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About the washer arbor shop tip

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  • About the washer arbor shop tip

    You don't need to use a lathe to turn down the outside of a washer. Throw a thin rod (I usually use a wood nail pencils or pens work OK too though) through a washer (it has to be loose), then bring the washer edge up to a running grinding wheel and guide the washer's sides with your thumbs while the washer runs with the wheel. Works like a charm! Someone taught me this trick when I worked in a machine shop.

    I'd take a picture of how to do it but I need to use two hands to hold the rod, guide the washer etc. It is dead simple to do though and works great. If the whole guiding it with your thumbs thing freaks you out you can guide the washer with a pair of pliers jaws too (remember you're guiding not holding, so the jaws are loose on the washer). Pliers are a better bet if it is a really small washer. For bigger washers thumbs and some common sense work well enough for me though.

    OK I'll try to mock the setup up but really if you can't figure it out from what I wrote maybe you shouldn't do this? Oh, and forget about the clamp holding the pliers. It is only there because I couldn't hold the rod, the pliers, and the camera all at the same time. You should have two hands so hold the rod with one, and the pliers with the other. All of you one armed bandits are on your own.

  • #2
    How do know you will end up with a round OD?


    • #3
      The washer rides on the axle. If the axle is held steady the washer will spin as long as there is a high spot.

      Not perfect, but pretty good for most uses.

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


      • #4
        You don't need to use a grinder to turn down the outside of a washer

        Put the washers onto a thin rod, fasten a piece of string to the ends of the rod and attach the midpoint to the stempost of the saddle of an ordinary bicycle. Measure the outside diameter of the washers, then ride for a quarter of a mile. Stop and measure the new outside diameter. You can now calculate how far to cycle to finish the job

        You might do a better job with a lathe though



        • #5
          Reminds me of my trick I had to use to turn down the head of some cap screws.
          Insert threaded end into drill press chuck, turn on drill press, use file

          Couldn't be assed to setup my lathe
          Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.


          • #6
            I have used the washer on a rod or the washer on a bolt with a nut holding it straight but able to rotate for years. I came up with it years ago while trying to find a washer small enough to fit in a counter bore. I hold the washer at a 45 deg angle to the wheel when I grind them down. If you just use a shaft or rod the washer wobbles around to much so most the time I use a bolt and nut to hold it from wobbling. The only problem is it leaves a burr on one side of the washer you have to get rid of.
            It's only ink and paper


            • #7
              Agree with Carld, i too have held the washers at 45 degrees, just seemed a better way of using it.


              • #8
                I use a trick similar to the OP's trick years ago to reduce the size of the head of a socket head cap screw. I put the screw in a drill and ran it while to touched the head to a bench grinder. That was 20 years before I had a lathe. Now I do it the easy accurate way.


                • #9
                  I just put a couple of nuts on to protect the threads and tie a string to the bumper of my car with the SHCS tied to the other end ... the chat roads round here do a nice job of deburring and grinding at the same time.

                  My Web Site


                  • #10
                    If I want a quick point on a short rod, I chuck it in a drill and hold the rod at an angle and spin it against a running belt sander. Takes about as long as sharpening a pencil. Works great for round soapstones too (use those in my big shop compass).



                    • #11
                      I liked the arbor tip but thought that if one were to use a coupler nut and coutersink one end you would not need the additional washer as there would be a releif for the screw head.