• Frame Holder for '95-'96 Atlas GP7/9 N Frames....

    I clearance most of my frames for decoder installs by hand with a Dremel tool and a carbide cutting bit. Not quite as pretty as using a mill but for me faster and usually not much material needs to be removed. I've found that doing sound decoder installs at times I need about all the room I can create, especially if I want to use a 9x16mm speaker and enclosure. I like the sound from the larger speaker so use it if I can otherwise an 8x12 mm might be what needs to be used.

    I have a 6 speed mill/drill that is plenty large enough to mill frames but you control the vertical depth of cuts with the spindle. It has a wheel for adjustments in the thousands but with my larger Bridgeport clone mill I can make vertical adjustment with the knee where the whole table goes up and down. It is also variable speed so has more flexibility in that regard. It is very accurate and easy to use so prefer using it for frame milling.

    The negative is that it has an 8 inch vise on it. When you tighten the vise and grip something small and delicate like a N scale frame it is hard to feel how hard you are pressing on the frame. So far I haven't ruined one with the vise but feel kind of lucky in that regard. With that in mind I decide to see how a 3D printer frame holder might work in the vise.

    It took a couple hours to design using the free version of Fusion 360 and about 4 more hours to print using the Ender 3 Pro. I love it and will probably make some for other frames also. The filament print has more 'squish' to it than say a metal holder. The frame lays in the holder and the holder lays on top of the vise. So basically no setup required. Put the frame in the holder and the holder in the vise and you are ready to mill right away. I tighten the vise just to the point where the holder and frame don't slide in the vise. The holder grips the frame and using a small bit there is no movement. I also have a resin printer but felt the filament print might be a better option as it is more flexible than a resin print but maybe try one if that is the only printer your have.

    Let's move onto the pictures showing using it....









    I have the print files up on my thingiverse.com account ( HERE ).

    If you print and use the frame holder and find out that it works for other frames please let me know at ( login (at) 1fatgmc (dot) com.