View Full Version : Tooling now without repeating later...

02-26-2008, 03:35 PM
A big thanks to those that gave me advice on getting started and grinding my own tools late last year. It's been a good deal of learning, a lot of hard work, and a bit of fun to turn a handful of things for practice and a thing or two to repair other tools.

I've got the Enco 510-2586 3-in-1 machine (or its closest relative), and I'm looking to eat more of the elephant in the near future. Longterm (pending floorspace), I figure the 3-in-1 will feed someone else's entry into HSM and I'll replace it with separate machines. Short term, I'd like to make sure my tooling purchases work now and could migrate to a bigger lathe (maybe mill though a floor drill press might better serve my needs).

First on the list is one or more 4-jaw chucks. What is a good size? Would 8" be absurd here, or is there a magic formula based on RPM, motor HP, and distance between spindle bearings that would define a good maximum chuck size? I'm reading up on how to make an adapter plate, but I think I understand the basic concept. I'd be replacing the 4" 3-jaw currently on the machine.

Second on the list is a QCTP. I'm thinking BXA, because it leaves me lots of room for growth without needing to retool. Assuming that there is no toolpost overhang on the 3-in-1's compound, would that be functional, or would it be awkward on a smaller machine?

The third question is about measurement. I've got a 0-1" mic, 0-6" caliper, DI, and DTI with a basic mag base. I know I need a 60 degree thread gage and a better mag base. Is there anything else measurement related that someone still very new to HSM would benefit from, or do I just get to bask in the warmth of knowing that my measuring tools now well exceed my abilities? :D

02-26-2008, 04:08 PM
Bear in mind, I am a guy who milled .25" off the plinth on his 7x14 mini-lathe slide to allow an AXA post to be fitted to that diminutive tool, but I think the utility of the QC toolpost is most certainly a good idea, but you need to figure your compound to center height and get the right size.

Don't get carried away with the chuck size. I don' t know what's right without measuring your machine, but I do know you have to be able to clear the edge of the carriage--even with the jaws extended far enough to grip whatever largest part you may want to turn. The bigger the chuck is, the further out these jaws stick when backed out, making bigger, smaller in some cases. In effect, you could theoretically put a bigger 4 jaw chuck on it and have less capacity than a smaller jawed 4 jaw.

A bigger chuck will reduce the speed at which you can turn work that is a bit out of balance in some cases. You have a lot more mass whirring around there and turning your whole machine into a dancing finger smasher. This also applies lots of force to your spindle bearings. In short, I just would not go overboard.

I really like the Noga indicator bases. They use a one-knob lock system. Loosen the knob and the thing is like a wet noodle. Tighten one knob and it stops moving in all directions. No having to adjust in one direction and then the other with a couple of different knobs. I have two real Nogas I got used. I also previously had one of the $19 knock offs from CDCO tools. The Noga has aluminum arms. The Chinese knock off arms are steel. The Noga has a plastic indicator holder head. The Chinese item was steel. I have only good things to say about Noga since they sent me a part all the way from Israel for free. However, the knock-off was amazingly well made. I gave it to my Dad.

02-26-2008, 05:12 PM
#1, a good machine shop text like Krar, technology of machine tools. Thread pitch gauges, telescopic gauges. Measure the center height down to the compound top surface and the qc total should be about double. The four jaw should be about 6", anything larger would be overkill. There are a gazillion other tools you will need but only get them as the need arises. Welcome to the forum and hope you enjoy, Peter