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JimDawson

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I have a project coming up that is going to require a ball turner. I could buy one, but what fun is that. ;)

The insperation for this design come from http://www.hobby-machinist.com/threads/just-finished-my-lathe-radius-and-ball-turner.61362/

I'm making it a bit different, but the same principal.

So head for the rack to find some material. Found a piece of 2x2 6061, and a piece of 1 15/16 rusty old hydraulic cylinder shaft. Not sure what it is, but has a light hard chrome surface and machines very nice. The chips come off like 41 something. And my Criterion 3 inch boring head. Ordered a few other bits & pieces from McMaster that aren't here yet.

upload_2017-8-17_14-25-20.png

So first make the arbor. I left the bearing journals 0.010 over so I can fit later to the reamed hole in the aluminum mount. The new DRO on my lathe is great for laying out the steps on the arbor. Should have installed one a long time ago.
upload_2017-8-17_14-30-45.png

For those of you who have never done this before, here is my method of threading to a shoulder.
upload_2017-8-17_14-35-18.png

Turn the tool upside down and run the lathe backwards. That way you are feeding away from the shoulder.
upload_2017-8-17_14-37-37.png

And another view
upload_2017-8-17_14-38-17.png

If will be a few days before I can update, waiting for my new dovetail cutter to cut the dovetail for the tool holder. I hope aluminum will work for a quick change, hope it's not too soft. I'll find out. If it doesn't work, I get some 4140 and make another.

Stay tuned for more......:)
 

richl

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Awesome! I saw the other post, got me inspired to make one also, I have an extra one of those 24 dollar 2" boring heads. I want to see how you go about yours.

And I have to post a pic, I'm compelled, my threading worked and the boring head fits so nice lol I'm very proud lol20170816_195807.jpg
Crap, I uploaded one of the blurry pics, ok, just imagine the threads are all beautiful!...

Sorry, I'll be watching for now on, I promise... looking forward to how you do yours.

Rich
 

JimDawson

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We interrupt this thread to bring you the following project.......

While waiting for parts for the radius turner, I decided that you can't a build new radius turner with out a cool handle to operate it. So time to build a tapered handle. But I don't have a taper attachment and the taper length is too long for the compound. OK, I could do it in 2 setups, but I have been meaning to build a boring head taper attachment anyway. So first I need to make a MT3 arbor for my boring head.

My tailstock is MT3, so aligning the compound to the taper. Run the indicator in and out with the compound, and adjust the angle until the indicator doesn't move over the length of travel.

upload_2017-8-19_18-26-38.png

And presto, a MT3 arbor.
upload_2017-8-19_18-27-33.png

So now I need a center for the boring head. Because the part will be at an angle relative to the lathe centerline, a standard 60° center is not going to work. So I made a ball center out of a chunk of unknowdium tool steel that I had kicking around. Used a 0.312 bearing ball and using a 5/16 ball end mill created a pocket for the bearing. I went about 0.015 deeper than center, that way I had a little material past the center of the ball.

Holding the ball in place with the center.
upload_2017-8-19_18-33-35.png

Then I swaged over the excess material with a radiused tool. This was done with the lathe turning at 70 RPM, I couldn't really see what was going on, I was just working by feel. Very much like metal spinning.

upload_2017-8-19_18-36-24.png

And here it is. The swaging worked as planned, the ball is captured, but can actually still rotate, much like a ball point pen.

upload_2017-8-19_18-40-41.png

Since I don't have a MT5 to MT3 adapter or a drive plate for my spindle, I whipped up a quick center that can go in the 4-jaw chuck.

upload_2017-8-19_18-42-46.png

So next I need a lathe dog to be able to drive the shaft when mounted between centers. Grabbed some 1/2 aluminum tooling plate off the shelf and instant lathe dog. There are no good pictures that show the shape of the shaft hole, but it is a teardrop shape.

upload_2017-8-19_18-48-10.png

I found this piece of 3/4 inch shaft on the shelf, not sure what material, but it's tough enough to have a spline on the end. I think it was out of a rototiller or something like that. But I think there is a radius turner handle hiding in there somewhere. ;)

upload_2017-8-19_18-55-17.png

First I turned the shaft down to 0.500 and threaded the ends. It will taper from 0.500 at one end to 0.375 at the other.

upload_2017-8-19_18-58-35.png

And here is the setup. A few layers of emory cloth to protect the shaft from the set screw in the lathe dog.

upload_2017-8-19_18-51-5.png

And another view

upload_2017-8-19_18-59-42.png

Worked as planned and I now have a handle for the radius turner. :)

We now return you to the regularly scheduled thread :grin:
.
.
 
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Silverbullet

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Tuned into channel , reruns are done waiting new response to video library. Nice job so far. Like the ball center , should work great on tapers. Both ends yupp
 

JimDawson

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A little update. I want to cut a slit for bearing adjustment like @Technical Ted did with his radius turner http://www.hobby-machinist.com/threads/just-finished-my-lathe-radius-and-ball-turner.61362/

But I didn't have a slitting saw and I want a better job than the band saw would do. So while I'm waiting for parts, I'll make a slitting saw for the mill. So off to Harbor Freight to pick up a set of slot cutters. On a whim I grabbed the 4 inch saw blade also.

upload_2017-8-21_0-6-11.png

On closer inspection I decided that I didn't like the slot cutters, too much unsupported carbide sticking out. So I'll use those for something softer than aluminum.

upload_2017-8-21_0-35-32.png

So that leaves the saw blade. That and a chunk of that rusty old cylinder rod will make a perfect slitting saw.
upload_2017-8-21_0-10-3.png

Turned the shaft down to 1 inch to fit my big end mill holder. Left it 0.005 oversize and some extra in the corner for the radius. Then finished it off with a 3/8 carbide radius cutting router bit.
upload_2017-8-21_0-14-0.png

Then into the collet chuck to finish the other end.
upload_2017-8-21_0-16-29.png

There is a pocket in the end cap that the nose sticks into to keep things centered up.
upload_2017-8-21_0-18-45.png

The end cap is pretty much a mirror image of the arbor. I secured it with a screw to face off the back side and turn the OD. But now I have to countersink for a flathead cap screw. If I take the cap screw out, the cap will fall off. So how to hold things together while countersinking? Simple........

A hose clamp and some emory cloth. All it has to do is drive the cap while countersinking. The cap is centered by the nose on the arbor. All of the working pressure is towards the spindle.

upload_2017-8-21_0-25-9.png


Worked perfectly.
upload_2017-8-21_0-26-19.png

And here it is
upload_2017-8-21_0-27-5.png

And another view

upload_2017-8-21_0-27-48.png

We'll see how this works out. You can't beat $5 for a carbide tooth slitting saw. And 0.070 kerf will be perfect for the slot I want to cut.
 

JimDawson

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I have quite a bit done now. While I was waiting for a dovetail cutter I decided that the ball turner should have some stops......So..... (I'll show this assembled later, then it will make sense)

A chunk of 3/4 inch A36 off the shelf. It is secured with a T-nut and a clamp over a piece of MDF as a spoil board. First operation was to face off the top, then rough out the OD with a 1/2 inch rougher. A really fast shutter ''stops'' the spindle, it really turning at about 600RPM. 0.060 DOC at about 5 IPM

upload_2017-8-26_23-7-42.png

Next operation was to pocket out the T-nut entry area.
upload_2017-8-26_23-8-46.png

Then create a slot for the T-nut cutter. Using a 1/4 inch, solid carbide router bit. Made a slot 0.325 wide to fit the 0.320 shank on the T-slot cutter. I was going to make this whole assembly a bit smaller, but I had to fit the project to the tools I had and this is the minimum size I could make the piece and have everything fit.

upload_2017-8-26_23-13-53.png

This is where the pucker factor went up quite a bit. :eek: This had to be done in one cut, and the tool bit had been modified for another project so there wasn't much shank to grab onto. All went well :)
upload_2017-8-26_23-17-20.png


T-slots need T-nuts. So making a couple of radius T-nuts out of some 1018 CR I had kicking around. First carve them out of 1018 leaving 1/8 or so material on the bottom to grab with the vice jaws. Using the same 1/4 inch router bit as in the slotting operation above.

upload_2017-8-26_23-25-49.png

Then flip them over in the vice and machine away the excess material. I had to change vice jaws for this operation because I couldn't hang on to them with the step jaws. There is almost 0.010 clearance between the cutter and the hard vice jaws :eek:. I rarely use hard jaws, but I didn't feel like making another set of soft jaws right then.
upload_2017-8-26_23-29-7.png

And they fit the slot perfectly. I made them to have 0.005 clearance all around.
upload_2017-8-26_23-31-4.png

I also have the main body nearly complete, I'll post that update tomorrow. Just have to cut the slot. That should be interesting, we'll see how the HF saw blade works out.:rolleyes:
 

JR49

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Jim, please help me out here. As usual, I am in awe of the incredable work you do, but I need some answers so that I don't feel like a complete failure as a BEGINNER hobby machinist. First off, I hope you are going to tell me that your mill is CNC, otherwise I have no clue how you are making all those round and curved features. Also when you say "Using a 1/4 inch, solid carbide router bit" are you talking about a normal bit used for woodworking? I've seen you using them in aluminum before, but this is steel right? I assume the T-slot cutter is an actual milling cutter, but I could be wrong there also. I loved the use of the HF carbide saw blade as a slotting saw,and look forward to seeing it in use. Thanks to you whenever I turn questionable (possibly hard) steel I have a good assortment of HF brazed carbide tool bits that I sharpened using a 10 dollar HF diamond wheel. I know, I know, you insist that they can be sharpened on a regular AO wheel. Sorry for all the gushing, but I just love reading about the projects you, and the other great machinists on this forum make. Anyway, looking forward to your answers, Thanks, JR49
 

JimDawson

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First off, I hope you are going to tell me that your mill is CNC, otherwise I have no clue how you are making all those round and curved features.
Yes, my mill is both a CNC and manual. Having a CNC has allowed me to expand the range of parts I can make and even makes me look like a machinist. ;) About 4 years ago I couldn't even spell CNC. It would be possible to make all of the parts shown on a manual machine, but it would take forever. A lot of setup time on a rotary table.

Also when you say "Using a 1/4 inch, solid carbide router bit" are you talking about a normal bit used for woodworking? I've seen you using them in aluminum before, but this is steel right?
Yup, Diablo upcut spiral from Home Depot. Lowes sells an equivalent in the Bosch brand. And the best part is that you can get one on a Saturday afternoon. They work in all materials, even stainless steel. With a 1 inch cut length they are a bit spindly so you have to be careful. I wish they had a 3/8 solid carbide. I also use carbide tipped router bits in all materials.

I assume the T-slot cutter is an actual milling cutter, but I could be wrong there also.
Yes, it is a standard T-slot cutter designed for metal work. I bought that one for a special project and had to grind the shank down to get clearance. I normally would not have that much tool hanging out.

Sorry for all the gushing, but I just love reading about the projects you, and the other great machinists on this forum make. Anyway, looking forward to your answers, Thanks, JR49
Thank you for the kind words. :) There are a lot of very talented people on this forum, and like you, I enjoy seeing the beautiful projects done by the members.
 

JR49

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Yup, Diablo upcut spiral from Home Depot. Lowes sells an equivalent in the Bosch brand
Do these have 1/2" shanks like I've read you talk about? TIA, JR49
 

JimDawson

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Do these have 1/2" shanks like I've read you talk about? TIA, JR49
No, the solid carbide are 1/4 shank. In the carbide tipped ones I use, I buy 1/2 inch shank where possible. Using a 1/4 shank in the mill just means you have to be a little less greedy with the cut. All of the corner rounders that I use are HF 1/4 shank, they work fine, but you do have to be a bit gentle with them.
 

JimDawson

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Another update:

This is the main body. Pocketing a starter hole for the 15/16 drill bit. I wanted it to run in straight so starting with a 3/4 inch deep, on-size pocket should help.

upload_2017-8-27_20-58-26.png

Then drill with the 15/16 drill bit. This was then reamed to 0.9685 because that is the closest reamer I had to 1 inch. So I turned a 0.968 shaft.

upload_2017-8-27_21-1-19.png

Here is where the pucker factor went up again, drilling the 0.093 clearance/anti-stress holes through 1 7/8 thick, gummy, sticky aluminum. About 2500 RPM, and just go down and touch the bottom, retract to clear, rinse, repeat. Don't let the drill bit load up. :confused: Made it through both holes without a problem.

upload_2017-8-27_21-6-55.png

Pocketing the clearance for the dovetail. 3/8 solid carbide, 2 flute. Running about 2800 RPM, 10 IPM, 40% stepover, 0.060 DOC. Kerosene coolant.

upload_2017-8-27_21-10-8.png

And cutting the dovetail. About 0.010 step over, 1200 RPM. You don't see any coolant coming out of the nozzle, it runs about a half cup / hour. That's all you need. No fog either, it creates micro droplets. There is so little flow that there is no residue when the job is done. Just evaporates.

upload_2017-8-27_21-15-26.png

And the finished dovetail

upload_2017-8-27_21-16-17.png

Next is put some wrench flats on the modified nut. This nut started out life as a standard 7/8-14, stainless steel, nyloc nut, highly modified to fit the application. I could have set up the 4th axis and done this, but the main body makes a great 4 sided ''collet holder''. Screw nut on backwards and tighten against the washers with channel locks (polish later :grin:). It ain't gonna move for this operation. Do one side, flip it over and do the other. 1/4 inch solid carbide router bit.

upload_2017-8-27_21-25-16.png

Of course a special nut needs a special wrench. I dug this out of the miscellaneous tool stash. It's is hard, but I could file it. It's 22 mm and I need 26mm to fit the nut. So we'll just open it up a bit. Clamped a chunk of MDF in the vice, screwed and clamped the wrench down, and located it with the spindle laser. No the laser is not extremely accurate, but for this operation close is good enough.

upload_2017-8-27_21-30-53.png

I grabbed a router bit that had the corners of the end chipped but most of the cutter was unused, so I went 3/8 deep to utilize the unused portion of the flutes.

upload_2017-8-27_21-34-19.png

And it fits ! :)

upload_2017-8-27_21-35-24.png


Next step is to make a Weldon shank for my saw arbor. Milling the flats, using a 1/2 inch rougher.
upload_2017-8-27_21-38-7.png

Then next is machine the 45° chamfer on the edges. I picked up a few of these what I think are fiberglass drills. Was at the local metal supply one day and they had a bunch of these for $3.00 each. Solid carbide. They have a 90° included angle.
upload_2017-8-27_21-41-38.png

And done
upload_2017-8-27_21-43-35.png

Setting up to make the slot. First I turned a tight fitting aluminum slug exactly the same length as the main body. The goal here is two fold. First I don't know how stable the aluminum is, and I don't know if it will want to close up on the slitting saw once it breaks through, so the slug will keep that from happening. Secondly, this will eliminate any burr in the bore caused by the slitting saw.

upload_2017-8-27_21-49-8.png

And the slug clamped in place so the saw can't walk it out. I will be cutting about 1/16 into the slug on the final pass.

upload_2017-8-27_21-51-36.png

And here it is cutting, about 2/3 of the way through. I was being pretty gentle because I have never done this before. 280 RPM, 7 IPM, about 0.010 step over. I think I could have been a lot more aggressive with the cut. Probably could have doubled those numbers with no problem. Kerosene coolant, the nozzle is hiding behind the tool holder. The HF ''4 inch'' saw blade worked perfectly....almost, the teeth are not quite on the same centerline as the center hole so it was only cutting with about 4 teeth out of 24. Also, the 4 inch blade is actually 3.773 diameter. They shorted me a 1/4 inch :mad: :grin: On the other hand it's only $5 ;)

upload_2017-8-27_21-54-9.png

And here is all of the parts. Still have a couple things to do but I'm tired. :faint: So they will wait for tomorrow.

upload_2017-8-27_22-1-29.png
 
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Silverbullet

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Very nice build, keep getting better with each one built. Now we need to add power feed to the Turner. Shouldn't be to hard to do. Couple limit switches adjustable of course 12 volt gear reduction motor and a variable speed pot. Easy peasy , in my future if I live through the operations. I do like that they all incorporate some thrust bearing s ..
 

JimDawson

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The next step is to mount the handle to the set collar. It needs to be at about a 5° angle for clearance. So mill a flat and D&T the 3/8-24 hole.

Poor man's sine vice. ;)
upload_2017-8-28_15-56-50.png


Centering the hole the easy way. Flip an endmill upside down in the collet and use the shank as an alignment pin.
upload_2017-8-28_15-59-4.png

Too much thread, so manually plunge down veeerrrrryy carefully with a 11/16 endmill. It's a 3/4 hole. Chew it out until it is flush and clean up the edges to match the arc of the ID.
upload_2017-8-28_16-3-20.png

And installed. Also the stops are finished. I don't like the washers on the stop pins, so they need to be modified. I'll see if I can find some #10 USS hard washers and drill them out. Also need to get some 5/8 long shoulder screws, the 3/4 are too long, but that's what my local Ace Hardware had. Well, it's almost time to put this thing to work.

upload_2017-8-28_16-7-5.png

Of course the first job of any new radius turner is to make a knob for the handle. So I had a piece of 1.25 x 2.5 long brass round bar. Perfect for the handle ball.

First cut it in half. It was too short to hang on to in the horizontal band saw, so over to the vertical. But how do you hang onto a piece of round stock? ......Simple.....Vice grips :) And no danger of getting fingers bit.

upload_2017-8-28_16-44-5.png

Worked as planned, had full control over the part. Drilled & tapped the blank for 5/16-24, then build a stub arbor to screw it onto.

For a tool bit I started looking at the geometry of the standard boring bars rather than making up a tool holder. So grab an old carbide tipped bar, a little grind here and a little grind there and bang, instant radius tool bit. Still not quite right, but close enough.

And starting the ball. Working good so far. Very smooth action. The handle is about 10 inches long. The stops were a great idea, saved a lot of thinking :rolleyes:
upload_2017-8-28_16-48-56.png


And we have a ball knob. :grin::beer:

upload_2017-8-28_16-51-2.png

And installed

upload_2017-8-28_16-52-24.png

I hope you all enjoyed the show. I'm going to call this one a success !

:dancing banana:

upload_2017-8-28_15-58-33.png
 
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middle.road

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1.5 years later, has the Conquest taken over ball turning duties? :grin:
 

richz

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Jim, question on using the boring head as a taper attachment. How do you keep the boring head horizontal when installing into the tail stock?
 

JimDawson

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1.5 years later, has the Conquest taken over ball turning duties? :grin:
Yes, pretty much. Just did a run of the parts below. These are the parts that I built the ball turner to do. Takes about 40 minutes to run them on the manual lathe, several tool changes and setups. On the Conquest the run time is about 3 minutes, most of that time is drilling and tapping the end. Has a 5/16-18 x 1 inch deep tapped hole in the end. 304 SS, nasty stuff to work with. It is nice, put a 45 inch bar in, press go, and come back in an hour to collect the parts. And they hold +/- 0.0001 as near as I can measure.

1544632123684.png
 

JimDawson

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Jim, question on using the boring head as a taper attachment. How do you keep the boring head horizontal when installing into the tail stock?
My lathe is level so I use my 6 inch precision level on the flat of the boring head to level it with the lathe bed.
 

middle.road

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Yes, pretty much. Just did a run of the parts below. These are the parts that I built the ball turner to do. Takes about 40 minutes to run them on the manual lathe, several tool changes and setups. On the Conquest the run time is about 3 minutes, most of that time is drilling and tapping the end. Has a 5/16-18 x 1 inch deep tapped hole in the end. 304 SS, nasty stuff to work with. It is nice, put a 45 inch bar in, press go, and come back in an hour to collect the parts. And they hold +/- 0.0001 as near as I can measure.
Are you thinking about 'renting' out the ball turner now? :grin:
 

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Are you thinking about 'renting' out the ball turner now? :grin:
I would rather rent out time on the Conquest, it sits there taking up space most of the time. ;) Need a few thousand parts?
 

middle.road

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Not quite, I was thinking a dozen or so oddballs to dress up handles, get rid of the plastic.
Let's calculate, drill press, (3) balls, I'm guessing it would take longer to program and setup the tools than to cut the parts... :grin:
 

savarin

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cant believe I've only just found this thread.
Fantastic work, thanks
 

richz

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Jim, another question, I understand using a ball at the tailstock end for doing tapers but will a ball also be needed at the headstock end?
 

JimDawson

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Jim, another question, I understand using a ball at the tailstock end for doing tapers but will a ball also be needed at the headstock end?
That is a really good question.:encourage:

I thought about that when I built my taper turner, and I'm still not exactly sure. Since the center in the headstock is at the vertex of the triangle, the offset between the center drill hole and the center is much less than the offset at the tailstock end, I think. o_O On the other hand, the angle at both ends would be the same.

I think in a perfect world, a ball at both ends would make the most sense.
 

Tozguy

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It is even more important to have a ball at the headstock end because the work will rock on that center when offset at the TS.
Need to keep lube on both ends.

This is a pic of the wear mark on a conventional center when cutting a very slow taper by offsetting the TS.

IMG_0405.JPG
 
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Tozguy

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Jim, thanks for the write up and pictures, well done!

To make my ball center for the headstock, an MT5 to MT3 adapter was placed in the spindle and an MT 3 drill chuck arbor was stuck in the adapter. A socket for the ball was cut to hold 1/2 of the ball which was then glued in. The arbor was returned to drill chuck duty without removing the ball.

IMG_0246.JPG

IMG_0248.JPG
 

middle.road

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Have you used the 3.773" slit saw much after this project? I was wonder how it's holding up.
 
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