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Hand held tool turning on metal lathe

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  • #16
    Tom S, I've seen the videos on the Turnado and similar setups using a hand held post on a flat table. It might happen at some point for working with steel. But for now the simple angle iron plain rest and wood working tools works for softer metals and plastics.

    A few years back I made this handle for my shaper which had come without a hand crank for the table screws. The turn'y bit was roughed out using a round nose HSS tool to get things close. Then I started with a coarse file. That got old REALLY fast and I stopped, removed the tool post, laid an old bed sheet over the bed and finished it with an angle grinder and flap disc then polished with fine emery cloth strip. It also changed a lot under the control and power of that flap disc from looking a lot like a club to what you see below. Size wise it is 4" long by 3/4" diameter.

    MOST things can be done by the numbers for sure. And to be fair if I had done the shape in CAD then made up a table of steps and cuts it could well have been done with a series of "by the numbers" plunge cuts with a smaller radius round nose form tool. Then a once over to remove the worst of the peaks between those and a LOT of file work. But sometimes it's fun to more or less wing it.....

    Click image for larger version

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    Chilliwack BC, Canada

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    • #17
      I was making pens a few years back as an intro to wood turning. My tool rest was ,simplicity itself. I cut a 6 inch piece of angle aluminum, and drilled a hole in one side to match the hold down stud of the QCTP. Off comes the QCTP, on goes the rest. Adjust to be close to the work so that the force of the tool cutting is overcome by the leverage of the longer handle.

      The pen was made on this minilathe.

      A better choice than aluminum would be angle Iron (old bed frame, anyone???), cut or shimmed to the right height and top edge somewhat polished.

      Click image for larger version

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      At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

      Location: SF East Bay.

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      • #18
        I forgot to mention; an L shaped rest (aka angle iron) can also be easily fastened to a QCTP tool holder, though the body of the QCTP can cause problems. But what happens when you use a boring bar for a rest? It's common to have one that is hanging out many inches.

        Dan
        At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

        Location: SF East Bay.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by danlb View Post
          I forgot to mention; an L shaped rest (aka angle iron) can also be easily fastened to a QCTP tool holder, though the body of the QCTP can cause problems. But what happens when you use a boring bar for a rest? It's common to have one that is hanging out many inches.

          Dan
          Center line is center line. I just rest a mill file with a grind on the end aginist the QCTool holder. Done this quite a few times, but never need a fancy tool rest, cuz it was a Gee- job and didnt require anything precision. Was going to make a ball turning tool for my lathe, but with point to point YZ Tabulations and a file, I am good.
          Last edited by Fasturn; 10-14-2021, 12:08 PM.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by BCRider View Post
            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.


            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.

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

            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.

            Speed, feed, tool geometry. The machine doesn't know what it's doing. It only responds based on the inputs. Some metal turning lathes simply lack the spindle speed to do small hand part turning. I was brought up in the old school where you don't do wood turning on a metal lathe primarily because of the wood dust potentially causing problems with the all important lubrication system. A problem, but not impossible to deal with. Of course this was in a shop already set up with a separate, well equipped wood turning area.

            Nice looking finished part. Thanks for sharing the process.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by danlb View Post
              I forgot to mention; an L shaped rest (aka angle iron) can also be easily fastened to a QCTP tool holder, though the body of the QCTP can cause problems. But what happens when you use a boring bar for a rest? It's common to have one that is hanging out many inches.

              Dan
              A longer boring bar or a piece of round stock of the same size in a holder would also work just fine. Not too big mind you as a larger size shifts the support point further off the work than we'd want. But something like 1/2 to 5/8inch would be fine.

              Keep in mind though that the bar needs to be able to be lowered so the top of the bar is well below center by the thickness of the turning tool. That factor would likely mean that one would need to use a fairly small diameter bar in the holder and then lower it all the way. In my case I've only got enough room to permit the use of a 3/8 rod. a 1/2" bar or rod would not give me enough room for the turning tool to be at the spindle axis.

              Instead of this I think you have the right idea with the angle iron. But perhaps I'm seeing it used in a different way.... because of this height issue I see a piece of 3/4 or 1" angle iron set into a tool holder with the vertical flange downwards and the turning tool resting on the edge of the flat upper. This way we get our rigidity and we can adjust easily to bring the rest up so the scraper tool for brass or plastic is angled for a slight negative top rake and the tool only glides along the edge of the rest and not on the flat.

              Tom, I can see avoiding turning wood on some metal lathes. But now and then I've done a job on my own metal lathe which just wasn't really viable or would have been awkward on the wood lathe for some reason. I didn't worry about it other than the extra cleaning since my carriage has felt wipers to block swarf and wood chips from going where they don't belong. It IS an oily mess to clean though.
              Chilliwack BC, Canada

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