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