Tormach PCNC 770 DIY Enclosure

I recently got a Tormach PCNC 770 CNC milling machine. So far, I’m very happy with it (but have not cut much yet). I figured that since I wouldn’t be using flood cooling, that I could get away without a full enclosure. But even with mist rather than flood, chips were shot everywhere, so I decided to roll my own enclosure using 80/20 parts

There are lot of similar designs on-line, but the one I used most for guidance was by sauni68 on YouTube:

His was a design for a PCNC 1100, but his video still has several good tips that are appropriate for the 770.

Photo Feb 19, 4 47 45 PM

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TouchDRO Machine Position Digital Readout for Emco Maximat V10P Lathe

This is a outstanding machine DRO for hobbyists, not just an outstanding DIY project, but a super DRO even compared to high-end pro machines. The beauty of TouchDRO is that it uses a (cheap) Android tablet for the display and control (I used a 1st-generation Nexus tablet – $50 on eBay) while the scales connect to a small (user-built) box that wirelessly sends data to the tablet via Bluetooth. The extra cute thing about this particular DRO installation is that all that parts are very small don’t interfere with any travel distances or setups on this already smallish machine.

2014-09-25 22.18.32

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Brass Rod Bender for Banjo Hooks

This is bender specifically made to put a very tight radius bend in 5/32″ brass rod for banjo hooks. The original design was modified from this:,8229.html  but required a few revisions to get the desired result. Finally, when I was able to force the rod into a tight radius bend, some would crack. I learned that they needed to be heated with a torch before bending, but don’t have to be bent while hot.

The key difference between this and the little universal bender (besides less “slop” and tighter-tolerance fittings) is the movable round die is a “cam” that can be pivoted (with a 3/4″ wrench) and forced tightly against the stationary die while the bend is being made.

This was also my first exercise with hardening O1 tool steel. There are tons of guides on line covering this topic so I won’t go into detail here. Having the working surfaces hardened may not be necessary for bending brass but I wanted to play with O1 steel and this was pretty forgiving applications for a first try. It went quite well.


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