Here are some old shop tricks from a past thread in PM. Most of them
are manual tricks so I've crossposted to rcm. I've condensed them here
- so to see the original posts and authors you can go to the thread
address given below:
Reamer cutting undersize:
For dull reamers that tend to cut very slightly undersize, i take a
carbide insert and run it against the inside cutting edge of the flute.
Kind of like using a "steel" on a good knife. slide it one way only,
tip to end (the other way damages the tip cutting edge). This raises a
slight cutting edge on each flute. do carefully, for doing too much,
and you cut OS
Three jaw chuck that runs out:
Ever get stuck with a lathe that only has a 3 jaw chuck that won't run
true but you have a part that needs .001" concentricity? I saw this in
the Illinois Railway Museum where they had a large lathe and in the big
3 jaw chuck was a 4 jaw chuck in which the work piece could be
indicated in as accurate as needed. Beats the trial and error shim routine.
Another 3-jaw trick:
After measuring TIR, shim the "high" jaw with a shim thickness of 1/3
TIR. (e.g. TOTAL measured runout = .006, use .002 shim in the high jaw.)
Deep hole drilling in a lathe:
Set your starting depth and lock the tailstock in place. Now move the
saddle back until it bumps against the tailstock and lock it in place.
Start drilling. When you're getting to the point where it takes longer
to crank on the hand wheel than you care for, loosen the tailstock,
pull it back to clear the chips, shove the tailstock forward until it
bumps the saddle, lock the tailstock, and start drilling again. This is
faster than doing all of that cranking but you won't lose track of how
deep you have drilled.
That strapping that you cut off of skids and throw away, save some. I
use it for skinny parallels when I have to drill holes too close to the
part edge that it would drill into normal width parallels. (not that I
have ever drilled into a parallel).
They also make great springs for keeping parallels against vise jaws.
Just bend them to make a snug fit against your parallels and now you
can open and close your vise with out those stinking chips getting
behind your parallels.
Instead of the piece of spring steel to hold parallels apart in a mill
vise, I have used a piece of foam pipe insulation.
Gear method of clamping parts that are out of square:
Years ago we had some odd shaped (out of square) parts to machine and
drill holes in. The "old guy" in the shop went over to his tool box and
pulled out a couple of gear sections. What he had done was taken a flat
gear 6" dia. or so and about 3/4" thick then cut it in half. Machined
the flats down about an inch on each side. Then when you mesh the teeth
together the two flats become adjustable. Just put the good side of the
part against the fixed jaw of your vice and the meshed gear on the
other and it will adjust to your part. Will work on some pretty severe
angles, just take it easy on the cutting.
Collect business cards printed on regular white paper. I use them to
shim not quite square pieces in the mill vise and to protect delicate
parts from scratching both in the mill vise and bench vise. They can be
folded to thicken up and make good mini note pads for jotting down a
measurement when your memory is as bad as mine.
Rack gear for clamping out of square parts:
Maybe a piece of rack gear and half of another gear would work even
better, especially if you bolted the rack to the back jaw.
Ball method for clamping that are out of square parts in two planes:
I use a steel ball bearing and a couple of aluminum Vee jaws cut with
a band saw to hold irregular shaped objects on my mill. The pressure
exerted by the vise indents the aluminum and keeps the ball in place.
The benefit of this method is that stock can be out of square in two
planes and still be held securely.
Drill mod for brass:
When drilling brass or bronze, remove the helical rake angle inside
the flute of your twist drill to eliminate the tendency for the tool to
hog in to the work.
Just grind a little flat along the inside edge of the flute, to try to
make the cutting face at 90 degrees to the drill axis.
Easier Loc-Line coolant nozzle installation:
If you ever used the "loc-line" coolant nozzles, they can be a pain in
the but to add more pieces to it
put a cup of water in the microwave, and boil the water..now add your
"loc-line" pieces in the water for about a minute..take them out and
now its much easier to add length or put different nozzles on...
Lathe radius cutting:
For cutting a radius on the end of a part in the lathe, like say a
handle for something, i often use a 4 flute corner rounding end mill
held in a boring bar holder.
Feeler gages as shim stock.
Get a set of flat feeler gauges and take it apart for use as shim stock.
Silly putty centering pin:
This is the handy "sticky pin" - sometimes you want to pick up a
scribed line on a work piece, but you don't want to remove your cutter
- stick the plasticine to the end of the cutter with the pin (or needle
actually) pointing down.
Now you can start the spindle and get the pin running true for picking
up scribed center lines, or just leave the spindle switched off if you
want to move the workpiece around while running the pin back and forth
down a scribed line.
CD lathe spacers:
I have a use for all of those used CD's we don't know what to do with.
I needed to turn a piece on the lathe about .3 thick so my cutter was
getting very close to the jaws on the chuck. Take a CD and cut it to
shim the part out a little. They are very good tolerance and easy to
cut up. They even have a hole in the middle if you need to drill thru.
Turning small or long diameters:
When turning small to medium diameters of plastic bar, tool "push" can
be a real problem. The solution is to use a very sharp HSS tool and
take it all off in one pass.
Put a big magnet in a plastic bag and drop it in the coolant tank near
the pump. It'll attract the chips away. Pull it out and clean it once a
Cutting oil can magnet:
Ever spill a can of cutting oil? I used to.
Now I bought some plastic beakers and some ceramic cup magnets. put the
magnet in the bottom of the beaker and pour in cutting oil.
That's enough typing for me. I'll go through the rest some other time.
Do you have any personal tooling or setup tricks you'd like to add?
- posted 12 years ago