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Internal Grooves

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  • Internal Grooves

    Any suggestions for cutting internal grooves for snap rings? I just bought a lathe and my ability to acurately grind tooling is nil. I'm hoping to buy something similar to an internal threader. I've searched the catalogs I have and haven't found anything. I assume I'm not the only one who wants to do this, but so far I haven't turned up anything.

  • #2
    I draw a picture of what I want the tool to look like, but several times larger than actual. Then I start grinding. I use a jeweler's loupe to compare my cutter to my picture. As I get closer to the finished product I move from the grinding wheel to my disk sander and belt sander. For really fussy stuff I will burnish with a stone or diamond grit style knife sharpening plate.

    Take the time to practice on various shapes. This basic skill will save your ass time and again and it's really quite easy to do if you go at it methodically.

    For some fun tool grinding examples, visit Frank Ford's site and look at his knurling tools.


    • #3
      I have one I use now and then for retaining rings. MSC carries them in many sizes. For example-
      You can pretty easily grind them yourself as well. The solid carbide tools are pretty nice though.



      • #4
        There's no magic to tool grinding. Just keep in mind the the only part of the tool you want to touch the piece is the cutting edge. Everything else has to be ground for clearance leaving as much as you can for strength.
        It takes some practice to get it right the first time. I've been going it for 20 years and still have to do a little dressing most of the time when I make a new tool. Don't be afraid to try it. It's all part of the game.

        I've also ground a few inexpensive carbide tip boring bars like the PhaseII to make internal grooving tools. You have to be careful that they don't get too hot when your grinding them, or the braze that holds the carbide to the shank may let loose.
        Home Model Engine Machinist


        • #5
          Thanks guys. My raw material supply is still almost nonexistant; and I don't have the time right now, even if I had the right materials. I think I will go the MSC route. Thanks for the link.