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Cut Knurling. How is it done??


Jun 23, 2002
Vancouver BC Canada
Hi All:
I'm too cheap to blow a thousand bucks on a cut knurling tool. so I've been experimenting with knocking one together myself.
I have a question...which part of the knurl is supposed to contact the workpiece to achieve the correct cutting action.
I've tried canting the knurls so the leading edge is presented to the workpiece first...seems to cut really well.
I've also presented he knurls to the work so the mid-face of the knurls contacts the workpiece and the leading and trailing edges are clear of the work.
This still makes a great looking knurl, but the side pressure goes way up and it acts more like bump knurling, so this can't be right.
Presenting the knurls to the work so the trailing edge contacts first cuts really aggressively on the backstroke (toward the tailstock) but far less so feeding toward the headstock, when it acts more like a bump knurl.
So it seems to me that the leading edge should contact first and cut.
So how do you knurl small diameters if this is true???
The knurls are so far apart at the leading edge that I don't think I could knurl anything smaller than about 3/4" diameter.
Smaller knurls??
Any advice will be gratefully accepted.

The edge of the cut knurl does the cutting.This type of knurl does not increase the diameter as does ordinary knurling.It makes a very clean knurl,though. I don't blame you for making your own up. You are aware to use square edge knurls,not beveled ones? I don't know how to do real small diameters except by crush knurling. If you look at knurled needle file handles,the knurls stand out above the size of the shank.
Hi Marcus, I have a cut knurling tool I made a few years ago. It is similar to the Hardinge tool. It fits into an Aloris type holder. It will knurl diameters from about 3/16" on up. It works very well on plastics too, which can be impossible with pressure knurls. I have a working drawing for it I can fax to you, or possibly scan and e-mail. I can also snap a few digital photos.I will look for the drawing tonight. Tom Partington from Mass.

Could I also get in line for your drawing and photos?

Hi Parts:
That would be great!
Seems lots of people want a copy, so if you're willing to scan and email it you'll have friends for life.

Hello again. Yesterday was the first really nice day we have had here in New England in quite some time. So I got home, fired up the grill and had a couple of beers, therefore, completely forgetting to look for the drawing. I will look tonight. Tom Partington from Mass.
Umm prints to make tools if you could send I would very much appreciate it or if you want I can put on my photobucket page and people can get from there.
Hello again. I sent copies of the working drawing and 5 photos to both Marcus and Dan, but have not heard back yet if they received it OK. Tomorrow, I will send it to the others who requested it. Tom Partington from Mass.