Lathe Radius Cutting Experiment

SolidWorks Concept Rendering of the Quick Change Radius Cutter

SolidWorks Concept Rendering of the Quick Change Radius Cutter

 While perusing Youtube I found several examples of Lathe Radius Turners

Low Resolution GIF Video Showing Radius Cutter Motion

Low Resolution GIF Video Showing Radius Cutter Motion

On a Side Note ~ When I post items on this blog – I write the descriptions for those that are not metalworkers nor experts in the subjects discussed.

I am certainly not an expert in anything and enjoy when people put too much detail & information in their posts and videos … because most of these items shown on here I either had to figure out on my own or find somewhere online.

With that said ~ For those that don’t know what a Lathe Radius Turner or Radius Cutter is – Simply put, it allows the user to make Knobs and other round (spherical) items on a Metal Lathe.  Usually threaded on one end.

A year ago I had never even heard of a Radius Turner/Cutter.

Below is the first test part I made on the Radius Cutting unit I built … Yay!!

First Test Part Cut with the Lathe Radius Turning Unit

First Test Part Cut with the Lathe Radius Turning Unit

CLICK the Image Below to See a Video of the Project

Click this image to View a Video about the Project

Click this image to View a Video about the Project

I liked the design of the Radius Cutters on YouTube but wanted a version that would mount quickly on my Lathe with just one nut like my normal Tool Post.

Design was Created with SolidWorks CAD Software

Design was Created with SolidWorks CAD Software

Used SolidWorks CAD Software to design a Radius Cutter that is very easy to mount and also very easy to remove and replace with the Normal Tool Post.

1/2" Steel Flat-bar Welded Together to Create the Main Support Unit

1/2″ Steel Flat-bar Welded Together to Create the Main Support Unit

Looked around the shop and found some scrap 1/2″ Steel Flat-bar and used it to weld together a lump of metal that I could machine into a usable part.

Cutting 3" Round Stock with the Horizontal Band-Saw

Cutting 3″ Round Stock with the Horizontal Band-Saw

Next Cut some of the 3″ Round Stock that I scrounged in Phoenix …

CLICK HERE to View the Post about the Phoenix Metal Scrounge

The Parts Used to Create the Lathe Radius Turning Unit

The Parts Used to Create the Lathe Radius Turning Unit

Used the new Milling Machine to Clean Up the Main Mounting Base Unit.

Example of a Milling Machine Face Mill

Example of a Milling Machine Face Mill

I didn’t have a Large Face Milling Tool … So used a 0.75″ Milling Cutter for the project and by the time I was finished decided to order a Face Mill *grin*

UPDATE:  Tom Lipton found out I needed a Face Mill and sent me a care package with a 1.5″ diameter Sandvik Face Mill and 2 books and several other very cool items I am excited to try out!!
THANKS TOM!!

If you haven’t already checked out Tom Lipton’s metalworking books, they are an outstanding read for new and experienced metalworkers!!

Metalworking: Doing It Better
( ISBN-13: 978-0831134761 )

Metalworking Sink or Swim: Tips and Tricks for Machinists, Welders and Fabricators
( ISBN-13: 978-0831133627 )

Machining the 3" Round Stock to Make Tool Holder Rotating Base

Machining the 3″ Round Stock to Make Tool Holder Rotating Base

Then used the new Lathe to make the center 3″ rotating Tool Mount …

Testing the Fit-Up of the Main Support Unit

Testing the Fit-Up of the Main Support Unit

Tested the Main Radius Cutter Unit base and it seemed to fit correctly …

This Design Uses Just One Bolt to Mount to the Lathe

This Design Uses Just One Bolt to Mount to the Lathe

Used one of the Nuts from the Milling Machine’s Lock-Down Kit …

Added an Extra Bolt-On Piece of Flatbar to Line-up and Secure Mounting

Added an Extra Bolt-On Piece of Flatbar to Line-up and Secure Mounting

For Extra support ( and to make it quicker to mount ) added a 4″ piece of flat-bar to the front that acts as a guide when quickly mounting and also adds support by wrapping two edges around the mounting area.

Nice to Finally have Some Good Cooling & Cutting Fluids

Nice to Finally have Some Good Cooling & Cutting Fluids

One a different subject … While working on this project, a box with Cutting Fluid and Tapping Fluid arrived in the mail … WOW, really made a difference …
This old welder has always just used waste oil …

I’m hooked on these fancy Cutting & tapping fluids now.     Duh!!

Cutting the 1 1/2" Six-Sided (Hex) Brass in Horizontal Band-Saw

Cutting the 1 1/2″ Six-Sided (Hex) Brass in Horizontal Band-Saw

Once everything was finished … it was time to test out the Radius Turner …

Brass Hex Mounted in the Lathe's 3-Jaw Self-Centering Chuck

Brass Hex Mounted in the Lathe’s 3-Jaw Self-Centering Chuck

Found this Brass Hex in the Phoenix Metal Scrounge so decide to use it …

Faced Off the Front of the Brass Hex

Faced Off the Front of the Brass Hex

Had no idea what the final part would look like because wanted to test out different  types of cuts on the Radius Turner …

Cleaned Up the Edges with Lathes Normal Tool Holder & Tooling

Cleaned Up the Edges with Lathes Normal Tool Holder & Tooling

First used the normal lathe tooling to face the brass end and trim the edges …

Touched Off the End to Make it Easier to Use the Radius Cutter

Touched Off the End to Make it Easier to Use the Radius Cutter

Used the ‘Pointed Tool’ *grin* the touch off the end so there would be less material to cut off with the radius cutter …

Takes about 30 Seconds to Replace the Tool Holder with the Radius Cutter

Takes about 30 Seconds to Replace the Tool Holder with the Radius Cutter

Once done with the normal lathe tooling it was time to test the Radius Turner

Photo Shows the Lathe with the Tool Post Removed

Photo Shows the Lathe with the Tool Post Removed

As planned, the Radius Cutting Unit was fast and easy to change ~ 45 seconds

Radius Turning Unit Prior to Being Mounted on Lathe

Radius Turning Unit Prior to Being Mounted on Lathe

Below is a Video showing the Radius Cutter Quick-Mounting Process ~

Click this image to See a Video Showing the Quick-Change Time

Click this image to See a Video Showing the Quick-Change Time

Basically one just slides in the flat-bar with welded threaded stud on it and then slides on the Radius Turner and tightens the nut … Quick-Mount Design – Yay!!

First Slide in the Threaded Mounting Part

First Slide in the Threaded Mounting Part

Honestly, had no idea if it would be stable enough but seems to work great …

The Radius Cutter Mounts Quickly by tightening One Nut

The Radius Cutter Mounts Quickly by tightening One Nut

Probably put more set-screws in than needed but allows for adjustment …

Notch Cut in Tool Holder for Set-Screw to Hold Better

Notch Cut in Tool Holder for Set-Screw to Hold Better

Also added a notched out groove area in Tool Holder to secure it better …

Tested the cutter … Here are a few photos of the process …

Testing Radius Turner-12

Testing Radius Turner-13

Testing Radius Turner-14

Testing Radius Turner-15

Testing Radius Turner-16

Testing Radius Turner-17

Testing Radius Turner-18

The handle turns around the other way for Concave Cuts …

Changing the Handle to the Other Side

Changing the Handle to the Other Side

The handle in these photos is temporary, but seemed to work fine …

Testing a Concave Cut with Handle on the Other Side

Testing a Concave Cut with Handle on the Other Side

Can drill holes in parts with the Radius Turner mounted …

Can Still Drill Hold in Work with the Radius Cutter Mounted

Can Still Drill Hold in Work with the Radius Cutter Mounted

For the fun of it changed the rotation of the lathe and cut on opposite side …

Running the Lathe Rotation the Opposite Direction as a Test

Running the Lathe Rotation the Opposite Direction as a Test

Also held the handle stable and moved the carriage to test a flat cut …

Running a Flat-Cut Test on the End of the Brass

Running a Flat-Cut Test on the End of the Brass

Cut an additional radius on the end of the brass part … no reason … just testing out items to see what it could do …

Adding a Second Radius to the End of the Brass Part

Adding a Second Radius to the End of the Brass Part

It started to feel very natural using the Radius Cutter … even got brave and cut an extra little lip on the end of the brass part …

Added a Small Lip to the Brass End

Added a Small Lip to the Brass End

At this point I wish I could say felt the testing was done … but the truth is it was 3am and I didn’t want to screw up what I had … So done!!

Close-Up View of the Brass End

Close-Up View of the Brass End

Put the normal Tool Post and tooling back on lathe … Takes about 45 Seconds

Quickly Changed Back to the Lathe's Normal Tool Post

Quickly Changed Back to the Lathe’s Normal Tool Post

Touched up the end of the brass part …

Cleaned Up the End a Bit

Cleaned Up the End a Bit

Opened up and then drilled the correct diameter hole for 3/8″ threading …

Opened up the End Hole a Little More for Drilling for Thread Tapping

Opened up the End Hole a Little More for Drilling for Thread Tapping

Could have used a cut-off lathe tool but the part was still long enough to cut with the horizontal band-saw … Then turned the part around in the lathe …

Cut Part off in Band-Saw and then Turned Around in Lathe

Cut Part off in Band-Saw and then Turned Around in Lathe

Trimmed up the other end and polished it with a ‘Green’ Scotch-Brite pad …

Finished Brass Knob Part ~ Still Needs Thread Tapped

Finished Brass Knob Part ~ Still Needs Thread Tapped

It isn’t anything fancy but the Radius Turner seems to work for what I need …

Another View of the Brass Knob

Another View of the Brass Knob

Here are a few more views of the finished 1st Test part …

Turned Brass-02

Turned Brass-03

Turned Brass-04

Turned Brass-05

I liked it so ended up putting the Brass Knob on my Lathe’s Tool Post …

Put the Brass Knob on the Lathe's Tool Post Handle & Made a Brass Hammer Head

Put the Brass Knob on the Lathe’s Tool Post Handle & Made a Brass Hammer Head

Used the rest of the 1.5″ Brass Hex to Make a Brass Hammer Head on the Lathe … Added a hole and threads using the Milling Machine.

Close-Up View of the Brass Hammer Head Made on the Lathe

Close-Up View of the Brass Hammer Head Made on the Lathe

That’s it … All Done.

— CHEERS …

UPDATE ~ This was a Nice Surprise from HomeMadeTools.net

Tool of the Week ~ Thank You HomeMadeTools.net

Tool of the Week ~ Thank You HomeMadeTools.net

If you have a moment HomeMadeTools.net has many very interesting items!!

— CHEERS …

 

–  –  –

 

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2 Comments

Filed under BRAINSTORMING, CONCEPTS, PROJECTS, WORKSHOP

2 responses to “Lathe Radius Cutting Experiment

  1. Really nice concept and development of your idea. It probably could be used in other ways too. I only have a 3 axis mill router but it can take a whole sheet of plywood to cut up. Very nice what you have done here.

    • I would love to have access to a 3 axis mill router!! Let me know if you need something done on the Lathe or Milling Machine for the fun of it sometime … We met once at a SolidWorks meeting in Vegas, nice to hear from you again!! CHEERS!!!

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