Projects and Articles by Our Members!

Scraping in all bearing surfaces on my Wards/Logan 10"
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I've been working on my lathe off and on over the past several weeks or months, but I've been hesitant to start a thread documenting my progress (or lack thereof!) for fear of embarrassing myself. I'm increasingly confident that I'm going to end up with a very precise lathe rather than a very large pile of cast iron dust and tears, so I'm finally willing to share my progress. After creating...
KO-Lee Cutter/Grinder Revamp
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Perhaps you've seen this from other photos... It's a KO-Lee cutter grinder. It's a good platform and the table and all mechanisms are in excellent condition. I don't think this machine was used much in it's lifetime as there are very few signs of wear (hardly any at all really). The motor is the weak link. The bearings are going bad and vibration can be felt in the short shaft. The...
Restoring an old powered hacksaw
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Figured I'd share my restoration project! I've always found these old machines quite cool and when a neighbour offered me a defective one for free, I couldn't say no! :D This is the machine as I got it, it runs but won't lower the sawblade so you have to manually push it against the work piece, which becomes quite the challenge and dangerous as heck when it's moving back and forth. The...
9A project completed
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Some of you guys may remember this little crudball I acquired back in April... I had just completed the last project, the Seneca Falls #30 resto-mod,(project of the month) when this lathe found it's way to me via a friend of a friend. My friend, who is also a tool salesman, showed me a pic of this on his phone, which came from his friend, the seller, who now is a retired tool room...
Clausing 1771 Drill Press Restoration
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I picked up a Clausing variable speed drill press from a Craigslist ad. I offered the guy $200.00 and he accepted. The drill press was in decent overall condition, and had a new motor on it. I disassembled the machine and cleaned up and painted everything. Mechanically, it was in very good condition, and the only real repair work I did was to straighten a few of the handle arms. One...
Erich's Benchtop Gear Hobber Project
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Inspired by @vtcnc and others, I've decided to make my next project a benchtop gear hobber! I opted to buy from Martin Models (see my thread here: for my trip report), which seems like a nice revision of the standard kit with some nice looking options/changes. Also, it comes with some plans that are seemingly not...
Micrometer Stand
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Hi guys, here's another project that I wanted to share. This is a pic heavy post but wanted to share each process and op involved. The design came from the [mod edit for link] MakeItFromMetal website. I started out with a 1.5" x 2.5" x 6" piece of 1018 steel. The main block was then milled down flat and square to a finished size of 1.438"H x 2.438"W x 4.5" L. Then the front and sides were...
Two Timer Build
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After I finished my crankshaft build last week I asked for ideas of an engine to build around it. There were no replies except for this. At least you know how many cylinders. ;) Robert Yes thank you Robert I was thinking along those lines myself. I don't know what this engine will turn out to look like but I want to show off the crankshaft so area will be open. I want to try my hand at...
Machinist Jacks
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So another tool crossed off the 'To Do' list. Made a pair of machinist jacks, and wanted to post a few pics. I started by turning down some 1.250" diameter Heat Treated 4140 and made the screw/head pieces first. That way I could measure my thread pitch and make sure it was within proper 2A specs. Then I drilled the top of the heads to accept some .375" diameter bushings with a .0005"...
CNC Lathe Servo Spindle Upgrade
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It's time to upgrade our CNC lathe spindle motor. This has been in the planning stage for the last year or so. When we did the controls retrofit on the machine a couple of years ago we lost what C axis capability we originally had. The lathe has live tooling and can do some light milling. A ''C'' axis is the spindle rotational axis and has the ability to index the spindle accurately, or...
Machining work bench
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Hey Guys, so I finally got a decent tool box to hold my machining tooling... Craftsman 41inch tool chest... I used my mill to drill out holes in the front and back pieces of the frame. The holes on the bottom frame will be for leveing feet... I cut to length some 3/4in steel round stock and pre-drilled to size the ID for threading. Next the round stock was welded in place and threads...
Angle Plate Fixtures for Atlas Horizontal Milling Machine
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I've been putting off another project for more than year and finally committed to getting started. In order to machine the base casting for the project, I decided to make some angle plate fixtures to bolt down to my Atlas Horizontal Milling Machine. The base casting needs to be flipped several times and spun due to the limited travel 6" x 9" on my Atlas. Here is the mockup renderings I made...
Home Built Die Filer
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I started this about six months ago. I'd seen pictures of the Pine Grove (MLA-18). I decided I didn't want to spend quite that much, so after talking to Andy at Pine Grove, I had him send me the drawings and decided to try to build one out of materials I had on hand rather than use his beautiful casting kit. This is what I ended up with. Here's a video of it running.
PM30 One-Shot Oiler System
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Hey guys, I recently completed a "one-shot" oiler system install on my PM30 Bench Top Mill. Decided to go with Bijur metering valves, junction blocks, 4mm nylon and brass tubing, and other misc 4mm (5/32") fittings. However, I opted not to purchase the Bijur "one-shot" oiler, instead, I found a "similar" unit on Amazon for a lot less $$$$! :) Here are some pics ... Adding a...
Edwards Radial 5 build thread --- PHOTOS!
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Episode 1 || Introduction to My Build Thread Background After a brief search through the archives, I was a bit surprised that nobody had documented their journey building an Edwards Radial 5-cylinder engine. These engines are reasonably complex and time consuming to construct, but as (1) detailed drawings are freely available and (2) it's a 'billet engine' requiring no castings, it...
New bike project.
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New project, a bike with a motor this time, I’ve been working on this for a while so done quite a bit so far. It’s been 20 years since I sat or worked on a bike, last one was a Triumph Bonny, they just cost too much these days so I settled for a 74 TX650 wreck and boy did it turn out to be a wreck. I have psoriatic arthritis so I’ve largely lost the use of my hands but I manage a few hours...
Mike's SCARA Robot
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Hi All, Some of you may have seen me write about how much I am interested in industrial robotics. I've been looking for an old robot to play with for 3-4 years now and one just happened to pop up! Many people are familiar with the 6 axis articulated robots that are often shown in factories (and I'd love one of those to play with) but what I happened across is a 4 axis SCARA (Selective...
A Straddle Knurler for the Sherline Lathe
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A Straddle Knurler for the Sherline Lathe The Sherline lathe is far more capable than most people know. I have explored the limits of this amazing lathe for the last 30 years and while I’m sure of what it can do, I am not so sure of what it can’t do because I’m still building tools for it. With the proper turning tools, it will take 0.120” off the diameter in mild steel or 0.200” in aluminum...
Putting the ELS3 (Electronic Lead Screw ) on a LMS-3536 Lathe
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This project has a number of steps - I'll divide it into sections so you don't get overloaded!! Ever since I had my first machine shop in the 80's (Sheldon 10x36) I've had the bug to build or get an Electronic Lead Screw. Back then the tech was so "low" that I couldn't begin to afford or think of it. In 2012 I became aware of the Arduino and mcu's in general, and began tinkering... and the...
Scraping in all bearing surfaces on my Wards/Logan 10"
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I've been working on my lathe off and on over the past several weeks or months, but I've been hesitant to start a thread documenting my progress (or lack thereof!) for fear of embarrassing myself. I'm increasingly confident that I'm going to end up with a very precise lathe rather than a very large pile of cast iron dust and tears, so I'm finally willing to share my progress. After creating...
1/6th scale 1890's 30ft navy steam cutter (live steam)
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this project started 10 years back when I found the plan book for navy boats 1900,, 2 years ago I came in contact with a full scale steam expert who had the engine and engineering plans.. the 30ftr and 1/6th scale was decided on because a Stuart Turner compound twin engine block is very very close in size.. brass lost wax castings have been completed to convert the ST engine kit to the navy...
My Jeroen Jonkman’s Stirling 60 brass Stirling engine build
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The raw materials... Used a Dremel type diamond cut off wheel to cut the Pyrex test tube to the required length. Some fun with the rotary table. One of the first things I did was make this plate to hold some of these small parts. These adjustable parallels were just the right size to add some support. Cut these 0.047" diameter pins by taking a heavy, single cut. You lose a...
A Boring Primer
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Boring on the Lathe for (New) Hobby Guys A Primer Being able to bore an accurate hole on the lathe is an important skill every hobby guy should have. We may not need to bore a precision hole all that often but when we need to, we should be able to. As we all know, that is easier said than done. I don’t know about you guys but when I started I didn’t really understand how a boring bar...
Home-made CNC lathe using servos
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This is a thread about CNC Lathe I recently built. This is my first CNC machine, and obviously, I’m not a CNC guru. Being an engineer, I prefer more practical ways of making things rather than R&D approach with investing plenty of time, money and energy. This is also why I use simple and robust ideas instead of diving deep into unique ones and solving the problems just created. I started...
Making Frank's Cranks
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Finally got around to taking some photos of my process as I make some of my string winding cranks. Here's one with a koa handle: These cranks feature a soft head made of low density polyethylene, an angle of 83-degrees to simulate wrist rotation, and a solid bearing in the handle. Interestingly, one of the first questions I get about them is, "How do you achieve that angle?" So, I'll start...
KO-Lee Cutter/Grinder Revamp
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Perhaps you've seen this from other photos... It's a KO-Lee cutter grinder. It's a good platform and the table and all mechanisms are in excellent condition. I don't think this machine was used much in it's lifetime as there are very few signs of wear (hardly any at all really). The motor is the weak link. The bearings are going bad and vibration can be felt in the short shaft. The...
Capacitor Tester (don't throw away that old multimeter!!)
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Years ago my old analog multimeter passed away. I had the bright idea to keep the meter, in case I will make something useful out of it later, and threw away the rest. That “later” came a few days ago when I needed a way to test Equivalent Series Resistance (ESR) of some electrolytic capacitors that looked good but die quickly. Let’s take the story from the beginning! The need to test...
Construction details of A Complete 13.8 Volt, 50 Amp Power Supply
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In part-1 Ioutlined the basic needs of an high current power supply and dealt with the protection circuits needed for safe operation. In part-2 I will deal with the construction of the unit itself including PCB layout, wiring diagrams and testing. Construction can be split up into five parts: 1. Construction and testing of the PCB. 2. Making the case 3. Pass transistors and heatsinks...
Oil Can #2
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I was greatly inspired by Hackmasters beautiful oil can clone. I decided to do a run of my own with a simpler design. It was suggested that I start a new thread here and not hijack the other thread. The plan was originally solid brass. I realized that the pump housing would add too much weight so I went with an aluminum pump housing. I was sort of emulating this original as posted by...
Making a couple of threaded spindle backing plates for my lathe
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When I sold my Atlas 10F24, I held on to my Bison 5” 3J, as it was fairly new. Naturally I needed to make a new backing plate to mount it onto the new lathe. The old plate was 1 1/2” X 8 while the new spindle is 2 1/4” X 8, so I needed new metal to do this. I recently purchased 2 backing plates from Busy Bee Tools. They are 8” semi raw castings. They are turned to clean off the rough cast...
Clamptite tool
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I first saw this tool in post #845 of the (Project of the day / what did you do in your shop today) This was posted by Andy Wander. I new when I first saw it that it would be a great little Christmas gift for the men in my family as most of us work with our hands & we're constantly trying to get the most out of what...
Replacement Compound slide for Atlas 10
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I have started to make a replacement compound slide as my original cast iron one is a repaired one and I do not want to continue to use it. First you start with a block of steel and square it up. Yesterday I milled out the area for the nut for the screw and the majority of the metal where the dovetail will be. I hope to do the dovetail on the weekend and then surface the top down to the right...

Metal Lathe Accessories is Here to Stay!

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Hi Everyone, My name is Jared Pilch (Co-Owner of Metal Lathe Accessories) and I sent out the below mass email to as many of our MLA customers as I could find. However, I am sure that I missed some and that is why I am posting it here as well! My bother Jack and I are thrilled to have joined this community and look forward to learning as much as we can! As some of you are aware, Andy...
Using three pin gauges to extend measurement range
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I could not resist getting a gauge pin set…0.061 to 0.250 covers a good range that snap gauges can’t. Edit: these are minus sets, no bigger than the stated diameter, no smaller than two tenths under.
Small Bench Top Hydraulic Press (10 ton X 8")
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... for the small stuff (waiting on the Enerpac).

HTP Invertig 221 thermal over-load torture test. Real-world results. Very surprised !

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So a FlyFishing piqued my curiosity as to what the "real world" thermal limits are on my Invertig 221. By "real world" I don't mean worst-case scenario, but rather what the machine would experience in an average shop. This was rather impromptu, so I don't have video footage (yet), but the data I'm presenting is factual. Ambient temperature: Picture showing machine at thermal overload...
My slow speed diamond disc lapping machine, the beginning
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I have all the materials. The idea is to mount this 90 RPM drive motor on the 1/2” aluminum plate. There will be an 8” lapping disc that will register on a hub on the wheel. Magnets will hold the disc to the plate. An adjustable tilt platen will allow for precise angles to grind high speed tool, carbide blades for scraping or brazed carbide cutting tools. The discs come in grits from 250 to...
Adding Zero-Clearance to cast iron bandsaw table
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Hi all, I think this is my first post here - been lurking around for the last year or so. I have an Enco 360 bandsaw I picked up earlier this year. Two things quickly became evident: - It would benefit from a fence, which was a nice little project to make - The gap in the table for the blade is far too large for detail work or small parts. This saw seems to be designed for grunt work light...
My adventures with my RF-30
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In this thread I will document my adventures in getting this mill from the dealer to up and running in my garage. I have another thread here that documents some of the early research and mills I looked at. I just bought an RF-30 clone. It was originally sold by Rutland Tool, which I remember as a local SoCal company in the 80's. I bought it at a machinery dealer in Pomona, Wheeler Machinery...
Bridgeport CNC with Masso Controller/Clearpath
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This is going to be my first CNC build and my First build log. I've decided that a build log on this forum might be a good idea for this project so the next guy to take on this project doesn't have to deal with the stupid stuff I'm already running into. This is my Masso Controller I will be using 3 Clearpath Stepper Killer servos model# CPM-SDSK-3432S-RLN They are a little over 6" long...
Restoring an old powered hacksaw
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Figured I'd share my restoration project! I've always found these old machines quite cool and when a neighbour offered me a defective one for free, I couldn't say no! :D This is the machine as I got it, it runs but won't lower the sawblade so you have to manually push it against the work piece, which becomes quite the challenge and dangerous as heck when it's moving back and forth. The...
The fixture plates and clamps
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Hi everyone, I just got started with this little weekend business of mine. I am interested in selling a line of fixture plates and what I call "low-profile" clamps to go along with them. This got started because I told myself that I would make my own fixture plate about a year ago when I needed to machine something that the vice would not really help out with, and I just never got around to...
A look inside Precision Matthews warehouse February 10, 2020
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I have people ask all the time about our company and machine stock, saying they’ve heard we only order a couple machines at a time as needed and don’t really stock things, or just general questions about if we will be around to support customers in the future. Well I was walking around the warehouse tonight and grabbed a few pics just for people to look at. These were all taken tonight Feb...
Norman Style QCTP
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I have been using my Norman style QCTP and have sorted out the problems that came up through use. Instead of placing my findings at the end of the very long thread on making it I thought that it would be better to put everything in one place. First off you have to measure the distance from the top of the compound to center line on your lathe. 1 3/16" on my craftsman 12x36 lathe. Next you...
Keep Your Eye on the Ball
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Cooler weather is coming, the kids are going back to school, and cottages are closing up. While it might be bittersweet to see summer coming to an end, it means that we settle back into a routine and start new projects. We decided to start the season with a fun demonstration on how to make a plastic ball using a tool that many people are unaware exists. We used a radius cutter and the lathe...

Hard Core Recycling - making blocks for machining

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Machining operations often generate some plastic waste. Companies often collect this waste and try to use it by putting a small percentage of waste in with the virgin plastic. The problem is that the rate of generating scrap exceeds the ability to reuse it. Other companies simply write it off and it is a wasted opportunity. The same injection molding equipment we use to manufacture plastic...
Let me make one thing perfectly clear! This is 2" thick Polycarbonate block!
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We are pleased to announce that Plasti-Block™ Polycarbonate blocks are now available, rods and sheet will become available as soon as we built enough inventory. This photo was taken with 2" thick block. It is crystal clear! I hope you will find it helpful to your projects. Oh.... and do you want to see the machine it was molded on? Here are 2 videos: The Factory of the Future This 25-lb...
Spider Centering Test Indicator Holder
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Posted this many years ago for my 1340GT, and built another for my ERL-1340 the other day. It uses a test indicator attached a Zero-Set which is normally used in mills for hole centering. Versions of the Zero-Set are on eBay and through Shar's for $20-30. The test indicator holder slides on two bars mounted to the lathe belt cover, so remains in the same position vertically relative to the...
Making A Rotary Broach, By Ulma Doctor
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A couple years ago, I made a very quick and dirty rotary broach for a project i was working on in my normal job it worked for the purpose it was intended, but i wanted to make an improved version. the new version , i envisioned was precise, robust, and economical. (i priced out a manufactured rotary broach...
Easson 12B DRO lathe install with glass and SRA M-DRO magnetic scales
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Just completed a Easson 12B DRO install on my ERL-1340, I opted for the stock glass scales for the X and Z0 axis for cost reasons, but wanted to use the 3rd input on the Easson 12B DRO head. When I previously looked into the use of magnetic scales a few years ago with the Easson DRO's I was told that they may not be compatible (at least the those from DRO Pros). At the time I went with the...
First Project - Upshur's Model Farm Engine
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I am a retired software engineer and back a year ago I got the itch to learn how to precisely cut metal. You know, build something that I could actually touch and see. Around mid June I got delivery of my PM-1030V lathe with DRO and a bunch of tooling. This was followed in mid December of the arrival of a PM-727V mill, also with DRO, and more tooling. After dickering with setup, alignment and...
Index Plate ID Chart
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Just a chart to help ID those generic listings on the sale sites in hopes of finding what you need. If you have info on other makes & models, please share.
Radius ball turner
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I've been wanting to make a ball turner for quite some time. Well, this past week I finally got a "round 2 it"! My first tool holder attempt caused me to say some things, that I'm glad my son didn't hear... ...but I managed to get it right the second attempt! I first tried mounting the base to the location where the compound rest normally occupies, but soon learned that I would not have...
Headstock Indexer
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I needed a simple way to index my headstock for a chambering fixture I was building. I also wanted it out of the way so I could leave it in place and just use it when I needed it. Chain sprockets provided the answer. They're cheap and nearly any tooth count from 10 to 72 is available. I bought a 72 and a 50. They cover just about anything I would need .
[How do I?] Motor wiring puzzle
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I am trying to help a friend get a motor wired up and it has me stumped. The motor is 5hp single phase 240v 3420rpm TEFC with a centrifugal switch for a start capacitor. It was purchased surplus with no documentation and missing capacitor(s). Here is the tag: Grizzly has been no help. There are two red wires, two black wires, and one yellow wire coming out of the motor. R1 connects to...
Hand Scraper Design
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I'm monkeying around with making a scraper to repair the cross-slide on the 1440 and would appreciate some input from those that use them. I'm attempting to do this with materials that I have on-hand. The lathe crapped out at very a inconvenient time. I had to take a pass on a decent bit of side work because with the stick-slip, I messed up the first three pieces. So the budget is hurting...
The Power of Smallᵀᴹ
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Do you remember the time when most of the things were made here, they were durable, repairable and they would last for a very long time? Do you remember the time when shop and other hands-on trades training were part of the school curriculum? And you also probably remember when all this deteriorated, was bought and moved oversees and centralized by mega corporations... And this is great for...

Difficult access carbide

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Hello all. I need to turn into a location about 14mm long with a shoulder each end that prevents me using triangular or diamond shaped inserts. The material is Rockwell hardness of around 60 so normal tool steel won't do the job otherwise I could grind up something suitable. Specifically it is a running surface for needle rollers and the shoulder at each end is to contain the rollers...

Best Way to Mill an Angle?

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I need to mill a 7º and 11º angle on the base of a round stand-off. While I could tilt the head of my mill, I'd rather not have to re-tram. What are other ways to hold a round piece in a vise at an angle for milling? This is what I have: This is what I need: Thanks in advance.

Turning very small aluminum rod

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I need to take an Al rod and turn it down to make two pieces about 100 thousandths diameter by 350 thousandths long. Tolerances need to be no better than 5 thousandths or so, that part's easy. I have some ~0.5" rod stock to start with. I'm guessing that if I just turn it down to that diameter it will flex quite a lot and I'll have some problems before I even get to 100 thousandths. Any...

303 Stainless Turning--Speeds/Feeds?

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I'm turning a set of stand-offs for a vintage automotive luggage rack out of 303 SS. The stand-offs are 1.25" Diameter turned down to 0.625" diameter. I'm using an AXA-16 carbide holder with Terra Carbide 22-100-047 | TPG321 APC5T 60° Coated Triangle / Indexable Carbide Turning Insert. I'm getting decent results, but things seem happiest taking a 0.020" deep cut at the slowest turning and...

Soule Steam Feed Works: Machine Shop Tour!

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Soule Steam Feed Works: Machine Shop Tour! Meridian, Mississippi. Found it on Adam Booth's YouTube channel, Abom 79 Part 1: Part 2: Web page:

Morse taper drill there a market?

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I bought some goodies from a guy yesterday and one thing I may go back for is a bucket of Morse taper drill bits. I have no idea at this point which taper and just from a quick look I think they were mostly larger sizes, probably from a local factory. Is there a market for these?

Couple of questions about a small engine

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Last sunday i visited a tool/flea market and bought this lawn mower engine. You can read the label, is a Italian copy of 3,5 hp tecumseh engine, i've changed the oil, checked it has strong spark, new spark plug fresh gasoline, and then i tryed and start it, it kicks back, also i heard couple of loud pops from the exhaust, the flywheel is aluminium and it doesn't have blade, i've heard on some...

Sieg X2.7 (LMS 5500): X-Y axis locking problems

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Greets to all! Have been using the mill off and on for some time now - VERY nice piece 'o kit (as the Brits would say). Recently I've been having an odd issue: when I tighten the X-axis locking screw (front of table) the Y-Axis locks up as well! Just took out all the X-Y gibs, cleaned and stoned, returned - Problem still persists. I would think with one axis locked, the other should move...