This is what I am attempting to make
CUTTING TOOLS DETAIL
I took a few photos to show you some of the smaller details of the cutters. Unfortunately after all the praise heaped on me for making such fine tools, I will now be exposed as less skillful than you might have thought. The details reveal some pretty sloppy cutting and also centering of slots. However, they do work well.
The slots are centered on the tool with a center line. Drill points are marked on the centerline at the start and finish of the slots. the holes are drilled and the slots are cut out. This is very simple in theory, but I found it much more difficult in practice. I did get better at it with improved technique, but I’m not thrilled with the result. The good news is that I can make these over again whenever I want.
Note the light blue color still remaining on a couple of the tips shown above. This is the color to look for when tempering. According to the charts it should be more straw colored, but the book said light blue. This works, so it’s ok.
This image (above) is to give you some idea of the shape of the cutting tips.
Another shot of the cutter ends standing on edge. If you were Looking at the cutter laying flat as it would on the tool holder the width of the cutting tip is 1/8”(3mm) on the top and 3/32”(2mm) on the bottom. As you can see, the very end has the bevel ending in a sharp point. This is where the cutting takes place. It is important that this tip is as wide or wider than the rest of the radiused cutting end to prevent jamming as cutting progresses.
BALL CUTTING JIG
The ball cutting jig is somewhat optional. If you can cut balls freehand then you probably won’t need it. The one pictured is made from the plan in the book ‘Woodturning Wizadry”. The cutting tool is adjustable so it can be adjusted in for each small cut. This jig will only cut one radius, the 62mm ball used for my project. I have adapted it to my lathe so it is easily positioned or removed. It’s rather a pain in the neck to manually adjust the cutter after each cut, especially since each cut is so shallow (by necessity).
The knob on the top is to lock the cutting tool.
Here is a detail photo of the cutting tip.This tool is a piece of hardened and tempered 1/4” (6mm) steel plate shown in the photo above.
The book suggests screwing the jig base onto a wooden bench under the the lathe carriage. I tried this but found it very inflexible and time consuming to set-up and remove, so instead I just use a board on the bottom (as seen above) of the platform that sits very snuggly between the carriage bars and keeps it perfectly centered. I then just use a couple of spring clamps on the backside of the lathe to keep it in position.
the above photo show that the cutting tip is perfectly aligned with the turning centerline height of the lathe. It also has to align perfectly with the tailstock centerline height.
Here is a ball that I cut freehand. I will try my ball cutting jig for the first time after changing the base for my next ball. The above ball was cut with a round nosed wide scraper. I got quite a nice cut with that. I will blog cutting with the jig later.
And last but not least the stuff I use for depth markers on my drills and also for marking out the turning tools. This stuff is much better than collars or masking tape!
My next blog with will be about the custom made chuck for holding the balls in various positions for drilling and turning. I hope you found something of interest here.Thanks for reading. The following links cover all the blogs in the series to date.
-- Mike, an American living in Norway.