Need Thread specs for G. Boley Wax Chuck

Discussion in 'Horological Tools' started by bchaps, Aug 7, 2011.

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  1. bchaps

    bchaps Registered User

    Dec 16, 2001
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    Hi has anyone spec'd out the threads on a G. Boley Wax Chuck? I've got a handful of threaded brass inserts, but nothing fits well enough to consider duplicating it... would expect they are Metric fine threads, but how fine?

    Any help is appreciated.

    Thank you,

    Bill
     
  2. Hi Bill;
    The only wax chuck I have is a Whitcomb. I have no idea if it would be the same as your Boley, but it takes M5x0.5 wax stubs.
    I can thread up a piece of brass for you in that thread and send it if you would just like to check for fit. If nothing else, you
    would know what it is not..

    Dean
     
  3. bchaps

    bchaps Registered User

    Dec 16, 2001
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    Dean...I believe you are correct... re-tried all my wax blanks and one fit much better. It measured 4.89 mm diam and .5mm pitch. So, based on your experience and this new found blank, I'm ordering a 5.0 X 0.50 Die from MSC.

    Thank you for your help...

    Bill
     
  4. Glad you got it figured, Bill. If you do not have a ready supply of 5mm brass rod, you can also use 3/16" rod to make your wax
    stubs. It is within a few thou of the nominal 5mm size, and I find it a lot easier to source. Most hobby stores have it in their
    K&S metal supply display. One stick of it will make a lot of stubs in a size suitable for balance staffs. You will need a larger dia.
    if you want to make some flat face chucks, of course.

    Regards,

    Dean
     
  5. Raynerd

    Raynerd Registered User

    Apr 11, 2004
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    I have a question related to this if you don`t mind me going a little off topic. Please bear in mind that I have only been using a watchmakers lathe for a few weeks and there are certainly many different accessories than one would find for a standard toolmakers lathe.

    Why are wax chucks threaded to fit a threaded collet?

    I`m really just curious why it needs to be threaded and fit in a threaded collet and not just have a straight shank and fit a matching "standard" collet.
     
  6. Dushan Grujich

    Dushan Grujich Registered User

    Jun 20, 2003
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    Good Day, Chris!

    The reason is relatively simple. Accuracy and repeatability. Standard collet has fits into the spindle taper and being split collet type it is vulnerable and easy to damage.

    Wax chucks are solid and spindle taper serves only to hold them true, the brasses are screwed into them but they also are tapered as is wax chuck that holds them. Such an arrangement helps prevent run-out and keeps it at minimum.

    Some makers, like Levin, made brasses fit the lathe spindle directly, thus avoiding two tapers and all run-out which is produced buy the additional taper, of course it raises the cost of brasses which in the first case can be easily made from round brass stock and be quickly replaced.

    Earlier makes of brasses like Boley had no thread just plain taper.

    It is all a matter of precision and economics.

    Cheers

    Dushan
     
  7. Raynerd

    Raynerd Registered User

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    Thanks for the reply.

    I`m glad you said that, the reason I asked was because I presumed that having any holding attachment, i.e wax chuck, held within a holding collet - would compound errors but I understand your suggestions about repeatablity and reducing these errors with a thread.

    I was actually going to write in my original message, why are they not made to fit directly into the lathe spindle, but you have answered that in the fact that Levin already do - obviously this will increase costs.

    Thanks for your reply.

    Chris
     
  8. They are made as they are for a few reasons. No lathe, no matter how good it is, runs true. The kind of wax chucks Bill and myself
    are talking about have a steel chuck that looks much like a regular collet. The outer end of the chuck is threaded for the brass stubs.
    When you use a wax chuck, the first thing you do is face it off (the brass) and put a center in it using a graver. Once that is done, you know
    the center in the brass is perfectly aligned, since it was cut in the lathe. After that, it is not disturbed, and you go about your work
    putting a staff into it along with the shellac. Since you made a center in the brass part, the bottom of that center is concentric, and it
    helps you to center your staff in the shellac. If you take the chuck out of the spindle, or take the stub out of the steel chuck, you need
    to cut a new center when you put it back in.

    You cut a new center every time you do a new job, and if you were going to do that on the spindle chuck itself, (the part that is held in
    by the draw bar) you would have to buy a new chuck often, since you are always cutting away at it for each job. The screw in brass plugs
    cost about 10 cents if you make them. The steel chuck might run you $30, so you don't really want to be using that piece as a disposable.

    Also, with the screw in brass plugs, you can make a number of types of work holding pieces, again by cutting away parts of it,
    and by using larger brass stock to make small face plates and such.
     
  9. bchaps

    bchaps Registered User

    Dec 16, 2001
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    Dean and all...I can confirm Boley's wax chuck thread is M5 X .5. MSC delivered the die late afternoon and I now have three perfectly fitted threaded brass inserts.

    Thank you... Bill
     
  10. Neat! Glad it worked out for you, Bill.
    I have the same die. Nice to be able to make as many as you want without having to hunt up special parts.

    Regards,

    Dean
     
  11. Dushan Grujich

    Dushan Grujich Registered User

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    #11 Dushan Grujich, Aug 11, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2011
    Dean, et alii!

    Just in order to avoid any misunderstandings, I must say that I am not aware that I was talking of any other kind of wax chuck than the one shown below.

    76.jpg

    I rarely use cement brasses for staff turning simply as I turn my staffs in one go as is shown at the image below. If the staffs are much longer than are staffs used in pocket watches then I turn them in turns, between centres. Thus all the possible run-out is eliminated.

    77.jpg

    Even the technique of turning the upper part of the staff first then reversing the unfinished staff in the collet is acceptable, when one has a good quality lathe and clean not damaged collets.

    My Favorite II lathe has certifiably low run-out, e.g. mean run-out is less than 0.003 mm (0.000118") at the mouth of the wax chuck taper, measured in both horizontal and vertical planes, repeatable as well. The spindle taper, inner one collet accepting , has mean run-out of less than 0.002 mm (0.0000787"), again measured in both horizontal and vertical planes. Favorite II provides more than enough precision for turning staffs for almost all kind of timepieces.

    Therefore, it all boils down to the quality of tools one owns and uses and above all the care one takes of his tools.

    Cheers

    Dushan
     
  12. Raynerd

    Raynerd Registered User

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    Dushan - that staff is fantastic!! I have only been using my WW lathe a few evening now but I`m struggling like mad using a graver! If you have time at any point to post some pictures of a graver in use, profiled and at the correct working height and position I`d be most grateful. At present I seem to be scraping metal off rather than stripping it... and that is with brass - with steel I`m just scratching the surface! They say practice makes perfect but after a few hours on it, I`m not getting much better!

    Chris
     
  13. R.G.B.

    R.G.B. Registered User

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    I'm guessing there are a couple different kinds since I'm looking at these ones. Still haven't figured out what the skinny one is for. Hopefully the second copy of the watchmakers lathe will get here since the first one seems to be stuck in a post office bathroom somewhere.
     

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  14. Dushan Grujich

    Dushan Grujich Registered User

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    Good Day, Rob!

    Of course, there were many different ones, in US there were plenty more than in Europe. Yours are G. Boley short for Gebruder Boley (Boley Bros.), here on the image below are the old style Boley&Leinen, much like yours but these have more pronounced taper as well as driver pin. Note the two slots in carrier chuck, one is for left hand turning and the other is for right hand, also they are set at an angle to securely hold cement brass as well as to prevent it from getting loose while turning.

    86.jpg

    In Germany they made lathes with headstock mounted on the left hand side of the bed as well as lathes with the headstock mounted on the right hand side, with all the matching accessories, to suit anyone's taste and needs.

    Cheers

    Dushan
     
  15. berntd

    berntd Registered User

    Jun 21, 2009
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    Hello Dushan,

    I am sitting here, admiring your all in one staff and I again wonder how you do that.
    I have tried this several times but I just cannot get the gravers to work from the left end without the headstock spindle being totally in the way of the T-rest and also the angle needed for the graver.

    What is the secret?


    Kind regards
    Bernt
     
  16. Dushan Grujich

    Dushan Grujich Registered User

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    Bernt,

    There are no secrets, just years of practise, a lot of patience and good sharp gravers. Turning a staff takes certain time, any attempt to get it done faster spoils the work and one has to start from the beginning. It is always preferable to turn at steady safe pace.

    As for the gravers, use any shape You are comfortable with, each one of has his own preferences. When turning close to the headstock use gravers with less acute angles You are also free to use the parting graver for turning if it will give You wanted results.

    Who cares which graver You use (as long as it is sharp), if it is doing what You want and cuts steel in shiny shavings? There are no right gravers nor there is the right way of holding the graver, just make sure that it is held safely so that You will not suffer any injury.

    I use my gravers after a fashion of tool-post cutters, it is how I learned to do it and I feel quite comfortable with it. So what if some watchmakers say that it is wrong? It works nicely for me.

    Perhaps You should try the left hand lathe, one with the headstock mounted on the right hand side of the lathe bed. In your case it might give You more degree of freedom when using graver close to the headstock.

    OTOH, some very capable watchmakers turn staffs using cutter mounted in tool-post of the cross slide, nothing wrong in that. Also some watchmakers turn staffs from unhardened steel and harden the staff before finishing it. I turn all of my staffs from hardened and tempered steel, mainly using tungsten carbide gravers as they keep keen edge much longer than either carbon steel or HSS.

    Suggestions... Perhaps just one, use gravers of only one size. Do NOT mix sizes. Determine the most suitable/convenient height of the T-rest, make a brass spacer and put it on the T-rest so that You need not readjust height every time You reposition it. All of my gravers are 1/16" whether tungsten carbide, HSS or carbon steel. It also helps to have a sharpening jig, set up permanently, to sharpen gravers fast and for quick touch up so that You can turn without interruptions.

    Another thing, if You feel it will help, You can use female safety centre in the tail stock (well oiled) while turning bottom part, I don't but some people need it, at least until they get some confidence and learn how to do without it.

    Cheers

    Dushan
     

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