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Weighing the merits of a lathe in the shop


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1 hour ago, John R said:

Well I could pound on the keyboard for hours on the uses of a lathe in the shop.

John R, good to see your post!!!

I see by your PROFILE, you are QUITE the Workman.

I am enjoying especially the two pictures of your tool-post belt grinder - elegant simplicity!

On whether one requires a lathe in the shop:

If one finds oneself (more than once)  "turning" a ø on  one's drill press with an angle grinder, it is probably time to acquire a lathe.

And as for a mill.......

Well!

Robert Taylor

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I have an acquaintance who retired from a career as a carpenter and wanted to get into machine work.  Bought a new lathe and put it on the gravel pad behind his house with a sheemetal roof over it and no walls.  I asked him how he leveled it and he said Huh?  I actually have a "clean shop" next to the smithy separated by a 10'x10' roll up door that has a concrete floor; but I'm resisting the urge to go cold! 

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50 minutes ago, Anachronist58 said:

Hmmmm...... I just noticed that you are flycutting that slab with a piece of high speed steel. Nice.

I can see that you have been building your own tooling for quite a number of years.....

 

Fly cutter tooling is very cheap compared to end mills .  Do it right with coolant and you have a very nice finish.

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Another view of single point tooling.  Carbide, roughing cut and thick cutting oil to pull out the heat.

Smoking!

 

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Getting to final diameter:   Finer feed, less depth of cut and the follower rest.  The follower prevents deflection of the work piece in order to hold a constant diameter.

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Level, level, who is on the level????

Athol Massachusetts to the rescue.  Thank you Mr. Starrett!   One of my cherished possessions.

This is not the average carpenter level.

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Shop floor is 8 inch thick concrete full of rebar and fiber mesh.  Machinery bases are bolted to the floor via Hilti Quik Bolts.

Note the precision leveling shims.  

Just as important as level is removing all twist from the bed.  You can be level and still have twist!  Properly leveling and removing twist is an old school machinist procedure that  takes a good bit of trial and error checking.

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Dial indicators:  Important items required for accurate set ups.

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High Speed Steel (HSS) and Carbide.  

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Back to Basics:   Some of my first tools, passed on to me from my Grandfather.   Note the year of publication for the book.

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More books from the good old days:

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A more modern book, from the 1980's.   Anyone read machinist books these days?

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Yea history in hand.

 

I have an old Engineer's handbook from around 1900 or so.   It contains several chapters on shop practices, including how to pour and machine babbitt bearings and how to make & fit cast iron piston rings.

Like Patton said:    Read the book!!!  

Below is my pre-CADD drafting system.  I have T-Squares and Triangles also.

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  • 4 months later...

John, you have a nice set up there.  Clearly put some thought into it.  Well done.

 

 

A blacksmith and a machinist were talking.  The machinist said "I can make anything.  Ask me to make something, anything, and I'll prove it."  The blacksmith said "Make a 1/2" hole in a 1/2" bar."

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Mr. Yaggi,

Permit me to be a pedantic pest for a moment.

(it comes naturally for a mind that is easily confused).

The challenge is stated rather vaguely. Is the half inch bar a half inch thick, together with a wider width? There seems to an unstated connotation that the bar is a half inch square in cross section.

The challenge is also ambiguous when it states "half inch bar".

If the bar is indeed, a half inch in cross section would that be that measurement of the bar initially or is it that dimension constant throughout the procedure.

It is not denoted. If the first interpretation is correct, we could start out with those dimensions and then stretch the bar 's width (drawing the width out) and then make the hole in the widened dimension.

I always enjoyed the trendy movement of about 30 years ago  whose goal was to have contracts written in simple English (in "laymen's terms").

It took several hundreds years of contract case law to hammer out the precise meaning of many words and phrases. Much of that legalese is found in today's contract clauses and it reflects that language.

Talking on new plain meaning contract wording would then require several hundred more years to hammer out consistent, precise, & reliable meaning.

In other words, languages are not as precise as many people realize. Nor are many everyday situations. (all manner of unforeseen circumstances can arise to make the contract bargain a potential disaster). A long body of case law over many years can warn deal makers of many such situations but not all. (let me give you one example. How about two different ships, of the same name set sail on that same day but with different destinations thousands of miles apart. Cargo is delivered to the wrong ship. This happened several times in the port of new York City in the early 1800's).

And amateur contracts drafted by non-lawyers, are often a pathetic mess. Such contracts and wills are simple enough to shred by a reasonable attorney. The court cases emanating from those contracts can get very expensive, and time consuming. 

I hope the reader of this purple patch will get some enjoyment form same.

SLAG.

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14 hours ago, SLAG said:

The challenge is also ambiguous when it states "half inch bar".

Mr SLAG,

I have enjoyed reading your purple patch.

Based on my heritage, if my Uncle Jim were to walk in to my machine shop, it would be implicit that he meant to drift a half inch hole through a bar of one-half inch cross-section in at least one dimension. Thus, I, myself, would be able to fill the bill. If he were to go to my Aerospace plant, and were to ask different departments to "make me one of those", he would be met with different responses. He would most likely though, look around the 27 acre campus, where his olfactory senses would lead him to the proper venue. His order would soon thereafter be filled.

A few years ago, I showed up at Jim's farm, wearing new bib overalls. Uncle Jim laughed at me. Had he taken me to some local hangout all present would instantly understand.  It would be implicit that I had not yet helped him with a single chore.

Robert

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Robert,

I am glad that you enjoyed the screed that I posted.

Yes implicit vs. explicit,   and 

Connoted vs. denoted,

are invaluable concepts.

Let me load a corollary to my post. The ability to think in the shoes (mind) of others is extremely useful.

Also, having a wide body of information, gained from many sources, also helps.

With those assets we can draft much better bargains that cover points that would come to mind for most people.

(the former concept is also extremely useful for sales, public speaking, maintaining relationships, etc.)

Regards,

Dan.

a. k. a.  SLAG.

I have Ola Gejeilo's Sunrise Mass playing in the background. Highly recommended.

 

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1 hour ago, SLAG said:

Robert

Thanks Dan, permit me please, to lift the whole cloth of some of your content, and paste it into the impending update of my employment cover letter.

You have elucidated precisely what I wish to convey about my skill sets, to my  next prospective 'employer'.

 I will act upon your recommendation regarding Ola Gejeilo's Sunrise Mass

Robert

 

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I don't know if folks are still interested in the original question. The merits of a LATHE in the Blacksmith's workshop.

To that I say you bet. If I had the room for it I would have an older lathe in a heartbeat. 

To all the other post, the question should be "The merit of some blacksmithing tools in a machinery shop." I can't answer that because I don't have a machinery shop nor the skills to operate it. I love watching them on youtube though. :)

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Robert,

I am very glad that you find the post of use. Yes the content is there for everyone to contemplate/use.

Ring me up if you want more detail, examples etc.

If yes p.m. me and I'll reply with the phone number. I wish that you were situated closer by. (that goes for a lot of the folks on this site).

Best regards

SLAG.

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Two little machines that are almost indispensable if you like to make architectural and decorative stuff, are a cold saw or a band saw, and a tube bending machine. A mandrel hydraulic one is my choice, I do have a cold saw because the bandsaw takes up too much room. 

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