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  • Lathe Tool suggestions for an old Newbie.

    I am an old newbie to machining. Have a 10x22 lathe, with AXA QCTP with maximum half inch shank tool holders. I have managed to ground a 3/8 in general purpose tool that seems to face and cut longitudinally.. not well but it works and leaves a fair finish. Have also ground 60 degree and 45 degree tools same shank size, seem to cut OK. I'm looking to see if a couple indexable carbide insert holders might prove useful as I gain a toe hold in this hobby - it is a hobby for me nothing more and I'm moving slowly. I am wondering about these holders, with such a bewildering variety. If I buy a couple of holders, would anyone have experience with, and a suggestion for a "general late turning work" holder type, and which inserts are most useful or available, for just general machining work. Hoping soon to be able to contribute to the site, but currently trying to get just the basics. Thanks in advance for any thoughts, experiences or suggestions. Gary
    S E Michigan

  • #2
    I have a 9" S.B. lathe and soon after I bought it I also bought a "Diamond Tool Holder". I have never been sorry that I did because it works great. The nice thing about them (if you don't already know) is it's a tangential tool holder so you only sharpen the HSS tool on the end and it comes with a special holder that makes sharpening it at the correct angle dead easy.

    My experience with carbide is limited to the cheap brazed carbide ones with the exception of a carbide insert Sandvik brand cut off tool which was an order of magnitude better than the lantern post mounted cutoff blade that came with the lathe. It's mounted on a dedicated monoblock that replaces the compound when in use.
    Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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    • #3
      Originally posted by OaklandGB View Post
      I am an old newbie to machining. Have a 10x22 lathe, with AXA QCTP with maximum half inch shank tool holders. I have managed to ground a 3/8 in general purpose tool that seems to face and cut longitudinally.. not well but it works and leaves a fair finish. Have also ground 60 degree and 45 degree tools same shank size, seem to cut OK. I'm looking to see if a couple indexable carbide insert holders might prove useful as I gain a toe hold in this hobby - it is a hobby for me nothing more and I'm moving slowly. I am wondering about these holders, with such a bewildering variety. If I buy a couple of holders, would anyone have experience with, and a suggestion for a "general late turning work" holder type, and which inserts are most useful or available, for just general machining work. Hoping soon to be able to contribute to the site, but currently trying to get just the basics. Thanks in advance for any thoughts, experiences or suggestions. Gary
      If you want most versatile insert for small lathe go for CCMT06... (metric) or CCMT 2.... (imperialistic) size. Widely available, can remove useful amounts of material on small lathe and fits to smallest common boring bars.
      Second runner up would be DCMT 07... better for profiling, not as robust, won't fit as small holes as above mentioned one.

      If small boring bars are not any priority go for CCMT09 ie set like this:
      https://www.banggood.com/4pcs-SCLCRL...r_warehouse=CN
      Location: Helsinki, Finland, Europe

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      • #4
        This set is a good start and will likely make you forget about HSS provided your lathe is stout enough : https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RZZTSZ6/ref=emc_b_5_i
        The insert style and size is common and easy to find. These holders along with a Diamond tool holder and a cut-off holder will cover 99% of your turning needs.

        RWO

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        • #5
          Originally posted by RWO View Post
          This set is a good start and will likely make you forget about HSS provided your lathe is stout enough : https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RZZTSZ6/ref=emc_b_5_i
          The insert style and size is common and easy to find. These holders along with a Diamond tool holder and a cut-off holder will cover 99% of your turning needs.

          RWO
          And I was going to give warning to stay away from that particular style of crappy insert holders...no proper support or pocket for the insert. OK, they probably work okay-ish if you don't go crazy with cut of depth or interrupted cuts.
          Location: Helsinki, Finland, Europe

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          • #6
            I agree with RWO. He linked to AccusizeTools - 5 Pcs/Set 1/2'' Indexable Carbide Insert Turning Tool Bits, 2380-5082 which use TCMT32.51 inserts.

            There are several advantages to this set, including but not limited to the use of the same insert for all 5 tools. You can use different radius for specific work. A very small radius is TCMT32.50. A pretty blunt one is TCMT32.53. For my small lathe I picked up two sets so that I always have multiple radius mounted and in a QCTP holder so they are ready in seconds.

            I use the same thing (with a 3/8 inch shank) on my 7x12 lathe. I'm considering getting this set for my 9x20.

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

            Location: SF East Bay.

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            • #7
              If you want speed of cut and a quick way to sharpen accurately for repeatability go to carbide inserts. However, they won't normally be as sharp as what you can make your tool steel cutter.

              Grind your cutter bit to the shape you think you want, then bring out the hone and make the cutting edge sharp. Resharpen as necessary. Done right it will cut better and use less power than the carbide insert.

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              • #8
                With regard to the less than great results you're getting from hss, if you don't know already you;ll benefit from learning the basics of how metal cuts as it'll make it intuitive where the rake and and clearance needs to go. Makes grinding them easy when you get why the various angles are where they are. The other thing is spend a minute or two stoning the tool after grinding to put a proper edge on it, that can make a huge difference.
                in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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                • #9
                  Absolutely go carbide for turning, facing, boring. Steer clear from the cheapo sets. A single decent holder alone will cost over $50. Same with the inserts, expect to pay in the teens - each.

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                  • #10
                    I too was latecomer to machining, even though I spent a career teaching budding mechanical engineers.

                    I believed the incredible machinists I am blessed to work beside when they told me long ago that it's just not that hard to grind HSS lathe blanks. And as always, they were right. Reading the specs for industrial tools trying to remove metal at the optimal rate to make money, it appears that everything has to be perfect to get a clean cut... but it simply ain't so.

                    If you can grind a side rake of about 7°, and an end relief at about 10° or so, you can turn and face most anything. If you add a positive back rake of about 10°, you'll be able to generate most any profile you want, in most any material. Read this: Grinding Your Own Lathe Tools. You'll see how straightforward grinding lathe tools is in your home shop. Is it optimal or perfect, are we removing material at industrial efficiencies? Absolutely not, but it's perfectly fine - better than fine, in fact - for your home shop.

                    Buy 4-5 import 1/4" or 3/8" HHS blanks for about $2/each, adjust your tool holder to match, find some direction online and grind away. Get some scrap in the materials you want to work with (mild steel, tool steel, cast iron, aluminum, Delrin, whatever) and try out your newly-ground tools. If they turn and face cleanly, then high-five yourself - you've learned something very valuable. If they don't cut cleanly, figure out WHY they aren't cutting cleanly and then adjust the relief and rake angles until they do. It takes 20 seconds at the grinder, and you'll learn even more. By the time you have ground your 4-5 blanks to stubs, you'll never even think of when its time to head to the grinder or what to do when you get there. Turning, facing, threading (inside and out), boring... it works everywhere on the lathe.

                    You are working in your own shop, for nothing but your own pleasure. Why wouldn't you want to spend the time to learn how to do it "on your own"?
                    SE MI, USA

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mr-Mike View Post
                      Absolutely go carbide for turning, facing, boring. Steer clear from the cheapo sets. A single decent holder alone will cost over $50. Same with the inserts, expect to pay in the teens - each.
                      I don't wish to start an argument, but my experience differs. Use as an example a right hand turning tool. A tool holder for a common insert has very few critical dimensions. For that matter, most tool holders are a 4 ounce length of steel with a pocket for an insert and a hole for the hold down mechanism. As long as the insert is supported well by the pocket and held in place by the screw, you don't get any better performance from a $100 holder than you do for a $10 one.

                      Where you will see a difference that matters is in the screws used to hold the insert in place. The cheap holders are more likely to come with screws that are not hardened and therefore strip more easily. MCS will be happy to sell you replacement screws for only $5 each and $6 shipping.

                      I can say this simply because I have two name brand holders and the rest are either generic "Made in USA" or imports. I've seen no difference in the performance. The only ones that have given me problems were the 1/4 inch shank set from Harbor Freight. The screws were soft. But that whole set, with inserts, was only $25 when I bought them fifteen years ago.

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

                      Location: SF East Bay.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I go with what DrMike says. Will just add ( and others have said the same thing) when you are done grinding hone with a fine stone to get the grinder marks out. Look at the edge with a 10 power loupe and you will see why you are honing and when you have honed enough. Loupes are available from McMaster Carr for a few dollars and having a 5 and 10 power is worth the few bucks.

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                        • #13
                          As much as I HATE to admit, this is actually a good starter set, and inserts are dirt cheap too.

                          I love HSS BUT there are valid reasons one may not want to deal with the grinding and associated mess.

                          Flame me if you like, but doesn't change that the darn things work...you get a nice cross section of useful tools...they would not hold up under in a professional environment,but on a 10" Aisan lathe it's not like they are going to overly stressed.....my buddy got this set just for giggles and we were both floored how well they worked....for 30 bucks at that.
                          https://m.banggood.com/Wholesale-War...SABEgIyY_D_BwE

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by danlb View Post
                            I don't wish to start an argument, but my experience differs. Use as an example a right hand turning tool. A tool holder for a common insert has very few critical dimensions. For that matter, most tool holders are a 4 ounce length of steel with a pocket for an insert and a hole for the hold down mechanism. As long as the insert is supported well by the pocket and held in place by the screw, you don't get any better performance from a $100 holder than you do for a $10 one.

                            Where you will see a difference that matters is in the screws used to hold the insert in place. The cheap holders are more likely to come with screws that are not hardened and therefore strip more easily. MCS will be happy to sell you replacement screws for only $5 each and $6 shipping.

                            I can say this simply because I have two name brand holders and the rest are either generic "Made in USA" or imports. I've seen no difference in the performance. The only ones that have given me problems were the 1/4 inch shank set from Harbor Freight. The screws were soft. But that whole set, with inserts, was only $25 when I bought them fifteen years ago.

                            Dan
                            Agree.

                            It just is not that big a deal. The insert can make a good deal of difference, of course. But if the holder supports the insert and does not let it move around, which essentially any holder will be OK with, it will work fine. Soft screws are a problem, but a fixable one.
                            CNC machines only go through the motions.

                            Ideas expressed may be mine, or from anyone else in the universe.
                            Not responsible for clerical errors. Or those made by lay people either.
                            Number formats and units may be chosen at random depending on what day it is.
                            I reserve the right to use a number system with any integer base without prior notice.
                            Generalizations are understood to be "often" true, but not true in every case.

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                            • #15
                              +1 for the Diamond tool holder. I can and do free hand sharpen/shape hss tools but the Diamond tool holder stays on the 12 x 36 lathe most of the time.

                              Michael
                              Michael

                              Australia

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