Archives for the ‘lathe’ Category

antenna ball

For the ham radio operator on my gift list…

antenna topper turned 9x20 lathe aluminum

After eyeballing the spherical shape using a mixture of cutting tools, rasps and files, I wet-sanded the tool marks off and polished it with red and green compound. Then I parted it off (pictured above) and drilled the mounting hole. I was going to measure the sphericity I got by eye but decided I’d rather not know.

home made chuck key

This weekend I spent a lot of time in the shop machining parts for my CNC mill, and ran into a problem with the lathe. The four jaw chuck has these adjustment screws to move the jaws in and out, but I can’t find the chuck key needed to adjust them. They use an inverted key–it’s and innie, not an outie, like most chuck keys–and it’s almost impossible to adjust without that particular tool.

I had a leftover piece of steel rod, so I made my own:

9x20 lathe chuck key CNC machined

The ends were machined on the mill, clamping the piece upright in the vise. The shoulder was turned on the lathe (in the three jaw chuck!).

9x20 lathe chuck key CNC machined

I milled a socket into the other end for a 3/8″ ratchet, although the fat body makes it easy to turn quickly by hand. (I tried to knurl the end but I still don’t know how to knurl properly, so I just mucked it all up)

9x20 lathe four-jaw chuck