Category Archives: Aciera F3

Slotting head tool holder

I’ve had the slotting head for the Aciera F3 for a few months but haven’t used it yet, mostly because I haven’t had any tooling or tool holders for it. Now I want to cut an internal key way to fix a wheel onto its shaft, so it was time to make some tooling. 

The slotting head has a 12mm hole for a tool holder but I didn’t have any 12mm diameter steel, so I started with a 16mm bar. The result is shown below. From left to right: parallel 12mm shank to fit in head; 16mm collar; top end of the 4mm slanting hole for the cutter, tapped for a 5mm grub screw so that the amount of protrusion of the cutter can be adjusted by pushing it out; head of 5mm grub screw for clamping the cutter (this does go below the surface when tight).

4mm diameter tool steel bar held in the holder, from which I shall grind or mill a cutter for a piece of 1/8″ square section key steel. 

It’s certainly not the neatest tooling I’ve ever made, not helped by the design of my dividing head (in which I’d planned to hold the piece on the mill while drilling the various holes) not allowing me to hold the piece in a collet, since the draw bar would foul the table [correction: I later discovered that the drawbar can be removed once the collet is secured, so I could have used the dividing head]. There was also insufficient clearance under the vertical head to allow me to use a chuck on the dividing head, so the piece was simply held in a vice and all angles set by eye. 


Aciera F3 vertical head

When I bought the F3 it came with a just the high speed vertical head. While this has been very useful so far, its speed range of 1000-6000 rpm suggests that it is best suited to small cutters and probably not the right thing to use for milling large pockets or hard materials (1000 rpm is just about ok for an 8mm carbide end mill in steel). My searching for a vertical head was finally rewarded (even though it’s not the Continue reading Aciera F3 vertical head

Moving the Aciera F3 into the workshop

One thing is for sure – while the F3 isn’t that big, it is certainly solidly built. Having learned from the effort involved to get the 750kg of Hardinge lathe up the slight incline into the workshop, the F3 was slid onto a length of kitchen worktop with short lengths of scaffold pole underneath as rollers.

One end of a ratchet strap was looped around the bottom of the base, with the ratchet itself attached to a strong anchor inside the Continue reading Moving the Aciera F3 into the workshop

Changes to the workshop – the Aciera F3

Having been keeping my eyes open for a nice Aciera F3, I finally found one
this week. For a change, it was only 40 minutes drive away (most of my machines have involved round trips of around 6 hours or more).

Collection was simple, unloading at the workshop wasn’t that much more complicated. With the aid of a borrowed telehandler, it was lifted off the trailer and posted under a shed ready for moving into the workshop.

The next step is to clear space Continue reading Changes to the workshop – the Aciera F3