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Thread: Turret Lathe Tooling

  1. #1
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    Default Turret Lathe Tooling

    I've got two question with regards to turret lathe tooling that I'm hoping someone with more experience than myself can answer. I find information on turret lathes hit or miss - I feel like there should be lots of knowledge out there but it pre-dates the internet by just enough that it can't be found through web searches.

    1. I've got a job where I rough down square acrylic stock into cylinders. Large interrupted cut, but it's an easy to cut material. Hangs about 4" out of the chuck. At the moment I am center drilling then end then cutting with a conventional lathe tool. Is turret tooling such as a box tool capable of making roughing cuts like this? The support fingers/rollers could be set to ride on the turned diameter, but I'm worried that the initial cut will just cause the acrylic to destroy itself before the support starts working.

    2. Has anyone run turret lathe tooling in a lever tailstock? I'd have to make an adapter to convert the shank to an MT taper, but that shouldn't be a big deal. Any reason why that wouldn't work?

  2. #2

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    Have you thought about using a Skiving blade with your box tool ?

    https://www.productionmachining.com/...art-of-skiving

    The only thing I can think of to go wrong, is if you dwell too long with the Skiving blade on the Acrylic, it will generate a lot of heat and turn to garbage.

  3. #3
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    What diameter stock , a knee tool will rough it easily, but might rake 2 cuts. I have a lot if 1 inch turret tooling left from my old shop.. . sounds like the material coukd break if you move in too quick..

  4. #4
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    Lots of good information in turret lathe books, most are available for little money on Fleabay.
    It's a turret, no need for a single tool to start and finish the job. Start with a knee tool, switch to a roller box tool after you have cut sufficient diameter for the rollers to run on.
    Last edited by reggie_obe; 09-12-2019 at 08:06 PM.

  5. #5
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    I turn hundreds of 3/4" square acrylic rods to a taper using the taper attachment and conventional turning with a high-rake aluminum cutting carbide insert. I can get reliable results with two passes and no tailstock support:



    I invite you to check out my complete process on this photo article:

    https://www.gryphonstrings.com/repai...franks-cranks/
    Cheers,

    Frank Ford
    HomeShopTech

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenie View Post
    Have you thought about using a Skiving blade with your box tool ?

    https://www.productionmachining.com/...art-of-skiving

    The only thing I can think of to go wrong, is if you dwell too long with the Skiving blade on the Acrylic, it will generate a lot of heat and turn to garbage.
    I'll have to look into that, I can't quite picture the geometry of that tooling in my head at this point.

    Quote Originally Posted by 754 View Post
    What diameter stock , a knee tool will rough it easily, but might rake 2 cuts. I have a lot if 1 inch turret tooling left from my old shop.. . sounds like the material coukd break if you move in too quick..
    Stock is roughly 3/4" square, and I'm taking it down to .645". The material cuts easily, but in my experience can be brittle if handled to gently (if that makes any sense). I find it's best to make a good cut and keep the tool engaged. No peck drilling, no light cuts. Just keep feeding it. In my head I'm thinking one cut with a box tool, come in slowly until the rollers are sitting on the turned diameter then pick up the feed rate. A small chip or discrepancy in the end diameter can be removed with a mortise that gets turned on the end later in the process.

    Quote Originally Posted by reggie_obe View Post
    Lots of good information in turret lathe books, most are available for little money on Fleabay.
    It's a turret, no need for a single tool to start and finish the job. Start with a knee tool, switch to a roller box tool after you have cut sufficient diameter for the rollers to run on.
    Thanks, I'll take a look for some of that literature. I don't have a turret lathe at the moment, hence my asking about using the tooling in a tailstock. I'm at a point where I'm trying to decide whether to purchase a lever tailstock and make it work or save up for a while longer and just go full turret lathe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Ford View Post
    I turn hundreds of 3/4" square acrylic rods to a taper using the taper attachment and conventional turning with a high-rake aluminum cutting carbide insert. I can get reliable results with two passes and no tailstock support:



    I invite you to check out my complete process on this photo article:

    https://www.gryphonstrings.com/repai...franks-cranks/
    That's the exact same material I'm turning. I'm trying to reduce my time per part, I've got it down to 3 setups and about 10 minutes now. Roughing out the stock is my longest process and I think it's the one I can improve on the most. One of the biggest issues is that the blanks are not a consistent size, meaning it takes me time to center each one - I had been thinking of trying to size the ends to a consistent 3/4" using a table saw, but I might start looking for a two-jaw chuck and follow your lead. I'm using ground HSS tooling, with little to no rake and have even tried negative rake tooling with success after some research on what the woodworkers were using for pen making. I find the minimal rake best as it gives a surface that only needs a touch of sandpaper before polishing.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom S View Post
    I find information on turret lathes hit or miss - I feel like there should be lots of knowledge out there but it pre-dates the internet by just enough that it can't be found through web searches.
    -I've found the same thing. Turret lathes were largely made obsolete by the first NC/CNC machines over forty years ago, and even before that, were almost entirely the domain of industrial production shops. There was very little "home shop" turret lathe use. and as such, very little data got transferred to the internet.

    Ten years ago, when I was getting my Logan turret set up, there were something like three videos on all of YouTube, showing turret lathes- not just "home shop" stuff, I mean any turret. Even today, the vast majority of turret videos is just somebody demonstrating the motions of a machine for sale.

    Is turret tooling such as a box tool capable of making roughing cuts like this?
    -Easily. I have some photos somewhere of my Logan taking a 3/4" aluminum round down to 3/8" in a single pass, using a box tool.

    The support fingers/rollers could be set to ride on the turned diameter, but I'm worried that the initial cut will just cause the acrylic to destroy itself before the support starts working.
    -You may have to do it in two stages. First stage, only have an inch or so hanging out, and do the first part of the cut. Then pull the full 4" out and do the full pass. You might wind up with concentricity problems depending on how rough the blank stock is, but with a somewhat flexible material and box-tool rollers, that may be mostly self-correcting.

    2. Has anyone run turret lathe tooling in a lever tailstock? I'd have to make an adapter to convert the shank to an MT taper, but that shouldn't be a big deal. Any reason why that wouldn't work?
    -The vast majority of turret lathe tooling is straight shanked, or bolted flange if you get big enough. I doubt anyone has ever even made a taper-shank box tool.

    The other thing to be concerned with is that to cut a 4" piece with a box tool, the workpiece has to travel down the hollow shank of the tool. Your finished size, as you say, is over 5/8", so obviously the smaller 5/8" and 3/4" shank tools are out of the question. You'll have to have 1" shank tools, and therefore, a turret big enough to take them.

    That almost certainly means a proper 6-position turret, not just a lever tailstock or worse, one of those morse-taper "mini turrets".

    So short answer, yes, a proper box tool can do those handily. The longer answer, however, is unless you have the tooling, the turret and the ability to hold the work reliably, you might be better off just cutting the parts manually as you've been doing.

    Doc.
    Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom S View Post
    I've got two question with regards to turret lathe tooling that I'm hoping someone with more experience than myself can answer. I find information on turret lathes hit or miss - I feel like there should be lots of knowledge out there but it pre-dates the internet by just enough that it can't be found through web searches.

    Did you already find Warner & Swasey’s Turret Lathe Operators Manual?

    https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/001616106


    Making these dowels I put the box tool on the carriage, and used something like a pencil sharpener on the end first so it could start.

    Last edited by mireut; 09-13-2019 at 07:31 AM. Reason: Add picture

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the link mireut, looks like I've got some reading to do.

    Great info there Doc, thanks for that. I didn't think about the fact that the turned portion needs to go though the tooling, as you say that would eliminate the possibility of a Morse Taper holder. A bit bummed about that now that I think about it as well, since I believe most of the smaller turrets are 5/8" or 3/4" and I don't really want to start looking at moving a large W&S Turret to make this happen. I had been thinking about a small Hardinge DV-59 or similar.

    I'll just stick with what I'm doing now for the mean time and see where it takes me. I accounted for 15 minutes/part in my pricing, so dropping to 10 minutes/part is already a good improvement.

  10. #10
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    Here js what i think will be the biggest time saver for you at this point.
    you should state how many you do at a time.
    using a hollow endmill, and a vise, cut the first inch or so round.. then you can grip it in a 3 jaw.... one big problem solved.
    and remember it only had to be full round where the 3 jaws grip.
    you could do it on both ends.. starting a not perfectly set up box tool with rollers, and snagging a square corner, won't end well.

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