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August 25, 2011
January 4, 2009
We didn't have our granddaughter this weekend so I did a lot of writing for MachinistBlog and spent a good amount of time in my workshop. I continued to work on my HMEM EZ-Build engine but my progress has come to a halt. I need to ream the 1/2-inch diameter cylinder and my mini-mill has no where near enough height for my reamer. I decided the best solution was to shorten it, but it's a high-quality American-made one. So I'm going to order an $8 import from Enco and shorten it instead. I have to order some other things anyway and I just got the promo code for free shipping on a $25 order.
BTW, for awhile now Enco's been sending the free shipping codes for $25 orders to my Gmail address and the $99 ones to my Yahoo one. I'm thinking that I've taken advantage of the $25 code too many times with the Yahoo address and they're trying to discourage that.
So, while I'm waiting I decided to make the “Contrary Finishing Tool” that Bob Bickerson wrote a nice article about that shows how to make one. It's a lathe bit that is suppose to give you a very fine finish, something I need for the auto probe I'm making (again) for my CNC mill. I need to make the end of the probe a very precise diameter with a nice finish and I thought I'd give the contrary finish tool a try, which I've been meaning to do for at least a year. I can get a really good finish with carbide inserts on my 7×12 lathe, but I'm not having as much success (yet) with my new 8×12 lathe.
My back up plan is to try my hand at tool post grinding. I just bought a suitable grinder I can mount on my tool post.
Anyways, I made Bick's tool and it was easy. I tested it on some drill rod and it seems to work great. You can take off very fine shavings and get a very nice finish. Only I wish I'd used a 1/2-inch blank instead of a 5/16-inch one for the 7×12. I used the smaller one because it wouldn't take as long to grind and I wouldn't have as much time invested if I screwed it up. It's not a big deal. I need more practice grinding HSS tool bits.
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