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  • Newby needs advice

    Okay, maybe not exactly a Newby... I've posted here on and off for a few years. I bought a Smithy Granite 1324 several years ago, and took a night school, hands on machine shop course for one semester after that. Circumstances over the last few years, have kept me from using the machine except for minor milling work, and that by eye.
    What I need is some advice on any type of reading or video's I might get that would help me get started again.It's too late to take the class again.
    Problems I have include : shaping and sharpening lathe tools and setting up work. An example : I have a brass handle with a 2 3/4' diameter hole through it. I need to make it 2 7/8. I was shown how to do this with a fly cutter on a mill, and I have the general idea on to finish setting it up with a last word indicator, but how do I get the set up started, so I can get the work within the tolerances of a last word indicator. Also,I need to raise the handle up off the table( or should I use an angle plate and a cutter in the lathe chuck?). How do I do this and how do I hold it down with out marring the finish?
    Any thoughts would be helpful. I really want to start using this machine to it's capabilities. I am in North NJ, BTW.

  • #2
    Hey Tony. Glad to see you back at it!

    I would recommend that you get a copy of "Machine shop practice" volumes 1 and 2 by K. H. Moltrecht. There is lots of good information to be found in these 2 books.
    The handle sounds like it is probably a lathe job.
    Location: North Central Texas


    • #3
      Locksmith, I can't point you to any books or anything, but have you considered trying to get a part time job in a shop? I don't know what your day job is, but I would hire someone like you on for 10-15 hours a week in a second.

      Your willing to learn, your interested in the work and I can guarantee you, you will learn more in a single afternoon shift next to an expierienced person than you can learn by yourself in years. Heck, with your own machines I would sub some stuff to you to do on your own time, I'd even come over and help you set it up. You could be very valuable, and I've been wishing someone like you would come walking into my shop, the commute would kill you though.

      You may have to push a button on a boring job(its only fun the first time you push it) or run the bandsaw, but if you find the right place with the right people, it could be beneficial to everybody. They get a good person, possible side jobs and who knows, you might just end up on a different career path?

      As for learning how to indicate. Practice practice practice. How I teach somebody new is I let them at it. Usually on a vice first, give them a quick half [email protected]@ed lesson and let them figure it out. I'll keep an eye on them and when they get close I'll go over, check it, say "hey give me the hammer" give it a good whack and have them start over. Pays off in the end.

      Spend a Sunday afternoon drinking beer and indicating stuff in, you'll get good at it really fast, your old lady and friends will think your nuts, but you'll get good quick.


      • #4
        I suppose your strategy should take into account what tools you have.

        Do you have a lathe faceplate? A boring bar and holder? Work holding kit with the right size T-slots for your faceplate?


        • #5
          "I'll go over, check it, say "hey give me the hammer" give it a good whack and have them start over. Pays off in the end. "

          Hahaha thats great! Where are you located, out of curiousity? I am looking for a part time job this summer - i am just a kid, but i own a smithy machine and have alot of expierence around machine tools, even if i dont necessarily know how to use them


          • #6
            Well, actually, I am a....locksmith. As much as I'd like to work part time in a machine shop, I'm doing a 40+ hour week now. I must admit that this is the way I learned my trade, so I wouldn't mind, even if I worked for nothing for a few hours a week.
            As for equipment, I've got a face plate and dogs, but haven't used them yet. Got an angle plate, boring bar holder, a hold-down set and several incicators.


            • #7
              I Got it

              Thanks for the suggestions.
              Recently,I happened to pass the Votech school at which I took a machine shop class a few years ago, noticed the lights on, and dropped in. I had one of these handles with me and showed it to the instructor. He told me to come by another night with the other handle.
              We set the handle up on a Bridgeport, indicated it, and used a boring bar and boring head to cut the circle a little bigger. He did the first one and I did the second. I realized where I had been going wrong.
              Interestingly, my handle and I became the subject of an lesson in boring bar techniques. The instructor called everyone over to watch as he explained what we were doing.
              Sad news: They are demolishing the building the shop is in and the instructor(part time) hasn't gotten any information on wheter they're going to move the machinery into another building and resume the classes. A real shame