More Tool Storage

Now that I have a taste for using Forstner bits, and have a tidy supply of hardwood it is time to provide a safe home for my end mills. When I bought my tool chest/rolling cabinet, the owner kindly provided a large selection of end mills, setup rods and parallels.

The .5 and .375 shanks mean a standard hole size. A bit of work with a CAD package and I have a layout. This is glued to the wood. The centres are popped with an automatic punch and off to the drill press.

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A row of .5” holes and 2 rows of .375. The forstners drill quite accurate holes (Harbor Freight) and the mills fit very well, to the point of getting a pop when you pull one out. An air hole is drilled at the bottom of each cavity to avoid this problem.

A bit of tidying up with a counter sink and voila, another storage solution finished. Uses less space and keeps the cutter edges from getting damaged. I could get to like wood working again at this rate.2014-06-26 10.33.51

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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