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My lathe journeys. #49: My aluminum lathe tools, how're they holding up?

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Blog entry by JoeinGa posted 10-24-2016 10:30 PM 1720 reads 2 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 48: ... Results from the Arts & Craps Fair this weekend Part 49 of My lathe journeys. series no next part

I made my own lathe tools using 5/8” aluminum bar stock. You can see the previous posts about them here…
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http://lumberjocks.com/JoeinGa/blog/54554

http://lumberjocks.com/JoeinGa/blog/52914
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Several folks have asked me how the aluminum has held up as far as getting gouged or bent from banging against the tool rest. So today I took a few pictures. As you can see, there really isn’t much more than surface scuffing on the tooling. I have had some pretty hard catches, but there has been no bending or deep gouges on them either.
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There was also some discussion about notching the end of the shaft to keep the bit from rotating. The first tool I made I didn’t notch the end, and the bit DID move, so I added the notch and have notched all subsequent tools I’ve made. For the round cutter bits I figure it wont matter so I dont bother.
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I also used to polish the aluminum to a chrome-like finish, but in using the tools I find that they really get scratched up, so as you can see above I used my ROS to give them a “matte” finish. And any time they get scratched or marked up I just hit ‘em with the ROS and 220 grit paper.
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-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward



23 comments so far

View doubleDD's profile

doubleDD

7538 posts in 2123 days


#1 posted 10-25-2016 12:50 AM

Hi Joe. That last picture is the result you get with a ROS 220 grit? That’s a awesome finish.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29652 posts in 2418 days


#2 posted 10-25-2016 12:52 AM

You make me feel bad about not learning the lathe. It’s coming in the future though.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

1908 posts in 901 days


#3 posted 10-25-2016 03:40 AM


You make me feel bad about not learning the lathe. It s coming in the future though.

- Monte Pittman


Don’t feel bad Monte... I learned lathetin in 1959 and the pope still won’t speak to me…

.. For the round cutter bits I figure it wont matter so I dont bother…

- JoeinGa


Just treat the square(ish) corners.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View crowie's profile

crowie

2527 posts in 2031 days


#4 posted 10-25-2016 05:41 AM

Looks good Joe though I don’t do wood lathe with no room for one.
Question though please on the strength of the aluminum as a turning tool???

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View Dutchy's profile

Dutchy

3035 posts in 2248 days


#5 posted 10-25-2016 07:21 AM

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7739 posts in 2087 days


#6 posted 10-25-2016 12:29 PM

Thanks all for the comments.

Dave:, I used a polishing wheel to get that hi polish. You can see it in this blog.
http://lumberjocks.com/JoeinGa/blog/52914
The 220grit on the ROS gives me the finish you can see in the pictures above on this thread. All the scratches and little ding marks from the flying chips dont show with this sanded finish.

Dont feel bad Monte. For YEARS I resisted getting a lath. Never thought I’d enjoy turning. But just be warned, when you DO finally go there, the lathe itself is NOT always the biggest investment.

Crowie: I’m using 5/8” aluminum stock. It’s pretty dang strong. I made a curved tool for inside bowl turning and thought I could just bent the bar in my vise, but boy was I wrong. I had to heat it to bend it. Here’s the blog on the bent tool.
http://lumberjocks.com/JoeinGa/blog/81626

And yes Duckie, I didn’t distinguish between the bits that actually ARE square and those that have a radius. So yeah, the “Squarish” ones. LOL

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Notw's profile

Notw

660 posts in 1833 days


#7 posted 10-25-2016 07:08 PM

I recently have made my own turning tools and also found that the squareish ones seem more prone to turning. The round ones don’t seem to turn and i even take note of the indicator dot to see if they are moving and i’m not realizing it but they just seem to stay tighter.

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2194 posts in 1143 days


#8 posted 10-25-2016 07:15 PM

So, Joe, have you made anything lately? Are your fingers all better yet?

-- Mark

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7739 posts in 2087 days


#9 posted 10-25-2016 10:42 PM



So, Joe, have you made anything lately? Are your fingers all better yet?

- Mark Wilson

Actually Mark, I haven’t spent much time at all in my shop for several months. Back in August my right leg started swelling and they did a Doppler sonogram, turns out I have a blood clot from just above my knee down to about mid-calf. It’s about 10” long so the Drs want me to keep my leg elevated as much as possible.

So not too much turning for a while

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View htl's profile

htl

3997 posts in 1239 days


#10 posted 10-25-2016 11:35 PM

Thanks for all the info Joe, I”m also at the point of not standing much but if and when I can get back to my turning will be making and using all your tips and how to’s.
And even if I can’t get back to it love to read about it and bring back the feeling of turning something,
Being one with the wood as they say.

-- Learn More About Making Wooden Models. An Index Of My Model making Blogs. http://lumberjocks.com/htl/blog/116729

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

1908 posts in 901 days


#11 posted 10-26-2016 12:00 AM


... the Drs want me to keep my leg elevated as much as possible…

- JoeinGa


Hey Joe, a chisel between the toes might be the answer… it may also trim your toenails…

Get well, bud.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7739 posts in 2087 days


#12 posted 10-26-2016 12:22 AM


Hey Joe, a chisel between the toes might be the answer… it may also trim your toenails…

Get well, bud.

- LittleBlackDuck

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View htl's profile

htl

3997 posts in 1239 days


#13 posted 10-26-2016 12:27 AM

HA!!! HA!!! Some of the pictures you come up with!!!

-- Learn More About Making Wooden Models. An Index Of My Model making Blogs. http://lumberjocks.com/htl/blog/116729

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7739 posts in 2087 days


#14 posted 10-26-2016 12:34 AM

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View htl's profile

htl

3997 posts in 1239 days


#15 posted 10-26-2016 12:58 AM

Yes you!!!

-- Learn More About Making Wooden Models. An Index Of My Model making Blogs. http://lumberjocks.com/htl/blog/116729

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