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Thoughts on reproducing a pre-1900 spindle

I recently got my "big" lathe operational again (1909 16" Hendey) so I started cutting the spindle. The 4145 cuts just like 1018 really. The ol' Hendey is slooow, so I'm playing with my HSS cutter geometry and speed and feeds to see what will produce the best finish. Cutting oil really helps, but the lathes coolant pump is still offline, so I'm using an oil can and cutting dry for now.

Nothing exciting yet, just boring and roughing. After sawing the stock to length, I set it up with a steady and used progressively longer and larger drills till I had a 1/2" hole 9" into one end, then faced the end and chamfered the hole. I tried cutting the OD a bit while the steady was still in play, but got chatter when cutting more than .015 in a pass. After removing the steady and supporting the end with a center, I can take heavier cuts. I'm cutting the tail end of the spindle first. Once the bulk of the material is gone, I'll flip it and go back to the steady to bore out the other half and go back to the tailstock.

In addition to going a touch bigger on the center bore, I think I've decided against pocketing a tang slot into the back of the spindle taper (for now). It'll simplify things and a mill as light duty as the Brainard dosn't nessisarily have to have it. It'll also enable me to be a little less critical with the tapers depth. I can ream it out to a minimum depth now and go deeper in the future if needed. Since the spindle won't be hardened either, I can always add the tang slot later if cutters are constantly slipping.
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Here's the results of a couple of nights hogging the first 11" of the 4" bar down to 1 1/2". Still a little ways to go, but having fun in the meantime. I've settled at 228 RPM, 90 IPM, and .025 DOC (by radius) with an occasional spring pass. Will leave the last 1/8" for later finish passes. No chip breaking going on so I'm using a wand to keep the chip under control and pinch it off when it touches the floor. Balling up the strings to hang on the wall.
Serious question, does anyone else ball up chips like this for fun? So many cutters have chip breakers these days that it's not often we see long runs of chips like this. I was also taught that if you are getting strings such as when drilling, peck so they're no longer than 6", but when they're coming off the lathe so nice at a slow RPM, I go by what's easiest to manage. We inherited a couple of wall hanger balls with the first collection of machines my dad bought from the man who taught him machining (Irwin Spalding), and rolled a few myself.

The other chips pictured came while playing with settings. The coil on the far left started coiling up horizontally without any help, while resting on top of the tool post and the bar of material.
Finished roughing out the spindle tonight. All the OD dimensions are 1/8" oversized and there's about 3/8" extra length to let me clean up the shoulders. Both ends have been bored through to 1/2". It's such a good feeling to have two holes come together like that when using such flexible drill bits.

I don't yet have a driving plate for the Hendey, so for the finish passes I'm going to switch over to our 11" Rockwell which also has a DRO, coolant, and higher speeds, so it'll be easier to get closer to the target dimensions. Since I don't have a cylindrical grinder, I'd like to use our tool post grinder for the last pass. It's a pneumatic one, but should do fine.

With the outside dimensions done between centers, I'll go back to a steady rest to cut the taper.
I pull the swarf off my Swift with a garden rake .....if it gets too thick ,it may wind up around the work ,throwing swarf all over the shop .........one time the bundles of swarf on the floor wound up and pulled an electric cord into the rotating mess .
I was having trouble getting a larger lathe dog that would fit the Rockwell lathes driving plate (without just making one), and started trimming up the spindle blank between the 4 jaw and a live center, and I was really pleased with the finish and concentricity I was getting, so I kept at it and got all of the OD surfaces finished tonight. I won't need to bother with the tool post grinder either.
Fits like a glove! Well, a little loose up front, but that will tighten up with the take up nuts. I found that the front nut had some road rash and a small crack in the side where it looks like it was pushed around on the pavement at some point, so I'll need to trim the inside edge of it to get it to fit over the spindle face.
I have a 4B Vertical Becker-Brainard. The tapered adjustable bronze sleeves were shot and the spindle tired,so I replaced the spindle in EN8 medium carbon. 5/8" drilled from each end,yes they did meet in the middle,and went modern with a 40int taper. And I fitted it with taper roller brgs, each bearing cup fitting into the tapers where the brasses went. It runs lovely and also the back gear engages properly,which it didn't before.