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Has anyone ever tried turning brass on their woodlathe?

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Forum topic by StDane posted 04-16-2018 05:52 PM 1143 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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StDane

7 posts in 978 days


04-16-2018 05:52 PM

What would it take to turn brass stock (maybe 1 inch square). Would standard word chisels work?


16 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4988 posts in 2495 days


#1 posted 04-16-2018 06:28 PM

I doubt it, for what little brass work I’ve done on the lathe, I used files

-- Bondo Gaposis

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JayT

5864 posts in 2355 days


#2 posted 04-16-2018 06:36 PM

I’ve done a little bit of brass with carbide tools and it worked OK with low speed and light cuts. Finished with files and sandpaper. That was starting from a round piece of stock, however. I wouldn’t even think of trying it with square stock.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View BigYin's profile

BigYin

421 posts in 2560 days


#3 posted 04-16-2018 06:46 PM

dont even think of square brass on a wood lathe you will be hurt. However round brass can be lightly shaped and polished on a wood lathe.
I limit myself to turning off the surface of plumbers brass compression fitting nuts to make furules for handles.
please buy or borrow a metal lathe or take a machine shop nightclass for access to one

-- ... Never Apologise For Being Right ...

View John Smith's profile (online now)

John Smith

1368 posts in 307 days


#4 posted 04-16-2018 08:01 PM

square stock ? NO NO NO !!!
in a WOOD LATHE CHUCK
? NO NO NO!!!

but ~ however, you CAN get a metal lathe chuck and turn ROUND STOCK easily.
well, not “easily”, but with some time and patience, it can be done with files and carbide cutters.
you can purchase a metal lathe chuck off of ebay for a modest price.
and you can purchase brass round stock in any dimension you need. (cut to the size you need).
square stock needs a lathe specifically designed and used for metal – not wood.
Please explain a little of just what you want to accomplish with your brass square stock.

this is what I have done with my Harbor Freight wood lathe with a metal turning chuck.

NEVER ~ EVER ~ NEVER turn metal objects on a wood lathe without the proper tools

.

.

-- I started out with nothing in life ~ and still have most of it left.

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12369 posts in 2524 days


#5 posted 04-16-2018 08:51 PM

Ipe is harder than brass and I’ve turned ipe quite a few times with carbide.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 792 days


#6 posted 04-16-2018 08:56 PM

The best I can do with my spring-pole lathe is simple brass candlesticks.
 
               
 
I will admit that little ring handle gets wrapped up in the rope every now and then and things go flying, but …

View GrantA's profile

GrantA

414 posts in 1552 days


#7 posted 04-17-2018 01:20 AM

I usually use this little guy for such a task :-)
FCA84716_FFCC_4832_B4_CE_4034075_EA1_A4

View moke's profile

moke

1240 posts in 2920 days


#8 posted 04-17-2018 05:04 PM

I too have used files for round stock brass in a wood chuck (with pin jaws). I now have a metal lathe, so I have not lately….I would never subject good tools to brass, other than a replaceable insert carbide. I would never turn square stock. That would not only be dangerouse but would have a tragic end to the tool. You can order brass rod on ebay for dirt cheap….buy new stack and use a file…clean out the file with a “card” cleaner often and move the file around other wise you will ruin it too…..and turn slow…..4-500 rpm….

-- Mike

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

5524 posts in 3807 days


#9 posted 04-17-2018 05:53 PM

I have turned brass plumbing fittings down (for tool handle inserts) using a carbide tool … worked okay, but I felt like I was abusing my lathe.

If I were going to do a lot of brass/metal work, I think I would invest in a small metal lathe.

Comes down to selecting and using the right tool for the job.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 792 days


#10 posted 04-20-2018 11:15 PM

Come on guys … post #6 is funny!

View Kelster58's profile

Kelster58

670 posts in 684 days


#11 posted 04-21-2018 07:28 PM


The best I can do with my spring-pole lathe is simple brass candlesticks.
 
               
 
I will admit that little ring handle gets wrapped up in the rope every now and then and things go flying, but …

- Ron Aylor

Ron, you made me laugh out loud with this one…...Thanks for that !!!!!

-- K. Stone “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

View Kelster58's profile

Kelster58

670 posts in 684 days


#12 posted 04-21-2018 07:30 PM


square stock ? NO NO NO !!!
in a WOOD LATHE CHUCK
? NO NO NO!!!

NEVER ~ EVER ~ NEVER turn metal objects on a wood lathe without the proper tools

- John Smith

Mr. Smith is a WISE man…....

-- K. Stone “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

View htl's profile

htl

4097 posts in 1303 days


#13 posted 04-21-2018 11:36 PM



The best I can do with my spring-pole lathe is simple brass candlesticks.
 
               
 
I will admit that little ring handle gets wrapped up in the rope every now and then and things go flying, but …

- Ron Aylor

The things a fellow has to do to keep his post count up! LOL
And this is April [fools] you know.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs here on Lumber Jocks.. http://lumberjocks.com/htl/blog/116729

View StDane's profile

StDane

7 posts in 978 days


#14 posted 04-23-2018 02:21 PM

Thanks all for your input. I’m officially a little smarter now.

View John Smith's profile (online now)

John Smith

1368 posts in 307 days


#15 posted 04-23-2018 03:04 PM

just for comparison: this is a photo of a metal turning chuck.
it is quite heavy and should not be used with an adapter to
either reduce or move up from the 1”x8 thread it is designed for.
operating ANY power tool in any fashion from which it was intended,
is putting your own health and safety at definite risk.

.

-- I started out with nothing in life ~ and still have most of it left.

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