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Thread: Boring Time in the Shop - Note Updated Tool Bit Size

  1. #1
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    Boring Time in the Shop - Note Updated Tool Bit Size

    I had a boring weekend in the shop. Boring bars, that is.

    I really like the 3/4" stainless steel boring bars that came with my Monster hollowing rig. However, they're limited to working through a 7/8" or larger hole, and I wanted to be able to go smaller. Over a year ago, I bought a set of Don Pencil "Stinger" 7/16" boring bars. They were a nice size, but I never did like the round bar cutting tips that came with them. Plus, the set screws to hold the cutters were tiny, and they stripped out way too easily (or my hex wrenches twisted because they were so thin).

    After reading about several guys recently making their own boring bars and Oland tools, I figured I should give it a shot myself. I wanted 1/2" bars that were capable of holding the 1/4" cutters that I already had for the Monster rig.

    Saturday, I picked up a 3' piece of 1/2" cold rolled steel bar and a few set screws at the local hardware store. The first three bars went so well, I went out Sunday and bought another 3' piece of steel and made a few more. Here are a few progress pics...

    First, I had to figure out how to drill a hole in the end of a 1/2" steel bar. I took a wooden screw clamp, and drilled a 7/16" hole between the two halves of the clamp.

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    That allowed me to hold the bar vertically and drill a pilot hole...

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    And then the final hole. (I don't know what size it is...I just experimented around until I found a hole size the 1/4" square HSS bits would fit in.)

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    Then, to hold the cutting tip in place, I needed a tapped hole for the setscrew. I ended up using a 10-24 screw, so the pilot hole was a #25 bit...

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    I also wanted to make a bar with an angled cutter, so I ground an angled flat spot on the end of a bar and drilled a hole to fit the cutting tip...

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    The angled bar also got a setscrew, but I didn't get any pics of that operation.

    I also made three different bent bars (with a little help from my propane torch), but didn't take any pics of the bending process.

    More in the next post...
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  2. #2
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    And here are the results...

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    Here are the three bent bars. I'll probably make more after I see how these perform...

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    And here are the three straight bars. One is truly straight, one has an angled bit, and I ground one of them down to accept a scraper bit from the Monster gear.

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    Here's a detail shot of the angled bit...

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    And the scraper bit...

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    And as an added bonus, all of them (except the scraper bar) will accept my Hunter carbide insert...

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    All told, including steel bar material and setscrews, I spent under $20 to make these. Given my choice, I would have preferred to buy them from Randy at Monster Tools (assuming I could talk him into making 1/2" bars for me). Randy uses much better steel, and his tools are machined instead of hacked and ground. Unfortunately, being laid off, my tool fund ain't what it used to be, so these will have to do until I can afford to buy some better ones.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  3. #3
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    Those look really great Vaughn, well done!

    I'd suggest you buy some shorter set screws, those one will catch on the lip of the opening when you are putting the tool into or removing it from the hollow form.................. DAMHIKT

    Well done indeed!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    ...I'd suggest you buy some shorter set screws...
    Yep...planning on hitting the store tomorrow. I wasn't sure what length to get, but now I have a better idea how long they need to be.

    I'm also probably going to try re-drilling the setscrew holes on the two swan neck bars. They are not 90 plumb with the world, so the cutting tip is rotated a bit on each of them. I may experiment with them though, and see how they work in a shear scraping position. I'll probably also pick up another piece of 1/2" steel, just to do more playing around. They're really pretty quick to make.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    Yep...planning on hitting the store tomorrow. I wasn't sure what length to get, but now I have a better idea how long they need to be.

    I'm also probably going to try re-drilling the setscrew holes on the two swan neck bars. They are not 90 plumb with the world, so the cutting tip is rotated a bit on each of them. I may experiment with them though, and see how they work in a shear scraping position. I'll probably also pick up another piece of 1/2" steel, just to do more playing around. They're really pretty quick to make.
    Next thing you know, you will be buying a MIG welder
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  6. #6
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    Ireland
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    Nice work Vaughn,

    That was a great idea to drill a clamp to accept the steel for end drilling, I think I'm going to have to steal that because you have inspired me to have a go at making tools myself.

    Good work, thanks for sharing.

    Brendan

  7. #7
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    If you had the two screw pin jaws on your lathe chuck, you could just use the pin chuck holding the steel (it would slide through the hole in your head stock) and put a drill bit in your drill chuck in the tailstock

    But yeah, that clamp trick is one to file away!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    If you had the two screw pin jaws on your lathe chuck, you could just use the pin chuck holding the steel (it would slide through the hole in your head stock) and put a drill bit in your drill chuck in the tailstock

    But yeah, that clamp trick is one to file away!
    I thought if that, but had a bowl mounted on the lathe. Plus, I didn't want to get oil all over the lathe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Thoits View Post
    Vaughn Could you go out and jse them today.? PLEASE ok pretty please with a cherry on top.
    I have a pile of that cold roll and have been afraid to use it in fear that it will bend. But if yours holds up than I might just give it a try.
    I know a number of other guys have done fine with the cold rolled steel. I think as long as you're not getting too heavy-handed it should work fine for you. It doesn't bend real easily.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  9. #9
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    Your going to put me out of business Good job.
    Randy,

    Maker of Fine Lathe Tools & Accessories.

  10. #10
    Those are fantastic Vaughn! Thanks for posting. I've made a couple of basic tool recently, but yours give me inspiration to take it a step further. I find it's really rewarding to make a tool that works well.

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