Tool purchases

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Feb 2, 2023, 9:06:40 PM2/2/23

I've noticed that we are starting to get low on some of the semi-consumable tools (drills, end mills, etc), and there are a few other tools that are missing, broken or could be replaced.
I'll stick a list of links and order codes at the end of the email, just to make it easier to find without having to read my entire email. 
If anyone knows of anywhere better to get anything from, please mention it. I'm suggesting the suppliers I am because I happen to have bought things from them in the past. 

First, we are getting quite low on general purpose/metalworking drill bits. We currently have at least one of each size in 0.5mm increments 3-10mm, but in some cases, we only seem to have one or two left.
We could get another cheap box, for about £10-15 (from Amazon, Ebay, or almost anywhere else).
Alternatively, we can try to get a few decent ones of the sizes we are low on, and do so whenever we appear low on drills. Arc in particular seem to have some reasonably cheap (£5-6 for packs of 3) HSS-E drill bits that should last significantly longer than the titanium coated ones we have typically used.
We are also running low on centre drills, so it would be good if we could get a few more.
I would also like to try to start keeping all the broken and/or blunt drill bits, particularly if they are not the (brass/gold coloured) Titanium coated ones, as they can be resharpened (and it gives me an excuse to make a drill bit sharpening jig).

The second point is that a couple of the safety glasses have broken recently (the arms have snapped). 
I think at least one of those is my fault, and I'm happy to replace them, but as we have more equipment that goggles are useful for, it would probably be a good idea to get a few more anyway.
My suggestion would be to go with something similar to what we already have (a few reasonably inexpensive sets). We do still have the larger ones that fit over glasses, which as far as I know, are still in good condition.
Zoro sell a very large variety, but I'll stick a couple of suggestions in the list below. I suggest we get 2-4.

From here is stuff I think would be useful, but I would suggest are less important than the above.

We seem to have lost/misplaced the 10mm spanner. It is very useful for changing the chucks on the lathe. Lots of places sell them. I've put in a link to Zoro.

I've put a set of half decent (thread cutting) taps under the lathe with the rest of the machining bits. However, the dies we have are pretty awful at cutting new threads (and pretty poor at re-cutting old ones). 
Arc or Avon Tap&Die sell them, and having bought from both before, both companies sell decent dies.
Avon's do seem to be better quality, but are significantly more expensive, and it is cheaper to buy a 30mm diestock and M10 die from Arc, than to just buy an M10 25mm die from Avon. 

The course wheel on the bench grinder looks to have chipped on the edge in a couple of places. It isn't of significant detriment to its use, but getting a new wheel may be a good idea.
It is a 150mmx20mm wheel, and I think it's 80 grit. We could get a new 120 grit wheel at the same time, but it isn't really necessary.
They can be purchased almost anywhere, but Arc sell them for about £20, or you can get very cheap ones through Zoro (and very expensive ones) for around £7-15.

I've previously bought endmills for the lathe, which work well enough. 
Ones with 6mm shafts can also be used on the CNC too, allowing for quicker machining than the current 3.175mm mills.
I suggest we get a couple of 2 flute, HSS, 6mm endmills from Arc, which are designed for cutting aluminium, and can, at a push, be used on steel or cast iron (when used on the lathe).
They should be fine cutting wood or plastic on the CNC (we've still not tested it with aluminium), if previous experience with smaller endmills is anything to go by (and hopefully not snap as often).
Given I am currently the only person who regularly uses the lathe for milling steel and cast iron, I'm not going to suggest that the space gets 4 flute carbide tooling, as it is significantly more expensive and can break more easily if abused.

Cost Lists:

From ArcEuroTrade:
5.5mm HSS-Cobalt Drill x3 £5.12 (060-021-00553)
6mm HSS-Cobalt Drill x3 £6.10 (060-021-00603)
6.5mm HSS-Cobalt Drill x3 £6.77 (060-021-00653)
8mm HSS-Cobalt Drill x3 £12.02 (060-021-00803)
4mm HSS Centre Drill  £2.22 (060-070-00500)
5mm HSS Centre Drill  £2.59 (060-070-00600)
6mm HSS Centre Drill  £2.98 (060-070-00625)
M4 die £2.65 (060-171-00040)
M6 die £2.65 (060-171-00060)
M8 die  £3.74 (060-171-00080)
M10 die  £5.90 (060-171-00100)
30mm diestock £7.79 (060-260-00300)
80 grit bench grinder wheel £22.30 (180-007-03080)
120 grit bench grinder wheel £22.30 (180-007-03120)
6mm endmill £5.40 (060-283-07006) - suggest we get at least 2. Other sizes are available at similar prices

From Zoro:
Safety glasses £1.20 (ZT1119277S)
Safety glasses £6.19 (ZT1173722X) - At least theoretically more scratch resistant and don't fog up. In theory.
10mm Spanner £1.59 (ZT1382311X)
10mm Spanner £3.99 (ZT1004343X)
Bench grinder wheel ~£7-15 (ZT1035links573X)

From Amazon (or equivalent): 
25 piece set of drill bits £20
99 piece set of sorted drill bits £25

Drills from Arc are £37.80 or a big set is about £25 from Amazon
Dies and a diestock are £14.94
For two replacement goggles it is either £2.40 or £12.40
Spanner is £1.60 or £4
A single replacement bench grinder wheel is up to £22.30
Two Endmills are £10.80

If we get what I'm suggesting to be the best option for each thing, I think it comes to about £102.24. The cheapest (reasonable) options added together come to about £61.80.
If it is not approved at all, or only partially, I will probably get the dies myself, because I could do with using some at some point, and I will likely be getting more endmills too.


Miki Mokrysz

Feb 3, 2023, 10:59:31 AM2/3/23
I’d support getting this. I’m likely to use everything on the list except the bench grinder parts. No strong feelings on what quality level to go for. 👍

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Feb 4, 2023, 7:36:27 PM2/4/23
I've just had a conversation with Nat while in the hackspace.
We have decided that the grinder really does not need a new wheel (I thought the chip was considerably bigger than it actually was).
Nat also found the 10mm spanner (it had dropped down the gap next to the lathe), so that is not needed.

There was also a question of whether or not we need more ear defenders, which could be added to an order in this lot of purchases.


Nat Lasseter

Feb 8, 2023, 4:31:32 PM2/8/23
Hi Joseph

Sounds like noone has any complaints.

Please don't get the cheap ones. We are all smart enough people to use the good ones correctly, and we all know the saying. Also, I think it goes without saying: no skimping on PPE.

I think the cost without the grinder wheels looks sane, so go for it.

Nat Lasseter

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