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post #21 of 35 Old 11-15-2008, 07:19 AM
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Mitch I waited about 10 to 15 years to get into machining for that reason. I didn't buy the Smithy (lathe/mill combo machine) until I knew I had as much money as the cost of the machine to buy tooling. I paid $1000 for the machine and have already spend more than that on tooling and could still use lots of cutters, counter sinks, slitting saws etc. I knew it was like buying a sink hole for money when I got into it but I think it will be worth it in the long run.
You also have to couple in the learning curve. I found out pretty quick that there is a huge difference between watching someone do it and actually doing a cut that is that clean and precise. You have to learn cutting speeds, the shape of tools, feed rates and a lot of other things I don't even know to ask yet if you want parts that fit together with thousanths of an inch tolerance.
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post #22 of 35 Old 11-15-2008, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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John Lucas
Thanks John and I hear you. Money isn't the problem John. I can buy the tool but I don't want to end up with a tool and not know exactly what tooling I do need for cutting flutes on 3/8" and 1/2" rod steel.I never ran one but am confident I can teach myself to run this machine if I get the exact tooling I need for the fluting operation only. Later I can pick up on other operations myself. I used to manage a mill and was friends with the chief maintenance man and used to watch him making machine parts etc. I enjoyed watching because he did make it look so easy. I think I told you I am in touch with a guy who is knowledgeable and seems to want to help me out. I need to know just what Grizzly model I need to buy to cut flutes nothing more. Then what tooling for that machine to buy, then how to set up, but I think I can figure it out if I get the right tools. would you andwer me this question John. That machine you got, will it cut flutes if you wanted to. Is it enough machine? The machines I am looking at start at 3/4 horsepower and go up a 1/4 for each succeeding model. I guess my future in operating a mill is in this guys hands. If he gives me a favorable reply as to what machine will do this work for me I am going for it Glad I met this man but most of all I thank heaven I know you John, your good at telling it like it is, so you build up a guys confidence. Hope I don't ever get to the point that I wear out my welcome by writing you so much. Mitch
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post #23 of 35 Old 11-15-2008, 06:20 PM
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Mitch This is a 5/8" piece of drill rod. I used a 3/8" round end mill to cut it. My machine still has some slop I have to work on so I had to make many shallow passes but it didn't take too long. It's 4" overall with a 3/8" tenon. I will take a 5/8" or 3/4" piece of bar and drill a 3/8" hole for the tenon. I milled a slight flat on the top so my Wolverine sharpening jig would work.
I don't know if you can buy mills with different shapes if you wanted to have a V shaped flute. I'll have to look into that. I have a vise that can tilt so I could possibly tilt it 5 degrees one way or the other to make a V shaped flute.
I will try to harden it tomorrow. I don't know if I can do it with a Mapp gas torch. I don't feel like firing up the forge. We'll see.
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post #24 of 35 Old 11-15-2008, 10:21 PM
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It would help if I posted the photo.
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post #25 of 35 Old 11-16-2008, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
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John that looks like a great first tool. When first reading your message I was confused about your talking of milling a tenon. I see what your doing and it is looking very good from the picture. Not sure I remember the type of 5/8 steel you bought but it isn't hard enough yet till you harden it right? Did you get that at the Depot? A map gas torch is supposed to be the way to go for hardening, something I haven't got myself. When you get it to the correct temp are you going to oil or water quench? Reason I ask is will you later need to anneal the tool or what will you be doing if anything? If you anneal you should sharpen before this because when you need to aneal you will have to regrind a slight bit off again. Am I thinking right here? I never gave this method a bunch of thought because I think I am going to buy HSS to make tools for myself and this stuff can't be heated enough with a at home heating. I want to now exactly how you do it though John, if you don't mind My way ,at this point is just speculation to me untill I get a mill. I am really thrilled at how good your tool tip, or what will you call them,looks. Great job. I got a message from another guy who told me he just got a mini mill 3 days ago and he knows less about running one than me but he wants to learn. Told him to keep in touch and maybe we will help each other. I am waiting for the other man who told me he has a shop to write me. I want to know which Grizzly mill I should buy that will make flutes for me and nothing else interests me now. Size and weight of this mill is important because my shop is so crowded I can't turn around any more but can't get myself to get rid of some woodworking tools, breaks my heart.. Thanks for showing me your progress John. If I can do anything to help you let me know.
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post #26 of 35 Old 11-16-2008, 08:21 AM
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Mitch This is Water Hardening Drill rod that I buy from Enco. I don't have the heat treating oven to do HSS. The reason I say MAPP gas won't work is that It takes a very long time to heat a tool that thick. I've done 1/2" tools but 5/8" might be taxing it. An Oxyacetylene torch would have the volume of heat needed to do this, or of course my forge. It's just hard to get excited about hauling everything outside and firing it up in cold weather for just one piece.
You can do this work with any size mill if you have the patience. I made some tools using one of the 7x10 mini metal lathes. I mounted the steel on an angle bracket and put the mill in the headstock. I had to make very small cuts.
I just checked and my Mill has a 3/4 hp motor. I think that would be the minimum. It seems to have enough power for milling. It's a little weak for turning larger diameter work. It works I just have to take smaller cuts. The larger tool you can buy the faster you can cut and the more accurate it is. It does get frustrating taking .015" cuts to sneak up on .375" deep. My friend with a machine shop does that cut in one pass with much less noise and chatter than when I make a .015" cut and cut looks cleaner and more accurate. Of course his machine is 10 grand.
I have a space problem also which is why I bought the Smithy. Having a lathe and mill as one takes up less space. The downside is when you have to set up 2 or 3 operations to finish the piece. I'm pretty slow at using the dial indicator to true up things so it takes a while to go from mill to lathe and back to mill. On the tool I just made I only did 2 operations so I aligned everything to do the mill work and then ground the tip to shape, cut the bar to length and chucked it on the lathe and turned the tenon.
If I do it again I'll use a 4 jaw chuck to offset the bar and drill out most of the waste. That will make the milling go faster. It will require mounting the 4 jaw chuck, drilling, take the chuck off, mount the mill vise and mill, then take that vise off and mount the cutter and 3 jaw chuck and turn the tenon. More work but it's faster than taking 25 passes to get to the proper depth. Which reminds me. If you can afford power feed go for it. To use the mill sideways I have to hand crank the cross feed. That gets really old when your doing 25 passes. Power feed also leaves a much cleaner surface. I have power feed parallel to the bed but I'm limited in how far it will go when using the mill. Cross ways has more travel so I tend to use that but then that means hand cranking.
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post #27 of 35 Old 11-16-2008, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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I have seen that steel you buy in the Enco book John. Speaking of HSS, I remember a post where Doug Thompson said he liked your idea of making these short tools to be inserted into a handle. I think he said he was going to send you some steel for you to make the tool then you send it ,either to him or someone else to have it professionally heated. I thought about this a couple times but figured it wasn't my business to ask you about it. Could I ask, what your thoughts were on this offer? One statement you made in this las trply was very simple statement but was one that I was trying to get from anyone. You stated that I could use any mill to do this work but the bigger the better. Now I have a better idea of what I should get with that statement. If you needed to make 25 passes to get to the depth, you are only taking about a 1/64" off at a pass? So a three quarter horse is pretty much out of the question. Speaking of depth of cut, what were you doing ,going a little deeper than center of the 5/8" rod for the entire length of the flute? There are a few things you stated in last reply that I am confused about the meaninf of, setting up the lathe and being slow doing. I know what you do with the indicator but confused about the meaning here. Right now it matters not though. I need to reread this all over to see your meaning of some things. I am kind of disappointed I haven't heard back from this guy who said he was a machinist. In Grizzly's catalog there is a mill with two horsepower that I will be looking at now that I don't think I want the 3/4 or 1 horse mill. If you were to chance a guess John would the 2 hp mill be much better in times of cutting time and or cutting depth? It would be just a guess I know, but your guess would be a more educated guess than mine. When your talking of a 4 jaw chuck, are you talking of a wood lathe chuck? Well thanks again John and keep in touch. Mitch
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post #28 of 35 Old 11-16-2008, 06:11 PM
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Nice bunch of tools you have there.I love making my own tools when possable,and when I see a tool that I want and they want 1 0r 200.00 bucks and up for it,thats when I start looking for those possable times.
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post #29 of 35 Old 11-16-2008, 08:27 PM
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Mitch Since I like Doug's tools so much I don't know If I will take him up on the offer. I don't think I can make anything any better. However if I come up with a new design I might do just that. It would be nice to have a tool that holds an edge longer.
I don't think the horsepower is the problem with my mill. I think it's all the little things coupled together. The reason I say that is because it's chatter that has caused the problem of not being able to take big cuts. I haven't even come close to stalling the motor.
I mentioned the dial indicator gauge because when I put my vise on the table it doesn't automatically align. To make the cut travel down the center of the piece I have to "indicate" it in to make sure the metal is exactly aligned with the cutter and travels parallel to the cross feed. It's not unusual to take longer to indicate something in than it is to actually turn or mill the piece. I guess as I get better at it I will get faster.
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post #30 of 35 Old 11-16-2008, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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John I don't think it is a matter of your turning out anything better than Doug does, I think he believes you have something that will sell and is willing to invest some steel to see what you can come up with. Although your idea probably isn't brand new it might be very possible it will sell. Maybe no one else is really trying to push this kind of tool. Take him up on the offer John. What do you have to lose? Make them and send them back to be hardened and try them out yourself. You would be a perfect turner to write a review on what you think they can do. Anyways to get a tool to hold a better edge I thought all the new thinking today says you will have to get into cryogenic steels, which Dougs are, I believe, after thinking about it. I know that horsepower is a poor indicator as to the quality of a particular machine but is something most people judge a machine by. Talking about chatter John, now you know I know little about milling machines, I would say horsepower has nothing to do with chatter. I think chatter is more of a problem of too much speed and not fast enough feed. Very easy to find out though. What you say about indicating when setting up is something I was reffering to when I told you I ran two color metal decorating machine. If you can't set it up accurately and quickly, you can't run it. Thank You for this reply. Mitch
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post #31 of 35 Old 11-17-2008, 08:10 AM
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Mitch I went to a really interesting lecture (which doug attended also) at the AAW symposium. It was on edge holding capabilities of metal when used on a wood lathe. It was interesting but the most interesting point was Cryogenics. Basically what he said was that Cryongenics converts Austenite to Martensite. How much Martensite is in the steel is how hard the steel can get. If the HSS is heat treated 3 times, and done properly, all of the Austenite will be converted to Martensite and cryogenic treating won't do any more. If on the other hand the heat treating was less than perfect then the cryogenic treating does help. Needless to say he went into a lot more detail with micrograph photos and lots of charts. It was interesting. What it all boiled down to was the state of the art tools like Thompson tools and the various Cryogenic tools don't necessarily hold an edge 4 to 10 times longer like some claim. However they do hold an edge longer, he just couldn't do enough testing to prove how long and which tools are better.
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post #32 of 35 Old 11-17-2008, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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John, That is so very interesting, I wish I could of been there to hear this lecture. Not that I pretend to understand it all that you say but the fact is I would like to know exactly what he was meaning.Austenite and Martensite are unfamiliar words to me but I will be looking up their meanings shortly.If a tool edge is heated correctly it says this determines how hard an edge can be, not by adding more martensite. What would confuse me here is wouldn't too much martensite and or more heating make the steel too brittle and subject to breaking? I believe this is what is meant when they say cryogenic steel is all that can be done for steel, nothing else can be done to it. Extremely interesting John but eventually they will find ways to do something to steel to make it hold an edge better or else come up with a different steel that will. Meanwhile back in John Lucas's shop there is still a market for the tools that you can turn out using the tool steel you use, every turner doesn't have to have tools made with cryogenic steels. If these tools are made turners will try them out. Thanks for sending me this John, I liked reading it a bunch and now I am going to look at it again till I understand. As always, Mitch
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post #33 of 35 Old 11-17-2008, 07:21 PM
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Mitch. In a nutshell austenite and martensite are roughly the way the carbon is aligned in the metal. The more austenite that is turned to martensite the harder the metal. In order to make a turning tool you have to back this off a little by tempering. I'm not sure what tempering does to the martensite. I'll have to read up on that. I had success heating the tool with the Mapp gas torch. I guess it's because I removed about half the metal. I am now tempering it in the oven at 375 degrees. According to my chart that should give me a hardness around 62 which is on the harder side for turning tools.
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post #34 of 35 Old 11-17-2008, 11:34 PM
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Not sure I'll be making a tool anytime even in the distant future but Mitch and John it has been fun, enlightening and educational to follow this thread. Always good to learn. Thanks for sharing.

John
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post #35 of 35 Old 11-18-2008, 02:20 AM Thread Starter
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Your very welcome John D,very pleased that you followed this thread this far if you did but I can understand why, John L has a way about him that makes things so interesting.I remember not too long ago when I said what your saying JD, but now all I think about is making tools, no longer the ones I know I can make, I am only interested in making those I don't know if I can make. I love being challenged in any way. Come back and comment any time you see the tool making threads and I think they will be more frequent in the future if we can keep the turners interested in this type thread.
Remember, it all started here Mitch
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