I am not a machinist

But I am giving it a try.

I’ve watched many of the Tubalcain’s YouTube videos and they do in fact rock, but you also need the right tools and hands on training and experience to get even the simplest job done on the mill or lathe. I’m sure I’ll get there with more trial and error but the danger factor is a bit greater in machining than with hacksaw and file! And when I spend 3 hours to fabricate this little plate for my seatstay fixture…well, I start to wonder why I try. Granted, the stupid 1/4″ end mill kept coming loose from the drill chuck (i don’t have an endmill holder for that size end mill yet) so it took me way longer than it should have, but still. The taking of multiple passes to cut through the 3/8″ aluminum (don’t have a bandsaw or high RPM cold saw to make the rough cut), and the resultant swarf (chips) overwhelmed me a bit. I kept wondering why i wasn’t just saving up for a REAL seatstay fixture from Anvil or Sputnik. But then i thought, what’s the difference between that and

saying “why don’t I just save up and buy a (enter your favorite framebuilder’s name here) frame”…WHY? Because it’s strangely fun and satisfying to make shit yourself, even if it does suck. The slots are too wide, the edge isn’t square on one side (tried to get creative and round the corners…), but it’s mine, all mine.
I am not sure I will continue trying to make my own tools since it takes so much time away from frame building, but I do see the reason the elders of the trade say it’s a great step ladder. I also see the need to build something when nothing else exists, like my upcoming wishbone seatstay fixture. This was just practice.

PS- the Grizzly drill chuck on this milling machine really sucks. It’ll soon be a ineffective paper weight.

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