Equivalent metalwork tools ? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-23-2013, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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Default Equivalent metalwork tools ?

Hello,

If I want to cut up and join together some pieces of plywood to make simple jigs - boxes - drawers etc then I know what tools to use.

If I want to cut up some chunks of metal to do a similar job then what tools would I use and how would I ensure smooth edges and square / parallel cuts ?

Is it as simple as using a manual hacksaw or a powered metal cutoff saw and cutting accurately to scratched lines ?

I want to build this
Tool Slide Converts Wood Turning Lathe for Metal Work

as my first metalwork job.

Bill
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-24-2013, 12:13 AM
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Yep, it's as simple as using a hand hacksaw.

But, if you use a wood lathe, you are 'not' going to come up with an equivalent to a metal lathe. It would work I'm sure, but I'm not sure you'd be happy.

What is it you ultimately want to make?

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-24-2013, 02:13 AM
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Depends on what sort of metal you're intending to use.
Aluminium can be cut with (most) woodworking tools i.e. table saw, router, etc.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-24-2013, 04:44 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
Yep, it's as simple as using a hand hacksaw.

But, if you use a wood lathe, you are 'not' going to come up with an equivalent to a metal lathe. It would work I'm sure, but I'm not sure you'd be happy.

What is it you ultimately want to make?
Joat, Thanks for response.

For starters I'd like to make that toolpost shown above just so that I could make something and get a taste of what its like to cut up metal and stick it together.

Yes - I realise that sticking that toolpost on a wood lathe is a poor substitute for a metal lathe.

I made the wood lathe from shopnotes issue 73, photo here ShopNotes-73 - Mini Lathe - Revista ShopNotes com idéia para construção de mini...

I've often thought it would be handy if I could make small metal things - ie a live centre, small replacement wheel for broken hinge on oven door, etc.

Ultimately I'd like to build a small metal lathe and a better wood lathe. After building the wood lathe I have wondered if a very simple metal lathe could be made by substituting pieces of steel instead of plywood in the shop notes plans. It wouldn't cut gears or threads but it would satisfy my immediate hankerings.

Have wondered about making this one http://www.green-trust.org/junkyardp...etherLathe.pdf

Maybe one day, after appropriate skills are in place I could build some of these things ?

Build Your Own Lathe, Milling Machine and Attachments

I have read the David Gingery books but building a furnace doesnt appeal to me.

Retired - plenty of time and little money, interested in learning how to make something out of metal, so dont want to simply buy a cheap chinese lathe.

Regards

Bill

Last edited by steamingbill; 08-24-2013 at 04:50 AM. Reason: mention Gingery
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-24-2013, 05:29 AM
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There's plans somewhere on-line for making a real woodworking lathe, the plans show 8', yes that is eight feet, between centers, as I recall, or maybe six. Big anyway, and all wood, for woodworking.

In the meantime, here's a couple of links for metal working lathe plans. Both look reasonably simple, and not expensive. If it were me I believe I'd opt for trying one of those, rather than trying to adape a wood working lathe. Actually, if it were me I'd go for the gingery lathe, not rocket science to melt the metal, and it would be a cool thing to do. But your project, your choice.
Build a Homemade Mini Lathe From what little I saw, this looks like it could be stretched with no major issues.
Fonly Lathe (Part 1) Didn't look near as close at this one.

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-24-2013, 06:10 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Joat.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-24-2013, 08:38 AM
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Bill, if you want to get into metalworking, and you like building your tools, the link above will show you how you can make a metal working shop from junk. There used to be a lot of books from Lindsay Publications that had several different types of metal lathes you cold build.

I have used a metal lathe to turn wood, but never thought of going the other way.

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-24-2013, 10:15 AM
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Personally I think that you would be wasting your time, for any sort of accuracy with metal there must be no play in any of the components. Why not look on Craigs list for an old lathe at next to no cost, at least with such a machine you would stand a better chance of making the cross slide etc. for an improved lathe if it's just the satisfaction of making one that you're after.

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-25-2013, 07:19 AM
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I'm with Harry! You can purchase a small mini-lathe rather cheap these days. They are what they are - cheap, but for the back yard, where you (the owner) will be the only one using, they are not so bad. You can go to Harbor Freight, MSC Industrial Supply or Enco, to name a few.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-26-2013, 05:39 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harrysin View Post
Personally I think that you would be wasting your time, for any sort of accuracy with metal there must be no play in any of the components. Why not look on Craigs list for an old lathe at next to no cost, at least with such a machine you would stand a better chance of making the cross slide etc. for an improved lathe if it's just the satisfaction of making one that you're after.
Harry,

Thanks for reply.

One of the things that intrigues me is the accuracy that you have highlighted in your note, and I'd like to better understand the history and story behind how we attained this degree of accuracy.

I think I'd be happy with a reduced level of accuracy if I could look at the tool and think to myself "I made that and I know I can cut a 5cm cylinder and have a variation in diameter of plus or minus 0.05 millimetres".

If I paid $1-2k for a lathe I might expect plus or minus .0001mm ? I simply dont know and am keen to learn more ....................

For the sorts of things I expect to do I believe (but I don't know) that plus or minus 0.05 mm should be sufficient

Anyway, I am raving, lets get to the point ..............
Do you know of any good books that tell the story of the huge increase in accuracy over the last 1000 years and how it was achieved ?

I have Foundations of mechanical accuracy by Wayne Moore (but havent read it yet) are there any others worth reading ?

If a mechanic can feel by hand that a shaft is only just loose in a circular bearing then what is it that he is feeling 0.01mm 0.001mm 0.00001mm ?


Regards

Bill
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