View Full Version : Tip installation questions
I have a 10 X 36 Atlas lathe. Can anyone suggest tool shape and RPM's best for turning tips and ferrules? Thanks.
01-20-2005, 12:39 PM
I also have a 10" Atlas, prewar version, with stepped-pulley belt drive, back gear, and QC gearbox added.
For ferrules, use just about any tool that cuts right to left, but make it very sharp (it should stay that way a long time) and maybe grind it with a little more draft/relief than you would if you were cutting metal. That's for turning down the diameter. To face off the end, use a similar tool, but one that cuts left to right. If you don't have a quick-change toolpost, you can just use the original right-to-left tool but angle it to cut with the point and not drag on the work. That's what I do, as it saves time and works fine.
For tips, don't use a standard tool. Assuming you have the "lantern" toolpost, just mount a tool holder sideways, with the toolbit pointing to your right and the rest of the holder pointing left (parallel to the cue shaft). Adjust this so that the toolholder bar forms a "rest", parallel and up close to the ferrule/tip. Then use a hand-held blade (a sharp blade from a carpet knife or boxcutter will work fine) to trim your tips.
It goes without saying that you'll work on ferrules and tips by passing the shaft through the spindle bore so that only the very end protrudes from the chuck jaws. Make yourself a set of plastic bushings to center the joint ends of shafts in the spindle bore.
I also have a collection of rolled-paper tubes made from newsprint that I slip over the shafts to prevent dirt and jaw marks. Use a dial indicator to center your work. If you don't have a chuck with independent jaws, you can still shim it true using small scraps of paper underneath individual jaws.
Oh, highest speed works best for those tips, and watch out when freehanding that blade. Don't let one of the chuck jaws whack it into your fingers. No, I haven't done that, but I think about it a lot /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
01-20-2005, 01:30 PM
My one lathe that I put butts and shafts through the head stock is pretty big and has a chuck on the outboard side. The two chucks are spaced far enough apart that when you have a shaft or butt chucked up there is only about 5 or 6 inches sticking out so you don't need any additional steadying on the outboard side. I saw a neet set up I think at Burt Schragers shop. He had a second tail piece set up on the outboard side of the lathe mounted on the bench. He could basically steady the piece extending out the back like it was between centers if he wanted with the front part in the chuck. This would not be very hard to make if the lathe is set up on a bench. Just another idea for whoever to try. It was I think better then just using sleeves and can be used in conjunction with the sleeves.
01-20-2005, 01:44 PM
I also have one of those lathes. I use for turning shafts and butts. I will also add that you should get a Quick Change tool post. Enco always has them on sale. Piston or wedge, it doesn't really matter for working on cues. I have both and don't find any real differance. I also use hhs cutter blanks and grind them myself. I rarely use carbide when cutting cue parts. hhs can be sharpened like a razor and cuts nice. For grinding the cutter you have to experiment a little. Like when you are cutting a ferrule such as a ivorine three. You can get pitting and tear out, yet just a little adjustment in the cutter and it comes out perfect. Takes a little practice.
01-20-2005, 02:02 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> My one lathe that I put butts and shafts through the head stock is pretty big and has a chuck on the outboard side. The two chucks are spaced far enough apart that when you have a shaft or butt chucked up there is only about 5 or 6 inches sticking out so you don't need any additional steadying on the outboard side. <hr /></blockquote>
I have seen lathes like that which were "factory" setups that I believe were used for cutoff and threading of pipe. We used to have one in our high-school machine shop.
Did yours come set up for an outboard chuck, or did you rig it yourself?
01-20-2005, 02:27 PM
No, I just cut a sleeve to mount the chuck on and put it on the outside. I was luckey there was a few inches of spindel sticking out and I just slipped it over with some set screws to keep it in place. It is a three jawed chuck. I check it from time to time with a dial indacator to be sure it is running true. If I knew how to post pictures I would show you how it is made. I used to have a free site that hosted pictures but it does not work anymore.
01-20-2005, 09:53 PM
/ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gifI had a chuck from a pipe threader welded, to the left side of the headstock. When the work is in the lathe & held in both chucks, it's perfectly level. Jim McDermott is the one who gave me this tip. He said that's what he did for his 1st lathe. I also had the headstock bored out to the max. so that a butt section easily fits through the headstock...JER
Thanks Spiderman for the great tips. I have mounted a utility blade onto 1/2" square stock to go into a toolholder. I'm a little leery of freehanding a razor blade so close to the chuck. I have photos but haven't figured the posting process yet.
01-22-2005, 02:05 PM
I have the best luck with RPMs in the 1000-1200 range. (sometimes even higher) It's particularly noticeable while turning soft tips. A sharp tool is necessary, and the tool cuts better and drags less than it would with lower RPMs. You can nearly pull a soft tip apart using lower RPMs. Take several thin passes rather than trying to take too much at a time also. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif
01-24-2005, 08:33 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote EdR:</font><hr> Thanks Spiderman for the great tips. I have mounted a utility blade onto 1/2" square stock to go into a toolholder. I'm a little leery of freehanding a razor blade so close to the chuck. I have photos but haven't figured the posting process yet. <hr /></blockquote>
Try it both ways. If you have a nice brace to lay the blade across,and are careful not to let it hit the chuck, you shouldn't have a problem unless you're just the accident-prone type. I've been doing it freehand since I bought my lathe (6 years ago), and before that when I just spun the shafts in a 3/8" drill.
The problem you might have with using the fixed blade on a tool holder is that the cutting action is sensitive to blade angle. If you're freehanding you will automatically move it a little to get a nice shaving result. Using the holder, you might instead apply more pressure than you realize and tear up the tip.
Also, the blade will dull during use. If you're working freehand you'll feel that it's taking a little more pressure to cut, and you'll just slide the blade a little to bring an undulled section of the edge to bear on the tip.
If you think you might be prone to having an accident and cutting yourself, consider making a "blade holder" that you then hand-hold against a rest to preserve the "feel" of free-handing.
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