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Hand held tool turning on metal lathe

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  • Hand held tool turning on metal lathe

    Every now and then it would be handy to do simple hand held turning on the metal lathe. For me this came up yesterday when I spent the afternoon sprucing up my shaper. One of the lower doors had no handle at all and the other had the wrong sort of handle. So I made up two small handles that closely match the stock handles on the other access doors for the shaper.

    After turning the back taper, drilling and threading I realized that it would be a lot easier if I could "hand turn" the domed shape for the top of the knobs. This led to making up the quickie simple rest shown in this picture which shows turning a similar simple dome on some plastic bar.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	plain turning on lathe 1.JPG Views:	0 Size:	236.9 KB ID:	1961291
    It's just a piece of angle iron cut and drilled and the height was set so that with the scraper tool shown the cutting height would be slightly above center if the tool is held dead level. This promotes a slight negative top rake which works very nicely on plastics and even wood.

    Here's a shot showing the height and negative angle used for the best results for turning plastics like this.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	Plain turning on lathe 3.JPG Views:	0 Size:	211.0 KB ID:	1961289

    And a shot of one of the knobs turned for the shaper.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	Plain turning on lathe 2.JPG Views:	0 Size:	184.2 KB ID:	1961290

    The scraper tool for this is one I use for wood turning frequently. I've used this same plain rest with the same scraper tool for smaller brass items as well.

    Hope this idea for a simple plain rest for freehand turning helps a few to give it a try.
    Chilliwack BC, Canada

  • #2
    You are only limited by your imagination.
    And the laws of physics.
    (which are always being re-written).

    -D
    DZER

    Comment


    • #3
      Seen metal spinners to cut even steel with hand held tools.
      Location: Helsinki, Finland, Europe

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      • #4
        Originally posted by MattiJ View Post
        Seen metal spinners to cut even steel with hand held tools.
        Yes. Notice the tools, though.... mostly they are very long, for good leverage against cutting force and any "catching", as they cut through.
        2730

        Keep eye on ball.
        Hashim Khan

        Everything not impossible is compulsory

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        • #5
          I often hand turn brass on a wood lathe, wood on a metal lathe, plastic on both, you’ll find numerous clips of this on clicksprings YouTube videos, as rightly pointed out spinners do it all the time, well done for getting it done, looked good ( hell screw threads were “struck” with chasers by hand back in the dim distant past, )
          mark

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          • #6
            About 300 yrs ago, all turning was done by hand.... including threading! Whitworth used to manufacture a line of thread chasers for just that purpose.
            25 miles north of Buffalo NY, USA

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            • #7
              Just like using a wood lathe. Great for odd shapes / contouring where accuracy isn't critical.

              JL..............

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              • #8
                I have a wood lathe too. But for this case and others like it I don't have an easy way to hold the work. So about a half hour of work to make the tool rest for the metal lathe opened up a lot more of a flexible options.
                Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                • #9
                  "which are always being re-written"

                  Boy, that is the most intelligent thing about physics that I have heard from someone else in a long time. ALL of science is ALWAYS being revised! And that most particularly includes climate science. Science is a constant cycle of observation and the creation of theories and more observation and then the creation of new theories, etc. That process, that cycle never ends.

                  This is the essence of science which many people do not realize or understand. All too many of those people are practicing scientists and they think their latest theories are the be-all and end-all of science and they refuse to tolerate the questioning of those theories. This is not a recent thing. Unfortunately the history of science is filled with such, closed minded people.

                  The giants in the field are the ones who do question and who do have imaginations.



                  Originally posted by Doozer View Post
                  You are only limited by your imagination.
                  And the laws of physics.
                  (which are always being re-written).

                  -D
                  Paul A.
                  SE Texas

                  And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
                  You will find that it has discrete steps.

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                  • #10
                    I have a couple of wood turning tools which I have used on the odd occasions for making wood parts on my SB-9. I have used tool blanks and bent square stock as rests.

                    But I am not sure I recommend it. I do clean up the wood chips and saw dust well after such a session.
                    Paul A.
                    SE Texas

                    And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
                    You will find that it has discrete steps.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      There’s actually a fellow out of Aus who has designed and sells a system for easy freehand turning on a metal lathe (other than with a graver and hand rest). His system has a table that mounts to the lathe bed and a puck holding a 0-rake insert that slides on the table. There are a few attachments to allow for ball turning or following a template, or you can operate the puck free hand.

                      Cayuga, Ontario, Canada

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BCRider View Post
                        I have a wood lathe too. But for this case and others like it I don't have an easy way to hold the work. So about a half hour of work to make the tool rest for the metal lathe opened up a lot more of a flexible options.
                        Good stuff, been doing this for a long time. Use drills to chamfered holes before threading same way. Aluminum is " white pine" for most of us. I would never of posted this for the Flames, but you did it in a friendly way! I think we / some have a few very dirty tricks making things. Some of mine are on the edge of the cliff ! LOL~ THANKS .

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                        • #13
                          I'd say the majority of watch repair work is done with a hand tool, i.e. balance staffs are turned by hand.

                          I've done it a number of times on bigger lathes. Some people have made a complete accessory kit for this - flat surface on the cross slide with a block that floats on it and holds the tool which would make it easier. I've always just used a large boring bar as a rest and a heavy bit of hss firmly held in vise grips. (low brow free hand turning). Zero rake to limit the DOC (stops digging in). Very handy for handles. Two examples

                          one by Levin, one by me (just the handle portion)





                          one by Schaublin, one by me


                          Last edited by Mcgyver; 09-16-2021, 08:55 PM.
                          in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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                          • #14
                            Nice, Mcgyver, Nice
                            I am a numbers guy myself, but appreciate the artists in this group !

                            Rich
                            Green Bay, WI

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                            • #15
                              I've done that by cranking the dials, then blended it with a lathe file. Seems to turn out fine, no fixture making, pretty easy to crank dials to get what is wanted..

                              I've done the graver on the watch lathe, and that was fine also.
                              2730

                              Keep eye on ball.
                              Hashim Khan

                              Everything not impossible is compulsory

                              Comment

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