Quick Change or Piston Tool Posts for WW lathes

Discussion in 'Horological Tools' started by Dr. Jon, Apr 20, 2020.

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  1. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Moderator
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    I am interested in adding a quick change/piston tool post to my slide rest.

    For those who are not familar with these, they are a tool post with a some type of doveail slide that takes a cutting tool holder. The holder can be easily moved up and down to very prcisely set teh cutting tip at teh center or other desired height. Turning a handle then locks the cutter in place. With several tool holders, cutter can be quickly changed out each being easily set to angle and using preset height adjustments.

    Many are available with size codes such as OXA, which I believe is the smallest.

    A very small tool post not an OXA went on eBay for what I consider a ridiculous amount( >$300), considering that brand new ones go for a lot less. The difference is that the seller promised this would would fit the cross slides of WW type lathes and the lister, a very reputable guy in the Netherlands, showed the foot in the listing.

    I have seen many OXA labelled on the auction site. I believe that these mount with a "T" bolt. My Sherline "T" bolts are too thick for my Boley slide rest but I don't see any real problem in grinding one to fit if that is all that is needed to make it fit. I suspect the tool holders may be too thick to get a watch size cutter (I use 3mm Carbide and 5mm HSS square cutters) but I have access to a surface grinder and I can easily take a few millimeters off a few holders if that is all that is needed.

    I do spend a lot of time and effort shimming cutters using the"lantern" tool post. I use 1/2" washers and grind slots to get teh tool roughly right and small shims for fine adjustment. It is time consuming and I have to re-shim if I resharpen the tool.

    So after all that here are my questions:

    1) Has anyone reading this installed one of these? and, if not an OXA, what was it and where did you get it?
    2) I have seen some very cheap Chinese ones with an Aluminum tool post; how do these work and is does it work well enough for occasional use? That is even if it has short life can it hold a tool firmly enough t get chatter to acceptable levels?
    3) Is the extra cost of a steel post worth while?
    3) Micro mark has a small steel tool post which is a differnt shape. Has anyone used one of these and if so how well did it work?
     
  2. wefalck

    wefalck Registered User

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    Twenty something years ago I constructed a set myself, based on the illustration in a Leinen catalogue of 1996: Attachments

    leinenqctoolholder.jpg

    QCTP-1-72.jpg

    If I had to do it again, I would not bother with the second dovetail in the main body. Rather using the usual counter-nut under the thumbscrew, the hole is threaded completely through and a worm-screw with an Allen-head is used to fix the thumbscrew in position. The inserts take up to 6 mm square toolbits and I also made some for 3 mm square toolbits and for boring bars.

    As you have a surface-grinder, I assume that you have a milling machine too. So this is a relatively simple project.
     
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  3. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    #3 Jim DuBois, Apr 20, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2020
    I have 4 of the small quick change tool posts two are of better quality, two are from flea bay recently. But, even while they are not of Levin or Schaublin quality, they work OK. The cheaper were well under $50, the better quality were about 2x more.

    20200420_152519.jpg 20200420_152514.jpg 20200420_152500.jpg 20200420_152458.jpg
     
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  4. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Moderator
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    Thanks for the replies.

    I am trying to determine whether the cheap ones will work. f so I see no point in making one for myself. This is not my interest. I last used my slide to make a jig to hold a part I am making. Making a tool to make another tool takes me from making the part for a watch. I do not use my WW slide rest that much.

    It looks like Jim is using his on a Sherline or similar lathe. Nay thoughts on whether it will fit a WW lathe. These are 50mm from bed to center and about 10mm from the base of the slide to center.
     
  5. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    Yes, one I use on the Sherline lathe and the other one I use on an old Derbyshire Model A lathe. It is about 2 x the size of an 8MM lathe. Center height of lathe is 2.93"

    20140702_103115_Android.jpg
     
  6. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Moderator
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    Do you lock it on teh Derbyshire with a T nut?
     
  7. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    Yes, T nut had to be machined down to fit the slot on the Derby compound. The compound in the photo is a Shaublin compound, I now have it on the proper Derby compound.
     
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  8. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Moderator
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    Thanks

    Questions on the tool holder:

    Can it go to the bottom? touch the base of the compound?

    What is the distance from the bottom of the tool holder to the lower edge of the slot?
     
  9. Hudson

    Hudson Registered User
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    I do not have a quick change tool post for my WW lathes. I do have some for my Taig and Sherline lathes. The holders are too big, in my opinion, to be used on the watchmaker lathes.

    I do most work that requires cross slides on the Sherline or Taig lathe. I do have cross slides for my Levin and Boley lathes, and have found a style of tool holder that does not require shimming. The height is adjustable with a threaded section. The toolpost with tool intact can be removed and returned to the cross slide without changing the tool height. Here are some pictures:

    IMG_2026.jpg IMG_2027.jpg IMG_2028.jpg IMG_2029.jpg
     
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  10. wefalck

    wefalck Registered User

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    A geometric problem with QCTPs on watchmakers lathes is the low centre-height above the cross-slide, which on D-bed lathes only is around 7 mm and on WW-lathes 10 mm. This means in practice that the lower edge of the inserts has to be below the surface of the cross-slide for any bit larger than 5 mm x 5 mm, i.e. the standard 6 mm or 1/4" bits.
     
  11. Pete Cronos

    Pete Cronos Registered User
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    I recently purchased a very nice QCTP with several holders for my Sherline lathe. It will not work on my Levin 10MM lathe since the cutter bit sets above center on the Levin. I do not think that it can be modified any to get the cutting bit low enough to work. I sure wish it would. As stated above the center height is low on the watchmaker lathes.
     
  12. karlmansson

    karlmansson Registered User

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    At least for larger QCTPs and on larger machines the block can be positioned close enough to the edge that the tool holder can hang over the edge of the top slide. I do that sometimes with larger tools or tools with a high top grind on my 102. I use a Tripan 131 holder.
     
  13. Dushan Grujich

    Dushan Grujich Registered User

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    G'Day!

    On my watchmaker's lathe, when turning with cutter mounted onto the cross slide, I am using QC tool post made by Tripan. It is the smallest one of the Tripan range the 011-L. It came with the lathe as part of its accessories, although with only a single cutter holder, thus I was forced make new ones as the Swiss ask exorbitantly for the additional cutter holders. BTW, it is the same QC tool post as offered by Levin. Making the holders I stuck with their basic design, shown at the images below.

    The 011-L will also fit Lorch D-bed lathe with no issues. It was designed for watchmakers' lathes and will take cutters up to 5 millimetres in height, my HSS cutters are mostly 3/16" square, with few 1/8".

    BTW, there is a chap on eBay.de who makes and sells a very nice replica of Tripan 011-L QC TP.

    Cheers, Dushan

    TC Cutter Holder 02.jpg Tripan 011-L QCTP 03.jpg Tripan 011-L QCTP 08.jpg Tripan 011-L QCTP 05.jpg Tripan 011-L QCTP 09.jpg TC Cutter Holders 01.jpg Tripan round cutter holder 01.jpg Tripan round cutter holder 02.jpg Boring Cutter Mounted Img 01.jpg HSS & TC Lathe Cutters.jpg
     
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  14. sharukh

    sharukh Registered User
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    That's super work Dushan.

    A couple of questions.

    What is the function of the wire in the slot cut into the threaded rod in the 3rd picture.

    Do you have a link for the ebay seller ? I failed to find it. I know that the MB rules forbid links to ongoing auctions so if you could send it to me by PM please ?

    Thank you.
     
  15. wefalck

    wefalck Registered User

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    I had seen this offer on various occasions as well, but when I looked for it following the discussion here, I couldn't find it anymore ... I gather the guy makes batches and doesn't have any at the moment or halted busisness due to COVID-19.
     
  16. Dushan Grujich

    Dushan Grujich Registered User

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    G'Day Sharuk!

    Thanks for the praise! To answer your questions, since the Tripan 011-L is so tiny and placing a counter nut for the height adjuster nut, is kind of out of place due to overall size, hence designer of the tool decided to place a spring in the form of wire in the slot, which prevents accidental turning of the adjuster nut, and it does work, so far I have had no problems with it. In order not to have the cutter holders bumped around and against each other, I made a wooden box for the lot, even left some room to accommodate few additional 30º holders, which I never got around to make.

    I do not remember the seller's name, but I will send You the link to the auction as soon as the chap places one, he does it from time to time.

    Cheers, Dushan

    Tripan Cutter Holders.jpg Tripan 011-L  QCTP Img 04.jpg
     

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