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Making good quality Morse tapers at home.

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    The Metal Butcher
    Senior Member

  • The Metal Butcher
    replied
    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
    Right. But there are a few counterarguments. In general, I agree.
    1. Abrasive is harder to get help for. A million hobbiests with lathes, but less with grinders. Less advice for finish, wheel selection, feeds and speeds, etc.
    2. I see 100 lathes for sale for every cylindrical grinder.
    3. Most the ones I see for sale are giant, 12' TOS monsters. I do want one. But they're also like $3k and not really necessary for my work right now.
    4. I know what I like in a lathe. Long carriage wings, full length X-slide, full gearhead, enclosed QCGB, carriage reverse, overhung tailstock, ways extending past the headstock, individual feed clutches, reversing motor clutch, etc. I know exactly what I want. If Build-A-Bear took over Monarch (and I was rich), I think I could dump $200k pretty easily and walk out with a true Rolls Royce. Cylindrical grinder? No clue. I can only guess. Someday? Yea man. But I got a lot of other stuff to buy first. For now my lathe will have to suffer a bit of grit I guess.

    Originally posted by J Tiers View Post

    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.
    Incredible to me knowing that the Nardini at work has had 100s of lbs of abrasive grit probably in it's lifetime, yet the ways are barely scratched. Must be hard as diamond. My Daewoo definitely saw some wear from it though.


    Originally posted by Doozer View Post
    Funny, I have a small home shop size cylindrical grinder that I have been trying to sell for
    I think 2 years over on PM and no one wants it. Sometimes I think I am the only person
    who actually loves machining.
    It's a project though right? See again, I'd have a lot of trouble evaluating condition on something like that. And if I'm going to a grinder, then that means my best lathe isn't up to snuff. And then that means I'll need at least a decent grinder. A clapped out grinder isn't going to solve my issues. (Not saying yours is.)

    Originally posted by Doozer View Post
    But considering hiring out the
    work you don't have the tools for. Maybe rough out some Morse taper shank toolholders on
    your lathe, send them out for hardening, and then send them to a shop to be ground.
    Why not? Do what you can do and send it to a specialist for the rest. Lots of guys work on their
    cars. But most take their car to the alignment shop to get the front end dialed in. Same thing right ?
    It is smarter to hire out the work you don't have capacity for, rather than bodge it to just get it done.
    That way you don't surround yourself with second-rate stuff that is only going to frustrate you when
    you try to use it. Sloppy, ill-fitting tooling is no joy. Figure out what path is right for you and keep
    moving forward. There is no shame to say you lathe is not capable of turning a repeatable and
    accurate taper. It is the smarter man who sees when to modify his quest and seek out a higher path.
    Absolutely.

    Actually.

    I think I may agree with JR's barter system here. It would be pretty cool to trade favors with the forum members, pure barter. For example, I suck at fussy work. Making stuff like way wipers or small internal parts. Gears, worms, hardened stuff, making insert holders, watchmaker like work, that's not up my alley. Even if I can do it, it won't be great and it will take me too long to be practical. But if someone needs 100lbs of stock removed in an hour, yeah, I can do that. 8" 2TPI thread, sure.

    But then again I tend to think up projects in my capabilities. Maybe you don't and I applaud you for that. But I suspect most of us do.

    Originally posted by Fasturn View Post
    Ok you have all the high tech ways to make one, now heres the Low tech way. You can find it on Ebay.

    Click image for larger version

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    I'd actually like that. I dislike T/As as most are leadscrew-pushers, which naturally tend towards indeterminate position due to backlash and tool-pressure. So then you've got to cut HS to TS big to little. With that do-jobber, no issues. No need for a T/A. But it won't do a 29" shaft like the last taper I made. Also, that made me realize what a radius center is for.

    Leave a comment:

  • BCRider
    Senior Member

  • BCRider
    replied
    Using some felt marker as a witnessing "shim" for a continuing cut or even just to come back to a cut after moving the carriage and forgetting the setting is a slick idea. Thanks for that David!

    I find that folks are often reluctant to shift their tail stock. Yet with an easy trick it's easy peasy to reset it back to center. The trick is to have a short slug of metal on hand which starts out life a little bigger than the tail stock ram. Chuck the slug and give it a skim cut so it's round and on axis. Mic the OD of the slug and tail stock ram. Divide the difference in two. It can be a little positive with a bigger slug or it can be a bit negative with a smaller slug than the ram. But the closer it is the easier to use.

    Now set up a dial gauge in the tool post so it is dead on center height. Take that magic number of half the difference in the two diameters and as you move from measuring the slug to the ram that is the jump you need to see. If you zero off the slug at some mid point in the gauge travel and move over to the ram it becomes as simple as dialing in the two movement control screws in the tail stock to hit your number.

    I dare say it would take less time to do than to read through this thread. And certainly a better method with a lot less overhang than the various offset gizmos folks have bought or made over the years.

    Of course if the lathe came with a nice taper attachment then that's another story....

    Leave a comment:

  • David Powell
    Senior Member

  • David Powell
    replied
    In a long ago job I used to machine large conveyor rollers
    .To speed things up we usually made the tapers using hand feed of the top slide( Still call the compound the top slide) rather than setting the tailstock over
    . When I ran out of travel I would unlock the saddle, move it along and by using both handles, ie cross feed and compound virtually simultaneously bring the tool to just touch the previously turned taper and then lock the saddle and extend the taper as needed
    Given care a wide point magic marker and a minute or two I can still make a virtually undetectable " Match up". So my tapers can be full length even using the SB 9s very short travel compound.
    Thats one place where skill and ingenuity can overcome the difficulties of doing rather larger work than the SB9 was expected to do.
    Regards David Powell.

    Leave a comment:

  • Paul Alciatore
    Senior Member

  • Paul Alciatore
    replied
    Well I might look at it, but right now is a bad time for me $$$-wise.

    PM a link to me so I can at least check it out.

    Paul A.



    Originally posted by Doozer View Post
    Funny, I have a small home shop size cylindrical grinder that I have been trying to sell for
    I think 2 years over on PM and no one wants it. Sometimes I think I am the only person
    who actually loves machining. I always want to learn more.

    ...<snip>...

    -----Doozer

    Leave a comment:

  • J Tiers
    Senior Member

  • J Tiers
    replied
    Originally posted by darryl View Post
    This has always been a two part problem for me. First, how to set the compound at the exact angle of the taper, and second that my compound doesn't have the range to turn the full length of the taper without repositioning. I solved the first problem by making a setting tool for the angle, and going though a trial and error until a machined part came out perfect. For the second problem, I started making my morse taper adapters shorter, and adding a short length of 3/8 allthread and a coupling nut so I could use the existing securing device.
    Same for me, so I use the compound, but cut the last bit of an MT3 under diameter and straight, so that I don't need any extra allthread or nuts. The total is the same as a standard taper, the last 16mm or so is cut cylindrical just below the standard diameter at the tip of the taper.

    Makes no difference in use.

    Leave a comment:

  • darryl
    Senior Member

  • darryl
    replied
    This has always been a two part problem for me. First, how to set the compound at the exact angle of the taper, and second that my compound doesn't have the range to turn the full length of the taper without repositioning. I solved the first problem by making a setting tool for the angle, and going though a trial and error until a machined part came out perfect. For the second problem, I started making my morse taper adapters shorter, and adding a short length of 3/8 allthread and a coupling nut so I could use the existing securing device.

    Leave a comment:

  • Fasturn
    Senior Member

  • Fasturn
    replied
    Ok you have all the high tech ways to make one, now heres the Low tech way. You can find it on Ebay.

    Click image for larger version

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Views:	170
Size:	15.9 KB
ID:	1963338

    Leave a comment:

  • David Powell
    Senior Member

  • David Powell
    replied
    My workshop is not an end in itself, but a means to be able to build, maintain and run my model steam engines.
    I do not usually build tools, however buying good quality tools bites a bit into my pensions so I have begun making some things which, had I the means, I would have purchased.
    I have two Atlas horizontal mills, one at home and one at the cottage, but had only one 1" arbor. I noted adverts selling arbors for $250 or so US dollars, say $ 300 Canadian, and figured I could build a good one for much less.
    I have a week of thinking and actually making time in an arbor which runs with less than 2 thous tir.
    The keyed stock I used was about half what I bought, so lets say 35 $ including driving to buy it. the rest Spacers and a collar was steel I had in stock, Some of it rusty scrap..
    I am well aware it is not perhaps QUITE as good as a purchased one MIGHT be, but it is a lot straighter than the one which came with the mill.( 5 thous tir).
    ! am sure it will help me make parts or my models Regards David Powell

    Leave a comment:

  • Tim Clarke
    Senior Member

  • Tim Clarke
    replied
    Click image for larger version

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ID:	1963328 Well, I pride myself in having a well equipped home shop. No cylindrical grinder, though. As the previous posts have said, it’s possible to make a decent tapered arbor without grinders. Honestly, I’ve got all commercial MT arbors. But, it’s not always possible to reach for the catalog and order whatever you want.

    A case in point is my Sheldon Horizontal mill. It has a #9 Brown and Sharpe taper. Not much available, and what is, is all too often pretty sad. So I made a couple tool holders for it.

    Leave a comment:

  • BCRider
    Senior Member

  • BCRider
    replied
    There's one other aspect that makes grinding valid. Namely for those that make up then heat treat tooling or parts for projects the resulting hardness can be difficult to cut with anything but a grinder for removing any distortion that occurs during the heat treating. For that we're back to lapping or grinding.

    For most home shop tooling used by one carefully attentive operator though we often get by with mild steel or starting out with moderately tough alloys that are still pretty easily machined. Thus again avoiding the NEED for specialty grinders. Nice to have? FOR SURE! But when it's just a hobby one has to work within the available room and their budget.

    That doesn't mean I don't start drooling over the idea of it though. Same as I drool over the idea of a proper forge and anvil and beating red hot steel into various shapes. But I just don't have the right sort of place or the room in the space I have for the metal shop.

    Leave a comment:

  • Mcgyver
    Senior Member

  • Mcgyver
    replied
    Before dedicated surface and cylinder grinders became available we got by with hand scraping and lapping.
    so long as we're not thinking one replaced the other...all four are the right techniques for certain jobs

    Grinders came in early, slightly tongue in cheek on my part as the question was how to do a better job at it. I doubt they'd get mentioned if it was "how do I turn a taper" You hardly need a grinder to make a good bit of taper tooling.

    I'm sure anyone who has a cylindrical grinder made their fair share of tapers on the lathe before its acquisition. Really, grinder or lathe, does not matter that much for a great deal of taper tooling (i.e. drill sleeves, arbors and other items not involving rotating surfaces, hardened steel etc), a grinder mostly just gives you a better finish and changes what materials can be machined. What does matter:

    1) ability to set up the taper ,, top table on grinder or compound/TA on a lathe - done with gauge blocks and sine bar
    2) ability to get the cutting tool, tool bit or wheel, exactly at centre height
    3) ability to inspect and correct - e.g. plate, surface gauge, indicator, blocks, sign bar

    The context of course is, like the OP asked about, upping your game. David is a very skilled and experienced craftsman so no doubt his tapers work well for the intended use...and as we know, good enough is good enough.

    Mcgyver
    Senior Member
    Last edited by Mcgyver; 09-27-2021, 03:53 PM.

    Leave a comment:

  • BCRider
    Senior Member

  • BCRider
    replied
    It's worth considering that folks did just fine without dedicated grinders for a few hundred years worth of making fine fitted mechanical objects. Before dedicated surface and cylinder grinders became available we got by with hand scraping and lapping. Granted it was and still is more work to do things that way. But these are perfectly viable options.

    As HOME shop machinists that often have limited resources and limited space we also have to make tradeoffs in what we buy. I've got no issue with a lathe and mill and a few other things. These are the core options that permit shaping blocks and rods into useful objects. But only a small percentage of such objects need the precision that comes from well done grinding. And some of us simply do not have the room and/or funds to justify a machine or pair of machines that is only used occasionally.

    So we make do with other methods and frequent testing and measuring during the process to control the metal removal and achieve useable results.

    I don't see where this makes such folks a "lesser" shop user. Heck, given the added thought and skill needed to compensate it might even make such folks more skilled and thoughtful... and slower of course. A big part of the powered surface and cylinder grinders is related to speeding up production after all. Otherwise instead of surface grinding we'd still be hand scraping or lapping on a surface plate.

    Leave a comment:

  • Doozer
    Senior Member

  • Doozer
    replied
    I like to "enjoy the journey" in making things.
    If I have to fight the process, emery and polish
    and go through a bunch of fitting, it kinda makes
    it not fun for me. Might as well go to work and
    dig a hole in the dirt with a shovel for as much
    joy as it brings me.
    If I can set it up on the cylindrical grinder, get a
    nice ground finish, and a perfect blued fit,
    I feel accomplished and satisfied. Making due
    with the tools you have is admirable. Sure.
    We get that. But to keep on the path of making
    due means you are stagnating yourself. Maybe
    people are Ok with personal stagnation. I do
    see it every day. But no one wants to recognize
    that about themselves. They might think that they
    were born into mediocrity and they carry that mindset
    the rest of their lives. I see that here an awful lot.
    It is the enlightened mind that wants to change his
    situation. And not accept the hard life. Again, each of
    us has a path. Everyone has their reasons for stating
    in their own lane. I think the reason people don't
    merge over and pass the rest is that they can't see
    the benefits of doing so. So they just keep slugging
    away. Ya got to have the vision.

    -D
    Doozer
    Senior Member
    Last edited by Doozer; 09-27-2021, 01:36 PM.

    Leave a comment:

  • J Tiers
    Senior Member

  • J Tiers
    replied
    I generally agree.

    What I do not agree with is that not having the "best" way to do something necessarily means you are "bodging" it. There are nearly always other ways of doing the job, which will accomplish the "real goal", which is nearly always making a particular part that works correctly.

    If you can make an MT arbor that runs true, it does not really matter how you did it, unless you are on the clock. If you can only make one that runs "kinda ok", then you probably bodged it, and need to change methods, even if that one you made "will pretty much work".

    Once you need to make several, and have other similar jobs come up, you probably need to start looking for the machine to do that process.

    Leave a comment:

  • Doozer
    Senior Member

  • Doozer
    replied
    Funny, I have a small home shop size cylindrical grinder that I have been trying to sell for
    I think 2 years over on PM and no one wants it. Sometimes I think I am the only person
    who actually loves machining. I always want to learn more. First when I was like 15 years
    old, I got a drill press. Then a lathe. Then a knee mill. Then a surface grinder. I just keep
    getting into a new area of metalworking, learn all about it (or most I can about it), and then
    buy another machine that allows me to learn more. After the surface grinder, I bought a
    cylindrical grinder, then a tool cutter grinder, then an ID grinder. Found a deal on a horizontal
    mill, then found a deal on a horizontal boring mill. Bought 2 different jig borers. Just last
    week I got my first CNC knee milling machine. Need to learn the control now.
    My point is, if you keep flogging along with make-do methods, your work will continue to
    be mediocre and you don't progress your learning. You just keep hacking away on stuff that
    kind-of works. If you are serious about metalworking, step up. Make it a priority.
    I built a machine shop on my land because I am serious about metalworking. I am serious
    about being able to fix things myself. And fix them the right way. I am serious about not buying
    cheap junk that breaks in 1 use. I like being smart and self-sufficient. I like being able to take
    care of problems and fix them myself. I am set up to weld and cut and fabricate and move
    heavy things, transport heavy things. I am set up to turn, mill, grind, bore, contour, a whole host
    of metalworking operations on workpieces from pretty small to a work envelope the size of about
    a 2 foot cube for my mills and 6 foot shaft for my lathe. Think about that for a minute. A chunk
    of steel, 2 foot cube size, will fit on my planer or my horizontal boring mill. It will fit on my jig
    borers as well. I have forklift and crane capacity of not quite enough to be able to handle the
    weight of a solid steel workpiece, but I could bore a big block engine pretty easily with the machines
    that I have. And hold a very tight tolerance doing it.
    So it all gets down to how serious you are. Different strokes for different folks. I know right?
    I get maybe owning this or that machine might not be for you. But considering hiring out the
    work you don't have the tools for. Maybe rough out some Morse taper shank toolholders on
    your lathe, send them out for hardening, and then send them to a shop to be ground.
    Why not? Do what you can do and send it to a specialist for the rest. Lots of guys work on their
    cars. But most take their car to the alignment shop to get the front end dialed in. Same thing right ?
    It is smarter to hire out the work you don't have capacity for, rather than bodge it to just get it done.
    That way you don't surround yourself with second-rate stuff that is only going to frustrate you when
    you try to use it. Sloppy, ill-fitting tooling is no joy. Figure out what path is right for you and keep
    moving forward. There is no shame to say you lathe is not capable of turning a repeatable and
    accurate taper. It is the smarter man who sees when to modify his quest and seek out a higher path.


    -----Doozer

    Leave a comment:

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