My first lathe project!

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zetec7
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:55 am

My first lathe project!

Post by zetec7 » Tue Sep 07, 2010 12:53 am

Well, I'm a newbie at machining, and the first thing I've tackled (other than straight turning of some parts) is a ball-turning attachment. It's a variation on Steve Bedair's design, modified to suit the materials I could get my hands on (or had "in stock"), and requiring the absolute minimum of milling (as I don't have a mill, a milling attachment, or access to a mill).

The main base and "puck" are made out of 6061 aluminum (because that's what I had), a Saab clutch throw-out bearing (also, because that's what I had) between the base and the puck, and a PTFE bearing under the head of the stainless socket-head bolt that holds the two parts together (I had some PTFE, so I turned a small bearing - worked great!). Underneath is the conical insert (also aluminum, and threaded so that it acts as a jam nut to keep the center bolt from turning out) that fits into the cross slide - it's an exact duplicate of the cone on the underside of the compound, and seems to hold the ball turner down solidly. The handle shaft is a piece of spring-tempered stainless steel (you guessed it - I had it in stock), and the handle itself was the first ball-turning job for the tool. It worked well, as you can see. The reason the knob is the shape it is is because I also wanted to try taper turning, internal threading, etc., and this shape required several different turning techniques. The whole thing needs cleaning up and polishing, but it's in working condition now.

One issue I had was how to attach a cutting tip to the thing. I've seen various techniques, many of which required milling. So, since I had a spare 3/8"-square-shank cutter with indexable carbide tip, I decided to use that. However, cutting a square hole for it to slide into wasn't in the cards, so I turned the square shank down to 1/4" round, and drilled & reamed a hole for it to slide into. The beauty of it is that I can reverse it for cutting concaves by just loosening the socket head bolt on top, removing the cutter, and sliding it back in from the other side.

Anyway, it's really not much of a project compared to the incredible work I've seen on this website, but as my very first machining build, I'm quite pleased. It looks okay, but most importantly it works!! Well, we all have to start somewhere!
Attachments
ballturnersmall1.jpg
ballturnersmall2.jpg
ballturnersmall3.jpg

dly31
Posts: 1052
Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2004 11:29 pm
Location: Northeast Alabama

Re: My first lathe project!

Post by dly31 » Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:30 pm

Looks good to me, first project or not! Great work on the milled parts, especially without a milling machine. It must represent a lot of time and learning and you are certainly to be commended for that. I also enjoy the "use what you have on hand" part.

Don Young
Don Young

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ken572
Posts: 2600
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 8:11 pm
Location: Mesa, Arizona. 85201-1517

Re: My first lathe project!

Post by ken572 » Tue Sep 07, 2010 8:18 pm

Hello zetec7,

You really did a great job on your Ball Turning Fixture.

Ken. :)
One must remember.
The best learning experiences come
from working with the older Masters.
Ken.

thekrutch
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:34 pm
Location: Somewhere in Illinois

Re: My first lathe project!

Post by thekrutch » Fri Sep 10, 2010 12:31 pm

If you are a 'newbe' and this is your first, just wait till you get some experiance under your belt! Looks good, not too complicated and works like 'store bought'. Keep up the good work.
Krutch
Krutch

Mentally confused and prone to wandering!

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MachineMitch
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:47 am
Location: Indianapolis, IN

Re: My first lathe project!

Post by MachineMitch » Wed Sep 22, 2010 1:49 pm

Lookin' pretty good there, Zetec. I'm a newbie to metalworking myself, so this is definitely some hefty inspiration here. I have to agree with everyone else and say that this does certainly look like a store bought product. I'm sure that as time progresses, you'll become even better and then an unstoppable force of metalworking. LOL. I can't wait to start on my project. The only issue I'm personally having is that I don't know what to put together.

kazlx
Posts: 74
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:47 pm
Location: Orange, CA

Re: My first lathe project!

Post by kazlx » Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:34 am

Nice...that's one of the first things I would like to build. How did you get the slot in the puck with only a lathe?

KellyJones
Posts: 116
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:10 pm
Location: Snohomish, WA

Re: My first lathe project!

Post by KellyJones » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:29 pm

Nice job. You referred to Steve Bedair's design. Do you have his sketches? I would like to start a similar project and I am curoius how the rotating base is attached to the cross slide.

thanks
Kelly Jones, PE
A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
George Bernard Shaw
(1856-1950)

EdK
Posts: 688
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:20 am
Location: Minnesota

Re: My first lathe project!

Post by EdK » Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:12 pm

KellyJones wrote:Nice job. You referred to Steve Bedair's design. Do you have his sketches? I would like to start a similar project and I am curoius how the rotating base is attached to the cross slide.

thanks
Kelly,

Here's a link to Steve's design:

http://www.bedair.org/Ball/ball.html

Hope this helps. :)

Ed
Vectrax 14x40 lathe, Enco RF-45 clone mill, MillerMatic 180 MIG.

KellyJones
Posts: 116
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:10 pm
Location: Snohomish, WA

Re: My first lathe project!

Post by KellyJones » Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:49 pm

thanks
Kelly Jones, PE
A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
George Bernard Shaw
(1856-1950)

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