View Full Version : A Keyway/Grooving tool

01-02-2010, 03:23 PM
This is something I whipped together for a friend in Belo Horizonte.

He bought a lathe, but no mill. He was getting a lot of work doing some pulleys and shafts. Cutting key ways using the carriage of the lathe was a lot of work so I tried to do something to help.

One requirement was a lot of reach since he was doing some seriously large pulleys.

I tried to put on an adapter for smaller dia. pulleys.

The work is not perfect, but worked for him and I had a lot of fun.


This is the interchangeable end.


These are the pieces.


01-02-2010, 04:03 PM
I like that, it's a great idea that had not entered my mind. Great concept and fast to mount up. You could keep it in a QC holder and drop it on the post as needed.

Very good job indeed.

01-02-2010, 04:06 PM
What my buddy has is one of those 4 way tool posts full of set screws. The kind of tooling we have access to in the "west" is very expensive here.

01-02-2010, 04:15 PM
Even with the turret post that is a great time saver.

Your Old Dog
01-02-2010, 06:14 PM
Slicker then Owl dew! I like it, have copied it, and will likely steal your idea one day :D

01-02-2010, 07:22 PM
It has a few advantages.

The handle is about 3 feet long so you can really ream on that thing and take some cuts.

Also, the range of travel on the cutter is quite good.

Most of it is made out of stainless.

01-02-2010, 08:29 PM
Super nice job, and simple approach that is also very nice for building and using.

QUOTE: "The kind of tooling we have access to in the "west" is very expensive here."

Round here that material is very expensive :)

01-02-2010, 08:37 PM
This would make any toolmaker proud.:D

01-02-2010, 09:20 PM
How did you make the square hole for the HSS cutter?

01-02-2010, 09:39 PM
Very nice construction. Isent so big it won't fit nicely somewhere outta the way too. the replaceable ends are very cool.

Not sure how well those setscrews into the antirotation grove will hold up with time... Iv allways wanted to try useing a tapered grove and a key with a matching taper (for my lathe tailstock.. though I guess rotation there doesnt really matter).. with setscrews behind it to advance the key for wear (back of the key would be straight and just fit into the body)

You should really tell your friend to look at the enco shiping of a AXA toolpost, the phase II ones usally go on sale for $100 and even at another $50 shiping id say its TOTALY worth it.
That or ebay usally has em..

01-03-2010, 06:16 AM

I broached the holes. But it was a little scary! The broach bent a bit and I had to go slow so not to end up with a piece of it in my eye or something. Dang, those broaches are expensive!

Broaching Stainless Steel is more difficult than other material. Doing it again, I probably would have bored the round hole a little larger than required by the broach to give less pressure. I'm sure that a little less "square" would have been OK and still secured the cutter.

This is the situation where I had some doubts about how to "clock" the broach. I wanted it square with the shaft, but ended up holding a straight edge along the side of the broach and lining it up with the cross member of the press. I'm still not sure how to do it well. I suppose you can always true it up when you grind the cutter.

To complicate matters, I broached them at about a 5 degree angle to facilitate cutting.

In the "body" of the thing I machined a "key" in the rectangular part and a key way in the round piece to line them up exactly. This is not hidden by the weld.


I got one of those phase II holders and am quite pleased. It made quite a weight in the luggage. My friend does not speak English and has no internet at home. Every trip to the U.S. the bags are at the limit full of various types of tooling and steel.

One time we even brought down on the plane one of those mini lathes from Harbor Freight. We dismantled it and put it in two separate carry on bags (with wheels). Putting them in the overhead bins was something like pumping iron, but it worked.