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oldtoolsniper
03-11-2009, 12:44 PM
Adventures in top punch making. Having two craftsman 109 metal lathes of which I have no idea how to use. I decided to make a top punch for a swc cast boolit. I am pretty good on a wood lathe and having turned a lot of pens and other wood objects I thought to myself, how hard can this be? With a wood lathe I grab a chunk of firewood, generally find close to center, chuck it up and turn to round. Itís simple to do. With this in mind, I dig through my metal lathe parts; I have a three jaw scroll chuck and three four jaw non-scroll chucks. I have some 5/8Ē bar stock so it should be a simple matter to chuck up a piece of bar stock in the three jaw scroll chuck and go to town. After twenty minutes of trying to get the bar stock centered I am beginning to realize why machinistsí get paid what they do. It seems as though a machinist must know how to use all of these tools, understand what tool cuts what way, know what speed to cut, what angle the tool must be in relation to the object being machined, understand all the gears and levers on the machine and keep all of this in perfect harmony to get that perfect fit. I suppose that knowing how to measure and read blueprints would come in handy as well. Four arms, six hands, and a brain that would put Einstein to shame would be helpful. This is just for a hobby lathe. I canít imagine the requirements for a real lathe.

The four jaw non scrolling chucks must be the answer, after all I do have three and there must be a reason why the previous owner had three. If I have three of anything itís because it really works, two are broken and the third is getting ready to, or I got them at auction for a really good price. After trying to put my bar stock in one of these I am convinced the previous owner got them at a really good price. I think they were made to convince people like me who want to try and make their own parts, not to ever try. Four independent jaws adjusted by an allen wrench individually to center around piece of bar stock canít be that hard, can it? I know why machinistsí organize and color code everything they own. I understand why the groceries are stacked in alphabetical order by the size of the can in the cupboards. I get why they look and dress like Einstein, itís the world they live in. By the time I got that thing down to an 1/8Ē out of true I was proud. I have heard stories about machinistsí being able to chuck up a round piece to within a thousandth of an inch of run out with one of those wretched tools. I believe they reside with Unicorns, Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster. I went upstairs to bed hoping the lathe fairy would come and properly chuck my bar stock while I slept.

I spent the night under my magic blanket protected from the monsters that live under my bed. I awoke happy to see I had survived with my arms and legs still attached. The monsters under my bed went hungry again, thanks to the powers of my magic blanket. The blankets are sold next to the Shamwows in Wal-Mart.

After some coffee I snuck up on the lathe to see, Dang it! The lathe fairy did not come and I was on my own. I am not one to give up so easily, so I put the tailstock in position, picked out a pointy looking cutter thing, placed it the tool holder, moved it into position and flipped the switch. This whole contraption is bolted to a rather large solid steel welding table I built, itís heavy. I stared in amazement as the table began bouncing flinging tools, oilcans and everything else onto the floor in a matter of seconds. I shut her down. Mental note to self; big pulley on motor to little pulley on lathe equals really fast, combine this with poor stock centering and you have a large, violently, vibrating shell cleaner on your hands. Those top punches are looking mighty cheap at this point.

I switch the pulley; itís now small to large and attempt more allen wrench adjustments. I am ready to flip the switch again. Should I get one of those catchersí chest plates and a riot helmet with shield or just rely on my cat like reflexes to protect me? Here kitty, kitty. I flip the switch and things are much better, I am down to a gentle shaking and since my hands are shaking the exact opposite, we cancel each other out. Now I only need to control the forward, reverse, left to right, right to left, screw feed, and two depth of cut dials and I will have it. Do I need to oil like when I drill iron or steel? I will hold the oil can in my teeth. Itís a good thing my head is shaved for my hair will not be ripped from my head; nose hair and ear hair are properly pinned back after all I am over 40 and they both grow about a foot each night.

I flip down the screw drive lever and the tool holder begins to move in the opposite direction of the headstock. I now know what is reverse and what is forward, back in the forties they were not required to divulge such secrets, even the belts were left exposed because real mean donít need no safeties. I am now going in the right direction. Exposed belt spinning, gears whirring, the table and I shaking as one, I am now on my way to saving $8.69.

Having the stock not on center causes cutting only on the closest edge, you donít need to be a rocket scientist to figure that out. The question is, will it be big enough in diameter to make a punch by the time it is turned down to round. Algebra was simple to me X= 24 abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz, itís the 24th letter in the alphabet, I keep using that formula and for some reason it keeps failing me. I am persistent and perhaps the algebra fairy will someday come, in the meantime I will continue with scientific wild *** guesses. (SWAGís) I did good, it will be big enough.

Now what are all of these cutters ground to different profiles for? Some of them cut, some of them smoke, and some of the just cause the belt to slip. You should note two things here. Number one machinists know these things and that knowledge is what you are really paying for. Number two, used lathes are like rental cars, you never know what the moron driving it before you did to it, so pay accordingly.

Eight hours and lots of smoke later I have a punch. I charge $30.00 an hour for animal damage control work so using math for Marines that $8.69 punch is worth $240.00. I did save $8.69 so if I sell them at $300.00 each I could make a profit.

What did I learn?

I am not going into the top punch making business anytime soon.
I will no longer cringe at the thought of paying $18.99 for a lube sizer die. Do you know how much knowledge it requires to make them? I do, and hopefully after reading this you do to.

I will support fully those folks on this forum who make dies and such for those of us who need them. They are doing us a huge favor. I thank each and every one of you.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/oldtoolsniper/toppunch004.jpg

Recluse
03-11-2009, 01:04 PM
I am not going into the top punch making business anytime soon.
I will no longer cringe at the thought of paying $18.99 for a lube sizer die. Do you know how much knowledge it requires to make them? I do, and hopefully after reading this you do to.

Marines have always been gluttons for punishment. [smilie=1:

I hear ya. I've tried making/fabricating a few of my own pieces and tools. After a day or two or sweating, swearing, grunting and groaning, having the telphone in one hand and credit card in the other wasn't nearly so painful.

(Looks like it turned out okay--I just don't see any indentation for the nose. . . You WERE going to do a little beveling inside and have an inverse conical shape for .45 acp round nose boolits--one that was going to match up perfectly with the ogive, right? You're just taking a little break at the moment before you go back, right?[smilie=1:)

:coffee:

454PB
03-11-2009, 01:18 PM
If you know a machinist, or even a hobbyist that has used a lathe, buy some beer and invite him over. It's amazing what an hour or two can answer. And....invest in a magnetic base dial indicator.

oldtoolsniper
03-11-2009, 01:24 PM
That was for a wad cutter. I don't even want to consider some kind of profile.

I am now attempting a homemade lube heater.

The brass tumbler out of a bread machine hasn't work so well yet either! I wonder if the heat element will make a lead smelter.

Willbird
03-11-2009, 02:35 PM
It is almost always hilarious to watch a person the first time they try to indicate a part in true in a 4 jaw or the first time they try to level a machine :-).

Some folks never seem to master the process, and a few do not grasp that you must LOOSEN one jaw and tighten the other jaw, so they cruch anything that is not solid.

The neophyte machine levelers almost always end up with the machine as high in the air as the jack screws will allow(and no more level than when they started), again a failure to ever see taking away as a solution rather than adding :-).

Many parts of things that go on every day we never pay any attention to. For example most carpenters know a wall needs to be a certain height so the siding will fit, and the windows need to be a certain distance up from the bottom, again so the siding will fit :-). But when a machinist reads that in a book he goes "hey that's COOL" hehe.

Bill

leftiye
03-11-2009, 03:50 PM
Lossa machinists here, we all would probly be glad to answer your questions. Ya got any dial gauges on magnetic stands?

oldtoolsniper
03-11-2009, 03:52 PM
indicating true? leveling the machine? I missed that in my two page 109 lathe instructions. man, now I have to go to the free book place and read.

Sprue
03-11-2009, 04:13 PM
Harbor Freight is your friend -sometimes.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?itemnumber=05645&Submit=Go

Also look at the top right hand corner, of the same page.

BPCR Bill
03-11-2009, 04:28 PM
I was thinking of buying a lathe or mill combination, but I haven't done machine work since high school. Thanks for getting that idea out of my head. Your adventure was sobering, yet hilarious! Think I'll just go to the home brew store and start that as a hobby. At least I'll have a fall back plan after a bad day at the range.

Regards,
Bill

IcerUSA
03-11-2009, 04:51 PM
A 3 jaw scroll chuck shouldn't be that far out unless the jaws are not in the right order or it has been crashed once too many times .

Check to make sure that the jaws are in the right slots , each jaw and slot should have some kind of matching system on them (numbers 1 2 3 , 1 dot 2 dots 3 dots) or something of that nature .

Otherwise the chuck jaws needs to be reground to get it centered and that usually means having a tool post grinder .

When you start a project that you are going to use the live center on first chuck the stock close to the chuck and face it off , then use a center drill to drill the relief hole and a small chamfer for the centers angled surfaces to mate too .
Helps keep the part a little straighter .

Go to your locale library and see if they have a basic lathe operating book and read it . Even a good lathe operator had to learn what he's doing . :)

Hang in there and you will get it , any time you are turning that lathe on you are going to be in learn mode for awhile and it does get easier as it goes .

Keith

oldtoolsniper
03-11-2009, 06:02 PM
sprue... that's the price of two top punches.. I need more tools to save money.

Bill... I am a slow learner after all I was a Marine for 23 years

Icer... found an old book and I am discovering what and why those tools are made the way they are. I never noticed those numbers on that chuck. That is broke down to “Potato Head “ just like I like it!
Thanks you guys!

jdgabbard
03-11-2009, 06:10 PM
I'll have you know, you made me laugh for the first time today.

While I have never run a lathe or mill, I have thought about buying one from time to time. Luckily I am fortunate to have several friends that know how to use them.

One time I had taken my Ruger SP-101 completely apart to give in an inside to outside cleaning, and to re-lube the friction surfaces inside the wheely. Well when I decided to put it back together I tried "forcing" the trigger guard assemply back into the frame. I heard a "pop" and a little pin-head of metal fell out. I looked for 15 minutes before I finally found out where it came from. It was the little guide pin that sits on top of the spring for the pawl with rides in a little hole in the trigger. "Crap!" Cause I just knew Ruger was going to charge $40-50 for this little dinky thing. What did I do? I grabbed my dremel (I was at my apartment in the city away from my shop), a worn out drill bit, and a file. 30 minutes later, and a little bit of polishing with sandpaper and I had a part that look 95% perfect. Never had a issue with it working.

Lesson? Sometimes simpler is better. Should have used a electric drill and a file ;)

EDIT: Btw, top punch looks great. Hope it works good too.

trevj
03-11-2009, 06:43 PM
One of many rules to live by.

"Everything is easy, when you know how!"

I've met enough guys that were too dumb to be Marines ( :D ) that were able to learn how to run a machine tool or two, to think that a guy with a little interest can't work through most of the hurdles.

Dig around online, and see if you can come up with a download of the South Bend Lathe Co. book, called "How to Run a Lathe". Great book, covers a lot of basic info. Sometimes abbreviated as "HTRAL". New reprints of older versions of this book are available for less than $10, and truly represent a bargain!

I second the notion that you hook up with someone that can show you a few things. Stuff that could take hours to explain, can be made clear in a two minute demo. Like centering stuff in a four-jaw! Really easy. When you know!

See what the public library has to offer. Ask around if you know any school teachers, see if you can borrow a shop text. The one I recommend most is called Technology of Machine Tools, by Krar. New, it runs about $75 or so. Buy used! Lots of great info therein.

With the correct tool holder and rest, you can turn metal almost the same way wood is turned, just slower. Watchmakers and Jewellers have been doing it for a long time! Works best with brass, but steel is quite possible this way too.

Cheers
Trev

Echo
03-11-2009, 07:23 PM
"Pointy cutter thing" - I love it!

We had a little shop in the garage when I was a kid. Logan 9" quick-change, drill press, and grinder. Made some stuff, including a mouthpiece for my trombone and a plastic gear-shift knob. Would kinda be nice to have that rig here, now.

jhrosier
03-11-2009, 08:04 PM
That's the best story that I've read in a long time.
Maybe you should write short stories and buy loading gear with the proceeds.

"Endevor to persevere."

It's no more complicated than casting boolits.
(Sorry, I was trying to encourage you.:) )

BTW, the guy that I was working with today centered a half ton part in a 48" 4-jaw chuck within 0.0005" in about ten minutes. He could have done it faster without my help.

Jack

Catshooter
03-11-2009, 08:06 PM
oldtoolsniper,

That was funny, thank you.

What part of Iowa do y'all live in? Are you near me in south east South Dakota?


Cat

Willbird
03-11-2009, 08:28 PM
sprue... that's the price of two top punches.. I need more tools to save money.

Bill... I am a slow learner after all I was a Marine for 23 years

Icer... found an old book and I am discovering what and why those tools are made the way they are. I never noticed those numbers on that chuck. That is broke down to “Potato Head “ just like I like it!
Thanks you guys!


Well it is more that the jaws go into the chuck in order, than the fact that they are in the slot marked the same as the jaw. I have used a few chucks that the numbers had been surface ground off after many years of truing them up.

You line your jaws up 1, 2, 3...then you run the scroll around so it's start is at slot number 1, myself I take it past...push the jaw against it, then back the scroll up until it the jaw "clicks" down....then advance the scroll to slot #2 and put jaw #2 in, and finally jaw #3 (on up to #6 of you have a 6 jaw)

It can be a laugh watching a guy who THINKS he knows how it works and keeps trying and trying.....I was that kid and my dad was the one laughing many years ago.

Bill

sleeper1428
03-11-2009, 09:00 PM
When I retired from my career as an anesthesiologist and finally got down to some serious shooting and casting of boolits, I decided that I'd like to know how to use some of those neat machines that are found in machine shops. So I took a year and a half of machine shop practice at our local community college, a course that was taught by a gentleman who was also a well respected gunsmith. Since that time I've picked up an old (early 1970s) Sears Craftsman 10" lathe and a well used but nice mill/drill comb and since then I've been able to fabricate many of the items that I would have normally have had to purchase. But after doing all of this, I have to suggest to you that if you want to avoid ulcers, don't spend too much time figuring out how much some small item that you've just made actually would have cost if billed at your normal per hour rate. You'll probably never be able to justify your machine tool purchases so just enjoy the fact that you are able to produce workable items and have a good time doing so!

If I can suggest a good book, try "Machine Tool Practices" by Kibbe, Neely, Meyer and White and published by Prentice Hall. Cost me $75 new for my classes but I'm sure you can get it used for a LOT less.

Keep 'turning and burning' but just don't forget that you NEVER EVER leave the chuck lock wrench in the chuck!! There were two holes in the ceiling of the Community College machine shop where chuck wrenches had made their forceful exit after having been left in chucks when the machine was started. Could just as easily have been the operator's chest or someone else's back so be really careful, almost to the point of being paranoid, about the chuck wrench.

Ian Robertson
03-11-2009, 09:01 PM
Making nose punches is very easy. Put a piece in a three jaw, turn the outside (easy) to fit the press. Drill and or bore a recess in the nose oversize for the projectile in question. Put the punch in the press, put release agent on the bullet, mix up some epoxy of whatever you might have and apply. Drop the punch on the nose and when cured take it apart and clean up the mess. Perfect nose punch every time! You can even do it will a drill instead of a lathe if you are careful.

Flash
03-11-2009, 09:10 PM
A 4 jaw chuck is relatively easy to center with a dial indicator. If the distance between the high spot and the low spot, as it rotates, is .300. You losen the jaw on the low end and tighten the jaw on the high end. You only tighten the high end 1/4 turn at a time and rotate the chuck. Watch the dial indicator as the chuck turns and repeat the process until the work is centered. The cutters are for right hand cuts, left hand cuts, parting cuts, etc. I wish I had two of those lathes. I've been kicking the idea of getting one around for quite sometime.

jhrosier
03-11-2009, 09:34 PM
A 4 jaw chuck is relatively easy to center with a dial indicator.....

When I was in high school machine shop, a looong time ago, we were taught that any decent craftsman could center a piece of stock within a couple of thousandths without an indicator.

You touch the high side with the tip of the cutter, turn the chuck 180 degrees and touch the low side while using the marks on the cross slide dial to measure the difference. Back off half the difference and move the stock to touch the tool.
You might have to do this a couple or three times before the stock runs true.
Once you get the hang of it, you can get it done in a couple of minutes.

We also learned how to use a shaper, drill press, figure feeds and speeds for cutting, and do heat treating. Of course, I had to give up a Latin class to take machine shop, so I can't converse with Latinos fer beans.:roll:

Jack

oldtoolsniper
03-11-2009, 09:57 PM
I really appreciate all of the advice. Since I am retired I have lots of time to get myself in trouble and I am pretty good at it.

I better not tell you all about the log splitter I made from an old lawn mower and some stuff I found in a grove I was trapping the skunks out of.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/oldtoolsniper/Roy-Skunk.jpg

jhrosier
03-11-2009, 10:11 PM
...

I better not tell you all about the log splitter I made from an old lawn mower and some stuff I found in a grove I was trapping the skunks out of....

Do you happen to watch the Red Green Show?

Jack

oldtoolsniper
03-11-2009, 10:17 PM
Do you happen to watch the Red Green Show?

Jack

Never heard of it

oldtoolsniper
03-11-2009, 10:23 PM
oldtoolsniper,

That was funny, thank you.

What part of Iowa do y'all live in? Are you near me in south east South Dakota?


Cat

I am in North central North Iowa

xr650
03-11-2009, 10:34 PM
Thanks for the laugh man.

Remember when you are indicating your part, there are two sides of the part. The indicator only reads one side. If your TIR(total indicator reading) is .300" ,as mentioned above, do not move the high side more than .150".

I could tell you stories about teaching dialing in a 4 jaw all night long.
I had one guy that worked on dialing in a piece of material for an hour or so. Came an told me he had it. He had all four jaws within .005" of zero, but 3 rotations of the dial off. I hadn't told him the needle needed to be on the same rotation.

I've had new folks tell me how easy machining looks by watching experienced machinists. They sing a different song when they start learning.

Keep trying and asking for advise. Lots of folks here with the knowlege.

HeavyMetal
03-11-2009, 10:51 PM
When I wanted to get started as a "machineist" I went to my local college and found the adult ed section. In it they had a basic machinery class that started you out as a know nothing and worked you up from there.

Class was 4 hours a Sat. for 8 weeks. What a blast! Many of the class members had been going to it for years while some, as I was , were complete newbie's!

The teacher started us all with safety and progressed to hand grinding our cutting tools and then to demonstration of how the controlls worked. 3 Sat. and we were cutting metal!

Be advised these old school teachers have had enough chuck keys thrown at them that they will not hesitate to throw them back with force! If you find a class do not make the mistake of leaving a Chuck Key in the machine! You can pretty much break anything but that is the ultimate NO NO!
I took the class for 2 years and still have much to learn but have recieved enough education that I can figure most of the simple stuff out on my own.

It's not that hard but you do need the help to get rolling.

Good Luck.

Recluse
03-11-2009, 10:56 PM
I was trapping the skunks out of.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/oldtoolsniper/Roy-Skunk.jpg

Thought you said you were trapping skunks. Looks like you snagged the White House Chief of Staff in that picture. Or wait, is that Speaker Pelosi. . . hard to tell seein' as how they both look so similar. Just glad you were wearing gloves. [smilie=1:

:coffee:

garandsrus
03-11-2009, 11:12 PM
Great story that I can relate to. I took a machine shop class and then bought a lathe. It is still a learning experience.

Wait till you try threading for the first time and need to change the gears!

John

Recluse
03-11-2009, 11:19 PM
Great story that I can relate to. I took a machine shop class and then bought a lathe. It is still a learning experience.

Wait till you try threading for the first time and need to change the gears!

John

You guys that are artists with machine tools have my awe and respect. I'm okay to decent (at times) with my woodworking tools and shop, but working with metal has always been a struggle.

Lead is about as challenging of a metal/alloy as I can take at times. Maybe when I get fully retired I might try some metal working. I really need to learn how to weld--have some projects around the house and such in which that particular skill would come in real handy.

:coffee:

waksupi
03-11-2009, 11:49 PM
Oldtoolsniper, being in north central Iowa, you might want to make a road trip north, to Hector, Minnesota. Drive up Main Street, and find Lange's Machine Shop. Bob is an old time machinist, who can make anything from a watch screw, to a cannon. I believe he is currently re-building an old steam engine in the shop.

Bret4207
03-12-2009, 07:17 AM
Thought you said you were trapping skunks. Looks like you snagged the White House Chief of Staff in that picture. Or wait, is that Speaker Pelosi. . . hard to tell seein' as how they both look so similar. Just glad you were wearing gloves. [smilie=1:

:coffee:

Stop with the hate speech!!! No skunk on earth was ever as bad those things you mention!:mrgreen:


OTS- Must be a Marine thing, you write like I do. "Math for Marines"! I took that one and a few others too, had to take a couple courses for promotion didn't we? It's been a long time.

Keep playing with the lathe. I have an Atlas 6' lathe which I believe is nearly the same as your Craftsman. There are at least a couple websites devoted to these lathes, tooling for them and using them. Whatever you do, don't succumb to the temptation to buy carbide tooling for the little lathes, at least not the inexpensive Harbor Freight/Grizzly type. The tool posts just aren't rigid enough to work well with carbide. Nice sharp HSS is whats wanted. BTW- for a top punch try a nice soft bolt. Save that square stock for better purposes.

Well, I'm off to Walmart to find my Magic Blanket. I'll pick up a Sham-wow while I'm there.......

oldtoolsniper
03-12-2009, 10:31 AM
Whatever you do, don't succumb to the temptation to buy carbide tooling for the little lathes, at least not the inexpensive Harbor Freight/Grizzly type. The tool posts just aren't rigid enough to work well with carbide.

How did you know what I was thinking? must be a Marine thing.

dubber123
03-12-2009, 01:20 PM
I wish I had read this earlier, it's the funniest damn thing I have seen in a while! I am picking up my first lathe in 2 days, maybe thats why I got such a laugh out of it....

Willbird
03-12-2009, 03:30 PM
http://www.grizzly.com/catalog/2009/Main/598

The G7028 and the G7031 as well as the G7030.

As far as carbide tools go, these ones here came included with my Grizzly G4003 lathe, they work very nicely and the inserts are only $10 for 5 inserts. They are a positive/positive insert. They are some of the first inserted carbide tools I have seen work decent on a smaller lighter duty lathe.

The G7030 inserts have far too large of a nose radius for threading, the chinee missed the boat there unless you are cutting 4 threads per inch.

Bill

snaggdit
03-13-2009, 02:07 AM
Thanks for the laugh! I remember in college many years ago taking a Materials and Processes class. Half the class was spent working with metals, the rest with plastics. I still have the aluminum exacto knife I made somewhere. I don't recall it being really hard, but we were turned loose on set up machines, with set up tools and parts. I do recall really loving it, though. Yeah, we had to learn tool speed, feed rates, all that stuff you forget as soon as the class is over. I, too, have been thinking about a lathe and mill for awhile. One thing at a time...

JIMinPHX
03-13-2009, 03:44 AM
If you're just starting out with a lathe, then the first thing that you really need to get the hang of is setting your tool heights correctly. The tools should be set about .003"-.005" below the spindle center. A little lower is OK, but then you can't face all the way into center of a piece of stock when making a cut. If you set the tools too high, then they rub against the work instead of cutting it. That is a good way to make some smoke. The first thing that I do when I get a new lathe is to make a center height gage for it. That way you can set the height of a tool without taking your work out of the chuck. Basically, you get a tool set to the correct height, then take a measurement from the bed ways of the machine to the tool tip & cut a piece of 1/2" round bar to that exact length with nicely faced ends. Then mark it so that you don't confuse it with a random piece of stock & go make top punches out of it by mistake later. ;-)

As for centering chucks, there are two basic families of chucks, Universal & Independent. The universal is probably what you are describing as a scroll chuck. All the jaws move at the same time when you turn the chuck key. The universal chucks should line up on center within a thousandth or two all by them selves. You can tap them in with a brass hammer to get them perfect if they come up that close by themselves. If they don't come up that close & you have the right jaws in the right slots, then you either need to replace the jaws, regrind the jaws, recut the backing plate or fiddle with the adjust-tru gizmo if it has one. It really needs to be done. An off center chuck is not a good thing to have.

If you have an independent chuck (each jaw moves by itself), then truing up stock is a regular occurrence. You probably got 3 of those because nobody wanted them. If you never do off center work, like on a mold block or a cam or a crank, then those things are just a big pain in the back side for no reason. One quick trick to truing them up quickly, is to cut a series of concentric circles on the face of the chuck. That way you have a visual reference of where to start each jaw. If your chuck doesn't already have concentric circles, then just take the jaws off & cut a few shallow grooves in the face every 1/4" or so. The exact distance doesn't matter, but try to keep the spacing even so that it looks reasonably good.

After that you need to learn how to grind the proper clearance angles & tool tip radius on your cutting tools. Then you need to learn the proper feed rates & spindle speeds for the different cuts you want to take with different tools in different materials. That's something that you need a book for. South Bend used to make a good basic lathe manual. I think it's out of print now, but there were zillions of them floating around 40 years ago. You can probably still find one on flea-bay or one of the used book websites.

Good luck with that thing.

Jim

Buckshot
03-13-2009, 04:43 AM
...........Most machining is pretty straightforward and logical. Anything you attempt to do has been done before and there may be 4 ways to end up with what you want. It's just that one way takes 10 minutes and 2 tools, and does NOT require you to hang upside down from the rafters while doing it, like maybe 2 of the other ways would.

Just look at what you want to do, have a cup of coffee and think about it for a few moments. Four jaw chucks have been mentioned, with several ways to get a part running true without taking all day to do it. I made a simple setup tool. Take a piece of 3/8" rod and cut a shallow taper on one end. This is for something you chuck up with a hole though it. Put the rod in the chuck of your tailstock, then run it up to the work in the chuck.

The human MkI ModI eyeball is a pretty nifty measureing device, especially if there is something to compare to. In this case the hole in the object in the chuck and the reference is the tapered point. You can dial in the 4 jaw in a jiffy to within a couple thousandths. Now you can run a dial or test indicator on it and only have a couple thousandths to take out. BTW, if you wondered about those radial grooves machined into the face of the 4 jaw? They're actually there as a referance you can use (if chucking something round) to compare jaw position. Nowadays I think they put them on more as a tradition then any other reason, as there may only be 3 or 4 of the grooves.

There are however a million tips and tricks. One tip. When you use the tailstock to hold a drill bit, reamer, or anything else that's supposed to be on center, do this: Insert the bit and with your hand roll the sleeve of the chuck closed gently while rotating the drill with your other hand. One thing it does is to make sure you don't clamp down on a piece of swarf. This can cock the bit. Secondly (and especially important for small bits) it makes sure the shank is between all three jaws and not offset between just 2.

....................Buckshot

Bret4207
03-13-2009, 06:47 AM
I forgot to mention- you can get scads of lathe books at www.lindsaybks.com You can also get the Atlas info off the web, most of it anyway.

Willbird
03-13-2009, 08:40 AM
When I want to center a tool I just lightly pinch a 6" scale between the tool and the work, if the tool is on center the 6" scale will be perfectly vertical.

Buckshots post brings something up, that being a tool for centering a prick punch mark in the lathe.

http://homemetalshopclub.org/projects/pmpcntr/pmpcntr.html

Some folks call it a "pump center" and lots of older guys call it a "dog pecker"

I have a very old one that is only 1/4" in dia and about 6" long.

Quite a few people simple make their own.

Bill

garandsrus
03-13-2009, 09:16 AM
Wilbird,

I read the page at the link but still don't know how to use it! Can you provide some more information? The picture didn't help much.

John

oldtoolsniper
03-13-2009, 11:07 AM
Now I have to learn to measure and read blueprints too?

Bret4207
03-13-2009, 07:08 PM
Now I have to learn to measure and read blueprints too?

Steady lad, breath deep, it'll be okay. Now, this is a rule... no!, no! it doesn't go in your nose!....:mrgreen:

winshooter
03-13-2009, 07:44 PM
One of many rules to live by.

"Everything is easy, when you know how!"


See what the public library has to offer. Ask around if you know any school teachers, see if you can borrow a shop text. The one I recommend most is called Technology of Machine Tools, by Krar. New, it runs about $75 or so. Buy used! Lots of great info therein.

I found this on the internet....definitely buy used if new runs $75.00

http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?kn=Technology+of+Machine+Tools%2C+by +Krar&sts=t&x=16&y=9

Mike

codgerville@zianet.com
03-13-2009, 10:08 PM
Enco has some very good books on machine set-up and operation, and at good prices. I still have my copy of "How to run a Lathe" from South Bend Lathe. It was printed in 1944 and is gradually coming apart. Re-prints are available for $8 to $10. My 9"x 36" South Bend was shipped from the factory in Sept. 1946, and is still going strong. By the way, for those who are not already machinists, it is ADDICTIVE! Almost as bad as reloading.

Buckshot
03-14-2009, 03:34 AM
Wilbird,

I read the page at the link but still don't know how to use it! Can you provide some more information? The picture didn't help much.

John

..............The work clamped in the 4 jaw has a punch mark that needs centering up so it can be drilled. The pump center allows a bit of rotary motion. Plus the design shown in the link has a spring to 'load' the point into the punchmark. You can rotate the chuck by hand to watch the rod move and correct with the chuck jaws, until movement is barely perceptable.

At that point you can then set your test indicator on the rod to dial out the last thousandth, or fractions of a thousandth. The spring loaded feature also protects the unit from off axis runout if the piece isn't perpendicular to the spindle's axis.

Off the subject but related, if the face of the work is supposed to be flat and perpendicular, put a brass rod in the toolpost with a dab of grease on the end (the end should be rounded). Then slowly move it up to bear on the face of the spinning work, and it will soon be running true. The chuck jaws should be snug but not tight.

.................Buckshot

rbuck351
03-14-2009, 04:00 AM
I'm needing a 4jaw for my craftsman if your interested in getting rid of one.

qajaq59
03-14-2009, 08:21 AM
I'm of the opinion that machinists, like singers, are born to it. I have a brother who could literally build a whole rifle from scratch if he felt like it. While I couldn't make a square piece of stock round if I had the best lathe ever built. I out shine him when it comes to electronics however, so I guess we all get something. :mrgreen:

Bret4207
03-14-2009, 08:42 AM
I'm of the opinion that machinists, like singers, are born to it. I have a brother who could literally build a whole rifle from scratch if he felt like it. While I couldn't make a square piece of stock round if I had the best lathe ever built. I out shine him when it comes to electronics however, so I guess we all get something. :mrgreen:

Lotta truth in that qajaq- I can weld, hammer or otherwise mutilate metal and wood into most anything I want, but when it comes to anything beyond simple wiring or soldering wires together I get lost real easy.:(

JIMinPHX
03-14-2009, 02:24 PM
Now I have to learn to measure and read blueprints too?

I'll start you with an easy one. ;-)

oldtoolsniper
03-14-2009, 03:28 PM
I'll start you with an easy one. ;-)

How did you know what I was looking for! I was going to ask if there were drawings of top punches anywhere.

I am assuming that this formula will work for all of the sizing dies with the end configuration changed based on boolit nose type.
1018 is the type of steel?

I am glad I am not married for you all are steering me down a dark path.

JIMinPHX
03-14-2009, 03:41 PM
1018 is a common mild steel that is also called "cold roll". It usually has a green paint mark on the end to identify it. You can get it in 3 foot lengths at Home Depot or many hardware stores. If you see stuff with a red mark on the end, that is probably "drill rod" (W-1 or O-1) & is not so easy to cut. Stay away from that for now. 12L14 (leadloy, usually with a brown paint mark) is really nice to work with, but rusts easier than cold roll & is a little harder to find. McMaster should have it though. Metal Supermarket may also have it (at a high price). Most steel yards can get it, but usually want you to by it in 20 foot lengths.

That is a simplified drawing for a basic blank that I make. I usually also put an undercut in the shank so that the retaining setscrew doesn't mess up the contact surface. The undercut is centered 1/4" left of the big shoulder.

I usually just take a blank like that, turn it upside down, fill it half way with epoxy, then insert a greased boolit into the epoxy to get an exact nose profile in the top punch. Hot glue also works in place of the epoxy.

I just did that drawing up quickly about a year or so ago. It's based on measuring 1 commercial top punch. The .127" dimension is probably actually 1/8" +/- some small amount on the real commercial drawings. This drawing has worked fine for me whenever I have used it, so I never bothered to update it.

Regards,
Jim

oldtoolsniper
03-14-2009, 05:17 PM
1018 is a common mild steel that is also called "cold roll". It usually has a green paint mark on the end to identify it. You can get it in 3 foot lengths at Home Depot or many hardware stores. If you see stuff with a red mark on the end, that is probably "drill rod" (W-1 or O-1) & is not so easy to cut. Stay away from that for now. 12L14 (leadloy, usually with a brown paint mark) is really nice to work with, but rusts easier than cold roll & is a little harder to find. McMaster should have it though. Metal Supermarket may also have it (at a high price). Most steel yards can get it, but usually want you to by it in 20 foot lengths.

That is a simplified drawing for a basic blank that I make. I usually also put an undercut in the shank so that the retaining setscrew doesn't mess up the contact surface. The undercut is centered 1/4" left of the big shoulder.

I usually just take a blank like that, turn it upside down, fill it half way with epoxy, then insert a greased boolit into the epoxy to get an exact nose profile in the top punch. Hot glue also works in place of the epoxy.

I just did that drawing up quickly about a year or so ago. It's based on measuring 1 commercial top punch. The .127" dimension is probably actually 1/8" +/- some small amount on the real commercial drawings. This drawing has worked fine for me whenever I have used it, so I never bothered to update it.

Regards,
Jim

I thank you sir!
I need a job to rest from my hobbies!

Willbird
03-14-2009, 06:19 PM
Please note that every steel mfg uses their own color codes :-).


Bill

Buckshot
03-15-2009, 03:49 AM
Please note that every steel mfg uses their own color codes :-).


Bill

..............Truth :-) I just got 6 sticks of .750" W-1 for die bodies and each one had an end painted blue and then red over that :-) Some of the red had flaked off showing the blue.

..............Buckshot

qajaq59
03-15-2009, 05:51 AM
I don't care what you ask. Someone in here will know the answer.

oldtoolsniper
03-15-2009, 07:56 AM
..............Truth :-) I just got 6 sticks of .750" W-1 for die bodies and each one had an end painted blue and then red over that :-) Some of the red had flaked off showing the blue.

..............Buckshot

After the top punch I can't imagine a die.

Bret4207
03-15-2009, 08:28 AM
A die is just a cylindrical hunka steel with some holes in it. When you think of it that way it's not so bad.

lathesmith
03-15-2009, 12:20 PM
>>>A die is just a cylindrical hunka steel with some holes in it. When you think of it that way it's not so bad. <<<<

Yep, and Michaelangelo's "David" sculpture is just a hunk of marble with a few chunks knocked out of it....

!!!!:mrgreen:

lathesmith

leftiye
03-15-2009, 03:20 PM
L.S. Much as I'd like to think that I could ever qualify for the "Artiste" title, I can't make the leap from a die to M's "David." (Not to say also that there aren't much scarier thangs to cut out than dies) OT, just stay with it, it'll happen.

trevj
03-15-2009, 04:03 PM
I REALLY like 12L14 for short-n-sweet projects. Yup. It rusts. <shrug> Blue it, oil it, keep it forever! :)

I prefer drill rod of about any flavor, over crappy old 1018. 1018 is just misery, unless you got your lips held just right, and you guessed the right color chicken to bury under the oak tree, etc.
Rifle barrel steel is formulated to be pretty decent to machine. Talk nice to your gun-plumber, and you might be able to scrounge some up. It already has a hole down the middle! (more or less)

17-4PH steel is nice stuff. It's a stainless that hardens by being cooked in the oven (precipitation hardening, the PH in it's name) and, while it behaves a bit differently than mild steel, it turns to a smooth finish, really easily. Expensive if you are buying lots, but worth looking for in the offcuts bin at places that have the stuff, like Metals Supermarket.

Carbide tooling is expensive, and the frustration factor can be really high when learning to use it, as the edges break really easy if bumped or mistreated. HSS tool blanks are cheap and easy to grind, and are pretty forgiving.

Once you learn to grind a decent cutting tool, you will find that the HSS tools can be made to do just about anything you need them to, on a lathe.

Cheers
Trev

oldtoolsniper
03-15-2009, 04:56 PM
So now I am going into the black hole! I wish I was lazy then I would not get myself into things like this. I read every reply and learn more. I got the three jaw chuck put together in the right order. I have a magnetic base and dial indicator and managed to get a chunk of 1018 to run true. I have an old book that breaks down to potato head what the cutters are and how to grind them. I don’t know what kind of oil to use but other than that I am now a machinist! JUST KIDDING!

Thank-you guys so much for the help so far!

JIMinPHX
03-15-2009, 06:14 PM
L.S. Much as I'd like to think that I could ever qualify for the "Artiste" title, I can't make the leap from a die to M's "David." (Not to say also that there aren't much scarier thangs to cut out than dies) OT, just stay with it, it'll happen.

From what I have read, he had a really interesting approach to chisel work. He would picture the statue that he wanted to make as being already inside the hunk of stone in it's finished form. He would then just remove the excess material around it.

...Talk about an understatement. :roll:

JIMinPHX
03-15-2009, 06:36 PM
I donít know what kind of oil to use but other than that I am now a machinist!

The best cutting fluid varies with the job at hand. In general, anything is better than nothing.

Your cutting fluid provides 2 benefits. It lubricates & it cools. Depending on what you are doing, either one can be more important than the other. There are all kinds of high tech cutting fluids out there today that make all kinds of fantastic claims. There are two basic types that comprise the bulk of what is used & then there are a bunch of others that are less common, but far from worthless. Cutting oils & water based mixtures are the common ones.

As you might guess, the straight oils (like sulfur oil) provide some of the best lubrication. Plain old motor oil will usually get you by in most lubrication intensive operations. Keep a small cup or jar of it next to the lathe with a little brush in it. Big cans just get knocked over & spilled.

The water based fluids generally provide better heat displacement. If you are doing something like tapping, then lubrication is more important & the oils are usually my first pick. If you are engaged in a process that creates a lot of heat & is famous for ruining tools by turning them blue, like drilling stainless, than cooling is more important. In fact, when preferred fluids were not readily at hand, I've had good luck drilling stainless in the field by running a garden hose on the area that I was drilling.

Some materials, like many tool steels, need both good lubrication & good heat displacement. Some materials, like cast iron, sometimes have problems associated with lubrication, like it makes the powdery chips clump up & form sintered pieces that snap off taps. I sometimes tap that stuff dry.

Cutting oils can generally be found at hardware stores. Water based fluids usually need to be purchased from industrial suppliers. The water based stuff usually comes in concentrated form & is quite expensive. Once you mix it with water at anywhere from 20:1 to 50:1 ratios, the cost starts to seem more reasonable. The water based stuff sometimes gets smelly crud growing in it if you leave it sit around mixed. Some types are more immune to that than others. My favorite is Blassocut 2000, but I have a hard time finding it. The stuff from Valinite seems to be more readily available from more places & is not too bad.

There you have it. A (not so) simple answer to a simple question.:coffee:

Bret4207
03-15-2009, 07:32 PM
>>>A die is just a cylindrical hunka steel with some holes in it. When you think of it that way it's not so bad. <<<<

Yep, and Michaelangelo's "David" sculpture is just a hunk of marble with a few chunks knocked out of it....

!!!!:mrgreen:

lathesmith

Personally, I'm more partial to Norman Rockwell than that Eye-talian dude. My foray into the art world ended with my attempt to draw "Tippy the Turtle" in 1978. It's the worlds loss I suppose....

jhrosier
03-15-2009, 07:34 PM
.... The water based stuff sometimes gets smelly crud growing in it if you leave it sit around mixed. Some types are more immune to that than others....

If you aerate water bsed coolants they wil not tend to do this.
If you have a small coolant tank, an aquarium air pump will do the job.

Jack

lathesmith
03-15-2009, 08:01 PM
LE, I'm not quite ready to compare my abilities with M, and yes, Bret, Mr. Rockwell could do an impressive thing or two with paint and paper. My point is simply that hidden in that raw material is a useful tool, and it's merely a matter of us figuring out how to get it out of that chunk of raw material. As OTS has so instructively discovered, it just takes some folks a bit longer to figure out how....and just remember, we all have to start somewhere.
Jim, that is probably the best write-up of coolants and lubricants I have seen. I have learned to use both--plain oil and water-based flood coolant. On most of these machining boards, I don't bother mentioning this anymore, because I usually get flamed by some know-it-all who informs me that flood coolant can't possibly work in the home shop, they didn't use it in 1955 (or something) and we don't need it now. Whatever. All I can tell you is, I have learned to use it and contain it, and I can do in seconds what it would take several minutes to do without it, and virtually eliminate tool wear to boot. Especially if you have a bigger lathe, you won't be able to take advantage of a fraction of its capabilities until you learn to use both oil AND water soluable flood coolant . So, my advice would be to read and re-read what Jim wrote in post #64,and if you don't understand something, just ask about it.
OTS, I gotta warn ya, this machining business is addicting. Once you learn to take a piece of steel and turn it into a useable tool, you want to keep doing it, again and again, until your projects get more complex and you do better work. Soon, you find yourself staring at machine catalogs and websites, admiring and lusting after those bigger machines with the fabulous capabilities. I ask you, how sick and twisted is that? Better quit while you are ahead, once you are hooked it's mighty hard to quit. You have been warned...
lathesmith

trevj
03-15-2009, 09:35 PM
Fer the love of Peter and Paul, leave the engine oil in the engine it belongs in! :)

Sulphurized cutting oil (the stinky stuff, available at hardware stores for threading pipe) is OK if you can live with the odor.

Bacon grease, lard, or a mixture of those two and some olive oil or kerosene (smell again) will work far better than engine oil. Animal fats used to be a big part of cutting oils, they work pretty well!

Kerosene or WD40 (mostly Stoddard Solvent) work really well on Aluminum.

Soluble oils are my fave. I have a pint bottle of Esso Kutwell 45 that lives near my lathe. When I need some juice, I mix a bit up in a soup can, and apply it with a small paint brush. The drippings evaporate before they ever get a chance to get swampy.

I use machines at work that have pumped coolant. The soluble oil mix there has to be watched, or it can get a little....wild. It can grow some pretty nasty stuff, if the oil gets a chance to accumulate and the anaerobic bacteria can get going. Regular use helps to keep it down.

Ask at the local shops if you can buy a quart of soluble concentrate off them, A quart should do you for about the next 40 years of hobby use, so maybe a smaller bottle. Get a big old hypodermic syringe from the vet or farm supply place, to draw out a measured amount when you need to mix some. Go with more oil than you think you need. It's cheap, more oil won't hurt. The stuff we use at work is mixed at 3 to 6 percent. I can get a couple long evenings out of about 4 ounces of mixed oil in a soup can...

The downside of using a lube oil, is that it can sometimes (like when the cutter is not perfectly sharp) cause the cutter to skip over the surface, then when the pressure is increased, it digs in really deep. Makes life a little miserable when you are trying to get a dimension.

Try the bacon fat/lard. The smell makes me hungry. I detest the smell of the sulphirized oil, but it's cheap and it works.

Both motor oil and the suphurized stuff make a lot of smoke, too. Can be a domestic issue for some!


Cheers
Trev

JIMinPHX
03-15-2009, 11:33 PM
If you aerate water bsed coolants they wil not tend to do this.
If you have a small coolant tank, an aquarium air pump will do the job.

Jack

Yea, then there are skimmer disks to peel off the tramp oil & UV lights to kill the bacteria, etc., etc., etc. I was trying to keep my response under 2 pages. ;-)

JIMinPHX
03-15-2009, 11:35 PM
The downside of using a lube oil, is that it can sometimes (like when the cutter is not perfectly sharp) cause the cutter to skip over the surface, then when the pressure is increased, it digs in really deep.
Cheers
Trev

...That could also be a tool height problem.
Either way, I'd rather fix my tool issues than go without lube.

trevj
03-15-2009, 11:57 PM
To be perfectly clear, use a cutting oil, not a lube oil. Lube oils do what they were meant to, which is to stop the metal from making contact with other metal. You kinda want the contact between your work and the cutter.

Sorry if I was not perfectly clear on that.

Lube works counter to your needs. The cutting oils make the chip behave much differently.

Cheers
Trev

JIMinPHX
03-15-2009, 11:58 PM
I have learned to use both--plain oil and water-based flood coolant. On most of these machining boards, I don't bother mentioning this anymore, because I usually get flamed by some know-it-all who informs me that flood coolant can't possibly work in the home shop,...
lathesmith

I find that for a home shop, a small bilge pump from a boat yard sunk into a 5-gallon pale makes a dandy little coolant pump. El-cheapo pumps can be had from Harbor Freight too. Just be aware that the centrifugal pumps hold up to chips better than most other types do. If you wrap a screen around the inlet of the pump to keep the big chips out & add a spin-on oil filter kit from the auto parts store down streem, that makes the rig much nicer as a recirculating unit. A short piece of soft copper tube seems to work best for me as a nozzle. You can choose between 1/4" & 1/8" depending on what you are doing. If you have the spin-on filter, then neither tube size should clog up with swarth.

The bilge pump in the bucket also works as a tig torch cooler too if you just fill the bucket with plain water. ;-)

JIMinPHX
03-16-2009, 12:10 AM
To be perfectly clear, use a cutting oil, not a lube oil. Lube oils do what they were meant to, which is to stop the metal from making contact with other metal. You kinda want the contact between your work and the cutter.

Sorry if I was not perfectly clear on that.

Lube works counter to your needs. The cutting oils make the chip behave much differently.

Cheers
Trev

What you say here is popular wisdom & well accepted as fact in many circles. I was first told that by a shop teacher over 20 years ago. I have been told the same thing by at least a dozen other people that were in a position to be knowledgeable on the subject, but I have found through experience, that motor oil works very well for things like tapping in most materials. It works well on drill bits in many applications. It also gives good results when turning a finish cut on a hard metal using cermets. It seems acceptable in most cutting operations that require lubricity & not a lot of heat dissipation. I am not saying that it is superior to, or even equal to genuine cutting oils for the purpose of a cutting lubricant. I am just saying that if you don't have genuine cutting lube handy & you do have motor oil around (even the used stuff), it is a whole lot better than nothing.

I was not trying to put down what you said. I found your post to be informative. I'm sorry if I was unclear in what I wrote before.

Regards,
Jim

Buckshot
03-16-2009, 02:30 AM
.............I just wanted to say that having now been at this for about 5 years, I haven't made a mistake yet. However, I also have a large box full of spare parts for things that haven't been invented yet :-)

................Buckshot

lathesmith
03-16-2009, 09:56 AM
The water-soluable stuff is my favorite for drilling and boring bigger stuff. I have also come to rely on it for parting off, another one of those handy "lathe arts" that needs to be mastered. You can really spend some giga$$$ for a flood coolant setup, but that $40 HF unit works great for me. For lighter and smaller drilling, as well as tapping, motor oil don't do too bad. I'm sure there is better stuff for this purpose, but since I have several quarts of the stuff hanging around that's what gets used most of the time.
And like Buckshot, I have very few actual goof-ups, just some extra prototypes and recyclables hanging around.[smilie=1:
lathesmith

Willbird
03-16-2009, 09:58 AM
Coolant is a good thing if you can make it work on your machine.

However the practice of brushing some oil on a part being turned in the lathe is completely wrong. I have seen it many times, all it does is make billowing clouds of smoke.

If the rpm is low enough such as when threading or when your not cutting (like knurling) the oil will stay on the part and you can maintain a consistent oil film, however if you are turning at higher rpm the oil film is not consistent.

Process's like drilling MAY benefit from some cutting oil, but in my experience a spray bottle full of mixed water soluble oil coolant and water works just as good, this indicates that cooling is the primary benefit not lubrication. The primary benefit of adding the water soluble oil is to prevent rust on the machine from using it.

I prefer to turn dry, I'm never in a huge hurry about what I'm doing.

Used motor oil does contain some sulfur. it is better than nothing if you need to tap a hole and have no cutting oil.

Bill

MT Gianni
03-16-2009, 10:02 AM
Can we please "Sticky" this?

oldtoolsniper
03-16-2009, 11:29 AM
ummm, does that mean I should figure out the TRICO double spout coolant pump thing that I got when I purchased the lathes?

Some people can say this ain’t rocket science, they only say that because they are not behind the lathe.

leftiye
03-16-2009, 02:33 PM
OT, Point taken. Let's see them make something that has a gazillion operations needed, when if you skroo one operation up it becomes scrap. Not rocket science, but no rockets without machinists (not much else either).

I've got a cute little (not expensive either) spray doodad that vaporizes diesel (don't tell big brother) and sprays it on my milling machine tools. Hand sprayer with the d-word for the lathe. Makes the shop smell like a mechanic's been there.

xr650
03-16-2009, 02:55 PM
If you aerate water bsed coolants they wil not tend to do this.
If you have a small coolant tank, an aquarium air pump will do the job.

Jack

A manifold made out of small stainless or copper tubing works for larger tanks. You may need a double pumper for increased air flow though.

trevj
03-16-2009, 08:51 PM
JIMinPHX, I'll have to respectfully disagree with you on the engine oil thing.

I actually agree with Willbird, in that you are better off with nothing (turning dry) and taking your time about it.
I have used the stuff (engine oil) , and found it so lacking as to amount to being a detriment to progress.

But, if it seems to be workin' fer ya... Probably somewhere near the origins of the phrase "your mileage may vary" came from, eh.

A guy could do worse things than to try it and keep an open mind. I'd suggest trying it up against some of the other options, to see what works and what does not, though. Mmmmm! Bacon! :)

Cermet's eh? Never touched them.

The day I showed an old friend of mine how much nicer mild steel cut with a brushed on bit of soluble, though, I could have named my price for the bottle! He was using WD40 and whatever else he had around the farm shop, including engine oil, and had always figured that oil was oil... You could clearly see where the soluble mix had been applied in the progress of the cut. The finish went from horrid to pretty decent.

If I am turning fast enough that the brushed on application does not stay put, I either need a flood system, or I need to rethink my strategy, but brush application is great for the slow, fine cuts that are for finish, usually, in a home shop. Business wise, if a guy has to consider whether brush application of a substitute for a proper coolant is a good idea, well, that business ain't gonna be around for long anyways, so... Home shop stuff should run at a different pace. The priorities are to enjoy oneself, as well as to make whatever one is trying to make, rather than to see the best cash return for ones time investment.

The 5 gallon bucket for flood coolant is a great system, if your machine has a tray to catch the drippage, and the location allows you to splash a little around from time to time (domestic bliss isn't improved by stained ceilings, any more than by stainless swarf in the living room carpet, BTDT!). Even a gravity feed drip system or a squirt bottle is better than nothing, if you can use the help of a cutting fluid. I've seen one system where the guy used a homebuilt "bilge pump" style pump to transfer the coolant up to his header tank, a 2 gallon bucket with a soldered on fitting. Lotsa ways to skin that cat.

Dairy creamer (not the "edible oil product" stuff, real cow) works pretty darn good for tapping copper, as well as for turning commutators. Just gotta lay out a couple paper towels to catch the drips, and rinse or wipe the parts down. That animal fats thing again.

I like beeswax for tapping and drilling, if I cannot get any tapping juice. Run a wad of beeswax down the hole and the chips get pushed up as the tap goes down, then the remnants come out when you remove the tap. Works great!
We use beeswax a lot for drilling out stainless and titanium rivets, too. Really improves the drill life! Just drill into the block, then to the job.

Cast Iron and brass are best turned dry, and wearing eye protection (which you should be anyways!) for the flying dust and chips. Good cast iron is a joy to machine, but filthy, and poor cast iron, is pretty much the exact and total opposite, full of hard spots and inclusions. Most brass is as nice. Some of the bronzes are decent, some will make you want to take up other hobbies.

Anyhoo. Sorta rambled on a bit... Hey. It happens! :D

Cheers
Trev

JIMinPHX
03-17-2009, 03:59 AM
parting off, another one of those handy "lathe arts" that needs to be mastered. ...[smilie=1:
lathesmith

Aside from good lubrication, one of the big things that helps parting off operations work well is a good rigid tool holder. Aside from some of the expensive stuff from people like Manchester, most parting tool holders are really substandard for the job at hand. Even the ones from Aloris are a bit on the flimsy side & have been known to throw a tool across the room. I usually make my own parting tool holders from scratch.

Parting & knurling are probably two of the most brutal operations that you will encounter on a lathe. They require good tools.

JIMinPHX
03-17-2009, 04:04 AM
JIMinPHX, I'll have to respectfully disagree with you on the engine oil thing.

Cheers
Trev

Fair enough sir.

JIMinPHX
03-17-2009, 04:17 AM
Dairy creamer (not the "edible oil product" stuff, real cow) works pretty darn good for tapping copper, ...


We use beeswax a lot for drilling out stainless and titanium rivets, too. Really improves the drill life! Just drill into the block, then to the job...

Cast Iron and brass are best turned dry... Good cast iron is a joy to machine
Cheers
Trev

I've used bacon grease a few times, but I did not know that cow juice could also be used. That's a new one on me.

I've seen guys use hard lube the way that you describe using the bee's wax. I'll have to try that sometime. I would be surprised that it would be good for SS or Ti, but hey, I haven't tried it yet, so I don't know. I'm always looking to learn.

Ti can be a real finicky material to work with. It is fussy about what lubricants it likes. Most of the ones it does like are flammable. Once Ti catches fire, you can't put it out. If you don't keep it cool enough when cutting it, it develops instant hard spots. You need carbide to get through the hard spots, but HSS generally cuts it better if you keep it annealed. I could go on for about 3 pages on welding that stuff too. It's not a good material for the beginner to start with. It's worse to work with than Hastaloy.

I'll agree with you about turning cast dry. I'll disagree about going dry on copper alloys. I use fluid with them, but I also use a very shallow clearance angle on my cutting surfaces to avoid having the tools getting sucked into the work.

There is almost always more than 1 way to skin a cat when it comes to machining. Different people have different approaches & more than 1 will usually get the job done.

Willbird
03-17-2009, 07:36 AM
Having the cutting oil there to varying degrees causes a different finish as trev pointed out, so if you look at the finish afterwards it looks like this ___-----___-----------____--__-----__-- on the surface because part heating and chip flow changed the amount of lubrication. You can also get the same thing if you turn a part say 1.01", then rub your finger on one spot while the lathe is running, then take off .01". often the spot where the oil from your finger is will have a different finish.

Without a heavy flood the only lubricating film condition I can control is NONE :-). I use a little Brownells do-drill on drills, taps, and reamers...I'm pretty sure that stuff is Rigid black sulfur threading oil, but a quart of it has lasted me for darn near 10 years so I'm not in a hurry to undercut brownells on price any time soon :-).

When I started in the trade running screw machines and turret lathes they generally used straight cutting oil, one type for steel and another type for brass/bronze...it works really well, but it is messy and the parts need washed afterwards....I ran a cnc mill once that was using straight steel cutting oil, we went through 55 gallons a week and it even had a full enclosure. You also have to centrifuge the cutting oil out of your shavings afterwards too.

With modern machines the fluid is merely a COOLANT....it's lubricity is needed for tapping and reaming but the cutting tools do not need it, in fact DRY milling is becoming more and more common. If you use a coolant on a MILLING tool the nature of the cutting causes a thermal cycle on the cutting edge, it gets hot as it forms a chip and cools when it exits the cut. With large inserted saws say 6" in dia and 1" wide you can hear that the cut sounds better DRY than with coolant. But often times the coolant is needed to keep the part cool for dimensional and work hardening reasons.

I have used the "micro drop" dispensers several times, they work REAL nice on a band type cutoff saw. The lubricant they use is quite often just canola oil.

Bill

trevj
03-17-2009, 08:43 AM
I have a Myford lathe at home, and get to play with some 15" swing lathes at work, as well as a superlative toolroom machine of about 12" swing.

All the machines at work run coolant. At home, my machining style has to change rather a lot. :)

At home I mostly turn dry, except for, as I said, fine finishing cuts, and threading. For that, the brushed on soluble works pretty well.

On parting off. Most guys fear it, it seems. I have parted off 3" mild steel on my Myford. It's nothing special, as lathes go (rather the opposite, actually), and the toolholder was not either. I found that being more aggressive with the feed, was better, as long as the infeed was smooth. Pretty much a matter of getting a feel for it, and not going too slow. Hard to describe, easy to demonstrate...I can only recall breaking one parting tool on the Myford, and that was when I was turning the part too slow, and got a dig-in... Again, really hard to describe, pretty easy to show.

At work, I almost always part off with the power cross feed, a luxury my home machine does not have. But for real fun....I had to part off a bunch of Aluminum Bronze spacers from a bar last week. 3000 rpm and near a thou per rev feed rate. It spat a ribbon of bronze into a pile about three feet behind me, where I was standing in front of the lathe. At the other end of the scale, I have made parting tools as narrow as 20 thou wide, to part off very small bushings from the parent bar, when the stock supply was low and I did not wish to convert all of it to chips. Substantially different yield when you are not cutting .100 wide grooves to build a .040" spacer out of 1/4" stock.

Dry machining. I see some of the CNC videos online and am in awe of the rates of metal removal that are achieved with small end mills (typically 1/2") and a fast spindle. And that the residual heat is near nothing, in both the tool and the part. Right out of the realm of the home shop guy for the most part. Heck, right out of the realm for the shop at work, too!

For the home shop guys. A quick change tool post of some sort. Build one if the budget is not there to buy one! :) Lots of info around the web. I'm about half finished on a tool post that looks very similar to a Tripan one, for my Myford.

It's very nice, to be able to switch to a threading tool or a parting tool, and not have to fiddle to get the angles and tool height all set right every time!

Cheers
Trev

Cap'n Morgan
03-17-2009, 11:09 AM
Parting & knurling are probably two of the most brutal operations that you will encounter on a lathe. They require good tools.

If the lathe isn't quite up to the job of parting, try running the parting tool upside down. Instead of the cutting force acting upwards - trying to "lift" the part and the chuck - it will act on the whole carriage, which is heavier and more stable than the chuck - especially if the bearings are worn. Also, the chips will be less likely to clog the cut. Oh, and remember to run the spindle in reverse...:razz:

Knurling is best done with at double roller tool like this:http://www.lautard.com/Caliperknurlingtool.jpg Much easier on the part as the force is balanced between the rollers.

Willbird
03-17-2009, 12:36 PM
One thing that happens with parting tools is if your lathe has a LOT of backlash in the crossfeed screw the parting tool sucks itself into the work. Then the parting tool breaks with a BANG, and the broken pieces CAN fly up and break the 48" floursecant tubes in the light above the lathe. When it is dark out and all of this happens plus that was the ONLY light on in the building much cursing happens right afterwards :-).

Bill

lathesmith
03-17-2009, 02:56 PM
Parting is definitely one of the trickier things to master, it seems, as far as lathe operation goes. What works on one lathe may not work on another; different materials have their own requirements, and so on. For me, parting aluminum is a breeze, brass is simple, mild steel isn't too bad, but drill rod is the trickiest. The closer you part off to the spindle head, the better. As for spindle speed, too fast is as bad as too slow; ditto for in-feeding your tool. And, you need something that both lubes and cools for optimum results. Since I leave my gear box disengaged most of the time, I don't power in-feed, although this can be a helpful thing to do.
I have learned to stand well away from the parting tool while in operation. It seems that in reading about guys learning to part off in the old days, there were lots of one-eyed lathe operators, nearly all from the time when they learned to part off. Of course, one should always,always, ALWAYS have safety glasses on while working in the shop, and this is just a reminder. Even the best of operators will hang and "pop" one of these things every now and then, if much parting is done at all.
Like Cap'n Morgan, I have come to much prefer the scissor-type knurlers as these distribute the forces of knurling and I seem to be able to get a better knurling job with them anyhow.
lathesmith

Willbird
03-17-2009, 04:39 PM
Rigidity is the real key to parting off. On a turret lathe or a screw machine it works slicker than snot on a brass doorknob. Those of course are very rigid machines.

Bill

JIMinPHX
03-17-2009, 04:52 PM
DRY milling is becoming more and more common.
Bill

Yea, with cold air guns, proper (expensive) coatings on the cutting tools, good rigidity in the machine & properly controlled feed & spindle rates. I'm not going to give Lathesmith a hard time for wanting flood coolant on his home rig, but I think that high speed dry systems are starting to get a bit out of the box on what is feasible for a common home shop.

Just me $0.02

JIMinPHX
03-17-2009, 04:55 PM
After all this talk about parting off, nobody seems to have mentioned one of it's key values. It is one fast way to get a good square cut with a good finish. Even on a little 10" lathe, I can part off a piece of 2" 6061 in about 10 seconds as long as I keep the juice pouring on it good. It would take one heck of a mean bandsaw to even come close to that. Even a Scotchman cold saw has trouble keeping up with a good parting tool.

trevj
03-17-2009, 05:45 PM
I've got decent surface finishes on my machines at work, parting off with flood coolant. On my Myford, esp. on mild steel, not so much...:) But it sure beats hacksawing!

I've been pondering (among way too many other prospective projects!) building a cut knurling tool holder for use at home.

The factory built ones are priced stupid expensive, but I figure a guy with some time on his hands, and some suitable stock, could make one, and either buy the knurl cutters, or modify regular ones (maybe less satisfactory, but definitely cheaper!) to get the end results wanted.

Scissor knurling tools and squeeze knurling tools are pretty good, and there are lots of designs available out there.

A guy can do worse things than to familiarize himself with some of the tooling used to do various operations on the small turret lathes, too. Lot's of really good ideas there for getting seemingly impossible jobs done. Box tools as a prime example, for a guy that wants to build a long shaft or turn a long rod to diameter.
Looking over the tool catalogs for swiss screw machines is where I found out about cut knurling tools...
Some of that "obsolete" technology still has a lot of life left in it!

Cheers
Trev

Willbird
03-17-2009, 05:47 PM
Yea, with cold air guns, proper (expensive) coatings on the cutting tools, good rigidity in the machine & properly controlled feed & spindle rates. I'm not going to give Lathesmith a hard time for wanting flood coolant on his home rig, but I think that high speed dry systems are starting to get a bit out of the box on what is feasible for a common home shop.

Just me $0.02

Actually many users are just using plain old compressed air to blow chips out of the cut zone, tool geometry makes the heat stay in the chip and not the cutter or the work.

One thing about knurling that I never thought about until it was pointed out, a knurl should FIT on the part to work correctly, the situation is just like gear teeth, if the pitch of knurl does not fit the circumference of the part it will only work so-so. This explains why sometimes when we knurl we get such a nice job, and other times it gives you fits :-). I think the proper pitch of knurl would be more important with a cut knurl than a swaged one, or maybe not ??

Bill

oldtoolsniper
03-17-2009, 07:10 PM
I can't believe all the stuff I am learning. I joined a 109 lathe site and I am lucky if something is posted once a week.

JIMinPHX
03-17-2009, 11:37 PM
One thing about knurling that I never thought about until it was pointed out, a knurl should FIT on the part to work correctly, the situation is just like gear teeth, if the pitch of knurl does not fit the circumference of the part it will only work so-so.
Bill

I've had times where I've intentionally knurled at a diameter that would give me a double cut, so that I would get a finer knurl with a coarse knurl wheel. I've also done it by accident more times than I care to admit.

For knurl applications, where you just want to give someone a surface that they can grip with their hand, I usually just cut a surface, then knurl & see if it looks good. If it does, great. If it doesn't, then I skim about .010" & have another go at it. For applications where the finished diameter of the knurl matters, like a driven roller on a printing press that controls web registration, you don't have the luxury of pulling that kind of stunt.

JIMinPHX
03-17-2009, 11:42 PM
I can't believe all the stuff I am learning. I joined a 109 lathe site and I am lucky if something is posted once a week.

When you get bored with top punches, You might give this a try -

Willbird
03-18-2009, 08:30 AM
I've had times where I've intentionally knurled at a diameter that would give me a double cut, so that I would get a finer knurl with a coarse knurl wheel. I've also done it by accident more times than I care to admit.

For knurl applications, where you just want to give someone a surface that they can grip with their hand, I usually just cut a surface, then knurl & see if it looks good. If it does, great. If it doesn't, then I skim about .010" & have another go at it. For applications where the finished diameter of the knurl matters, like a driven roller on a printing press that controls web registration, you don't have the luxury of pulling that kind of stunt.

One thing I have learned the hard way is that a super smooth turned finish does not HELP knurling any, and in fact setting your feed rate to .01 to .015 per rev for the finish pass before knurling usually results in a nicer knurl.
.
In general I use higher feedrates, there is generally no benefit in running the .0006 or .0012 feeds many lathes run on the bottom end (often you are only feeding 1/2 that when facing)...typically I run at least .005 for general turning.....to a degree the slower the feed rate the more heat goes into the tool and the work.

I do not like to use abrasives to acquire a finish unless strictly needed, but I have no aversion to knocking the fuzz off with a nicholson mill bastard file.

Bill

badgeredd
03-19-2009, 07:08 PM
I can't believe all the stuff I am learning. I joined a 109 lathe site and I am lucky if something is posted once a week.

oldtoolsniper,

As a carrer tool maker, I can honestly say that there are dang few days that I haven't learned a new way to do just about anything. Often there are at least a half dozens ways to get it done, none wrong. Some will be just better for you.

Thanks for the laugh, well written and FUNNY! I do recall many humorous happenings watching newbies learning to operate a new to them machine. I also have to say that most of the pros I've worked with, can tell stories for hours.

BTW, for tapping there is some pretty neat stuff out there to be had. My personal preference is Tap-magic. It is a synthetic machining fluid. Too expensive to use on everything, but great stuff to have around.

Edd

Buckshot
03-20-2009, 04:03 AM
.................JIm old bean, that print looks awefully like an RCBS lube-size die vs the Lyman :-) Just being picky!

http://www.fototime.com/4C98E10CA086E43/standard.jpg

Unless you're running a big ole American Pacemaker or similar, a scissors knurl is the only way to go. A bump knurler would probably bust the compound off my Logan!

http://www.fototime.com/7455A15A5E583C0/standard.jpghttp://www.fototime.com/12375D46A9E5AEF/standard.jpg

I've never had much of a problem parting off whether big steel left (3" is big for me:-)) or bitty steel right. The only problem with such large OD's, and 3" is the largest I'd ever done, is the time to extend the tool and ease off on the feed. The guy I bought my lathe from uses a hacksaw. I pretty much use the carbide insert type parting blade anymore.

One of the benefits of inverting the parting blade and having the material rotate UP past it is that it lifts the cross slide and the compound up into their dovetails, vs down and away. Pulling them up removes all the clearance required for them to move along the dovetails. And lets face it, almost all the wear to the cross slide dovetails take place on the front half. I seldom use the compound for anything other then threading so it remains sitting at 29.5* with it's gibb screws locked down.

http://www.fototime.com/D03172DC0FF3AFC/standard.jpg

Parting with the 'T' blade. As it's HSS and can carry an exceedingly sharp edge it works best (for me anyway) like here when the piece is extended out. The light cut produces a long razor sharp ribbon across the top of the tool. The carbide insert turns the chip into a 'V' which breaks up into smaller curly pigtail type chips. The carbide will also produce a mirror like finish if cutting oil is run on it while parting (if you need that).

...............Buckshot

oldtoolsniper
03-20-2009, 06:28 AM
I can see in one respect this is like wood working, there are a lot of ways to get to the same end result. I took classes for two years at Palomar College; it was for Cabinet and furniture technology. On average we had 25 students in each class which meant there were 24 ways to do each thing that was to be accomplished.

Boomer Mikey
03-20-2009, 07:15 AM
I like TapMagic for drilling and hand threading too. For cut-off, threading and reaming in the lathe I use Do-Drill from Brownell's. I put the liquid in one of the Brownell's one ounce needle bottles that lets me put a drop or two where I want it. Most of the time I cut mild steel, stainless and aluminum dry except when working on tough material with a lot of heat. The little Smithy doesn't have enough power to take a serious cut.

I took Machine Technology courses at our Community College and fortunately got four classes out of the six offered completed before they closed the program. Community College classes are an incredible bargain for what you pay. I liked the College so much I got a job in the Electronics Department and I occasionally get to play in the machine shop making a project for the college.

http://i233.photobucket.com/albums/ee174/Boomer_Mikey/Smithy%201324%20Lathe/Toolpost-1.jpg?t=1237565410
Cut-off operations and the use of carbide tooling in my 1324 Smithy were a nightmare until I removed the slop in the headstock bearings and made a "Rock of Gibraltar" style tool post to replace the flimsy compound rest. The "Rock" still accepts my Aloris style QC tool posts. I rarely cut heavy threads so I cut threads head-on or switch back to the compound rest if feel the need to. The difference in rigidity makes all the difference in the world... cut accuracy is improved too as the cutting tool can't flex lower during heavy cuts and the cutting tool can't skip as easily during light cuts.

http://i233.photobucket.com/albums/ee174/Boomer_Mikey/Smithy%201324%20Lathe/Toolpost-2.jpg?t=1237565552
Indexable tooling is a great convenience if you can make the tool holder and headstock bearings rigid enough to use it in a light machine. I also re-sharpen carbide inserts or touch them up with a diamond stone; however, for the best surface finish I use indexable HSS inserts from The Little Machine Shop.com (center tool).

http://i233.photobucket.com/albums/ee174/Boomer_Mikey/Smithy%201324%20Lathe/Toolpost-3.jpg?t=1237565619
I make my own lathe and mill tools for a couple of different indexable tooling styles as most of the cheap Chinese stuff wouldn't last for me and the good ones are too expensive for my meager budget.

Have fun,

Boomer :Fire:

JIMinPHX
03-23-2009, 03:37 AM
One of the board members just sent me a PM asking for a picture of the cut off tools that I make. I figured that I would post it here so that everyone could see. The one on the left is one of the very first ones I made. I cut it out of a single block of some crazy high tech tool steel that was left over from a job. Back then, I thought that I would need all the rigidity of this monolithic block design & high tech material. Over the years, this design has morphed into the holder that you see on the right. It is just made out of plain old 1018 cold roll. It gets it's strength from it's sheer size & beef. It gives me no trouble. This one is a two piece design. The advantage of having two pieces, is that if I want to go to a different size cut off blade, I only need to make a new lower piece. The underside of the top piece is set to the center height of the spindle & always stays there. The surfaces that you are looking at on the newer tool are just saw cuts. The good machining is only where it counts, on the mating surfaces. The bottom piece has some small undercuts to keep all the stresses where they belong. The bolts are 1/4"-28.

oldtoolsniper
03-23-2009, 10:52 AM
I am looking at those cut off tools and I don’t understand how they attach to the lathe. My lathes use a rocker style (I believe that’s the name) tool holder. Are those designed to fit on a quick release type holder?

trevj
03-23-2009, 11:13 AM
Look at the tool holders in the posts above. These are held in those.

Not for a rocker type post.

Saw a nice rig for rocker posts a while back. Had a ajustable bolt to support the underside of the cutter holder, against the topslide. It allowed for a lot of overhang, and still had pretty darn good rigidity. Looked kinda Mickey Mouse, but worked well.


Cheers
Trev

JIMinPHX
03-23-2009, 02:48 PM
My lathes use a rocker style (I believe thatís the name) tool holder.

Rockers are the antique type. They are for people that have more time than money & don't have access to a mill. If you have the money, buy an Aloris quick change system (or a $100 on-sale knock off). If you have access to a mill, then make yourself a block style tool holder like Boomer did, except cut a 1" x 1" slot in the side & on the front of it & set your slot bases about .752" below your spindle center. Put 3 or 4 set screws into each slot from the top to hold your tools. If you don't have access to a mill or money to spend on an A post, then you need to just keep setting your tool heights correctly on the rocker & don't get too aggressive with your cuts.

JIMinPHX
03-26-2009, 02:38 AM
Are you still out there sniper?

oldtoolsniper
03-26-2009, 10:30 AM
Yes sir I am here!

oldtoolsniper
03-26-2009, 11:13 AM
I found one of those styles of tool holeders at the little machine shop. I am going to purchase these when my welfare check hits the bank .
http://www.littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID=3514&category=

lathesmith
03-26-2009, 01:14 PM
I have good experiences with TCMT inserts, though mine are the slightly larger 1/2" shank that use 3151's. Contrary to popular myth, these can be made to work quite well on small machines as well as larger ones. Not only will they peel off a decent chunk of metal, but with a little practice you can even get a decent finish with them. And best of all, no grinding required for a beginner. Just set them on-center and start cutting....
lathesmith

snaggdit
03-26-2009, 03:43 PM
Hey Oldtoolsniper, you will be all set! The promo info states: "This package contains all the tooling you need to be productive with your Atlas/Craftsman 6" lathe on the first day you own it." I guess the operative term here that needs better definition is productive... I'm sure I could make lots of metal chips but can't speak to the usability of a finished product if I tried it myself:shock: I have started thinking more seriously about a mill and lathe now. Can't really afford both/either new, should I consider looking around for used?

JIMinPHX
03-27-2009, 10:58 PM
Yes sir I am here!

If you don't already have a set of calipers, you might want to check out Harbor Freight sometime soon. They have 6" digital calipers on sale for about $13. Now Harbor Freight is not my favorite place to go looking for precision measuring instruments, but at that price, it's hard to turn down. The price is good until 4/20/9

oldtoolsniper
03-28-2009, 07:28 AM
Jim,
I have 3 or 4. 1 is digital and the others are standard dial. At the rate I am going within 1/4" is precision! I hope to get that down to 1/16” soon!

Screwbolts
03-28-2009, 10:01 AM
Jim,
I have 3 or 4. 1 is digital and the others are standard dial. At the rate I am going within 1/4" is precision! I hope to get that down to 1/16Ē soon!

I like the way you think!!!!!:-D:castmine:

38-55
05-19-2009, 09:58 AM
Hey Old tool snipper !
Who needs fancy measuring tools ??? ! This is all ya need !!! ( recognize any thing boomer ?)
Ya really made me feel good about only charging 15 bucks for my top punches.. Heck I may have to raise prices a bit after reading your story !
Thanks for the laughs !
Stay safe
Calvin

oldtoolsniper
05-20-2009, 12:53 PM
I'm getting better! I had lathesmith make me a die for my star sizer and I am in awe! it looks so nice I hate to use it.

38-55
05-21-2009, 08:27 AM
Hey old tool Snipper,
Practice will definitely make you better on your lathe.. When I started out I had a devil of a time grinding hss tool bits.. made them to the specs in the pictures and all.. nothing seemed to work.. So I just 'free handed' what I thought should work and it did.. Went and re-read my 'how to run a lathe' book for the umpteenth time and finally learned that the path to progress was to heavy up the feed ( cut) and slow the speed ( depth of cut per revolution ).. It's been working ever since..
Another thing that may help out is after you grind a bit.. touch it up with a stone so it's really sharp..
Good luck ( and keep practicing )
Stay safe
Calvin
PS while is may piss of some purists... running machine tools is alot like sports.. there is alot of 'feel' involved.. A gentle touch is a good thing to have for machine work..

oldtoolsniper
05-21-2009, 08:58 AM
Hey old tool Snipper,
Practice will definitely make you better on your lathe.. When I started out I had a devil of a time grinding hss tool bits.. made them to the specs in the pictures and all.. nothing seemed to work.. So I just 'free handed' what I thought should work and it did.. Went and re-read my 'how to run a lathe' book for the umpteenth time and finally learned that the path to progress was to heavy up the feed ( cut) and slow the speed ( depth of cut per revolution ).. It's been working ever since..
Another thing that may help out is after you grind a bit.. touch it up with a stone so it's really sharp..
Good luck ( and keep practicing )
Stay safe
Calvin
PS while is may piss of some purists... running machine tools is alot like sports.. there is alot of 'feel' involved.. A gentle touch is a good thing to have for machine work..

Gentle touch.... So your saying I can end my search for a lead hammer mold?

leftiye
05-21-2009, 05:58 PM
Plus 1 on not believeing the book too much. I've found the same thing 38-55 did, I never run the speeds in the handbook (Machinery's). Or I should say I can't - they're always too fast. Slower (not too slow) and with an easy feed makes for easier, smoother cuts. Then experiment with faster speeds and/or heavier cuts a little at a time till you get an idea of what works and what doesn't. If you want tenths, finish with an abrasive or toolpost grinder.

JIMinPHX
05-21-2009, 08:03 PM
The feeds & speeds that you read in books are for big beefy rigid machines with bearings & ways that are in premium condition. Don't expect to reach those numbers on a home shop machine unless it is pristine. Even CNC machines have feed rate overide knobs on them that usually start at 100% & go down from there. CNC operators usually start with the overide down around 20% & bring it up until she chatters & then bring her back down a little. It's common for them to run at about 70-80% on a normal production run. As tools dull, that number often goes down.

badgeredd
05-21-2009, 09:31 PM
PS while is may piss of some purists... running machine tools is alot like sports.. there is alot of 'feel' involved.. A gentle touch is a good thing to have for machine work..


The "gentle touch" is precisely what makes a good machinist stand out from the adequate ones.

Edd

oldtoolsniper
06-17-2009, 04:38 PM
Based on the information I have read here I tried thread cutting oil for drilling and taping some holes in plate steel. I was surprised at how much better the correct lubricant works for the job it was intended for. I always just grabbed whatever can of 3 in 1 oil was closest to the hole I was drilling. Instead of chips I got nice long tendrils of wire to whip around the drill bit. Did you know they are sharp?

RP
06-17-2009, 06:00 PM
Well how about this I got a peice of brass stock that was all ready round chucked it in my drill press and with a file drill bit I used for a cutter and some sandpaper i maded a few diff top punches I have no way to shape them to fit the boolit so I just made them to cover as much as the boolit as I can. But its not always saving the 10 bucks to buy a top punch but to have what you need sooner and sometimes find out your wasting your time. And lets face it people that reload dont like to spend money if they think they can save some its in our nature.

oldtoolsniper
06-18-2009, 07:37 AM
Someone on this site suggested coating the tip of a cast boolit with Vaseline and then putting JB Weld on the end of your close to fit top punch. Use the boolit to form the JB Weld on the punch end to fit your boolit. I have not tried it yet but it sure seems like it would work.

Hang Fire
06-19-2009, 05:21 AM
If anyone is considering picking up one of the little cheap Chinese lathes, they take a bit of finagling and modification, but they are not junk or a toy and can be made to turn out some decent work.

Here is the place to go, as these guys have done it all and once in the group, they keep the emails flying with constant information and tips for using and improvements.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/7x12minilathe/

Sometime back I picked up one of the 7x12" lathes and a little milling machine. I have been rather amazed at just what one can do with these small machine tools that only cost a few hundred bucks each. No matter who labels them, they are all basically the same tools, just some with more free accessories etc.

Here is the basic lathe setup I got on sale for $490.00 with free shipping, note the accessories, a face plate, tail stock chuck, plus fixed and traveling steady rests.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y92/TANSTAAFL-2/P1010002-7.jpg


And here at link is a few of the modifications I have done to them both. http://hstrial-rchambers.homestead.com/Rolands_Mini_machine_shop.html

oldtoolsniper
06-22-2009, 10:12 AM
So if I am making a .452 sizing die do I buy a reamer or drill bit in that size or is this done with a boring bar?

leftiye
06-22-2009, 12:11 PM
O.T. sniper, Yes.
You try to find a drill that is going to make a hole a few thou. (maybe 5) smaller than the reamer you plan to use (a .451 reamer in this case). You first drill with a 1/4" drill, then the intermediate size, then ream. And then you finish the last thou with sandpaper (600 grit) on a dowel. If you can see your way clear to get a set of plug gauges , do it. They're really nice for determining when a hole is the right size. (clean the hole of chips, or abrasives before checking for size)

Drills and reamers in a very close set of sizes can be had from MSC.

JIMinPHX
06-22-2009, 07:23 PM
If you are just going to do one sizing die, then a reamer is a good way to go. If the size that you need happens to be a standard size, like a 5/16 (.32 cal) or a #3 or a letter D or a 5mm etc., then the reamer can be had for a reasonable price. If it is an intermediate size, you can still get the reamer specified to a decimal size, but it will cost a bit more. Reamers in this size range are happiest taking around .003"-.010" off the diameter of a clean drilled hole that is on center. If you decide to go with a reamer, then we can talk about all the little tricks to make them run best. You can get a good finish right off the reamer & not need to use abrasives for finish afterword if you do it properly. I ream right to finish size while holding better than half a thousandth all the time like clockwork.

If you are going to do a bunch of sizes, then it makes sense to do them with a boring bar because with a single bar, you can get a whole range of sizes. Before purchasing the bar, decide what sizes you intend to eventually make so that you can choose the best bar for the job. Bars that are more than 6 diameters in length are generally hard to get good size control & finish with. You don't want to just get the longest & skinniest bar that you can find if you don't need to, because it will be hard to work with. There's a lot more to it than that, but that is a good general rule of thumb to start with. Again with a boring bar, if you do everything right, you can get good finish right off the bar & not need to go to abrasives afterwords. The abrasive trick can save you in the event that you are having trouble getting good finish with the bar. It's easier to get good finish with a reamer, but it can be done with a bar too.

oldtoolsniper
06-22-2009, 10:43 PM
I am nowhere near that level yet but as I progress I am realizing what it takes to do some of this stuff and the expense involved. In learning all of this it just makes me appreciate more what members from this site are willing to do to support each other.

When I was stationed in California the big thing was low rider cars; I have no use for them but I could appreciate the talent it took to create one.

JIMinPHX
06-23-2009, 12:18 AM
Running a reamer properly is not that hard. You just need to know a few things about using it properly like RPM, feed rate, lube, proper way to hold the tool, & proper way to prep the hole for the reamer.

Boring bars take a little more craftsmanship, especially when the hole is more than a few diameters deep, but with proper care & methods, they work quite well.

Reamers in the $15-$30 range are suitable for making dies. Cheap "braze-on" boring bars are acceptable & can be found for under $15. The nice bars to have are the indexable carbide insert bars. Small, good quality, indexable bars (1/4", 3/8", etc) in kits with inserts can be found on sale periodically for around $100 if you know where to look. It's possible to find a lower quality indexable bar for $50, but they can be harder to get good results from on a deep hole & generally do not support the insert as well, so tool life is not as good.

Suitable reamers can be found, starting on page 218 of the big book here - http://www1.mscdirect.com/CGI/NNPDFF?PMPAGE=1

Some nice Cleveland brand reamers are on sale on page 7 of this month's sale circular, but only some sizes -
http://www1.mscdirect.com/CGI/NNPDFF?PMCTLG=04&PMPAGE=1

Nice Circle brand boring bars are in that same sale circular on page 18. They are around $75 for the bar & $7 each for inserts. 2 inserts should last you for many dies if you treat them properly. I've done about 4 or 5 dies with one of the 1/4" bars & I'm still on my first insert. Page 17 has a 12 piece set of braze-ons for about $110.

Buckshot
06-23-2009, 03:15 AM
............Remember, a drill bit is NOT going to give you a round hole. I also leave a thousandth after boring to bring a die to size via honing. To make a Lyman type die I do this:

1) Centerdrill
2) Drill 1/4" pilot hole. Use the very best quality bit you can afford. You want the hole as straight and round as possible. I use a Guhring Tin coated parabolic. It has a 140* flute angle, below:

http://www.fototime.com/6A8B894E243D50D/standard.jpg

This bit has been stuck through God only knows how many die body blanks, and I mean BUNCHES of'em. They run over $24 each and I got a plastic cassette of 10 of'em for $20 or 30 bucks off E-Bay about 4 years ago. I've been making Lyman and Lee type dies for 4 years and this is only the second bit out of the packet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

3) Step drill, after determining which reamer you have that will leave you somewhere around .020" short of final size.

4) Once ready for the reamer, the die is marked (so it will be returned to the collet in the same place) then the lube holes are drilled through the body.

5) The die body is replaced in the collet and then reamed. Drilling the lube holes upsets metal into the die bore at break through, and the reamer is not sensitive to them and cleans it all up.

6) Check the bore with (minus) pin gages.

7) Bore to about .001" short of final. I use the solid carbide bars made by Circle C. They use carbide inserts, below:

http://www.fototime.com/76745E9F64C31AA/standard.jpghttp://www.fototime.com/F927426EF9100A0/standard.jpg

I have the 3/16, 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2" bars. MSC currently has a couple of them on sale. The 1/4" is a very usefull size as the 3/8" has a minimum bore of .438", while the 1/4" bar is .300". They're good for a 10x stickout if you use the DOC and feed suggested (or a couple passes). These came from MSC and they currently have a couple on sale. At the sale price you're basically paying for the supplied inserts and getting the bar for free.

http://www.fototime.com/5021F858C13FB93/standard.jpg

For a boring bar of this OD, it's sticking out pretty good :-)

8) Hone to size. I used to use diamond paste and brass barrel laps. Diamond paste is expensive, and it's hard on the brass laps ($). Now I use silicon carbide paper on aluminum rods turned to usefull sizes, and slit with a jewelers slitting saw to hold the paper. It takes longer but it works.

..............Buckshot

oldtoolsniper
06-23-2009, 09:25 AM
I need to get a bigger lathe and a lot more cash! You guys spend my money faster than my X-wife!

leftiye
06-23-2009, 12:38 PM
It's probly already been mentioned, but the metal used makes a big difference in the finish that is possible to obtain. O1 toolsteel is fantastic for a wide range of possible uses, for good finish, and toughness (they even make ball bearings out of it). If you're just cutting mild steel, the finish isn't gonna be as good. Hence, polish to size. For boolit sizing dies, and case sizing dies, mild steel does work. In the case of the boolit sizing dies, it also lasts very well because the wear only progresses a thou or so before the as cast size is reached, and it takes forever for the wear to progress up the length of the hole.

dicko
11-15-2010, 03:28 PM
[QUOTE=oldtoolsniper;517981]Adventures in top puÄnch making. Having two craftsman 109 metal lathes of which I have no idea how to use. I decided to make a top punch for a swc cast boolit.

Very fair comment, all of it. But really, it is not all that hard to machine simple tools decently. It does help to get some instruction, because everything is a mystery until you learn enough that it is no longer a mystery. I was lucky, I guess. I had something like 400 hours of machine shop at school. It came in handy years later when I wanted to do some of my own gunsmithing, and even handier when I ended up doing the gunsmithing for a local gunshop.

But it was still a learning curve. My school machine shop was not enough. The one thing that needs to be understood is that a lathe is not a production tool, and all machining and tool making is time consuming and can't be rushed. It is therefore true that, if you are going to count your time, you will never make anything as cheap as you can buy it.

There are two reasons for making things, for the hell of it, or because its the only way to get it. I make all kinds of stuff, gun parts, tools, jigs for making parts and tools, bullet sizing dies, top punches, and loading dies for straight wall cases.

Working to one thousandth is not difficult. In fact close sliding fits have to be a lot closer than one thousandth. Just by way of example of the sort of things you learn, you can't set work dead to centre in a three jaw chuck because the way they work makes some inaccuracy inevitable. The jaws close anything up to two thousandths off centre. The three jaw chuck is a convenience tool for quick chucking of round stock, and for work that will be machined at one setting.

For setting dead to centre you need a four jaw independent chuck. But bear in mind you can't set ordinary bar stock to centre because it isn't perfectly round to start with. Where the four jaw shines is setting precision ground stock, or machined work dead to centre or a measured amount off centre, for eccentric work. Using a dial test indicator, I routinely set to two tenths total indicator reading (per revolution) which is one tenth off centre. That still isn't dead centre but is a lot closer than you'll get with a three jaw and closer than you'll ever need for gun work and most anything else.

But setting to centre isn't the half of it. The sheer precision and variety of accurate work you can do with a four jaw chuck and DTI is amazing. I seldom use a three jaw.

Running a lathe isn't rocket science, just needs practice.

Ruger45
05-16-2012, 04:09 PM
ROFLMAO!! I've been a machinist for over 20 years and that tale you told was funny! Now you have a small idea of why I got paid $20 an hour to apparently sit on my backside doing nothing. Just remember....anything is fairly easy if you know what you are doing.

SlippShodd
01-30-2013, 04:05 AM
I don't know why it never occured to me to make my own sizer dies and top punches. There's a 14x40 lathe in my shop, as well as a little HF 10 incher for making the little pieces that I forgot to make before I zeroed in the real project on the big lathe. One of my hobby businesses is building and repairing pool cues, so for most of its life, the big Lincoln lathe has been a wood turner. Certainly it's done a fair share of metal work, turned scads of replacements for broken firing pins, reloading machine parts and what not, but typically a secondary application. Which means that the metalworking tools have been somewhat, um, neglected. I was frustrated recently when I took on two new calibers to cast for, then couldn't find sizing dies for my RCBS LAM locally, or from the perpetually out of stock online stores. Then I stumbled on this old thread last week and I haven't been the same since.
BTW, that original post was damn funny and I've passed on "X=24" to a friend of mine who teaches math and science to 5th-graders in San Antonio. This year Idaho's test scores will finally trump Texas.
So I had to go buy a stick of 3/4 steel and start tossing it in the recycle bucket 3 inches at a time. Actually I only screwed up the first one and that's because I over bored it. Right there in my Machine Shop Practice books is that table about expected drill bit oversizing, but I referred to that only after witnessing the practical application. I'll hang on to it 'cuz I can still open it up for another caliber down the road. I had to hacksaw the workpieces off the stock because I also forgot that parting tools need a relief angle ground into the face; something I don't need for wood. A quick touchup on the grinder fixed that. I also spent a goodly amount of time resetting some tool heights (I have a quick change toolpost and lots of toolholders), again something that is more critical with metalworking than it is for wood. And I spent a goodly amount of time this morning futzing with realigning tool holders and such before I bored the piece.
Ah, the new boring bar. I discovered I didn't have boring bars small enough for this project a couple nights ago. So I spent a fair amount of time online searching for something suitable and praying I could find a local vendor so I didn't have to wait an eternity for it. I wasn't finding what I wanted, then I remembered that right around the corner from where I used to work was a local company that builds custom carbide tools. So I went to Micro-100s website and found exactly what I was looking for and then some. Next morning just after they opened, I slogged across their snow and ice parking lot, held the door for the company's owner and bellied up to the counter. When a nice man asked if he could help me, I started off with, "I was on your website at 2:00 a.m...." at which point 3 people in the office started laughing and from way back in the corner I heard, "This can't be good!" Anyway, I walked out with a sweet little boring bar with a minimum bore of .20". One of the dies to be made has to be .225 and I think I can pull it off with this bar. If not, they have one that will go .180 and actually bores deeper than the one I bought. It bored my first die out to .3105 without a hitch, leaving me with half a thou to hone out for .002 over my .309 bored Ruger .308. :) I pushed a boolit through it dry and it looks very promising. Just a few finishing touches and then I'll start on the .225 die tomorrow night maybe. The top punch was way too easy, even if I did over-engineer it like most things I do.
So thanks to all who participated in my re-education of forgotten skills. In the process I discovered again my love of self-sufficiency in all possible aspects, as well as a boatload of tools I'd forgotten I had.
Not that that will impede the purchase of even more. Like reloading, these tools are saving me money. [smilie=1:

mike

largom
01-30-2013, 07:04 PM
Now you need to make your own custom seating dies for those fat cast boolits.

Larry

NMLRA Guy
02-01-2013, 04:31 PM
My son worked in a shop that had three-jaw and four-jaw chucks. These were big enough that a chain-fall had to be used to change them out. Ergo, they learned to use the four-jaw chucks rapidly...much much faster than changing chucks even if they were slow. After a bit of use, they learned to do it nearly as fast as centering in a three-jaw

Awsar
02-01-2013, 06:56 PM
if it was easy everyone would do it.yes much respect for a true machinist.
i am not one but i like to pretend :)
been making a few top punches out of aluminum its easy to work with and works.

Del-Ray
02-03-2013, 06:16 PM
Kind of makes me feel better about my "abilities".

I'm making top punches on an old engine lathe in our shop. The chuck jaws juuuuust barely close tight enough to hold the 1/2" rod I start with. And there's no fine adjustment for the..... "back and forth" action? "In and out" has a fine adjustment though. Thankfully. Really puts a beautiful finish on the edge that touches the bullets.

Looks like I need to go to that place down the street with the books in it for some learnering.

farmbif
05-18-2013, 01:08 AM
being a novice hobbyist machinist i have collected several good books inc machine shop training course, two volumes, and machine shop practice, also 2 volumes. I just went to amazon to see about getting the machine tool practices book you reccomend. the latest 2006 printing is $154-- wow. found a 1994 edition on ebay $18 to the door. thanks for reccomending new book hopefully it will help me to make better looking chips

Ole Joe Clarke
05-09-2015, 09:32 AM
I used to be a machinist back in the day. A couple of photos of some things I made, some for fun (crankshaft) and others were some parts I made for customers.

http://i928.photobucket.com/albums/ad123/olejoeclark/Misc/1431175595664_zpsqyh0yra4.jpg (http://s928.photobucket.com/user/olejoeclark/media/Misc/1431175595664_zpsqyh0yra4.jpg.html)

http://i928.photobucket.com/albums/ad123/olejoeclark/Misc/IMG_7900-1.jpg (http://s928.photobucket.com/user/olejoeclark/media/Misc/IMG_7900-1.jpg.html)

By the way I have some drawings of a bullet sizing die and top punch for the Lyman 450 sizer-lube if anyone needs a copy.

fred2892
05-09-2015, 11:44 AM
By the way I have some drawings of a bullet sizing die and top punch for the Lyman 450 sizer-lube if anyone needs a copy.

Yes please, they would be a nice addition to this thread.

Ole Joe Clarke
05-09-2015, 07:01 PM
I apologize for the quality of the drawings.
The first is a "G" top punch sketch. It's pretty simple, material can be any cold rolled steel (CRS), or even brass. I always like C11L17 CRS because it contained lead and machines really well. C1018 is usually a stringy mess.

http://i928.photobucket.com/albums/ad123/olejoeclark/Misc/Re240_zpsmribl9ud.jpg (http://s928.photobucket.com/user/olejoeclark/media/Misc/Re240_zpsmribl9ud.jpg.html)

The second sketch is an incomplete drawing of a "H" sizing die. I made only one, for .41 magnum, and it worked really well. Material was D-2 tool steel, I think D-2 is a oil quench steel. The lube holes are 1/8"-3/16" diameter. The inside diameter is not given because it varies with each bullet size you want. I did all the outside work, drilled the holes and left the inside diameter about .002 undersize. I then heat treated it before finishing the I.D. I then took a piece of drill rod, (item "I") turned and polished it to about .409 dia., and cut it to length. (Remember I am depending on really old memories). I then honed the I.D. of the "H" die to just a tight slip fit on the .409 dia pin. Worked like a charm. If you have questions, do not hesitate to contact me.

http://i928.photobucket.com/albums/ad123/olejoeclark/Re241_zpskvfgldjr.jpg (http://s928.photobucket.com/user/olejoeclark/media/Re241_zpskvfgldjr.jpg.html)

fred2892
05-10-2015, 01:53 AM
Thanks for posting Ole Joe, very useful information. ✔

millertony
12-11-2015, 03:12 PM
Thanks joe