Cutting gear blanks woodworker style?

dewbane

Michael McIntyre
H-M Lifetime Diamond Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2018
Messages
167
I also discovered that my Jacobs chuck and all my collets are just way too big for the size drills I need to use on this project. Hey, here's an idea, I could make a solid and precise way to hold a #60 drill by drilling a hole exactly in the center of a piece of drill ro... wait. With a #60 bit? Yeah, that ain't happening. So the chuck on my lathe tailstock can handle #60 no problem, but of course it has an MT3 or MT2 or whatever arbor. Removing a chuck from an arbor is not a swap back and forth kind of proposition, so....

To make a long story short, I spent a lot of time finding exactly what I wanted, and it was out of stock, so I found something else that would satisfy me, and it was out of stock too. I didn't get the chuck or the rotary table I wanted, but I ordered a chuck and a rotary table. I ended up going with the Grizzly 5" with a 4-jaw chuck and dividing plates, because the algorithm popped up a 20% coupon while I was looking at it, and bah. It's just going to have to be good enough.

So I guess I get to cut circles with the rotary table after all. It remains to be seen whether I can get by with using a Jacobs chuck to hold these small drills. Mayyyybe. If not, I'm going to have to make a custom collet or something. The plans call for reaming all the critical holes with shop made reamers, so I'm hoping it will all work out well enough to get the job done.

I ordered all the materials for the plan, and I'm pretty exhausted from a day of chair shopping. Man that was a lot of random obscure stuff to track down. I SHOULD be able to just get to work, and go by the book. I have everything I need for materials and tools, and lack for nothing.

Yeah, right. I'm sure that won't be true.

I also picked up 2", 3" and 4" micrometers. All in all, I think I spent almost $1,000 yesterday, so I can build a clock I could just buy for $125. Machinist math rocks!

I also found a copy of the John Wilding book Clickspring used. I have a tendency to be really flaky and stop doing things once I learn how to do them, but I have built a total of four clocks so far. All from laser-cut plywood kits that were way less work to build than what I'm facing here, but as far as my history of making things goes, if I become a successful clock builder, there's an actual chance I will go on to build more than one clock. There are so many different things to explore, like a pin wheel escapement. I've seen it done, but I've never seen a plan. Heck, I could probably try different escapements in the same clock.

Okay, back to work. I have to make up for not doing anything productive yesterday.
 

dewbane

Michael McIntyre
H-M Lifetime Diamond Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2018
Messages
167
Continuing the saga... I got the Grizzly 25937 5" table with indexing. The table seems to function quite well out of the box. The chuck seems okay, but the machining job just isn't finished. It's a toss-up whether it's more trouble to machine a mounting fixture for a different kind of chuck or finish the job of machining this one into something usable, but it's clear which option is cheaper. I've spent too much money, and I need to get a grip. I've shelved my dreams of a top quality DRO, and I'm starting to talk myself into going the dirt cheap route. Better than nothing. Not having DRO on the mill seriously sucks.

I'm looking forward to getting up and running with the rotary table, and having a play. I've never seen anybody do it that way before, but I don't see why I can't use it to cross out the wheels. That's exactly the kind of thing that's right up my alley. I really don't want to cut out a ton of stuff with a scroll saw and file it by hand when I ought to have the means at my fingertips to do a very tidy and precise job of achieving the same thing.

I was strolling down memory lane today, and I realized this all started when my then wife bought me a book on how to make wooden gear clocks. You just print out the patterns, and cut them with a scroll saw. Yeah. The book showed an easier way, using machine shop equipment, and that was more my speed. It would be like another 20 years before I actually had the equipment.

Well, I have it now!
 
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