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First lathe, tool bits

Discussion in 'A BEGINNER'S FORUM (Learn How To Machine Here!)' started by Jmanb13, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. Bob Korves

    Bob Korves H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I like the older HSS and brazed carbide bits better than the new ones. They seem to be higher quality. In HSS I like the MoMax best, and the Rex (Crucible), Morse, and Ludlum as well.
     
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  2. Glenn Brooks

    Glenn Brooks H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    looks like a good price for a bunch of bits. Actually, with your original collection of bits, Polish them up with a wire wheel in your grinder if you have one to remove the oxidation on the surface. Then you will know better which you might be able to use. The short 1"-2" bits can be mounted back to back in one tool holder. One end does facing cuts, switch around, the other end does turning cuts. Very efficient use of short cutters.

    Any of the long bits you can't use because of shape, just grind the ends off into a right or left handed turning bit, or whatever you need. Really doesn't take much time to do, and gives them a new life. Same with the thread turning bits.(60* angle, pointy end in the center of the bit). Looks like you have several. Probably you will only ever really use one of them. Convert the long ones into roughing and finishing tools- they each have different shapes- and see what you can do to tweak finishes etc... that's more or less what I have been doing to learn how to use the various types of HSS geometries, and develop a feel for proper cutting edges and shapes.

    BTW, I mounted a small 3" diameter grinder on the bench beside my smaller bench lathe, where I store the bits I use. At the slightest sign of not cutting properly, I can just reach over and put a fresh edge on the bit - sometimes without removing it from the tool holder.

    Good luck.
    Glenn
     
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  3. ThunderDog

    ThunderDog United States Active Member Active Member

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    I agree with Reeltor in post #25. Those import mystery meat a.k.a. brazed carbide are terrible.:mad: I bought a small set when I first got started. On the very first cut it broke the tip right off. So, I put in another one and thought it was operator/beginner error and backed off on my depth of cut only to see the same thing. Mind you, I had a bunch of HSS bits that I bought at a yard sale for $10. It was then that I decided to force myself to learn how to grind. I took a methodical approach and actually did what worked for me. I made a very basic jig out of wood and learned with a 1"x 30" belt sander. I know what you're thinking, "This Thunderdog guy must be dumb!!". It worked, it was slow, I didn't own a bench grinder at the time, and I made some decent chips with that first knife edge bit. Over time I kept revisiting the topic through my L.H. Sparey book(my favorite to this point); knowing that I wanted to learn and should learn how to make proper HSS bits on a bench grinder. I bought a grinder and started learning and made mistakes along the way. Only now have I just started to get into carbide inserts. I agree with BOTH sides of the table when it comes to just making stuff vs. learn to grind first. I can see the validity for both camps of thinking.
    Regardless, have fun and get out there with that machine!! Just don't be tempted to purchase those horrible import brazed carbide things. Let it be known that I'm not against brazed carbide bits of higher quality.
     
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  4. Eremius

    Eremius United States Active Member Active Member

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    It really depends on how big what you're turning is. SFPM is king. It doesn't take much diameter to make up for your lack of RPM.
     
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  5. Jmanb13

    Jmanb13 United States Active Member Active Member

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    That is a good point. I looked up recommended SFM specs for different materials. At 500 RPM It looks like anything above around 2.5" gets me in the carbide range for steel, but i'd have to be in the 6 or 7" range for aluminum.
     
  6. whitmore

    whitmore United States Iron Registered Member

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    Well, that's LOTS of tool steel, you won't have to buy blanks for a while. It's
    a good thing you want to do the grinding.

    If you don't have a project in mind yet, this would be a good time to wire-brush the bits
    you have, and examine the edges. Chuck up some scrap and see how they
    cut, make a few washers, wedges, or widgets.

    And, try truing up and sharpening bits that don't cut well. I find that
    a stereo microscope is a great help in edge examination, but even a jeweler's loupe is good.

    Tuning up the lathe was good, now for sharpening you'll want to tune up the grinder, too.
    A flat stone, or (better) a selection of hones, does the fine tuning on a ground tip.
     
  7. bobshobby

    bobshobby Australia H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Congratulations on getting the lathe cleaned up and running. I'm not sure how much previous experience you've had, but your question suggests not much. I'm not familiar with the Leblond brand of machines, but the age 1946, that's getting old, and "the size 15", getting big, would suggest to me that it would not be a very high speed machine, and therefore carbide inserts would not be very useful at the smaller diameters. By all means use them on larger dia's, and very hard materials, they are very good.

    Back to your own thinking of 3/8 HSS, probably the most universal size for medium to large machines and certainly the right size for a 15" lathe, unless you're going to only be doing fairly small work. you might want to get a couple of 1/2"bits for the heavier jobs, but otherwise I'd stay with 3/8.

    Certainly learning to grind your own tools is quite a challenge, although not as difficult as drills, although all the same rules apply. But it is well worth the effort, and skill to b e proud of. There are plenty of discussions on angles on this site as well as others, so I won't get into that, other than to say there is no absolutely correct way to grind a tool as long as your relief angles are reasonable, and it works, remember that not enough relief will not cut, and too much weakens the bit and reduces the ability to get the heat away, it also takes longer to grind. If the tool you grind works well then it is near enough to correct.

    I would start by enquiring at what quantity of bits do you get a good price break, for instance a packet of 10 or 12 , then buy that quantity. If there is no advantage then buy 5 or 6. I'd start with a general purpose turning, facing bit, 1 for RH and 1 for LH, I'd add a 60deg thread cutting tool, regular right hand threads only, I'd leave the LH tool until you need it, maybe never. I'd also leave the 55 deg thread tool until you need it. For parting off I'd go with a specialised parting tool with holder I prefer the wedge type.

    A couple of boring bars with holders will get you started. Remember save all your broken drill bits, including center drills and tool bit stubs the are very useful for making boring bars.

    Have fun,

    Bob.
     
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  8. intjonmiller

    intjonmiller United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Yes! I have a box labeled "dull/broken bits" where I toss anything carbon steel or better. Even an old spade style wood drill bit can become a useful tool of some other kind down the road. If you have family or friends in woodworking, construction, manufacturing, etc. you can ask them to save their "junk" bits as well. SDS-type hammer drill bits are particularly good as the shanks are very tough and the tips are often carbide. Once they round off that carbide a little they often get tossed. I've picked up several off of the ground at job sites (when I used to work in construction) so I can sharpen them into something else when needed. Tiny drill bits can become the knives in a shop-made wire stripper or the tip of a new scribe.
     
  9. Highsider

    Highsider United States Active Member Active Member

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    You don't mention if you have a good coolant system on your 15", but if you do and your set up is rigid, you will be missing a bet if you don't learn how to grind lipped cutting tools from HSS. For brute metal removal rates with the RPM range you state, they can't be beat, and they produce an acceptable finish with coolant. They are all we used before carbide and high RPM gigahorsepower lathes were common. The difference is that the removed metal comes off as a tightly coiled ribbon rather than as a chip that's breaking up and coolant flow is essential. The depth of cut can be 3/8" to 1/2" per pass depending on horsepower.
     
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  10. Al 1

    Al 1 United States Active Member Active Member

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    Go for the E-b-- lots. You can get a pile for a good price. Practice your sharpening with different types of cutters.
    (HHS and carbide). I got into metalworking in 2010 and have many cutting tools, probably more than I will ever use.
    None were purchased at new product prices.
    Al.
     
  11. mikey

    mikey Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Can I ask what kind of lathe you used to take those depths of cut?
     
  12. Highsider

    Highsider United States Active Member Active Member

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    Industrial lathes ranging from 13" to 32" ( Colchester Clausing, Monarch, and Le Blonde.
     
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  13. mikey

    mikey Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Thanks, Highsider. Them is some mighty cuts, that's for sure!
     
  14. Rustrp

    Rustrp United States Active Member Active Member

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    I didn't see any recommendations or I read over them. Watch the Tubalcain lathe tool grinding video(s) and you can use the old HSS for practice. I'm not sure what's on the tools you have shown so a quick cleanup would make a big difference along with being able to see if they have any markings as to what you have.
    .....and then your battery died. Were they really wrong? Learning how to do something isn't the same as saying you must always use the old way. Not learning how to grind and taking the shortcut is good up to a point, as long as your supplier keeps the inserts coming. Knowledge and the educational process to attain is something that can't be taken away. Bottom line; Do you want to be a machinist or a machine operator?

    From the position of an apprentice in training, there's a lot more being taught when you grind a 60 deg. tool to cut a thread, or a Lt. & Rt. hand cutting tool.
     
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  15. Rustrp

    Rustrp United States Active Member Active Member

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    True, but then horsepower comes into play.
     
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  16. Rustrp

    Rustrp United States Active Member Active Member

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    That's why a chip breaker was ground into the tool which is something someone doesn't learn if they never grind a cutting tool. Okay, they may learn why inserts are designed to break chips and they may even learn to look for color if that's the shop environment they work in.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
  17. Rustrp

    Rustrp United States Active Member Active Member

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    I was fascinated by the process. I just happened to walk into a shop looking for someone to repair the die on my punch press. The owner felt the need to show me why they didn't do work that size. They were turning a shaft that was in the 12" x 20'+ range and they were breaking the spiraled cuts (serious weapons) at 5'-6' and collecting them in a trough/bin that followed the cutter.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
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  18. dontrinko

    dontrinko United States Active Member Active Member

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    Buy a few but also buy some blank HHS and grind your own. It is amazing how ugly a bit can look and still work fine! All IMO; Don
     
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  19. Eremius

    Eremius United States Active Member Active Member

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    I'm guessing with a 15" LeBlonde it's not going to be an issue.
     
  20. Rustrp

    Rustrp United States Active Member Active Member

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    A 1946 LeBlond wasn't really designed for carbide so the high speed and the horsepower rating is for HSS, and back then, they were using CS. The high speeds devolped would be on tall gears so pushing a carbide cutter into the work surface would be based on HP. Working in reverse, the SFPM would slow and the quality of cut would go downhill also. Without knowing what horsepower the lathe has or the SFPM it can maintain, I was simply stating that HP comes into play.

    I have a vintage Lodge & Shipley that I don't as yet know the age so I've spent a lot of time looking at the old machines. My father-in-law who gave me the lathe, purchased it sometime in the early 1950's. His 40+ year machinist career started in the early 1930's. When he gave me the 2-gal. can of misc. HSS and carbide cutters he explained the pros and cons. The cons for the carbide cutters are primarily the speed and feed rates required. At slow speeds the heat isn't transfered to the chip so it builds up in the work. The carbide inserts work better than the brazed tooling because they have a smaller surface and a built in chip breaker.

    I'm not comparing my lathe to the LeBlonde because they are two diffrent machines with decades between their production. I think you know everything is relative, especially in the machinist trade. In regards to may comment, we can start with the quality of the carbide cutter. In 1946 the LeBlond operators manual was mentioning carbide as a cutter with minimum instructions on material-speed-feed etc. -Russ
     
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  21. Eremius

    Eremius United States Active Member Active Member

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    Actually the best description I've heard is the only thing two machinists can agree on is the third one is an idiot. :)
     
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  22. Reeltor

    Reeltor United States Active User Active Member

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    MrPete222 aka Tubal Cain does have some great videos on tool bit grinding, when to use what/when etc. Adam Booth (ABomb79) and Tom Lipton (OxToolCo) did a series on how big a cut they could take on their respective lathes. I thought that they both had some real gems of information on different approaches to HSS lathe bits and grinding them. Don't hold me to it but I think it was Adam Booth who would rough out the bit by clamping it in a vise and using his 4-1/2" angle grinder. He made it look easy and fast, then he moved on to the bench grinder to finish it off. They call this series Chip Control.


    This Old Tony recently published a video on his take on grinding HSS bits


    Tubal Cain uses the tried and true oversized wood mock-ups of HSS tool bits to show the relief angles. The same visual aids that shop teachers used for decades (when schools had shops). I don't remember who it was who used a new approach to the visual aids on relief angles etc, might have been Dale with Metal Tips and Tricks.
     
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  23. Jmanb13

    Jmanb13 United States Active Member Active Member

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    I do not have a coolant system. Definitely have thought about adding one at some point.


    This thing still has the original 1hp 203 frame 3 phase motor and it still works :) However the seals on it are bad and it leaks oil/grease like crazy. I'd like to get a new motor on it eventually, but I can't find any motor frame adapters for that frame. Not sure if it would be advisable to get a higher HP motor or not.
     
  24. Rustrp

    Rustrp United States Active Member Active Member

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    There's no need to deflect and bring the plumber into this. :) I'll add, I'm a novice machinist or less than. I have 40+ years working with metal but very little using machine tools unless my 4 1/2" grinder qualifies as a hand held surface grinder. My sheetmetal layout experience and training along with my welding experience gives me some depth into geometry, trigonometry and metalurgy, which are easily applied to machining. The question asked specific to the topic was on HSS cutting tools along with grinding and shaping. If my apprentice is working through the steps on making a simple pan, it would be futile for me to interject how I go about laying out a square to round transition with a compound offset. Maybe it's the hobbist aspect here that seems to take the threads onto many paths.

    We can agree to disagree and I always stand by **I don't have to be wrong for you to be correct**. I agree with you on the large diameter being suited for the carbide cutter, but is the operator and the machine suited for the task. An underpowered machine with only carbide cutters to draw from could create the potential where a beginner never wants anything to do with machining again. The same could be true with HSS but not likely. When I ask the apprentice; Why are you doing that? Sometimes the response is; That's what you were doing! I saw you do it this way! I know I need to tune up my training or they have inserted a shortcut they don't have the experience to handle.
     
  25. Rustrp

    Rustrp United States Active Member Active Member

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    In regards to more HP, I would lean that direction if there is protection for for the head. i.e. shear pins etc. Some HP ratings have changed. I would suggest taking the motor to a shop or see if they are willing to part with expertise at to the direction you take. What type of lubrication does the motor use, oil, grease, and what type of seals. Are the windings, armature open or enclosed. Replacing the seals may be an easy and inexpensive fix.
     
  26. Dinosaur Engineer

    Dinosaur Engineer United Kingdom Iron Registered Member

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    I find that you can sometimes get real bargains in buying the larger HSS bits. Sizes above 1/2" are not used so much in industry as they used to be as most industrial M/cs are now equipped with carbide insert tools to get the improved speed/efficiency required. It is a bit of chore to grind the larger sizes but once ground they hold their edges reasonably well due to their increased heat conducting capacity.
     
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  27. Reeltor

    Reeltor United States Active User Active Member

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    Maybe you can find a manual or sales brochure at Vintage Machinery . org to see what hp motors were originally available for your lathe.
     
  28. 4gsr

    4gsr Global Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I've replaced many old motors with newer ones on machine tools over the years. You have to forget the old frame sizes and adapt the old motor base to accept the new motor. I just did one the other day on my 15" Sheldon lathe. Don't remember the original frame size, but had to mount a couple of pieces of 1/2 x 2 flat bar to the old base with new holes in place to mount the newer 182/184T frame motor. (Just realized this is off topic. Sorry!)
     

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    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
  29. Jmanb13

    Jmanb13 United States Active Member Active Member

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    I have the "Running a Regal" from the model years of my lathe, but I did not see any motor ratings anywhere in the manual.

    It has grease zerks so i'm assuming its grease lubrication. Motor plate picture is attached.

    I will probably have to do something similar. I have found a few places that list a part number for a readily made adapter from 203 to 143T, but nowhere that sells them. This did get slightly off topic, but only because the use of Carbide inserts leads to discussions on RPM and cutting speeds which leads to how fast/powerful is my lathe :)
     

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  30. Bob Korves

    Bob Korves H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    A book on how to run a lathe will often cover many different models, and so will not show the details for them all. Do you have a parts or operation manual for your lathe? Do you know the model number of it?
     
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