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  1. #501
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    For gun work holding
    I would often hold the muzzle end in a 4jaw, or on a stub centered mandrel on a center and with an area of the breech that was true held in a steady. Often I found that to be a quick and accurate way to run every thing true. Yes I would sometimes remove the trigger so it was not easy to catch or bump swinging around.

  2. #502
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    Quick Thread size gage
    For threads that were not specified to quality I kept a set if nuts of high grade quality (Grade 8) or 10.9s for metric to be used for gages.
    I would light hone or fine file OD before the last turn to remove any build-up burr, take the last cut and test with a good nut. It was not uncommon to find a tight spot on a long thread.
    Some that I wanted very close I would cut a little tight, put some fine rouge in a nut and work it over the thread and feel it in. That nut would go into the wash and be used for an assembly not to gage again.
    Some of the older top machine builders made bolts and nuts so close that about half the commons would not even go. I think the striving for such perfection is what made those machines still good after 30 or 50 years use, and what gave the POS makers an edge into the market.

  3. #503
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    I use a bead of silicone on the rear top face (where the fixed jaw mounts) of my 6" mill vise, wraped around the ends a bit to funnel the coolent flow back onto the table.

  4. #504
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    to center a lathe tool, take a six inch scale........just kidding

  5. #505
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    I use a cheapo mag base indicator holder (remove the idicator end mount, so it just has the smooth bar) and use it as an ajustable arm rest for tig welding to stabalize the torch.

  6. #506
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    Quote Originally Posted by toolmakerjim View Post
    for settin a lathe tool to center take a 6" scale and slightly clamp the scale between the tool and workpiece. if above center the scale will be pitched away from you, looking towards the chuck,if below center the scale will be pitched towards towards you. if on center the scale will be verticle.

    to cut a keyway without indicating to center touch the cutter off and slightly raise the table and enter the cut about 1/8" past the cutter centerline then move the table off the cutter and stop the spindle.
    touch the cut you just made with your index finger, this is assuming you still have your index finger, if you are off center you will feel that one side feels deeper than the other adjust to where both feel the same. then you will be on center.

    if you have trouble with chatter in turning or on parting on a lathe turn the tool upside down and reverse the spindle rotation so that your pulling against the dove tail instead of pushing against it.
    To centre the spindle over a shaft in the mill put a pointed centre in the spindle and use a 6" ruler similar to setting the tool height in the lathe except horizontal.

  7. #507
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Al View Post
    I just bought a set of thread wires in an attempt to reduce the number of scrapped part when cutting threads on a lathe. Dunno if that's going to work out, but that's for another thread.

    Thread wires seem to require a third hand to use. I came up with a pretty decent solution for holding the thread wires: modeling clay.

    Hold the pair of wires in place with the caliper, then slip in the third wire & snug up the caliper. Now poke the modeling clay over the ends of the wires.

    As they say, Bob's your Uncle. You can handle the three wires as a unit.
    6) An easy way to use the three wire method to measure the pitch diameter--
    Set the mike to .025" over the O.D.
    Set the mike on top of the thread.
    Insert two wires between the mike anvil and the bottom of the thread.
    Insert the third wire between the mike spindle and the top of the thread. The wires may rock but they won't fall out.
    Take the measurement (make sure the 2 bottom wires are both tight) and observe the reading, back off the mike to get the wires out and remove the mike.
    Reset the mike to the observed reading and lock it----you now have the M.O.W. recorded on your mike.

  8. #508
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    Or drill and tap the end plate for a 1/8" NPT plug and pump coolant inside the pulley to prevent chatter when crowning in the lathe.

  9. #509
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    Default Tricks of the Trade

    to thread small parts I clamp them in a chuck and use a die holder in the cnc mill with G84. good threads and saves arms if you're in a latheless shop.

    with a cnc saw it's faster to use manual mode and feed parts to a stop then it is to wait for the feeder.

    a boring head turning counterclockwise can turn small bosses.

    some broken taps can have a nut welded to it to extract it. if its below the surface and your welder is awesome, a bead can be slowly built up to drop the nut on to allow welding.

  10. #510
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    Default Tricks of the Trade

    Quote Originally Posted by gdavis2265 View Post
    to center a lathe tool, take a six inch scale........just kidding
    works well for larger work, not so much smaller stuff.

  11. #511
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    Default Accuracy of tool height setting using a six-inch rule

    Quote Originally Posted by rooty View Post
    works well for larger work, not so much smaller stuff.
    Actually, it is more accurate on smaller radii; these are more sharply curved, so the test is more sensitive.

    A point that nobody has mentioned in the multiple posts of this hint, is that your cross-slide drive axis (in practice, the lathe bed) must be horizontal front-to-back for this trick to work. Some of the tips on levelling have noted that it is not important that the bed be absolutely level front-to-back but that it should be at the same angle all along the bed. This is true for alignment and accuracy purposes, but for using the rule trick, or for using one of those spirit level centre-finders, absolute level it must be.

    Nobody has commented about how accurate this method is or isn't. If you can judge 0.1 degree deviation from vertical (which is tough but just about ok), then the toll will be set within approximately diameter/300. On a 25 mm (1") rod, then this is about 0.08 mm (3 thou). So it is pretty good, but one can usually do better with a height gauge. Below 5 mm work diameter it is very good. For large diameter work, it is not very good. I avoid using the chuck exterior to set the tool height by this method. On a 150 mm/6" chuck, the error will be 0.5 mm or 20 thou.

    A question for old timers (I am old, and trained, but not time-served!): how accurately do you try to set the tool height to dead centre? (and please don't use comments like 'spot-on', I would like numbers!).

    Keith

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    Are aluminum chips sticking to your drills? Spray down your chip brush with wd-40, when you clear chips youre applying a little lube.

  13. #513
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClarinetKeith View Post
    Actually, it is more accurate on smaller radii; these are more sharply curved, so the test is more sensitive.

    A point that nobody has mentioned in the multiple posts of this hint, is that your cross-slide drive axis (in practice, the lathe bed) must be horizontal front-to-back for this trick to work. Some of the tips on levelling have noted that it is not important that the bed be absolutely level front-to-back but that it should be at the same angle all along the bed. This is true for alignment and accuracy purposes, but for using the rule trick, or for using one of those spirit level centre-finders, absolute level it must be.

    Nobody has commented about how accurate this method is or isn't. If you can judge 0.1 degree deviation from vertical (which is tough but just about ok), then the toll will be set within approximately diameter/300. On a 25 mm (1") rod, then this is about 0.08 mm (3 thou). So it is pretty good, but one can usually do better with a height gauge. Below 5 mm work diameter it is very good. For large diameter work, it is not very good. I avoid using the chuck exterior to set the tool height by this method. On a 150 mm/6" chuck, the error will be 0.5 mm or 20 thou.

    A question for old timers (I am old, and trained, but not time-served!): how accurately do you try to set the tool height to dead centre? (and please don't use comments like 'spot-on', I would like numbers!).

    Keith
    Leveling doesn't have anything to do with it. If the ruler is vertical when pinched, the tool is in line with the horizontal plane that intersects the axis of the work.

  14. #514
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forestgnome View Post
    Leveling doesn't have anything to do with it. If the ruler is vertical when pinched, the tool is in line with the horizontal plane that intersects the axis of the work.
    Indeed it is. But if your cross slide is not also level then the cut will not remain on the radius from the centre of the work, which is the important thing.

    To go to an absurd extreme, imagine your cross slide is tilted vertically downwards. You would then need the tool located vertically above the axis of the lathe. Your pinched ruler would then have to be horizontal.

    Keith

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    When you set your dials on a milling machine (or any machine with dial lock nuts, doesn't apply to thumbscrews) turn your dial a few thou to the left (on the veneer scale), Then tighten the dial lock nut until the dial moves to 0 (or whatever hash mark you desire). This helps keep your dial setting more accurate, if you have the problem of the dial moving when you tighten it.

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    Close your eyes when you blow off dust, and load your files with chalk to keep them from loading with chips and helps reduce chatter.

  17. #517
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    For tapping holes on the ends of long parts or parts that may be awkward to set up on a machine, I made a simple fixture to hold my old egg beater style drill horizontally. I just line up the hole on a platform in front of the drill chuck and guide it to the tap while cranking the handle. For some holes, I can just feed the part in and out in a single motion. Other times I back it in and out as necessary. Having one hand controlling the tap and my other hand guiding the part makes it easy to feel how things are going and adjust accordingly. WD40 keeps it cutting smoothly and having an air nozzle set up, like those kool-mist things, is helpful to get chips out of the way.

    I have used it to tap hundreds of holes without fail. The parts we make are generally 6061 or acetal with holes ranging from 2-56 to 10-24, so it's pretty light duty. However I think this method should provide enough mechanical advantage to tap larger holes in tougher materials with a sturdy drill and fixture that allows you to feed the part directly into the tap. My old drill would probably struggle with holes over 1/4" diameter but it's not in great shape. Also I haven't tapped many holes in steel so I would only be guessing at how that would go, but if this sounds like something you might find useful, let me know and I'll post some pics.

  18. #518
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoagie Boat View Post
    For tapping holes on the ends of long parts or parts that may be awkward to set up on a machine, I made a simple fixture to hold my old egg beater style drill horizontally. I just line up the hole on a platform in front of the drill chuck and guide it to the tap while cranking the handle. For some holes, I can just feed the part in and out in a single motion. Other times I back it in and out as necessary. Having one hand controlling the tap and my other hand guiding the part makes it easy to feel how things are going and adjust accordingly. WD40 keeps it cutting smoothly and having an air nozzle set up, like those kool-mist things, is helpful to get chips out of the way.

    I have used it to tap hundreds of holes without fail. The parts we make are generally 6061 or acetal with holes ranging from 2-56 to 10-24, so it's pretty light duty. However I think this method should provide enough mechanical advantage to tap larger holes in tougher materials with a sturdy drill and fixture that allows you to feed the part directly into the tap. My old drill would probably struggle with holes over 1/4" diameter but it's not in great shape. Also I haven't tapped many holes in steel so I would only be guessing at how that would go, but if this sounds like something you might find useful, let me know and I'll post some pics.
    Sound interesting! I would be interested in pics. Think it would work with a right angle drill attachment?

    I currently make a drill fixture from scrap and drill off the end of the table with the part and fixture clamped to the table. Luckily, I don't do that many.

  19. #519
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willysnowman View Post
    Sound interesting! I would be interested in pics. Think it would work with a right angle drill attachment?

    I currently make a drill fixture from scrap and drill off the end of the table with the part and fixture clamped to the table. Luckily, I don't do that many.
    I think it could work with a right angle attachment., but I would want to have a fixture for the part that prevents it from rotating with the quill. When using the hand drill I usually do this by holding the part down by hand. If I were to let go of the part and continue cranking, I can almost guarantee that the tap would break, but since I can feel how much force it's taking to drive the tap, I immediately know if I should stop, back it out a little and keep pecking away. With a mill or drill press you lose that tactile feel, making it a little tougher to know if the tap is having trouble, probably leading to some broken taps and scrapped parts, Hopefully nothing flying off the machine for that matter.

    I haven't set up a fixture that would allow me to completely let go of the part as it feeds into the tap.... Ouch... uh oh... An idea has just been conceived. It's about to go into labor...

    We start with a milling machine that has nice clean table slots and some room for a vice towards one end which will be set up so that it can glide along the x axis without jumping around or twisting or getting stuck. It doesn't have to be perfect but the smoother the better. So one possibility would be to mount the vise on a platform held into the table slots, probably lubed up, maybe with bearings or wheels or maybe those furniture sliders as seen on TV. How ever it works, it will preferably make an old school machinist cringe in disgust sprinkled with a hint of fear that this contraption may actually work. (Sorry,I had to pay homage to my father. Creativity was frowned upon during my training. Creative ideas that actually worked were acts of rebellion. Creative Ideas that worked better than his way were acts of war.)

    Ok back to the program. We have our vice set up with part loaded and indicated, and we load the appropriate drill in the right angle attachment. For the drilling we probably have the vice secured in place or at least stopped on the backside. We drill the hole, cranking the table in the x direction. Time to tap that thing. Load the tap and remove the stops on the vice. Mark the tap for our depth. Apply favorite cutting fluid. Fire up the spindle in low RPM. Something around 200 RPM should work fine. Slowly crank the table towards the tap keeping one hand on the spindle switch... AT LAST THE MOMENT OF TRUTH... Ideally the hole will engage the tap causing the vice to feed in on it's own. I'm predicting that a little hand pressure to coax it along will take the stress off the tap and spindle, also providing some tactile feedback. Lightly feeding the table instead may achieve the same result. Pecking would probably not be a bad idea either. As the part nears the finish line, spindle off, reverse it in low with gentle hand pressure to help the tap spit out the part.

    It sounds good to me, in theory. The point when we reverse the spindle to back the tap out might be the make or break moment (provided that the main concept of the sliding vice isn't a total dud). I've always been amazed that when a tap is at a dead stop at the bottom of a hole and you turn on the motor, it just squirts out of there like no big deal. Hopefully the same thing happens here. I wish I had the right angle attachment to try it for myself. I suppose I could put the spindle on Old Rusty in horizontal mode.

    I like your idea to use a drill for this. I'm assuming you mean an electric hand drill. The back of my brain is trying to figure out a good way to fix a drill at the end of the table but not actually connected to the table. The snag is that there's nothing convenient to build off in my shop. Did you just build it up from the the floor? It would be nice to mount it on the head or load it like a regular tool. The hole for the tap bar stop thing might be a possibility. I'm sure I'll enjoy farting around with it at least. There are so many intricacies about milling machines that I have yet to learn. They're just big toys.

    I'll snap some pics of my hand drill fixture tomorrow. Please pardon my mess of lathe cutters strewn about.

  20. #520
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoagie Boat View Post
    I like your idea to use a drill for this. I'm assuming you mean an electric hand drill. The back of my brain is trying to figure out a good way to fix a drill at the end of the table but not actually connected to the table. The snag is that there's nothing convenient to build off in my shop. Did you just build it up from the the floor? It would be nice to mount it on the head or load it like a regular tool. The hole for the tap bar stop thing might be a possibility. I'm sure I'll enjoy farting around with it at least. There are so many intricacies about milling machines that I have yet to learn. They're just big toys.
    I don't fix the drill. At this point the mill table is only serving as a clamp. I clamp both the long part and the fixture to the mill table. The fixture does the guiding.

    I don't have a pic of the set up, but the pic shows a sample fixture for those two shcs. The lip controls Y. One face controls Z, the other controls X. If I have several parts, I make one for the drill and one for the tap. In this case, I only had one side so I just opened the holes to the tap size on a drill press.

    When you mentioned your setup I thought of something to quickly put in the collet align with the table and clamp angle. A RA milling attachment is way too big and clunky. These are typically under 3/8" holes. Hmmm....
    camerazoom-20140111093352082.jpgcamerazoom-20140111093359832.jpg


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