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  1. #1
    Registered user. RJSoftware's Avatar
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    Default How do you make gears with a lathe?

    This is the deal buster for me.

    If I ever was to seriously consider getting a lathe and perhaps taking educational course, it would have to lead to full understanding of how to make gears using a lathe. No if ands or buts.

    What I want to know is there some kind of mechanism that connects somehow to a lathe that automates the tooth cutting process?

    I picture a grinding wheel on some device that is controlled by ratcheting action when the gear turns a degree.

    Or is it all guess and grind? Not sure I would like that...!

    I wish somebody could show us how. Illustrate it cause my imagination plays tricks on me.

    This seems to be the great impass. It feels like beyond this door is where the real horologist meet.

    RJ
    Is FATCA going to be a slow drip to economic destruction or a gusher..?

  2. #2

    Default Re: How do you make gears with a lathe? (RE: RJSoftware)

    Hi RJ, i went through the same gut wrenching, mind wringing problems over 20 years ago, so to give you some forward motion, all of the maths is pretty basic to make your own gears for clocks. There is a fair amount of things to make before your lathe becomes a wheel cutting machine but once they are made, they will last a lifetime. Once you have gear making capabilitys in the shop, you can take on more advanced jobs that your competitors may not have, word does spread! OC

  3. #3
    Registered User Scottie-TX's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you make gears with a lathe? (RE: RJSoftware)

    Briefly, and all here know I'm just a duffer on lathes - briefly, as OC mentions. you will need an attachment auxiliary to your lathe. It will have it's own motor and power source. It's purpose will be to hold the rotating tools or cutting bits that will cut the teeth. Of course it certainly does not rely on guesswork. You can imagine the results. There needs be also some kind of indexing system. Some teeth, depending on shape may need two or three passes to finally shape the teeth.
    I know it's an oversimplification but - something like that.
    Also, others will have excellent recommendations but after I got my lathe, my source became ARCHIE PERKINS', "The Modern Watchmakers Lathe and How to use it"
    ISBN 0-918845-23-8
    There, he devotes sixty pages or about a fifth of the book to wheel work.
    [edit=1258=1188599691][/edit]

  4. #4

    Default Re: How do you make gears with a lathe? (RE: RJSoftware)

    Its much easier to make gears on a mill than a lathe. I use my lathe to bore out the center of the gear to mount it on the hub, but overall, I use the mill for gear making.

    JMHO
    Jeff Major

  5. #5
    Registered User LaBounty's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you make gears with a lathe? (RE: RJSoftware)

    Hey RJ-

    There are many different setups but the three basic needs for gear cutting with a lathe are...

    1) a lathe

    2) a milling attachment or mill.

    3) an index

    The milling attachment mounts on a cross slide and is used to spin the cutter. To power the milling attachment you will need a countershaft and idler pulleys which allow you to align the belt with the pulley on the milling attachment. You wouldn't necessarily need all that if you have a full-size mill since it should be possible to mount your lathe bed on the mill (this is the setup I prefer).

    The index holds the head stock in a fixed position so the tooth can be cut and then allows the head stock to be rotated an exact amount. "Practical Benchwork for Horologists" by Levin shows a universal index which attaches to the lathe and utilizes a 40:1 worm gear for accuracy. That means you would need to rotate the index 40 times to complete one revolution of the head stock. Unfortunately, these must be custom made to fit an individual lathe.

    Indexes are commercially available for full-sized mills but then you wouldn't be using the lathe for gear cutting .

    This just touches the surface but other items include gear cutters, cutter arbors, gear blanks, and gear blank arbors.

    Hope that helps!

  6. #6
    Registered user. RJSoftware's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you make gears with a lathe? (RE: RJSoftware)

    Anybody got any good pic's of thier mill?

    I don't think I have even seen one..!
    Is FATCA going to be a slow drip to economic destruction or a gusher..?

  7. #7
    Registered User Scottie-TX's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you make gears with a lathe? (RE: RJSoftware)

    I seem to recall a topic, ARJAY, where guys 'n gals were showin' off and comparing their various mills at HORO - TOOLS.
    R'member back the days of PHIL? "Show us your workshop"? I believe you started the topic! Mills in there too, I recall.
    [edit=1258=1188604109][/edit]

  8. #8
    Registered user. RJSoftware's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you make gears with a lathe? (RE: RJSoftware)

    Hmmm, not sure it was me. Might of been...!

    I keep going round and round to the same conclusion. I just don't know much about this.

    The problem is I don't think I can go the formal education route. Just not enough time and money.

    While searching Horo tools looking for a link to "Show us your workshop" and workshop I come across Klosee post talkin about a wheel cutting class.

    Now that would be decent, but probably not a first step. See, there it is again.

    I don't know enough to formulate a good direction and I don't have enough incentive/income/time to participate in formal education.

    But then there is the book option!

    On the book you give the ISBN, does that have a section using mills?

    RJ
    Is FATCA going to be a slow drip to economic destruction or a gusher..?

  9. #9

    Default Re: How do you make gears with a lathe? (RE: RJSoftware)

    RJ there is a book entitled "Wheel and Pinnion cutting in horology" by J. Malcolm wild. this one is the is the motherlode

    but yes I have half shares in a milling machine. its not perfect, but it does the job.. here is a pic..

    *EMMA*

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails MVC-040F.JPG  

  10. #10

    Default Re: How do you make gears with a lathe? (RE: RJSoftware)

    Quote Originally Posted by RJSoftware
    Anybody got any good pic's of thier mill?

    I don't think I have even seen one..!
    RJ.. Here are a couple of shots of my mill set up for wheel cutting.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Wheel Cut 3.JPG   Wheel Cut 4.JPG  
    David Robertson - Kingsland, TX

  11. #11

    Default Re: How do you make gears with a lathe? (RE: RJSoftware)

    Quote Originally Posted by David
    Quote Originally Posted by RJSoftware
    Anybody got any good pic's of thier mill?

    I don't think I have even seen one..!
    RJ.. Here are a couple of shots of my mill set up for wheel cutting.
    David:

    That looks like a plausible home setup. Is that a Sherline mill with their indexing attachment you are using?

    Thumbz

  12. #12
    Registered User Kevin W.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you make gears with a lathe? (RE: RJSoftware)

    David is that a Taig lathe in your pictures?
    Nice set up anyways, i like the size of it, would fit in most work shops.
    One clock at a time. Kevin West
    http://www.global-horology.com/GHMB/

  13. #13

    Default Re: How do you make gears with a lathe? (RE: RJSoftware)

    Quote Originally Posted by veritas
    David is that a Taig lathe in your pictures?
    Nice set up anyways, i like the size of it, would fit in most work shops.
    My thoughts exactly, this setup fits in a home workshop. I dont have room for a full sized Bridgeport type mill, as much as Id love that!

    Thumbz

  14. #14

    Default Re: How do you make gears with a lathe? (RE: RJSoftware)

    Thumbz,

    It is a Taig mill and an extra Taig headstock used for the indexing/work holding head... also Taig tailstock.

    It is a good, sturdy arrangement.
    David Robertson - Kingsland, TX

  15. #15
    Registered User Scottie-TX's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you make gears with a lathe? (RE: RJSoftware)

    It's a beaut! I'm GREEN with envy, even tho I wouldn't know squat about how to use it. ARJAY, I believe this trade is best learned, hands on, at the tutilage of a skilled master . I don't think you get this in a book.
    Your thoughts DAVID? Others?

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