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Brother HS-300 on the way

Hi again BadTad:
With regard to picking up a bore that's been pre-machined on another machine, there are a bunch of factors to consider when you cannot get a consistent pickup.

The first is the orthogonality of the bore...if it's leaning at all, you will not get a pickup that represents the bore axis accurately because it will touch on the top corner on one side and the bottom corner on the other.

The second is the bore geometry...if the bore is not round it's pretty obvious that you cannot get an accurate pickup, but if it has the tiniest roughness or edge defects (like burrs) you will touch on the defects instead of the bore walls.

The third is dirt or other contaminants (like coolant or grease or oil etc etc) either on the workpiece or on the wire.
I had a case of spools once that came from South America (Peru I think) that my wire guy wanted to start bringing in and re-selling.
The wire was so damned dirty, I could fill the upper guide with crap after running it for a few seconds, and it would soil a tissue held against it while running.
Now you never normally think of dirty wire, but my experience confirms it DOES exist, so if you cannot get a good touch, try running the wire for a few seconds with a piece of toilet paper against it and see if the TP comes away dirty.

The fourth is fucked up things in the input side of the wire transport system, most commonly worn upper wire guides and upper power contacts that have passed their "Best Before" date but can be any roughness anywhere that can shave the wire, leaving brass shavings typically in the top end of the upper wire guide, so when you pull the guide, you can see the shavings and sometimes you can't get the wire to thread.
Sharp edges or burrs on the workpiece can shave the wire too...if that happens, you'll typically see the shavings in the lower wire guide, rather than the upper.

Stray boogers, either micro slugs or broken wire bits can short the wire and cause touch inconsistencies.

Surfaces that are rough enough to abrade a bit of wire onto the surface as it rubs past the workpiece can make the touch move successively further from the true surface every time you repeat the touch.
Sometimes just rubbing your thumb on the surface will restore the touch back to where it should be...other times you need to use an Arkansas or ruby stone to kiss the surface.
Surface ground parts where the lay of the grind crosses the wire travel at right angles can often be improved a million percent just by a couple of swipes with a super hard, super fine Arkansas stone.

Some machines touch more consistently if the workpiece is submerged, some do best if everything is dry.
The worst is if the surface and the wire is only dry-ish, and you've let the water conductivity get out of control.

A poster who used to run this forum but was tragically killed by an idiot driver a decade ago, described a method where he rigged an oscilloscope to detect a touch before the sensing circuits of the machine could do so.
If I recall correctly, he would do a conventional touch, then back the wire away 0.0005" or so and then increment it back to the surface 0.0001" at a time until he'd get first contact on the O-scope.

That brings me to the next thing to consider.
Worn out wire guides and grooved power contacts don't just shave the wire...they can also make the touch inconsistent...the guides by letting the wire flop around, and the power contacts by not touching the wire properly so the sensing circuits cannot detect the contact.

Last, jerky, fucked up wire transport can interrupt the touch by vibrating the wire, so pinch rollers, and powder brake roller and tension rollers and bearings can all screw up the touch.

Very last...sometimes it's just fucking ornery and you can't get a good consistent touch because the wire EDM God is bitchy today.
On days like that I make a test cut that's undersized, measure where I am and correct my origin.

Then I go have lunch to cool my boiling blood again.

Hopefully this was useful to you.

Cheers

Marcus
www.implant-mechanix.com
www.vancouverwireedm.com
 
Hi again BadTad:
With regard to picking up a bore that's been pre-machined on another machine, there are a bunch of factors to consider when you cannot get a consistent pickup.

The first is the orthogonality of the bore...if it's leaning at all, you will not get a pickup that represents the bore axis accurately because it will touch on the top corner on one side and the bottom corner on the other.

The second is the bore geometry...if the bore is not round it's pretty obvious that you cannot get an accurate pickup, but if it has the tiniest roughness or edge defects (like burrs) you will touch on the defects instead of the bore walls.

The third is dirt or other contaminants (like coolant or grease or oil etc etc) either on the workpiece or on the wire.
I had a case of spools once that came from South America (Peru I think) that my wire guy wanted to start bringing in and re-selling.
The wire was so damned dirty, I could fill the upper guide with crap after running it for a few seconds, and it would soil a tissue held against it while running.
Now you never normally think of dirty wire, but my experience confirms it DOES exist, so if you cannot get a good touch, try running the wire for a few seconds with a piece of toilet paper against it and see if the TP comes away dirty.

The fourth is fucked up things in the input side of the wire transport system, most commonly worn upper wire guides and upper power contacts that have passed their "Best Before" date but can be any roughness anywhere that can shave the wire, leaving brass shavings typically in the top end of the upper wire guide, so when you pull the guide, you can see the shavings and sometimes you can't get the wire to thread.
Sharp edges or burrs on the workpiece can shave the wire too...if that happens, you'll typically see the shavings in the lower wire guide, rather than the upper.

Stray boogers, either micro slugs or broken wire bits can short the wire and cause touch inconsistencies.

Surfaces that are rough enough to abrade a bit of wire onto the surface as it rubs past the workpiece can make the touch move successively further from the true surface every time you repeat the touch.
Sometimes just rubbing your thumb on the surface will restore the touch back to where it should be...other times you need to use an Arkansas or ruby stone to kiss the surface.
Surface ground parts where the lay of the grind crosses the wire travel at right angles can often be improved a million percent just by a couple of swipes with a super hard, super fine Arkansas stone.

Some machines touch more consistently if the workpiece is submerged, some do best if everything is dry.
The worst is if the surface and the wire is only dry-ish, and you've let the water conductivity get out of control.

A poster who used to run this forum but was tragically killed by an idiot driver a decade ago, described a method where he rigged an oscilloscope to detect a touch before the sensing circuits of the machine could do so.
If I recall correctly, he would do a conventional touch, then back the wire away 0.0005" or so and then increment it back to the surface 0.0001" at a time until he'd get first contact on the O-scope.

That brings me to the next thing to consider.
Worn out wire guides and grooved power contacts don't just shave the wire...they can also make the touch inconsistent...the guides by letting the wire flop around, and the power contacts by not touching the wire properly so the sensing circuits cannot detect the contact.

Last, jerky, fucked up wire transport can interrupt the touch by vibrating the wire, so pinch rollers, and powder brake roller and tension rollers and bearings can all screw up the touch.

Very last...sometimes it's just fucking ornery and you can't get a good consistent touch because the wire EDM God is bitchy today.
On days like that I make a test cut that's undersized, measure where I am and correct my origin.

Then I go have lunch to cool my boiling blood again.

Hopefully this was useful to you.

Cheers

Marcus
www.implant-mechanix.com
www.vancouverwireedm.com
Very useful thank you!
1) Part is dead flat along Y axis, about .0005 rise along 5" of X
2) Interpolated, but with in tenths of roundness
3) I will check this, I noticed our felts need to be replaced. (probably source my own I guess)
4) All good there, new stuff, only a few weeks use.

Hole is nice, mirror finish, no burrs, generous chamfer on the top.

I'll try touching off wet vs dry today, its about .477 diameter so no room for a stone per say, but I can take some 1000 grit sticks to it, part is getting 120 grit blasted anyway so will hide a lot of sins.

Very interesting approach, I actually considered rigging something up to the detection circuit, but I noticed if I manually walk it in and I can pick up a few tenths before the machine does and I'm OK with that tolerance, though I'm not sure how much sooner the scope would grab it! It's possible the voltage needs to be upped on the board as well, but I'm not in a place to stop and mess with it (unless I really have to)

I'm going to touch off X+, walk it in to where the cam says the hole center should be, set that as my zero and record the machine distance from home position, then touch off the center for the bore wet / dry and see which is closer in X, and call that the winner and reset x/y at that position and hope my logic is sound - that said I can cut the rear pocket first which does have a finished Y+ wall I can measure to and adjust my Y accordingly if needed, that pocket is not tight tolerance, nor is the front one, however there's a triangle tip there for Y so useless for checking anything but X and the X/Y edge.

Work arounds are fun!

Thanks again for sharing your notes.

I'm mostly documenting all this as hopefully someone else with this machine will find something here useful as well in the future :)
 
Well today was pretty good, only problems I had so far was a hose randomly poping off and dumping 10 gallons of water in 30 seconds all over the floor, and one wire break after that as I forgot to turn the valve from fill to jets due to a distraction in between the two :)

Also I found the last pocket I normally cut has an X and Y edge, so after touching the bore, I will cut that one first from now on, leaving .001 and adjust as needed. If this job gets bigger I will make a plate with expanding mitee-bites on it to locate/repeat on the holes and hold the part down. Then after the first part, should be solid. I could also cut a square in the plate for locating from then on too.
 
Looks like this could likely turn into a larger qty job, I'm prepping some more parts on the mill today and making a dedicated fixture with mitee-bite expanding xyz pins to locate and hold on the two in line bores on this triangle like part. I'm moving the part top X/Y edges an Inch away from the rails (12mm of dead space anyways) and putting a cut out in the fixture so I can sneak a wire through to touch on Y+, I already have access to X-. Once this is done, I'll cut a test square inside one of the pockets to confirm x0y0 , adjust as needed and then I should be able to just drop parts down and not have to indicate in or mess with clamps, worry about something moving when a slug drops or I bump something while threading.. can't wait!

I'll upload some photos of the simple fixtures when I'm done with them.
 
Real edm guys use system 3r...everything else is cheap junk.
I'm just faking it till I make it!

3R would be nice though, might cost x2-x3 the machine. We did get the ROI on it back in two parts though.

I hate to say this, but as this gets more reliable, I'm starting to lose my leverage for a new(er) machine.

I did get a quote on a Sodick VL400Q yesterday, it will do 3 parts in a row, 2 deep, auto thread, whole nine yards, 6 parts per green button if I stacked them, but I think probably play it safe and go 3 at a time.
 
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I'm a mits guy so I can't offer any insight on other brands. I can say that anything else is going to be leaps and bounds over what you have currently...lol
 
Real edm guys use system 3r...everything else is cheap junk.

I won't pass judgement on plastikdreams statement AT ALL -- but will convey my experience:

When I had my own business and my own wire machine (Agie 170HSS) I was all System 3R. I had lots of tooling by them... and really liked it all.

Then I went to work for a large tech company and among other things: ran a brand new Agie Cut2000, and was all Erowa... and I really liked all that tooling as well.

My own personal choice? Erowa.

Not only did I like all the Erowa tooling better for pure wire work, but I often had to move parts back/forth with a guy on a Mikron 5-axis mill. He could drop an Erowa chuck onto the rotary axis on the Mikron, and I could literally pull the pallet containing the part out of the wire machine and pop it onto the chuck in the Mikron. Sharing part origin in both machines was a no-brainer in this situation, and we we often did this either in one "direction" or the other.

Now (in retirement), I have a Haas SMM, and a small Haas CNC lathe, and I can move reasonably sized parts back and forth between lathe and mill using a 50mm or 100mm pallet with an Erowa chuck in each machine.

3R stuff treated me really well for many years -- I just personally feel Erowa offers more versatility when moving parts between machines (and repeats unbelievably well when pulling a part off the chuck and reinstalling).

JMHO
PM
 
A poster who used to run this forum but was tragically killed by an idiot driver a decade ago, described a method where he rigged an oscilloscope to detect a touch before the sensing circuits of the machine could do so.
If I recall correctly, he would do a conventional touch, then back the wire away 0.0005" or so and then increment it back to the surface 0.0001" at a time until he'd get first contact on the O-scope.

Cheers

Marcus
www.implant-mechanix.com
www.vancouverwireedm.com

Absolutely correct Marcus. Marsh Syverson... he did this on an Agie 150HSS that he was making super small/delicate cuts on proprietary parts he was making. I watched him do it many times, and he could go back and forth 1µm and it showed up plain as day on the 'scope.

PM
 
I won't pass judgement on plastikdreams statement AT ALL -- but will convey my experience:

When I had my own business and my own wire machine (Agie 170HSS) I was all System 3R. I had lots of tooling by them... and really liked it all.

Then I went to work for a large tech company and among other things: ran a brand new Agie Cut2000, and was all Erowa... and I really liked all that tooling as well.

My own personal choice? Erowa.

Not only did I like all the Erowa tooling better for pure wire work, but I often had to move parts back/forth with a guy on a Mikron 5-axis mill. He could drop an Erowa chuck onto the rotary axis on the Mikron, and I could literally pull the pallet containing the part out of the wire machine and pop it onto the chuck in the Mikron. Sharing part origin in both machines was a no-brainer in this situation, and we we often did this either in one "direction" or the other.

Now (in retirement), I have a Haas SMM, and a small Haas CNC lathe, and I can move reasonably sized parts back and forth between lathe and mill using a 50mm or 100mm pallet with an Erowa chuck in each machine.

3R stuff treated me really well for many years -- I just personally feel Erowa offers more versatility when moving parts between machines (and repeats unbelievably well when pulling a part off the chuck and reinstalling).

JMHO
PM
It's tongue in cheek, shits overpriced, all you need is the rail you can easily copy the mounting dovetail and create all your own stuff. 😀
 
Took me a little longer than I would have liked but 1 of 2 fixtures done. Went with two pc so I can leave the top fixed. If I need to remove the bottom pc for an alignment I can.

Have to wire the top pc for clearance yet. Cutting the 2nd pc shortly.

Just realized I can just touch off this once it's indicated and get my Y.. I'll take it.
 

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7075 will not do well in the water...especially if it's gonna be parked in there. Unless it's single use I always use 17-4 hardened to h900.
I'm hoping to get through the initial job with it and some high proof rust preventer.. we'll find out!!

Just checked don't have a single pc of stainless here.. 99% of all the work is Aluminum (Aerospace/Defense)
 
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Hi again BadTad:
I know this is changing the subject a bit, but while we're on the topic of "what materials should I make fixtures out of", here's my experience:

I built a very nice tilting wire vise out of 420M stainless at 52RC.
It's too soft for a vise IMO and is showing its age after ten years of frequent service.
I will need to re-grind the jaw faces soon.

I built another similar vise out of 440C stainless at 60 RC.
It's just right for a vise IMO.

I built some tools out of 17-4 PH H900 as plastikdreams recommends.
They work well but are intolerant to abuse, so way too soft for a vise but great for other tooling.

I built 2 dovetail fixtures out of offcuts of 316 SS...I need to be very careful with them so I don't bash them up, but I've had them for years and all is good.

Temporary fixtures get made out of hot rolled mild steel...cold rolled warps too much but hot rolled is nice and stable.
Both rust with enthusiasm but for one time fixturing they're cheap and work well.

I avoid aluminum because it oxidizes (7075 worse than 6061).
The oxide make the fixture non conductive if it gets thick enough.

I like 440C the best and I can pop it on the mag chuck and surface grind it...bonus!

Cheers

Marcus
www.implant-mechanix.com
www.vancouverwireedm.com
 
Hi again BadTad:
I know this is changing the subject a bit, but while we're on the topic of "what materials should I make fixtures out of", here's my experience:

I built a very nice tilting wire vise out of 420M stainless at 52RC.
It's too soft for a vise IMO and is showing its age after ten years of frequent service.
I will need to re-grind the jaw faces soon.

I built another similar vise out of 440C stainless at 60 RC.
It's just right for a vise IMO.

I built some tools out of 17-4 PH H900 as plastikdreams recommends.
They work well but are intolerant to abuse, so way too soft for a vise but great for other tooling.

I built 2 dovetail fixtures out of offcuts of 316 SS...I need to be very careful with them so I don't bash them up, but I've had them for years and all is good.

Temporary fixtures get made out of hot rolled mild steel...cold rolled warps too much but hot rolled is nice and stable.
Both rust with enthusiasm but for one time fixturing they're cheap and work well.

I avoid aluminum because it oxidizes (7075 worse than 6061).
The oxide make the fixture non conductive if it gets thick enough.

I like 440C the best and I can pop it on the mag chuck and surface grind it...bonus!

Cheers

Marcus
www.implant-mechanix.com
www.vancouverwireedm.com
I'm making notes, thank you! Sounds like 440C would be the ticket (grinding)

Did some digging this stuff is 6061-T6, just finished the 2nd fixture, will fit it up and clock out before midnight.. hopefully get back here early in the am and get everything aligned and cut the top jaw in the wire (in place) a little debur and should be good. I'm trying to cut the pocket in such a way it gives me a known distance from X0Y0, something easy to remember, say X0.5 Y0.125 - then laser it on the fixture.

Once I have this all proved out I might try to find a buddy to make these out of ground 440C, we are just not set up for that.
 
Just finished, part fits like a glove. I will notch the clearance tomorrow and make it double as a touch off spot.

Need to remember to check alingment in the am first.
 

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