini milling machines that are available, but really have no idea if they will perform the job I need/want them to. Joined to try and learn some things and get some advice from those far more knowledgeable than me!

Thanks,
GM
 

CalgaryPT

Ultra Member
Vendor
Premium Member
Welcome GM. Lots of experience and advice available here, but I will let the machining guys chime in on your questions as I am more on the fabrication side of metal work. I'm sure you will get some responses soon.

I do have a typical Asian mini-mill, but will defer to the others on the forum as I said.

Welcome aboard :)
 

gm_86

New Member
Thank you.

Maybe a quick question for you would it be possible to use the Mini mill to get a similar finish to the attached? My concern is that even if it is possible to cut this into the face, that it might be difficult to do consistently?
 

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CalgaryPT

Ultra Member
Vendor
Premium Member
Don't take my words as definitive, but I think so. I once built the frames and mechanics for a small sluice box. After the tailings are removed miners have all sorts of secrets for getting the small gold bits out. One guy I knew used a similar pattern as yours to catch pieces. Granted his was plastic—but it looked similar. He used a vise that pivoted in his mill to make the patterns. It wasn't CNC so the radius offsets weren't consistent, but it worked great. I saw pics of it and it looked like he just pivoted the vise to make arcs. In your case you'd have to reverse the workpiece and do it twice to get the pattern you're looking for. I suppose with the higher quality vise and method to pivot it you could get reasonably good results. You could even attack is at different angles for a cross hatch effect.

Is that a putter face??? Maybe some value in not CNC'ing it if you want a more personalized result?

Either way, very nice.

I'm sure the machining guys will chime in on the weekend for you.
 

gm_86

New Member
I really appreciate the feedback - unfortunately don't understand 100%! Hopefully some others will have advice too. I'm just kicking some tires to see what is possible. Of course i don't actually know how to use the machine - that is step 2 ha
 

CalgaryPT

Ultra Member
Vendor
Premium Member
If you loosen the two rear bolts (on my vise at least) the vise pivots back and forth. Thus, you can create an arc across your work piece by swinging the vise in this arc and creating the pattern you need. The geometry will differ with the vise and mill of course, but you would then use your Y axis on your mill to advance to the next grove. Does that make sense....?

I'm sure there are better ways to do this on non-CNC mills, such as a rotary table. But the fast and dirty way is to pivot the vise I think. Your radius would be limited to whatever your vise is, but I'll bet there are smarter guys on this forum who will have better ideas.

I would also suggest that you team up with someone on the forum and check out their shops and mills after others chime in so you get a better idea before you buy.

Where are you located?

vise.jpg
 

gm_86

New Member
I’m pretty central- kinda close to downtown. But would definitely go wherever to learn if that was possible!
 

Bofobo

M,Mizera(BOFOBO)
Its possible! Your arm would be very tired but if you were looking to set up a mini mill specifically for this purpose, by adding power feed you could get consistent repeatable effect, a fly cutter would be cheapest cutter and a repeatable way to secure the work would need to be found
 

gm_86

New Member
Thanks, what would a ball park price to put this together be? I’m just not sure where to start. Is there a better way of doing this?
 

PeterT

Ultra Member
Premium Member
It almost looks to me like what we would call a 'bad finish with an out of tram mill head'. LOL. Hopefully this sketch makes sense. The blue work represents the part face. Something like a single point fly cutter tool has its axis deliberately angled slightly so it cuts an arc only on the leading edge of rotation. As the cutter is advanced across the work (or table is displaced in the case of a mill) that get swirls in one direction. Then you either flip the part end for end or cant the cutter axis in the opposite way & repeat to give the swirl arcs in the opposite direction. Coarser pitch would be proportional to slower RPM & faster traversing. Finer pitch would be the opposite. Power feed traversing would make them very consistently parallel.

Usually we go through great pains to ensure the cutter is as close to perpendicular to the work table as possible. That leaves a finish that looks very net shiny, but quite 'equal' in terms of the opposing swirl arcs. The 'equality' comes about because the cutting tool is removing material on the leading edge of arc & then essentially a teeny tiny rub on the back side of the cutter as its coming around on the microscopic hills of the material.

I assume (but I really don't know) that this is a form of flattening + surface finish texturing maybe to help the ball contact or something?
 

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gm_86

New Member
Wow- thank you.
So the thought behind milling (or whatever it would be called) is that the ball is in contact with ‘less’ of the face making for a softer feel. Not sure if I have described that very well!
Many designs look like the go much deeper- I have attached another photo that might be better.
I’m not sure of the best way to try this- golf clubs can be expensive even test materials and getting set up with machines is even more so!
 

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PeterT

Ultra Member
Premium Member
Metal is really tricky to photograph well. Even very minor micro-scratches (thing 1000 grit paper) can look much more aggressive in digital pics. So hard for me to judge the depth of grooves. Anyways, your second picture almost looks 'too good' like maybe computer driven such as CNC. So in that scenario it could be something like a sharp V bit & its programmed to make those arcs essentially as predetermined paths. Basically a glorified form of engraving, possibly like the fish & the lettering in your first picture. That is a whole different thing. We have guys on the forum doing both home brew & commercial CNC mode who would be better qualified to comment. The beauty of CNC is it could be any pattern, concentric bubbles, zig-zags... whatever you can dream up.
 
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gm_86

New Member
To be honest, if there guys who were willing to do such small jobs with CNC I’d love to talk to them. I ‘restore’ quite a few putters so would be awesome to get to know someone. It’s starting to become clear that home projects might not be viable on machines I cobble together!
Any suggestion on who I could talk to?

I really appreciate the help everyone!
 

PeterT

Ultra Member
Premium Member
Hopefully someone CNC will chime in because I'm not one of them.

Another lower tech solution might be something like a pantograph. You can buy inexpensive 500-600 watt spindle motors complete with AC>DC power supply. Essentially this is what people are using for smaller, lighter duty home brew CNC machines anyways. You would have a pattern board (your custom swirl design). The copying stylus follows this & the spindle + engraving tool basically mimics this cutting a shallow relief on the metal. Its loosely called 2.5D because you are just cutting to some common defined depth. Because you are doing relatively light duty material removal, this is actually well within the power of these motors. Its when you get into more serious metal removal you need more power, more rigidity... basically why these machines are stout cast iron.
Here is the general idea. When you Google pantograph you will see all kinds of applications ranging from fine detail to heavy hogging with routers on the business end.
http://imageevent.com/tomgriffin/pantograph

example motor/spindle
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/NEW...ml?spm=2114.12010108.1000023.6.43aee6dfWKnyK4
 

Janger

(John)
Vendor
Premium Member
I Cnc’d some circles for Grahame to test in aluminum. 0.010 depth and 0.065” apart 3000 rpm and 3 ipm. About 1 minute per circle sixty circles an hour for one putter. Used a small center drill.

Grahame that fast fancy method you showed me requires much faster table feed than my mill can manage - the math says about 4 times faster. Picture two shows that approach. Pic 1and 3 show what I can do.
 

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PeterT

Ultra Member
Premium Member
Nice thing about CNC is you could have almost any crazy pattern. Now whether it improves or degrades putting performance is anyone's guess until scientifically proven (or professionally endorsed). How about a 'sweet spot' where the swirl gradations are slightly denser in the 'hit zone'? Then of course you will have to offer a custom cleaning brush & refurbishment kit for these faces. LOL
 

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CalgaryPT

Ultra Member
Vendor
Premium Member
No "scientifically proven or professionally endorsed swirl graduation or sweet spot" could improve my short game. That's why I quit golf when I was in my late teens.

Kinda about the same time I took up metal working.

I'm happy to test any new patterns @gm_86 comes up with. If I get within 10 feet of the cup, we got ourselves a winner.
 

gm_86

New Member
Thanks everyone.
Starting with the circles, but there are so many options to experiment with.

Below would be the ultimate goal ha
 

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Tom Kitta

Ultra Member
The ultimate goal doesn't look that hard. Its just bunch of circles cut with an annular cutter (or custom made cutter). As long as you can mount the work securely and level you would simply drill the circle, move over a distance, drill next, move over, drill next etc. till one line of circles is done. Then start from the beginning just a bit lower. The material in question has around 36 circles in total.
 

historicalarms

Ultra Member
That is quite similar to what folks in the gun world call "bolt jeweling" only with a much more open pattern/design. Very easy to do even with just a rudimentary drill press as long as you have a method of equally indexing/advancing your work piece from cut to cut.

I made an "indexer" one time that worked very well by just re-purposing an old typewriter. Removed all the keys & ribbon parts, just keeping the paper advancing mechanism intact. It had a perfect rotational indexer built into it with the "paper roll" gearing to roll a bolt perfectly but you wouldn't need that aspect of it for this application I don't think.
 
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