Chesapeake Area Metalworking Society

Review of 27 November 2001 Meeting
Mason District Governmental Center 
6507 Columbia Pike 
Falls Church, VA


Thanks to an unexpected level of interest in CNC, we had a large crowd of almost 50 people at our November meeting, in spite of it being only two days after Thanksgiving.

Dave Welser opened the meeting, not an easy task as people were interested in wandering around and seeing all the machines.


Luther Dietrich brought us up to date on things at Tuckahoe and gave a pep talk to encourage more people to take part in the activities at the museum.


Stan Stocker had made up CD-ROMs with images of several interesting documents including "A Catechism of the Steam Engine.... ", "Modern Machine Shop Practice", "The Advanced Machinist, a Practical and Educational Treatise...", and some engineering drawings of a Swedish steam locomotive. These were provided to members who had requested them by e-mail. Stan was providing CDs to people who did not have a CD burner or adequate bandwidth to download for themselves. The books are on line at:


Dave Bluett showed us the end result of his bronze casting experiment. He had gone to one of Doug Ayer's weekend foundry/blacksmithing/knifemaking events and made a casting for a lathe chuck backplate. The casting had been successful in spite of his fears and he showed the rough turned backplate.

The main topic for the evening was CNC machines for the home shop. Many people had brought machines and related items for show and tell. Thanks to all who made the effort!


Catch all photo shows books on CNC, some CNC tooling, a box of free samples of  Cool Tool (thanks to Rick Pierson) and in the background, the gurney that played machinery mover for the evening. We expected that considering recent events the police housed at the government center would be "interested" in what we were hauling into the building on the gurney, but no one batted an eye.


Matt Shaver, who works on CNC retrofits for commercial customers, lead a discussion on the practical aspects of converting and retrofitting existing machinery.


Everyone had a great time looking over all the machines!

Mike Partain talks about his Sherline which he had converted using software from DeskNC, motor drivers from Dan Mauch, and stepper motors and mounts from miscellaneous sources.


Club members have a closer look at Mike's setup.


Rick Pierson showed his Larken gantry system. He also invited members to visit his workplace on Saturday, December 1, 2001 for a tour of "real" CNC machines in operation.


Chris Daniel showed the "Mighty Mill" that he had acquired from a friend who recently moved out of town. This was an early hobby conversion that was built commercially. Chris is offering it for sale.


Don Nichols brought his pride and joy, an EMCO Compact 5 CNC lathe. He ran demonstrations of actual parts being cut and explained tooling and techniques.

Here is the complete setup including the monitor that is driven from the processor internal to the lathe's controls. The lathe could be programmed via its own keypad or it could be downloaded from a personal computer.

Don has a large range of accessories to go with his lathe, and despite my best efforts he still has them!


Tex Rubinowitz brought his MaxNC milling machine. It was Tex's desire to learn more about CNC from other club members that resulted in this meeting's program being organized.

Close-up of Tex's MaxNC cutting letters into a wood block.


Richard George brought a sample of the work done on his CNC plasma cutter and also had his laptop to demonstrate the software which ran it.

The meeting presentations were completed about 11PM, but the after meeting chatter lasted until 2AM! If you consider the usual IHOP run after the meeting, some of us barely made it to bed before sunrise!.

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