Lathe cutting tools/accessories

UncleDoc

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Having had a few days to play with my lathe, I am wondering about sources (other than Sherline in CA) of cutting tools and the like. The post triggering this question was one by Jerry Keiffer regarding his strategy of not sharpening HSS tools, but using carbide tools and just replacing when needed. He characterized Chinese and Indian products as inferior, so what are some sources of high quality cutting tools?

Boy, making chips a whole lot of fun.

Thanks in advance.

Duane
 

FDelGreco

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McMaster Carr has individual and complete sets of carbide-tipped cutting tools. Also boring tools.

Frank
 

Wayne A

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Saw Jerry's post as well. Made sense to me to eliminate cutting tool sharpness as variable from the learning process. I picked up some micrograin carbide tools from Mcmaster Carr. Should last a very long time and seem to work great for this lathe noob.
As much as I have to sharpen drill bits I'd just soon avoid that practice for lathe tools.
 

wefalck

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I gather the jury is still out on that. Depends on what you are working on and how deep your pockets are resp. if you can charge a customer for expensive carbide tools.

Personally, after a venture into carbide, I tend to use home-ground HSS tools for most of the turning operations. For boring, however, I prefer single-lip spiral carbide engraving cutters. Very sharp and seem to last forever.

Carbide is not very forgiving when loads suddenly change, e.g. the lathe stalls or with interrupted cuts.

Don't know about the US, but most (tool) steels on the European market, at least the more common ones, seem to be manufactured either in India or in China, regardless, who sells them.
 

etmb61

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Cutting tools are not one size fits all. Different metals cut differently. Making your own cutting tools is a basic skill for lathe metal work. Eventually you will need a tool shape you cannot get in carbide. You should try to learn to do it.

Carbide tools are expensive compared to HSS and easy to break. I have a good stock of HSS tool blanks for a lot less than what I've spent on my pile of broken carbides.

Eric
 

Wayne A

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Justification is a funny thing when its a hobby. Have a number of hobbies and the only one that pays back is my vegetable garden and its by far the least expensive hobby I have ever had.
An example, I fly model aircraft, helicopters and airplanes and in that hobby I've watched guys crash rather expensive hardware every weekend only to repair and be back the next week. Now some flyers -like- the rebuilding work and just don't care if they crash.

Reading about carbide grades the newer micrograin carbides are tougher with higher impact resistance to be less prone to failure. The micrograin tools are what I'm trying. Tool was about $11, not to bad if it lives up to the hype. Don't mind having to make a HSS tool for purpose though.
 

Jerry Kieffer

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The post triggering this question was one by Jerry Keiffer regarding his strategy of not sharpening HSS tools, but using carbide tools and just replacing when needed. He characterized Chinese and Indian products as inferior, so what are some sources of high quality cutting tools?

Boy, making chips a whole lot of fun.

Thanks in advance.

Duane
Duane
Clarification if you do not mind.

My statement on this is often as follows.

When starting out on a lathe, you have enough on your plate to learn without tool grinding.

Once up to speed with brazed carbide, one can then take the time to explore tool grinding that I typically use for form tooling and often grind tools for rough work.
One advantage with brazed carbide when starting out is that they will cut what can be machined unlike HSS. Another is that with the same brand tools, cutting characteristics remain the same from tool to tool unlike sharpening HSS. This greatly increases skill development.

Its well worth purchasing some cheap tools and compare them to quality tools to have a full understanding of the difference.
Any of the major tool suppliers that market to industry can counsel you on available products. In the US anything USA made, or names such as Carboloy and Micro 100 for Lathe tools will be of quality.

Jerry Kieffer
 

karlmansson

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I use both Carbide (in two forms) and HSS on my lathe. I have brazed/solid Carbide Tools that I hone and use where I need stiffness in the tool (boring and such) and for hard materials. I also use insert tooling for ease of use and all carbine eliminates the use of cutting oils, which in my rather poorly ventilated shop saves me from a bunch of smoke inhalation. For small diameter work I don't use the inserts though due to their edge radius. They need a lot more cutting pressure to cut as intended that a Sharp HSS tool.

I understand Jerrys perspective of reducing variables. My first run in with brazed Carbide though was instant chipping of the tool. Entirely my own fault of course! But now I'm faced with either shelling out for a new tool or grinding Carbide. Which is a whole different can of Worms than grinding HSS.

HSS Tools can also be bought pre-ground as sets. They will need a Little maintenance and an initial honing to cut well but the geometry is alright as I understand it. Should you need to modify a tool bit, the entire bar is a potential cutting Surface. As opposed to the brazed Tools, where you can of course braze on a new piece of Carbide if that sort of thing is your cup of tea. But an HSS tool will stay an HSS tool no matter how you mistreat it. And it will also create a very good Surface finish on softer materials as it will hold an edge. Carbide certaily CAN be ground to be just as Sharp as HSS but it will have an edge that needs to be treated with obsessive care. It won't dull but it will chip. And then you need to grind the tool back again.

The Carbide inserts can also be ground to create a sharper edge and be re-used even after "end of Life" as they were manufactured. You need a Diamond hone or grinding Wheel.

All Tools have their Place, or they wouldn't be around! In my experience HSS is a whole lot more forgiving, although for most larger work now I use CCMT insert tooling. For Watch work I use mostly hand held gravers, HSS and Carbide. All I know is that I still haven't gotten around to re-dressing that chipped brazed Carbide tool Three paragraphs ago...

Regards
Karl
 
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Betzel

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the newer micrograin carbides are tougher with higher impact resistance to be less prone to failure.
Speaking of this, I bought a few crappy waller (style) replacement tips that I just can't stand. They crumble even with smooth cuts. Not like the old ones with the copper plating on them, which were great. Does anyone know where to buy a few pieces of (2mmx2mm?) square stock I can just stick in a bench-made handle? An EU/UK source would be great.
 

wefalck

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You mean carbide or HSS ? I have not seen square carbide of that dimension, even square HSS of that size seems to be difficult to find. The smallest I have seen is 3 mm or 1/8" square. Round HSS is readily available down to 1 mm.
 

Betzel

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Good-quality carbide would be nice. I know it's hard to find in this small size, which is why I ask :)

I have HSS gravers in this size for rough hand-work, and found a nice set of 6mm square cutters at "GG Tools" in Germany that I use often. He sells pretty good stuff. I don't know who makes these things for him, but everything I've bought from his has been excellent...
 

wefalck

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I have been in contact with Georg Gottwald since his early days of trading. (Understandably) he's been a bit protective of his sources, but my understanding is that he has contracts with selected manufacturers in China and also imposes on them certain quality standards.

He has been also quite responsive to customer suggestions and comments on the quality.
 

Betzel

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Absolutely. If only others would impose those same standards! I think this is how Proxxon, Optimum, etc. work as well.

The old Waller graver tips were maybe 2x2, and cut beautifully, but are no longer available. I wonder if a niche market (NAWCC members?) could ever drive a small industry? Maybe someone else will have a suggestion...thanks just the same.
 

wefalck

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In the UK RDG Tools seem to work in a way similar to GG-Tools, but GG-Tools seem to have a tad higher standards and more speciality items.
 

Jerry Kieffer

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Absolutely. If only others would impose those same standards! I think this is how Proxxon, Optimum, etc. work as well.

The old Waller graver tips were maybe 2x2, and cut beautifully, but are no longer available. I wonder if a niche market (NAWCC members?) could ever drive a small industry? Maybe someone else will have a suggestion...thanks just the same.
Unfortunately, the Hobby industry has placed themselves in a predicament by not understanding the phrase "There is no free lunch" or at least the way I see it. A quality product starts out with quality materials that requires quality tooling and quality machines to work it. While the quality product often offers better value for the money spent, this has not been a consideration in the hobby market, only the lowest price. As such, the market for common quality tools of the past has greatly decreased and in many cases ceased to exist. At this point, many hobbyist no longer have quality tooling to compare to nor evaluate its value.
You can place all of the restrictions you want on a manufacturer that typically works with lower quality materials allowing the use of lower quality tooling and machines, but will require major investment to improve. Since what they are doing has been so successful, you likely will have a tough time convincing them otherwise.

However, in industry, manufactures of quality products would go broke working with lesser quality tooling and equipment. Thus their life blood are the service industries that specialize in quality tooling and equipment.
While some supply houses that service this industry will not work with hobbyist, some will and offer the same conciliation given to their best customers regarding quality tooling and procedures. Quality is readily available if you are willing to seek it out and understand its value.

Jerry Kieffer
 

Betzel

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Quality is readily available if you are willing to seek it out and understand its value.
Like everything else in life, eh? You're probably right.

I can't afford all-new Bergeon equipment, or an ocean view out my shop. But, I also can't put up with the crap I've taken on at a lower cost --yes, as a retired guy / hobbyist, and a part of that low-end market. I'll continue to buy quality used where it makes sense and, as I grow my capability, learn to bench-make all those useful (or cool) things I want, but can't afford :)

Today, I just want a decent replacement tip for that stupid graver handle...
 

Jerry Kieffer

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Like everything else in life, eh? You're probably right.

I can't afford all-new Bergeon equipment, or an ocean view out my shop. But, I also can't put up with the crap I've taken on at a lower cost --yes, as a retired guy / hobbyist, and a part of that low-end market. I'll continue to buy quality used where it makes sense and, as I grow my capability, learn to bench-make all those useful (or cool) things I want, but can't afford :)

Today, I just want a decent replacement tip for that stupid graver handle...
Betzel
When you can not find what your looking for to do what you wish to do, it may be time to move on to more friendly and capable methods and equipment.
For reasons mentioned in post #16, its unlikely you will find what you are looking for from Horological suppliers. Thus you need to research exactly what your looking for and not how it might be used.

For example a Graver as used with a watchmakers lathe is a very high skill procedure but very limited in use when compared to other methods of working metal thus limited in available options.
However if you were to research "Gravers" only, you will find that they are also used to engrave metals and other uses where accomplished craftsmen can make hundreds of dollars an hour. Because of the demand for a variety of tools of the highest quality, its a good place explore for lathe use.
The following is an example link
If you look through the many pages of Gravers, you should find 2mm square gravers or very close to it that can likely be used for your needs.

If you want what you want and call the following link that caters to micro machining for industry, they will either have it in stock or can supply small custom made orders. A small friendly shop with great customer service.


Jerry Kieffer
 

Betzel

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Perfect. Thanks!

I always wanted a power hone, but could never find a decent one used. And, I did not know GRS sold 2.1mm square fine quality carbide blanks - exactly what I was looking for! I Thought they were HSS/WS only. If folks find it helpful, Steffen Gotteswinter's video shows a useful bench-made alternative to a power hone here:
Dust extraction is probably needed without a liquid retainer of some sort?

I am happy with the (HSS?) cutters I got from Georg (GG Tools) in Germany, but have bookmarked Warner's site as well.
 
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bartmes

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Eternal Tools is now selling carbide strip in 2mm x 2mm x 120mm size. I've found their service to be excellent and their goods to be high quality though I caution I have no experience with this product.
 
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Betzel

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Thanks.

GRS will price international shipping via a quote, but for a $20 order it's hard.
The only way to know if a carbide blank is "good stuff" is to try it. We will see. At least Eternal is open --many in the UK are pandemic closed.
 

Dushan Grujich

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Today, I just want a decent replacement tip for that stupid graver handle...
G'Day!

I do not know about others, however, I am using 1/16" square TC bits as my gravers. That is the size that I am used to. Unfortunately, that size is not available at any cost. So, I buy round stock TC 3 - 3.5 mm OD, various grades, and I grind them to the 1/16" square section on my Alexander 2CG Tool & Cutter Grinder which I bought used, in excellent shape. I bought a number of diamond wheels of several grades. I grind the blanks to fit my Levin handles as well as for Waller screw in type handles. At the beginning I used solid carbide centre drill bits to grind 1" long 1/16" square bits, now I do whatever comes to mind, and I do not have to pay exorbitant prices for something that I can easily make myself. Also by making my own I avoid paying enormous postage bills for packages weighing a few ounces. Have a look, click here.

I am also semi retired, however if one wants to do things properly there are no shortcuts, and no corner jumping.

Cheers, Dushan

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Betzel

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Agreeing with wefalck, that's a fine way to go. Nicely done, as usual, sir.

I ordered 1 square and 1 round piece of TC stock from Eternal at a reasonable cost (8/6 GBP), then bought some other things to make the shipping work, but have no way to easily change the shape along the length. Now, the bar stock is not for sale any more (?) so, bartmes, I'm glad I acted quickly. It'll be a little dusty with a hand jig on a diamond plate, using spittle a a low-cost dispersion and dust retention fluid.

Dushan, do you have dust extraction set up? Stefan G. uses a shop vacuum with an import version of one of these, which works fine. Then, he got a Deckel S1. Amazing tool. For the curious:

I have to live vicariously through all of you with my tiny hand setup.

I was wondering what I would do with so many old broken PCB drill bits I've been collecting and hoping to use someday. Maybe this is it? Dushan, also thought of you as the Mobil Velocite from lubefinder arrived (not perfect at #6, but much closer than sewing machine oil) the other day, so I am going to try it on my sloppy 8mm Geneva. Wow, is it light. At $10 for a 30ml bottle shipped, it was worth a shot.

Thanks, guys!
 

wefalck

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If there is a bit of flute left on those PCB carbide drills, I sometimes turn them into sub-millimetre slot-mills. Just grind the front flat. One obviously can't dive into the material, as with an end mill, but they are good for milling tiny slots. OK may be not so useful for watchmaking, but sometimes very useful for my model engineering puposes.

Apart from the price tags on genuine Deckel and Alexander grinders, or even modern Asian clones, I just don't have the space in my tiny workshop for such heavy machine.

I started to construct an universal head for use on an old D-bed lathe that I set up as a grinder. It got delayed for various reasons, but the idea was to be able to finish-grind lathe tools that I started on the bench-grinder.
 

Betzel

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Huh. A mini slot-mill? Thanks! I'll try it; I'm too curious. As the OP said, it's fun to make chips!

Most of my drill bits break at the tip leaving decent stub, as I do not (yet) have a lever drilling tailstock (another project!) and my drill pad has an old v-hole, so I overshoot on breakthrough and hit. I always think I can stop in time, but really need a new pad. My "attic" shop is also far too small, but I'm still married :) And, I'm a fan of all model engineering: trains, ships, etc. But, tractors? OK :)

Maybe a Polier-Max style setup held in the standard tool holder (another project, but at least it's somewhat on topic) with a 1200/3000 grit diamond lapping face and some olive oil could make for a mini-alexander? But, how Dushan made that single lip boring bar in that first photo is going to keep me up for a bit...

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Jerry Kieffer

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Huh. A mini slot-mill? Thanks! I'll try it; I'm too curious. As the OP said, it's fun to make chips!

Most of my drill bits break at the tip leaving decent stub, as I do not (yet) have a lever drilling tailstock (another project!) and my drill pad has an old v-hole, so I overshoot on breakthrough and hit. I always think I can stop in time, but really need a new pad. My "attic" shop is also far too small, but I'm still married :) And, I'm a fan of all model engineering: trains, ships, etc. But, tractors? OK :)

Maybe a Polier-Max style setup held in the standard tool holder (another project, but at least it's somewhat on topic) with a 1200/3000 grit diamond lapping face and some olive oil could make for a mini-alexander? But, how Dushan made that single lip boring bar in that first photo is going to keep me up for a bit...

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Betzel

I suspect that you will quickly realize that a lever tailstock is not the answer to micro drilling or broken drills.

There are millions and millions of micro holes drilled in industry all day every day without issues. They all tend to have three things in common.

(1) They only use quality drills.

(2) They only use drills designed for the material being drilled and the depth being drilled.

(3) Feed and feed rate is controlled by lead screws.

Horology is an excellent method of preparation for exact scale model engineering.

An exact scale running with everything functional tractor will require about 10,000 hours. Thats only 3 hours day for 10 years.

Jerry Kieffer
 
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wefalck

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Levin offers this motorised tailstock in order to get to the right rpms for drills down to 0.1 mm. I think you have to sell your car (perhaps, if you had a Bentley, you have some cash left for other attachments ...) to buy one of those:


From: Lathes + Machine Tool Archive

And the Levin-catalogue page (gracefully overlook the bottom right corner): LevinLathe.com: MICRO-DRILLING ATTACHMENT.

In reality, I have to be content with this for my D-bed lathe:


In itself a very rare attachment, I have seen only three of them for sale in the last 32 years.
 

Betzel

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Wefalck, your attachments were somehow garbled, as I only see a red "x" as a place holder. I can access Tony's and Levin's sites ok, but am always curious to see what you have found for a D-bed. I've had a few technical difficulties here lately. Seems better now.

I've always respected and appreciated Jerry's (and others) positions on what is correct (or ideal) for horological, etc. mini and micro machining, as they are dead-on right, but many of us (like the OP) are seeking affordable ways to safely enjoy and improve what is essentially a hobby to become more proficient. While an expensive drill or screw-cutting lathe isn't practical, to Jerrys point, broken PCB bits are also very painful, especially if the other half is now permanently lodged in something you once cared about. For an efficient business, fragile, skinny PCB bits are a fools errand, making shorter, slow-twist fluted bits in beefy HSS a better answer for most of us, using the (romantic or cheap) tools we have, and some cutting fluid. But, I don't always have the right bit on-hand, and don't want to stop and make a spade, etc. Sound familiar?

Cheap (Chinese, Indian, etc.) PCB bits are frustrating. But, by slowing down, using cutting fluid and having better fingertip sensitivity to avoid excessive feed rates, and anticipating breakthrough with a "real" solid pad underneath, I hope to drill smaller holes efficiently in the future with these without damage. Perhaps this is a fool's errand, especially in the smaller sizes, so I should buy a nice set of HSS and move on. I'm on it.

Anyway, the expertise and discussion this board offers all of us has to replace the "real world" mentoring and apprenticeship of previous generations because most of us will never get that. The BHI DLC is likely the closest you can get without going to a live school. But, the rest is reading books, watching videos, the school of (very) hard knocks and the good ideas shared on this board, eh?
 

gmorse

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Hi Betzel,

Buying good quality carbide drill bits, (that Jerry would approve of no doubt), with short flute lengths in a better proportion to their diameter is certainly expensive, but you have to offset that against the much reduced breakage rate and the greater accuracy of which they're capable.

Regards,

Graham
 
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Betzel

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Graham, I can't disagree. But, where does one go for sizes under 2mm (in .1 increments)?

Asking folks about cutter blanks revealed that they are available, and affordably, if you know where to look.
 

gmorse

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Hi Betzel,
I can't disagree. But, where does one go for sizes under 2mm (in .1 increments)?
I know where I'd go in the UK for this tooling, but I'm sure Jerry can recommend suppliers in the US. The supplier I use has a range of carbide micro drills starting at 0.1mm and going up to 2.45mm in 0.01mm increments; I recently bought some 0.4mm drills with a flute length of 2mm.

Regards,

Graham
 

Jerry Kieffer

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Graham, I can't disagree. But, where does one go for sizes under 2mm (in .1 increments)?

Asking folks about cutter blanks revealed that they are available, and affordably, if you know where to look.
Betzel
As mentioned in the past, google your exact needs that will often also trigger lesser expensive E-bay offerings.. If you can not find what you are looking for, you can contact MSC at 1-800-645-7270 and discuss your needs as just one example. Most of those into this sort of thing, attend Flea markets, car shows etc. that attract quality surplus tool dealers and purchase life time quantities as they become available.

However you have to be able to use the drills once purchased.
In industry, many of the millions of micro holes drilled are done so on expensive CNC machines without issue. However, research facilities and others still manually drill micro holes one off again without issue, but you must have a foundation/procedures to do so. In the case of the levin accessory, they have correctly outlined the issues in the tools description. They are also providing an accessory that removes the hand skills and tension involved in consistent daily success rates. If you wish to work on a budget, then you will need to experiment with various pieces of equipment and procedures until success is achieved. Again the no free lunch thing.

When it comes to micro drilling I am also cost conscious.
In the early days (and still today) there was the perception that Horological work especially in publications, could only be done on a watchmakers lathe.
There could be nothing further from the truth. In fact, if you were to attempt to construct a watch movement and limited your self to a watchmakers lathe, over fifty percent of your work would likely need to be done by hand or other means. For micro Drilling a watchmakers lathe, is designed to be used with a collet holding tailstock with matching numbers that is properly aligned. They are hard to find and it is not practical to suggest that everyone purchase one. In addition, you will need to develop a very high degree of hand control to be consistently successful. The levin accessory while expensive avoids all of these issues, but is inexpensive for industry in that it can provide instant quality results.

Personally, I have selected one of a few lathes that can be adjusted for alignment in all directions to perfection with a $35.00 factory accessory per first photo arrow. It also comes with leadscrew control as also utilized by the Levin accessory. Alignment and machine control of the drill, greatly decreases breakage and eliminates time consuming hand control skills as with the levin attachment. At various show demonstrations I typically machine a .010" (.25mm) diameter steel pivot about .100" (2.5mm) long and then drill a .005" (.125mm) hole about four times drill diameter down the center. (handed out as souvenirs) An example can be seen in the second photo with a human hair as size reference. If someone is observant and has the desire, I sometimes let them repeat the exercise. Because the lathe is made responsible for most of what happens as with the levin, they are successful on first attempt more times than not.

I am not sure who shot the following video, but I was doing a lathe demonstrations on behalf of the NAWCC School of Horology classes. At the 33:38 point you can see an example of drilling the hole mentioned above that typically takes about 30 seconds. However on this day I was having an issue with a chip that somehow got under the tailstock effecting the alignment and other issues as shown requiring about 50 seconds.


The Drilling limitations on the lathe shown is about .001" (.025mm). To compensate for the bottom hole tapping, work hardening and other issues listed in the Levin description, I install. a $2.00 spring per the third photo that eliminates leadscrew backlash thus absolute handwheel calibration and control.

As mentioned, I have accumulated bargain priced quality surplus tooling when encountered, but purchase what I need when I do not have what I need. In those cases, the job pays for the tooling in full.

Jerry Kieffer

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Betzel

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Amazingly, this has stayed on topic for lathe cutters and accessories :)

Jerry, I think you should have used a steam powered overhead shaft to blend in better in that video, but nice work --even with the chips. I've appreciated the value of the Sherline since you rotated the headstock to demo cutting tapered tooling a while back. I'm nostalgic about old tools, but I agree the old stuff is technically obsolete.

In '91, I got to visit Audemars Piguet in Switzerland, and learned they make a lot more than expensive watches. I saw dozens of giant green German machines with oil flying everywhere doing gazillions of sequential robotic operations. I think they were making micro-parts for jet engines to help pay their bills. It's only gotten better since then. I'm just an old guy repivoting old clocks with old stuff, but it keeps me out of trouble.

I'm in Italy for what I'm calling a "lasagna lockdown." So, I'm lucky to have found a matching head/tailstock from a BHI member who was getting rid of stuff, and just trying to make it work to finish up the DLC --someday-- and fool around. The Lorch offset drilling runner has a taper I've never used, but it probably works okay. But, even if my work never left the chuck, I won't be able to drill like that photo until I make a better holder for the bits, as most are smooth shank today. And, a lever will have to work, as I'm not making any money.

Thanks for the MSC tool reference! Graham, where do you shop in the UK, if I may ask? Eternal and RDG don't seem to have bits like this. And, in the pictures, that "slackenator" spring is 100% genius. I will copy it going forward. Can the same idea work for a cross slide? And, does that disk behind the drill chuck work like a "backplate" to take fine runout out of a self-centering chuck on larger equipment? I can't seem to find much on their site (or did you make it?)

Thanks again for all the comments.
 

UncleDoc

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Proud to spark such an incredibly educational thread (for me). I have realized a simple pleasure that I can now create my own brass pins, turn tapered pins into straight pins and make my wife a fairly competent ring/band. She loved it when I gave it to her. Makes her not mind me being down here in my basement lair.
 

Jerry Kieffer

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Amazingly, this has stayed on topic for lathe cutters and accessories :)

Jerry, I think you should have used a steam powered overhead shaft to blend in better in that video, but nice work --even with the chips. I've appreciated the value of the Sherline since you rotated the headstock to demo cutting tapered tooling a while back. I'm nostalgic about old tools, but I agree the old stuff is technically obsolete.

In '91, I got to visit Audemars Piguet in Switzerland, and learned they make a lot more than expensive watches. I saw dozens of giant green German machines with oil flying everywhere doing gazillions of sequential robotic operations. I think they were making micro-parts for jet engines to help pay their bills. It's only gotten better since then. I'm just an old guy repivoting old clocks with old stuff, but it keeps me out of trouble.

I'm in Italy for what I'm calling a "lasagna lockdown." So, I'm lucky to have found a matching head/tailstock from a BHI member who was getting rid of stuff, and just trying to make it work to finish up the DLC --someday-- and fool around. The Lorch offset drilling runner has a taper I've never used, but it probably works okay. But, even if my work never left the chuck, I won't be able to drill like that photo until I make a better holder for the bits, as most are smooth shank today. And, a lever will have to work, as I'm not making any money.

Thanks for the MSC tool reference! Graham, where do you shop in the UK, if I may ask? Eternal and RDG don't seem to have bits like this. And, in the pictures, that "slackenator" spring is 100% genius. I will copy it going forward. Can the same idea work for a cross slide? And, does that disk behind the drill chuck work like a "backplate" to take fine runout out of a self-centering chuck on larger equipment? I can't seem to find much on their site (or did you make it?)

Thanks again for all the comments.
Betzel
When videos are made, people often shot whatever they are interested in and the overall content of the show is often not represented.

The alignment devise is factory but reduced in size to match the small chuck being used. I suspect larger sizes would accommodate larger tooling but have never used them in larger sizes .

The tailstock spring is utilized for a specific purpose. When I drill 2mm and even 1mm holes the feed is continuous unless abnormally deep and no spring is used. When drilling small holes as mentioned, the hand wheel is turned a short but continuous steady distance and then stopped. My finger is then repositioned and the procedure repeated driving the drill only a few thousands at a time. When I stop, the leadscrew pressure is relaxed slightly and the spring retracts the drill just enough to stop cutting and rubbing the cutting surface as described for the Levin drilling devise.

If your goal is to machine parts to a specific dimension with hand wheel settings as mine is, then the spring will disrupt the process. Under these conditions, gibs are set just tight enough to eliminate deflection but loose enough to allow the slide to react to the slightest minute movement of the leadscrew/handwheel setting. The spring would disrupt that condition.

Jerry Kieffer
 

gmorse

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Hi Betzel,

...where do you shop in the UK, if I may ask? Eternal and RDG don't seem to have bits like this.
Those two companies are good enough in their field, but I was referring to Drill Service (Horley) Limited, who are industrial specialists but will still supply single pieces at retail.

Regards,

Graham
 
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Betzel

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Proud to spark such an incredibly educational thread (for me).
Duane: for most of us... A lot of micro/mechanical artistry has not been passed on (since the 70's?) as the world changed. But, it's not all lost.

Books and videos are great but not easily searchable. If NAWCC could index the key knowledge/skills in threads like these, we could distill tribal knowledge each has discovered, or remembered from someone who came before them. I only hope we'll still be able to find these pearls of wisdom as we need (or forget) them. A lot of this has been said here before, and by the same poeple, but some of us need to hear it several times before it sticks. And that's funny. After I've made something, my wife often says it would look better on her as jewelry than under a HSS cutter!

Jerrry, thanks again. That adjustable chuck is now $105! I watch instructional material made by "mechanical artists" on larger equipment, then look for ways to use it on a small scale. The "Buck Chuck" was maybe one of the first "3-jaw in a 4-jaw" adjustables, or the first to patent it. Nice small implementation at Sherline.

Graham, I'll give Horley a look. Many thanks!
 

wefalck

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Mar 29, 2011
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In case you have 2500 USD to spend, there is a Levin Micro-Drilling attachment currently for sale on eBay. Did't check the offer for completeness though ...
 

Betzel

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Thanks. Can't justify the expense ;-)
 

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