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Derek Korn

Derek Korn joined Modern Machine Shop in 2004, but has been writing about manufacturing since 1997. His mechanical engineering degree from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Applied Science provides a solid foundation for understanding and explaining how innovative shops apply advanced machining technologies. As you might gather from this photo, he’s the car guy of the MMS bunch. But his ’55 Chevy isn’t as nice as the hotrod he’s standing next to. In fact, his car needs a right-front fender spear if you know anybody willing to part with one.

Posted by: Derek Korn 24. April 2014

Video: Linear Motor Machine Milling Small Pins

At trade shows, some machine tool builders have displayed demo parts like the one above with long, small-diameter pins. YCM created this video showing its FP55LX VMC linear motor machine milling 25-mm-long pins that have 0.5-mm diameters. Linear motor machines are good candidates for such work because they have no ballscrews (hence, no backlash) and also provide smooth movement with minimal vibration. For this demo, a 10-mm-diameter end mill runs at 4,000 rpm and a feed rate of 2,000 mm/min.

Posted by: Derek Korn 16. April 2014

The Various Styles of Mechanical Indexers

This five-axis mechanical indexer enables 3 + 2 machining.​

Mechanical rotary indexers can be installed on machine quickly and take up less table real estate compared to motorized indexers. In some cases, those lightweight indexers require just half the table area than conventional motorized indexers, which can also make it possible to install multiple indexers on one machine table.

But how do they work and what types of styles are available? Learn more in this article based on input from Japanese workholding device manufacturer Kawata, represented in the U.S. by Tecnara Tooling Systems.

Posted by: Derek Korn 10. April 2014

Video: Cap Screws Not Required

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With conventional vises, vise jaws attach to the face of master jaws via cap screws. Conversely, the Carvesmart system from Bellatex Industries uses master jaws with a female dovetail profile that accept vise jaws with a male dovetail profile. With this system, the jaws can be front-loaded or slid into the side of the master jaws, and are secured via clamping elements accessible at the top of the master jaws that provide downward pressure to keep the jaws in place. Learn more in this article.

Posted by: Derek Korn 2. April 2014

Hydraulic or Pneumatic Actuation for Collet Blocks?

Grouping collet blocks together enables machine tools to machine multiple parts unattended. Collet blocks can be configured in a number of ways, including on tombstones and trunnion tables.
 

Collet-style workholding devices, such as collet blocks, offer a number of benefits. Collets automatically center parts to their center points known locations, they provide equal gripping pressure around a part’s circumference and expanding collet systems enable effective internal gripping of thin-wall parts. Grouping collet blocks together enables machine tools to machine multiple workpieces unattended over long stretches of time. However, should you go with pneumatics or hydraulics to actuate them? This article based on input from Hardinge offers advice.

Posted by: Derek Korn 26. March 2014

Finishing Fillets

Here’s one method of finishing a fillet using an 80-degree insert.

Just because a pocket calls for a fillet with a tight radius doesn’t mean the entire thing should be rough-machined with a tool having that radius. As cutting tool manufacturer Greenleaf explains, radii like these typically are small. Therefore, a tool having such a radius is generally weak and must be indexed or changed numerous times if the plan is to use it to complete the entire operation. However, there are a number of effective methods available to finish fillet radii after performing roughing operations using a different, more appropriate tool. The company highlights four of them here.

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