Saturday, January 9, 2021

Things Are Moving - Part ii

I didn't finish the rearrangements today, but I didn't think that was sure.  Maybe a 75% chance I could, if everything went well and painlessly.  

I thought I'd step back and show some 3D models of the starting point and envisioned end point, along with explanation. Like pretty much all the 3D modeling I do, this was done in Rhino3D. It started out in '14, and has been updated and modified several times since. The main part of what I've been doing so far is in the metal shop area.  That's the top left corner in this model, which shows the way the shop has been laid out pretty much since '16 when the big mill CNC conversion was finished.

I've labelled the major parts.  The computer along the wall on the left (west) controls the Grizzly mill via that small white box to its right with some parts visible inside it, the CNC Micro mill (a combination of Sherline and A2ZCNC parts) and the CNC lathe (Sherline).  Both of those have small white boxes that don't show any parts inside (that link does).  There's also a manual (non-CNC) Sherline lathe on the bench aligned long axis perpendicular to the west wall.  It's a bit difficult to work on the CNC Sherline and look at the computer if I need to see the display, so that was a minor thing to correct.

There were two motivations for doing this; the big one is what I mentioned yesterday about walking around the shop to get a drill bit or a screw to check threads.  The light green rectangle marked "small shelves" is a bit over 2' long, 18" wide and 2' tall.  I needed more room there.  The other motivation is to clear out the area directly in front of and below the mini-split air conditioner, that beige rectangle running along the west wall (and 7' off the ground).  We clean the filter a few times a year, and it requires climbing on something to get to it.  Besides that, it's going on 7 years old (installed in May of '14) and that means chances of it needing repair are greater than zero and growing. The harder it is to work on, the more expensive the service call.

My first thought and model was to push the the two benches along the west wall over toward the top, getting closer to the big mill's enclosure.  To keep it from going into the enclosure, I had to move that to the right and that just moved lots more.  I eventually thought of swapping the mill enclosure with the two other benches, and arranging them differently.

The new shelves are visible just below the big lathe and were the first thing added on Thursday.  The two blocks to the right of them are a set of rolling drawers for that area (brown top) and the shop crane (red, black).  They've been pushed right about two feet.  That wretched light green thing that moved from right of the benches to sitting in front of the air conditioner is a stationary exercise bike that can be moved across the room should we need to let an A/C repair guy get to the unit on the wall.

Today we pulled out the bench with the computer and micro mill and swapped it with the big mill.  Then we pushed it farther toward the top of the pic and rotated it to get that bench in place along the north wall.  It's closer to both walls than this shows.  The bench with the two lathes still remains to be moved.  The compressor (the blue block, top center) will stay where it is and it's hookup to the Fogbuster cooling system on the back of the mill will be modified. The only machine currently hooked up is the micro mill, and I tested it.  It moves normally. 

I should be able to get the other table with its two lathes into position tomorrow and work toward making the shop fully functional again.  There's more cool stuff that should be happening to go over in the next couple of days. 


  1. Add a stove and a bed and this would be my house.

  2. That's far better organized than my space(s), SiG!
    I have a bunch of "pie racks" in the garage for storage, and 48" Harbor Freight light-duty workbench. Barely big enough, but no room to mount a vise and/or grinder/table-top drill press. I make do by various methods.

    The basement workshop has two sides; the Electronics side, Hyde, and the model car side, Jekyll. El cheap-o interior doors on HF plastic saw horses for "benches", but that's going to be changing soon, thanks to you. I've price out countertops at Home Depot, and found some plans to build a sturdy 2x4 framework that I can handle. And I'll gain 12" of bench space!

    1. The workbenches that I moved, and the two in the "outdoors corner" are 6' long by 2'1" wide by 3' to the benchtop, which is built like butcher block. Really pretty for shop benches. Got them at Sam's Club, brand is Seville Classics.

      In the woodworking area, I have one Horrible Freight woodworking bench and one from Home Depot maybe 30 years ago.

  3. I think that whatever shop plan we start out with, the evolution of our stuff and its layout changes over the years.

    Good work on rearranging.

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  5. I have been a follower for many years, but never started at the beginning-the first post of this blog

    Im not sure how I ended up at Sigreybeard, but it had to be a common interest, project, hobby, or Ham Radio. So Im asking if you can post the link to your first post, so we can read your excellent from beginning.

    Im sure I am not the only reader who be interested in reading the blog from day 1

    Thank you

    1. I started out almost 11 years ago, so that's an insane amount of reading. I don't think I'd do it short of being in a hospital bed and unable to move to do anything else. Since you asked, go to the right column and down under the library thing list of books, under the "about me" and above the list of most popular posts, there's a blog archive. Very bottom is 2010. Open that one and the very bottom is February of 2010. It's easy to open that page
      ( )
      and the very bottom is my "hello world" post.

      The one above that is what I consider my first post; "The Economic Mess That Changes Everything" or

      FWIW, I still think that's a worthwhile read.

      I chose the name Silicon Graybeard because of the technical world's tendency to depend on old "graybeards" to advise and tutor the younger engineers. Using Silicon came from identifying myself as an electrical engineer. To me, the name was "the old electrical engineer" which is now "the retired electrical engineer." FWIW.

  6. A timely article. I have been looking for something to model my home and then use to layout my home network. And, I need to somehow match up the 1st and 2nd floors to figure out where a leak the might be causing damage is coming from

    BTW - I know you can't change the location of the "Sign out" button, but what idiot programmer put it in the lower left right where you would stop typing your comment and be ready to hit enter? "Publish"? what idiot came up with that? You "Post" a comment. Oh well, if I want it my way, I'll go to Burger King.

    1. Whoa! Well, I know which modeling software I will NOT be using. Not worth $195 to buy a license.

    2. I'm using ver. 5 of Rhino. When they came out with v6 a couple of years ago, its emphasis was on rendering with a programming language called Grasshopper that they added to it. I'm sure they tweaked the plain ol' design but I don't care much about fancy renderings.

      They've just come out with ver. 7 but I think I'm going to try FreeCAD. Since I come from "old school" AutoCAD, I never really liked Fusion 360, although it has a lot going for it. It looks like the hobbyist/small business free version of Fusion is going away, as I think everyone thought it would. FreeCAD might be a more stable program to get behind.