The "Jester" Milling Machine

Aluminum Mold Cutting Machine
        The "Jester" was a personal challenge. I gave the name "Jester" to that voice in my head that says what if?  When I was younger I was fascinated by people who built machines out of simple easy to find materials. The one thing that bothered me was their plans always required welding or a home foundry.  So as I got older I put my thoughts into designing things that are Cheap, Simple and Easy to make without welding, a home foundry or a complete machine shop.  The "Jester" is the result of that kind of thinking.
          If you surf the Internet you will find people who have used inepensive square steel tubing. I bought my tubing at my local home center. After looking it over I saw quickly why they had poor results. Welding this stuff is a big mistake, it bends when it gets hot. It also has other problems.  I found a way to work around these problems.
         This project was built in order to see how much machine was needed to cut aluminum and to test routers and spindles. I learned several important and not so obvious things. There are more expensive materials I could have used. I decided to really keep things cheap and simple. Most of the machine was made with a hacksaw-drillpress and belt sander.
         I set out to cut aluminum at 1/16 deep and 1/8" at 6". I never bothered to get a 1/8" collet for the Porter Cable so I did my tests with a 1/4" bit. Lets just say my jaws dropped when I saw what this machine can do. This project is not for beginners. Although it is simple and cheap to make it requires the use of calipers and the know how to use them.
          The booklet is a 29 page step by step build. When I say 1" Square Steel Tubing, Angle Iron,Roller Blade Bearings,PVC,Delrin you have to know where to find these materials and how to work with them. This project is not for a beginner. Check out my other mills if your are a beginner. This project can also be taken further by using a better leadscrew and aluminum instead of some of the PVC parts. This booklet is $36 and it is only sold to the US and Canada!

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