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Old Wed 16 January 2013, 20:46
Just call me: Randy
Everett, WA
United States of America
What is a "skate"?

Okay, admitted newbie here,

So what is a "skate" and how does it work? As I see the build pics for this machine it seems that accurate surfaces are ground into what appears to be hot-rolled steel to provide Y axis guide rails. Is that correct? And it seems too that these ground ways are machined after the hot-rolled steel is bolted down and installed on the framework, correct?

I could use some detail on how this works. Maybe direct me to previous postings?

Has anyone tried Bishop-Wisecarver Dual Vee components instead of grinding soft steel for a Y slide? I have used these hardened components for less demanding work and surprisingly they do fine.

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Old Wed 16 January 2013, 22:17
Just call me: Charles
United States of America

The Skate is the orange metal jig attached to my grinder. The skate holds the grinder at a 45 degree angle. Then you attach sanding disks to the grinder and get busy for a few hours...

Total cost to make a set of rails for my table was less than $200 including steel and sanding disks.

I think I spent about $40 total buying the laser cut skate and also buying the misc bolts I needed to assemble it. I already had a grinder.

You can go with much more expensive preground rails if you want to... but you might want to try grinding your own rails. It is not as tough as it looks. Just take your time.

You have nothing to lose grinding your own rails. If you are unhappy with the cut quality or tolerances (a problem you do not see often here on the board) then you can still add high precision rails later... high precision rails that will be bolted in using the pre-ground rails as a mounting point (hence nothing wasted).

Use the search function here in the forum and you will find tons of great info on the topic of rail grinding.
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Last edited by shipbldr; Wed 16 January 2013 at 22:21..
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