Taig Lathe Tips and Tricks
New tips above the old ones. Updated April 6th, 2006
- Observation #1: I just recently noticed - the little bolt in the center
of the front way cover hits the Y axis leadscrew mounting plate before the
saddle body reaches it. Minor, but annoying, as it is not a "hard" stop -
it can bend the metal strips on the way cover if you're not careful... I've
had the way covers off while setting up (& doing some minor mod's to) the
mill, & just recently tried running it with the covers on... Clunk! It hits
on something before it gets to the Y home switch ("What the heck?" I think,
"It never did *that* before!") I remove the way cover to see what's wrong,
& immediately see the mark it left on the leadscrew mount. Aha! Easy enough
to fix - just carve out a small notch in the leadscrew mount to clear the
bolt/nut so the plate hits the saddle body instead. I did this with a Dremel
tool with the mount still on the machine.
- Observation #2: The MPS2003 CNC controller doesn't like 3.3v parallel
ports - it'll run, but the motors run rough (they make a growling sound &
vibrate a lot) & stall easily. They may be losing steps - I haven't checked.
The solution? Use a breakout board that has 5v outputs (the best option) or
find a 5v parallel port add-on card (this could be difficult.) I've been planning
on getting a breakout board anyway, so this isn't a problem for me. I discovered
this while setting up Mach3 on a new PC I built specifically for running Cad
programs & the mill (3.06 Ghz P4, 1 Gb memory, screamingly fast video card).
An older PC (it pre-dates 3.3v ports) runs the motors much more smoothly,
but its CPU is too slow (333 Mhz P2) to handle Mach3 in any kind of real world
usage. Note - I haven't tried running the MPS2003 software on the new PC,
only Mach3, so I don't know if it would do any better. --Rich Crook
November 11th, 2005
- I have a MaxNC 10CL mill and wanted to use Dremel bits for small, fine work.
I purchase most of my bits from Widget Supply (www.widgetsupply.com) because
they have a good selection of carbide and HSS burrs and cutters. However,
most of the smaller bits have a 3/32" shank, for which there is no collet.
My solution was to take a 5/32" roll pin (sometimes called a split or spring
pin) and insert that into the 5/32" collet to use it as a sleeve. I put the
3/32" Dremel bit into the roll pin and when I tighten the collet nut the bit
is centered. So far I haven't tried to machine any metal with this setup,
only wood, but it works great. Since Taig and MaxNC use the same collets I
though you might find this interesting. -- Roy Seifert
August 23rd, 2005
- On Using SSR's with the CNC mill:
From the TurboCNC group about how to use an SSR: You can get solid state relays
from almost any electronics supply house. Digi-Key and Mouser both carry them,
I think. If you're located outside the US, there is bound to be another supplier
closer to you. Fair warning, these things tend to cost. A low-end SSR can
run $20. A high-end SSR (240V or so at a lot of amps) can run $30. A much
better bet is to hit Ebay and see what's selling. Searches on: crydom "solid
state relay" ssr can sometimes bring up good stuff. Crydom is not the only
manufacturer, but they're pretty common. Teledyne also makes them, or used
to, anyway. The schematics for using one are dead-easy. The Crydom SSRs are
little black boxes with four lugs on them. Two lugs are for power. Run the
hot wire into one side of the relay and out the other. The neutral wire goes
straight to whatever you want to control. The other two lugs are for the signal
wires. One is marked + and one -. Plug ground into - and your signal into
+ (or plug +5V into + and your signal into -, or any other combination.) When
the + side has about +2.5V more than the - side, it'll trip. So sending one
a TTL signal out of a parallel port will make them go. The Crydom SSRs have
optoisolation built into them. I can't vouch for any other vendors, but that
seems to be pretty standard. So the wiring really is minimal. I already got
some SSR's off of Ebay (<$12 each including shipping). I'm just going to wire
up an electric outlet through these two SSR's, and plug the coolant pump (flood,
pond pump) into one and the spindle motor into the other. -- Eric Uptagrafft
- On mounting the Taig stepper couplers with the little nylon tubes:
I found it was easier to trim them to different lengths making sure they were
no too long and also trimmed to a smooth point AND bevel the holes slightly
with a larger drill held in my fingers. Slipped right in. did first one in
20 minutes. Did last 2 in 4 minutes. --Ron Cole
April 1st, 2005
- The crosslide was fixed with no problem, following the instructions you
provided awhile back. One thing you might want to add to the instructions
(in your tips section) is a source that I've found for an inexpensive (<$10)
face pin wrench that fits the crosslide bearing block. I had a tough time
finding one and was about to make one when I found this adjustable wrench
from Reid Tools, it
is part number AMF-258. The pins needed to be filed down a little bit but
that was all.
- Here are some good sources for small cutters. My range is generally in the
.010 - .015 range.
I think in some cases you will find most of these places a bit more economical
than Cutting edge tech and most have a better variety of "miniature cutters".
Don't overlook the information that is on some of these sites, especially
- I learned something fun today that really made my day. After fiddling with
my y-axis leadscrew nut to cut down on backlash, I was getting a grinding
noise and sticky movement that I tracked down to the y-axis endplate. I took
the end plate assembly apart and found that one of the bearings was worn out
(I probably over-tightened the nut at the end). The cool thing is that these
bearings are exactly the same as rollerblade bearings ($5 or less for a tube
of them, I keep them around for projects). I popped in two new ones and it's
smooth as butter. I'm glad that this was so simple and cheap to fix.
-- Matt Kalinowski
October 24th, 2004
- I was looking around for a supplier of worm gears to build a dividing head
(courtesy of one of your generous donors) and I came across an extremely interesting
article on building your own Worm gears. This looks like another weekend shot
as I play on the lathe but what the hell. The site is www.atmsite.org
and the author of the article is Jim Sapp. It looks like a pretty straight
forward procedure (but then again they all SEEM that way. I'll let you know
if I have any success. Also with regard to the division plate. I built it
the hard way, stepping off around a circle with dividers until I had the forty
eight equal spaces I was looking for. I hope the division head will be faster
than trying to make the 64 hole plate I need and god forbid the 120 hole plate
that I suspect I am going to wind up needing. -- Guy Smith
- Just built the simple boring bar from your plans. Instead of making a concentric
bushing, I offset the hole about 1/16 " and made the bushing about 1/8 " longer
so that it protrudes from the back. I drilled a hole for a tommy bar. It works
ok so far. No need for shims and you can adjust the bar exactly as you want
for different bars.. I find the holes on the top of toolposts a magnet for
chips, they seem to fill up quickly. I just use a piece from some 10-32 rod
and a 10-32 thumb screw instead of a recessed cap screw. I mounted the blank
bushing in the holder and drilled it mounted on the cross slide. Rather than
center it you just move over the amount of offset you want. -- John McLaren
- On Problems with the Taig CNC Mill
The Taig CNC mill started drifting in the Y direction, when using the "Set
Depth Inc 6". This happened before as the computer started to fail. The computer
showed no signs of a problem running other aps. Changed out the computer,
now keep an old spare, the problem went away. Bottom line, if you start having
this type of problem, try an other computer.-- Ken Kelso
May 6th, 2004
- On Setting Rapid Speeds on the Taig Mill with MPS2000 software (from Taig):
The rapid G0 speed is changed only with the rapid parameters. Typically the
settings should be 600, 800, 1. If this doesn't work try 600, 600, 1
February 23rd, 2004
- On generating toolpaths with a CAD program for the CNC mill.(via taigtools
For most machine parts, as opposed to "art pieces" that often have complex
curves or surfaces, a CAD (Computer Aided Drafting) program can quickly and
easily generate tool positions and tool paths. I believe this is wise for
a beginner because then they gain a better understanding of the CAD/CAM process
and will be able to read and edit g-code programs while machining a part.
If you always use a CAM program, either directly to draw the part and generate
the g-code files or to create g-code files from drawings you will gain little
understanding of what is happening and the final g-code rograms that are running
your CNC machine will be incomprehensible. This is being written for primarily
for work to done on a CNC vertical milling machine. The same principles apply
to CNC lathe programming, but because of a lathe tool geometry, the cutting
edge of a lathe tool has to be supported by a shank, when you write programs
for a CNC lathe you have to constantly be aware of that tool shank and what
surface of your tool is actually available to cut material. Thus even though
a lathe tool often has a radiused tip it can only cut over a limited angular
range. In contrast an end mill can cut in surfaces at any angle in the X-Y
plane. That is an end mill can cut left to right (X). It can also away from
or toward the operator (Y). Or at any angle in between. Secondly, when programming
any CNC machine I always write the locations as the locations of the CENTER
of the cutting tool. The center of the end mill or drill, or the center of
the radiused tip of a lathe cutting tool. I do not write the locations of
the surfaces of the machined part and let the CNC mill or lathe apply "cutter
radius compensation". I realize this is controversial, and it does have a
drawback that I shall deal with later. But for now, as you read this, I shall
be developing the location of the center of the tool, not the location of
the cutting edge. --Del Stanton
May 29th, 2003
- On locating scribed center marks on the mill:
If you've scribed lines on a part to locate the centers of holes to be drilled
in the Taig mill, you can accurately locate the crossing point with a simple
device found in every home (except maybe a bachelor's!!) - ie. a sewing needle.
Take a needle of a decent size, grind off the loop end so you'll have a nice,
straight shank and mount it in your drill chuck. Bring the chuck down until
the needle point is almost touching the surface of the part. Then simply use
your X and Y axis handwheels to align the needle tip with the crossed lines.
Because the needle tapers to such a long, sharp point, it is very easy to
align. No centre punching is required. I find that having the mill on (so
the point is rotating) helps in the alignment. Scribing the lines thru layout
blue (I use a permanent marker) makes the process even easier since the lines
are more easily seen. Once aligned, replace the needle with the centre drill/drill
bit of choice and have at it. I've been using this method extensively in the
building of Kozo Hiroako's 3/4" scale 0-4-0 switcher steam locomotive. I've
used it on many mating parts and they always fit together perfectly. And you
can't beat the cost!! -- Laurie Keating
February 12th, 2003
- On making machining steel easier (via taigtools yahoogroup):
I suspect that there may be others new to machining that might benefit from
my experience in tracking down the problems that I described in a post two
weeks ago. Here are some initial impressions:
- Got some 12L14 steel. Wow! This stuff cuts like butter! Highly recommended
for the beginner.
- Got some "Safe Tap" cutting fluid. In Canada, Busy Bee Tools sells this
stuff in a 4oz container for about 6 bucks, so no big outlay if you don't
like it. Greatly improved finish and advancing the tool becomes almost
- I have discovered that my concepts of accuracy needed some tweeking.
Got some shims (sampler pack from Lee Valley Tools under 10 bucks) that
let me shim to the half thou. I was slightly off, but the technique of
using a drill shank in the collet and a thin piece of metal between it
and the cutting edge worked easily and effectively!
Things are going so well that a cylinder for my first steam engine ended up
too short by a large margin; I just love seeing those threads of metal peel
away! Thanks to all for the expertise. --Tony Yue
January 18th, 2003
- On removing the Taig lathe crosslide screw:
Look at the exploded diagram of the lathe on the Taig
website (at the bottom of that page). Here is what you should do, starting
- Don't ever remove your leadscrew, stop right now, it is very easy
to break. If you feel you have to, and have emailed me to make sure
you should, then you can start with #2.
- remove the carriage (100-11) from the lathe
- hold the carriage in a vise with soft jaws
- remove the slide (100-26) by screwing it all the way out
- either make a small face pin spanner to engage the two small holes in
the crosslide bearing (100-20), or use a chain vise grip with soft packing
between the jaws and the bearing, and unscrew the bearing from the carriage.
- hold the crosslide screw (100-17) by the threads in a vise with soft
jaws. Unscrew the acorn nut (100-23)
- gently heat the dial (100-22) with a heat gun or torch to relax the
loctite. Just a little heat, don't make it glow red!
- unscrew the dial (it may be hot!) holding it with your favorite round
thingy remover, in my case a chain vise grip with soft packing, whatever
you use, use soft packing to prevent marring the dial. Do not use a lot
of force, or else I guarantee you will break the leadscrew. Try not to
tweak it up and down or side to side as you do this.
- slide the crosslide bearing off the screw. That should leave you with
all the components separated and you can then see what is bent, if anything,
and replace it with your new screw.
August 16th, 2002
- I am having a ball with my new lathe . I opted for the small footprint
with the motor behing the headstock . Bad choice . My motor was the open frame
type and got covered in brass chips the first time I used it . I didn't want
to lose the small footprint so I fashioned a shield out of some aluminum flashing
material that protects the motor and my electric switches from metal pieces
which probably would have shorted eventually . Cheap fix . I formed the sheet
metal to curve backwards around the motor . Works quite well and keeps all
the cuttings in an easier pile to clean up . -- Fred Burton .
July 3rd, 2002
- It has been a while so let me tell you about my 3/8" tool holder, for some
time I have like many others used the standard tool holder that Taig makes
and it works very well, but recently I bought a lot of 3/8 inch tools for
my larger lathe and though that it would be nice to use them on the Taig.
As any machinist knows from time to time it is necessary to regrind them to
sharpen, my goal was to make a tool holder and boring bar holder in one tool
that had two setscrews that allow it to be mounted parallel to the headstock
for greater holding power, this is what a lot of Taig owners, have made, but
what I wanted to do is make it adjustable in height so that shimming would
not be needed, after carefully flycutting the surface bottom for correct flatness
and establishing the base that the tool height would be measured, I milled
a 3/8" slot with the Taig lathe itself and also drilled the hole that the
boring bar would fit into. Using the lathe itself made sure that on my individual
lathe the height and straightness would match, I enlarged the upper surface
of the groove that the turning bits will be held, so that there was room to
move the bits upward. From the bottom I drilled six holes all the way through
the block and tapped them this would allow the full length of the bit holder
to be adjusted. The set screws were put in from the top down under the cutter
and top down above the cutter in the tool holder, this allow the height to
be adjusted from the top without having to take the tool holder off the lathe
table-by simply removing the top screws and slipping in an Allen key to unscrew
the setscrews and raise their height. This tool having two hold down screws
to the table has made it much more stable when taking greater than "normal
" cuts there is no slippage, In addition it can be mounted at 90 degrees to
the headstock as well. -- Chris DiCintio
- I also made a new flycutter using the Taig blank holders, of course this
is not anything new, but my goals here were different, one, the flycutter
had to have fast replaceable standard lathe cutters (Carbide) 3/8" tools brazed
tip, these are the cutters that you can interchange with above tool holder
and are cheap and very available, I like and use only US made ones. Two, I
wanted a flawless cut with no vibration marks due to instability of a small
cutter that can happen with less than stable flycutters, I am sure we all
have seen little "eddy" currents at times cutting certain materials in the
finished cut, which usually requires a final super light cut. Three, I wanted
a safe cutter that did not rely on the strength of the setscrew alone to hold
the cutter in/on. Four, I wanted a cutter with a decent tool path; meaning
I wanted to cut wider than the flycutter I was using. I have had at times
needed to use the flycutter to make grooves as well as surfacing, so the cutter
had to be drop dead strong. How is it made? Taig solid arbors have a threaded
portion and a solid end, the threaded portion is designed to screw onto the
headstock, the solid end is the part that are drilled or bored to make new
tools, for this flycutter a 1/2" inch hole is drilled on a sharp angle that
starts from the upper portion of the arbor and exits in the solid portion.
It is very important that it exits out the solid portion since we want to
remove metal here to maintain balance of the cutter that will fit into the
holder. The end of the arbor is drilled and tapped to place a set screw that
will hold the cutter in place, this cutter works in this manner- slide the
3/8" cutter into the hole that was drilled and slide it so that the cutter
does not protrude in the upper hole that is hollow then allow the cutter to
protrude in the exit hole that is solid, the extra weight of the protruding
cutter is off set by the fact that a hole is drilled and metal was removed
the cutter can be adjusted slightly so that when spinning at higher speeds
there are no balance problems the flycutter will perform flawlessly, I have
frequently surfaced Titanium and have taken absurd cuts with this setup, the
finish that I have been achieving is second to no other flycutter that I have
made or purchased. -- Chris DiCintio
- I have one other Taig tip for the Taig mill, this tip has been posted to
the group but I have not heard anything about anyone trying it which surprised
me since it is a "free" modification meaning for a little time and scrap metal
you get a great return, that is you can increase your Taigs Y axis by 1.50
inches from 5.5 to over 7 inches on more than one occasion I have needed a
few turns more to cut a project and ran out of movement, Taig makes a mill
that has more X axis movement but none with more Y axis, so here is what I
did, I removed the crank handle and mounting plate from in front of the mill
and unscrewed the leadscrew I then flycut a block of aluminum approx 1.5"
thick and the size of the mill recieving surface, I then drilled a center
hole larger than the leadscrew so it could turn freely, I made a template
to mark out the location of the mountion screws on the mounting plate and
replaced the short screws with longer screws and the freshly flycut ( on all
sides of course) block was slipped into place, mounting plate and leadscrew
replaced. I have used this setup for about one year or so with perfect results,
in addition no other modifications are needed, due to Taigs overkill engineering
the lead screw is long enough to allow full movement of the new Y axis extension.
I use a machining vise that has no place on the Taig mill, due to this set
up I can mount a 4 inch wide machining vise and machine parts in one set up
that I could not do before. I am interested in hearing from anyone that tries
this mod. and what they think of it. -- Chris DiCintio
April 15th, 2002
- ( On Tip for setting tool bit height, or 'no more shims'.) Frustrated having
to use shims to set the tool height? Try this. The tool mounting block has
two set screws for the tool bit. Drill a third hole off center, and closer
to the set screw closest to the cutting edge. This hole allows an allen wrench
to pass through. Now drill and a tap a hole to allow a third, embedded setscrew
in the bottom channel of the tool slot. Put a set screw in it so that it is
adjusted slightly above the bottom channel surface, about 1 to 2 mm. Now when
you put your tool bit in it will 'rock' like a see-saw on this new screw head.
As you tighten the original front and back set screws you can quickly set
the height as you insert and tighten the tool bit. The embedded screw can
be used as a 'course' adjustment, but most of the time you can 'fine' tune
the height with the two original set screws. No more shims!. Finally, another
tip, you can make a reference piece that can be placed on the bed and has
a height exactly level with the 'center' height. Place it on the bed to set
your tool height, and take it off when your finished setting the tool height.
--Chuck Ziegler, Melbourne, Australia
- (On the CNC nylon coupling pins, via taigtools list) As a result of some
of the conversions I'm doing with my mill I needed some additional plastic
pins for the motor/leadscrew couplers. I just thought I'd post the specs Taig
gave me for these here for reference. Nylon type 11 tubing .125" O.D. x .08"
I.D. .5" long cut at 45 degree angle on one end. --Ken Jenkins
March 15th, 2002
- (On troubleshooting a problem with the CNC mill, via Taigtools list) I
was trying to mill a small part with my CNC Taig, out of 3/16" brass. The
brass flat was clamped to a sacrificial piece of 5/8" aluminum, which in turn
was secured to the bed via T-nuts. I was using a Taig 3/16" double-ended 2-flute
cutter in a Taig collet. Pretty standard, right? I was pretty conservative
cutting the contour, going down only 0.125" per pass. It would take me 8 passes
to finish the part.
On the 2nd pass, the cutter plunged clear through the brass and deep into
the aluminum plate, stalling the mill. I had to release the cutter from the
collet to free the mill, and then manually lift the spindle up to engage the
lead screw. Oh, oh. Broken mill? Since I'm new to CAD-CAM, I figured I'd messed
up the G-codes, but a half-hour's study of the printout found no problem.
So I tried it again. This time it messed up on the first pass. Same result.
I was sure the G-codes were ok, but to prove it I ran the program on a piece
of 2x4. Flawless. So I tried again. It plunged on the7th pass. This seemed
pretty random. I was using an old 486sx laptop for control. Could it be messing
up? No way to tell.
After several hours of frustrating "analysis" (that word is in quotes for
a reason) I realized what was happening. I was inserting the cutter too deep
into the collet, so the tool was too short. There's only so much lead screw,
and when you run out there's nothing left to hold the spindle up. It dropped
of its own weight. So I pulled the cutter farther out from the collet and
tried again. Perfect part. Just to be sure, I made that part twice more. No
problem. Another lesson learned. Education sure comes hard. --David Goodfellow
February 3rd, 2002
- (On Software for CNC) I have been reading all the user group discussion
about software I have purchased a package that generates gcodes similar to
Supercam but much easier to use and complements Supercam and can be configured
very easily to the requirements of the machine the software runs with windows
. I have used the software for the last couple of months and I think it is
slick the software supports mills and lathes. I have no financial interest
in the software but I think for people that are new to g code programming
it is a good starting point. Would you add their web site to your links page
if possible their website is www.cadem.com
-- Jim Beggerow
- (Tracy Presnell sends in his review of the Taig CNC mill:)
And, here's a little of my cheers/jeers list:
- This machine ROCKS! Not only is there no other way to make complex parts,
for an itsy bitsy mill it is very rigid and precise.
- Lots of travel for it's size
- Very accurate
- Easy to set up and get running
- Generally well made
- MPS2000 software is easy to use if you take the time to learn G-code
- Editing G-code programs can be done with any number of text editors
- Lack of limit switches allows overtravel. I haven't broken anything....yet
- Headstock dovetail was out of alignment with slide by quite a bit when
received. Caused stepover marks when making multiple passes
- Headstock dovetail had to be shimmed to get spindle to swing true with
- Headstock dovetail should be longer for more adjustment
- Section in handbook on G-code is incomplete, vague, contains typos and
is poorly written. I got more information from a Mazak handbook.
- Z-axis stepper won't run at rapid traverse speed going up. It travels
for a bit then you hear the motor squeal and it looses it place. I've
learned to not program a rapid travel. This was the case when the machine
first arrived and the Z-axis slide was looser then than it is now.
- Bellows cover for the Z-axis would be nice. I may sew one up for mine.
If it works out well, I may make it available.
- Z-axis knob would be better as a handle (likeon the vise). X and Y are
okay but when making hand adjustments on Z the weight of the slide makes
the knob a pain in the wrist if you do it much.
- No parts breakdown for ordering repair parts/spares
Overall I'm pretty pleased. The machine is doing what I wanted it to with
the Delrin parts (meaning it's paying for itself) but the lack of software
and the poorly written chapter on G-code made getting going an arduous task.
Even if I had the Millwizard software, I still have to program most parts
by hand. I downloaded an evaluation copy of the other software package (can't
remember the name at the moment) and it seems better suited to things that
are not complex shapes (like the face). I have played with it a little and
while its no Autocad, it may be a good choice to improve programming speed
for everyday parts.
--Tracy Presnell (be sure and look at his
pictures in the picture section)
- (On Getting Started with the lathe)
Getting started with the Taig lathe and the three-jaw chuck
First, bore the jaws of the chuck so that they will grip the workpiece properly.
For your first turning exercise, you will need something to machine! I would
suggest buying a round piece of aluminium 3/4" diameter and a foot long. Using
a hacksaw, cut off a piece about 3" long. Try to get the ends as square as
possible, as it makes the facing operation easier. The remainder can be used
for further practicing. Adjust the belt on the pulleys to get a rotational
speed of approximately 1500 revs/min. Different materials require different
speeds at the tip of the cutting tool, and this gives about the right speed
for turning aluminium with a diameter of 3/4".
Place your piece of aluminium in the chuck with about 2" protruding and tighten
it. It's a good idea to tighten it progressively using the three tommy bar
positions, to ensure it is gripped evenly by the three jaws. Remove the tommy
bars and rotate the chuck by hand to make sure that it isn't fouling anything,
nothing is going to fly off, and that the workpiece isn't off centre. It's
very important to always make this check before you start the motor, to ensure
that the tommy bars or chuck key have been removed. If left in the chuck they
can act as high-speed projectiles and cause serious injury, or contact the
lathe ways and damage them.
Mount a round-nose tool in the toolpost, and check that the tip of the tool
is at the same height as the centre of the workpiece. If you have the tailstock,
you can use the tailstock centre for this check, it'll be more accurate. If
the tool isn't the correct height, you'll need to pack the toolholder. Don't
have too much of the tool overhanging the toolholder, as rigidity is important.
Position the toolholder so that the tool is at right angles to the workpiece.
You don't have to measure it, just set it by eye so that it looks right. Make
sure that the toolpost screw and the tool securing screws are tight. Position
the carriage and cross-slide so that the tip of the tool is at the end of
the workpiece and nearly touching it. Move the carriage towards the headstock
until it is about 1/2" from the chuck, and position the stop rod so that there
is no possibility of anything contacting the chuck when the carriage is as
far left as it can go. Tighten the stop rod thumbscrew, move the tool back
to the end of the workpiece, and then back to the chuck, checking again that
nothing nasty is going to happen when machining the piece of aluminium along
its length. Move the tool back again so that the tool is at the right hand
end of the workpiece. Turn the chuck (again) and make sure that nothing untoward
will happen when you start the motor.
Put on your safety goggles (you have got a pair, haven't you) and start the
motor. Make sure the chuck is rotating so that the top of it is moving towards
you (clockwise relative to the headstock). Move the carriage to the left about
1/4", and advance the tool until it just touches the rotating workpiece. Note
the setting on the scale, back the tool out slightly so that it no longer
contacts the workpiece, and move it to the right, just beyond the end of the
work. Move the tool in to the previous setting you noted, and a further .010".
Now you are ready to make your first cut! Slowly move the carriage to the
left. When the tool contacts the end of the workpiece it will start cutting.
Continue moving the carriage, trying to keep it moving as smoothly as possible,
until you have reached the limit set by the stop. Note the scale reading,
back out the tool, and move it back to the right. Congratulations, you have
just turned your first piece of metal!
- (On the use of the 3 jaw chuck, via Taigtools list)
I would like to pass on an application that the Taig three chuck excels at
with its replaceable aluminum top jaws. I have built many models using gear
blanks from W.M. Berg and PIC. The blanks have the teeth cut and the center
hole drilled. In order to lighten the gears by counterboring the sides I needed
a means to grip the gear without damaging the teeth. The solution was to modify
the aluminum top jaws. To do this accurately a short piece of 3/8 crs was
clamped at the inside of the steel master jaws. This would hold the jaws tight
and center them up. Next I turned a .150 deep recess in the top jaws that
would fit the gear. Now with the crs piece removed I could accurately and
securely grip the gear without damaging the teeth. Over the years I have made
many custom blanks. When it is time to reload a set I take a skim cut of the
jaws to ensure TIR and I am up and running. I just checked out the Taig web
site and noticed that a 4 jaw scroll chuck is now offered. This chuck should
work even better since this application only clamps a specific size. I hope
this information helps someone with their unique chucking applications.
January 12th, 2002
- (On Slitting Collets, via taigtools list)
I side stepped the slitting problem by drilling and tapping a 6-32 set screw
from the side (I needed a holder for the small diameter Dremel tool bits).
So, in a sense I made a tool holder instead of a collet, but it works fine
for the specific size I drilled.
- (On slitting collets, via taigtools list)
I force fit the collet on a wood shaft with a slight taper and hand cut the
slots with a jeweler's saw.
October 16th, 2001
- (On Extending the Tailstock Center)
I can't believe it took me this long to figure it out, and I don't recall
ever seeing this tip, though I haven't read all the newsgroups, forums et
al. Anyhow, on occasion I turn using the tailstock for support, but if you
have the cutter on the front t-slot of the cross slide, you can't reach the
last 1-2" of work, and if you put it on the back slot, you can get up next
to the chuck. Then the wheels finally clicked, make a center out of 3/8" stock,
chuck it in the drill chuck, and hang it out off the tail stock. The down
side is it isn't very rigid, but the upside is, you get full travel with the
cutter on the piece of work. -- Paul Hail
October 3rd, 2001
- (On Milling, via taigtools)
"What exactly can you do with the "milling" attachment for the Micro Lathe
2. What is "milling?"
To help understand what a milling attachment is used for on the lathe you
need to know what "milling" is, and to help understand we will start with
what turning is. Turning is what you do on a lathe. The object to be machined
is rotated in the lathe and a non-rotating tool is used to remove metal from
the rotating workpiece, as would be done to reduce the diameter of a shaft
chucked in the lathe. Milling is kind of the opposite way of removing metal
from the workpiece. The workpiece is held fast to a moving table, and a rotating
cutting tool, such as an end mill is used to remove metal from the piece as
it is fed into the rotating tool with the movable table. If you don't have
a milling machine, and you need to mill a slot in a piece of metal with your
lathe, you can mount the workpiece to a milling attchment and put an end mill
in the chuck on the lathe and feed the workpiece into the mill with the attachment.
Hope this makes sense. It's easier to visualize if you can see it done. --
August 8th, 2001
- (On turning wheel hubs) I made a new tool to work on the Taig. I was thinking
of using a 1/8" bolt to turn my Hubs on. Well I could not find one. But, I
found a 3/16th " about 3 in long. In the Army Surplus store. Only threaded
part way. So I cut off the head, and drilled a pilot hole in the threaded
end. so it would turn on the live center and it worked great. -- Wayne Fields
- (On turning tubing true, from the taigtools list) There are several options
for turning tubing true. I'll assume the work to be done is larger than you
can hold in one of the Taig collets.
- Option 1: - easiest: True the three jaw at the diameter of the tubing
to be held and hold the work with it. A bit of hardwood or metal turned
to a snug fit in the tubing will help resist deforming by the pressure
of the jaws. If you're cutting snap ring grooves you're using pretty thick
walled tubing, so this may well be good enough.
- Option 2: - Use the 4 jaw and a dial indicator. This spreads out the
clamping force, possibly eliminating the need to plug the tubing, and
is fine for several pieces. Kind of a drag if you have a hundred parts
to make though.
- Option 3: - A few buck out of pocket unless you make your own, which
is tough to do without a mill: Get the full soft jaws that cover the entire
chuck face when fully closed. Mount them up and true the jaws for the
work diameter. The full jaws will spread the clamping force and likely
will avoid having to plug the tube to avoid deformation by clamping pressure.
- Option 4: Cheap, but time consuming the first time you do it. A good
trick to know, and once you've done it, the second time goes a lot faster.
Reading this will likely take longer than making a collet once you have
done it several times.
You can make special collets to be held in a 3 jaw chuck. Mark one jaw
of the chuck with a punch, small enough to be gentle on the chuck, large
enough not to get lost in normal dings and usage marks.
I mention aluminum or steel as collet material. For a small production
run, use aluminum. For permanent tooling use steel. See the warning below
before going gung-ho on making this style collet for the Taig, I think
the soft jaws may be a liability in this instance, although I love soft
jaws for many things.
Turn a bit of aluminum or steel shaft (or thick wall tube should you be
lucky to have some that will work) to 1/16 to 1/8 inch over the size of
the work to be held. Do clean work of this, you want a nice smooth surface.
Cut off a length as long as your chuck jaws are tall, plus 1/8 inch. More
if you cut things off crooked! Face one end nicely. Flip the work and
face the other end. If the bore is larger than the hole in the chuck,
use some expendable packing between the chuck face and the work. It MUST
be flat! Mark the shaft you're working in some indelible way (prick punch,
file mark, whatever turns you on) by the jaw you marked earlier. This
lets you put the piece back in the chuck the same way time after time.
Drill through the piece of shafting, using care not to hit the chuck if
the drill is larger than the chuck hole. Don't hit the spindle with the
drill. Remove a much of the waste as possible, while leaving enough material
for final boring. Bore to final size, keeping track of where the boring
bit is and where the chuck is. Finish up with several passes with the
tool at the same setting. The boring bar will deflect a little, these
passes take off a tiny bit each time, until all the boring bar spring
has been eliminated. Use that stop rod, the idea here is to save money,
not to buy a new chuck ;-) Cut a small taper at the entrance to the bore
at about 45 degrees, just to let you slide work into the bore easily.
The work should press nicely into the bore with no shake, just a nice
firm sliding fit.
You're almost there. Remove the lovely accurate tube you just made, with
the ID nicely concentric with the spindle centerline, and cut one slit
lengthwise opposite of your witness mark, so that when remounted, the
slit will be between the two jaws you didn't mark. Deburr the slit on
the ID. A triangular file or small hook tool made from drill rod will
work here should you not have one of those nice $40 USD interior deburring
tools. No, I don't have one either. Deburr the rear end of the bore, and
break any sharp edges. Remount the collet gently in the chuck with the
witness marks aligned, firmly against the chuck face, with that little
taper you cut facing out, insert the work, and snug up the chuck. If you've
done it right, you'll have the ability to mount and unmount the collet
and work within half a thou time after time. The saw kerf allows the chuck
to compress the collet by a thou or so, giving a good grip on the work.
WARNING: If you retrue your jaws for some diameter other than the one
you used to true the jaws before you made the collets, you will loose
accuracy! On the Taig, you could reserve one set of jaws for use with
these collets only, and never recut them. The neat thing is that there
is no requirement that the jaws be dead on at all diameters, you bore
the ID after turning the OD, so if the lathe and chuck don't change, the
collets stay OK. There is no requirement (or guarantee) that the ID and
OD are concentric, although they will be pretty close unless your chuck
is really trashed, badly trued, or has a damaged spot in the scroll. If
you have a lot of this work to do, I'd suggest getting a chuck with steel
jaws and reserving it for use with these collets. I don't know if the
Taig soft jaws will wear enough to make your collets unusably inaccurate
over time. Even if you put a nice finish on the collet OD, the other work
done in the lathe will sooner or later chew up the faces of the soft jaws
enough to require retruing. If you always retrue at the same diameter
this shouldn't pose a problem as far as collet accuracy over time goes,
and is certainly cheaper than buying a second chuck.
As the Taig jaws aren't removable in the sense of a standard three jaw
chuck, I've avoided referring to "Jaw #1." If you read books that specify
making a mark by Jaw 1, simply read this to mean the jaw you marked.
Decide this is pretty neat and make a full set by 64ths covering an inch
or so, then get back to reason you made the first collet. Wonder why you
made all those collets that you have never used rather than making them
as needed :-) --Stan Stocker.
May 21st, 2001
- (On combining two Taig beds to make one longer one) I have suceeded in
unscrewing the top from the "extrusion". Of the five screws, I was successful
with four. The fifth I had to drill out the head, then the "extrusion" or
aluminum channel with the cement came off along with the foot. This was excellent
as I will be able to reassemble having the foot partially under both original
and extension channels. The top now butts up almost perfect to each other.
My job as we speak is to tap new holes in bottom of the top piece to screw
it back to the foot and channel. I will send photos. It looks like it will
make a nice extension for turning longer pieces. I am really suprised Taig
does not sell a longer version. -- Tom Cummings
April 27th, 2001
- About 6 months ago I polled subscribers to the Taigtools yahoogroup about
their most/least favorite/useful Taig accessories, here are the belated results:
(let me know what your list is and I'll update this over time)
- #1030 4 jaw chuck
- #1170 toolpost (extra toolposts especially)
- #1132 blank arbor
- #1026 depth stop
- #1036 faceplate angle bracket set
Several have noted that treadmill motor requires 6 1/2 x 2 1/2 bracket...
which is hard to find. 7 1/2 is easy to find.Many have cut in half and rejoined
halves with 6 1/2 in space between upright portions of bracket. I found
that 7 1/2 in bracket can be bent to form 6 1/2 in bracket.. just bend ends
in at place where bracket makes 90 deg bend, then bent upper half of upright
section back to make it perpendicular to base... mess around with it to
make gap between uprights 6 1/2 in... pretty easy... 30 min job.-- Dave
Here's some description of my large spindle pulley (picture is on picture
page) pulled from an email I wrote a while back: By my measurement,
the stock pulley has diameters of .758, 1.055, 1.352, 1.650, 1.946 and 2.244
inches. That's the overall diameter of the steps that the groove is machined
into. The steps are .140 wide. I sized my spindle pulley for a low speed
of 300 rpm and a constant center distance. I came up with steps of 3.162,
3.422, 3.665, 3.894, 4.109 and 4.312 inches. My Basic program said this
would result in speeds of 303, 443, 599, 777, 981 and 1224 rpm with the
1725 rpm spindle motor. I notice that recent pulleys have two groups of
three steps, with the setscrew in the middle. Mine has the setscrew at the
large end and a continuous series of steps. I've never had a problem with
the pulley slipping at all. And my spindle pulley was a "shrink fit" on
the spindle--I needed to heat it a little to get it on, and it doesn't have
a setscrew. Never had any problem with it slipping either. Unfortunately,
I've lost the drawing I did of the v-groove itself, but what I actually
did was just grind a lathe bit until it gave a good fit in the existing
v-groove. --Randy Gordon-Gilmore
- The compound is marginal, at best, but I've found a good way to keep it
from squirreling around. Instead of putting paper underneath, clean the mating
areas well to remove oils, etc, then use a layer of Saran wrap. Back in my
misspent youth I went to gunsmithing school and plastic wrap was used between
the steel blocks in the barrel vise and the barrel itself to get a grip when
removing the barrel from the action. (A tough job to say the least!) Plastic
wrap seems compressable and adhesive both. Worked well for me. --Andy Moe
March 27th, 2001
- I was reading some back postings on the Taigtools Yahoogroup site and found
several folks wanting to find someone to bore out their Taig pulley to 5/8
inches for the treadmill motors currently being shipped from Surplus City.
Again I used the old 1/4" shank carbide routerbit held in the tool post. I
bored about 1 1/4" deep and took .030 cuts on all but the final cuts. With
this depth of cut I needed to repeat-pass twice to clean up the hole and then
it was within one .001 for the hole's length. Final passes were .010" and
.005" and each required only one repeat pass to clean up the hole. The finish
is superb. I made a .125 deep recess cut on the face of my three-jaw to allow
me to hold the pulley wide-end-out. I have been in hog heaven grinding HSS
routerbits into boring bars. They really do a fine job... this carbide unit
just happened to be in the tool post this evening. So, if anybody asks you
about pulley-boring, tell them they can do it themselves with a little effort.
Warn them not to bore through. As you know, there ain't enough metal on the
little step at the end. --Andy Moe
- (On assembling the lathe) I had to put together a lathe for a customer recently
and found the following areas where you need to pay special attention:
- eccentric needs deburring on both ends
- clamp eccentric on thick wall, if the thin wall is clamped it can cause
binding in the handwheel.
- deburr hole in rack slot, inside the slot (easy with a cogsdill clothespin
- deburr rack threaded hole
- crosslide screw nut mounting hole needs reaming and deburring to .375
due to thickness of anodizing.
March 1st, 2001
- (On making custom WW closers for the Taig) You probably already know this,
but Pat Cavenaugh (Clock Doktor) has WW drawbars and will custom cut them
to desired length. Also has taps and dies for WW. His web site is: http://www.open.org/~clockdok/
- (On removing the crosslide screw dial) I heated the dial with a pinpoint
propane flame (gas soldering/brazing torch) until the leadscrew blued, then
turned off the heat. The dial screwed off beautifully :). - Alexander J. Newman
- (On where to buy 3M belts other than Taig) Kaman not only carry's them (3M
belts)but they had 4 in stock and were less then 3 miles from home. Here is
the Kaman Part number for the Taig Mill belt in case anyone is interested.
You can order stuff online from them as well. http://www.kamandirect.com/
Price $7.46 ($10.00 min per order) Kaman Part # GAT3M315 Manufacturer Part
# 89010315 KITSKU 400005387067 UPC Code 072053266191 Manufacturer Alt Part
# 89010315 Description 3M315_POLYFLEX BELT Manufacturer GATES RUBBER COMPANY
For assistance, call customer service at 1-888-235-3550. -- Regards, Brian
- (On Trimming Shell Cases) As far as trimming cases, I still do it the slow
way, chuck them in the 3 jaw, figure out how much needs to be taken off the
first case, then run the bit up to the face of the case, power off. Then I
use a feeler gauge the distance I need to trim to space the depth stop. Once
set, its power up, trim, hold a countersink by hand to trim the inside of
the neck, and use a file to clean up the outside burr, this done while the
machine spins down. I did progress into getting a lee case trimmer cutter,
which fits in the mandrel blank I bored to 1/2". The part I need to work on
is making a case holder for the tail stock, internal mandrels for each caliber
and a stop on the tail stock. With this set up it will be much faster. I know
lee makes an inexspensive 3 jaw chuck for their zip trim that will hold the
case base, so I need to get one of these, and adapt it to the tailstock.
- Heres the scoop on belts. They are made by Gates, the 3M is the width in
MM the number after the 3M is the length in MM. Kaman Industrial Technologies
Corp. 1820 Prairie Rd. Eugene, OR 541-689-6413 is the local Gates distributer,
the belts are $6.20 and there is a $10 minimum. I had to order 2 and they
are on their way from Kentucky and will be here in about 5 days. (Kaman has
distribution centers all over the US)-Guy Zattau
- Nick, After assembling the Taig from the ground up, I can share with you
several different techniques that I used, one I found the Taig to be a great
machine for the money, but it lacks in many areas, I said to my self "Now
why did they do that?" for example the carriage gear is held on by a simple
"G" clip and even though I have intention of replacing it with a leadscrew,
I cut a grove in it at the end that the offset bushing and splines contact
the gear rack, this stoped the clip from slipping off, I found it necessary
to blueprint the whole machine and this is what I did:
I found that the crossslide stuck in certain positions so I took it apart
and block sanded the brass gib then contoured sanded with 600 grit the contact
surface that the crosslide makes contact to help get rid of milling marks
and opened the brass leadscrew nut very slightly, then had to scrap the hole
that the leadscrew nut sat into since it had hard anodize matter in and did
not allowed the nut to sit flat, I saw that the back side edge sat too close
to the alumin. carrage when the lock screws were tightened to the gib, so
I had to sand down the flat to allow the cross slide to move freely then lube
the whole with synthetic grease that I swear by, this allowed the crosslide
to move buttery smooth after carefully adjusted the gibs. My attention then
turned to the carriage, even after "the lapping in process" I noticed that
it was not even close to smooth operation, the problem was partly in the gear
rack, the rack is held on the alumin. track with only one bolt??? the rear
of the rack near the headstock seemed to be rased up and caused more friction
with the gear rack, so I drilled another hole and placed another hold down
screw, but this did not allow the rack to turn the length smoothly so I lapped
the gear teeth with a diamond hone this took out some damage areas in the
teeth. Again the gibs were block sanded, and the underside of the carriage
was contoured sanded to make smoother, and greased, the assembly could not
I had heard a lot about mounting the lathe on some kind of bed, I wanted something
that was super strong, energy absorbing and allowed me to mount whatever I
may need in the future, so I opted for a 2 inch thick 6061-T6 alumin. plate
that is 3 inches larger than the lathe in all directions after careful drilling
and countersinking, the lathe was mounted to the bed, I have made an adjustable
snubber for the front of the lathe that sits a few thousands below I am fully
aware that the front of the bed should not be clamped to the table in fear
of distortion, but the snubber does not "touch it" this was done with a 1/4x20
bolt with nuts that can adjust the height and plastic tip on the contact end.
The current project that I am working on, I have not seen in any of the posts
and that is the lever tailstock, I have, like many others have replaced all
the Allen screws, with knobs and the like, but miss the graduated drilling
that most other machines have, so I took my crosslide that I ordered extra,
and am mounting it between the base alumin. block (after milling off the dovetail)
and the lever mounted drilling block that holds the drill chuck. I have measured
the amount of travel and it is a nice 3.30 inches aprox. and allows ether
lever feed or crank feed. I would love to post pictures, but have not had
luck getting to them when they are loaded to a file, I will keep trying. I
have many other projects lined up for this micro-lathe and would enjoy sharing
if you like. Also if you are interested in jewelry making C.N.C milling, mold
making, metal techniques for soft metal, casting and the like I have a great
e-group that is newly formed and there are some very knowledge able people
called Metalmonkees@egroups.com we are working for new members but there is
not another group like it, discussion includes Rhino 3D software, CAD/CAM
and any other on topic discussion, feel free to contact me or look us up.
I am hell bent and determined to convert my Taig Lathe to C.N.C. Best Regards,
(Note from Nick: Chris is a watch guy and I'm sure his idea of sanding is
a lot more precise than most of ours - don't ever do anything to your lathe
ways to ruin their flatness - indesciminate sanding or grinding of the components
will ruin your lathe.)
- One easy modification you might like to try..... If you swap the compound
slide with its leadscrew and nut to the cross-slide position ( you have to
drill a hole for the nut in the saddle) You get more useable travel in front
of the lathe axis. Also the cross-slide travels with the handwheel,(I like
the feel of this better).
- I've made quite a few mods to the lathe to make it friendlier to me. E.G.,
I added a second brass knob to the cross slide and fore-aft (terminology?)
slide knob. MUCH easier to control. The ones on the unit are a little shorter
than the after market ones and that's good. You can easily find the longer
one to grab and twirl it fast but when you want precise control, the second
one really helps by gripping both at the same time. Just like on a "real"
lathe. I'm sure you know what I mean. I replaced those puny hard to use set
screws on the tool holders with 10-32 socket heads then got a LONG socket
head , put a spacer under it so as to get it out of that damn well that fills
up with chips, and now it's above the screws that hold the tool bit. I no
longer have to get sharp objects to clean out the tool bit holder screw socket
AND you need just one tool to work on the tool bits and holder instead of
2 different ones. I replaced those 4 sided nuts that go into the "Tee" slots
with regular flat six sided nuts. They slide in with no need to perfectly
align them with the slot which I found frustrating. I replaced all the socket
headed screws that hold the tail stock, slide stop, friction on the main slide,
etc with 3 sided plastic knobs. Fewer tools and much faster! I've punched
numbers 1,2,3,4 on the 4 jawed chuck and marked the jaws too for quick reference
when centering and reassembling the chuck. Using ½" copper pipe, a brass nut,
10-32 cap head screw and a pipe cap, I made a great very comfortable tail
stock handle extension that is removable. I soldered the nut to the pipe and
put a set screw in it. I doubled the length of the handle and it's being round
sure helps. That short square edged thing really hurts when doing real drilling.
- Here is an idea I came up with to give the Taig Micro Lathe a power/manual
fine feed and still incorporate the faster rack and pinion carriage of the
stock Taig. The idea uses "speed nuts" from Lee
Valley Tools to allow lead screw feed when needed, but disengagement when
not required. The speed nuts cost $7.00 US plus shipping for 4 of them, you
need two. Mount a "lead screw" made out of 1/4" 20 TPI all thread ( I used
brass) to the side of the aluminum bed. I used aluminum angle iron for the
bearing brackets similar to the set up on http://www.pioneer.net/~felice/taig6.jpg
Make the lead screw long enough for the hand wheel on the end as in the above
link Try to keep the lead screw as high up and close to the dovetail way of
the bed in order to keep it as chip free as possible. Keep in mind the tailstock
clamping method when figuring this out. After determining where the leadscrew
is going to interact with the carriage, grind out the necessary material to
allow the the lead screw to pass through the carriage. Assemble the whole
thing with a speed nut and 3/8" flat washer on each side of the carriage.
With the carriage located in the center of the bed, epoxy the flat washers
against the carriage using the speed nuts engaged to hold the flat washers
in place, take care not to get epoxy on the threads or the speed nuts. Depending
on the location of the lead screw, you may have to grind a flat spot on the
washers to clear the bed. The idea of the flat washer is to provide a full
360 degree contact area for the speed nut engagement. Find a small spring
to fit over the pinion shaft of the carriage wheel, the idea being that to
use the carriage wheel you will have to push it in to engage the rack, the
spring will disengage for lead screw use. The rack and pinion MUST be disenagaged
for this to work, at least on my lathe. To use the lead screw, just slide
the speed nut up against the carriage until it is squared off, and then turn
the leadscrew hand wheel. The speed nuts do to their design just slide until
they hit an obstruction, they then square off and engage...neat!!!!! The speed
nuts, normally reside at each end of the lead screw when not in use. I plan
to power the lead screw with a 12volt motor (maybe HO train?) and use a cheap
model train transformer to give me variable feed speed plus reverse. I think
that you could machine a groove in the hand wheel and turn it into the pulley(maybe
an "O" ring for a belt?)
- As for tips, tricks, etc: The biggest single improvement was to replace
the locking cap screw on the base of the tail stock with a home made brass
screw with a handle attached. BIG time saver! Buying a good dial indicator
and magnetic holder is a very worth while investment. That immediately improved
the accuracy of my work. When making a complex part, make a drawing and write
down, in order (1, 2, 3, etc.), the steps to machine it. That way there's
less chance of machining away a reference plane or losing concentricity (School-of
Hard-Knocks lesson #113!!) Rudy Kouhoupt's first book of ideas (advertised
in Home Shop Machinist) is a gold mine of information for anyone working with
equipment in the Taig, Sherline, etc. size range. I think I've read it cover-to-cover
a half dozen times and learn something new everytime. His writing, diagrams
and photos are clear and I like his approach to his work. Highly recommended.
Guy Lautards Bedside Readers are another great source of ideas. I've also
ordered several sets of plans from him. They're real idea generators...and
his writing style is real laid back!! Also recommended. Learn from your mistakes.
Sometimes you have to learn several times! (School-of Hard-Knocks lesson #114!!)
I keep three plastic stacking bins on my bench for small scrap pieces of brass,
aluminium and steel. It's amazing how often they contain the raw material
for that one small part. Beats cutting a fresh piece off your bar stock. A
good source for small flywheels are old cast iron casters. There's a junk
shop here where I've picked up wheels from 2" to 8" in diameter. I have a
friend in a machine shop who trued them up for me. I had them sand blasted
and just bush them to the correct shaft size. Old valve handles look like
they'd work well too. And you can find those in aluminium and brass. Although
my friend had to charge me for the machining, he offset the cost by bringing
me a box of cut-offs. Cut-offs from a regular machine shop are full size raw
material to someone like myself!!
- "My question is this: I have been unable to clamp the compound slide tool
rest effectively to the cross-slide. Do you have any suggestions for me to
clamp this more securely?"
Not an uncommon problem.
- Taig suggests that you put a piece of typing paper (cut to size) between
the compound and the slide to stop the slipping.
- Often it's hard to tighten the screw enough, get a long t-handled hex
key and use that instead.
- You may be taking too deep a cut as well.
- make sure all grease and oil is off the surfaces - you can always wipe
with rubbing alcohol or some such solvent, also make sure there are no
chips or burs getting in the way.
- From Taig Tools:
Pulley dimensions on a Gates 3m Belt should be 60 degrees included and .110
- I think that there is a good article on the 2mm web site about a form of
freehand turning on small lathes.Basically you mount your tools on small pedestals
with wide bases, and these pedestals are placed on a flat metal base mounted
on the bed of the lathe. The tools should, obviously, be arranged to be at
centre height. Then you turn your items by moving the tools on their pedestals
by hand. I was shown this method many years ago by members of the 2mm Society
at an exhibition in London. It was remarkably easy to achieve quite complex
shapes once you had overcome your fears that the tools would possibly fly
off at high speed :-). Basically, it's not all that different from turning
with watchmakers hand tools, but possibly a bit more controllable for the
Neat tip, this would work well on the Taig lathe also since it has a dead
flat top! On the Taig though, I'd recommend using collets, less chance of
- I finally ordered, received, mounted a variable speed motor from the surplus
center on my taig lathe and it works great. I got tried of the v-belt slipping
so I mounted two cogged pulleys with a cogged belt, no more slipping. I can
run the lathe from almost 0 to 2300 rpm. I used a 12 tooth sheave on the motor
and a 48 tooth sheave on the lathe.
- Some Taig Mill Modifications
Have been experimenting with some minor mods to extend the Z-axis capability
of the mill, having been frustrated on occasions at limited Z capacity when
using the Jacobs chuck/arbor. I noticed that the Z-axis feed nut seems to
be tapped into the bottom of the headstock saddle block - reversing the saddle
block effectively gives you a couple of inces of extra height to play with.
The mods go as follows:
- Disassemble the z-axis leadscrew clamp, remove headstock, remove the
headstock saddle block; unbolt the 4 10-32 holes fixing the small section
of "lathe bed" that the headstock clamps onto.
- Drill/tap 2 extra 10-32 holes in the headstock saddle block, to allow
the small section of "lathe bed" to be clamped at the tapped end of the
block. It will overhang about 1/4", but this is not a problem.
- Re-fit the headstock saddle block "upside down" (tapped hole at the
top), and re-assemble the other components. The leadscrew clamp can also
be positioned so that only about 1/2 of it clamps the vertical slide,
adding a little more Z height. (It also struck me that this top clamp
could be usefully shortened to about 3/4" instead of the standard 1.5"
without the mechanical properties suffering very much, but haven't attempted
that yet, particularly as I haven't investigated the bearing construction
& whether doing it would actually release any further usable screw length.).
The result of these mods on my machine is that the max nose-to-table height
increases to about 6.5" and the max Z travel increases to about 5.75".
I guess I could get even more height by using your trick of shifting the main
slideway up a row of bolt holes - the main reason I haven't done that yet
is that it is sometimes convenient to work on thin pieces clamped directly
to the table, using a short cutter in a collet.
Any reasons you know of why the Z-axis leadscrew nut was tapped at the bottom
of the headstock block in the first place? Seems to make no mechanical difference
(or sense) to me, and reversing it certainly seems to work just fine so far.
Since sending the last message on this subject, this evening I investigated
the Z leadscrew clamp further & have successfully reduced it to 3/4" long,
effectively releasing 3/4" of useful leadscrew length. Quite easy to do -
dismantle the bearing & then hacksaw off the bottom 3/4" of the extrusion,
drill/tap a new hole for the 10-32 clamping screw, re-assemble & you're done.
Result is that I now have 6.75" travel and 6.75" nose-to-table height. So
there is scope with this arrangement to move the clamp off the end of the
Z slideway onto a suitable bracket mounted above the slideway somehow - which
would allow the saddle to travel the full length of the slideway.
In fact, if you were to dispense with the existing extrusion-based clamp &
make up a bracket similar to the ones used for the X and Y screws, you would
gain even more usable screw length - about another 1/2" I think - but that
may take me another evening or so!
-From Tony Jeffree
- NECESSARY LATHE TOOLING
- Buy a centre gauge and know how to use it.
- Buy a dial gauge and make mounting fixtures so that it can be used to
check: 1 the run out on the part in the four jaw chuck from the head stock;
2 vertial alignment of the tail stock from the cross slide; 3 horizontal
alignment of the tail stock from the cross slide.
- The mounting fixture for the dial gauge on the head stock can also be
used to make sure that the tooling bar in the milling attachment is horizontal.
- Make a truing bar so that you can align the tail stock to the head stock.
- LOW BUCK MILL TO DRILL CONVERSION
I used a 3/8" end mill holder with a #2 MT. It has a 3/8-16 thread for the
draw bar which I filled in with a piece of all-thread that I drilled out the
centre for a #10 machine screw. I then made a nut that fits into the space
where the tang from the original chuck holder went. The nut is a piece of
1/2" drill rod 3/4" long and milled down on opposite sides to fit the width
of the tang slot. A #10-32 tapped hole runs parrallel to the machined flats
in the centre of the bar.
So to add the mill holder to the drill press just pop out the chuck holder
insert the mill holder. Place the custom #10-32 nut in the tang slot and thread
a #10-32 socket head cap screw up through the mill holder into the custom
nut. You now have a draw bar that pushes the #2 MT mill holder into the socket
by pushing against the 3/8-16 all-thread inside the mill holder while being
treaded into the custom nut that is captured by the tang slot in the quill.
Total cost $30, 1 hour machining.
- LATHE TRUING BAR FOR TAIG LATHE
For that I decided to use 1" drill rod, (a truing bar is used to align the
centre on the tail stock with the head stock). For my lathe the longest bar
I can make is 7.5". You need a lathe chuck, a steady rest, #1 centre drill,
a drill chuck, a dead centre for both the head stock and the tail stock, drill
arbour for the head stock, arbour blank with 3/8-24 threads and a tool bit
ground so that you can make a 30 degree angled end cut in the bar, ( this
tool will have to have enough relief so that you can get it into a round hole
without it binding).
Make a dead centre for the head stock by threading the blank arbour onto the
head stock drill arbour and machining it to a 60 degree point. Turn the OD
of the new dead centre down so that your chucks will fit over it. That way
you can turn between centres when you get a lathe dog. Grind two wrench flats
on the end near the drill arbour so that you can get the centre on and off.
I found that it was necessary to put a shim between the tail stock and the
lathe bed, this was because the centre of the tail stock was lower than the
head stock. If the reverse had been true I would have shimmed the head stock.
- Cut two pieces of 1" drill rod, one 7.5" long and the other 1.5" long.
Chuck the shot bar with just an inch or so protruding.
- Line up the steady rest with the bar.
- Move the steady rest down the bed and chuck the long bar with only the
minimum purchase necessary for the chuck to turn the bar. The bar should
now be held by a minimum at the chuck and the other end should be rotating
in the steady rest. Adjust the steady rest until you get a close sliding
fit between the rod and the rest, you should notice some resistance to
turing the bar by hand initially. You now have a bar that is rotating
inside it's outer diamerter so the centre of the bar is concentric with
the centre of rotation. The chuck end of the bar is rotating about the
chuck centre which is not likely concentric with the bar.
- Face both ends of the bar. Turn bar around and drill other end.
- Try to get the tail stock as close to the centre of the bar as possible
and use your centre drill to start the hole for the facing operation.
Drill the hole so that the straight part of the bit enters the bar for
about 1/4". You will not be using the centre drill hole to align the bar
because you do not know that the tail stock is aligned with the head stock.
You are using a centre drill because it is not very long and will give
you a good hole to start the facing operation. You will be taking a 30
degree internal facing cut against the straight part of the centre drilled
hole. Turn bar around and drill other end.
- Set up the tool bit that you just ground so that you are cutting at
30 degrees from the centre of the bar. Check the angle of the hole with
your centre gauge, (that little piece of metal that looks like a small
arrow about 1.5" long with a bunch of criptic numbers on it. All of the
notches and points on the centre gauge are 60 degrees.) adjust the facing
cut so that you are getting a 60 degree included angle. Keep cutting until
you have almost reached the angled part of the centre drilled hole. You
have now made a 60 degree included angle cut that will fit your dead centres
and is exactly concentric with the OD of the bar. This is because you
used a single point turing tool on a work piece that was turing inside
it's own OD. Turn bar around and face other end.
- Set the truing bar between centres and get out your dial gauge. Mount
the dial gauge to the cross slide so that it can be held both vertically
and hoizontially at the centre of the bar. Move the carriage along the
bar and adjust the tail stock until the delta on the gauge is as close
to zero as you can get it. This will mean moving the tail sock side ways
for the horizontal adjustment or either shimming the tail stock or head
stock for the vertical adjustment.
- A less expensive way to drill large holes. Machine the OD of a #1 to #2
MT sleeve down to .5" except for the first inch or so of the sleeve, other
wise you will break through into the ID of the taper. The tang of the sleeve
will have to be modified so that the hand lever of the tail stock drill will
work with it. Now when I need to drill larger holes than my 1/8" Jacobs will
do I just pop a bit with a #1 MT ,that I got from the used bin at the local
machine tool outlet, into the turned down sleeve. It was more work than purchasing
a 3/8" Jacobs but less than half the price.
- I found that when I went to modify a new set of soft jaws for the 3 jaw
chuck I found that there was no locating pin to hold the jaws radially. I
do not know if this was an over site by the factory or if you are supposed
to make them your self. The blind holes in both jaws and the chuck are there
to take 5/32" by .350" long dowels. In either case I could not find any info
in the literature I have on my lathe or on the web. So I made my own and now
feel a lot better about swapping different machined soft jaws and not having
to align true them each time I put them on. I also numbered each set from
one to three and also numbered the position of each on the chuck body. I also
numbered the steel part of the jaws so that if and when I ever take it apart
all of the pieces will go back in the same place.
The tips above are from Richard Burchill
- A piece of 3/4 angle drilled on one leg for a 10-32 screw & square nut,
and milled to center will make a fine woodturning rest for the Taig.
- I'm having a ball with my Taig lathe, but one thing has continually frustrated
me. The nuts for the T-slots keep slipping crossways when I try to mount an
accessory. The milling attachment is especially troublesome, as it mounts
from the back side of the lathe and I can't see what I'm doing. The solution
was simple but effective. I made more user-friendly T-nuts.
I cut down some 1/8" x ½" steel flat to 3/8"x3/4" and put a 45-degree point
on one end; I drilled/tapped a 10-32 hole in the other, and presto! - a boat-shaped
T-nut. Now I can mount the accessories by feel. Slip the point into the slot
and the rest of the nut has no choice but to follow.
- I found the suggestion of having lower speeds a must, so I took a piece
of ~ 3 1/2" dia al, and made a new pulley, the smallest size is the same as
the larg est on the stock pulley, and there are 4 steps. It was difficult
to hold the form tool in the tool holder, but odd angles and creative shimming
seemed to w ork. I also have the motor mounted to move fore and aft, so I
can use the lar ge small set up for motor rpm of 1750, which seems about as
high as I need to go. I haven't worked out what the low speed is, but probably
around 200 rpm, which really helps for work pieces over 1" in dia.
- I had a few 1/4" by 4" screws threaded full length, and after re-working
the h eads, the make great T bolts, for my boring bar holder, or clamping
down whate ver else. I made a 1/2" endmill holder out of the blank arbor I
ordered, and found that clamping the arbor to the cross slide with the 1/4"
bolt, and runni ng a 1/2" carbide burr to make two flats for a 7/8" wrench
really is helpful. If I had been thoughtful enough to remember I had reduced
the nominal 1" diam eter of the arbor before removing 1/16" on each side for
the trued diameter, t he flats would really be 7/8", but that's for next time.
I've found the stand ard tool holder can be used for limited amounts of milling
by clamping small p ieces in it, and taking light cuts. I recently did some
milling by using a se t of adjustable paralels on either side of the two 1/4"
bolts, and clamped dow n with a top plate. The forward parrallel set the height
of the workpiece, wh ile the one on the back side gave a level surface for
the top plate.
- I like the 4 jaw juck, it allows the holding of non round shapes, and allows
a ccurate and solid mounting of round pieces. The one bugger is having to
dial in runout every time a piece is mounted. I found that a 1/4" travel indicator
is small enough to be mounted to the cross slide, but running a 1/4" bolt
thr ough a stand off which was made from 3/4" dia material, and cut to a length
to center the height of the indicator. I don't know if that description made
se nse, but a dwg easily explains it. A last word indicator mounted in the
drill chuck off the tail stock is also a good meathod, but I like the indicator
for quick and dirty centered +- .001" work. I have also mounted the 1/4" indicat
or in the tool holder, by clamping the mounting stub by a set screw, but the
c enter height was off.
-Paul Hail (last three tips)
- To speed truing work in the four jaw chuck mark the number of each jaw on
the body of the four jaw chuck, using either number stamps, prick punches
or an engraving tool. The jaws are hardened and should not be stamped, but
could be engraved on the side. This will aid reassembly after cleaning.
- If you have access to a dividing head, make an index plate that mounts on
the pulley between the pulley and headstock. A simple bar of aluminum, slotted
for adjustment bolts to the headstock, and a screw mates with the holes in
the index plate. Rows of 60 and 50 holes are very useful. The carriage handwheel
can then be given 60 divisions, corresponding with .01 inch of travel. The
plate also functions as a spindle lock, when you can't seem to get the chuck
- After you have accidentally screwed the crosslide off for the thousandth
time, make a scribe mark on the carriage just before the limit of travel is
reached, so you don't ever do it again.
- If you need to drill a deep hole, put the tailstock in front of the carriage
and clamp the tailstock to the bed lightly so you can use the carriage to
push the tailstock towards the chuck.
- I did talk to the guys at Taig (at length since they like to offer help)
about a couple of subjects. I needed to be able to feed some long 3/8" stock
through the head stock, but it wouldn't fit. Taig said it could be opened
up safely to this diameter, so I bought a brand new 23/64" drill bit and a
3/8" and 25/64" reamer and opened the spindle bore up. Lots of cutting oil
and slow speed was used. I also bought a $5.00 reversing toggle switch from
Surplus Center and was able to add a reverse direction to the motor Taig supplied
for free. You must stop the motor before reversing, but I think this is best
anyway. If anyone wants it, I can supply the wiring diagram for this switch/motor
set-up since it wasn't very obvious on how to do. This makes for getting some
very nice finishes, especially on wood. -Roger Petrella
- I usually make model parts, replacement parts for tools and prototypes for
work. I'm not a full time machinist so this isn't as much as you think. Recently
I had to machine out a 2 piece small shell that was 0.90 thick. I used double
sticky tape and two thin brass plates pressed against two edges and clamped
onto the mill table. Double sticky tape is reasonably strong but sometimes
the workpiece can twist. The brass plates prevent this and also make it easier
to line up the part. - James Eckman
- I stole a suggestion from a book called Shop Savvy and made a power feed
from an electric screwdriver, a speed reduction adaptor for an electric drill
to make it a screwdriver and a 5/16 driver for electric screw drivers. The
adaptor I found has two speeds and they work very well for fine and medium
finishes or when your tired of cranking the handles! -James Eckman
- Most recently, I have obtained a Emco-Maier Compact-5/CNC. This is about
the same scale as the Taig, but computer controlled, and somewhat more rigid.
(Also a *lot* more expensive, even used.) At this point -- did I retire the
Taig? No! It is used for preliminary work on one of the things that I produce
in quantity. I saw off brass round stock to length in one of the $200 horizontal
bandsaws.It then goes to the Taig, where I have machined a set of softjaws
to precisely fit the workpiece, and serve as a length stop as well. In the
Taig, I face it off cleanly, drill for tapping, countersink to champher, and
start a 1/4-20 tap using the Taig. I then manually finish the tapping, and
remove the workpiece from the Taig. It then goes onto a fixtue which I have
made for the Compact-5, which holds it by the faced surface and the 1/4-20
thread. I hit the go button on that lathe (which is equipped with a turret),
and as it is producing the finished dimensions of the part, I turn to the
Taig, and prepare the next part. As it turns out, I can do the preliminary
work on the Taig a bit faster than the CNC can do the more complicated operations
(including external threading), so I can keep the CNC busy once the first
piece is out of the TAIG.- Don Nichols
- I used the 4-jaw independant chuck from the Taig to modify to make a proper
4-jaw for the CNC machine (it did not have one). - Don Nichols
- If you want it to be stiffer, take the bottom plate or "foot" off. Cut about
2" off the end towards the tail stock and screw the big piece back on. Now
take the little piece and screw it on the tail stock end. (you will have to
switch the screws around)This will make it stiffer on your mounting plate,
(or board). -Duane Sherman.
- You have to be careful with the amount of tension that you put onto the
belt drive if you are using a seperate motor. The aluminium pulleys lubricate
the thin belt quite well and, in order to eliminate slip, I tightened the
belt until I realized that I had moved the heastock out of alignement. I conluded
that, If you are using a standalone motor, then you need to have compression
spar between the motor and headstock housing to tension the belt. Alternatively,
use the motor from a Sherline setup. Sherline sells a belt driven reduction
gear and this is a really useful accessory for the Taig lathe as you can get
torque at low revs and turn large diameter work. By the way, I have a Sherline
mill and use the Taig collet set in it. You just turn an eigth of an inch
of the back of the Taig collet nut and you can then use on the Taig lathe
and the Sherline mill! The Taig lathe clearly was designed to use a threaded
feed drive ..... there is a large apron on the "driver's" side of the carraige.
One should use an ACME thread for the drive rod, this is commonly available
on a car scissor jack. If you can find a fine thread, with its pitch a fraction
of 16tpi, then you can use the thread cutting kit from Sherline. I have my
eye on my Volvo jack at the moment!! -Thomas Roach
- I made many cutting tools and gouges for free-hand wood turning. By the
way, some of your customers might want to know how to heat-treat carbon steels.
The only thing you need is a thermometer which can measure up to 200C. I use
our kitchen cook stove as a heating device. Remove the heating element. Line
the drip bowl with aluminum foil including the outer chrome ring so it will
not discolor. Then, cut a small hole on the foil to plug in the heater element.
Use the bottom of a pot to make a dome shaped foil cover with a rim. Place
all the tool bits on the heater. Put the cover on top and secure the rim with
dinner knives. Turn on the power. The temperature is judged by color: dull
red is about 600, bright red 700, yellow 800C. When they reach 800, drop them
into a pot of cold water. The whole process takes about 5 minutes. waite till
the heater element is cold, return the tools to the heater and cover. Place
the bulb end of the thermometer inside. Gradually heat it up to 150C. Turn
on the power only 1 to 2 seconds at a time. Never let it over shoot beyond
180. Stress relieve at 150C for 20 to 30 minutes. This heat-treatment isa
for plain carbon steels (about 1% carbon). For high speed steels, you need
to heat it to 900C and tempered at 200 to 250C. I shape my tools using hammers
and files and sharpen them before hardening. The trick is using aluminum foil
as a reflective insulation. -David Tseng
- I have my Taig mounted on a 2" thick aluminum block on the current bench,
which puts its base at 43". After a couple of years with the Taig, I converted
the carriage drive to a screw. I took off the carriage and drilled and reamed
the hole that the pinion ran in, to take a cylinder of Oilite material, which
I cross drilled and threaded 1/4-20. I mounted a piece of 1/4-20 allthread
onto the side of the bed with aluminum angle brackets (had to use a masonry
bit to drill through the bed--I hadn't realized it was filled with concrete!),
running in little flanged ball bearings. I don't mind the cranking back and
forth--for me it was a very acceptable tradeoff for the control I got. I made
a rocker toolpost with the help of a machinist at a place I used to work.
It is pretty much like the stock toolpost, except bigger in cross-section,
and uses a big Woodruff key for the rocker. That way, I don't have to shim
toolbits. (The circular seat for the Woodruff key is what the machinist did
on the CNC mill at work.) On the other side of the post, I drilled through
for a little boring bar. (Years ago, there was a guy who advertised in "Home
Shop Machinist" that sold little carbide-insert turning and boring bits. I
have one of the LH turning bits and a boring bar, and enough insert material
to last a while.) I took a big pan, notched the flange at the middle of the
long sides and bent and soldered it up, to give a backstop as well as bottom
tray. I notched the bottom to fit around the mounting block. That way, it
goes all the way to the end of the headstock, and I can slide it off the lathe
for cleaning. I don't use coolant, and just brush on lubricant, so it catches
swarf more than anything, but is very nice to have.
- I also made a larger step pulley for the Taig--it was turning *way* to fast
for my liking. I use the standard motor pulley, and put my pulley on the spindle.
The top end of the range is, I think, around 1500 rpm. Even turning mostly
aluminum and brass, I'm happy with the lowered range (and the bottom end is
a lot better for parting off!) -Randy Gordon-Gilmore
- How to Replace Headstock Shaft or Bearings
- get a brass punch (or piece of round stock) 3/8" in diameter.
- remove headstock from bed
- remove two screws on either side of headstock
- separate halves of headstock extrusion
- loosen setscrew on pulley
- press shaft off pulley using brass punch from pulley end in arbor press.
Never use a hammer!!!! If you only need to remove the pulley but don't
have an arbor press, use a small gear puller.
- remove retaining ring w/ appropriate retaining ring pliers
- press shaft out of bearing/spacer assembly supporting bearing race
as fully as possible (wearing safety goggles), press w/ brass punch at
pulley end of shaft. This took a bit of force but my ratchet press of
unknown pressing capacity handled it easily.
- Replace in reverse order
- I first started with an arbor for a #.0" X 1/16" metal cut off wheel (Harbor
Freight # 1103), working with no "extra" assests to be spending on a Taig
blank arbor, I choose a $.65 3/4 X 16 thread nut, I faced it off and then
brazed a 1.0" piece of CRS about .75" long.....then faced that and center
drilled it, tapped for 10-32. I then turned it down to .375" for the hole
diameter of he grinding wheel,but just at .060" so it would not be thicker
than the 1/16" of the wheel. I then made a flange washer out of some bronze
I had sitting around (actually it was the top of a sprue from a bronze cast!)
I then put a cupped edge on it so it would only grab the blade on its circumference,
drilled to pass the 10- 32 through it and boy does it do a job of cutting!
The wheels last a good long time, and when they are to small to turn on the
Taig, I remount them onto an 1/8" mandrel for the flex shaft! I next made
an arbor for 4.0".032 X 1/2 260 tooth saw blades .... of which I have a goodly
supply from a company that I used to work for: they were used in brass and
bronze cutting, but have plenty of life left in them for cutting aluminum.
The same process for these blades but I found it easier to create the 1/2"
"lip" they sit on first then cut it off to the .030" "nder size" they are
fine with just the friction fit tightening the 10-32 onto the flange washer.
I have also made a fly cutter, using my $.65 nuts, and .750 stainless for
the mounting of the cutter. -Phil Jaster
- To create a table saw, I looked into the scrap box, and saw a nice pice
that was 1) Thick for stability, and 2) had a "lip" to meet the front edge
of the cross feed table. I located to holes to mount it down to the table.......I
use 1/4-20 carriage bolts for this: grinding the round top thin enough to
pass into the TEE slot, this involves five different areas of the 1/4-20:
creating to flats the width of the TEE, cutting down the "square" to pass
the TEE, and that flat of the (bottom) of the bolt, it does take time, but
I have not worn out ONE of these YET, unlike the square 10-32 nuts Taig supplies.
(I have also bored out the tool post to accept one of these).... .....from
table mounting piece, which is Headstock in height, I simply mounted a 4.5"
wide .250" thick piece of Aluminum for the table screwing it down with cap
screws. The next process is one of danger: WARNING! BE CAREFUL! with the blade
turning on the Taig, the cross feed locked and the carriage locked, I LOWERED
THE TABLE CAREFULLY ONTO THE BLADE. a zero kerf such as it provides is not
good for the blades, so I moved the carriage once again and gave it another
cut, maybe .010" so there would be no rubbing of the blade. I have not yet
made a sliding slot such as table saws have, but I will: to hold a piece of
.125 X .500 3.0" length of brass. I choose the slat dimensions only due to
the fact that I have a supply of the fore mentioned brass. -Phil Jaster
- Hey, when you need a carbide cutter, and have no money: I went to my prior
work "carpenter" and torched off the carbide tips from a 7 1/4" saw blade
which had broken teeth! File off the excess brazing material.....now you have:
1) left cutters, 2) right cutters and 3) center cutters! my first mountings
were on 1/4" brass stock (scrap, of course). I very carefully filed a square
lip to hold the carbide on, the silver soldered it on, any sharpening needed
is done with my diamond wheels (Harbor Freight or other companies). These
do a great job for my micro turning that I do....an the price is right! I
now braze them on, using what started out a 20 gauge square "brass" Jewelers
wire, I pulled it down to 22 gauge and use regular flux with it! -Phil Jaster
Pen Turning Tips
- If you turn pens in the metal mode, make sure you use a tool with a
rounded profile, a tool with a point will leave marks in the wood or plastic than
can be almost
impossible to see until you finish sanding, then usually too late to do anything
about. -Paul Currie
- If you are using a double mandrel (don`t we all now) to turn both blanks at
the same time, make sure that you apply only the mininum pressure required
on the tailstock feed lever. The mechanical advantage is such you can bow
the mandrel causing you to turn out of round pen barrels.- Paul Currie
Submit your tip!
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