Really interesting essay by Jay Leno, of all people, on why the
> country needs skilled machinists.
Jay Leno said that no one in this country can make the gears that he
needed for his cars.
In relation to this, I want to ask if anyone in this newsgroup, ever
needed to make a gear.
I brought home two boxes of involute and other gear cutters, and
cannot really fathom any possible use for them. But what I know is
that if I sell them and ever need to make a gear, I will be fully
fscked. But that may never happen. So, I want to know if there really
is a need to make gears.
Unlike Leno, I do not have a garage full of antique cars, if that
Milling a gear for an old golf-course lawnmower was my first commercial
milling job. It was almost my last, too.
It's of more use for making specials as replacement parts, for sizes,
thicknesses, etc. that are non-standard.
If you repair antique machinery, you may be glad you have them. You'll need
a good rotary indexing table to use them.
Antique steam engines?
No but you have an old lathe that you could break a gear on. You bring home
would increase in value if a missing or broken gear was replaced.
"Additionally as a security officer, I carry a gun to protect
government officials but my life isn't worth protecting at home
in their eyes." Dick Anthony Heller
s worn out. Checked with Harbor Freight and they no longer stock gears for=
one of their bandsaws. And have no gears in stock for the other model of =
horizontal bandsaw. But would order one from China if I was willing to wei=
Incidently for those with worm gear driven band saws, Boston Gear
recommends synthetic gear oil for their worm gear reduction boxes. It
used to be Mobil 634. But things change.
Since December 5th, 2005, Boston Gear=92s new standard lubricant has
been Kl=FCbersynth UH1 6-460 across all enclosed gearing product
Kl=FCbersynth UH1 6-460 is a fully formulated high temperature/high
performance and H1 certified gear oil that can be used in food
processing and pharmaceutical manufacturing environments. The
combination of this lubricant and Boston Gear=92s superior gear design
yield improvements in efficiencies and performance and a reduction in
wear and operating temperatures. Kl=FCbersynth UH1 6-460 performance
leads to prolonged life of the seals and bearings along with lower
annualized operating costs to the end user.
Click here for a copy of the MSDS for Kl=FCbersynth UH1 6-460.
Click here for a list of FAQs about the new lubricant and how to place
an order for a pre-lubricated unit.
Click here for a copy of the 700 Series Single Reduction Ratio &
Capacity Selection Tables.
Click here for a copy of the 700 Series Single Reduction Catalog
Click here for a copy of the MSDS for Mobil SHC 634.
Click here for a copy of the MSDS for Mobil 600.
I know how you feel. I tried to get work to buy me an involute cutter once
along with the
stock to fix a lathe. We have dividing heads and machines to use to spare. The
a metric one made out of an engineering plastic as a fusable part on a fairly
engine lathe's screw cutting feed system.
That would have been so ez. It was on an adjustable shaft to deal with meshing
imperial or metric ratio change gear. I could have been a bit sloppy and it
Instead they paid too much for a custom gear.
Years ago I made a gear for a fellow from the old Compuserve metal
working group, Roger Peterson. He had a nice Rockwell metal lathe, with
a tooth or two busted off the back gear. I felt that cutting a real
working gear, was a step toward calling myself a real machinist. Offered
to make the gear for free if he bought the cutter and materials.
Made two just in case he ever needed another, but far as I know that
lathe is still running the first gear.
I'd love to find a box or two of involute cutters, just to have around,
just in case....
1) Mr Leno is obviously not very good at either research or machining (There
are almost certainly plenty of people that could do it for the right price,
and he could have done it himself if he tried. 3D printers weren't needed when
his cars were made.
2) Only done spur gears so far, but have made and hardened a complete new set
of gears for a Hardinge HLV apron gear box and will need to make a full set of
change wheels for metric threads. Possibly I'll cast an additional gearbox to
make a unique HLV-EM:-)
Yep -- replacement gears for lathes and other tools. Or missing
gear, or gears to make it do something which it never had to do before.
In addition to the involute cutters, you need a milling machine
(which you have, IIRC, though a horizontal mill might be better), a
dividing/indexing head (you can make do with a rotary table, but more of
the angular positioning is automated with the dividing/indexing head and
its wheels and arms), and the lathe to make the gear blank. This is for
standard straight (spur) gears. Bevel, helical and hypoid gears take a
bit more specialized machinery. But most machine tools use straight
And for production, you want a gear hobber and the proper hob
for the gears which you want to make. A single hob covers all tooth
counts in a given pitch and pressure angle, but it needs a much more
complex and specialize machine to drive the blank and the hob.
Another thing which is nice to have, especially if you are
duplicating a damaged gear, is a gear tooth vernier caliper, but you can
usually do without that if you know what the pitch and pressure angle
You have old machines. You may need to make gears for them
How many antique machine tools do you have? :-)
FWIW, I bought the full set of involute gear cutters for the
gear pitch used in my Clausing. They are expensive, and a full set is
eight cutters. (Actually -- there is a secondary set -- half steps --
to do a better job for gears between the center of the range of the
I would suggest that you go through your collection and sort it.
First by pitch and Pressure Angle (PA), then make sure that you have at
least one each of numbers 1 through 8. If you have the half step ones,
keep them with the others.
If you have duplicates, see if you can tell whether one is more
dull than the other. *I* would keep the whole set -- among other things for the
possibility of making gears needed for model steam engines or something
On the contrary, he is very GOOD at research - and anyone who knows
Jay knows they will be paid a fair price to make whatever he
needs/wants. He's no cheapskate.
No standard commercial gear cutter in America could or would make the
part. Very few machinists in America today have the equipment AND
experience to make that gear. Some have one, some the other - but very
His research paid off when he found the one old guy who had both.
I have a mill and a right angle attachment for it. Also got the R8
arbor in the pile with the involute cutters. Plus a large quantity of
slitting cutters and other horizontal mill style things. Some are used
to make round grooves.
The lot includes four boxes shown.
Price was $55.
Dno, practically speaking, is it possible to make gears with a rotary
table and a calculator or spreadsheet (to show angles)? Or would it
not produce accurate enough geometry?
I want to make a gear, just to practice. I have a rotary table, but
not a indexing head.
Yes, I have seen those.
58 year old compressor, 42 year old lathe, 35 year old mill. Note that
I ewmphatically do not consider 35 year old anything to be antique.
OK... I will sort through them...
Th egear cutters are in the rear right box.
Slitting and cutting saws are in the rear left and front left boxes,
R8 arbor and other arbors are in the front left box. Special profile
slitting cutters (round profile, vee way etc) and some more gear
cutters are in the front right box.
yes... Thanks a lot... The air has cleared and it is apparent that
getting rid of this stuff would be a major mistake.
Does anyone know of some company selling this stuff that has a good
PDF catalog that explains their selection. McMaster is a page with
involute cutters, but it is not very detaled.
I don't know the situation, but there are many gear configurations that
can't be cut with milling cutters. If the tooth form is undercut, for
example, you can't do it. It has to be hobbed or gear-shaped (with a gear
shaper, not a regular shaper). And something really odd could require a
custom hob -- not something one is likely to do for a one-off of anything.
Unka' George [George McDuffee]
He that will not apply new remedies,
must expect new evils:
for Time is the greatest innovator: and
if Time, of course, alter things to the worse,
and wisdom and counsel shall not alter them to the better,
what shall be the end?
Francis Bacon (1561-1626), English philosopher, essayist, statesman.
Essays, "Of Innovations" (1597-1625).