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Old 11-03-2004, 01:04 AM   #1
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Default Making lathe bits-tool steel


ive got an oppurtunity to get a new bit made for me for my team trinity tru-lathe 3 pro out of what is called "tool steel"

has anyone tried this before???

i questioned its hardness and durability, but the guy who's going to make it for me makes his own tools from it that he uses to cut hardened steel and stuff like that, so i figure it wont be a problem cutting copper

can anyone give me any info/tips/do's n donts???

i realise it will have to be made identical to the existing carbide bit i have... but other than that is there anything else to be taken into consideration???

your help will be greatly appreciated.... thanx

Robbie Lloyd

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Old 11-03-2004, 03:51 AM   #2
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i have my own made, it may only be cutting copper, but the tip still goes dull quite quickly.. its a simple fix.. nice fine file.. and away u go
but some c it as a pain in the @$$
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Old 11-03-2004, 11:52 AM   #3
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Tool steel will cut fine when it is sharp. It will need to be sharpened more often tho as it is not as hard as carbide. As long as its not costing you much. Carbide bits cost less than 5$ us through McMaster Carr.
www.victoryhobbies.com Greenbay, Wisconsin
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Old 11-03-2004, 01:11 PM   #4
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can't you buy barbide bits at Home Deopt or something?
Chris Woods



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Old 11-03-2004, 03:32 PM   #5
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Best thing to do if you are going to tool steel is slow your speed down. Both the travel of the tool and the speed of the arm rotation. I personally would change the angles when going to tool steel and i've been thinking about doing it for a while as my diamond bit could do with lapping. As an example for proving that slower is better when cutting your comm's - The diamond bit I use is 9 years old, it was resharpened once because I did something stupid. I use a mabuchi motor in my lathe and power it with a 4 cell pack. I must of cut thousands of comms with that thing and it still cuts more that adequately. Increase the rake and clearance angles by about 5% as compared to Diamond or carbide, polish a very small radius on the end of the tool with a very fine grit stone. You should (in theory) get a way better finish with this than carbide bits, maybe better than diamond too. It's heat/fridtion that wears the tool, keep them low at it should last a good long while.

One last thing, keep the distance that the tool protrudes from the holder to an absolute minimum, this reduces vibration which cutting tools don't like.

I was a machinist for 6 years, I cut a lot of nasty stuff, 99% of the time it's the speed of the material under the cutting edge that causes the tool to dull.
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