How to attach a brass blank to a lathe

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by ChrisCam, Dec 23, 2019.

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  1. ChrisCam

    ChrisCam Registered User
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    Dec 9, 2017
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    Hi,
    my next endeavour will be to attempt to machine a clock wheel from an existing wheels profile and dimensions.

    Question arising: Should I use superglue for this : assume a wheel of 50 mm dia

    Question arising: If so what chuck / adapter is suitable?

    Happy break to all

    Chris
     
  2. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    chris - have you checked out the clickspring videos on youtube? he does this all the time with superglue and makes it all look obnoxiously easy. :cool:
     
  3. ChrisCam

    ChrisCam Registered User
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    Hi Bruce , yes and if I am honest it is to validate his ideas I posted. Some posters argue superglue is prone to let go. Personally i trust chris from Clicksring but he puts in this adapter superglue chuck and my issue is where does one get one:???:?

    Chris
     
  4. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    ah... don't know... i just always watch in amazement! :cool:
     
  5. ChrisCam

    ChrisCam Registered User
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    And me...hope someone can help?

    Chris
     
  6. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Chris,

    He probably turns it up from a chunk of aluminium. It's only a disc like any wax chuck after all, just a lot larger. The CA glue is perfectly good, provided you don't try and take heavy cuts.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  7. ChrisCam

    ChrisCam Registered User
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    Thanks Graham, will investigate but sounds good.

    Update yes aluminium will do it and machine grooves 4 t0 5 mm apart to aid super glue driyng.

    Regards

    Chris
     
  8. woodlawndon

    woodlawndon Registered User
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    Chris, once you get into this, I'd really love to see a pictorial and an example of how it turned out. I've been wanting to do this but I'm not there yet.
    Don
     
  9. glenhead

    glenhead Registered User
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    Any sort of backing will do. Aluminum is super easy to clean up and is lightweight. Wood works fine, too. So does brass, steel, blah blah. Not plastic.

    As Graham said and Chris (the other Chris, that is) says in his Clickspring videos, you have to take really light cuts when you superglue something to a backing plate. The glue's basic adhesive capability will withstand danged near any stress you hand it if you use it as shown in the videos. (The grooved backing plate and a healthy amount of glue.) BUT...

    The enemy is heat. Any cut generates heat. A heavy cut generates a lot more heat than a light cut. A superglue bond will most-times fail at just a tick above the boiling point of water. That's why the easiest way to release a "thing" you've superglued to a backing plate is to use a bit of heat. It doesn't have to be much, but it's more than you'll be able to touch, so be careful. A good kiss with a propane torch or a wave over a gas stove burner will do the trick. Once you get the piece off the glue will clean up with acetone (aka nail polish remover).

    It's a really effective, cheap method to mount and turn practically anything that can stand being glued and heated.

    If you've glued something a bit thicker than a wheel (or don't care about a mark on the edge of the wheel blank) you can also take advantage of superglue's surprisingly weak shear strength. It has phenomenal tensile (pulling) strength, but if you smack the joint sideways it's pretty danged easy to pop the part off. Set the backing plate on the benchtop and whack the edge of the "thing" and it'll usually go skittering across the room. Again, acetone is your friend for cleanup.

    Hope this helps.
    Glen
     
  10. Jerry Kieffer

    Jerry Kieffer Registered User
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    #10 Jerry Kieffer, Dec 24, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2019
    Chris
    Personally, I cannot even imagine running around looking for a big hunk of aluminum and then trying to figure out how to mount it to something every time I wish to cut a wheel or gear. Not to mention gluing a wheel blank to it with super glue.

    Again personally for horological wheels, I simply machine a wheel blank arbor generally with a plastic backer per the first attached photo in the lathe where the OD is machined. Once the OD is machined, the chuck, arbor and wheel blank as an assembly is screwed off of the lathe and on to the rotary table on the mill where the teeth are machined. Second Photo. The mill is also used to cross out the wheel if required.

    Jerry Kieffer

    fullsizeoutput_49f.jpeg DSCN0493.jpg
     
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  11. ChrisCam

    ChrisCam Registered User
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    Thanks Don, I suspect there are many issues and pieces of knowledge to master along the way. I will do my best to 'endeavor to persevere' and will post when I have progress and need more clarity on the next stage.

    Chris
     
  12. David S

    David S Registered User
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    Although you haven't shown exactly what you are doing and intend. I was going to suggest that you consider the order of operations that you will have to perform before you decide on a mounting method. While I have used various versions of mounting as has been posted so far for single operations. Once you release the part the registration is lost if you are going to try and remount for another set of operations. If I was going to size a blank and then ultimately cut teeth I would use a set up similar to what Jerry is showing.

    David
     
  13. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    There are times when supergluing a blank to a plate makes sense. Other times arbors make better sense. I like using glue mounting when doing things like crown wheels. Here are a bunch of pretty well chewed up arbors and backing plates I still draw on for the next wheel to be cut. I regard them as disposable and usually use aluminum backing plates as I have a lot of that around here in the form of cut-offs and scrap. I do mostly weight driven clocks circa 1700-1850 with small tower clock wheels and pinions fairly frequently. Hence the sizes and approaches seen here. And to the original post the 3rd photo shows a glue mount I later converted to 3 machine screws and a center mount too. I like firm mechanical mounting over glue when I can use it.

    20191224_090611 (2).jpg 20191224_090607.jpg 20191224_090615 1.jpg 20191224_090538.jpg 20191224_090549.jpg
     
  14. ChrisCam

    ChrisCam Registered User
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    Thanks guys, I am currently assessing fixtures as opposed to glue. Big wheels with possibly bigger centre holes may be better with bolted arbours but I really get the point that it depends on the wheel. Yes David the next operation will be teeth cutting so it means keeping its position when transferring. As always I try to follow Jerry's advice as he kindly offers so much patient help and is of proven track record. Jim is in another league at the moment relative to my current skillset and obviously he's also a man to aspire to. Skills as often demonstrated as we all know only come through hard work and dedication, any help always greatfully received. Happy Xmas and / or Break to all

    Regards
    Chris
     
  15. Jerry Kieffer

    Jerry Kieffer Registered User
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    Chris
    Hope you do not mind that I answer your PM question online, as the mechanics in post #10 may not be clear to others as well.

    While nothing is really wrong if a project can be completed to a quality standard or goal, but some methods offer less obstacles than others.

    In my opinion, the most important point was made by David in post #12. To be successful, you need to consider a machining operation from start to finish before starting.

    Clarification of the arbors in post #10 is as follows.

    Per first attached photo, my personal arbors are machined as one piece with a threaded stud or mounted to the arbor with a screw or bolt. In some cases, no arbor is used at all as in the bottom example. In this case, a gear or wheel is parted off in the lathe after the teeth have been cut.

    I sometimes machine an arbor fitted to the exact center hole in the blank, but often it is loosely fitted to an existing arbor utilizing a smaller than required center hole in the blank. Once the teeth have been cut on the blank, I mount the wheel in a chuck and bore the center hole to size. Per second attached photo. If ultra accuracy is required, I use machinable jaws in the chuck touched up to hold the wheel.

    If you are machining the arbor to fit an exact size hole in the blank, you must not remove the arbor from the chuck until all machining is complete. Once the arbor has been removed accuracy is lost and the process must be repeated to restore accuracy.

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  16. ChrisCam

    ChrisCam Registered User
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    Thanks as always Jerry.
    A lot of points clarified but as it is Xmas eve and my capability to digest advise is impaired from certain liquids I shall linger a while before making any sensible remark.

    Regards
    Chrios
     
  17. Old Rivers

    Old Rivers Registered User
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    Jerry,

    Have you used one of these:

    3.1″ 4-Jaw Chuck with Pie Jaws – Sherline Products

    If so what do you think about its usefulness?

    Bill 1076c_pie_pic.jpg
     
  18. Jerry Kieffer

    Jerry Kieffer Registered User
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    #18 Jerry Kieffer, Dec 26, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2019
    Bill
    I actually have one of those chucks.
    Its not something used every day, but a real life saver when needed. Its basically a chuck with interchangeable jaws made from plastic, brass, aluminum, machinable steel in various shapes and styles. Unfortunately, most published horological methods of holding various items like wheels etc. are overly complicated, insecure and often inaccurate compared to sound metal working practices.
    This type chuck eliminates these issues. For example, if one needs to hold a delicate valuable escape wheel for machining, detailing etc. the pocket can be slightly undercut per attached sketch. This will secure the wheel without issue. In addition, if the tips of the wheel are very delicate, each will be held and protected by only closing the jaws with light finger pressure. When the pocket is machined, all runout is removed with the exception of the spindle bearings giving ultimate accuracy.

    The same can be achieved with watch parts using machinable ww pot collets per the second attached photo. The third attached photo shows a watch spring barrel mounted in a pot collet where the cover lip could be rolled ever so slightly to tighten lid fit.

    Another words, a million uses for machinable jaws and collets

    Jerry Kieffer

    fullsizeoutput_4c3.jpeg fullsizeoutput_4c1.jpeg fullsizeoutput_4c2.jpeg
     

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