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  1. #1
    Registered user. R.G.B.'s Avatar
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    Question Knurling on a WW lathe

    I've figured out I need the scissor type to keep the pressure off the spindle and bearings and without a power feed it further limits the use but, Does anyone use one with moderate success or is that task delegated to a separate machine? I'd like to be able to make my own screwdrivers and the first choice is knurling with hex rod coming in second.
    Rob

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Knurling on a WW lathe (RE: R.G.B.)

    R.G.B., I have used the scissors knurling tool on my 10mm lathe to make lathe graver handles on about 3/8" diameter aluminum rod. The results were functional, not real pretty. Hard to match the knurling. Each of the about 10 came out a little different.
    I would not want to have done it with my 8mm lathe. If looks are important to you take them to a machine shop to have done the way you want. Don't think it would cost much.
    A new forum member, Kevin

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Knurling on a WW lathe (RE: Kevin Scott)

    The scissor type is a better way to go in a small lathe but apart from pressure on the bearings the operation also requires a bit of grunt which may tax the drive system on a ww lathe.

    There are some things you have to make cause you can't buy them but I am not sure why you want to make screw drivers which are easily found.
    Why not buy a basic set ( already knurled ) and modify them to your needs.
    I'm just here for the watches
    Steve

  4. #4
    Registered user. R.G.B.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Knurling on a WW lathe (RE: StephanG)

    Not all of my screw drivers, just a couple odd custom ones. Good point about the torque turning it though. I'll scratch that one off my list of tool ideas and move on to the torque sleeves and pivot runners.
    Rob

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Knurling on a WW lathe (RE: R.G.B.)

    I realise that knurling is taxing for the bearings of a WW-lathe and I avoid it for unimportant items. However it can be done. At least I did it on my Lorch, Schmidt & Co. with reducting countershaft and powered by the Sherline motor.

    I made a single-wheel knurling holder:



    Knurling is a cutting process, not a pressing one. So slow feeds and plenty of oil to wash the chips away keep the strain on the machine within limits. It requires patience and a lot of passes until finally a nice knurl emerges. Beware, it is a messy process because of the chip-laden oil.

    I have done the knurls for the new brass micrometer dials (25 mm diameter) for my Wolf, Jahn & Co. milling machine:



    And also the steel nuts for the miniature steady rest for the miller/lathe:



    I recently bought a clamp-type knurling tool, but have not used it yet.

    An alternative to knurling is to 'shape' the pattern, but it only works for straight knurls. To this end a lathe tool is held turned on its side and fed into the work. This, however, puts a lot of strain on the feed screw of the longitudinal carriage, as both sides of the tool have to cut full width the deeper you feed it into the work. On the picture below I use this process to the engrave the miller's micrometer dials:



    If you do have a (hand) shaper, then fit a dividing head to it and do it on it.

    Incidentally, does any one know of a (reasonably priced) source for curved knurls as were used on old-time precision machinery and instruments ?

    wefalck

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Knurling on a WW lathe (RE: wefalck)

    Ordinarily cutting oil would not be used when knurling brass. It causes chips to stick to the stock and thus become embedded in the brass. Cleaner knurls in brass are done dry with chips constantly brushed or vacuumed away.

    I would not knurl on my WW lathes.
    Jim

  7. #7
    Registered user. R.G.B.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Knurling on a WW lathe (RE: motormaker)

    Good work wefalck. Another alternative might be to pick up another headstock and use it for the heavier jobs. I like the straight pattern as well since the pattern clashing would be less noticeable if the diameter didn't match up. (I'll keep an eye out for curved knurls)
    Last edited by R.G.B.; 08-10-2011 at 02:03 PM.
    Rob

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Knurling on a WW lathe (RE: R.G.B.)

    wefalck

    I had to do a similar shaping job on my lathe and I used the top slide.
    I removed the feed screw ( temporarily) and rigged up a long lever that attached to a pivot fitted into the tail stock. About an inch from the tail stock end was a hole and from there a rod went forward and attached via a second pivot to the top slide. I just clamped it under the tool in place of the packing I normally used at times.
    Now as you move the lever back and forth this slides the top slide up and down. Use the cross slide to put on the feed.
    This setup does not tax the feed system on the lathe since the tail stock takes all the load.
    Have also used this setup to cut internal key ways.
    I'm just here for the watches
    Steve

  9. #9

    Default Re: Knurling on a WW lathe (RE: wefalck)

    Perhaps not entirely on topic, but what I never understood of knurling is that apparently it doesn't seem to matter what the 'thickness' of the knurl teeth is. How come the first tooth formed doesn't get fouled when the last formed tooth isn't exactly in the right position (after the target has rotated 360 degrees)?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Knurling on a WW lathe (RE: wrobbie)

    The diameter of the knurled part in the end reduces itself just to the right size for the width of a full number of the 'teeth'. You can easily calculate, that only a small adjustment is needed.

    I agree with the notion above that brass normally should be worked dry. My practical experience however showed, that it works better with plenty of plain light machine oil to wash out chips.

    wefalck

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