I know, I know, a Mitutoyo Micrometer and Caliper set for US $60, shipping included, can’t be true. Chinese tools aren’t so bad, but these Mitutoyo chinese counterfeits are a joke.IMG_3106IMG_3107IMG_3110The mic doesn’t even look like the real one, and the caliper is the typical chinese cheap caliper (well, a little bit better may be, but not a Mitutoyo). The mic is usable, but I think the caliper needs some tweaking to make it a worth tool. The seller, jingshengyang2088, has a 99% positive feedback. Lesson learned.

Power Supplies

Are you searching for a new, cheap power supply for your CNC project? Well, here you have two options for a 24V / 8A supply.

supply-comp_2I bought Sonyang for $35 just here. I don’t remember how much I paid for the MW one, but for sure it was in the same range. So here are the guts, Sonyang on top, MW below.


Some things to point out:

  • Yellow plastic cover on MW is not well designed: can’t be fully opened (I will just remove it).
  • Soldered fuse on MW, socket fuse on Sonyang.
  • Dual output 24V terminal on MW; triple on Sonyang.
  • Way better output rectifier heatsink on Sonyang.
  • Overall larger components on Sonyang.

Of course a visual inspection of the boards doesn’t tell the full history, but to me, there’s a obvious choice.

Update: Second power supply brand is “Meang Wel”, not “Mean Well” as I thought. Real Mean Well power supplies seems to be a lot better.


Nema23 mounts

I’ve got these motor mounts from rattmmotor88 ebay seller for just $15.67 each one, shipping and hex screws included. Shipping was really fast (fedex), just eight days (I use to wait 30 to 50 days for items from china).


Packaging could be better; there are some scratches, but nothing you can’t fix with a file. Internal milling is great. External sanding finishing looks nice, but flatness is somewhat compromised; milling finishing for mounting surfaces would have been great. I don’t understand why they make motor recess 42mm diameter when it should be 38mm; anyway this is not a serious issue. Of course a critical parameter in these mounts is the space they add between motor and mount surface; 40mm in this case.

As this kind of mount allows a lot of play between leadscrew axis and motor axis, you should be careful every time you install X or Y motors, especially if you’ve got heavy motors and/or your couplings are “flexible type”.


Cheap chinese routers: will be worth? That’s the question (or was, for me). So here’s my new machine; well, just a frame. US $1040, shipping included. Here’s the link.

IMG_2862 IMG_2868 IMG_2872 IMG_2874 IMG_2875 IMG_2876 IMG_2877 IMG_2878 IMG_2879 IMG_2881 IMG_2882 IMG_2883 IMG_2887

I’d rather choose this machine instead the most popular chinese router (I have my reasons). You can search the complete machine by googling “CNC6040Z-D300 router”.

This was my first aliexpress experience. Seller was kindly, shipping really was fast, packaging could be better but was ok. No instructions, of course.

So here’s my first impression: solid parts, clean design, rough finishing. There are some  ugly faces on these parts, and sometimes it feels like you should really cross your fingers before attempting to assembly this thing. But of course, for this low price you CAN’T expect neat finishing, and most of this is just aesthetics, so it’s ok.

More info soon!

Things you don’t know you need

I’m quite tidy. But when I’m working, I should move from my chair to get any tool. So every tool I grasp ends on my table (because I’m too lazy to put it back), and after some days my work area turns into a mess, so later I should spend a lot of time putting everything in its place. But now I have this:


This is a really cool tool organizer: compact, cute, wheeled. Having your tools at hand, fast and easily, makes a difference. I’m in no way associated with Keter, and for sure there’re another brands similar products, but this is a great product.


After a almost three week home confinement because health issues (first my kid and then me) it’s great to take a travel through some hardware stores spread through the city. Yesterday was raining and today was sunny, so was a perfect day to walk. Here’s what I bought.


  • 6 mm two flute end mill. The size I most use. I ruin mine when it fell from my table; a small nick in some edge and say good bay to the good finish (I tried to resharpen it by hand… impossible).
  • 2 mm two flute end mill.
  • 3 mm two flute end mill.
  • 8 mm four flute end mill. As I understand two flute end mills works better for aluminum, but I use this size only for face/side milling and finishing, not for roughing.
  • 4mm tap set.  I have a set with one 4mm tap. But you always end up requiring the three set. Great Indian quality for the price.

Though usually I bought on eBay from sellers like NorthbayCuttingTools (great seller btw), there’s nothing as to look, touch and bought.

New Order Arrived is a cool site with a lot of tools and accessories for the hobbyist machinist. This time I ordered:

  • Boring Bar Set, Carbide 3/8" Shank $15.95
  • Knurls, Fine Diamond $5.49
  • Dial Test Indicator, 0-15-0 x 0.0005" $29.95
  • Small Hole Gage Set, 4-Piece $12.95
  • Dovetail Cutter, 60° 3/4" Diameter $14.95>
  • Cutting Fluid, Re-Li-On 4oz $3.95>
  • Thin Parallels, 3" Long 4 Pairs $14.95

Boring Bar Set

Boring bars allows to work internal holes in the lathe or the mill.

This set has high endurance carbide tips. The dirty grease is to protect the shafts, that needs to fit fairly tight in the lathe or mill support.


Mounted in a tool like scissors (there are other types), they make these pretty tiny rhombus finish some round handtools have.

Dial test indicator

This nice tool allows you to measure small deviations using a tiny ball end tip. A common use is to center the head of the mill to a piece with an already done hole, to enlarge or finish it.

Although cheap, doesn’t look bad. I wish to get a mitutoyo some day.

Small Hole Gage Set

This tools provide you a cheap method for measuring internal diameters. They has an expanding head, so you can copy the size of a hole an then measure it with a micrometer.

Well, I have to say that quality of this item is not very good. To be usable, I was to spend a couple hours with a file and sand paper (even one of the tips gets stuck). But for 13 bucks, you get what you pay for.

Dovetail Cutter

This type of end mill is used to cut these common”V” ways.

Tough it looks a bit rough, you will not find any cheaper, and looks great for occasional work.

Cutting Fluid

I usually use current oil (sometimes), but for harder materials a good cutting fluid would be a great help.

Thin Parallels

In pairs, these are usually used to rise a piece keeping parallelism to the base surface.

I took measures of every pair at two sides. This is the result:

A B Nominal
7/8″ 22.230-22.234 22.230-22.229 22,225
3/4″ 19.051-19.052 19.054-19.055 19,050
5/8″ 15.888-15.881 15.880-15.879 15,875
1/2″ 12.705-12.705 12.703-12.703 12,700

Not bad (parallelism is more important than nominal accuracy). The other sides are not very flat, but these are not supposed to be used. My only complaint: some box or bag would be great, as this type of tools must be handled and stored carefully (please note that my mic has 0.01 mm reading; the last digit was approximated by eye).OverallAll these are cheap tools, but fulfills in more or less grade the desired function. High quality tools will cost several times this ones; for example, a mitutoyo dial indicator will easily cost more than this whole pack. Also, as widely know, more importantly than the tool itself is how you use them.