Building the Trent Pinion Mill

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Building the Trent Pinion Mill

New postby mars-red » Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:40 pm

It feels good to be posting here again!

I was given a very generous birthday gift from wonderful family members, the Trent Pinion Mill casting kit from Hemmingway. I've been wanting to build this machine for a long time and always figured if I got around to it I would start from bar stock and design it myself based on whatever information I could find on the Trent machine. Well now I have proper iron castings to start with, as well as beautiful drawings and detailed build instructions.

Of course, being me, I can't leave well enough alone and will be deviating from the plans a bit.

You all probably know about this machine already, but it's based on the Chronos mill and is a specialized horizontal knee mill designed specifically for cutting small steel pinions.

I'll be putting up a series of videos on my YouTube channel as I make progress, and the first video is currently in the works. I'll be keeping this thread up to date with photos and links to the videos as well.

Here's a hastily taken shot of the kit contents:
contents.jpg


The first step is to make the base plate that the column sits on. It starts as a section of 1/4" thick cold rolled steel plate. The edges were quickly draw filed to square them up, then bevels draw filed along the top surface. The top surface should maintain perfect alignment between the knee support and the column (to ensure that the jacking screw for the knee is also parallel with the column ways), and surface grinding would have been the way to go here... but I don't have a surface grinder. I'm sure fly cutting it would have been perfectly acceptable, but I decided to take some extra time and scrape it instead. Here are a couple of in-progress shots during scraping - one near the start, and one as I was getting close to finishing:

plate 1.jpg


plate 2.jpg


The bottom side of the plate was blued and laid out with the various hole locations required for bolting the base plate down to a bench, attaching the column, and attaching/locating the knee support. All holes except the 3 for attaching the knee support are machined at this point. Those remaining 3 are done in a separate step, with the knee support in situ. The four holes for attaching the column were counterbored. Here are a couple shots of the hole drilling and boring in progress:

plate 4.jpg


plate 5.jpg


And here is the nearly completed plate (minus those 3 holes that will be drilled and tapped later):

plate 6.jpg


plate 7.jpg


This is a good place to mention one of the deviations I'll be taking from the plans. The plans have mixed units, imperial and metric. The feed screws are metric, that's fine. What I don't like is that all the fasteners that it uses are metric while all the dimensions of the parts are imperial. I'm going to make my own screws and bolts for it anyway, so I'm changing the hole sizes and threads to accommodate imperial screws.

That's it for the first post... there will be many, many more.
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Re: Building the Trent Pinion Mill

New postby cannon pinion » Wed Feb 15, 2017 1:53 am

Keep it coming!! And the more intelligible you can make it to the non-machinist, the better.
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Re: Building the Trent Pinion Mill

New postby Marty101 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:18 pm

Max I can feel your "kid in a candy shop" excitement. :lol: I'll be watching and waiting of course!
Keep winding things,
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Re: Building the Trent Pinion Mill

New postby mars-red » Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:53 pm

Thanks guys!

Last night I uploaded the first video of the series. Be forewarned, it's about 19 minutes of yakking about the project and showing the components/documentation, then only about 3 minutes of actual work at the end.

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Re: Building the Trent Pinion Mill

New postby mars-red » Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:32 pm

I've been able to get a bit more time here and there to do some work on this little mill, making the knee support and knee support nut. I'm working on putting together the next video, but in the meantime here's a pic of the components so far. Screws still need to be made to attach the knee support to the base plate, and numbers still need to be stamped around the graduated knee support nut.

plate knee support.jpg
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Re: Building the Trent Pinion Mill

New postby cannon pinion » Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:17 pm

Nice work. Are you working on a marble slab? I use a couple of small pieces of marble on my bench to work on movements. Their weight makes for a nice stable surface, easy to keep free of dust, and it seems like parts don't bounce off them like off a wooden surface. I've got one with a hole in the middle so I can drive stuff out or put a movement dial side down and have clearance for the main arbor.
I'm looking forward to the second video.
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Re: Building the Trent Pinion Mill

New postby mars-red » Sat Mar 11, 2017 3:32 pm

cannon pinion wrote:Nice work. Are you working on a marble slab? I use a couple of small pieces of marble on my bench to work on movements. Their weight makes for a nice stable surface, easy to keep free of dust, and it seems like parts don't bounce off them like off a wooden surface. I've got one with a hole in the middle so I can drive stuff out or put a movement dial side down and have clearance for the main arbor.
I'm looking forward to the second video.


Thanks Andrew! It's an offcut from some kind of counter top, maybe a type of granite, I'm not sure. I like it for general use.
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Re: Building the Trent Pinion Mill

New postby mars-red » Sat Mar 11, 2017 3:32 pm

Finally uploaded part 2, making the knee support and knee support nut:

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Re: Building the Trent Pinion Mill

New postby cannon pinion » Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:02 pm

just watched your video. Brilliant! I'm not a machinist but you made it very clear what you were doing. The humor and humility are welcome as well!
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Re: Building the Trent Pinion Mill

New postby Marty101 » Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:05 am

Max that was beautiful,thank you. :D
Keep winding things,
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Re: Building the Trent Pinion Mill

New postby 4brokenow » Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:32 am

Very nice work Max. It highlights a great deal of different tools and there use around your shop. Love that dividing head setup!
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Re: Building the Trent Pinion Mill

New postby mars-red » Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:15 pm

Thank you, all!

Phil, I just finished editing and rendering a video about that dividing head - sort of a teardown, and showing the modifications I made to it. If you're subscribed to my YouTube channel you should see it showing up in your feed soon. Just need a chance to preview the rendered video, then upload and post it.

The next video for the Trent is in the works, I have finished the first set of machining operations on the column casting, including milling the dovetails. There is more machining to be done on it, but not until some other components are made. I was hoping to purchase one of Randy Richard's excellent dovetail cutters (they take triangular carbide inserts) for this project, but the budget wouldn't allow for it so I took a bit of a gamble on an inexpensive import cutter. So far it's working well. It only has to hold up for this one project, but if it gives up the ghost prematurely then I can fall back on getting one of Randy's cutters.

Here are a couple pics of the column casting being milled, and another showing as it sits now, with the bulk of the machining done:

IMG_20170317_222720.jpg


IMG_20170317_231038.jpg


IMG_20170318_223642.jpg
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Re: Building the Trent Pinion Mill

New postby mars-red » Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:18 pm

Finally got around to making a set of #10-24 screws to attach the column to the base plate. I drilled and tapped the corresponding holes into the bottom of the column as well, and everything ended up being a perfect fit, the shoulders of the screws keep the two parts aligned, with no need for dowel pins. The tapered head screws specified in the drawings would have been a much easier way to provide alignment via the fasteners, but I much prefer the aesthetic of countersunk "cheese head" screws and was up for the challenge. My backup plan, in case I goofed something a bit and had to drill out the shoulder holes for everything to line up, was to fit dowel pins for the alignment.

Here is a pic of the screws, made from O1 drill rod. They still need to be hardened, tempered, and polished, but I used them in rough form as you see here for the trial fitting.

IMG_20170322_211832_1.jpg


One more set of screws (to hold the knee support to the base plate) to make before I have all the footage I need for the next video.
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Re: Building the Trent Pinion Mill

New postby Neilywatch » Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:52 pm

How long did it take to make then? :shock:
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Re: Building the Trent Pinion Mill

New postby mars-red » Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:24 am

Neilywatch wrote:How long did it take to make then? :shock:


About 20 minutes. Hardening, tempering, polishing will probably take another half hour or so.

The set of #6-32 screws for the knee support are done now too (again, except for hardening, tempering, polishing), and the column and knee support have been test fit to the base plate:

r-column and knee support attached 1.jpg


r-column and knee support attached 2.jpg
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