What keeps you from using your rotary axis?

Topics related to wrapped rotary machining in Aspire or VCarve Pro

What keeps you from using your rotary axis?

Postby Rcnewcomb » Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:45 am

I'm putting together some training material on wrapped rotary machining.

I'd like to hear from those of you who are curious about rotary axis, but haven't really done anything with it.

Do you have a rotary axis?
If not, why?

If you do have one, have done anything with it yet? (Mine sat under the CNC table for 2-3 years before I did anything with it)
If not, why?
If yes, what problems did you encounter?

What are the very basic questions you wish someone would address regarding rotary?
- Randall Newcomb
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Re: What keeps you from using your rotary axis?

Postby oldlogtrucker » Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:17 am

Nervous because I haven't the first idea how to begin.
I look forward to your instructions.
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Re: What keeps you from using your rotary axis?

Postby 4DThinker » Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:52 pm

I don't personally have questions, as I understand how to use my rotary axis pretty well. My students get a puzzled look on their faces when I point to the rotary axis. It's the same confused look they had when I pointed to our many conventional lathes.

We do use it though. Often just as an indexing jig for parts that need work done on different sides a precise turn from each other. Very often to turn simple tapered legs for furniture projects. Simple cylindrical or elliptical legs or stretchers. I've caught students making baseball bats with it. I can't seem to get anyone interested in making anything more complicated though. "Mid century modern" is the youthful depth of their imaginations.

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Re: What keeps you from using your rotary axis?

Postby Fleming » Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:59 pm

I have done a lot of rotary work. Several issues that always seems to cause caution and require a lot of thinking/designing:

1. Finding suitable materials for bowl type work. Warping while carving can be disastrous.
2. Finding the right balance between what to do on the lathe vs the CNC and in what sequence
3. When wrapping around an object there is no "beginning" and "end" in the traditional sense as it is a continuous circle. Creating a design in those cases is complex.

Looking forward to your lessons.

Paul
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Re: What keeps you from using your rotary axis?

Postby mfirlott » Sun Feb 18, 2018 3:15 pm

I've used it several times to make a few canes and then tried walking sticks which I find more fun. They turned out great. It's really nice to be able to do something like this and be able to either v-carve details into the cane/walking stick or to add in 3D models onto the cane.

I stopped because of the length versus support issue for the walking sticks. I have the Stinger 1 and am able to get a length of about 32" of finished cane/walking stick on the rotary axis then on the table I cut a 2-sided handle and use large diameter dowels to join the two pieces together. However, due to the downward pressure of the bit, the blank sagged in the middle and the carving was less detailed in the middle sections.

As a result, I started the next trials making the blanks in 3 pieces to keep them shorter, about 16" each. This solved the flex problem. I then used pool cue joiners to assemble the pieces into a 3-piece walking stick. A good idea as it can be disassembled for storage BUT the joints are not solid enough for walking with and will break. So basically...a fancy show piece now.

Attached pictures shows 2 walking sticks...one screwed together with a wrap-around snake and the other in its 3 pieces...v-carved mostly.
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Walking Sticks 1.jpg
Walking Sticks 2.jpg
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Re: What keeps you from using your rotary axis?

Postby mezalick » Sun Feb 18, 2018 4:38 pm

Randall,
Is this information going to be shown / shared at Jim McGrew's Camp in April ??

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=29299&p=211400&hilit=camp#p211400


I sure hope so..

Thanks,
Michael
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Re: What keeps you from using your rotary axis?

Postby Rcnewcomb » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:18 pm

Is this information going to be shown / shared at Jim McGrew's Camp in April ??


Yes, I'll try and address some of the problems people run into that keeps them from using rotary. I will focus on the very elementary things that trip people up.

Gary will handle the part of the presentation where he gets the rotary to sing, dance, and impersonate Elvis. <wink>
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Re: What keeps you from using your rotary axis?

Postby garylmast » Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:53 am

If you do have one, have done anything with it yet?


I use mine all the time. There's not a room here to show all my the projects I use my rotary on. Last year I got a bigger one...after all I needed to carve a pumpkin. :D :D :D

On a machine I sold shortly after I bought it, I had to switch the X axis to the A axis and recalibrate it everytime I switched, so if anyone is going to get one, a dedicated 4th drive to run the axis is recommended.


Gary
Attachments
Walking Stick72.jpg
Wood Cannon416.jpg
Revolver.jpg
punkin.jpg
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Re: What keeps you from using your rotary axis?

Postby Rcnewcomb » Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:11 am

For those with an unused rotary...
Do you have to swap a controller and/or a motor in order to use it?
Does it sit in/on the bed of the table or off to the side? i.e. do you have to set up/tear down something to use it, or can you quickly switch between table work and rotary work?
Have you ever hooked it up, and can you turn it with your control software?
- Randall Newcomb
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Re: What keeps you from using your rotary axis?

Postby IslaWW » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:38 am

Here are some goodies for you all to think about.

Lets prove Brady wrong! (hasn't happened in over a decade)
Attachments
Rotary Stats.JPG
Rotary Reasons.JPG
Rotary Reasons2.JPG
Busted.JPG
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Re: What keeps you from using your rotary axis?

Postby oldlogtrucker » Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:33 am

It would be wonderful if you could tape and post this session for those of us who cannot attend.
Thanks Kathy
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Re: What keeps you from using your rotary axis?

Postby Rcnewcomb » Mon Feb 19, 2018 7:34 am

It would be wonderful if you could tape and post this session for those of us who cannot attend.


After the camp I'll share my materials here.
- Randall Newcomb
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Re: What keeps you from using your rotary axis?

Postby IslaWW » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:28 pm

Randal: "Gary will handle the part of the presentation where he gets the rotary to sing, dance, and impersonate Elvis. <wink>"

Only if Elvis poked hornets nests with a stick

I doubt that, but.... How about a little VCPro "conversational" input to make one of these bolts? https://youtu.be/QPp1itlsbnI

Did you "rotary heads" know that VCPro will:
Allow you to mix indexed and wrapped cutting in the same job?
Allow you to rotate the rotary axis between multiple 2d toolpaths on indexed machining?
Allow you to do continuous rotary machining of a "spun" profile such as a hourglass or bat, etc.?
That you do not need a "Rotary Wrapped Setup" gadjet for anything? Or any of the rotary gadgets, for that matter?

That outta stir the pot
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Re: What keeps you from using your rotary axis?

Postby NormanAlbert » Mon Feb 19, 2018 11:42 pm

Hi: My smaller CNC has a removable 4th axis rotary drive. I use it to engrave pens made by others. I've made rope twist molding
both left and right direction. I make Corian cups and do lithopanes on them with a votive candle inside. Norm
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Re: What keeps you from using your rotary axis?

Postby Timvmax » Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:58 am

I aquired a rotary axis along with another pile of bits I bought but I've never connected it.
I don't need it.... do I?
I can program my way round it like I've always done :-D
Oh go on then, please ease me into it gently with some irresistable projects :-p
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