Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cross-sectioning setup

My roommate Rob has a Unimat multipurpose machine tool which had been sitting around for a long time not being used for anything since we already have a full sized mill and lathe in our apartment shop.

We came up with the bright idea a few months ago of using it as a cross-sectioning saw by setting it up in the lathe configuration and putting a Dremel abrasive cut-off disk in the chuck. We then put the milling table on the carriage and clamped the workpiece to that. The end result is a tiny little abrasive-bladed cutoff saw, as used in most of my previous PCB/BGA cross section photos.

Unimat tool set up for cross-sectioning
The PVC plumbing visible in the background is part of our workbench dust-collection setup. A shop vac (off the left side of the frame on the floor) sucks through a 2.5" pipe with a bunch of T connectors on it. Each T is then necked down to 1.25" and has a ball valve before going out to an overhanging arm which is press-fit (rather than solvent welding as used for the permanent parts) together and connected with screw unions in critical spots.

The end result is that we can position each arm directly over the location of the cut and turn on suction for that intake only.

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