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Making good quality Morse tapers at home.

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  • Making good quality Morse tapers at home.

    For over 40 yrs I have occasionally machined my own Morse taper arbors, from #1 to #5.
    I get them pretty near using either taper attachments or setting the top slide over then finally " Adjust" using a lathe file then emery cloth backed by the lathe file.
    I test them against purchased , seemingly good quality Morse taper sleeves , magic marker works well for seeing if the tapers match..
    They come out pretty well, some I have had in use for 30 yrs or more and they still hold well and remove with a gentle bump.
    When doing the final fitting I find that just a touch with file or emery will make quite a difference, so I have learned to be gentle and patient while finishing up.
    However, I still wonder, can I do any better? Are there any better ways to make these at home?( Apart from bringing cylindrical grinders etc home!!!!)
    Regards David Powell.

  • #2
    I've made a few myself, including R8's. I rough turn on the lathe and finish grind on the T&C grinder. I set my grinder taper by indicating off a good arbor and adjust for fit if needed.
    Involves a bit of time though.

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

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    • #3
      If you don't have a suitable grinder (I don't) then your trial and error method is the best way. I usually set an existing taper between centres, and set the tool slide parallel to that using a dial indicator as a good starting point. It gets tricky if the length of the taper you are trying to do is longer than the travel of the slide.
      'It may not always be the best policy to do what is best technically, but those responsible for policy can never form a right judgement without knowledge of what is right technically' - 'Dutch' Kindelberger

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      • #4
        I made a very good one last time I used a TPG. I first turned it then finished it up with emory and scotch bright. It was way out.
        21" Royersford Excelsior CamelBack Drillpress Restoration
        1943 Sidney 16x54 Lathe Restoration

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        • #5
          Using the taper turning attachment on the museum's Smart & Brown model A, I set the best angle I could and produced a MT2 taper which was not quite right. It was easy to tell which way to adjust as I had a couple of MT2 sockets made for a capstan lathe to try the fits. It helped to have had some extra length and diameter in the workpiece to be able to eventually get a pretty good matching taper. I used an aluminium polished insert for the final cuts along with the 0.001" per turn fine feed on the lathe. After making the MT, I left the taper turning attachment set and it remained like that until recently when we made 6 blade bolts for the Vertol H-21 which are about a 3 degree included angle.

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          • #6
            Have you tried a vertical shear tool for the finall cuts? This ensures cutting only on centre line,and only on a straight line. Here's a quick and dirty one I made from an old D-bit reamer. The end cutting surface is relieved about 7 degrees, and must be sharp.It will only cut a depth of about 0.001", so strictly for finishing. (mount it at 90 degrees to the work, and horizontal. It is rotated about 30 degs. and can be rotated for a fresh cutting surface) Edit -- I should have said the cuttting edge is at 90 degrees to the body.
            You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 2 photos.
            Last edited by ptauser; 09-23-2021, 04:55 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ptauser View Post
              Have you tried a vertical shear tool for the finall cuts? This ensures cutting only on centre line.
              interesting point, thats always one of the challenges, being right at centre height. I confess I grind mine and use a level to get things dead on centre, but David doesn't want us talking about grinding

              in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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              • #8
                I've done basically what the OP describes, only not having a T/A, I used the topslide, making #2 and #3 MTs.

                Set up using a DTI against the taper in the spindle (or taper sleeve). MT3 I make 1/2" shorter than spec in the taper, just undercutting so the overall is the same as spec. The toopslide is just a bit short on travel

                Works very well, I made them mostly on arbors to use on a horizontal mill. Some for regular cutters, and some for shell end mills, drill chucks, etc. They always fit snug, have not slipped, and I use the ejecting drawbar to pop them out.
                2730

                Keep eye on ball.
                Hashim Khan

                Everything not impossible is compulsory

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                • #9
                  Years ago I did three MT3 arbors for the mill/drill I had at the time. I did them on my lathe exactly like you described. They locked well and my BIL I gave the old mill to is still using them. And I would have no issue at all with doing it again.
                  Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                  • #10
                    I made a couple the same way David did. I relieved the middle section though so it was only bearing on the ends. That was quite a few years ago, but i don't recall it being too bad. It was a mt2, and 2 mt3 tapers for special tailstock tooling for work. Not long after that we got a cnc lathe and I made a bunch of them in mt2 for my myford at home. Just some 1" O1 with a male mt2 turned on it. Figured they'd be handy to make some custom tailstock tooling like a die holder, and other stuff, but in all these years I've only used 1 lol. Ain't that the way it works.

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                    • #11
                      I know this is home shop central.
                      I get it.
                      But I really hate polishing a taper for size and fit on a lathe.
                      And grit on a lathe drives me nuts.
                      So I bought a universal tool cutter grinder.
                      Then I bought a cylindrical grinder.
                      Then I bought an ID grinder.
                      Grinding just makes it easier to do high precision work.
                      It was a no brainer to make a cylindrical grinder the next
                      purchase after getting a surface grinder. Then making
                      your own tooling tapers for the mill and the lathe becomes
                      easy. Think of all the money in tooling you cheapskates will
                      save if you just buy a cylindrical grinder ! ? ! You could grind
                      rusty rebar into a lathe center ! Then post a pic here.
                      You guys are missing the boat. Then heat treat it and quench
                      it in camel snot. Home quench recipe, don't cha know ?

                      -D
                      DZER

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                      • #12
                        I share the basement with my wife. She too is a hobbyist. Her woodshop is in the basement. We simply do not have room for much more stuff, let alone more machine tools, There's model traction engines and dolls houses in the bedrooms, railway engines and dolls house furniture in the china cabinets, her loom and piano in the basement rec room, bookshelves everywhere, intricate sewing framed on most walls, Much of our furniture was made by her father and he did some of the paintings. Oh we have dreams, and buy the odd lottery ticket. We have enough projects in hand or mind to last several lifetimes. Just wish we had the energy we had when we were young. Regards David Powell.

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                        • #13
                          I'm back home now so I can include a picture that was on my home 'puter.

                          No fancy grinders for me. Just not enough room anymore. And certainly there was no room for such luxuries when I made these.

                          Of these three the two upper parts, slitting saw arbor and 3/4" end mill holder were made by me. The boring head is the only factory arbor.

                          As Dave did I used an MT3 socket as the fitting guide. Lines of felt marker were run along the length and the socket fitted very lightly and given a little twist. This clearly marked the high spots which were at first touched up with a slight kick of the compound angle then a skim cut pass was performed. But once I got really close it was just a light kiss on the high marks with a lathe file. And I do mean light. It took about 10 minutes of this mark, test, file, mark, test, file stuff to get to where I had some rub marking along the whole length. And at that point a rather light bump into the socket resulted in the need for a serious bump to free the taper from the socket. So that was good enough for this guy!

                          I later realized that eyeballing the indicator finger for center height with tapers isn't by any means close enough. And that was the reason for needing a bump of the compound angle for the first one to get the rough taper to the correct value. The other two (one isn't in this picture) didn't need this same skim cut with the compound. Just the marking, test rub and light file work to reach the same level of acceptable self locking.

                          My big smooth lathe file leaves a rather nice finish so no emery was used at all on these parts.

                          Click image for larger version

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                          Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Doozer View Post
                            I know this is home shop central.
                            I get it.
                            But I really hate polishing a taper for size and fit on a lathe.
                            And grit on a lathe drives me nuts.
                            So I bought a universal tool cutter grinder.
                            Then I bought a cylindrical grinder.
                            Then I bought an ID grinder.
                            Grinding just makes it easier to do high precision work.
                            It was a no brainer to make a cylindrical grinder the next
                            purchase after getting a surface grinder. Then making
                            your own tooling tapers for the mill and the lathe becomes
                            easy. Think of all the money in tooling you cheapskates will
                            save if you just buy a cylindrical grinder ! ? ! You could grind
                            rusty rebar into a lathe center ! Then post a pic here.
                            You guys are missing the boat. Then heat treat it and quench
                            it in camel snot. Home quench recipe, don't cha know ?

                            -D
                            That ain't just a Doozer rant. It's good sense.

                            A grinder is on my list, cylindrical grinder. Already have a somewhat cobbled together T&C. Even with that, which can function as a cylindrical grinder, many things are easier and work better.

                            When you really want a grinder finish, it's darn hard to beat....... wait for it.........a real grinder.

                            Yah I did do some stuff with a TPG, and it worked out really well too. About as well as using a T&C grinder. But it gravels me to get grit all over the lathe. I know it's not as bad as it seems if covered decently, but still. I scraped parts of that lathe, and I hate the idea.
                            2730

                            Keep eye on ball.
                            Hashim Khan

                            Everything not impossible is compulsory

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Yes, I'm sure fancy grinders are on the wish list of those that don't have them, but if you ain't got one and you need to make a taper, then Daves method is the only one I know, and with care will produce acceptable results.
                              'It may not always be the best policy to do what is best technically, but those responsible for policy can never form a right judgement without knowledge of what is right technically' - 'Dutch' Kindelberger

                              Comment

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