Hi guys! I’ve been without internet due to a winter storm for more than a week. It’s good to be back!
Luckily I only lost power for 1 day following the storm. So I had a lot of time to play around with my newly constructed 3D printer. One of the first parts I made was a Quick Change Tool Post (QCTP) Tool Holder that would attach to the back of my Grizzly G0602 lathe’s backsplash. Here you can see 5 tool holder storage brackets clipped in place, with my trusty Diamond Tool Holder hanging on the first bracket.
I have an AXA (#100) piston-style QCTP and I needed a good way to store my tool holders. My tool holders were too tall to fit into all but the biggest drawer on my Kennedy tool chest, and I had other stuff occupying that space. So my tool holders always seemed to sit on the benchtop or on a clean part of my chip tray near my tailstock. Not ideal. I’ve knocked them off more than once – and they ALWAYS land cutting-edge down.
Then Norman sent me some cast aluminum tool holders that were an excellent yet simple solution to the problem. But they needed to be mounted to the wall to be used effectively. I didn’t have a wall nearby to bolt them to (I have metal shelving along every square foot of my shop walls) so I bolted them to a piece of 2×4 and clamped that near my lathe. That worked, but it wasn’t an ideal solution either.
So instead I took cues from Normans design and created an ABS plastic version that would clip to my G0602 backsplash. I’m very pleased with the results! Here’s a closeup:
The parts aren’t perfectly smooth like what you’d expect from an injection molded part. But then again, they don’t need to be smooth to perform their function. My 3D printer lays down layers of plastic in very thin (.010 or less) layers with an accuracy/resolution of .003 to .005 – just fine for a part like this. Each part takes a little over an hour to print, so they aren’t as quick to manufacture as an injection molded part either. But the setup cost for an injection mold for a part like this would be in the thousands just to have the mold made. I think that’s probably the reason nobody has bothered to manufacture a part like this before – they’d have a hard time making their money back on the initial mold investment if they sold the parts for $10 a piece. But having the ability to print a part like this eliminates the financial barriers associated with bringing it to market.
I’m going to list a few of these on eBay at $8 each. If ProjectsInMetal members/visitors would like to buy some I’ll sell them for $7 and cut eBay and their fees out of the equation. They are very light and thus inexpensive to ship. About $4 for the set of 5 that I sent to Norman (from Seattle to Texas via First Class Mail). Shipping outside the USA will be a bit more, but I won’t overcharge.
If the parts prove popular and a lot of people buy them I may look a little harder into an injection mold. But for now I’m extremely happy with the printed version. They are very strong (you’d have to try hard to break them) and fit my tool holders very well. As for the backsplash, the G0602 has a lip that is folded forward .06, and down .05. If you have a different backsplash with similar dimensions the brackets would probably fit with little to no modification. But if necessary they could be easily filed to fit a slightly larger backsplash lip. They won’t, however, fit a backsplash folded the opposite direction. But I could easily re-design the clip if you’ve got a lathe with different dimensions. Just let me know.
If you’d like to purchase, please use the PayPal button below. If you have trouble using the PayPal button, please send me a private message via the forum. Right now the only color I have is Black, and I have 10 in stock (but I can make more). Thanks![ad]