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Mavischeyne

Tools for metal lathe

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Mavischeyne

I have just purchased a seig metal lathe. Does not come with and cutters and the ones I purchased are too big!

Elga as advised me on the purchase of gravers, is have also been readin about how these in the forum but I also need a basic cutters, any help with what to purchase would be great.

I have a woodturning lathe, but would like to have a go at turning some brass. Did try turning brass on my lathe but not very successful as I do not have variable speed on this lathe.

Appreciate any help in this new venture in metal.

Ta

Mavis

N.Z.

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Bill Hudson

Mavis,  which size of metal lathe did you purchase?  The height form the top surface of the main bed to they center of the headstock.

 

​The specifications listed for the Seig mini lathe (7") calls for a 5/16" tool bit.  That a is quite large for doing mini work as it requires a lot of grinding and waste of tool to get down small enough.  I would suggest using 1/4"tool with a 1/16" shim.

 

Bill

 

​PS.  If you can afford it I would recommend you change over to a quick change tool post.  That way you can use various size tools.

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Mavischeyne

Thanks Bill, yes it is the 7" bed with 2" height to the centre of the headstock. I will check out the quick change tool post, I did buy the compound slide table but yet to try anything! I need to do some more research on using this lathe. Just got so comfortable with my wood lathe and all its extras that thinking about changing methods seems difficult . I only use an adjustable tool rest and hand held tools with my wood lathe.

Mavis

N.Z.

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Mavischeyne

Forgot to mention I did buy the set of cutters made for this lathe but they were far too big and as you mentioned, would take a lot of filing down.

Mavis

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Bill Hudson

Forgot to mention I did buy the set of cutters made for this lathe but they were far too big and as you mentioned, would take a lot of filing down.

Mavis

 

 

Mavis,  I hope you are not trying use a file to shape the tools.  The tool steel is too hard to file. You will need a power grinder. If you can find a copy of South Bend's How to Run a Lathe book it will be very helpful of you in grinding tools.  Although the book is out dated in many respects there is still a lot of helpful information in it. You can probably pick one up on the internet. 

 

If you want  to use gravers for metal you will also need an tool rest as you use on your wood lathe. 

 

Have fun with your new toy.

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Wm. R. Robertson

Hi Mavis, welcome to the forum. I use 1/8" square tool bits for most of my lathe work. You can just stack them up to get to the right height or use a adjustable type tool post. The important thing is the top of the tool is lined up with the center of the lathe spindle. For brass you want to have the tool bit flat or even the back of it a little higher than center. What you do not want is any angling down of the tool.

One thing you can do since this topic is so complex, that is lathe work, is to take a photo of any problem you have and include the tool set up in the picture. By posting that we can see just what the problem is and tell you how to fix it.

enjoy.

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Mavischeyne

Many thanks Bill, I did attend your seminar in 2014 at guild school where you turned a candlestick and ever since have wanted to 'give it a go'! I see you use the gravers with a handle, Elga gave me a list of her favourite sizes and shapes so I need to purchase some. A woodturning friend has ground down some tools for me to try.

Mavis

N.Z.

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Mavischeyne

Bill H. I returned the large tool set, realised it would be too hard to file them down even on the grinder!

Mavis

N.Z.

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ElgaKoster

Mavis, I am so glad you took the plunge and bought the metal lathe and that it brought you out of lurking here on the forum :-)

I hope you can somehow manage to take a class someday soon, I know I wouldn't have been able to figure it out by myself, so I am very grateful that I was able to take two of Bill's brass turning classes, I learned so much in them.

And please get yourself some handles for the gravers, they are much easier to use then, I bought my gravers by eye trying to remember the sizes from the first class in 2012 and just finally figured out to sharpen them properly.

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Mavischeyne

Thanks Elga, just now need to figure out how to use it!

Hope you're classes are going well?

Mavis

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Mavischeyne

Thanks all for your help, am now having a tool rest made for my metal lathe so I can use it free hand. Will order some gravers to try out.

Mavis

N.Z.

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