New in town

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IdleChater
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:35 pm
Location: South Carolina

New in town

Post by IdleChater » Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:28 pm

Hi!

I'm new to the group (thanks for the add) and would like start with some questions, but first and explanation about why I'm here.

I'm a wood turner and, among other things, I make manual gear shift knobs. I want to make them heavier than what just wood alone offers.

What I want to do is take 1" aluminum rod, in pieces about 2" long, drilled and tapped to m16x1.50. These would be inserted into a knob, which is then finished.

I'm pretty sure I can do that in my current shop.

Aluminum may not be heavy enough for some. Stainless steel may offer significant weight gain. However, I'm not equipped to work with stainless.

And that's what brings me here.

The way I see it, I have two options - learn to do it myself, or find someone who can do it for me.

If I were to buy a bench-top lathe at say, Harbor Frieght, how difficult would it be to learn to work stainless?

I've had trouble finding a hobby/garage machinist locally. I'm wondering if there might be some discussion here about finding one?

Thanks!

John Evans
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Location: Phoenix ,AZ

Re: New in town

Post by John Evans » Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:37 pm

First off you show no location city would good. Second those Horror Freight 7X12 etc lathes have a hard enough time with shinny wood [aluminum] pretty much forget SS.
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IdleChater
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:35 pm
Location: South Carolina

Re: New in town

Post by IdleChater » Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:29 pm

John Evans wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:37 pm
First off you show no location city would good. Second those Horror Freight 7X12 etc lathes have a hard enough time with shinny wood [aluminum] pretty much forget SS.
Ok, I have the locale fixed as much as I'm gonna.

Now, abut that lathe. If the HF products are incapable of drilling a 14.7 mm hole through a 1 x 2" SS rod, then minimally, what would be?

Or barring that, how does one go about successfully enlistig the help of a skilled crafter?

John Evans
Posts: 2100
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:33 pm
Location: Phoenix ,AZ

Re: New in town

Post by John Evans » Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:06 pm

Put a add on your local Craigslist and see if you can scare up a hobby machinist to help you out. 10-12" lathe that weighs 1000 lbs would be minimum. And you will be tapping by hand also. Question that seems to be a very large thread for a shift knob? Going to put various adapters into that ? And why metric ? If adapters will be used?
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Harold_V
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Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2002 11:02 pm
Location: Onalaska, WA USA

Re: New in town

Post by Harold_V » Sat Feb 01, 2020 2:32 am

One comment (or more!).
While the HF lathe isn't much of a tool, so long as you aren't seriously interested in machining, it may satisfy your need for drilling stainless. If it will develop a low speed of less than 400 rpm, it may just work well enough. Now the catch. The stainless you select is ultra critical. Most stainless alloys are difficult to machine, and respond poorly to excessive speed. Key to this is the comment "most". There are some free machining grades that will behave well enough for you to achieve success. Again, speed is still critical, but they are more forgiving than the balance of materials.

In order of preference, if you can locate some 416 stainless in the annealed condition, it would be the best choice possible, although the second choice and third choices aren't all that much more difficult to machine. They're 303 Se or 303 S, with the Se having a slight edge on machining, at least in my experience. Of the three, 303 S is most commonly available. Do NOT select any of the other 300 series stainless materials, as they are difficult to machine, and very difficult to drill and tap with the type of equipment you'll be dealing with.

If you decide to give this a go, please do yourself a favor and buy quality taps, and understand which might be your best choice. In this case, you'd likely tap the insert in the machine, which you can do by using a plug hand tap, which would be supported on the end by a center in the tailstock. By tapping this way you are assured of alignment, which will minimize the risk of breaking the tap. The tap is placed in the drilled hole, then the center brought up to the tap, which will support it in alignment. You then, with the machine in its lowest gear, turn the tap by hand (using a small adjustable wrench), with the spindle stationary. Keep a light pressure on the tap by turning the tailstock handle. Do not use excessive pressure, as that will cause problems with the lead of the tap as it starts cutting. Just keep it supported to the point where the tap can't move sideways, and is not restricted in turning by the tailstock pressure. Understand that proper lubrication is important. There area fluids made for tapping, and they're available in small dispenser tins at a reasonable price. It is advisable to use a proper cutting oil when drilling. Sulfur based is good, but stinks. It would be my choice. Drilling will be best at the slowest speed you have at your disposable. I made mention of the less than 400 so you don't try anything faster. Start the hole with a center drill, or a starter drill to ensure it is on center.

Are you familiar with tapping? Are you aware that a hand tap must be reversed regularly, in order for the generated chips to break? If you don't reverse, they'll build up in the flutes of the tap, causing it to seize in the hole. That often results in a broken tap, so don't forget to back the tap regularly, at least once every half turn. You might discover that every quarter turn is necessary. You'll know by the feel. If the chipos don't like to break with a half turn, and you are met with serious resistance, try a quarter.

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

IdleChater
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:35 pm
Location: South Carolina

Re: New in town

Post by IdleChater » Sat Feb 01, 2020 8:44 am

John Evans wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 10:06 pm
Put a add on your local Craigslist and see if you can scare up a hobby machinist to help you out.
That's the very first thing I did. No dice.
10-12" lathe that weighs 1000 lbs would be minimum.


For pieces 1 x 2 inches? Even used, my budget and amount of shop space kinda blow the idea out of the water. :( Bummer.
And you will be tapping by hand also.
KInda figured that.
Question that seems to be a very large thread for a shift knob? Going to put various adapters into that ? And why metric ? If adapters will be used?
The thread size (m16 x 1.5) is to accomodate the outside thread of the adapters I use. This way, one knob can be oufitted to accomodate just about any threaded shift lever, foreign or domestic.

The challenge is weight. A spherical wood knob, ~ 50mm dia, with the adapting kits I currently use, weighs less than 100g. Metal knobs can get close to 300g. Common wisdom sez that heavier knobs are easier to shift with, so some people insist on weighted knobs. My experience is that common wisdom isn't entirely correct. I've used both light and heavy knobs in my Miata and see little difference. They shift about the same. The light knob,"feels" rougher perhaps, but isn't any harder to shift than the heavy knobs I've used. However, it's easier to try to accomodate their wishes or turn away the business, than to try to convice them otherwise.

Thus the quest for weight. Even with SS, getting to 300g is a reach, but with aluminum, I might not make 200g. Better than nothing, I suppose, but with getting the right tools training and space for even this very simple task seems out of reach. :(

You'd think that there would be plenty of hobby machinists in my area. Not that long ago there were cotton mills everywhere. Each one had a millwright shop. But no.

Frustrating to say the least.

IdleChater
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:35 pm
Location: South Carolina

Re: New in town

Post by IdleChater » Sat Feb 01, 2020 9:01 am

Great stuff, Harold! Thanks.

Yes I'm familiar with tapping. I understand the need to clear the tool periodically from working with certain exotic hardwoods. When drilling/boring hard oily woods or certain acrylics, the shavings can clog the flutes, causing heat buildup that can cause bind-up and/or crack the blank, so you back out the drill every 1/2 inch or so and use slow turning speed. I keep a shop vac on hand when deep drilling, to help quickly air-cool the bit. I've actually had wood work pieces ignite when I was a noob. I imagine drilling and tapping metal would require similar discipline.

Any way, thanks again
Harold_V wrote:
Sat Feb 01, 2020 2:32 am
One comment (or more!).
While the HF lathe isn't much of a tool, so long as you aren't seriously interested in machining, it may satisfy your need for drilling stainless. If it will develop a low speed of less than 400 rpm, it may just work well enough. Now the catch. The stainless you select is ultra critical. Most stainless alloys are difficult to machine, and respond poorly to excessive speed. Key to this is the comment "most". There are some free machining grades that will behave well enough for you to achieve success. Again, speed is still critical, but they are more forgiving than the balance of materials.

In order of preference, if you can locate some 416 stainless in the annealed condition, it would be the best choice possible, although the second choice and third choices aren't all that much more difficult to machine. They're 303 Se or 303 S, with the Se having a slight edge on machining, at least in my experience. Of the three, 303 S is most commonly available. Do NOT select any of the other 300 series stainless materials, as they are difficult to machine, and very difficult to drill and tap with the type of equipment you'll be dealing with.

If you decide to give this a go, please do yourself a favor and buy quality taps, and understand which might be your best choice. In this case, you'd likely tap the insert in the machine, which you can do by using a plug hand tap, which would be supported on the end by a center in the tailstock. By tapping this way you are assured of alignment, which will minimize the risk of breaking the tap. The tap is placed in the drilled hole, then the center brought up to the tap, which will support it in alignment. You then, with the machine in its lowest gear, turn the tap by hand (using a small adjustable wrench), with the spindle stationary. Keep a light pressure on the tap by turning the tailstock handle. Do not use excessive pressure, as that will cause problems with the lead of the tap as it starts cutting. Just keep it supported to the point where the tap can't move sideways, and is not restricted in turning by the tailstock pressure. Understand that proper lubrication is important. There area fluids made for tapping, and they're available in small dispenser tins at a reasonable price. It is advisable to use a proper cutting oil when drilling. Sulfur based is good, but stinks. It would be my choice. Drilling will be best at the slowest speed you have at your disposable. I made mention of the less than 400 so you don't try anything faster. Start the hole with a center drill, or a starter drill to ensure it is on center.

Are you familiar with tapping? Are you aware that a hand tap must be reversed regularly, in order for the generated chips to break? If you don't reverse, they'll build up in the flutes of the tap, causing it to seize in the hole. That often results in a broken tap, so don't forget to back the tap regularly, at least once every half turn. You might discover that every quarter turn is necessary. You'll know by the feel. If the chipos don't like to break with a half turn, and you are met with serious resistance, try a quarter.

H

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tornitore45
Posts: 1782
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 12:24 am
Location: USA Texas, Austin

Re: New in town

Post by tornitore45 » Sat Feb 01, 2020 9:17 am

I do not have a 7/10 but own a 9/20 from a visual comparison of the two machines and the type/size of work I have done on my lathe I would say the HF 7/10 can Bore and thread M16 SS. You do not need to drill 14.7 mm in one gulp. Start with smaller and see how large the next size can be. Slowly with patience. Single point part of the way and finish with a tap.
As for learning curve it depends from your mechanical attitude and sensitivity, some folks have a knack and some just can't.
Is a matter of learning from one's mistakes, you will make a few. Reflect of what went wrong and formulate a successful plan.
The next size up in lathes, a 9/20 class will do the work without strain BUT forget power tapping M16, is hard enough by hand with a large wrench, my lathe has a clutch that limits the torque, any small lathe with such will slip. For such large threads I usually single point it but if I have the tap and decide to use it I wrench it in with one hand on the tap wrench and one hand on an adjustable wrench on the chuck jaw.
Common wisdom sez that heavier knobs are easier to shift with
I inhaled my coffee reading this. People without a basic understanding of physic should not be allowed to drive an automatic, much less a stick shift. Once the knob is crewed on the lever it makes no difference to the shifting motion "feel".
The added inertia make no difference compared to all other masses and forces associated. The only difference is in changing the natural resonance of the lever, it may vibrate at different speed regimen. Considering that the stock knob is light and adequate the appreciation for mass is hog wash just like the added sound quality achieved by monster cables and low dielectric absorption capacitors. Now, "chemtrails" is all another bowl of wax.
Mauro Gaetano
in Austin TX

John Evans
Posts: 2100
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:33 pm
Location: Phoenix ,AZ

Re: New in town

Post by John Evans » Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:46 am

tornitore45 wrote:
Sat Feb 01, 2020 9:17 am

Common wisdom sez that heavier knobs are easier to shift with
I inhaled my coffee reading this. People without a basic understanding of physic should not be allowed to drive an automatic, much less a stick shift. Once the knob is crewed on the lever it makes no difference to the shifting motion "feel".
The added inertia make no difference compared to all other masses and forces associated. The only difference is in changing the natural resonance of the lever, it may vibrate at different speed regimen. Considering that the stock knob is light and adequate the appreciation for mass is hog wash just like the added sound quality achieved by monster cables and low dielectric absorption capacitors. Now, "chemtrails" is all another bowl of wax.
And it takes MORE force to get a heavier mass into motion !! You want heavy try Malory Metal ! Thankfully I had not picked up my coffee yet! :lol:
www.chaski.com

IdleChater
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jan 31, 2020 7:35 pm
Location: South Carolina

Re: New in town

Post by IdleChater » Sat Feb 01, 2020 12:36 pm

tornitore45 wrote:
Sat Feb 01, 2020 9:17 am

I inhaled my coffee reading this. People without a basic understanding of physic should not be allowed to drive an automatic, much less a stick shift. Once the knob is crewed on the lever it makes no difference to the shifting motion "feel".
The added inertia make no difference compared to all other masses and forces associated. The only difference is in changing the natural resonance of the lever, it may vibrate at different speed regimen. Considering that the stock knob is light and adequate the appreciation for mass is hog wash just like the added sound quality achieved by monster cables and low dielectric absorption capacitors. Now, "chemtrails" is all another bowl of wax.
Believe me I'm with you on this. I'm a software engineer by profession and an anthropologist by education and I know it doesn't take rocket science to figure out that the weight of the knob shouldn't make any appreciable difference in the applied physics of gear shifting. There may be a tactile qualitative difference (MAY be). And besides, if efficiency is the goal, then a manual is the last thing to have. Modern automatics such as those found in high-end sports and performance luxury cars are far more efficient shifting.

I just don't get people sometimes. Someone making & selling metal knobs tells them their knobs are more efficient and they believe it. You can't tell them different.

To get back on topic:

Knowing little about metal lathes can someone offer suitable makes/models to look at? I suspect if I keep making knobs, I'm going to have to start making my own inserts eventually. Best to start planning early.

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tornitore45
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Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 12:24 am
Location: USA Texas, Austin

Re: New in town

Post by tornitore45 » Sat Feb 01, 2020 1:14 pm

https://www.grizzly.com/metal-lathes
Feast your eyes
As previously discussed the 7" class are just sufficient but is more work on your part. The 9" class can do all you need.
Since threading is standard procedure in doing inserts and adapters you will end up mastering it. Is not difficult.
One thing: Changing from metric to imperial thread is a minor pain so plan your insert to have the ID thread of the same breed as the most common stick shift thread which given the present state of auto industry got to be metric.
Mauro Gaetano
in Austin TX

John Evans
Posts: 2100
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:33 pm
Location: Phoenix ,AZ

Re: New in town

Post by John Evans » Sat Feb 01, 2020 1:25 pm

South Bend Heavy 10 or a 13",Logan 11-12" , Clausing 5900 series,Sheldon in US made. I have no problem with the better quailty Chinese 12" as I have been running one for the last 15 years also have a 5913 Clausing 12" . Have owned 12" Atlas/Craftsman [rather light duty ] Logan-S B various Chinese 10-12" that I repaired and sold. A big consideration is if you MUST single point Metric threads,most of the US I mentioned will require several special gears to cut metric. Even on my 12" Chinese I have to change a gear or 2 but,it at least came with them. I had a 18X 40" Chinese ENCO lathe that had metric built into the QC box but, it weighted about 4500 lbs and was 7.5 HP 3 phase. Many of the S Bs and some Logan's -Clausing's etc were 3 phase 220 V. There are ways to get around this ,my preference is rotary converters,you can easily run more than one machine off 1 rotary.Grizzly sells a 12" "Gunsmith" lathe for about $4500 that I have been around and is a pretty decent machine. How about considering making your adapters with 5/8-18 on the OD ? Then tapping the ID of those to whatever.Internal threads below 1/2 or so are best done with taps. Single pointing in that size range in a blind hole will not be fun even for a pro machinest.
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