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Teenage_Machinist
07-14-2008, 06:36 PM
You know it's a noob when you get this question...

A) How bad are chips on ways of a lathe? I have an 8 by 12 SEIG ( like a mini lathe, but with metal change gears and less junkyness). I want to know just whether it is OK to have some small chips lying around-they get wiped up by the wipers. Currently I am kind of obsessive over de-chipping the ways, especially because the tailstock lacks wipers and I do not want to get swarf under it. Should I be even more obsessive? Should I just brush off the ways frequently and wipe periodically?

B) What is a good way to keep chips out of the house? Do any of you have tricks for preventing the creation of swarfy messes other than just having a door-mat and cleaning frequently?

C) Are expanding mandrels worth the cost? Can you make your own with a lathe and mill with indexing and slitting saw?

D) Is there a good substitute for brass as far as being soft and nonmarring and free machining but not expensive? Butter-steel maybe?

macona
07-14-2008, 06:58 PM
Thats what way wipers are for. Clean the machine when you are done for the day. Its not the chips you need to worry about, its the stuff like mill scale and sand from cast parts that will tear into you ways, especially since yours are probably not hardened. Clean the wipers once a year.

Dont want chips in the house? HAHAHAHAHA... :D No matter what you do they WILL find their way in. Best thing you can do is to have a pair of "shop" shop shoes that are never worn inside the house. Shop apron may help too.

If you need a set of expanding mandrels they are worth it. I have a set of KO Lee's between centers mandels. Never have used them yet... I also have a set of standard tapered mandrels and havnt used them either. There are two different types. One is like the KO Lees where there is a long ground taper and sliding piece that expands as it moves along the taper. These have a large range but they really are for grinding or light finishing.

The other kind is a chunk of round stock split into 4 or 6 with a tapered screw that spreads them out. They are soft and intended to me machined to size. Available with straight shanks or 5C collet style. They are cheap for a set. Not worth the hassle to make.

There are also expanding collets. Usually found in 5C. When the drawtube is pulled the mandrel expands.

Delrin maybe? Soft, Nonmarring, and very easy to machine. 12L14 steel is about the easiest to machine steel I am told. I have never used it. Its a rust magnet.

Mcgyver
07-14-2008, 07:20 PM
1) no (but add what macona said)
2) stay in the shop or change shoes
3a) no. 3b) yes. not hard to make as you described, I've made a set, rarely gets used though...stub mandrels made to suit seem in demand. Mostly though, if it can be done, turn the OD and ID at one setting.
http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b201/michael0100/expandingmandrels-1.jpg
4) really the application should determine the material. Brass, Aluminum and free cutting steel are all easy to turn and easy to get a good finish on. Brass has become too expensive imo to just practice on. for learning, why not something both cheap and miserable, in the sense you'll have to work for it. regular old 1018 hot rolled.

is there a specific something you're making or just things that have puzzled as you try to sort it all out?

Teenage_Machinist
07-14-2008, 07:28 PM
The issue with swarf is that I have cats, and my dad has laid down law : NO SWARF! Says that tiny curls can KILL a cat (poor little Photon) which I find dubious but believable and want to take caution. Aluminum is very swarfy for unknown reasons.

macona
07-14-2008, 08:16 PM
ikrase, sounds like I need to spread some swarf around! Muhahaha...

Its not that I dont like cats... Err... Well... No, thats pretty much it...

Cats are the very incarnation of evil.

Michael Edwards
07-14-2008, 08:18 PM
For me the best guard against swarf in the house is the "Mr. Rodgers" routine. That is, step into the garage, put on coveralls and change shoes. When you go back into the house reverse the process. Shoes were my biggest transporter of swarf. The down side of this is that you will want to reduce your coffee consumption, since a trip to the can is now a PITA.

ME

bollie7
07-14-2008, 08:46 PM
re swarf.
I found a couple of things that help.
1) get a pr of good quality safety boots. the soles tend to be harder than "normal" shoes or joggers. Also the tread on the sole is usually a lot more "chunky" with larger gaps than std shoes so they tend to not pick up swarf as much. (except if you stand on hot swarf) If you decide to invest in a pr, get ones with steel toe caps. Might save your foot one day. Mine have saved mine a couple of times over the years. If they only save one toe, once, you will not regret spending the money.
2) have some sort of "duck board" or industrial mat with holes in it in front of the machine. The idea is the swarf falls through the gaps so you are not standing directly on top of it, forcing it into your shoes
3) as the others have said, don't wear the workshop shoes inside and if your pants are a bit too long turn the cuffs up inside rather than out so they don't catch swarf.

re your question on "butter steel" if you want something to just practise on you could try some machinable wax. Yes, I know it won't be the same as actually cutting metal but it would give you a chance to practise different techniques. collect all the wax swarf and then melt it back into a lump again for you next go. Worth a thought.
hope this helps

regards
bollie7

lazlo
07-14-2008, 09:28 PM
Dont want chips in the house? HAHAHAHAHA... :D No matter what you do they WILL find their way in.

I get an ass chewing at least three times a day for tracking swarf into the house, especially if one of my kids finds it.
It's 103 in Austin this week, so I'm not wearing coveralls or aprons...


Is there a good substitute for brass as far as being soft and nonmarring and free machining but not expensive? Butter-steel maybe?

There's not much easier to machine than 6061 aluminum. Unfortunately, not cheap these days, but a heck of a lot cheaper than brass.

Fasttrack
07-14-2008, 10:52 PM
You know, I've never had a major problem with swarf. I guess I'm not machining enough ;)

I wear jeans and a tucked in t-shirt 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. That with my trusty wolverine boots, pliers and leatherman. I get funny looks around the chi-town suburbs when I walk around with pliers on my hip, but once you get used to having a pair its tough when they're not there.

Anyhow, I think the boots must be the key. Steel toes and oil resistant, EH soles don't pickup swarf at all. Before I walk in the house I just shake myself off a bit and ruffle my hair to make sure I haven't caught any up there. We've got a wood floor that my father recently re-finished. He's not happy about swarf either, but no problems so far.

p.s. - Once you do a few favors for your old man and demonstrate just how handy it is to have connections to a lathe or mill, he will be much more understanding of your cause ;)

Oh and, Macona - how could you say such a thing! Cats are ... well the "cats meow" :D This is going to degenerate into a chevy vs ford argument over cats and dogs, I can feel it already.

Dragons_fire
07-14-2008, 11:00 PM
a while ago there was a thread on here about how peoples cats used to play in the workshop with them. the cats would play with swarf, but never eat it... i dont have any cats, and if i did, i would probably feed them swarf :D , but my puppy comes down to the basement with me, and stays away from the swarf on the floor.

Tim Clarke
07-14-2008, 11:44 PM
Without reading what the other guys have said, I'll offer my.02 worth.

Try 12L14 steel, also known as leaded steel. Turns well. Crank up the rpm's. Feed as fast as your horsepower will allow. 6061 T6 aluminum is also good

About 15 years ago, I noticed my wife's little Poodle, Charlie Brown limping a little. Had a alum chip beteween toes of the LR. I pulled it out, no damage done. I've been really careful since then. I always look at the floor when walking in the house. Anything that looks shiney, I pick up. Most of what I find nowadays isn't from the shop. I've even picked up a couple of MaMa's straight pins. I never say a word aboutit.

I have rubber mats in front of all my machines. less likely to imbed a chip in my shoes. Also have a carpet about 8 ft long in front of the door to snag the chips as I exit the shop. A couple chip deflectors on the lathe and mill help keep things under control.

Someday in my retirement I would like to submit an article to the mag, the working title might be " chip control in the home shop" I sometime sling swarf 8 or 10 feet from the machines, but rarely now any makes it into the house. With a little thought, you can also keep swarf out of your home.

As to your machine ways, I've always tried to make a chip I could handle. When I used Atlas Lathes, I tried to grind my tools to make a nice, long chip that would be a few inches long. Easy to collect. Nowadays I use mainly carbide inserts on my Turnmaster, and adjust speeds and feeds to make chips that look like 6's and 9's. In both cases, the chips were mosly big enough to be swept away by the wipers.

Regards and best of luck,
TC

tattoomike68
07-15-2008, 01:37 AM
You know it's a noob when you get this question...

A) How bad are chips on ways of a lathe? I have an 8 by 12 SEIG ( like a mini lathe, but with metal change gears and less junkyness). I want to know just whether it is OK to have some small chips lying around-they get wiped up by the wipers. Currently I am kind of obsessive over de-chipping the ways, especially because the tailstock lacks wipers and I do not want to get swarf under it. Should I be even more obsessive? Should I just brush off the ways frequently and wipe periodically?

B) What is a good way to keep chips out of the house? Do any of you have tricks for preventing the creation of swarfy messes other than just having a door-mat and cleaning frequently?

C) Are expanding mandrels worth the cost? Can you make your own with a lathe and mill with indexing and slitting saw?

D) Is there a good substitute for brass as far as being soft and nonmarring and free machining but not expensive? Butter-steel maybe?

A shop vac, dont be lazy use it, use a rag and add oil to ways after cleaning, no free lunch.

B at home I use slippers or no shop shoes in the house, just take them off, I know its not shop safe footware but I can be dumb landscaping my yard and drop a big rock on my foot, use your head and think.

C make them, the chinaman who made the ones you buy is NOT a rocket scientist, he is no better than you. cut them true when needed.(remember that)

D 12L14 is soft free cutting steel that can be case hardend for short run tooling like a fly cutter, again not much of a free lunch there. good steel makes good parts.

I hope that helps, have fun. :)

Fasttrack
07-15-2008, 01:45 AM
If you do buy 12L14, realize that its a "rust magnet" in the words of Macona.

I've got some I got free from a company that makes go-kart clutches and its nice to work wiht, but even with monthly generous coatings of motor oil, it rusts when sitting in a garage. Some heavy way oil, gear oil or parafin goes a long way in keeping rust off. Of course, a skin of rust on the material doesn't generally hurt anything.

ammcoman2
07-15-2008, 07:52 AM
I find that giving the piece a lick with # 400 (or 600 if very small) wet-or-dry paper along with oil has always resulted in a clean rust free part. Of course this is easier to do on a turned part.

The other solution is to black oxide it either with the purchased chemical product or heat to blue (or just beyond) and dunk in oil. Haven't tried gun blue yet even though I have a small bottle hiding somewhere in the shop!

Geoff

lane
07-15-2008, 08:47 PM
I wish yall would tell the idiots at work to clean up their chips . Went to use a lathe to day the chip pan was over flowing and only the tool post was showing above the compound . Big blue harry chips took me an hour to get enough shoveled off to even use the lathe.

mwechtal
07-15-2008, 09:33 PM
I wish yall would tell the idiots at work to clean up their chips . Went to use a lathe to day the chip pan was over flowing and only the tool post was showing above the compound . Big blue harry chips took me an hour to get enough shoveled off to even use the lathe.
I saw a guy a couple months ago running a vertical mill. He was chewing away at some aluminum parts, and was literally standing knee deep in swarf. There was an area about 10' x 20' that was at least a foot deep, I guess he was just kicking some of it out of the way occasionally. Obviously he hadn't gotten any shavings down his boots at that point!

Teenage_Machinist
07-20-2008, 07:27 PM
Sounds like what happened after I bored 4 aluminum disks out to 1.5 ID. I'm making a cryptex like in THe Da Vinchi Code.