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home-shop splines?

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  • home-shop splines?

    second question for the evening: any good tips for cutting splines?

    i have a small(ish) shaft.. about 3/4" in diameter and 3' long.. i need to cut splines
    into both ends.. 6 splines per side, about 3" long.

    never have cut splines before.. or gears. i have a H/V rotary table (no indexing plates, just the graduated scale on the side).

    if i get a cutter for the mill, do i have any hope of getting good splines without an indexing table?

    how much should i expect to pay for a small cutter (profile, gear-tooth ... these "splines" roll on a rack like a gear) and the arbor to mount in a bridgeport?

    thanks again,

  • #2
    For the cutter try Ash Gear in Detroit. They sell used tooling along with new. As far as the arbor goes make your own. If you have any 5C collets maybe it might not be a bad idea to pick up one of those collet blocks sets. That would probably as much as a decent arbor anyway.
    Forty plus years and I still have ten toes, ten fingers and both eyes. I must be doing something right.


    • #3
      It sounds as though you have involute splines on your shaft as opposed to the older straight splines.
      These splines are hobbed commercially and I don't know if anyone can prove me wrong but I have never seen or heard of a form cutter, similar to a gear cutter for involute splines.

      It's not possible to use a gear cutter as they are a different pressure angle.
      Unless I'm wrong about these cutters being available then the only way round is to mill to depth with a smaller slitting saw and then mill out with a simple flycutter ground to shape.

      There is no reason why you can't use your H/V table and just use the degree ring.

      John S.

      Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.


      • #4
        "... these "splines" roll on a rack like a gear..."

        Sounds to me like you have a gear not a spline. Get a cutter to match the teeth in the rack. Cutters in that size range are about $20-$30. An R8 arbor will be about $40-$50.


        • #5
          thanks guys.. you're right, they are gears, and not technically splines.. just wanted to highlight the fact that they were, essentially, real long and slender (in fact, look like a splined shaft at first glance) -- and i was worried about rigidity and the H/V rotary table.

          i'll look around for gear cutter and in the meantime give John's idea a try. i think I have a slitting saw just the right size. we'll see how cutting just one groove works out and take it from there. thanks!


          • #6
            there is an article in the september/october issue HSM where a guy made some splines with a Make Do suface grinder built from an old radial arm saw.


            • #7
              A friend of mine had a little Atlas mill and he showed me a fixture his dad made for indexing. It was a pretty simple block with a shaft going through it and an indexing pin on one end at pointing at a right angle to the shaft. One end of the shaft had a ground center point and a disk attached to drive a dog. The other end was for attaching a "change gear" for different divisions. It just had a pin that would engage a gear tooth. It was a pretty neat little device and looked easy to make. Might be handy if you have some change gears laying around.

              This explanation doesn't seem very clear now that I try to read it, so here's a sketch.

              [This message has been edited by vinito (edited 05-06-2004).]


              • #8
                Yeah, sorta like this:

                Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


                • #9
                  sorry, forgot to mention it was sept/oct/84, if you can find one.


                  • #10
                    This one takes R8 collets.

                    To invent, you need a good imagination - and a pile of junk. Thomas A. Edison