View Full Version : Knurling tools

07-24-2004, 05:01 PM
I have been doing some knurling on my SB 10K I notice the gibs on my carriage croos slide and compound rest get loose when I am finished. The knurling operation seems to put more strain on my machine than I like.

Have any of you used the knurling tools with the clamp or scissor type action. I have priced them the cheapest ones I have seen start around $100. I don't want to spend the money unless they are a real good tool.
Thanks Mike

Tim Clarke
07-24-2004, 05:46 PM
Mike: There are a couple on sale in the Enco sale flyer that arrived here today. Your choice of USA or import.

I built a knurling tool that was in HSM a few years ago. It was one of Rudy's projects, and it worked out fine on my 12" Atlas. Now that I've upgraded to a bigger lathe I need to make a larger tool, or spring for a commercial one.

If you do wind up getting one of the "Eagle Rock" type, let us know what you think of it.

Regards, Tim

07-24-2004, 05:55 PM
Spend the bread. You definitely want a scissor type of knurling tool. It puts a LOT less strain on the machine as compared to a single point type tool, which puts one way pressure on the spindle bearings and everything else. That's why your gibs are coming loose. The scissor type is a balanced knurling tool, pressure is only between the 2 rollers, not the tool post and bearings.

Michael Az
07-24-2004, 07:28 PM
I have an American made scissor type and it works great. Doesn't take much pressure to work.

07-24-2004, 09:41 PM
I made a scissor type for my mini-lathe, works pretty good.
Also, one of the Bedside Readers has drawings for one.
I'm not brave enough to try the "push" type one a itty-bitty lathe.

07-24-2004, 09:49 PM
Thanks for a timely topic. I was considering buying one of the cheaper type. Now I know I need to spend a little more. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif
I already have problems with my cross slide shaft staying adjusted. I am planning on an upgrade for that already, but I certainly can appreciate not exerting too much undue pressure on a 7x12.

07-25-2004, 11:31 AM
I made one of the 'pinch' type, described by Rudy Kouhoupt. Made it very tight..any tighter and I wouldn't have been able to move it. Nevertheless, on about the 3rd or 4th use the arms were deflecting quite a bit.
I used aluminum for the body, maybe shoulda used steel.

I got a tool catalog from Victor a couple of days ago that had the scissor type for 47.90 (2 1/4" capacity) or 69.50 for capacity of 2 1/4 to 4 1/2". ...said to fit Dorian and similar QC tool systems. Those are the lowest prices I've seen.

07-25-2004, 01:01 PM
Can you send me a link to Victor I have not heard of them before thanks guys for the reapplies I wanted to make sure these type of knurling tools worked good by the comments it sounds like they do. I had thought about making one but I was not sure what type of material to use.

I have been making a lot of adjustment knobs for my gun rests. I use barrel blanks that were culled by the barrel shop for one reason or another 1.25". I knurl about 10" at a time then part off small segments for my knobs. I use my steady rest to keep the tension off of the spindle. I noticed after each time I knurled I would need to tighten my gib screws to remove the excess play out of the cross slide and compound rest. I feed the knurling tool in about .005" each pass and make about 8 passes. Is that too aggressive for my SB 10K? Barrel material is fairly soft and machines real good. I am not sure exactly what the hardness rating of the material is I use both chromoly and SS barrels. Thanks again for all the help.

Al Flipo
07-25-2004, 01:43 PM
Great tool, the imported ones are made in India, and they do not included the coarser knurling wheels which you use most. The material of the tool itself is very soft and the setscrews of the tool holder do a number on the part, which fits in you holder. Spent a little more and buy the better quality ones.

07-25-2004, 02:10 PM
I bought one of the knurling tools made in India. I added a piece of 1/2" square stock on the right side of the tool.The square stock fits in my tool holder. I use
plenty of cutting oil and start out with
light cuts.Make sure that the diameter of
your stock is divisable by the number of teeth on the knurl so that the knurls cut in the same groove. I have 52 teeth on my
3/4" diameter knurls, so .750/52=.014423"
So the diameter of your stock has to have
.014423" divide into it evenly. Or to put
it another way be a multiple of .014423"
I am satisfied with the way my scissor type
knurler works.

07-25-2004, 04:11 PM
Victor is at: www.victornet.com (http://www.victornet.com)
email: sales@victornet.com
toll free: 1-800-723-5359
They're in NY,NY.

I don't specifically remember buying anything from them (must have since they send me a catalog every few months), so I have no comments about their goods or service.

Their knurling tool ad says a pair of 3/4" medium diamond knurls are included BTW.

07-26-2004, 08:14 AM
I bought some stuff from Victor once or twice before. Their service was prompt and I got everything as ordered. You can sign up for their monthly sales via email or they'll keep sending you the flyers if you order. No connection - just a satisfied customer.

Tom B

Russ H
07-26-2004, 08:34 AM
Yankee 1

Been thinking about doing something similar to your method.
Did you weld 1/2" pc on or fasten some other way?

How hard is the shank on these tools?

[This message has been edited by Russ H (edited 07-26-2004).]

07-26-2004, 11:52 AM
I have an Eagle Rock tool. It is a well made tool that does good work. I ordered it from Enco and went ahead and spent the extra money for the Eagle Rock I've been pleased with the purchase.

07-26-2004, 02:28 PM
Thanks for all the advise ENCO has the knurling tool on sale (import) for $28.99 and extra wheels for $4.99. I just ordered a tool and coarse set of wheels.

[This message has been edited by gundog (edited 07-27-2004).]

07-26-2004, 02:46 PM
Hello Russ H.
I tried sending you an e-mail with pictures and I sent myself a carbon copy to make sure you got it OK but Hotmail would
not open the attachment.
So I'll just say the steel block is .600"x
7/8"x 2 1/8". The block is drilled and tapped to use the pivot bolt that is on the knurler to attach it. It works very well.
The arms on the knurler are 3/4" thick and
appear to be a malable casting, there is not
any distortion in them when used.

07-26-2004, 03:31 PM
There are a couple of pics of a clamp-style knurler that I built on my web page:


Have fun,

Michael Az
07-26-2004, 03:53 PM
Yankee, I have a question for you. I understand this formula is kinda like making a gear. When you are making the diameter, let us say it is 2" and your formula won't divide, do you then change the diameter until the formula does work? Of course I am talking about a homeshop scenario and not following a blueprint. In the homeshop it doesn't matter if the diameter is 2.000 or 2.062 .
Thanks for the post about it.

07-26-2004, 05:52 PM
I change the diameter so that the piece
is a multiple of the size of one tooth on the knurl.For my knurler that is .014423"
That way there is no gain or loss when the
piece revolves, it tracks in the same grooves until finished. Because the knurl diameter is 3/4" a 3/4" inch piece of stock
would be perfect. A 1.000" shaft would have
to be turned down to .995" to knurl with my

Michael Az
07-26-2004, 07:36 PM
OK Yankee, thats what I was thinking. Mine is 61 tooth by .736 . Took me several trys to come up with the same number counting those small teeth!
Thanks again for the post.

07-26-2004, 11:00 PM
Mike, I built the one presented by Lautard in his First Bedside Reader, the knurls cost about $8 when I made it, and the rest came from the scrap bin. Should you decide to make one, make your joints a little too tight then hand fit. The stress will be on the tool instead of the machine, so it needs to be pretty rigid to work correctly. The book is a good read, lots of tips and hints and fun to boot.

Michael Az
07-26-2004, 11:43 PM
Gismo, thanks for the help. I have Guys bedside reader, good book. I already had an American made scissor type and it works great. And like you mention it has always been stiff.
Thanks again

07-27-2004, 09:45 AM
Hmmm... after looking at Dave's version I think I like the arm arrangement better on it. Looks more rigid than my paired arms.

07-27-2004, 11:53 AM
Now that I have a few moments, here are some more comments on my knurling tool, in case one of you would like to build one.

Most of the arm design came from Guy Lautard's design in TMBR. I adapted it to fit an AXA-size QC toolpost.

You can see that I cut the dovetail a little close to the slots for the arms. There is not a lot of meat left there. The block is steel, and I'm sure it will be fine. It just doesn't look very strong.

I made all the parts except for the knurls, the spring, and the two machine screws that hold the knurl pin retainers. The pins are hardened. The pivots for the arms are threaded only on the left-hand end, where they enter the block, and are hardened.

The knurled parts were all knurled using the tool itself.

The only wear I am seeing is in the arm slots. The knurls are wearing the soft arm steel, so it might be best to case-harden this area. This is from the side pressure of traversing the knurls across wider workpieces.


07-27-2004, 01:52 PM
Thanks for the post and pictures Dave that is a very nice tool you designed and built.
I like building things myself when I get caught up on some projects I have lined up I would like to try and build one. I know what you mean about changing a few things here and there after building something like this. I have been building some gun rests and every one of them gets a design change to improve the final product. I have made 4 of them so far and number 5 has some more improvements in the design. Most things are invisible to others but the maker knows where the problems are, I guess that is the nature of this type of work.