The Home Machine Shop Hack Chat

Fun with the other kind of chips

Wednesday, March 20, 2019 12:00 pm PDT Local time zone:
Hack Chat
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Quinn Dunki will be hosting the Hack Chat on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 at noon PDT.

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Even if you haven't been here for very long, you'll probably recognize Quinn Dunki as Hackaday's resident consulting machinist. Quinn recently did a great series of articles on the "King of Machine Tools", the lathe, covering everything from the history of precision machine tools to making your first chips. She's documented the entire process of procuring and setting up a new lathe, pointing out all the potential pitfalls the budding home machinist may face.

Flinging hot metal chips around is hardly all Quinn has accomplished, though. Long before her foray into machine tools, there was Veronica, a scratch-built 6502 machine Quinn created as an homage to the machines that launched her into a life of writing software. We've featured Veronica on our pages a couple of times, and she's always made quite a hit.

Please join us for this Hack Chat, where we'll discuss:

  • How developing software and machining are alike, and how they differ;
  • How social networks have changed the perception of machining;
  • Best practices for getting started in machining; and
  • Are there any new machine tool purchases in the pipeline?

  • Hack Chat Transcript, Part 2

    Lutetium03/20/2019 at 20:03 0 comments

    Quinn Dunki12:38 PM
    It's good stuff. If something is gonna be in storage for a while, just smear some oil or grease on it too. Oil and grease of any kind will always work

    SN:10112410212:38 PM
    I have long absences from the shop So they do not get oiled from use as often

    Quinn Dunki12:39 PM
    Am I missing any questions? Please ask again if I skipped you. My laptop window only shows like two replies at a time. 😁

    SN:10112410212:39 PM
    I only use wd40 as solvent, not that great as preservative

    Dan Maloney12:39 PM
    Fluid Film is good too. Basically liquid lanolin. It soaks into pores and forms a tough film.

    Quinn Dunki12:40 PM
    WD40 is a great solvent/cleaner. I use it for that, mainly

    Sky12:40 PM
    Has anyone used WD40 industrial cleaner. It's suppose to have a rust inhibitor

    Quinn Dunki12:40 PM
    Removing stickers, degreasing, cleaning mystery crud off things, etc. Then clean the WD40 off with Simple Green if needed.

    Dan Maloney12:41 PM
    Hey @Quinn Dunki , you mentioned Veronica before. You said she's coming back soon?

    SN:10112410212:41 PM
    I dont use simple green the sodium hydroxide can attach aluminum, I most fool with Aircraft so thats a no go for me.

    Joshua Young12:42 PM
    What is your best new tool in the shop lately. Or just favorite. Can be file or something heavy...

    Quinn Dunki12:42 PM
    Veronica is indeed coming back! I have a series of new blog posts planned for her. I'm finding video to be a much better format for the machining, but electronics work much better in the blog.

    Darryl N12:42 PM
    @SN:101124102 didn't know about lye in SG, good tip, thanks

    Dan Maloney12:42 PM



    For the first time ever, our girl didn't show up for work. Veronica has been making the rounds of makerspaces, conferences, etc lately. She has been through more airports [more]

    Read this on Quinndunki

    Quinn Dunki12:43 PM
    Joshua, probably the big milling cutter I got recently. It's a 2" Cobalt HSS shell mill from MSC, and good lord it's amazing.

    Sky12:43 PM
    WD40 industrial cleaner ... pretty reasonable

    Quinn Dunki12:43 PM
    It was not cheap, but you really really get what you pay for in tooling. Especially cutters, where quality of the steel and the grind matter tremendously.

    Joshua Young12:43 PM

    Sky12:44 PM


    WD-40 Specialist Industrial-Strength Cleaner & Degreaser, 1 Gallon

    WD-40 Specialist Industrial-Strength Cleaner & Degreaser is a water-based, non-aerosol formula with a unique bio-solvent engineered and proven to be more powerful, safer, and easier to use than other degreasers on the market. It quickly breaks through tough grease and grime and is excellent for c...

    Read this on Amazon

    Quinn Dunki12:45 PM
    Funny about that shell mill, going back to what someone asked about cost of tooling.. the shell mill was $100 or so, but you also have to buy an arbor to mount it on (or make one). Stuff like that surprises you, and is why the costs keep mounting.

    Dan Maloney12:46 PM
    I think that's the one thing holding me back from jumping into machining - not like you can just swing by Home Depot and pick up an arbor on a Saturday afternoon to finish a project

    Darryl N12:46 PM
    @Quinn Dunki all this talk about spending money......of course we all want to know how to *make* money with our do you do with yours, and any advice suggestions etc?

    Quinn Dunki12:47 PM
    Dan- one thing about machining though is you can almost always MAKE the tools. Like, when I needed a spring-loaded punch follower, and a tailstock die holder, and machinist...

    Read more »

  • Hack Chat Transcript, Part 1

    Lutetium03/20/2019 at 20:02 0 comments

    Quinn Dunki11:57 AM

    Quinn Dunki11:58 AM
    Very excited to be here and talk to everyone

    Dan Maloney11:59 AM
    I'm excited too, not least for the bunch of money I'm likely to want to spend getting my machine shop up and running after this.

    Quinn Dunki11:59 AM
    It's an expensive hobby, that's for sure. Cheaper than racing though, so there's that. 😏

    SN:10112410212:00 PM
    or aviation

    Quinn Dunki12:00 PM
    At least machine tools don't $2000 in tires and brakes every three weeks

    Josh Lloyd12:01 PM
    Once you've invested in the tools, is there much ongoing cost other than materials?

    Dan Maloney12:01 PM
    Looks like we can get started. Welcome to the Hack Chat, everyone. Today we welcome Quinn Dunki to talk about the home machine shop, plus anything else she feels like telling us about. Thanks for joining us today, Quinn.

    Quinn Dunki12:01 PM
    My pleasure! Hello internet!

    Josh Lloyd12:01 PM
    Hi Quinn

    Joshua Young12:02 PM
    Thanks, a lathe page fan.

    deshipu12:02 PM

    Quinn Dunki12:02 PM
    There are so many of you here!

    Quinn Dunki12:02 PM
    So Dan, what's the format here- can people just starting asking away?

    sfrias112:03 PM
    :-) Hi everybody

    Dan Maloney12:03 PM
    Yep, free form questions. And it can get a little asynchronous, so people might ask questions and then ask them again.

    Joshua Young12:03 PM
    Where do you like to get your stock for projects lately?

    Quinn Dunki12:04 PM
    Okay, let me start with Josh, who asked "Once you've invested in the tools, is there much ongoing cost other than materials?"

    Dan Maloney12:04 PM
    Pretty informal. Maybe you can start with a little about your background?

    deshipu12:04 PM
    also, don't worry about answering all questions, there are more of us than you and there is a limit of how fast a human can type

    Joshua Young12:05 PM
    I need to see your keyboard

    Quinn Dunki12:05 PM
    They say you should expect to spend as much on your first machine tool as you do for tooling, and I think that's accurate. The machine tools themselves are honestly a surprisingly small part of a machine shop. You also need bandsaws, grinders, drill presses, etc, and the tooling never seems to end. All the jigs, vices, blocks, parallels, etc that you need. HOWEVER- those costs are all very gradual over time. You can start with a lathe a few basic tooling items

    Dillon joined  the room.12:06 PM

    Josh Lloyd12:06 PM
    Thanks Quinn!

    Quinn Dunki12:06 PM
    As for stock, I have a local steel yard that I like a lot, and also I'm using eBay heavily these days. Flat rate USPS shipping is amazing. I had a 20lb steel bar delivered for free in an envelope. Apologies to everyone else's mail that day- it got obliterated for sure.

    Quinn Dunki12:07 PM
    The envelope was six Tyvek molecules when it got to me, but the steel bar was fine because it's a freaking steel bar.

    SN:10112410212:07 PM
    Dont forget trying to get drops. (left overs in the steel yard to small to sale)

    Dillon12:07 PM
    What made you switch from mostly electronics projects to mostly machining projects?

    Dan Maloney12:08 PM
    It's funny what will mail. I got a complete exhaust system mailed to me once. Just put a priority mail sticker on it and it showed up like that.

    Quinn Dunki12:08 PM
    Yah, metal suppliers will have off-cuts, and the same for local machine shops. They throw away more stock than I use

    Dan Maloney12:08 PM
    My son-in-law works at a steel supplier. I'm a happy lad.

    Darryl N12:08 PM
    Denver area: ALRECO in Henderson

    Quinn Dunki12:09 PM
    Dillon, I still a lot of both, but machining has captured my attention lately because it's extremely technical and everything you make is so darn pretty when you're done.

    Sky12:09 PM
    I need to buy tooling for my lathe In my grandfathers shop, he always used high speed steel and custom ground what he needed. Can you recommend a set of insert style tools?

    Josh Lloyd...

    Read more »

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