A casting for a conventional design of 1/2 ton capacity arbor press was machined 1/8 inch on a 2 x 10 inch side for a metal removal of less than 2.5 cu in. An open work envelope was configured on a Smithy Super Shop using the saw table and fence to guide the work. The cutter was a 2.5 inch dovetail milling cutter with 1 inch center hole and keyway. The cutter was adapted to the drive with a 1/2 inch shank jeweler's saw holder with 1/2, 5/8, 3/4, and 1 inch ring mandrels supported by a spring, held without the included top cap, and with a purpose made double bevel washer and a M8x1.25 socket flat head machine screw. The base of the casting was leveled by rubbing with a12 inch sanding disc by hand, using 120 grit Al2O3 abrasive paper, to prevent rocking which stalled the cut several times without damage to the machine.
The passive voice was used because I feel like I've been through a time machine to the 1700s when all of this was done routinely. Pip pip, and all that.
So I figured I'd better tell somebody because this moves the machine tool self-reproduction problem into the international standards segment of development. The question of whether a machine fit can be made on a part larger than the machine tool it is made with is*resolved* by this constructive proof; this casting could have been seven feet long, and with a few low-wage helpers, would have been machined to the same precision. Remember, the first postulate of machine tool self-reproduction is "We are universal, we define universality, and we self-reproduce." The second is "To make one of anything, you need two of everything". (Except the furnace and forge)
It can be done!
Douglas (Dana) Goncz Replikon Research Seven Corners, VA 22044-0394
Phase Relationships in the Standardization Process. James Gosling. August, 1990.