Helpful little lathe tool...

Helpful little lathe tool...

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

September 10th, 2017, 8:58 am #1

I've had a "quick change tool post" on my lathes pretty much ever since I've had a lathe. For those who aren't machinists or are just getting started, a "quick change" toolpost lets you... well, quickly change the cutting tool, with little more than the flip of a lever.

The toolpost uses tool "blocks", a hunk of steel with some setscrews to hold the actual cutting tool. Guys that use their lathes a lot will have a collection of extra blocks, so that a cutting tool can be set, adjusted, and left in place, so that every time you go to use that block, it's ready to go and on center. It's a huge time savings, and reduces fiddling and frustrations.

One of the most-used tools I set up years ago was this:



A standard toolblock with a couple of 90-degree-ground cutters, one at each end. This is my chamfering tool, used to lightly break the corner of parts as they're still in the machine, and a bit safer than trying to use a file.

Being "double ended" like that, you could chamfer both sides of a groove, left and right shoulders, as well as ends and the inside of tubes or bored features.

The main problem I had with this, was that last part- when trying to do the inside corner of a bore, unless you were careful, you could bang the body of the cutter- that is, the part below the cutting face could make contact with the work, which might damage it.

It's just one of those things I've "put up with" for a while now, until about... um... six months ago or so, when I bought a hunk of round HSS for this.

I had a few other things on my mind in that time, but this past week, I needed to start turning some more blanks for another project- about a hundred of them, and both ends meant 200 ends, and both an ID and OD meant 400 chamfers.

So I dusted off the chunk of HSS (er, after I was finally able to locate it, that is ) and chucked it up in an electric drill. Using that, I ran it against my bench grinder to form a surprisingly smooth 90-degree point at each end.

I do have a tool-post grinder, and that would have been much more precise, but this was quicker- by a lot- and didn't spray grit and sparks all over my lathe.

After I had a pretty decent point, I roughly ground flats at each end to remove the bulk of the tips, then set the rod up in a 5C collet block, and set that in my surface grinder:



I then carefully ground each tip, so they're the exact same height, and level and parallel to each other.



After that, it was a simple matter of putting that in a spare toolholder- one of the ones with the groove for holding round shanks...



And after that, it was an easy job to plunk it into place after facing each part, and give each edge a quick light chamfer to break the edge.



And, of course, being double-ended means I can do almost any edge on a part- left and right shoulders, both edges of a groove, outer corners, bores and tubes, etc.



I ground the rod slightly below center to give the cutting edge a touch of relief, and there's enough rod I can resharpen it a couple of times- either by grinding the flats again (going even more below center won't hurt) or using the tool-post grinder to reshape the conical part.

But for mostly aluminum, the edges will last several years at a time, anyway.

It's not a huge thing, but it's very much one of those bits where you're happy to have the right tool for the job.

Doc.
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Joined: October 8th, 2014, 2:05 pm

September 10th, 2017, 1:31 pm #2

It must be nice to work someplace where you can spend a little time up front to create a tool to save a lot more time later. Where I work right now, if we can't sell it, I'm not allowed to work on it.

I do anyway, but I can only get away with it because most of my managers don't have a clue what I do.
If it ain't broke, I'll fix it!
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Joined: July 12th, 2017, 12:19 am

September 10th, 2017, 2:24 pm #3

... only my "machine" was Inventor and "tools" were templates and VBA routines. My manager knew I was doing that sort of thing, didn't have a problem with it, and knew he wouldn't understand it anyway. They let me go more than 1-1/2 years ago, and the new guy is still trying to get up to speed.

Haven't figured out what tools I need to make at the new job yet, but I'm designing machine mods and upgrades rather than products, so there's a lot more variety to what I do now, which is a good thing.

Tim
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Joined: February 24th, 2015, 9:38 pm

September 10th, 2017, 7:00 pm #4

I've had a "quick change tool post" on my lathes pretty much ever since I've had a lathe. For those who aren't machinists or are just getting started, a "quick change" toolpost lets you... well, quickly change the cutting tool, with little more than the flip of a lever.

The toolpost uses tool "blocks", a hunk of steel with some setscrews to hold the actual cutting tool. Guys that use their lathes a lot will have a collection of extra blocks, so that a cutting tool can be set, adjusted, and left in place, so that every time you go to use that block, it's ready to go and on center. It's a huge time savings, and reduces fiddling and frustrations.

One of the most-used tools I set up years ago was this:



A standard toolblock with a couple of 90-degree-ground cutters, one at each end. This is my chamfering tool, used to lightly break the corner of parts as they're still in the machine, and a bit safer than trying to use a file.

Being "double ended" like that, you could chamfer both sides of a groove, left and right shoulders, as well as ends and the inside of tubes or bored features.

The main problem I had with this, was that last part- when trying to do the inside corner of a bore, unless you were careful, you could bang the body of the cutter- that is, the part below the cutting face could make contact with the work, which might damage it.

It's just one of those things I've "put up with" for a while now, until about... um... six months ago or so, when I bought a hunk of round HSS for this.

I had a few other things on my mind in that time, but this past week, I needed to start turning some more blanks for another project- about a hundred of them, and both ends meant 200 ends, and both an ID and OD meant 400 chamfers.

So I dusted off the chunk of HSS (er, after I was finally able to locate it, that is ) and chucked it up in an electric drill. Using that, I ran it against my bench grinder to form a surprisingly smooth 90-degree point at each end.

I do have a tool-post grinder, and that would have been much more precise, but this was quicker- by a lot- and didn't spray grit and sparks all over my lathe.

After I had a pretty decent point, I roughly ground flats at each end to remove the bulk of the tips, then set the rod up in a 5C collet block, and set that in my surface grinder:



I then carefully ground each tip, so they're the exact same height, and level and parallel to each other.



After that, it was a simple matter of putting that in a spare toolholder- one of the ones with the groove for holding round shanks...



And after that, it was an easy job to plunk it into place after facing each part, and give each edge a quick light chamfer to break the edge.



And, of course, being double-ended means I can do almost any edge on a part- left and right shoulders, both edges of a groove, outer corners, bores and tubes, etc.



I ground the rod slightly below center to give the cutting edge a touch of relief, and there's enough rod I can resharpen it a couple of times- either by grinding the flats again (going even more below center won't hurt) or using the tool-post grinder to reshape the conical part.

But for mostly aluminum, the edges will last several years at a time, anyway.

It's not a huge thing, but it's very much one of those bits where you're happy to have the right tool for the job.

Doc.
To heck with practicality. I remain a staunch lantern toolpost user. NT
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Joined: April 15th, 2003, 12:28 pm

September 10th, 2017, 8:57 pm #5

... only my "machine" was Inventor and "tools" were templates and VBA routines. My manager knew I was doing that sort of thing, didn't have a problem with it, and knew he wouldn't understand it anyway. They let me go more than 1-1/2 years ago, and the new guy is still trying to get up to speed.

Haven't figured out what tools I need to make at the new job yet, but I'm designing machine mods and upgrades rather than products, so there's a lot more variety to what I do now, which is a good thing.

Tim
And was able to increase my output by 3x or so on most projects. Problem is, i started running faster than everyone else, and just used that time to work on my own projects. My one manager didnt care, because I got the work done, and if needed, could easily jump onto other stuff.

My own projects eventually came the company that i left that job to take over full time this year. They never replaced me either, just stopped doing those jobs.
__
Designer / maker of Jeep gauges and assorted automotive bits and baubles.
TeamADW.com
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Joined: September 13th, 2014, 9:47 pm

September 10th, 2017, 10:13 pm #6

I've had a "quick change tool post" on my lathes pretty much ever since I've had a lathe. For those who aren't machinists or are just getting started, a "quick change" toolpost lets you... well, quickly change the cutting tool, with little more than the flip of a lever.

The toolpost uses tool "blocks", a hunk of steel with some setscrews to hold the actual cutting tool. Guys that use their lathes a lot will have a collection of extra blocks, so that a cutting tool can be set, adjusted, and left in place, so that every time you go to use that block, it's ready to go and on center. It's a huge time savings, and reduces fiddling and frustrations.

One of the most-used tools I set up years ago was this:



A standard toolblock with a couple of 90-degree-ground cutters, one at each end. This is my chamfering tool, used to lightly break the corner of parts as they're still in the machine, and a bit safer than trying to use a file.

Being "double ended" like that, you could chamfer both sides of a groove, left and right shoulders, as well as ends and the inside of tubes or bored features.

The main problem I had with this, was that last part- when trying to do the inside corner of a bore, unless you were careful, you could bang the body of the cutter- that is, the part below the cutting face could make contact with the work, which might damage it.

It's just one of those things I've "put up with" for a while now, until about... um... six months ago or so, when I bought a hunk of round HSS for this.

I had a few other things on my mind in that time, but this past week, I needed to start turning some more blanks for another project- about a hundred of them, and both ends meant 200 ends, and both an ID and OD meant 400 chamfers.

So I dusted off the chunk of HSS (er, after I was finally able to locate it, that is ) and chucked it up in an electric drill. Using that, I ran it against my bench grinder to form a surprisingly smooth 90-degree point at each end.

I do have a tool-post grinder, and that would have been much more precise, but this was quicker- by a lot- and didn't spray grit and sparks all over my lathe.

After I had a pretty decent point, I roughly ground flats at each end to remove the bulk of the tips, then set the rod up in a 5C collet block, and set that in my surface grinder:



I then carefully ground each tip, so they're the exact same height, and level and parallel to each other.



After that, it was a simple matter of putting that in a spare toolholder- one of the ones with the groove for holding round shanks...



And after that, it was an easy job to plunk it into place after facing each part, and give each edge a quick light chamfer to break the edge.



And, of course, being double-ended means I can do almost any edge on a part- left and right shoulders, both edges of a groove, outer corners, bores and tubes, etc.



I ground the rod slightly below center to give the cutting edge a touch of relief, and there's enough rod I can resharpen it a couple of times- either by grinding the flats again (going even more below center won't hurt) or using the tool-post grinder to reshape the conical part.

But for mostly aluminum, the edges will last several years at a time, anyway.

It's not a huge thing, but it's very much one of those bits where you're happy to have the right tool for the job.

Doc.
Not being able to justify an AXA or BXA set (due to the lathe being non-income producing, among other reasons) I came up with a quick and dirty substitute. I have a lantern post that is the biggest that will fit into my compound slot (~2"). I made a ring that is just flat rather than a rocker curve. Since all of the cheap tool bits are carbide, they don't care about rake angle like a HSS bit would. A couple of Christmases back, I made 3 or 4 different sizes of straight holders and a boring bar that would hold 3/16 & 1/4 bits. I can use bits from 3/16 to 1" square (whatever I found at the surplus bits-by-the-pound store, or at HF). I just set the center height with flat shims. Obviously, NOT good enough for Government work, but good enough for home.

BTW, I'm celebrating a Birthday. My 15" Sydney Lathe is 100 this year!
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Joined: September 12th, 2014, 5:45 am

September 13th, 2017, 7:48 am #7

I've had a "quick change tool post" on my lathes pretty much ever since I've had a lathe. For those who aren't machinists or are just getting started, a "quick change" toolpost lets you... well, quickly change the cutting tool, with little more than the flip of a lever.

The toolpost uses tool "blocks", a hunk of steel with some setscrews to hold the actual cutting tool. Guys that use their lathes a lot will have a collection of extra blocks, so that a cutting tool can be set, adjusted, and left in place, so that every time you go to use that block, it's ready to go and on center. It's a huge time savings, and reduces fiddling and frustrations.

One of the most-used tools I set up years ago was this:



A standard toolblock with a couple of 90-degree-ground cutters, one at each end. This is my chamfering tool, used to lightly break the corner of parts as they're still in the machine, and a bit safer than trying to use a file.

Being "double ended" like that, you could chamfer both sides of a groove, left and right shoulders, as well as ends and the inside of tubes or bored features.

The main problem I had with this, was that last part- when trying to do the inside corner of a bore, unless you were careful, you could bang the body of the cutter- that is, the part below the cutting face could make contact with the work, which might damage it.

It's just one of those things I've "put up with" for a while now, until about... um... six months ago or so, when I bought a hunk of round HSS for this.

I had a few other things on my mind in that time, but this past week, I needed to start turning some more blanks for another project- about a hundred of them, and both ends meant 200 ends, and both an ID and OD meant 400 chamfers.

So I dusted off the chunk of HSS (er, after I was finally able to locate it, that is ) and chucked it up in an electric drill. Using that, I ran it against my bench grinder to form a surprisingly smooth 90-degree point at each end.

I do have a tool-post grinder, and that would have been much more precise, but this was quicker- by a lot- and didn't spray grit and sparks all over my lathe.

After I had a pretty decent point, I roughly ground flats at each end to remove the bulk of the tips, then set the rod up in a 5C collet block, and set that in my surface grinder:



I then carefully ground each tip, so they're the exact same height, and level and parallel to each other.



After that, it was a simple matter of putting that in a spare toolholder- one of the ones with the groove for holding round shanks...



And after that, it was an easy job to plunk it into place after facing each part, and give each edge a quick light chamfer to break the edge.



And, of course, being double-ended means I can do almost any edge on a part- left and right shoulders, both edges of a groove, outer corners, bores and tubes, etc.



I ground the rod slightly below center to give the cutting edge a touch of relief, and there's enough rod I can resharpen it a couple of times- either by grinding the flats again (going even more below center won't hurt) or using the tool-post grinder to reshape the conical part.

But for mostly aluminum, the edges will last several years at a time, anyway.

It's not a huge thing, but it's very much one of those bits where you're happy to have the right tool for the job.

Doc.
No thought.
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