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Models for grinding HSS Lathe Tools

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Glenn Brooks

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#31
Mikey, you might consider making your models with wood blanks. You can even make,them 2x or 3x larger than standard tooling. Our instructor in trade school used large wooden tools for instructional,purposes, and they were very helpful to,see and handle. Regular size works also, and no one can mistake wood for HSS.

Glenn
 

Rockytime

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#32
Rockytime, just my general purpose square tool will take a 0.050" deep roughing cut in 12L14 on my Sherline lathe as shown below:

View attachment 241311

My tool for mild steel has a bit more side rake and will take 0.060" in a single pass without chattering.

EDIT: I should answer your question as to how I do that. I increase the relief and side rake angles but keep the back rake angle near baseline. This reduces cutting forces significantly while also focusing those cutting forces at the forward area of the side cutting edge. A Sherline lathe is pretty light and cannot handle the cutting forces a standard geometry tool produces but give it a little help with the geometry and it becomes capable of much more. The same is true for all lathes, not just a little Sherline.
Thanks Mikey,
Appreciate the reply and the photo. I am strictly a visual learner. If you can give the angles I can grind it. After over 20 years as a hobby machinist I never did grind proper angles. Since my work is mostly for clock repair and small engine building my tools worked ok. Most used is brass and aluminum but I have a large stash of 12L14. My neighbor had a shop and whenever he ordered steel he would a couple of 12' lengths for me. Over a period of time I ended up with an assortment from 1/4" to 1". Since selling my BP and 12" lathe I only use up to 1/2". Though my projects now are small it would be nice to occasionally take deeper cuts. Very impressed with your belt sander conversion.
Regards, Less
 

mikey

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#33
a shear tool , acme thread,
Morning Derrick. I actually have never ground a shear tool, although I probably will one day just to see how it works. I have read it works well on 1018 and if it does then it would be worth grinding one because nothing else I know of will finish 1018 nicely.

An Acme thread tool might be something we should discuss at a later time. It isn't something we use every day and I wanted to grind tools that the majority of us might find useful on a daily basis. So far, most of the guys seem to like the idea of tools for the basic lathe operations - facing, turning and threading. What do you think?
 

mikey

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#34
Mikey, you might consider making your models with wood blanks. You can even make,them 2x or 3x larger than standard tooling. Our instructor in trade school used large wooden tools for instructional,purposes, and they were very helpful to,see and handle. Regular size works also, and no one can mistake wood for HSS.

Glenn
Thanks, Glenn. Yeah, wood would be sooo much easier to grind and I actually considered it. But then I thought is would be better to have a tool that you can set on the tool rest and actually move your hands around to see how you would need to hold the bit to get the right angle to cut a particular face. That is what I think is hard for guys to visualize. My hope is that if I tell them how I ground that particular feature and they can match what I'm saying in real time, with the tool on the rest, then it might just click.

I also wanted to show them tools that I know, without a doubt, will cut as intended. If I were giving a class on this subject, for sure a wooden model would be far more useful.

Thanks for the suggestion, Glenn!
 

dlane

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#35
Yup just the basic turning tools for everyday turning should be helpful for many people.
 

mikey

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#36
Thanks Mikey,
Appreciate the reply and the photo. I am strictly a visual learner. If you can give the angles I can grind it. After over 20 years as a hobby machinist I never did grind proper angles. Since my work is mostly for clock repair and small engine building my tools worked ok. Most used is brass and aluminum but I have a large stash of 12L14. My neighbor had a shop and whenever he ordered steel he would a couple of 12' lengths for me. Over a period of time I ended up with an assortment from 1/4" to 1". Since selling my BP and 12" lathe I only use up to 1/2". Though my projects now are small it would be nice to occasionally take deeper cuts. Very impressed with your belt sander conversion.
Regards, Less
Good Morning, Less. I had a chuckle about the tool angles - who knows what proper angles are? We use what works for us, right? Still, I can tell you how I grind tools for mild steel, brass and aluminum and you can give them a try to see if it improves your current tool's performance. All tools have a general purpose shape.
  • Mild steel: 15 degree of side and end relief, 18 degrees side rake, 12-15 degrees of back rake. The back rake depends on where I want the cutting forces concentrated; less angle focuses the forces more toward the side cutting edge so it roughs better, more angle focuses them at the tip so it finishes better. The back rake is sufficient to augment side rake for efficient chip clearance in either case. Note that the relief angles are only moderately increased, while side rake is more than a mild steel tool will normally have; this is to reduce cutting forces primarily and cutting temps secondarily. This tool will take a 0.060" deep roughing cut on a little Sherline lathe. The lathe will moan but it won't groan or chatter, which is exactly what we should see when the lathe is used at max capacity. This same tool, when used on your Maximat 7, will walk through the same cut in mild steel without even slowing it down.
  • Brass: Side and end relief of 15 - 17 degrees, zero side and back rake. I have found that brass likes fairly large relief angles. I've gone up to 20 degrees of relief but found that the edge started to wear a bit too fast - brass is hard! I've also tried some rake on these tools and while 5 degrees of side rake seems to help a little, it isn't enough to spend the time to grind it. I do hone my brass tools often; sharp is good for brass. This tool will easily take a 0.050" deep cut on a Sherline lathe in brass. I tend to use smaller nose radii for my brass tools. I know that most guys use a large nose radius to improve the finish but I find 1/32 more than adequate for my needs.
  • Aluminum: Side and end relief = 15 degrees, side rake 18 degrees, back rake 40 degrees. Yeah, I know, 40 degrees of back rake! This produces a very positive rake cutter that will take a 0.100" deep cut in 6061-T6 on a Sherline lathe. Of course, very few of us waste material like that but it will make the cut. It will also give superb finishes because the back rake focuses all the cutting forces at the tip; all you need is a nose radius of 1/64 to 1/32" and it will produce a near mirror finish with a roughing cut and a mirror finish with a sizing cut and lubricant. I also find the back rake reduces or eliminates a built up edge; the chip is moving so fast and with so little heat that it just doesn't stick as long as I use some WD-40 on it. Give it a try and watch the chip flow right off the tip of the cutter.
I use 3/8" bits and use the same cutters on my Sherline and my Emco Super 11. They work well on either lathe. The mild steel and aluminum bits will easily take a 0.250" depth of cut on my 11" lathe and while I know they can go deeper, I don't need to waste material to find out how much deeper they will go.

Play with your lead angle with these cutters; there is a sweet spot for turning, roughing, finishing and facing.

I hope this helps, Less. It is always difficult to give hard numbers for things like a cutting tool. Wear, tool posts, usage differs from user to user but I hope these tools work as well for you.

Oh, and thanks for the compliment re the belt sander!
 

mikey

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#37
Okay, it sounds like we seem to agree that basic tools for lathe operations will work for most folks - a general purpose tool for turning/facing, a knife tool for facing and thin work and a standard 60 degree threading tool. For the general purpose tool, I am going to grind my Square Tool because it just works for most stuff we turn; you can easily modify the angles if that better suits your needs.

I have the keystock in hand and have ordered some new belts so I'm ready to go. Now I need a volunteer to handle the distribution of these models. There will be three sets and there seems to be more than three guys who want to see them. Our volunteer would compile and track a list of folks to make sure nobody is missed and that the sets move along on a timely basis. I should think a week or two is enough for each guy; what do you think? So, if we can find a volunteer coordinator, everyone who wants to look at these things can PM him and he will keep track of things. As the maker, I would like to choose who gets the sets first.

Anybody willing to step up?
 

Aukai

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#38
I do not have any blanks, or a lathe in hand, and will not be first on the list for sure. A PM list might get bulky, but doable. Another thread where the list can be discussed about who has the samples, and would be a head count. Then PM the address to who currently has it for next in line. Not sure how choosing where it goes next would be done. Thinking out loud.
 

Rockytime

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#39
Good Morning, Less. I had a chuckle about the tool angles - who knows what proper angles are? We use what works for us, right? Still, I can tell you how I grind tools for mild steel, brass and aluminum and you can give them a try to see if it improves your current tool's performance. All tools have a general purpose shape.

Hi Mikey, WOW! Great dissertation! I am surprised at the severe angles. I printed it and am posting it in my shop. I use 1/4" on the Sherline and 3/8" on the seven inch. Gonna have fun trying these. BTW I covet your 11". I have a couple of friends with the MaxiMat11. Dynamite lathe. My 7" has the mid bed milling column but I don't use it as it is inconvenient. Again thank you so very much for your Information.
Regards, Les
 

Z2V

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#40
Hi Mike
If you are going to the trouble to make the tools I'd be more that happy to help if needed.
Im very new to hobby machining and tool grinding so I'll take all the guidance I can get. Absolutely no offense taken.
 

mikey

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Hi Mikey, WOW! Great dissertation! I am surprised at the severe angles. I printed it and am posting it in my shop. I use 1/4" on the Sherline and 3/8" on the seven inch. Gonna have fun trying these. BTW I covet your 11". I have a couple of friends with the MaxiMat11. Dynamite lathe. My 7" has the mid bed milling column but I don't use it as it is inconvenient. Again thank you so very much for your Information.
Regards, Les
You're welcome, Les. Let me know if I can help and I would love to hear how those tools work for you. I know the angles are different from what you're used to but its worth a try, right?

Yup, love my little Emco lathe. There are 11" lathes, and then there are 11" lathes!
 

mikey

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#42
Hi Mike
If you are going to the trouble to make the tools I'd be more that happy to help if needed.
Im very new to hobby machining and tool grinding so I'll take all the guidance I can get. Absolutely no offense taken.
Thanks for stepping up, Jeff, and welcome to the HM forum! You will like it here and we're happy to have you.

Okay, so Jeff will be the contact guy to get on the list to receive the tool sets. Please PM him to be included. First come, first served except I will choose who gets the sets first. From there, they will go out according to the order on the list. Just to be clear, the guy who has the set has to pay for flat rate USPS Priority Mail shipping to the next guy on the list.

Let's decide how long each guy can keep the set. One week, two, more?

Jeff, I consider the names and addresses of the guys on the list to be private and privileged information and I'm sure you will agree that it should be kept on your computer and not remain on the HM server for all to see. When we have a list, send it to me via PM and I'll choose the first three.

Thanks for stepping up, Jeff, I appreciate your help.

Mike
 

Z2V

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#43
I'll populate the three lists in the order that I receive the PM request. 1st, 4th,7th go on list A, 2nd, 5th, 8th go on list B,
3rd, 6th, 9th go on list C, you get the idea. After Mike chooses the first three recipients then I will make the list in order received. I think a week would be long enough to study the tools and duplicate a set of your own. Let us know what you think.
Mike, thanks again for doing this for all of us new to tool grinding and those who are not.
Let the PM's begin.
 

ttabbal

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#45
So, to practice and copy these, I would want to get some 3/8" square keystock? I know I need real HSS to cut with eventually, but it sounds like the keystock is better for practice and cheaper as well.
 

Z2V

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#46
Key stock is most definitely cheaper and much easier to get.
 

Z2V

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#47
Guys, when you PM to get on the list please include an address. I will PM each of you when you will be receiving the models and I will include a name and address of who you will be forwarding them to when you are done. This should go smoothly once we get rolling.
Thanks
 

mikey

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#48
So, to practice and copy these, I would want to get some 3/8" square keystock? I know I need real HSS to cut with eventually, but it sounds like the keystock is better for practice and cheaper as well.
Mild steel keystock can be found in the hardware store. It is best to get the size closest to the tool bits you intend to work with on your lathe. Cut them into 3" long pieces so you get used to working with bit-sized pieces. Use some of them to reproduce the models but stick with them to practice grinding lathe tools until you can grind it exactly the way you want it. It takes a little while for your brain and hands to coordinate and keystock is much easier to grind than HSS and way easier to grind than cobalt. If you want your lathe tools to actually look like lathe tools, keystock is how you learn to do that.
 

Z2V

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#49
I have six members signed up already. Room for many more so spread the word.
 

mikey

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#52
HUMBLE PIE

I looked all over my shop and couldn't find my early lathe tools. I wanted to show them to you guys so you know that we all start at the same place and that there is a good chance that I hold the title for THE worst lathe tools ever ground. Anyway, I finally remembered (Oh yeah? Wait until you pass 65 years of age) that I might have given them to a friend who was going to grind over them and use them on his little Sherline lathe. This must have been over 20 years ago. It was a long shot but I called and asked if he still had any of them and he said he did. I arranged to pick them up tonight. He wasn't home (went out for dinner) but he did leave me this note:

Mike, I never re-ground these tools (so don't blame me). I kept them to cheer me up whenever things got really bad in life; every time I looked at them they reminded me that things can always be worse! I have to admit that you really, really, really sucked at tool grinding back then and I cannot believe you would willingly show these tools to people on an international forum. Have you no pride? On the other hand, it may be useful to show them that one really can rise from the depths of total suckage so they shouldn't quit. Yeah, encourage them, okay? Just remember to take responsibility for these things now; DO NOT BLAME ME FOR THIS.

Your lovingly kind, supportive and gentle friend,
Bonehead (not his real name but appropriately descriptive)

This is his actual note, verbatim! I swear, even I can't make up that kind of crap ... the depths of total suckage must be his idea of waxing poetic or something. Sheesh! In his defense, Bonehead grinds nice tools (but only because he learned from me in case he reads this).

Anyway, here are my earliest tools. I was trying to duplicate some tools from Sherline and not surprisingly, they caused severe chatter at small depths of cut (0.020" deep or less). You can see two brass tools with flat tops that were the beginnings of my general purpose shape and a knife tool before I knew such things existed.

IMG_5589.jpg

IMG_5591.jpg

I was really, really bad back then and I didn't understand a thing about tool geometry. What followed was over 5 long years of experimental tool grinding, reading and cutting trials. I made changes to each tool angle one at a time, measured the amperage changes to see if the changes I made in the grind reduced the power draw and logged everything on a floppy disc (subsequently lost when I moved to my current home). I know I ground nearly 300 experimental tools and somewhere in the process, I learned to grind a tool. I think I also began to understand tool geometry but I'm still working on that.

I am humbling myself here to show you that nobody enters this hobby with grinding skills. They develop over time and with a lot of practice. I can grind a really good tool in less than 5 minutes now but in the beginning, no, it took a lot of time and effort.

Our little experiment here with the models will hopefully cut the learning curve down a bit. I'll share how the tools are ground and anything else I can think of to help you new guys learn to grind tools. It's worth the effort if it helps just one of you. I think Bonehead would agree that you cannot possibly suck at it worse than I did.
 

Aaron_W

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#53
This is a really nice gesture and a neat idea.

While having a physical piece to hold and look at is helpful I think just having good photos and explanations of the how and why would still go a long way towards learning how to grind these tools and come up with new tools as well. It will also remain available long after the models have been dispersed to whereabouts unknown.

Honestly I'm lost beyond LH and RH tools at this point, so I do hope you explain the other tools strengths and weaknesses. I haven't had any trouble with the included Sherline set, but I've only been working with aluminum to this point. I have ordered 10 or 20 tool (memory can be an issue for those of us under 65 too :) ) blanks though to give me lots to practice with, so this is good timing.

Thank you
 

Aukai

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#54
I think this is a great opportunity, and very grateful to Mike for doing it. My plan is to get the key way material, and hopefully be able to make a very close copy of the examples to keep on hand. When I start having any issues from touching up, or a slight change in shape, I can see where I went wrong. And when I get old enough, maybe I'll get good at it.:p
 

mikey

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#55
This is a really nice gesture and a neat idea.

While having a physical piece to hold and look at is helpful I think just having good photos and explanations of the how and why would still go a long way towards learning how to grind these tools and come up with new tools as well. It will also remain available long after the models have been dispersed to whereabouts unknown.

Honestly I'm lost beyond LH and RH tools at this point, so I do hope you explain the other tools strengths and weaknesses. I haven't had any trouble with the included Sherline set, but I've only been working with aluminum to this point. I have ordered 10 or 20 tool (memory can be an issue for those of us under 65 too :) ) blanks though to give me lots to practice with, so this is good timing.

Thank you
Thanks for the kind words and I'll be glad if the models and discussion here help you.

You are right, Aaron. The "what, why and how" part of our discussions is what really matters. As we go along, if you are not clear on something then please ask. It is really easy for me to blow right past something basic without realizing it and unless you tell me that I did it, I won't know. My intent here is to clarify and I'm counting on you and the other guys to help me do that.

As for being lost beyond RH and LH, I'm attaching some info that can actually be found elsewhere but I'll put it here for you so you can read it at your leisure. It will give you a basic understanding and we can fill in the blanks as we go along.

Stick with us. We are going to wake that little Sherline lathe up!
 

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mikey

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#56
I think this is a great opportunity, and very grateful to Mike for doing it. My plan is to get the key way material, and hopefully be able to make a very close copy of the examples to keep on hand. When I start having any issues from touching up, or a slight change in shape, I can see where I went wrong. And when I get old enough, maybe I'll get good at it.:p
I'm sure the other guys on the forum will agree with me that it ain't the age, it's the mileage!
 

Aukai

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#57
HAHA I feel like this horse has been ridden pretty hard. OK back to our programing....
 

q20v

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#58
Hey Mike,

I'm in Canada and would love to take part in this, is that possible considering my location? I would happily reimburse the shipper some of the shipping costs, considering it would likely be more due to the border crossing. If not, I completely understand.

Many thanks,

Barry
 

Z2V

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#59
Good morning Barry

I'm going to be at the end of the list so if you don't mind the wait I'll send a set up to you and you can return them to me when you are done with them. That will be no problem.
Send me a PM and I'll get them to you in time.

Jeff
 
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