Cutting Off Those Darn Dovetails

I've acquired some cast iron bits of a medium size bed mill. The base,
column, and table. Since they are heavy and cast iron I was thinking of
lopping off the dovetails and mounting linear rails on the remaining flats.
The head, and saddle are not present so just throwing it back together is
not an option.
All the pieces are a little big to throw on my Hurco mill table. It can be
done, but it?s a chore requiring the removal of my vises and my enclosure I
suspect. Probably also have to use my cherry picker to place them on the
table. I could do it, but its not really necessary if I can figure out a
simple way to just whack those dovetails off. The flats that would remain
aren't perfect, but with the use of my granite square and some shim stock I
bet I could mount linear rails pretty darned straight and flat.
I considered laying a piece of metal sheet on the flats and using a Sawzall.
A portable bandsaw a buddy has doesn't have enough throat to do the job. If
I had a big vertical metal cutting bandsaw I might mount the pieces on a
large right angle plate and use that, but such a saw is very far in my
future. Of course there is the hammer method, but cast iron doesn't always
break the way you want. LOL. I don't think I want to use an OA torch for a
couple reasons. Fear of explosions is one since these are used pieces, and
of course warping is another. Also I never cut cast iron with a torch. Not
sure how it would go.
Of course somebody might suggest trying to find a match head and saddle, but
I really want to go with linear rails. In fact I already have them.
Accumulated as new overstock from various sources. Several sets of NSK, a
couple THK and even some HiWin. Bearings and rails. I've got three small
CNC mills that do a pretty good job for high speed milling aluminum, but I
really need a bigger machine, and I don't want to mount a companion or worse
completely convert the Hurco to high speed. Its fine the way it is for
heavy milling. Two of my small machines have all linear rail axis. The
third is dovetail constructed, and its ok, but the other two are better.
I figured by using these cast iron pieces I already have an easily trammable
column and base. And it should be heavy enough for the light high speed
milling I want to do with it. It will be heavier than my smaller machines
for certain. I just need to remove those pesky dovetails so the bearings
have room to go on. Then figure out how to build my saddle. The head will
be pretty much dead easy... after I get those stupid dovetails out of the
way.
I am hoping for some ideas I hadn't thought of, and I just can't wait for
the tangents some folks will go off on. LOL.
Reply to
Bob La Londe
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And he steps up to the plate with a whacky idea :)
I'm not picturing the dimensions well... so a couple ideas. You can get guides for 4.5 inch angle grinders, like this:
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Use a thin cut-off wheel. Or an old Skil saw your not fond of with an abrasive blade. Might be able to use the rip guide for it too?
Reply to
Leon Fisk
And he steps up to the plate with a whacky idea :)
I'm not picturing the dimensions well... so a couple ideas. You can get guides for 4.5 inch angle grinders, like this:
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Use a thin cut-off wheel. Or an old Skil saw your not fond of with an abrasive blade. Might be able to use the rip guide for it too?
**************
Used to have an old Black & Decker circular saw I used for that stuff for years. I made more roof top satellite dish mounts out of scrap metal with that thing than I can count. I don't think it ever did die. I think it just walked off on a jobsite one day. I'm pretty sure even a 7-1/4 abrasive blade won't work on the base, but it might reach on the column and table. If only I had an old *14 inch* Skil saw I'm not fond of with an abrasive blade. LOL.
I'm down to just two circular saws now. A Ryobi that's mounted on a panel cutting guide, and a Skil worm drive. Sadly I don't want to blow grit and sparks through either one. Might have to go see if I can find one of those 29.95 dollar Black & Decker saws we used get at K-Mart. LOL. It might do part of the job.
Reply to
Bob La Londe
With that, you could say "Hey! Hold my beer and watch this!"
Is this close enough to what you need?
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- The list of Obama administration disappointments would take three rolls of toilet paper to record. --BMF
Reply to
Larry Jaques
This One Job use sounds like a trip to Horrible Freight. If the saw survives, cool, if not, Oh Well...
Reply to
BobH
My beater is a middle of the line old Craftsman I pulled from the neighbors garbage. Needed a new cord and some rust cleanup. Put a scrounged ~20ft cord on and probably have gotten more use out of it than the good saw :)
Harbor Freight has a deep throat portaband now. You can get it for $100 with a coupon:
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They have several cheapo Skil saws too. I didn't spot any coupons for them just now but it always pays to check. At least use a 20% off if it isn't disqualified in the fine print:
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Reply to
Leon Fisk
With that, you could say "Hey! Hold my beer and watch this!"
Is this close enough to what you need?
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****** That?s a pretty cool adapter. ******
- The list of Obama administration disappointments would take three rolls of toilet paper to record. --BMF
Reply to
Bob La Londe
There are some circular saw blades made for cutting metal. They have carbi de teeth, but with somewhat different angles on the teeth. There was some posts about the blades back quite a while ago. May have been in SEJW. As I remember worm drive saws were recommended. Harbor Freight has a metal c utting blade for $20. I have not used one.
Dan
Reply to
dcaster
I wasn't sure if or how well those work on cast iron. So I didn't mention them. Harbor Freight was selling a Skil type saw made for metal that even came with a blade. I looked for it the other day but it seems they don't carry it anymore. It was better shielded around the motor.
Cast iron is funny stuff. I've used grinders and cut-off blades on it okay...
Reply to
Leon Fisk
Harbor Freight was selling a Skil type saw made for metal that even came with a blade.
*** I looked for it the other day but it seems they don't carry it anymore. ***
Yeah, that's a recurring refrain these days. As much as we complained about Harbor Freight back in the day it was a much better resources when the old man was running the company. I remember the thick catalogs we used to get in the mail with super thin paper. THEY HAD STUFF. Now they are just having sale after sale on the same old sh*t. I used to look forward to the sale fliers in the mail, but now I just pitch them without even looking.
Reply to
Bob La Londe
Two things: 1) Home Depot has a wide variety of diamond metal-cutting circular blades - a wide range of sizes and prices, too.
2) A LONG time ago, it was called Harbor Freight Salvage - they bought abandoned containers and sold the contents. Interesting mix of stuff.
3) OK, a baker's couple: Of the discontinued things, I'm most pissed about the little carbide tool grinder they used to have. It wasn't great, but it didn't totally suck, either. By the time I was ready to buy it, it was gone.
Reply to
rangerssuck
Looks like a winner. I have their older one and love it, when wearing earmuffs. Noisy bastids, ain't they? It's a real time saver for multiple cuts.
Ditto. I buy either on sale or with a coupon, but both when possible.
- The list of Obama administration disappointments would take three rolls of toilet paper to record. --BMF
Reply to
Larry Jaques
The timberframers love them, I hear.
Reply to
Larry Jaques
Just got one. Today. Haven't even opened the box yet. There are plenty of plans on the 'net and youtube for making tabletop mounts for these things, and that's what I plan to do. Easily removable from the mount for handheld jobs, too.
Reply to
rangerssuck

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