Monday, August 27, 2007

Lathe Bits

Over the last month, I've been making some tools and mods to my lathe. In the process, I've used a few different types of lathe bits. I first ordered the Taig HSS tool bit which worked really well for aluminum and steel. These are great to get started. However I found out that you do have to touch them up once in a while, especially if you machine some of the harder metals. On one of my trips to the local harbor freight, I found a small 5 piece set of brazed carbide bits in 1/4" size. Figured I couldn't go wrong for $4.99. I was wrong. They suck! Only one of the bits was usable out of the box. The others were brazed on so crooked that the main shank hits the part that's being machined before the cutter! Oh well, live and learn. I do have some extra HSS 1/4" blanks to play with as soon as I get a grinder. There's a nice write up on the Sherline website about grinding HSS lathe bits. I looked around for some indexable bits but they're harder to find in 1/4" size. I saw some on Ebay but was wary of quality. Back to Harbor Freight, I found a nice set of inexable tool bits in 1/4" that actually looked decent. The inserts even have chip breakers. I plopped down my $17.99 and brought them home. I was very pleased with their performance. Worked great on Aluminum and 12L14. This is what one looks like:

They come in a little wooden box with some extra screws and 2 small wrenches. I have to say I'm happy with this purchase. Again, sorry about the picture quality. It'll be a little longer before I get a new camera. Priorities, you know :>)


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XTL said...

So, what happened next?