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Cutting tools

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So I've started messing with my atlas 618 I got in December. I'm starting to get the hang of it. Did a few passes on the side and face of a piece of steel. It only came with the cutoff tool but I bought a cutter for a dollar and tried it out. I should have bought the carbide one he had but I wasn't sure it would fit in my tool holder. 

Anyway, where do you find cutters? I know most of the HSS ones come as blanks but I've tried google and can't find stores that carry any of them. I'll probably order online but would like to find somewhere local. What would I put in to search google, like "specialty shop" near me. Also, does lowes have them? Website wasn't showing anything. 

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I used to buy carbide lathe bits at a place that handled a lot of used machinery. Their ad mentions

"dot.gif MAINTENANCE SUPPLIES dot.gif CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT dot.gif PRECISION TOOLS dot.gif 
dot.gif MACHINERY dot.gif CUTTING TOOLS dot.gif INDUSTRIAL DISTRIBUTORS dot.gif 

Tool and Machinery Supermarket    dot.gif    Full Line Stocking Industrial Distributor

They actually once had a LARGE Buffalo Forge, NOS, complete and unused, WWII surplus---about 4' square with hood and coal/water hoppers.  I couldn't afford it; but I found someone who could and put them together so it would go to a "good home"...sigh.

 

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At least you can go visit it. Lol

alright, I think I've seen some craigslist ads like that in my area before. I've gotta get my tailstock soon and learn how to cut threads. Give this free machine some use. 

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Well it's about a 1500 mile drive for me now...Columbus OH for the store.  The forge went to a guy in Louisiana; who worked offshore in the oilfield.

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I've got family up by Columbus. In grove city. Maybe I'll ask my aunt to check it out for me before she comes down next time. 

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Vintagemachinery.org has scanned a manual for the 618 you can look at or download If you're interested or haven't read it yet.

Pnut

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Ebay, Grizzly, Shars   just for three.     Google is your friend.  Go to ebay and search for high sped steel tool bits.

Obtain high speed steel tool bits and learn how to grind them.    Buy a reprint of the old South Bend Book  "How To Run A Lathe".    Shows how to grind tool bits.

Carbide and inserts are short cuts, but a good selection of ground high speed steel bits is the way to go.    You can grind or regrind for just about anything.

Probably 1/4 inch tool bits for your lathe.

 

 

 

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Buy a  modern text book to learn how to sharpen lathe cutters. I don't think anybody has sharpened lathe cutters as shown in the old Southbend book since WWII. We had copies on the shelf in metal shop class as examples of "old school" not current methods and I graduated high school in '70.

Carbides are entirely different cutters, you can't even use the same tool post or holders without cocking them at extreme angles.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Darn I knew I was old.   Maybe the last one that sharpens HSS tool bits.  I guess I am not anybody.

Walk into any job shop that does machining and you will still see HSS tool bits being used to supplement carbide and ceramic.  The beauty of HSS is you can grind a bit to any special shape you need, and this need arises often in a job shop where anything and everything comes through the door.

The importance of the old South Bend Book is it explains and shows the how and why of sharpening HSS.    Rake angels, side and top angles, geometry of the bit nose, and a lot of other things.    I have a lot of "Modern" texts, have supervised machinists in industrial shops, and even have taught machining skills.   Learn the old school methods and you will have a much better understanding of how things work in a real machine shop.  Carbide is great in most applications but there are areas where HSS is just a better choice.

The short stubby bits in one of the above photos are used in boring bars.

 

 

 

Boring Mustang Sprocket.jpg

Tool Bits 001.jpg

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Companies like MSC, J&L, ENCO have monthly specials and tool bits are fairly common to see in their fliers.

 

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Posted (edited)

Carbide does not work in regular holders?    Nobody told me.

Look close and you will see a mix of HSS and Carbide.   

HSS grinding today is exactly the same as shown in the old South Bend book.

 

 

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More HSS bits as used in boring bars:

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Edited by Mod30
resize large photos.

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That is the beauty of grinding HSS, you can make it work in any holder, can't say the same for carbides. The excessive relief on your cutters is right out of the old books alright. The ONLY relief necessary is just enough to prevent the bit rubbing behind the edge. (known as dragging) The less relief the better. In many cases just touching a new out of the box HSS blank on the grinder to make an edge is all the relief necessary for a left or right cutter. 

Seriously, unless you're cutting a groove for say a retainer clip all that exaggerated relief does is weaken the bit and make it more susceptible to over heating. Yeah, I know a hot cutter is a dull cutter. 

You actually TEACH people to sharpen general lathe cutters like that? 

Frosty The Lucky.

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You and I disagree, sorry.     I machine a lot of stainless and 4140, the reliefs are needed for proper cutting.

End of story, no more posts on this subject for me, you are not the all time expert.  

 

Mods, please delete all my posts in this thread, I do not want to engage and discuss this anymore.

 

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Calm down,

and no we wont delete them. If you do not want to talk about it you should not post.

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Enco, which appears to now be mscdirect dot com, sells HSS blanks. I bought some for my mini-lathe. I use both carbide and HSS and have a copy of the South Bend book soaked in machine oil because someone spilled the bottle on it but won't admit it.

I also watch a lot of videos on youtube by tubalcain about lathe operations. I also read a bunch on mini-lathe.com (he has some retail listings as well) and Little Machine Shop (they sell an Atlas kit that includes cutters as well as blanks) that show how and why behind sharpening HSS. LMS isn't the cheapest, but I like retailers who share info. As I recall, Enco was the least expensive of the online retailers and the products I purchased were exactly as described. That was a while ago and there may be others selling for less now.

My experience is that HSS blanks are inexpensive and it's not hard to learn how to grind the cutters to the shape you want. I have a Rikon grinder with some nice wheels on it so it doesn't take too long and it's kind of...zen, maybe? But I also grind woodturning and metal spinning tools---and may very well be making a bowl gouge for wood carving---and for me, that's part of my process. There are days when I use carbide because I want to get one step completed a little more quickly or, for example, I want to rough out a bowl from a gnarly chunk of wood and carbide tends to be faster and seems to catch less on the material. But for other stuff, HSS works best for me.

Grinding the HSS tools has also helped me understand why certain tools do a certain thing and to learn how to choose the right tool for each operation. That, and safety, is important to me.

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