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Got Bored, Made a Boring Head

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  • Got Bored, Made a Boring Head

    Far too many bloody times have i had a job crop up that required a weird sized hole that a boring head couldve done in seconds, but i didnt own a boring head. This curse shall torment me no longer! Briefly considered buying one, but none of the commercial options i found really fit my needs. Ive got a small mill, limited Z height to begin with, so once you start adding up arbors and the 2-3 inches of the boring head itself and the boring bars, well, you run out of room for the workpiece pretty fast. I dont need 5+ inch hole capabilities or 1/2" boring bars or anything, i just need something compact that gets the job done.

    That in mind, i stumbled across these plans for a small boring head, sized for a Taig mill. Jackpot! Downloaded the blueprints, drew them up in Fusion so id have a 3d model to work off of, made a few changes to suit my machine better, then sent it on over to the 3d printer:


    And people still think machining is supposed to be difficult....

    Yeah, no, im not actually that stupid. Heres the real one:




    I already a few MT3-JT2 arbors hanging around, started off by recutting the JT2 end over to a 5/8-11 thread to mount the boring head on. First adventure single-point threading, not a fun time for that particular thread pitch... Anyways, bodys made from 4140ht, some brass in there for things like the gibs, takes 3/8" shank tooling. For the size of work i do, thats more than large enough. No fancy adjustment dial, just a screw and a dial indicator to tell me how much the heads moving. I dont have the capability to engrave a dial and this gets the job done. Leadscrew is a #6-40 cap screw, makes for pretty fine adjustments.

    Dimensions are 1-3/4" tall, 1-1/2" diameter. Overall stickout is about the same as an ER32 collet chuck, without the boring bar. Pretty compact, should get the job done well. Course i have no projects that need holes bored right now, but least now im prepared! Next up is a slitting saw arbor i dont have much of a use for, but i did buy too much of the 4140 and gotta use it somehow

  • #2
    Outstanding!!!

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    • #3
      If you have the ability to make a boring head that looks that good, making an engraved dial should be pretty easy for you. Nice looking tool!

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      • #4
        Nice!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by RMinMN View Post
          If you have the ability to make a boring head that looks that good, making an engraved dial should be pretty easy for you. Nice looking tool!
          Never let the glitz fool you. Only thing im a master of is shining s***. Far as the dial goes, its not actually skill thats the roadblock, more logistics. I dont actually own any indexing equipment, so any engravings would be cosmetic at best. Im sure i could knock something together, but i couldnt talk myself into seeing a point when this works well enough. I dont trust engraved markings anyways since they rely on the pitch of whatever is serving as a leadscrew to be correct. Error might be minimal, but you dont get error if you measure directly

          Course now that ive posted the pictures im realizing i shouldve done something about the tool marks on the relief cuts on the bottom section of the head. Oh well

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          • #6
            Oh, forgot to mention in the original post, the ugly phillips head screw is not the final solution. Funnily enough, i actually ordered some nice 8-32 alloy steel cup point set screws, perfect for holding tools in place. Then i managed to tap the holes to 10-24 without realizing. No idea how the f*** i accidentally did that, given that i drilled for 8-32 and ran a cheap tap through pre-hard 4140...

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            • #7
              that is really nice.
              what is there to gain if you modified a allen wrench to hold the dial, the dial affixed to the allen wrench to give you a reference and an indicator for fine tuning?

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              • #8
                Many years ago I made one to the George Thomas design. Cheated on the dial and bought one from Sherline that is used on their boring head - perfect for a 40TPI screw.

                Click image for larger version

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                Geoff

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ringo View Post
                  that is really nice.
                  what is there to gain if you modified a allen wrench to hold the dial, the dial affixed to the allen wrench to give you a reference and an indicator for fine tuning?
                  Nothing, so far as i can see. Ill already have a dial indicator against the slide to tell me how much its moving. I suppose a dial on the wrench would help with coarse adjustments, but id still have the indicator on hand for the final adjustment anyways, so i cant see it speeding the process up all too much

                  Originally posted by ammcoman2 View Post
                  Many years ago I made one to the George Thomas design. Cheated on the dial and bought one from Sherline that is used on their boring head - perfect for a 40TPI screw.

                  Click image for larger version

Name:	PB030005.JPG
Views:	312
Size:	86.0 KB
ID:	1878763

                  Geoff
                  ...well crap, ,where were you a week ago when i was drawing the plans with that? If i knew it couldve been that easy, i mightve worked it into the design. I mean, probably not since im really lazy, but still

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                  • #10
                    Wow! Really nice. But did you cut those flanks with a chisel or what? Is that from tool chatter? I'm cheap and lazy. I bought a 2" and 3" from Shars.

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                    • #11
                      Geoff-
                      Super excellent !

                      EpicFail-
                      Super nice job as well.

                      I have 2 Flynn boring heads of 6" diameter that take 1-1/4" and 1-1/2" bars respectivly.
                      My latest boring head, Summit brand, is 20" and takes a 2" bar.
                      Use it on the HBM.

                      --Doozer
                      DZER

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CCWKen View Post
                        Wow! Really nice. But did you cut those flanks with a chisel or what? Is that from tool chatter? I'm cheap and lazy. I bought a 2" and 3" from Shars.
                        Its actually not nearly as bad in real life as the photo makes it look, you can blame bright, raking lights on a shiny surface for that. Granted there is a bit of chatter on there, but not even enough to really feel. Couldve been better of course, but ill freely admit that side cutting 1/2" deep with a 1/4" end mill is right at the edge of my little mini mills capabilities, even at a minimal stepover. Gotta live with a bit of chatter sometimes, shouldve heard the thing cutting the dovetails, now THAT was an adventure...

                        Knew i forgot to do something, got the CAD file for anybody who stumbles across this in the future and wants to build their own: https://cults3d.com/en/3d-model/tool...ead-epicfail48

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                        • #13
                          a good project - well done!
                          in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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                          • #14
                            Wow that came out nice! I gotta try that someday... With 40 TPI, you only need 25 divisions

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                            • #15
                              Great job. Nice looking tool that will serve you many years to come.

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