This is my workbench now, what can I do to improve it?

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milwiron
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Re: This is my workbench now, what can I do to improve it?

Post by milwiron » Mon Dec 21, 2020 6:11 am

shild wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 8:06 pm
Yeah. Can you tell me more about this? I probably want to finish all the wheels before I make any axles incase I accidentally bore the axle hole a little too big on some, I can compensate leaving more meat on an axle? Which side of the wheels do you think should be machined first?
If your machining skills are iffy it'll be cheaper to trash an axle rather than a wheel casting. So yes, wheels before axles if your boring skills aren't where they should be. Personally, I dislike machining axles so I do them first to get them out of the way. Lots of people use reamers for axle holes in the wheels, I prefer a single tip tool and sturdy boring bar.
Start by facing the back of the wheel.
Learn to use a 4 jaw chuck proficiently for accuracy and holding ability.

Long ago I was a class a machinist/lead at a shipyard with dozens of large and small lathes, there was hardly a 3 jaw to be found and they were rarely used. The 3 jaw chucks we had were chucked up in a 4 jaw if we were doing quick lower accuracy work. It was a great learning/work experience, a rough crowd with lots of gallows humor.
Denny
"Measure twice, curse once."

Harold_V
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Re: This is my workbench now, what can I do to improve it?

Post by Harold_V » Mon Dec 21, 2020 3:48 pm

It should be noted that the use of soft jaws with a three jaw chuck results in a high degree of precision. That's assuming they are used properly. Four jaw chucks are a poor substitute when one must insert multiple parts and achieve good registration, especially when cost is a factor.

None of this is intended to diminish the value of a four jaw. One should simply understand that there is a better choice for some holding demands.

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

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milwiron
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Re: This is my workbench now, what can I do to improve it?

Post by milwiron » Mon Dec 21, 2020 5:13 pm

Cost, precision, registration and the bottom line were factors on the floor in every shop I ever worked in. Never had the luxury of anything else.

For a beginning steam machinist with a limited budget, buying and learning to use a 4 jaw efficiently will be much more valuable than sets of soft jaws.
Your mileage (and chip making background) may vary. :-)
Denny
"Measure twice, curse once."

Harold_V
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Re: This is my workbench now, what can I do to improve it?

Post by Harold_V » Tue Dec 22, 2020 4:31 am

milwiron wrote:
Mon Dec 21, 2020 5:13 pm
For a beginning steam machinist with a limited budget, buying and learning to use a 4 jaw efficiently will be much more valuable than sets of soft jaws.
Your mileage (and chip making background) may vary. :-)
Denny
That's simply not true, although it certainly can be, depending on the nature of the work at hand.

If a guy has multiple wheels to machine, soft jaws will beat a four jaw hands down. That's but one example. Axles are certainly another. The list is quite long, really.

I don't fear using a four jaw. Never have, and I've been using them since the late 50's, including having to hold tenths (concentricity). If I'd have been limited to a four jaw, much of the work I ran in my shop wouldn't have been possible. I shudder to think how much time I'd have wasted when I ran more than 600 spacers for the landing gear in a C-130. Without soft jaws it would have been a losing proposition.

There's a time and place for all holding systems. You just have to understand which one is to your advantage.

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

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milwiron
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Re: This is my workbench now, what can I do to improve it?

Post by milwiron » Tue Dec 22, 2020 6:42 am

Ok yes, I was never a production machinist but I'm pretty sure I have a decent understanding of holding systems and also how to use the tooling shops actually have on hand.

Since you insist, in only my vertical & horizontal turning, gear shaping and hobbing experiences: 20,000+ pound forgings in a 50 foot lathe, titanium prototype helicopter rotor shaft, 72 inch gears, castings, forgings and chunks of metal of all sizes... all done with 4 jaws or positionable 4/6 jaws because the parts weren't consistent enough or in enough quantities to warrant fixtures or other holding methods. I have spent thousands of hours building fixtures and jigs for production machinists to use.
If you want to continue to compare careers I humbly suggest to the moderator we take it to PM's or an on-topic thread.

With 2 or 3 axles plus a tender I wouldn't consider the locos shild is talking about building to be projects that require soft jaws. You obviously disagree.
Denny
"Measure twice, curse once."

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milwiron
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Re: This is my workbench now, what can I do to improve it?

Post by milwiron » Tue Dec 22, 2020 6:59 am

I just realized I'm the jerk who mentioned careers first. I humbly apologize to all.
Denny
"Measure twice, curse once."

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pat1027
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Re: This is my workbench now, what can I do to improve it?

Post by pat1027 » Tue Dec 22, 2020 7:29 am

My dad started his first locomotive when I was in my teens. With children still at home his budget for locomotive building was limited. He did everything in a four jaw chuck. It was slower than a three jaw at times but this was a hobby not his profession. His wheels were turned on mandrels. His axles in a simple fixture bored from scrap bar or between centers.

Each locomotive builder is different. The thread started with shild looking for ways to become a faster machinist. From that prospective soft jaws in a three jaw is a valid option. A builder with a need for economy may look to what he can do with less tooling. With care both work.

Cudos to Harold and milwiron for brining professional experience to the discussions. I follow some threads just because people discuss things I hadn't thought of. I watched a Haas training video this morning on how to select and machine soft jaws. I don't need it today but maybe tomorrow...

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NP317
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Re: This is my workbench now, what can I do to improve it?

Post by NP317 » Tue Dec 22, 2020 12:04 pm

milwiron wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 6:59 am
I just realized I'm the jerk who mentioned careers first. I humbly apologize to all.
Denny
Denny:
These discussions are all interesting to me.
Thanks for contributing.
RussN

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tornitore45
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Re: This is my workbench now, what can I do to improve it?

Post by tornitore45 » Tue Dec 22, 2020 4:10 pm

I have not used my drill chuck in ages. 80% of the time the mill spindle has a E25 collet chuck. it can take end mills, drills and taps.
The drill chuck sticks out 4", the ER25 collet chuck may be 2" and the collet can be changed quickly.
A tool change requiring a new collet size does not requires much head moving if any IF the tool is in the collet in the nut before is screwed on. The tool is free retract in the collet during the nut screwing On, then it can come out before tightening.

I have the same mill, Sieg X3, and is a capable little machine for the size work I do.
Mauro Gaetano
in Austin TX

Harold_V
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Re: This is my workbench now, what can I do to improve it?

Post by Harold_V » Tue Dec 22, 2020 4:43 pm

milwiron wrote:
Tue Dec 22, 2020 6:42 am
With 2 or 3 axles plus a tender I wouldn't consider the locos shild is talking about building to be projects that require soft jaws. You obviously disagree.
Denny
Only because they can be of benefit. I have not disagreed that a four jaw works. They are slow and cumbersome, even in the hands of those with considerable experience, when compared to the advantages of soft jaws. They also lack the ability to register one's work. None of this is fatal---it's just a lot easier to deal with soft jaws.

Understand that this is not about right and wrong. It's just that there are optional ways to skin the cat. Readers should be exposed to all possibilities and be allowed to make their own decisions about which one is right for them. To promote a single method does not serve anyone well, and to discredit the use of soft jaws is an absolute disservice to those who are trying to learn.

A comment about what constitutes a point at which soft jaws become an advantage. It often has NOTHING to do with the quantity of parts involved. Think of gripping a washer, as an example. Holding a washer in a four jaw chuck is an exercise in futility. You've done it, and so have I. I have also used soft jaws, where the washer is automatically registered, not only concentricity, but perpendicularity. It's fast and easy, and one can be installed in seconds and be spot on. Best of all, it is gripped without the least sign of damage, which can not be said of a four jaw (unless it's a universal with soft jaws).

Building any device that has more than one of a turned component will often benefit by the use of soft jaws. They are fast, efficient and accurate, and offer the ability to register parts. Please do NOT discredit their use.

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

shild
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Re: This is my workbench now, what can I do to improve it?

Post by shild » Tue Dec 22, 2020 6:49 pm

Thanks for the replies guys!.. Already have my 4-jaw and the 3 jaw that came with the lathe, probably not going to get another lathe chuck anytime soon cause shelf space is limited. Trying to get the R8 keyway out of my mill spindle as was suggested. Got the spindle out but I have to get these 2 locknuts off. Not even sure if it's right hand thread or left hand. What do you call the tool that will get these off? Tried putting it in the vice with drill bits in keyway to turn them but didn't seem to budge.
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JoeKahan
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Re: This is my workbench now, what can I do to improve it?

Post by JoeKahan » Wed Dec 23, 2020 1:12 am

The wrench you're looking for is something I've heard being called a spanner wrench or a lock-nut wrench. Check Google or Amazon for Gardner Bender LNW-KIT
Joe Kahan
C.E.O. Paradise and Warm Springs Railway
GE 23T Box Cab
Allen Chloe Project
M.O.W. Highrailer project

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