Some general add-ons for the lathe

ER16 collets are a precision item and deserve to be treated gently. I had some left over hardwood trim from something we didn’t like. A bit of doodling, some marking out and drill 10 holes with a 5/8” Forstner bit. Voila. A lovely stand to keep my collets.

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I am working up (hence all the tool making!) to building my first engine. I know that I have lots of layout to do on the mounting plates etc. There are plenty of examples of people modifying $12 calipers to go vertical. So I replaced my not-so-flat home made surface gauge with one made out of 3/4” steel bar. 

This was the first real test of my new 2” milling vise mount and it worked great. The end cuts were pushing the rigidity limit of the milling slide but with light cuts it worked fine. In fact I can’t imagine having done this work with the original vise.

Once the 2 blocks were the same length I slotted one side to capture the modified 6” digital caliper. Some Cy glue with accelerator and the unit is solid. I will have to find a bit of steel to make the hook to get the point all the way to the surface, but it is usable as is.

Now I have a usable surface gauge, for $12 instead of >$250. The surface plate it will be used on is either 1/4 float glass or the granite kitchen counter.

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A Fly Cutter for the Taig

The fly cutter is a wonderful tool for creating a flat surface. It covers a larger area than a milling cutter and doesn’t leave rows of cut marks.

Taig supplies blank arbors to fit the headstock for $3.20 (Lee Valley), not worth making that yourself. A bit of time and voila, a fly cutter. I used the compound table to get the angle and the milling vise to hold the arbor for drilling a 6mm hole for the cutter and 10-32 tap hole for the locking screw. The ER16 collet holder came into play to hold a 3/8 milling cutter for the wrench flats. I promise to start taking more photos to show the sequence of operation, though sometimes that takes longer than the work itself.

Next one I build the hole for the cutter will be off centre, the present one makes me grind too much off the cutter. The goal is for the point to be on the centre line.

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Mounting a Screwless Vise on the Taig Lathe

Having a ER16 collet chuck at last, I made a list of tooling to build. One of my recent purchases were a 1” and 2” screwless machinist vises from Shars Tools. The 2” vise is conveniently just a bit narrower than the vertical milling slide. A detailed drawing 2014-06-11 14.06.45and some machining

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resulted in the required 2 sets of parts.

The Taig slides all have small t-slots on the sides. Interestingly not quite the same dimensions on each side but close. The pegs fit in the t-slot, the block fits over the peg and a washer/screw hold the vise down. A couple of hours work, using the filing rest completed just before this project (it’s all about sequence of building tooling at present)

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When I received the 2″ vise I initially wondered if it was out of scale with the Taig but with it now mounted the size is just right. Can’t wait to get some use from the combination.

A Filing rest for the Taig Lathe

Not having a milling machine, I needed to find a way to predictably create flats, squares and hex shapes on shafts etc. An excellent article led me to my version of a solution, based on the materials and tools available.

Pretty straight forward, some drill rod, some rod from a scrapped inkjet printer, a scrap of 1” angle and voila. Tools used were the lathe to make the shafts and drill holes and my 4×6 bandsaw in the vertical position to chip away the area of support.

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Making an ER16 collet holder

Long long ago I bought a set of collets to accurately hold smallish diameter metal for machining. The Unimat resisted my attempts at Plan A, adapting an existing collet chuck. The problem is to get the addition exactly concentric to the lathe spindle. The one I built had a runout (wobble) of .006” which is way too much for precision work.

For the Taig I decided to make on from scratch. This should result in one that is exactly concentric since it is built on the actual machine it will be used on. You can buy one for $23 but this way I learn some more skills, which will come on handy later.IMGW1149

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