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How to Machine Turn Parts

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by citadel, Jul 25, 2010.

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  1. citadel

    citadel Active Member

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    I would like to put a machine turned look on a number of small metal parts. Can anyone suggest a method for doing this without having to invest in a lathe for metal turning. What type of grinding or metal cutting heads are used to create the turned effect? What lube should be used in the process? Any suggestions on where to buy the needed equipment and materials at a reasonable price.
    The metal turned effect is a lice look and really dressed up metal parts. You suggestions are appreciated.
    Doug
     
  2. trapster100

    trapster100 Member

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    Try here:

    http://www.trapshooters.com/cfpages/thread.cfm?threadid=221526

    or here:

    http://www.make-digital.com/make/vol19/?pg=130#pg130
     
  3. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    To do the job right you will ned a small lathe. You can get a good deal on a used one if you look around. With the right tool bits you won't need any lube. HMB
     
  4. W.P.T.

    W.P.T. TS Member

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    There are some hobby crafter type lathes on EBay at really good prices ... Check them out ... WPT ... (YAC) ...
     
  5. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    For clarity we need to know what you desire. You do not need a lathe to create a regularly repeated, overlapping circular polishing finish. IF you desire sophisticated, machine produced engraving patterns used by jewelers and gunsmiths etc, there are a few websites and a forum about it.

    Bolt jeweling is fairly simple with a drill press, a small wire brush, and some lapping compound. You need a vise or fixture to hold the bolt.

    You can do bigger surfaces with a dwel and some valve grinding paste.



    [​IMG]


    The machines that make this stuff are quite rare.
     
  6. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Jeweling with a drill press is not difficult as halfmile stated. I prefer a layer of coarse lappong compound and a wood dowel. Wire brushed can make circles of different diameters. I found a light weight mill type vice that will let me move the piece forward/backward--up/down fairly precise distances. I like to see about 1/4 of each circle when the job is finished.

    Pat Ireland
     
  7. Mapper

    Mapper Member

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    Pat Ireland has the right of it for engine turning, like the dash of an Auburn Speedster. I only differ from him by using Cratex rods and motor oil. However, I do make the Cratex rod holders on a lathe. A bolt handle, as mentioned, needs a fixture, perhaps with a degree wheel on the back. Barrel flats, etc should be done with a cross-slide vise to ensure accuracy. And patience.
     
  8. Catpower

    Catpower Molon Labe TS Supporters

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    The first one I ever did I used a pencil in a drill chuck and the eraser held the lapping compound, but I was in 7th grade, I took my time and it looked very good

    Now I have the machines to do it properly if I ever get another wild hair, but it is really very easy to do with basic tools
     
  9. citadel

    citadel Active Member

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    Thanks to everyone for the good ideas. I will give them a try and see how I do with it.
    Thanks,
    Doug
     
  10. dverna

    dverna Active Member

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    Catpower is correct. A pencil does a nice job.

    It is unbelievable how such a simple "tool" works so well.

    Don Verna
     
  11. W.R.Buchanan

    W.R.Buchanan Member

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    If you are going to engine turn something, do yourself a favor and practice on something a bunch first. Things like making strait lines and having consistant jewels really make a difference in the final product. This is something that is really easy to make look like shit. Practice first on something that doesn't matter.

    Keeping the lines strait and the jewels overlapping just half the dia of the jewels is the way it is supposed to be done. If you are doing something big like a dash board then if the lines aren't strait it just looks like hell, and you are better off just jitterbugging it..

    The best possible tool is a milling machine, as you can control both axises accurately. If you use a drill press then setting up some kind of guide so you can generate a strait line will help your job look good. round things like bolts require some kind of jig to do right.

    1/2" dia or smaller cratex rods and oil work best, and the key to consistant jewels is to count 1,2,3 when you contact the work and do the same count everytime. This generates the same level and intensity of scratches for each jewel. If you don't do this then some will be darker than others.

    This can be a really cool looking finishing technique if it is done right.

    I saw a dash for a Duesenburg once that was engine turned and it looked fantastic. DUH? It was done on a drill press with a wooden jig that bolted to the table and allowed the operator to slide the dash accross the table in a strait line. It also had a provision for offsetting for the next line. But if you ever saw a Duesenburg engine up close you would quickly realize these guys were really good machinists and toolmakers, even by todays standards, and probably much better than nowadays as they didn't have CNC tools to work with, All manual.

    if you take your time and think it through it can make a real cool finish.

    Good Luck

    Randy
     
  12. loop02

    loop02 Member

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    Brownells sells a bolt jeweling fixture and cratex rods and holder
     
  13. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    What you want is a "cross-slide vise". Harbor Freight carries them. A word of caution, though. The backlash on these is crappy. So always go through the tedious process of running back to past the starting point, then coming up on your initial index point. That eliminates the backlash issue. A couple of cheap dial indicators and magnetic bases make this job a lot easier, too. If you are careful you can do good work. It won't be as easy as a good milling machine table, but the results can be identical if you are careful.
     
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