Do you also machine metal? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 11-14-2019, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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Do you also machine metal?

I went from an owner of a woodworking business to a retired guy that had always wanted to try my hand at metal working. Bought a used mill & a new lathe and found out those are the cheap parts, it's all the other stuff you need that runs the cost up.

What do you have and what do you make?
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post #2 of 15 Old 11-14-2019, 04:49 PM
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I have recently joined the ranks of machinists.
Starting small with a mini lathe.
And yes the machines are the inexpensive, tooling is a killer.


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post #3 of 15 Old 11-14-2019, 05:11 PM
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I love working in different mediums !!

there are projects that you can marry the two skills together.
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post #4 of 15 Old 11-14-2019, 09:58 PM
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All the time. I bought tools to make the parts to make the machines work to make more parts for the machines.

I kid of course. I got into machining as an extension of knife making. I always wanted a nice butterfly knife, but something like a Benchmade costs $400 and up. I did the natural thing and spent that amount several times over putting together a fab shop. Don't think about the math too much
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I need cheaper hobby
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post #5 of 15 Old 11-15-2019, 12:46 AM
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I bought an old (as in like nineteen twenty's old) metal lathe a bit ago and haven't gotten around to screwing with it yet. Need a new motor, the one I pulled off it was from a washing machine. As far as none lathe metal work, I used to make knives all the time but never got as good as I wanted to. I dropped that hobby for more woodworking instead. I'll still make things out of metal if it's needed for a project but never big things. I do need to learn to weld though.


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post #6 of 15 Old 11-15-2019, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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I use my metal tools more for repair work than any thing else. I've made some knobs & pulls. Now I'd like to anodize them, haven't tried that yet. I scrounge metal when ever possible. I've considered buying a TIG welder.
WeebyWW, lathes that old can be made to work. What size is it? Did it come with some accessories? Change gears, chucks, tooling, a milling attachment...Ö.
J Smith, nice work.
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post #7 of 15 Old 11-15-2019, 05:22 PM
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Both have been part of my entire life, grew up on a farm, my father had the only lathe and welder for miles so he did a lot of repair work for people, as I got older and more experienced if my Dad was out on the tractor I would do the repair if I thought I could handle it to pick up some extra spending money. At the time a simple welding repair would be six bits to cover cost of rods.

My grandfather was the real woodworker, all had tools, as time went on my Dad bought some power tools that he and I would use, my Granddad would have nothing to do with them.

I am now mostly into metal working, making small parts for model steam engines, some of the items are here:
http://weedensteam.com/store.html
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post #8 of 15 Old 11-15-2019, 05:29 PM
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I do, and you are correct, tooling is more expensive than the tools.

I mainly do machine work on guns, but also do some other projects.

First pic is a holding jig I made to work on S+W 422/622/2206/2213/2214 .22 pistols. I made a custom pistol where I cut a 6" 422 pistol down to hold the barrel from a compact 3" 2213. The advantage was the additional capacity(12 rounds versus 8), plus with a "screw on muzzle device" it brings the OAL down for better balance.


Second pic I am counter boring the muzzle after I cut it down.

I also fit a bushing in the muzzle for the barrel, and cut the dovetail for the front site.
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post #9 of 15 Old 11-15-2019, 05:41 PM
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I started collecting antique tractors in 1968 when I saved a 38 A John Deere from the cutting torch, Deere is real good about getting parts for older tractors but their prices are brutal


So I was going to get some machine tools to make some parts and have made a bunch of stuff. I was going to get a 14x40 Grizzly gear head lathe but was shopping around the DFW metromess and one place had a 20x60 Axelson for the same money about $4000, the only problem was the other Axlesons I had seen were about $14,000, so i bought it found out why I was cutting a long and the gear box started banging, figured it was toast, took it apart and it was just a shifting fork worn out


Where I made the money was I had an HVAC account that had a high rise full of 50 ton Trane airhandlers, the fan shafts in them were 5 inch hollow tube, the pulley end was a 3 3/16 stub shaft and the outboard stub shaft was 15/16, the 15/16 ends wore out fairly often, and the shaft parts and labor were about $20,000 to change, the shaft was about 800 lbs, 14 feet long so if we couldn't pop a window it was up the staircase, and through at least one wall. Engineers don';t think about fixing anything after it is installed



I finagled a blue print from Trane in LaCrosse of the stub shafts, I could turn them in about a hour out of 1018 CR (a lot of material removal) and install one in about 2 hours, I got $8-9000 for each one and gave a 5 year warranty on them, only had one I had to do some balancing on used stainless steel gear clamps as counter weights
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post #10 of 15 Old 11-15-2019, 11:35 PM
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I had some good fortune ....

I worked in a large hospital that had a shop to making devices for the handicapped patients. They had a 13" South Bend lathe that was taking up space and they wanted it gone. I obilged and filled the back of a 1969 Vista Cruiser wagon with 1000 lbs + and skated up I-75 with the front wheels skimming the concrete. I still have it and have added lots of tooling a some new chucks. I do repair work only, no fancy stuff. I would like to thread the ends of some barrels someday, however.

The other lathe was also a gift, a nice clean 9" South Bend with lots of tooling, collets and chucks. The wiring was removed so I needed a motor shop to wire up the reversing switch. I added quick change tool holders to both lathes and I love them.

I was searching Craig's List for a sheet metal bender and came across an 8 ft Roper Whitney from a school shop at $1200 if I recall. Like new, and worth around $4500 if new. I had a 30" finger brake that real handy for small projects.

My MIG welder has come in so handy for making attachments for my tractors, a diamond plate truck bed for my son's C10 GMC and for the 14 ft tandem axle trailer we built this summer. I made a few mobile bases for my two favorite table saws I've posted here. A woodworker that can weld, can save a few bucks now and then.




A big 20" Jet drill press has enough low end to drill any holes I need. A also ran into a deal on a Grizzly milling machine a G0704 for $550 and a case of beer from a neighbor down the road. Some nice tooling came with that also.

I used most all those machines on this project including replacing a rusted out cab mount:

https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f15/...roject-109305/


The craziest thing I ever built was a rear engine, rear drive shortened frame Ford pickup. It went through several body and engine configurations, ending up as a set back engine which worked the best. The rear drive wanted to do wheelies in sharp corners under acceleration, so that didn't go well .....
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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

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post #11 of 15 Old 11-16-2019, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
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Catpower, We've been involved with removing a windows and having a crane lift oversized casework for high rise buildings. Risky business, costs a lot.

I'm a bit surprised at the # of responses from members of this forum. Something I've learned (the hard way) about metal machining is to slow down, figure out how I'm going to sequence the work so the parts can be held for accurate results. I had done wood for so long it was natural and easy to do the same.
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post #12 of 15 Old 11-16-2019, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Schweitzer View Post
Catpower, We've been involved with removing a windows and having a crane lift oversized casework for high rise buildings. Risky business, costs a lot.

I'm a bit surprised at the # of responses from members of this forum. Something I've learned (the hard way) about metal machining is to slow down, figure out how I'm going to sequence the work so the parts can be held for accurate results. I had done wood for so long it was natural and easy to do the same.

My company used cranes so often we got to know all of the drivers and riggers, it was Davis Crane out of Irving Texas, great bunch of people there.


90% of the time a 50 ton hydraulic crane would work for us, but if they didn't have a 50 ton they would send what ever they had at the yard, one time we were changing 8 650 lb compressors on one building and I had ordered a 50 ton, as we were waiting a huge crane pulled in, it was just about new and it was a 600 ton rough terrain crane, my God it was huge, I told the operator it there was no way he was going to get in where he needed, he said watch me. All 5 axles under it turned and he slid it right in where he needed to be


It took two semi loads of ballast before he could pick up the boom, they had to put 12x12 sheets of 2 inch thick steel plates under the outriggers. I am about 6'5" tall there were grease zirks in the center of the axles and they were eye level to me



And it was the only time my wife didn't bring the camera
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post #13 of 15 Old 11-16-2019, 04:08 PM
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The members of this forum amaze me. The array of talents on here is incredible. Iíve never done much machining but have built my share of custom motorcycles. A lot of welding and metal shaping. Wish I would have done more machining. I have a good friend that I worked with occasionally building motorcycles that is an incredible machinist. He now builds and restores airplanes. His last project was an exact replica of the Spirit of St. Louis. Fully functional and air worthy. I should have hung around him more.
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post #14 of 15 Old 11-16-2019, 09:20 PM
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Had a South Bend 9" metal lathe and a Harbor Freight mill (the small one) for many years, dis a lot of small jobs with both. Built an entire pen making lathe from scratch using them and a drill press. Regretted selling them many times. Still have my little Boley watchmaker's lathe.
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Alexis de Tocqueville was a very smart man.
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post #15 of 15 Old 11-16-2019, 09:21 PM
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I just missed buying a South Bend 9 :-(


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