Machining square things in a lathe

This week I decided to start some work on a caliper knurling tool, based around the ideas in the Workshop Practice book, Making Small Workshop Tools.

After sketching some plans, the first thing I needed to do was saw up some metal to make the body, arms and mounting lug. The size of the tool is basically determined by the size of the knurling wheels and the size of the lathe. So in my case the arms are quite chunky being made from 70mm long by 16mm bar and I’ve used some 9mm plate to make the body. The basic components are all square so I decided to make them in the lathe.

“But a lathe is for round things, you mean milling machine?”.

Although I’ve previously experimented with milling in the lathe in this case the components just required squaring off which is quite straight forward to complete in the lathe. The components are mounted in a 4 jaw chuck and faced off in the same way you would do with round or hexagonal bar.

Machining one of the knurling tool arms

Squaring up a the body

Now that I have some squared up components, the next step will be to drill them but that’s for another day.

End results

Other References

Thor’s Metal Projects
Grahame Howe
Ishimura (two designs)

2 thoughts on “Machining square things in a lathe

  1. There’s also a good article on knurling from David Fenner, including making knurls and radial knurling in Model Engineer’s Workshop No. 147 and a followup letter in No. 154 discussing the cutting type knurls.

  2. […] I started machining the square bars, I realised that there was movement in the cross slide and hence I was getting an uneven surface on […]

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