The piece I am making is a cylinder, about 15mm diameter but needed to
have a flat down one side. I don't have an end mill to mount in the
chuck, so I bolted the cylinder sideways in the 4-jaw and used a normal
cutting tool... did a reasonable job (nothing a bit of linishing won't
sort out!!). Is there a better way of doing this without buying a
You really gotta get a couple decent model engineering books and
discover some of the things that you are rediscovering.
The Amateurs Lathe by Sparey is one of the best.
Workholding in the Lathe by Tubal Cain is good, and affordable,
Milling Operations in the Lathe , Same author, is one I reccomend
getting over a lot of others. Both are part of the "Workshop Practice
Series" books. Most of that series of books contain a least a few golden
tidbits of information, while some of them are simply outstanding.
These two books are in the outstanding catagory,IMO, and can be got
for pretty cheap in the brit neighborhood, according to amazon.co.uk.
The prices quoted there for brand new stock are about half the retail
prices I pay here in Canada for these books, and if you check out the
"used" listings, well sir, I figure they are asking a paltry sum for
these, at 3 or 4 pound a copy.
At those prices, I recomend you get Screwcutting in the Lathe, by
Martin Cleeve, as well. I don't normally recommend it at the retail
prices that I have to pay over here, as it is largely padded out with
screwcutting charts that are really only of use to folk with older odder
lathes, but it covers the theory of screwcutting well and is a usefull
addition at the prices over there.
If you feel the need to splurge, get the George Thomas books, Model
Engineers Workshop Manual, and Workshop Techniques. GREAT books!
from "Robin" :
Given the equipment that you have available - perfectly reasonable.
With similar constraints I soon looked on eBay for a Vertical Slide
which fits on the cross slide. Theses are available in both Fixed and
Swivel types. Once you have one then your time will be taken up with
"making fixtures to make tools, to make fixtures, to make tools, to make
My Vertical Slide is on the cross slide as much as my quick-change tool post!
I've already got the screwcutting and milling-in-the-lathe (sounds like
a nice village...) books - probably should read them again.
Isn't it a "shock" to the cutting tool when the cylinder meets it -
since the length of the cylinder far exceeds the diameter, the majority
of the time there is air in front of the cutting tool, until the
cylinder swings round to hit it... do I not risk damaging things?
Standard of finish was not great as I was reluctant to increase the
speed but it's close enough for what I need...
...so to answer the question, looks like I'm a genius!!!
It is a shock, but nothing compared with running the saddle into the
chuck jaws or dropping something heavy on the bed :D As long as the tool
(HSS?) is sturdy, speed is low and feed is modest, no problem. If you
take too big/fast cuts the worst that could happen is the workpiece
moves, or the tool tip snaps off - in which case you'll may to start
again. Provided the lathe is setup right, the machine won't suffer.
Try a tool with a wide sharp edge for finishing.
Interupted cutting used to be the bane of carbide tools, though there
are now carbibes built to take the shock.
It's a pretty normal thing to do, and as long as you don't get too
eager on the feed, it works fine.
I think I did chip the tool slightly, but can just index it round :)
Will look at investing in some different tools - I think the scrappie
down the road has hundreds just lying around which I'm sure I could
pick up for next to nothing...
Your lucky then. The scrapies round here (not that there are many)
have an animal with fangs at the gate (or it could be the owner - hard
to tell) playing the "no mate can't come in, health and safety.. mor'n
my jobs worth" record.
Don't assume carbide is the be-all and end-all. You can grind HSS tools
and tool bits to any shape or cutting angles you need, and they will
often give a finer finish. You can also make specials from scratch from
silver steel. Shape it in the soft (well softish) condition, harden it,
and just hone the edge on.
Move it upstairs into the bedroom then.
That way you can turn in your sleep.
Ok I'll get me coat............................................
Visit the new Model Engineering adverts page at:-
I always look forward to reading your posts. Some are very detailed and
informative, some give a different view on problems which no one else has
thought of and some like this, just crack me up. Keep it up.
Having seen JohnS' workshop and front room, wouldn't surprise me in
the least if the bedroom has overflow.
Have you finished decorating the front room yet John?
Norfolk - UK not VA