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Unread 07-26-2016, 12:35 PM
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Event Machine Shops

A discussion has started up the California district proposal thread that I think warrants it's own topic.

Mobile machine shops at events are a huge help to teams but they are very inconsistent in terms of equipment and capabilities.

What are the most used tools and capabilities that mobile machine shops provide?
What is the minimum tooling that events should have on hand?

As more areas go to districts it may be useful to start packing some of the tools on the trailers with the field, av equipment, etc.
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Unread 07-26-2016, 12:47 PM
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Re: Event Machine Shops

I'm fairly confident that a capable machine shop for an event can fit in a road case if we're clever.

Something like this would be able to do most machining jobs needed at an event. I'm sure less expensive options can be found.

Other necessities off the top of my head:
  • Tap, Die, and Drill sets
  • Wrenches, screwdrivers, sockets, pliers, files
  • Band Saw
  • Belt sander
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Unread 07-26-2016, 01:03 PM
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Well, since I am the one who brought the original thread off-topic I guess I have to chime in

My list of essential tools is as follows:
[*]Band saw[*]Hand tools (wrenches, sockets, pliers, clamps, etc.)[*]Chop saw[*]Drill press[*]Manual mill[*]Manual lathe[*]TIG welder


The more basic tools (drill press, saws, etc.) are absolute musts and seem to be what we utilized the most with machine shop requests the last season. The other more advanced tools (mill, lathe, welder) are less frequently used but are needed for more advanced work. I would stay away from the combination machine tools, as most people I've spoken to about tools absolutely hate them and say it takes longer to use than stand-alone tools. For tooling I think the basics for each (an assortment of end mills, blades, etc.) would be sufficient.
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Unread 07-26-2016, 01:03 PM
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Re: Event Machine Shops

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ty Tremblay View Post
I'm fairly confident that a capable machine shop for an event can fit in a road case if we're clever.

Something like this would be able to do most machining jobs needed at an event. I'm sure less expensive options can be found.

Other necessities off the top of my head:
  • Tap, Die, and Drill sets
  • Wrenches, screwdrivers, sockets, pliers, files
  • Band Saw
  • Belt sander
I'd add a drill press. I also know that teams that weld like to have a welder, though I don't think welders are allowed at every venue. Overall, I'd say that teams want to have everything they would have in their shop (minus CNC things). So, being from a team without a mill or lathe, I personally think the only necessities are band saw, drill press, and sander. I'd also say that the hand tools are not necessary. Teams should be responsible for bringing their own or they can easily borrow those things from the 39 teams that did bring them.

Also, a small, but important thing is clamps and vises.
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Unread 07-26-2016, 01:25 PM
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Re: Event Machine Shops

Quote:
Originally Posted by frcguy View Post
I would stay away from the combination machine tools, as most people I've spoken to about tools absolutely hate them and say it takes longer to use than stand-alone tools.
For production, sure, but we're talking about quick fixes, cost, transportation, and storage space, all of which are at a premium for districts.

Welders can be difficult because you need someone capable of using one.

I made an incomplete list on Google Docs that we can work on.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...xVuavRDo/edit#
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Unread 07-26-2016, 01:26 PM
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Re: Event Machine Shops

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ty Tremblay View Post
...snip...
  • Tap, Die, and Drill sets
  • Wrenches, screwdrivers, sockets, pliers, files
  • Band Saw
  • Belt sander
  • Tap, Die, and Drill sets
  • Wrenches, screwdrivers, sockets, pliers, files
  • Band Saw (Ideally 1 wood and 1 metal)
  • Belt sander
  • Drill press
  • Table Vise & Clamp set

    Additionally nice to have
  • Arbor Press
  • Small lathe
  • Small Mill
  • Welder (TIG capable of Aluminum and/or steel)

    Also Nice to have:
  • aluminum 1x1 box and angle 1/8" and 1/16" wall
  • Steel shaft 1/2" and 3/8" round keyed, and 1/2" AND 3/8" HEX
  • Aluminum Plate 1/8"
  • Polycarb 1/8" and 1/16"
  • HDPE or UHMW 1/4"
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Unread 07-26-2016, 01:30 PM
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Re: Event Machine Shops

Our school provides the mobile machine shop at some Ontario events. The tools that is used the most is usually the lathe. After that is usually the bandsaw. Things like the arbor press, vice and drill press also come in handy but teams often bring their own and share.

Edit: I really believe a small lathe is essential. There's been numerous times where teams would not have been able to continue to compete without a access to a lathe due to a failed shaft in their drivetrain.
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Last edited by mman1506 : 07-26-2016 at 01:46 PM.
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Unread 07-26-2016, 01:42 PM
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Re: Event Machine Shops

Quote:
Originally Posted by IKE View Post
  • Also Nice to have:
  • aluminum 1x1 box and angle 1/8" and 1/16" wall
  • Steel shaft 1/2" and 3/8" round keyed, and 1/2" AND 3/8" HEX
  • Aluminum Plate 1/8"
  • Polycarb 1/8" and 1/16"
  • HDPE or UHMW 1/4"
Are there actually competitions where the machine shop has raw materials? In New England, your options are bring it, ask another team for it, or go to Home Depot.
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Unread 07-26-2016, 01:43 PM
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Re: Event Machine Shops

By far the most used tools in the NASA mobile machine shop from Ames are the belt/disc sander, vertical bandsaw, and drill press. After that I would guess mill, lathe, and welder.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ty Tremblay View Post
For production, sure, but we're talking about quick fixes, cost, transportation, and storage space, all of which are at a premium for districts.
Even for quick fixes at events these machines are truly awful. They are hard to use and are really awkward and just bad. Plus you lose the benefit of being able to have one person on the mill and one on the lathe.
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Unread 07-26-2016, 01:59 PM
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Re: Event Machine Shops

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory View Post
Even for quick fixes at events these machines are truly awful. They are hard to use and are really awkward and just bad. Plus you lose the benefit of being able to have one person on the mill and one on the lathe.
Thoroughly seconded. A drill/mill/lathe is not a drill press, a mill, or a lathe. It's a machine trying to cram all those functions into the space of one and as a result of supreme utility, it's ease of use and ability to function well suffers.
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Unread 07-26-2016, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ty Tremblay View Post
I made an incomplete list on Google Docs that we can work on.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...xVuavRDo/edit#

Thanks for making this! I've started to go through and add comments and tools.
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Unread 07-27-2016, 08:40 AM
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Re: Event Machine Shops

I can speak to this, NC FIRST has a 30 ft mobile machine shop trailer similar to the NASA trailers you see often at regional events.

We have a small mill, a lathe, a drill press, a welder, plasma cutter, chop saw, band saw, a 16 ton hydraulic arbor press, grinders, a compressor, hand tools, and associated tooling for those machines for FRC applications.

There is an installed lighting and an air system overhead as well.
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Unread 07-27-2016, 09:36 AM
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Re: Event Machine Shops

As we give thought to the essentials of a mobile machine shop, consider the strategic picture:

It's the skill base of the people using the machinery that cause the quality effect. A table top mill is nice, but if you keep drilling holes in the vise or the table or spin the part across the area because you're smart but ignorant in the use of the machine, nobody wins.

With an investment of this sort, care must be taken about who will care for the gear and organize the people who use it. The owners of the mobile shop need a say in who gets to use the gear, and staffed by volunteers that are officially part of the local event. Consider insurance and liability…

Another excellent example of a mobile shop is the one used in AZ the last couple of years. Well thought out by expert practitioners and staffed by skilled people. Outside the event itself a local supporter brought in his own mobile welding rig-they helped a lot of teams.

But back to skill. The whole FRC thing was organized because of the erosion of the national skill based due to attrition in the work force and abandonment by regular-day education of these skills. See again the first few minutes of this: https://vimeo.com/139506546

Thanks all for bringing the big picture back into focus.

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Unread 07-27-2016, 10:33 PM
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Re: Event Machine Shops

The pix are from the second AZ regional in 2016 at Grand Canyon University.

It's a very well organized steel table setup, with electricity wired in, air compressor chucks plumbed on, that's forklifted into the venue. Very impressive how much thought went into it. Don't know who keeps it operational in the off-season.

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Unread 07-28-2016, 12:43 AM
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Re: Event Machine Shops

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpetito View Post
The pix are from the second AZ regional in 2016 at Grand Canyon University.

It's a very well organized steel table setup, with electricity wired in, air compressor chucks plumbed on, that's forklifted into the venue. Very impressive how much thought went into it. Don't know who keeps it operational in the off-season.

Joe
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I definitely like the roll it in, plug-and-play bench set up. That thing is almost a road case type set up. One of the biggest advantages I can see is that anyone can rent a flat-bed/tilt-bed trailer for just the weekend cheaply and not need a permanent trailer with all that equipment set up inside. You could just have it be your normal shop set up and it goes with you.
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