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MACHINISTS: Recently purchased a lathe, need help tooling and outfitting it.

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Jeeter, Apr 8, 2014.

  1. Ok, dating myself here, I used South Bends in High School machine shop for two complete grade years. It was a time when there was actually a sign hanging up in the lathe area that said "NO POT PIPES". :laugh: Gotta love the 70s! Other than that and the occasional bushing or odd whatsys, it's been a few (ahem) years since I used one. And I've never had to outfit one, they've always been fully set up when I used them previously.

    My most recent addition to my shop is this Bolton CQ9332 lathe.


    Chinese made, 1.5" spindle bore, MT5 spindle taper, 24" between centers, 12.625 swing over bed, 6.75" swing over table, 12 speed, 2HP 115/230v motor. It weighs in around 650 pounds. Hmm .. that's about it, if anyone needs more info I have it. But this should give an idea of how much lathe I'm talking about here.

    I've done some looking, and I see there are these quick change tool setups. Nice, but I don't know that I need to go that sophisticated, I learned on the standard single tool post ...

    Rocker Tool Post - 1.jpg


    Is there a way to use the toolholder in that picture with the four way tool post? Ooops, getting ahead of myself here.

    My lathe has this four-way locking/rotating tool post that could be used to great advantage for setting up cutting/facing/knurling tools while leaving one available as the "as needed" stage. I've seen the Phase II setups, but I'm not sure I need to go that far. I can see how a sizeable investment could be made into that whole Phase II rig, depending on how crazy you went with extra toolbars.

    But do I really need all of that? Is there a way to exploit the four way tool post my lathe has without junking it and installing a Phase II? My problem is ignorance, and the fact that there are SO MANY OPTIONS these days. For instance I am as sure as I can be that I have no need for the replaceable/multi-tipped carbide bits.

    ** I have a tool bit grinder in my shop, and I think I can reteach myself a good clean "60" again. It's not a Rockwell or anything, it's just a Harbor Freight unit that I've outfitted with aluminum oxide cup-wheels already. It's an actual tool grinder, not a bench grinder with a fine wheel on it. So I have that going on.

    Harbor Freight 46727 6-inch tool grinder - 2.jpg

    Harbor Freight 46727 6-inch tool grinder - 1.gif

    ** I have a fairly decent collection of mics ranging from standard 1", 2", and 4".
    ** Four calipers/indicators (2 digi and 2 dial, I prefer the dial indicators by far.)
    ** Full set of telescopic bore gauges.
    ** Magnetic base dial indicator.

    The lathe itself came with the basics, 6" 3-jaw chuck, internal jaws, external jaws, two dead centers (small and large), and some tools. It also came with a boatload of gears for thread cutting in SAE and metric. I also bought a new drill chuck for it as well as a MT3 to JT3 taper adaptor for the tailstock. I ended up buying two of these ~no namer~ 16mm chucks due to how small they can go down to. They are rated at 1mm, but they actually close down to nearly zero. Uh, and not only that they were a bargain at $11 bucks each. I bought the two so that I have matching/interchangeable chucks for use with the lathe and my 22x17 2hp "ZX45" mill.

    I've already changed out the nasty oil that it was shipped with and replaced it with DTE 24 Hydraulic fluid (specifically Chevron Rando HD ISO 32). I've also begun oiling all of the service dimples. I also discovered a very cool ~stuffs~ to use on the power feed gears ... PJ1 Chain Lube! It's designed to resist sling-off and has this marvelous webbing property. I can see the webs forming across all of the gear meshpoints while the lathe is running. And it just does not drip or sling off. Great stuff for those gears, or at least it seems to be for this particular lathe. They're certainly becoming less noisy.

    Between my brother and I we've been slowly breaking in the lathe. We run it in one gear, roughly 30 minutes forward and 30 minutes reverse, recording the amperage draw and the main bearing temperature at the main housing just to give us a standard point of reference for heat readings. As we run it in more gears and put more time on it, the amperage draw is decreasing (as expected) since the lathe is breaking in and loosening up. The gearhead temp is decreasing as well as noise levels.

    Ok, so here's me looking for suggestions on which tooling setup to use and any other suggestions on this. Thanks everyone.
  2. Oh, and the stock four way toolpost is set up to accept 1/2" tooling.

  3. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    Hey, Jeeter! Nice toy! Wish I had one of those, 1 1/2" spindle bore has been on my wishlist.

    You seem to know some about industrial tooling, so anything I can offer would be old-school tips.

    The '20s-'50s lathe setup and methods manuals (especially Southbend) are invaluable.

    A few of us here are lantern rocker heads. You can do things with this toolholder not easily done with a 4-way or QCTP.

    I've been using a steel Tormach 0XA QCTP (Aloris wedge-type clone). Extremely happy with it!

    Good you've got that bit grinder, sharp bits are the key.

    Find/gather materials data and cutting speeds/feeds. Those are max efficient values for production work, so use less for hobby and 1-off work.

    Find the equivalent/interchangeable variants (HF, Enco, Jet, ...etc) to take advantage of deals on tooling.

    Tooling ($$$): Yeah, this is the black-hole gotcha. Your other forum (s) will reveal those. I've had good experiences with eBay vendor Bobbria, and website AMTOOLS.com

    I agree with the PJ1, good cling. There's others, not sure if they're worth the $$$.

    You're gonna have fun with that, wish I were there...
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2014
  4. Valkyrie

    Valkyrie XS650 Enthusiast

    I will suggest get a quick change tool setup. So much more user friendly.
    Going with carbide inserts works just great.
    Check ENCO tools, they have good prices.
  5. samgar

    samgar XS650 Enthusiast

    Attached Files:

  6. arcticXS

    arcticXS XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    I would definitely get a 4-jaw chuck. For irregularly shaped pieces and even when you want cylindrical pieses chucked 100% true, you will need it. And you already have the dial gauge that you need for setting up. Also, some 4-jaw chucks also have T-bolt tracks, so can be used as a face plate as well. This is very handy for some special jobs. I once helped a buddy with a Kawasaki rotary valve 2-stroke single, with bad scoring of the rotary valve surface on the crankcase half. I just bolted the crankcase to the face plate, centered it, and skimmed the rotary valve surface until smooth. Ended up better than new!
  7. Thanks everyone! Good information. Great idea with the 4-jaw! I've dealt with Enco for years, in fact I have a little bit of $$$ in the form of a small gift certificate my wife was able to give me this past x-mas.

    I believe I'll start with the lantern rocker head setup at first, that and "the machinist's handbook" I believe it's called.

    TwoManyX1Bs, above and beyond on the info, thanks! I appreciate it. :) Yea, I suppose it would be handy to know what the correct cutting speeds are on various materials, scorched parts and roasted tool bits can be less than fun. So gathering speed data seems like a great suggestion. And as you've mentioned the tooling issue is most certainly a black hole. I've already spent half a mint on tooling for my mill, yikes! So I think it best for me to start off super simple until I decide what will suit me best. The QC stuff is tempting (with it's mighty sense of trickness and such), but it seems like the lantern rocker is better in the sense of versatility.

    Hmmm ... I already have a cheapie set of QC toolbit holders, just none of the carbide inserts for them. I started looking through the insert selection guides and about lost my mind. And they're not really very cost effective for someone that's "just making a motorcycle", at least it doesn't seem so. On the other hand, I went to look through that massive "MSC" book (Enco's parent company) and it seems the HSS 1/4" tool stock is a lot more than it was just two years ago.

    Oh boy, it's obvious I have much to learn. Thank you. :)
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
  8. Also, I think I remember reading something about carbide doesn't leave a nice finish on stainless steel, that HSS leaves a better finish with fewer chatter marks. Er something like that.

    Just another thing rattling around loose in my head I thought I'd pass on. :)
  9. Thanks folks. :)

    Well, we found a pretty good deal on one of the more popular Aloris clones, comes with the toolpost and five toolholders. I'll have enough moolah left over to also pick up a decent little wad of HSS toolbit blanks.

    So for now I'll go with the QC setup, and I'll add more as needed, per usual. The center bolt of the QC post is 0.625 compared to the stock centerbolt which is stepped down from 0.625 to roughly 0.466. So the heavier centerbolt of the QC setup will also help with stability and reducing chatter as well as allowing the installation of the QC post.

    I took a good look at the stock four-way post, and it looks to me like it could be modified fairly easily to fit on the new 0.625" QC centerbolt. That would allow me to use either toolpost on the new centerbolt without ever having to remove the compound rest! I mean, when it comes to tooling y'never know what might be useful someday. I never sell tools, even if I have triplicates (or moreplicates) of a given tool, I keep it! That goes for machine tooling as well. I've forgotten how many times I've had to make a tool by modifying an existing tool. So, I never sell or get rid of any tools or tooling. You just never know when you may need to cut up a wrench for some special purpose, or make a new tool out of an old one.

    Books are on the "next items to git" list. :)
  10. Ok, the Phase II wedge style quick change kit with five toolholders and 24 pieces of 6 inch long HSS tool steel (12 pcs 1/2 inch, 10 pcs 1/4 inch, and 2 pcs of 5/16) is all suppose to arrive tomorrow. Cool.
  11. Got the Phase II wedge setup in with five tool holders.

    :) - 201 - Standard 1/2" toolholder. Holds anything from about 1/16th up to 1/2 inch. Turning and facing.

    :) - 202 - Same as 201 PLUS can also hold round tools up to 1/2 inch. It has a notched lower jaw for securing round tools. Turning and facing. If you look at the pictures you can see a small groove cut into the bottom surface of the toolholder's notch. That groove is for locating round tools and securing them.

    :) - 204 - Boring bar holder. Holds up to 1 inch diameter boring bars.

    :) - 207 - Parting blade holder. This is a very cool one. It's made to hold a standard parting blade and works very well in doing so. The coolest thing is I saw this You Tube video of this guy that made parting tools out of carbide tipped saw blades. Y'know, like that ones made for 7 inch worm drive saws (such as the Skill 77). Those saw blades are at any Home Depot/Lowes/Ace out there and there has to be at least a dozen useable parting blades per saw blade. He chucked up the ground-to-fit parting blade in this exact Phase II holder and displayed it's prowess. Worked great! Very cool idea.

    :) - 210 - Knurling holder. It does part knurling as well as provides a secondary tool holder for the 12 0'clock position on the tool post. I am not exactly sure how you'd use that holder in that location, but I suppose it will come to me eventually. As far as the knurler, I suppose it's as good as any other imported knurler. I actually prefer to use the scissors type knurling tool since they do not put any lateral force on the part when knurling. But this one is pretty solid, and it comes with the set so .... yea.

    :) - And of course the QC tool post itself is also included in this kit. This is such a great system. The toolholders can be removed and replaced hundreds of times while holding up to .001" accuracy with each placement of the toolholder on to the toolpost. Once you set the tool's height using the thumbwheel and locking jam nut on top of each holder the cutting tool will always land on center each time the toolholder is placed into the toolpost. Wash, rinse, repeat. As many times as you wish and the tool will always lock down within .001" of where you originally centered it!

    In the pics you can see the 201 holder with a piece of 1/2 inch HSS ("high speed steel") tool steel mounted in it. I included that pic to show how well these toolholders fit up to toolsteel, as well as demonstrate how these toolholders sortof work. Everything fits so friggin great, too!

    In the picture of the two bolts, those are the center bolts from their toolposts. The smaller one is from the lathe's stock four way toolpost that it came equipped with. The large bolt/nut is the one for the Phase II. Gigantic difference there. The Phase II centerbolt is about 5/8" all the way through it's entire length. I don't think it takes a degree in engineering to figure out which one of these centerbolts will reduce chatter.

    I'll be going over it's ups and downs soon. I've found a few ways to improve it's mechanical connection with the compound rest which will reduce chatter and improve finish. I've also figured out a way to make the locking handle much more efficient and far less obstructive (it tends to hit the tailstock if the toolpost is anywhere near it). I'll go over that as well :).

    All in all I'm ~so far~ pretty happy with the entire rig. I'll be going over how I mounted the Phase II toolpost to my particular lathe's compound rest. You sortof have to come up with whatever works for your own lathe to fit the QC setup to your machine. I'll show you how I got it done on mine soon.

    Attached Files:

  12. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    Very informative thread, Jeeter. For 50 years I've been using lantern, rocker-post. Very versatile, can also make your own tooling, like a Dremel toolpost grinder.

    Attached Files:

  13. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    Went to 0XA QCTP last year. Extremely handy and rigid.

    Pic 1- QCTP porn

    Pic 2- My first/favorite goto, dual-tool. Runout gauge one end, then flip it to the other side of the toolpost to face-off a piece.

    Attached Files:

  14. Ok, I officially ~give~ .... :) You win!

    Wow, your tooling collection represents many years of machining and obtaining that which you've needed over time. Those eight toolholders are amazingly cool. Do I see one holding some sortof Exacto blade in it? Yea, see, it takes decades of experience to accumulate the collection you have amassed there 2-Many! :)

    Your QC rig looks about like mine, I think they're all about the same once you step past Aloris into the world of imports. I did ~OK~ on mine, it was at ENCO for $215 for the complete kit. They happened to have a special deal going on by the time I got past my procrastination and got around to ordering the Phase II kit, everything over something like $50 bucks was "fee shipping" for only 3 days. So I picked up the Phase II kit and 12 1/2" x 6, 10 1/4 x 6 and 2 5/16 x 4 HSS tool blanks. Since it was all shipped free, the total came out to $299.96. My gift certificate was for $300 (X-mas gift from the missus) ... haahaa!

    I figured the QC kit would take me "farther" than the lantern, and since I caught the Phase II on sale it turned out to be the best deal for my uses. I plan on modifying the stock 4-way toolpost that came with my lathe so that it will fit on to the new QC toolpost centerbolt. That way I may easily swap between toolpost types. Will I ever need that ability? Who knows, that's the wonder that is machine tools!


    Ok, so you know that I am stealing a few of your mount-ups, you do know that, right? ;) That centering indicator mounted in the "201" toolholder is magnificent, mangs! As is the Dremel extension mounted in the "202" type holder. I have that exact same Dremel accessory extension, so again, you do understand that idea is totally being swiped, right? Heheh ..... :)

    And this is why I went with the QC instead of the lantern. I got to pick one of the two, so I chose the QC. I hope to add a lantern later. I mean, y'jist never know what a person may need at the lathe, mill, or drill press.

    Thanks good sir.

    (PS: Those ~pictures~ I'm having done are on the 29th this month. Soonest available for now. ;))
  15. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    Haha, glad you like 'em, swipe away, enjoy! Yeah, mounted Xacto blade for cutting soft stuff, leather, rubber. You'll find yourself coming up with all sorts of ideas as well.

    The QCTP rig is the wedge-type Tormach, very good quality. Pic #1 is their Aloris clone tooling dimensions.

    Pic #2- Always wanted a precision diamond blade sharpener for carbide bits, decided to make a smaller budget version of the $600 rig. That pack of 2" diamond discs ran about $20, gives pretty fair quality cutting faces. Already custom sharpened about 30 bits on one wheel alone.

    (P.S. Wishing you the best of luck on those 29th pics...)

    Attached Files:

  16. oldbiker

    oldbiker oldbiker

    ...................hi you could try ebay.com usa for small carbide turning tools that will go straight in the tool post ,,,if its got 1 you can buy reasonble good stuff at a reasonable price regards oldbiker
  17. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    Oh yeah, eBay is chock full of machinist stuff. Lotta machines being parted out and old departed machinist's basements being cleared out.

    I have a lot of old publications from the ' 30s-'60s, most of the technical data is probably outdated or already on the 'net. But, here's some notes that dear old dad typed-out back then, might be usable to the home shop.

    1- Cutting bit angles, side cut, face cut, back rake, speeds, ...etc. These are old, but still work. Our grandfathers of industry spent a lot of time developing these, but they were developed largely to maximize productivity, bit life, and surface finish, so you don't necessarily have to adhere to them like gospel, but your cuts will appreciate it. The important thing here is noting that the lantern rockerbox provides the ability to easily set your back (or top) rake angles, but with QCTP and 4-way you must grind-in those angles, or use inserts.

    2- RPM versus Surface-Feet-per-Minute

    3- Old tapers, probably better charts out there.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 16, 2014
  18. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    As you already know, setting the bit height is critical, and there's a variety of methods out there, from pinching a steel rule between bit and mounted round rod, to exotic levels. I made a reference gauge, lathe bed to spindle centerline, and place it in front of the bit to set the height.

    Attached Files:

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