My Latest Acquisition

  • Been making a few things with my old lathe, mainly some tools and a couple of spacers to go between my suppressor and the muzzle on my Remington 22. I had the barrel shortened and threaded and the tenon is a bit longer than needed so I made a spacer so the suppressor would shoulder up on the barrel. Usually these would be ground flat but I trust the lathe and I have a granite slab I can lap them on if they need it. I turned a piece of oil well sucker rod which might be 4140 or 4130 to make the tool steel boring and turning holder. I have some tool steel but no way to hold it so I made this piece, probably use it on plastic if i need to turn a piece. Minimum bore diameter is about 7/8th's so it's pretty bulky. I even machined the flat on it with the lathe using a 6mm end mill. Found out my tool post wasn't too square with the chuck so I straightened it up yesterday. Whatever that stuff was it finished like chrome and had a nice surface even with my old rig. Back to tiny boring bars the brass holder was made on the lathe to hold those in the tool holders. I have opposed countersunk set screws to hold them squarely on the flats machined on the bars and give them the correct angle. I just received an internal threading bar and some inserts so maybe I can do single point internal threads now. It's pretty small so I can't do very coarse threads, forgot what the max is on this one. Might never use it. Oh well, keeps me out of the beer joints.

  • @bigfoot
    Went space age this weekend. I installed digital scales on the old gal. I'm anxious to see how long these cheap things last. They measure right with the dial and with an indicator but refresh really slow. Nothing like the ones we had in the shop I worked in. Can't expect much for a little over a hundred busks for both of them. I wouldn't mind having one set up on my planer and shaper for woodworking if they could take the dust. I had one on my table saw and it died pretty fast.
    With the guard on
    Tiny readouts

  • I had a request for some lathe work today. Very basic but I have pretty basic skills and equipment so I was the man for the job. I think you can order these shims for around seven bucks but they hammer you with shipping and handling for about the same. Ace Hardware sells a washer if your Ace has it that will also work but we didn't go there. Pretty simple operation, turn the OD then drill the ID and bore the hole for clearance for a reloading die body which is 7/8". The big trick is trying to part the piece off to exactly the thickness of the shim that is .135". In the real world these would most likely be made out of some kind of heavy wall tubing that is close to the dimensions needed that required very little machining then parted off and finished on a surface grinder for the thickness. For a seven dollar part I doubt if heat treating would be in the budget but I may be wrong. Ain't going on the space shuttle. I had a piece of cold roll and did the turning and boring then took a shot at parting and just guessing how my old lathe would do either it will be short or long and the first one was a smidgen long. I adjusted on the next one and it was still one thou long and the third one a half thou. I lapped them by hand on a flat piece of steel with some 400 and got them all to measure .135. Most of the extra metal was bad surface so it came off pretty fast. So what the heck do they do? My friend, a gadget master, saw these shims for sale to aid in reloading 38 Special and 357 Magnum. I'm confused at this point. Don't mess with pistol reloading much. Set the dies up for 38 and to switch to .357 remove the die and add the .135 shim. If you are seating the same bullets for both carry on just make sure each die has the lock ring tight. I just said why not adjust the die for each one and the next thing I was making one. Learn something new every day I guess.
    Final dimension to hit my number with the DRO. The shim actual measurement after machining was .1355, .0005 over. You can see some of the surface scratches in the pic.


  • I have used these shims before. They have a set for 44 special/mag too. There is a company that also makes this shim to go under or over a custom made Dillion toolhead so that it can switch the entire toolhead between 38 or 357. Another shim works for 44 special/magnum.

  • @dddoo7 Yes he did mention the 44/44mag also. I don't know the dimension for that one and don't have any 44's. Beats having to adjust the dies when you switch. He was loading some 38 Special and wanted to run some magnum's and talked me into making a couple and didn't have to wait on the mailman. :)

  • I had another lathe job come up for one of my items. Just a simple thumb screw and it is for something valuable to me that's been in our family for quite a few years. I have four custom fishing rods and two were built with Featherweight Reel Seats which I believe are extinct now. The screw corroded up and at one time was attempted to remove and it snapped off in the finger that holds a reel in place. I was lucky enough to get the pin out and remove the broken piece without too much trouble and make a new one. Pretty basic stuff just turning and a light knurl and some free hand radius work that wasn't too ugly. Threading was done with a 10-32 die. I made small parts like this when I worked in a job shop with a much larger lathe and sometimes the little parts take as long as big ones do to complete. Anyway, it works and got a good coating of grease on the threads as well as the other one I have. These two rods are forty five years old but have been refurbished once with new ceramic eyes and tip. The wraps at the but of the rods have been untouched because they tell the history of the rod. My parents names are on their corresponding rods and the makers name and our old address. The young man that built these had just started his career as a custom builder and was unfortunately killed in a car wreck not too long after he built these for my dad. Lots of memories in those two sticks.

  • After shooting a couple of pistols last week I looked into some replacement parts for my XDM 45 trigger group and decided to make a couple of aluminum drift punches. Not a bad idea to have them when messing with polymer guns or for any as far as that goes. You just can't whip on them with a big hammer, mainly for pushing pins out by hand rather than impact from a hammer. I have some delrin plastic pushers I use on AR's that I bought somewhere in my tools also. Anyway, one is for 3mm the other for 4.5mm. The pins need to be undersized a little for clearance but not too much so they align the parts back up for assembly if needed. The 3mm pin started deflecting and was climbing the turning tool at about 3.5mm so I had to take a bunch of passes and finally just used emery paper and a file to get the end down to my dimension. I bet there is more finish nails used for punches than actual punches when it comes to working on guns at the house. I have been known to do it.

  • @bigfoot Good job!

  • I did a test piece for a science project I might be working on. The threads are 24 per inch and .950 diameter in aluminum running the lathe around three hundred rpm. I never took any classes on threading or thread geometry so it's all new to me. Next I need to do an internal thread and see if I crash the tool. I did a couple of threading jobs at the shop I worked in but that was years ago. Those little threading inserts cost a few dollars and I don't like breaking them.

  • I did the internal threads and the diameter worked out but my thread depth was off a little. Guess I had better study my handbook some more.

  • @lathoto Thanks, I'm slowly getting the hang of this old clunker of a lathe.

  • I made a nifty tool for the lathe yesterday. I got the idea from a You Tuber so I can't take any credit for it. I made it out of cold roll and cut the slots with a band saw and finished them with a belt sander. For turning short tapers I use the compound and turning it by hand doesn't do too well and usually ends up with a funky looking part. This adapter goes on a cordless drill and slips over the handle of the compound feed and is then power fed. Easy to control your feed rate and get a good finish.

  • I finished these parts this weekend for the science project DDD007 sent me. They are caps to protect the muzzle brakes during the cerakote process. I made the first one from start to finish and then the remaining three assembly line style. I did the cutting, facing, drilling and the larger od first on all three and once they went into the lathe for the threaded end they stayed until the threads, taper and back bore was complete then knurled the other ends last. I fudged on overall lengths and od's because they don't have anything to do with the function of the part. Basically whatever it took to clean them up and not be grossly different from each other. Other than some heartburn with the internal tapers they all are usable. :)
    Doing the taper.

    Three complete and one ready to finish.
    Checking threads.

  • Brake covers are going to be a life saver. Currently I tape off the brake, but with these I just screw them on and they mask the brake and give me an easy way to hang the barrel.

  • @dddoo7 said in My Latest Acquisition:

    Brake covers are going to be a life saver. Currently I tape off the brake, but with these I just screw them on and they mask the brake and give me an easy way to hang the barrel.

    Nice! Good work @bigfoot !!

  • @tscustoms Thanks, coming from you that's a heck of a compliment. My old boss used to say if this was easy everyone would be doing it. I guarantee you they're not perfect but they should do the job. Anyway, it was fun to do something new and get a little better feel of this old machine. Every lathe has it's own personality I guess you can say and some are just flat worn out. This one is pretty loose but not as bad as some I have seen. I think my cousin used it more for a drill press than for turning.

  • A few days ago I was loading some more 6.5 x 55 using my old Lyman powder throw with some 4350 powder in it. I get the Lyman pretty close then trickle to get as close as I can get with a balance scale. This stick powder gives me a fit with this thing and I finally figured out something was going on in the drop tube. I have to admit I rescued this old relic out of a pile of stuff a guy was throwing away years ago but I cleaned it up and used it for years now. It just wouldn't drop the powder anymore so I took the little tube off of the bottom to see what the heck. I figured a spider got in it or a dirt dobber but the dang thing was rusted up solid. Plus, it had a tiny little hole drilled in it maybe 3/16 or so. No wonder stick powder hung up in it. I messed with it trying to polish it so I just made a new one out of brass and put a 3/8 hole in it. Problem solved but turning brass with the carbide tools I have didn't suit me so today I messed around trying my hand at grinding tool steel. I couldn't get a decent finish at all with carbide and I remember my old boss telling me sometimes you just have to use tool steel on soft stuff to get a good finish. I ain't worth a flip grinding tools but I finally made one that cut some red brass pretty good with a light final cut. If my lathe feed rate was a little slower I could really get it slick.
    You can see the difference

  • @bigfoot

    This tool looks similar to wingnut drivers that we use to put up our hurricane shutters. Saves a lot of manual turning when nasty weather heading our way.

  • I came up with a new tool. Redneck radius cutter.
    Yep, that's a carbide router bit in a lathe tool holder. Might get the nerve up to put it against a piece of steel to see what happens. Works good on aluminum.
    Made this too. It's a holder for grinding tool steel. No more burned fingers.

  • I made another doo dad mostly on the lathe and some work on a drill press last week. I have made several of these to hold indicators and had a brainstorm one afternoon and used one to attach a temperature probe to the inside of a pellet smoker. I wanted to see if it jived with the built in digital temperature readout supplied with the smoker. It does in fact but reaction times are different and I won't get into that being the Rec Tec smoker uses a different type of sensor than a conventional grill thermometer. They are aluminum and attach to the grill using a pot magnet either ceramic or neodymium in construction. There's some discussion about magnets and heat but I'll leave that be. I have tested the ceramic style or ferrite up to 375 degrees F for several hours and didn't have a failure and I just got some neodymium samples but haven't tried them yet in the heat. Gonna let Primal Finish be the guinea pig for that one if he receives his sample for his coating oven.
    One of the samples:

  • @bigfoot

    I’m looking forward to it!!! I’ll post pics and results after it sees a few heat cycles. The highest I cook the Cerakote at is 300 deg, so magnets should not be a problem.

  • @bigfoot Standard neodymium won't handle that kind of heat, max operating temp is under 200F. And the Curie temp, where they totally and permanently lose all magnetism, is about 300F. But there are some special alloying methods to get neodymium operational temps up to about that temp, just barely (I think around 400F IIRC). Such HT magnets can get expensive, relatively speaking. Do you know what you have exactly?

    BTW: I have always had a fascination with magnets ever since a little kid, so I am curious to hear how they perform.

  • @flyinphill You are correct if what I have read is as well. the Ferrite magnets Curie temp is up around 800 and much lower for Neodymium. I contacted one distributor and talked to a tech person there with my main concern being the adhesive used in their pot magnets to attach the ferrite discs in the pot being they are not physically connected by crimping or some other way of capturing them.They use in layman's terms super glue. It gives up at around 300 F however I have run my samples much higher and for extended periods without failure so maybe the base doesn't get that hot or simply the glue still stays solid until a critical temperature is reached. The glue is non toxic after dried but in its liquid form if burned can give off cyanide. They even use the stuff in the medical world. The Neodymium magnet discs actually have a #10 countersink through hole in them that will capture the disc to the pot when installed on the post. Here's the dilemma with them. Loss of magnetism under high temperatures which is expected and they use some kind of insulator that looks like a high density plastic product that's part of the pot itself. I haven't talked to any representative from the supplier of them yet to see what that stuff is. I sent the samples to Daniel so he can place them in his oven for a test to see what they do under high temperature and for extended times. There's no contact with food in his oven unless he's cooking a cake while cerakoting guns in there. Just kidding:). I expect him to place them in a position if they do fail they won't damage any of his product. The probes only weigh mere ounces and the ferrite magnets have a 15# rating and the Neo's are 50# so hopefully the test will determine if either one is suitable. I did see some of those high temp super magnets available and super glue that will handle extreme temperature also but I don't know if this project is worth pursuing as a consumer item. A lot of people attach their grill space temp probe by simply poking it through a potato and setting it on the grill inside their smoker. A disposable probe holder :/

  • @bigfoot I went back and did some looking. I found some of the really high-temp neodymium alloys that are claimed to have a max operational temp of about 460F, and a Curie of over 600F (don't recall exact numbers). I had never seen them that high before. But I did not find any real pricing on them, so who knows how practical that would be.

    At some point, if you don't have a specific need for a very dense and/or focused magnetic field, and have no size restrictions, it is just easier to put a much bigger magnet of a weaker magnetic material in service.

    Still interested to hear what you find out.

  • @flyinphill Kind of my thoughts as well. I just wish I could find a ferrite sample with a better fastening system. I have reached in my smoker when it's running 300 plus and the magnet is stuck solid to the side of it. I did the grooves in the post thinking they might act as an insulator, might do the opposite and sink the heat towards the base. They look cool anyway:)

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