Monday, October 31, 2011

Fixin' Up The Shop Part 2

Once we got the new milling machine into the barn, the work was just beginning. I already had a small area walled in and insulated and heated to keep my lathe, mill, and other machines from getting cold and attracting condensation, and then rusting. Now that the mew CNC mill is in place, I have to wall in the area, wire, insulate, and sheet rock in the expanded machine shop room.

First, a new wall needs to be framed up.

Fortunately, there is already an overhead beam that makes a good place to attach the top of the new wall.

A used door I had kicking around gets framed in and mounted in the door. With the new wall, I need a way to get to the rest of the barn.

The first sheet of rock in place.

Then the second sheet.

One wall sheet rocked. I added a couple of outlets on the wall while I was at it. Can't have too many outlets in a shop!

I had to frame in a second door on the stairway up to the upper storage area. This door will keep the heat from escaping up the stairs and out of the machine shop.

The walls will all need to be taped and sanded prior to painting. To get a good enough looking job it takes me several more coats that what it takes the pros, but I work a lot cheaper......

In addition to the new partition, I still have two outside walls of the pole barn constructed building that need to be furred out, insulated, sheet rocked, taped, and painted. Here's the wall behind the new mill getting furred out with 2 by 2's out of the misc. lumber pile.

To be continued............

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Mr. C's Super Sekrit Gun Oil - First Impressions

Mr. C's Super Sekrit Gun Oil
 The excellent gun blog   Empty Mags   has agreed to give Mr. C's Super Sekrit Gun Oil a try, and he's got a "First Impressions" post up. This weekend he's going out to the range to give it a through workout. Here's a pull quote from his first impressions:
It is extremely slick, and has even made the sound of charging the AR somewhat more quiet. There is absolutely no felt friction between the bolt carrier and the receiver when sliding it in and out by hand. So far, I’m impressed.
You can go HERE to read the entire post. While you're at it, you might want to wander around his blog a bit and see what else interesting you might find there.........

To get your very own bottle of Mr. C's Super Sekrit Gun Oil, it's for sale at

Which is, of course,  a blatant plug for my On Line Shooter's Supply store!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Milling Machine Report

Last Saturday was the first part of the "Move The New Milling Machine" project, and although it took us a while, everything went smoothly. Jeff, the previous owner of the mill, rented a four wheel drive fork lift to do the heavy lifting and moving on the departure end of the move.

There are three major components of the mill, the GE 1050 controller, the many boxes of tooling, and the milling machine itself.

We had to move everything out the back door of Jeff's shop, across his back yard and down an area of sloping lawn, through a gate, out onto one street, then a few hundred feet up that street to a T intersection, then left at the intersection and a few more hundred feet to the flat bed truck.

The first part to move was the GE 1050 controller. This is the unit that accepts the CNC file from it's nearby computer, which gets the CNC file through a network connection from another computer. The computer then reads the CNC file, also called "G-Code" and actually controls the milling machine, moving the table, controlling the spindle, turning on the coolant, and so forth.

The controller weighs roughly 500 pounds. It is normally connected to the milling machine by several large wire bundles that are carried overhead through a wire raceway.

The next, and biggest, was the EX-CELL-O milling machine. This beauty weighs in at roughly 2 1/2 tons! The fork lift was up to the job, picking it up without much trouble.

Going across the back yard.

Down the hill in the back yard towards the gate.

Backing through the gate and out onto the road.

Lifting the mill onto the 4x12 wooden beams on the truck.
After we got the milling machine trucked to my barn, I arranged for a forklift and driver from the local lumberyard to unload everything from the truck and set it inside the barn doors on the floor.

The mill dwarfs my poor little Towmotor fork lift. I had hoped the Towmotor could at least slide the mill into place. We  tried for several hours, but it was a case of if it lifted the mill, the rear wheels would lift off the floor, and you had no steering. I was able to drag it farther into the building though, and then we hooked several chains to it and pulled it closer to it's destination by hooking the chain to an excavator outside of another side door into the barn.

I figured if I could get it close, I could move it the final few feet and rotate it with come-alongs. Even the come-alongs wouldn't slide it! I machined four pads out of Delrin plastic and put them under the four feet on the mill, and that made it slide a lot easier. I was then able to pull it into place.

Now it's almost in place, except for turning it 45 degrees and moving it closer to the wall.

The dual spindle milling machine heads.

The mill has now been angled and pulled back into the corner. I've left myself just enough room for access to the various machine panels and electrical boxes, and also left just enough room to be able to insulate and sheet rock the walls. A new wall will be built on the left side of the machine directly under the overhead beam that you can just see in the upper left corner of the picture. The wire raceway and the controller are approximately in position.

Although the machine was built in the early 70's, it's been well maintained as is still very accurate. A number of upgrades have been done over the years. Although it's old technology, it will still make very accurate parts. I've got the first 24' of aluminum angle and bar stock on the way, and we (the mill and I) should be making chips in the next week or so, I hope!

I do still need to wire in a circuit to get 220v. 1 phase power to near the machine, where a VFD (Variable Frequency Drive) solid state converter will turn the single phase power into 3 phase to run the spindle motors. The rest of the machine runs on 220v single phase.

It's been a lot of work so far, and it's taken a lot of time to get this far, but we should be making and selling some pretty neat gun stuff not too far down the road!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mr. C's Super Sekrit Gun Oil

Mr. C's Super Sekrit Gun Oil

It's been really busy around here this year, traveling around the Western US and to Holland for matches, working on new products for Magnum Shooters Supply, and planning for future growth of the business. Within the next week or so we should have our new (to us) CNC milling machine installed and operational, so we can start manufacturing some gun specialty parts in house. Watch for announcements on this in the near future.

One new product we are introducing is "Mr. C's Super Sekrit Gun Oil". I've developed this formulation based on both synthetic and petroleum components, combined with some special lubricating molecules that make the oil extremely slippery. I refer to those special molecules as my "Special Herbs and Spices". Several people who have experimented with the new gun oil have commented on how it seems to make the slide feel like it's on ball bearings, compared to their previous lubricant. You really can feel a difference! I've been running it in the Tanfoglio for testing ,and it works very well.

If a few of you gun bloggers out there would like to give this stuff a try and then write up a review of it, email me and I'll send you some to play with. Make sure you include your mailing address and the name of your blog.

More Nuze..............

We had a good time over at the Kitsap Rifle & Revolver Club's full 8 stage Steel match this weekend. It's a great club, and we always have a lot of fun there. We went over on Friday afternoon so I could help a bit with setup, both Friday afternoon, and also on Saturday morning before the match, when we put the steel targets on to the target stands. The weather held out nicely for us, and it was mild and rain free all day. I had a particularly good day, both with the Tanfoglio 9mm. Gold Custom race gun and also with my High Standard rimfire racer. Both sporting OKO Red Dot sights of course! I ended up with personal bests with both guns, good enough to win both Rimfire and Centerfire! More importantly though, shooting the Tanfoglio is starting to feel a bit more natural as the individual operations are becoming more ingrained. The most difficult parts have, at least so far, been getting the gun out of the holster and getting the first shot off quickly, and allowing a little more time for the sight to settle onto the next target.I'm getting better at it, but I still need a LOT of practice!

It's now looking like we will be able to get the milling machine loaded onto a truck and bring it home late on Saturday. We will probably get it unloaded and into the barn early on Monday morning when we can get a fork lift here. Once we get it into the barn I've got a fork lift inside we should be able to move it into it's new location and start hooking everything back up, including running a 220V circuit to it. I've got a brand new VFD (Variable Frequency Drive) box to convert the 220V single phase power to 3 phase to run the spindle motors. The rest of the machine runs on 220V single phase. Hopefully I can get everything set up and wired in a day, and then I can start experimenting with programming it and doing some test machining.

On Sunday I'm planning on taking a day off and heading down to Puyallup for some steel shooting at the Paul Bunyan club. If you are in the area, come on down and shoot some steel!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Off To KRRC / Milling Machine Update

This afternoon Keewee and I are off to the Kitsap Rifle & Revolver club for their last full 8 stage Steel Challenge match of the year. They will still be shooting steel every month, but this is the last "8 Stager" until January. The season is winding down, and it's been a busy one, for sure. I'll do a recap in a later post and cover where all we went and how we did.

The milling machine is still sitting in the current owner's shop over in Mukilteo, actually between Mukilteo and Hwy 99. The big hold up is getting a fork lift to lift it on to the truck. Even though all of us involved in moving the mill are experienced fork lift drivers, none of us has a Washington State Fork Lift Driver's License, and the rental yard won't rent us a fork lift unless we have a licensed driver! Luke, who's helping with the move, has been running every sort of heavy equipment you can imagine for most of his life, and has run fork lifts capable of lifting 120 tons. That's a BIG forklift! We've got the truck lined up, and a fork lift at my shop available to lift the mill off the truck, where my smaller fork lift can move it around in the barn. We just can't get it onto the truck in it's current location. What a pain.............

Heck with it for now, I'm going to Bremerton and do some shooting!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Idaho, and Back!

Since my last post, KeeWee and I have driven to Nampa, Idaho, near boise, for the Idaho State Steel Challenge Championships. We left for Idaho last Thursday morning and got as far as Huntington, Oregon, where we stopped for the night. We parked our mini-land-yacht behind a hedge on the back side of a very small park that's maintained by the local Lion's Club. Behind the park was a large area with some train cars parked on the far side, a few hundred yards from us. What I hadn't noticed was that there were two main line set of rails barely a hundred feet from us. It looked like a large parking lot, and the rails weren't raised above the surrounding ground level at all, so they were just about invisible. During the night, though, we found out that there were quite a few big freight trains traveling that set of tracks! We were so tired, though ,that we barely heard them!

The next morning, Friday, we drove the last couple of hours to the range, and I help the guys to get all of the targets and steel set up for the match. Friday night we spent the night at the range. Saturday we shot the match, and right after the awards ceremony we drove as far as I could go until exhausted, which was the rest area in Yakima, Washington. After some sleep, we drove the remaining several hours home. It was a lot of long hours on the road, but the match was excellent, we met some great folks, and (except for the driving) had a great time!

How did we do? All of the final results are not posted yet, but KeeWee shot Rimfire Optic class, and ended up Top Lady. I Won Rimfire Optic overall, and shooting my Tanfoglio 9mm. in Centerfire Open Division was Top Super Senior. Since the entire results aren't up yet, I don't know where I placed overall in Open. Our squad was a really amazing bunch, with our squad also winning Centerfire Production, Centerfire Limited, and Overall Match Winner, too!

John Shaw was the overall Match Winner and Limited winner, and he has only recently come out of retirement and started competing again, as his son has gotten interested in competition shooting. With a Dad like John, he's got a super coach, as John won the very first Steel Challenge World championships about thirty years ago, and he's still to this day an outstanding shooter!

KeeWee has a post up showing some pictures from our stay in Huntington, and has a lot of match pictures on the way in future posts.

I'll try to get more posted on the trip, when I get some time!!

Labels: ,

All contents copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012 and beyond, unless otherwise noted