Monday, November 14, 2022

Those Counterweights

I am going to make a video for YouTube about this for those just trying to decide if buying machine tools is something they need to do.   Briefly, I put the steel rings in the mill, found the center of the edge then drilled the .203" hole that I need to tap to 1/4-20. 

To my pleasure that drilling went perfectly.  I just ran the program twice.  The second ring just fell into jaws in perfect position.   No need to rezero.

Then I discovered how slow it is to tap cold rolled steel.  I have tapped thin steel before and aluminum and acetal and even white oak (which worked better than you might think).  But I need to tap a 1.38" deep hole.  It is slow and the danger of breaking a tap is always an encouragement to go slow.  Yes I am using TapMagic.

I broke a tap in a piece of aluminum yesterday and to my surprise I managed to unscrew from the workpiece.   I have thrown away more than a couple workpieces with broken taps that were never going to come out.

I suddenly asked myself if there is a sharper tap out there.  Solid carbide taps apparently cut much faster so I ordered one. 

While the outer edge of these rings is still not as nicely finished as I would like, I was able to face the rings pretty easily.   Much easier than I was expecting.   I have turned very little steel on my lathe.  Unfortunately I am out of sandpaper that has not been used up so tomorrow I will buy stuff from #80 to #500.  I want the surfaces smooth and beautiful even though I will be epoxying the rings together.

No comments:

Post a Comment