• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.
  • PLEASE: Read the FORUM RULES BEFORE registering!

First post and first project!

Mxmark4

Iron
Registered Member
#1
So i have been trolling around here but was unsure of what to post, and basically had a lathe sitting with no tooling to work on anything. I got a steal on this grizzly mini lathe,but found the three inch chuck was worthless. A quick call to little machine shop got me a 5 inch chuck, qctp, and some basic tooling coming. After a long day working on a subaru( my real job) i had inspiration for my first project. I built a cam seal installer for the ej series engines subaru has used for years. I measured the cam diameter of the car on my lift at work, and once I got home I got my new lathe parts installed and got to cutting. Center drilled a piece of aluminum and then opened it up to size with a boring bar. What a slow process compared to the old south bend I got to use back in high school. After getting my piece bored to the correct diameter, i parted it off. Yet another process that took way longer than expected. All in all not a bad way to start my machining experience.
 

terrywerm

New Member Liaison
Staff member
H-M Supporter-Premium
#2
Welcome to H-M! Necessity is the mother of invention, as they say, and you have proven that to be so. Good to see that you jumped right in when there was a need. Before you know it you'll be making more complicated projects.
 

Mxmark4

Iron
Registered Member
#4
Now for a stupid question. Anybody knowhow i can get more height adjustment out of an oxa tormach tool post? I cant seem to get my quick change holders to slide all the way down to the bottom of the tool post
 

terrywerm

New Member Liaison
Staff member
H-M Supporter-Premium
#5
No such thing as a stupid question! The only thing that I can think of is that the stud on which the adjustment nut resides is too short, but that seems a little odd to me. So, I assume that you have already screwed the adjustment and lock nuts further up the stud. If something else is creating the interference and preventing the tool holder from sliding all the way down, start looking for burrs and such that might be creating the problem.

Does each toolholder stop at the same place on the toolpost?
 

Mxmark4

Iron
Registered Member
#6
So were the adjustment nut a snake it would have bit me. I walked back out to garage after posting that and immediately saw what was holding me too high. Was an issue last night when i made the part and was an issue this morning during parting. At least now i know so I can move forward having learned one thing today!
 

terrywerm

New Member Liaison
Staff member
H-M Supporter-Premium
#7
Excellent!! Learning is what this place is all about! Glad to know that you're moving forward, we'll be looking forward to hearing more from you in the future. Don't be bashful, we were all new to this at one time or another, except for Bill Gruby. He was born with a file in one hand and a micrometer in the other. :D
 

terrywerm

New Member Liaison
Staff member
H-M Supporter-Premium
#8
Here is a trick for correctly setting the height of your cutting tool:
First, make absolutely sure that the lathe is shut off.
Next, using a machinists pocket rule or similar piece of thin flat stock, place it between the lathe tool bit and the work, and move the cross slide toward the work until there is just enough pressure to hold the rule in place against the work. If the rule is standing straight up and down, the tool is at the correct height. If the top of the rule is leaning toward you, the tool is too low, and obviously is too high if the rule is leaning away from you.
 

kvt

Active User
Active Member
#9
+1 on what Terry said. It works, and if you were having problems with tool setting, Then yea parting and such would have been slow and hard to control properly.
Again welcome to the site. Join in and have fun.
 

Mxmark4

Iron
Registered Member
#10
Thanks for the tips! Was planning on making a tool tonight from stainless to core out apples for my two kids and to use with my dehydrator, but not having much luck turning down the stainless tube i got. I am lined up centered to work, and using carbide bits. Is this more a limitation of the mini lathe or incorrect tooling?
 

terrywerm

New Member Liaison
Staff member
H-M Supporter-Premium
#11
What grade of stainless tube do you have? 304, 308, and 316 can be a bear to turn, as it work hardens just by looking at it. 303 is a free machining stainless that machines very nicely.

Let me guess: you get the carbide cutting tool up against the work and try to take a light cut. It initially cuts a little bit then stops cutting, correct? If so, that is work hardening.

The types of stainless that I mentioned as difficult to work require a rather aggressive cut. You have to start your cut at a good feed rate and depth of cut and keep going once you start. If you stop, the cutting stops, and the material work hardens. I used to work with 316 stainless all the time making various parts for mixing, bottling and packaging equipment. I learned in a hurry just how aggressive one needed to be to work with that stuff.
 

Tozguy

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium
#12
The method of setting on centre mentioned above in post 8 might present a risk of chipping carbide tools. Another quick and easy way to set on centre is to make a gauge like this:

IMG_0111.JPG
 

Mxmark4

Iron
Registered Member
#14
Ok, so could you explain how that works there @Tozguy ? Also i went back to my chunk of 304/apple coring project and really dug the carbide into it and engaged the drive quickly and it cut pretty easily with some lube on it . The work piece was definitely getting hot though.
 

Tozguy

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium
#15
Sure. The nuts and bolt are adjusted and locked so the underside of the bolt head is at centre height (i.e. on the spindle axis).
Then any tool can be adjusted upwards until the point just contacts the bolt head as in the picture. At that point the tool is on centre. A facing cut will prove if the gauge is correct or not. It is easy to adjust the nuts on the gauge to fine tune it. The bolt obviously needs to be cut short enough so only the nut sits on the cross slide.
It helps to face the underside of the bolt head first to get a nice flat surface. Also, when setting tool height the tool post should be loosened so the tool can be swung under the gauge.
Please let me know if its not clear.
 

terrywerm

New Member Liaison
Staff member
H-M Supporter-Premium
#17
Never had an issue with chipping a carbide cutter using the ruler trick. That gauge looks like a good idea too.
 

Mxmark4

Iron
Registered Member
#18
So i cut my first threads today! I installed the change gears for a 1.5 metric thread pitch and went by a tubal cain youtube video for instructions. Well his method didnt quite work for me so i used a video from ox tool and managed to cut the correct pitch on the piece i had already ruined. So with me confidence ramped up, i remade the cap i had already made and cut the threads into it. Cap is just a hair undersized as its an off size to begin with (31.5mm) but it screwed in and snugged up nicely. Also got my first shot at knurling and it turned out pretty decent after i read about adding more pressure to imprint the metal.