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SkyMoCo
11-28-2014, 11:37 PM
So I've been machining parts from steel and aluminum for years but recently decided to make the Geneva Hours Clock. I get to the brass parts and started cutting and wow. This stuff cuts like butter, but doesn't gum up like aluminum. Why haven't I been using this all along? This stuff is awesome, a little bit on the expensive side, but still.

oldtiffie
11-28-2014, 11:47 PM
So I've been machining parts from steel and aluminum for years but recently decided to make the Geneva Hours Clock. I get to the brass parts and started cutting and wow. This stuff cuts like butter, but doesn't gum up like aluminum. Why haven't I been using this all along? This stuff is awesome, a little bit on the expensive side, but still.

Be aware that all brasses are not the same. Buy it for machinability and you should be OK.

darryl
11-28-2014, 11:51 PM
Get into some phosphor bronze and see how you like that :)

SkyMoCo
11-29-2014, 12:11 AM
I was hoping for a good time when I saw the "ultra-machinable" 360 brass so that's what I ordered. I've learned over time not to just pick up any piece of metal I found by the side of the road. It doesn't always turn out so good.

darryl
11-29-2014, 12:44 AM
I like turning brass, though most of my parts are in steel. With a nicely sharp tool, it turns so easily that you can almost make a part as quickly as you can think about it. Just a reminder- for best results, particularly for small diameter parts, you will want the cutting edge to be at center height.

'any piece of metal I found by the side of the road. It doesn't always turn out so good.' Yeah, I mentioned phosphor bronze sort of sarcastically- I have a piece of that which I wish I'd never brought home. Nothing but trouble for me.

lakeside53
11-29-2014, 12:50 AM
Try aluminum bronze lol.. Not sure exactly which alloy I have (mystery metal), but it works hardens if you look at it wrong.


One thing to be careful of in "brass" is deep drilling... if you don't adjust the drill relief, peck and clear often - it like to grab the bit and ruin your day.

tyrone shewlaces
11-29-2014, 12:57 AM
Almost forgot. You should try working with brass sometime. It cuts like butter.

oops... too late.

There are tough ones though. We have some "Naval Brass" stock at work (not sure what the real name of it is). That stuff is tougher than (insert pejorative adjective here) and a pain to work with.

SkyMoCo
11-29-2014, 01:35 AM
About 12 years ago I saw an add for a used bridgeport in the local nickel paper. I always wanted to have one so I went and bought it, got it home and cut some little scrap pieces. Not knowing any better, I went down to the scrapyard and grabbed some shiny metal to try on. I get it home and broke the two mills I had. It didn't make sense to me so I tried to drill into it on the drill press and couldn't make so much as a scratch. It only then dawned on me that what I was cutting makes a huge difference.

Since then I have learned many valuable lessons.

1. Everything flexes
2. You cannot clamp things too tight.
3. Things can go very wrong very fast.
4. When you get tired and frustrated, stop. Tomorrow it will all make sense.

Peter.
11-29-2014, 02:08 AM
So I've been machining parts from steel and aluminum for years but recently decided to make the Geneva Hours Clock. I get to the brass parts and started cutting and wow. This stuff cuts like butter, but doesn't gum up like aluminum. Why haven't I been using this all along? This stuff is awesome, a little bit on the expensive side, but still.

Buy some tweezers and a good magnifying glass. You'll know when you need 'em :D

vpt
11-29-2014, 08:37 AM
2. You cannot clamp things too tight.
.



I find at times you can clamp something to tight and make it distort, bow, or bend. Sometimes when clamping two pieces together to be welded if you clamp one to tight it my be pulled out of alignment of the other piece. Some materials will squish if clamped to tight. ;)

browne92
11-29-2014, 09:18 AM
I don't know if he ever got to do it, but my machine shop teacher said he was going to take a hand full of brass chips with him on his next Colorado trip for one of those 'panning for gold' tours. :D

Lew Hartswick
11-29-2014, 09:41 AM
I don't know if he ever got to do it, but my machine shop teacher said he was going to take a hand full of brass chips with him on his next Colorado trip for one of those 'panning for gold' tours. :D
That could be fun. Stand back and take lots of pix. :-)

1-800miner
11-29-2014, 09:54 AM
I had to drill and tap holes through a brass flange laminated to 1/4 copper.
What a pain! Get the right rhythm pecking through the brass til I hit the copper and get sucked in.
Tapping the brass was easy til I got to the copper then an eighth of turn or less then back off.
Thought I was going to snap the tap on every turn.

Ohio Mike
11-29-2014, 10:23 AM
Since then I have learned many valuable lessons.

1. Everything flexes
2. You cannot clamp things too tight.
3. Things can go very wrong very fast.
4. When you get tired and frustrated, stop. Tomorrow it will all make sense.

Every new machinist should print it out and hang it on the wall.

planeman
11-29-2014, 11:47 AM
These comments bring to mind my very first attempt at machining with my brand new Craftsman (Atlas) 6" metal lathe I bought from money I saved from working at a hobby shop at the age of sixteen (1956). I dropped by a local scrap yard to find some metal to experiment on and came home with the end of an automobile drive shaft which was nice and round and about the right size. I chucked it up and began to cut the splines off. I amazingly watched the end of my high speed steel lathe bit round off and the splines come through without a scratch! It was my introduction to case hardened steel! Live and learn.

daveo
11-29-2014, 11:55 AM
Drilling straight holes in brass isnt fun unless you take the rake off of the drill...

michigan doug
11-29-2014, 12:14 PM
"aluminum bronze...it works hardens if you look at it, period"


Fixed that for ya...


doug

Paul Alciatore
11-29-2014, 02:23 PM
Don't you read your e-mail??? I sent one about it about 15 years ago.

Geeeesh!

Paul Alciatore
11-29-2014, 02:25 PM
Yes, you do need a set of "brass drills" with zero rake angle. They can be useful for some plastics too.




Drilling straight holes in brass isnt fun unless you take the rake off of the drill...

boslab
11-29-2014, 02:48 PM
It's a nice material, polishes well, makes things that last, some of the bronzes are so tough they can cut steel like butter!, try beryllium bronze, she be tough!
Mark

schor
11-29-2014, 02:52 PM
I love turning bronze and brass, sometimes some stainless and rosewood too.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-r6IBGRFW62I/U0CcNUMlzmI/AAAAAAAACCs/oporz2VmDRE/s807-no/IMG_20140405_160739.jpg


http://youtu.be/uGeKI1J5oq8

SkyMoCo
11-29-2014, 02:58 PM
I plan on doing a lot of profile cutting, what's the best end mill to use? Right now I am using a 1/8 2 flute end mill.

sarge41
11-29-2014, 03:37 PM
Yes, you do need a set of "brass drills" with zero rake angle. They can be useful for some plastics too.

Also necessary on bronze and cast iron too.

Sarge