Author Topic: removing metal - best methods?  (Read 1561 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

R L Smith

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 465
  • Respect: +177
removing metal - best methods?
« on: March 25, 2014, 12:57:01 PM »
0
In recent years I've accumulated over a half-dozen older Kato / Atlas / LL engines that are the two light board design that I need to convert to DCC. 

What is the best method for removing metal to make room for the wiring between the light boards, as well as down to the motor?  I don't have a bench press but I do have an older Dremel tool and also variable-speed drills.  Are there specific bits for the Dremel that are appropriate for this task?

Thanks,

Ron
ELHS and NMRA member

If the women don't find you handsome, make sure they find you handy...

peteski

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 20577
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +1827
    • Coming (not so) soon...
Re: removing metal - best methods?
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2014, 04:07:04 PM »
0
Best method is using a small hobby milling machine. Or swap the frames with milled out ones from Aztec. The price is quite reasonable.  Other than that, with the tools you have, any method IMO will be rather messy.
--- Peteski de Snarkski
--- Honorary Resident Curmudgeon

jdcolombo

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1752
  • Respect: +548
Re: removing metal - best methods?
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2014, 05:10:24 PM »
0
On older frames, I use a heavy-duty quick-change cutoff wheel and a 1/8" ball cutter in my dremel to cut grooves in the top of the frame for wires.  Use goggles and do the cutting so that the debris flows away from you. 

A hobby milling machine is of course the better tool for any kind of metal cutting work, but unless you're going to do a lot of this work or have other uses, the $700 price tag is hard to swallow.  So I use what I have, and it works, though certainly not as neat.

John C.

trainforfun

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1667
  • Respect: +44
Re: removing metal - best methods?
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2014, 06:20:03 AM »
0
I have used Aztec for many conversions , they charge around $ 10 per loco , you have to send your old "metal half piece" and they send you back an identical part but milled .
I did the last 4 units myself mainly to save time and it went quite well . I used a # 115 bit from Dremel in my high speed Dremel tool . You have to be well installed to be sure nothing is moving while you carve . I made a wood jig to attach the Dremel upside down . I installed a guide on top so I would not remove anything necessary . It took about 20 minutes per loco .
Thanks ,
Louis



woodone

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 375
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +14
Re: removing metal - best methods?
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2014, 10:33:28 AM »
0
I have a Drill press that I have added an X=Y milling table to for machining frames. I use wood router bits in most cases as the frame are made of soft metals. Also I use Dental burrs in my Dremel. See your Denist!

peteski

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 20577
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +1827
    • Coming (not so) soon...
Re: removing metal - best methods?
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2014, 03:45:37 PM »
0
I have a Drill press that I have added an X=Y milling table to for machining frames. I use wood router bits in most cases as the frame are made of soft metals. Also I use Dental burrs in my Dremel. See your Denist!

I imagine that it will take days of machining to remove a decoder-size amouunt of metal from  a chassis using a dental burr.  :)

BTW, a really good source of a huge variety of burrs (dental too) is Rio Grande Supply.
--- Peteski de Snarkski
--- Honorary Resident Curmudgeon

Kisatchie

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 4179
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +60
Re: removing metal - best methods?
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2014, 03:53:59 PM »
0

BTW, a really good source of a huge variety of burrs (dental too) is Rio Grande Supply.


Hmm... you could also
check under your saddle...


Two scientists create a teleportation ray, and they try it out on a cricket. They put the cricket on one of the two teleportation pads in the room, and they turn the ray on.
The cricket jumps across the room onto the other pad.
"It works! It works!"

peteski

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 20577
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +1827
    • Coming (not so) soon...
Re: removing metal - best methods?
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2014, 04:00:29 PM »
0

Hmm... you could also
check under your saddle...




BURRRRRY FUNNY Ms. Dee!  :D
--- Peteski de Snarkski
--- Honorary Resident Curmudgeon

R L Smith

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 465
  • Respect: +177
Re: removing metal - best methods?
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2014, 10:33:05 PM »
0
Thanks for the replies everyone.

As much as I'd like to buy and learn how to use a hobby milling machine, current finances and desire to actually get these things done soon may lead me down the path to Aztec.

Ron
ELHS and NMRA member

If the women don't find you handsome, make sure they find you handy...

peteski

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 20577
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +1827
    • Coming (not so) soon...
Re: removing metal - best methods?
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2014, 12:14:14 AM »
0
You will not be disappointed Ron - using Aztec frames could be compared to renting a quality milling machine. That is how he does them.
--- Peteski de Snarkski
--- Honorary Resident Curmudgeon

trainforfun

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1667
  • Respect: +44
Re: removing metal - best methods?
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2014, 10:46:40 AM »
0
You will not be disappointed Ron - using Aztec frames could be compared to renting a quality milling machine. That is how he does them.

They are very good , highly recommanded here .
Thanks ,
Louis



tony22

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 66
  • Respect: 0
Re: removing metal - best methods?
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2014, 11:27:53 AM »
0
Best method is using a small hobby milling machine. Or swap the frames with milled out ones from Aztec. The price is quite reasonable.  Other than that, with the tools you have, any method IMO will be rather messy.

+1, buuuuttt if you want to try it yourself, I've had good luck with either the diamond or fiberglass cutoff wheels from Dremel (I haven't moved to the quick change ones yet like John), or (this one works best only if you have the Dremel drill press to hold the drill in one place) one of the Tungsten Carbide Cutters like 9901 or 9902.

mmyers

  • The Pitt
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 899
  • Respect: +27
Re: removing metal - best methods?
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2014, 02:22:09 PM »
0
I have an x-y table for my drill press and a hand full of end mills. I still prefer to use my dremel and a #199 high speed cutting blade. It will cut a nice groove using its kerf for wires. Also make cuts for decoder space. http://www.dremel.com/en-us/Accessories/Pages/ProductDetail.aspx?pid=199
For wire clearance down to the lower brush, I use a #92 cutter:  http://www.dremel.com/en-us/Accessories/Pages/ProductDetail.aspx?pid=192

Martin Myers

garethashenden

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1144
  • Respect: +292
Re: removing metal - best methods?
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2014, 07:53:29 AM »
0
Why not use the TCS CN and CN-GP decoders? They are split and designed exactly for this situation.

reinhardtjh

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1794
  • Respect: +116
Re: removing metal - best methods?
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2014, 07:28:40 PM »
0
Why not use the TCS CN and CN-GP decoders? They are split and designed exactly for this situation.

They don't do sound and they don't have extended functions for things like ditch lights, beacons, etc.  Other decoder brands also may have better motor control qualities.  YMMV.
John H. Reinhardt
PRRT&HS #8909
C&O HS #11530
N-Trak #7566