When you have some time (I know you have a lot going on right now) Could you explain to me was engine turning originally done for a practical purpose like lapping a large surface. or just decorative finish? If for practical use what would some of the early uses have been? Just curious about this art.
That's a tall question to answer Mark. In the beginning it is to my understanding that Engine Turning was the Craftsmens signature. It served to tell who did the work, especially in watchmaking. Now it is a little known art used for decoration. At one time the swirls were thought to help in lubrication. This is a myth because when done correctly the surface is only6 burnished. Today it is cheated with abrasives. This began when they started using lapping compound to speed the process. Look up "Rose Engines, you will be pleasantly surprised.
Thanks Billy, I was on my way to bed But I will look up ROSE engines in the morn. thanks again. And that does look to be an art for very nice looking to. I read about it in one of the books I read on machining. If I recall they lapping compound or some abrasive.
Hard Anodize does not harden the surface as in "Hardening". It does however make the surface more resilient and slippery. Depending on how deep the anodizing goes will tell scratch resistance. I am told by the shop doing it for me that .040 will make it just the way I want. Time will tell.
Billy, It is coming along very nice! If I was to try this on a smaller piece using a smaller dowel Is there a formula for X,Y,O. or is it just a matter of covering all surface without covering the center of the swirl? I do want to at least play with this when the Dr. says I can use my arm again. Also I guess I should ask how much pressure on the dowel? and what type of oil? Wish I was close enough to come by and see the artist at work.
Yes I did Look up the Rose Engines You were right. Very awesome machines. I am so amazed at what man has been able to achieve in the making of machines. CNC and robotics are great but I still just love seeing a machine with moving parts like gears and cams.
In my search I also saw a machine Called a Bordering Machine Cool machines.
I Tried just a little of this but my overlaps did not hide the previous circle not sure if I need to press harder, hold longer, or speed up spindle. A the videos on line are using abrasives. I want to learn to do it the Billy way. I will tot some more. But I have to go easy in the shop right now.
These two pictures are important. Fig. A shows small black triangles. These are caused by the swirls being too small. There are two ways to compensate for this: #1 and easiest, make the swirls larger and #2 make the dimension "B" smaller. Either way is trial and error. Name your poison.
My Drill Press is running at 1500 RPM for "Engine Turning". The speed has to be there because I don't use abrasives. You need to turn fast enough to burnish (Burn) the swirl onto the surface. Lots of pressure also.
Material is 6061. The dowel is 3/8oak. Spindle speed is 610 rpm. The finish is rough more like light grooves or scratches. And when I do my second row the full circle of the first row can still be seen. I am holding the dowel to the part for about 10 seconds. Any advice?
Oil -- Norton Honing Oil. In a hurry, use Toothpaste.
Tool -- This time an Oak Dowel but I try to get Walnut. I turn my own from square stock.
Speed -- Minimum of 1500 RPM
Time -- This is a judgement call. It can take any amount of time to get the Swirls to fade. I do it in 15 second intervals. I have had it smoke before it was right.
A couple years ago I went to West Virginia to pick up a three axle dump truck for a friend who bought it. when I saw this truck I couldn't believe it . The complete dump bed was aluminum and the WHOLE bed tail gate and all was done with these swirls. It was fantastic. how in the world would someone do this and I can't imagine what it cost. ( the cab was custom painted with huge eagles on each side) .
I sat in on a company seminar when I was in college, they made cleaning and bottling equipment for the beer industry (they still use returnable bottles in other countries). They showed a picture of a bottle cleaner they sold to a brewery in China, the entire front of it was engine turned stainless steel, it must have been 10' x 20'. Probably a good thing they didn't have to do the whole thing, since it was something like 100' long.