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Tips/Techniques Light cuts and tiny diameters

Tips/Techniques

DPittman

Ultra Member
Premium Member
I've turned brass down to about .030" before just for fun but I tried an aircraft bolt this morning with hss tool. I've only cut a length of about .250" but I'm often amazed at the little tiny bits I can shave off with a sharp edge. I've got it down to .0265" and thinking that's about the limit I can do. I'm going to hone my edge and see what happens. How small should I be able to get? (I know Iength is a factor)
20221202_130845.jpg
 
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DPittman

Ultra Member
Premium Member
I know there has been a couple of comments in other threads whether it's best to try to "sneak up" on a diameter with little cuts or to take "real" cuts and dial in the diameter right off the bat. After I got the diameter down to .030" I was taking tiny little cuts (sneaking up) but once I got it down to .0195" I thought I would try to take a "real" cut for a distance. I probably was taking a bit too much at once (about .050") as you can hear chatter start, but I thought this video showed that both methods can work.


Ps. Yes I have many other things I SHOULD be doing but sometimes a guy needs to play.
 
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PeterT

Ultra Member
Premium Member
Nice. Maybe photo illusion but how does the inner/outer diameters compare?
 

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DPittman

Ultra Member
Premium Member
Nice. Maybe photo illusion but how does the inner/outer diameters compare?
Definitely started to flex and result in a taper at the end there but down to about .025"+- it was pretty darn good. I do think the photo is exaggerating the taper a bit but it was there!
 

DPittman

Ultra Member
Premium Member
Metal toothpicks... YES ...

Wondering about the large Rad on the tool-bit.
Yes if I had started out with the intention of what I ended up doing, I would have left a sharper point on that bit, but I purposely put that radius on it for a nicer finish for other turning. I imagine a sharper/less radius on the bit would have resulted in a better bite on the end making for a less tapered final diameter.
 

PeterT

Ultra Member
Premium Member
Unless there is some kind of machining or setup constraint, don't be afraid to use tailstock support. This is 303 stainless.
 

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DPittman

Ultra Member
Premium Member
Unless there is some kind of machining or setup constraint, don't be afraid to use tailstock support. This is 303 stainless.
Yes that's a smart idea I didn't even consider. I was kind of just playing around so didn't really plan anything.
 

Susquatch

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@DPittman

That's a very special case you are working on. Most of the sneaking up discussion earlier was about small or big cuts on a normal diameter part - not a tooth pick.

When you are doing something like that with a small final diameter, you are usually much better off taking a bigger cut all the way to final. The reason is support of the final part. When you take a cut like that you need support. A tooth pick provides no support.

I'm not sure I can say this very well, but I'll try.

If you take a big cut leaving just the tooth pick, the cutting is supported by the original OD. The resulting toothpick just stands there afterward and doesn't need to hold any load.
 

DPittman

Ultra Member
Premium Member
@DPittman

That's a very special case you are working on. Most of the sneaking up discussion earlier was about small or big cuts on a normal diameter part - not a tooth pick.

When you are doing something like that with a small final diameter, you are usually much better off taking a bigger cut all the way to final. The reason is support of the final part. When you take a cut like that you need support. A tooth pick provides no support.

I'm not sure I can say this very well, but I'll try.

If you take a big cut leaving just the tooth pick, the cutting is supported by the original OD. The resulting toothpick just stands there afterward and doesn't need to hold any load.
Yes I understand that but I guess I wasn't particularly clear on why I was doing what I was doing. It was just for fun and seeing what I could do.
Joe Pie has a good video showing technique on cutting a very small diameter to specification. I was just seeing "how low I could go".
 

Susquatch

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Yes I understand that but I guess I wasn't particularly clear on why I was doing what I was doing. It was just for fun and seeing what I could do.
Joe Pie has a good video showing technique on cutting a very small diameter to specification. I was just seeing "how low I could go".

How about that! Somebody understood my confusing description! Thanks for that. I feel better for trying now!

I think you confused me when you showed and described a shave cut on the needle.

I bet you could go smaller still with the right combination of feeds and cut depth.

I might try it tomorrow just for poop and giggles!

Just so we can compare, what was your initial OD, length, and material?
 

Susquatch

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1/4" aircraft bolt and I initially only cut tiny diameter to 1/4" long.

Air craft bolt! Crap. None of those here. If only tractors could fly.....

Might have to send me one.....

OK, I'll try a regular bolt.
 

Darren

Ultra Member
Premium Member
plunging down to diameter and then stepping over has worked for me rather than turning a length to a small dia
 
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