[MLC] How I make multiple identical parts

Posted by Gerd on Tuesday, 25 February 2020


this week, I like to share some techniques I use to make multiple identical parts for projects on my model trains. Instead of using modern laser cutting, I try the good old way when possible, as long as the number of parts needed is not to high.

Let’s start with a couple of sheet metal parts with special shapes and holes. I used 2mm thick flat bar and cut all parts to length on the metal bandsaw. Next I use double-sided sticker pads for photos and stick the parts together. When clamping them to the mill/drill-press, I use a piece of plywood to even out differences in the width of the parts. It’s important to clamp the parts very well, if possible also downwards, especially when mill cutting. It’s also best to use small and slow feed.

During the milling process, I used some round bars through the holes to keep all parts aligned properly. Once finished, the parts got parted with a knife and cleaned up. Some parts got also bend for the later assembly.

For some other parts, I make profile bars which got parted into the final pieces. Here I make ratches and pawls for disconnect car brake gear. By using the parting-tool/round-table I milled the shape step-by-step in multiple passes. Many years ago, I ordered such parts laser-cut and I used them as template to make additional parts to get the needed total.

Once the profiled bars are finished, I use a thin saw blade in the mill to cut them down into 4mm thick pieces.

You already see what I’m working on here and I’ll show you more about this project in the next post.

Bye, Gerd

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