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Is there a better way to make these?

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  • Is there a better way to make these?

    Looking for suggestions with a component I make in small batches.

    I'm a one-man small home shop guy with all manual machines, Bridgeport,Colchester, boxford etc, no CNC at all. I make and sell some small key type tools for the printing trade, similar to lathe chuck keys.

    They have a square tip which I'm currently using a 5c collet block in the mill vice to cut the four sides to the tip.

    Is this the easiest solution or is there something I am missing that could be easier or faster?

    I'm using the side of a 1/2" cutter so I get a nice rounded fillet at the join of the square peg and the main body shaft.

    Was wondering about a 5c spin-dexer with a four hole plate fitted but I'm not convinced this would be better.

    Thanks for any ideas.
    If it does'nt fit, hit it.
    https://ddmetalproducts.co.uk
    http://www.davekearley.co.uk

  • #2
    What you are doing is the way that I would go. I would probably play with both the horizontal or vertical positions. If you have power feed vertical will probably be better.
    Byron Boucher
    Burnet, TX

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    • #3
      I use an 8" "speed spacer" for operations like you are doing, Dave.
      Quick to set the required divisions, just screw the index pin into the appropriate location, then pull the handle.
      In the last pic you can see the index pin is set for 8 divisions.








      Rex

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      • #4
        I don't have anything useful to add but I think it is very cool that letterpress is still alive and there is a market for quoin keys.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by BigMike782 View Post
          I don't have anything useful to add but I think it is very cool that letterpress is still alive and there is a market for quoin keys.
          It's very cool, I have worked with print in many forms for the last 34 years, it's surprising how much interest there is the old ways.

          Did you recognise the tool from the description or look at my web site
          If it does'nt fit, hit it.
          https://ddmetalproducts.co.uk
          http://www.davekearley.co.uk

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          • #6
            Set a stop on the vise for the collet block to back up against and a stop for the mill table. Collet blocks are simple and easy to use. No need to spend more money on that operation.

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            • #7
              used those many times in my carrier

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              • #8
                That's a nice looking bit of kit there Rex, would need a collet mount to be quicker though I feel.


                I could possibly go for a custom fixture on the horizontal mill and use gang-milling with two half round cutters mounted??

                That method would mean the size is fixed by the shims between the cutters but would possibly need a custom fixture to hold the stubs, of course with some thought I could make a block fixture that could take five or ten stubs at a time, make a pass, then I'd index all ten and make another pass.

                Question then is how to grip and how to index ten half-cut stubs by 90deg??
                If it does'nt fit, hit it.
                https://ddmetalproducts.co.uk
                http://www.davekearley.co.uk

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Toolguy View Post
                  Set a stop on the vise for the collet block to back up against and a stop for the mill table. Collet blocks are simple and easy to use. No need to spend more money on that operation.
                  That's exactly what I do now
                  If it does'nt fit, hit it.
                  https://ddmetalproducts.co.uk
                  http://www.davekearley.co.uk

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If you're making quantities why not run multiple collet blocks in a clamping fixture? Collet blocks and collets are pretty cheap.

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                    • #11
                      You could put 4 collet block setups on end in a 6 inch vise. Run down the back side, move over, run down the front side, turn each block 90 and repeat. You would want to make a nylon, Delrin or some type of soft jaw on the movable side to make up for any variations in the collet blocks.

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                      • #12
                        I have problems with chatter some times doing it the way you're doing it.

                        I generally use some V-block jaws and stand the round stock straight up in the vise, find center, then cut all 4 sides of the square with the X and Y. If you're doing a few, bore a set of soft jaws or use v-blocks with a vise stop.

                        For example, using a 1/2" endmill, zero your DRO on center, move .500" off in each direction and take your cut. I use a cutter with a .120" or so nose radius.

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