Learning The Hard Way, My Preferred Method

But I is learning.


A few weeks ago I ordered some little slitting saw blades from Banggood on a whim, they were cheap.

The arbors were another story.

The ones I found were funky, bulky and had multiple steps on the end for different sized saw blades.

No thanks. So I started looking… and looking… and looking.

For some strange reason these things got kind of hard to find searching through my usual suppliers.

Oh I found some alright.

$145 for a set of 3.

I laughed pretty good at that. So I hit Amazon and found and ad that went through Grizzly .

I skipped Amazon and went straight to the Grizzly site and found that same set of 3 for about what they wanted for the shipping on that $145 set.

$9.95 or so plus about five bucks for shipping.

The only difference I could see between them was that the ridiculously expensive set came with one more small Allen Wrench.

Works for me so I ordered a set.

A few days later I get an Email from Grizzly telling me they are on back order until some time after the end of July so here’s your money back and thanks for shopping with us.


I looked for a little bit again but said screw this, I have a damned lathe, it’s time to step up to the plate and try to just make one.

So I did.

Let me tell you up front that mistakes were made.

Lots of them.

Lots and lots of them actually.

But even though it wound up at least a half inch shorter than it was when I started, it actually works.

I think.

I haven’t tried to actually cut anything with it but I know the blade is clamped hard.

I actually countersunk the end but found out I didn’t have the right screw for it so I just stuck that bolt in it.

I started out with a hunk of 3/4 round stock, cut a hunk off for the cap, cut another hunk off for the body and drilled it, countersunk it, used a little boring bar on the cap, turned the thing down, actually used a parting tool without breaking it and test fit everything before turning it down to one major diameter.

I don’t know how I managed not to break that parting tool because it should have when it grabbed and went under the part so hard I thought it bent the tool post bolt but it didn’t.

Something else I did that was outside the box, was to actually use a Masonry bit to open up the hole on the cap because it was way shorter than all of the other drill bits I have that big.

I had seen a Youtube about it a year or so ago and just happened to remember it.

You are supposed to alter the cutting edges a bit but fuck that, it works or it don’t and it did so cool.

It actually worked great and opened the cap up enough for me to get a little boring bar in there with room to spare.

I didn’t measure anything either. I just kept turning and test fitting until it all went together.

I told ya I was learning the hard way and I wasn’t joking.

The runout is going to be something to see when I chuck it up in something though. I used that old 3 jaw chuck and I could see stuff wobbling around.

A new 4 inch, 3 jaw chuck is on my want list and it is just a matter of time at this point.

In the mean time I am actually kinda proud of myself to have actually made a functional tool on the first try on that damn mini lathe after owning it for 3 years of fixing and upgrading it.

Speaking of which, there is something bad wrong when I try to power feed towards the chuck. The tool bit jumps and skips, then digs and cuts nice for a bit then jumps around again.

It doesn’t seem to do that feeding away from the chuck.

I can’t see any movement at all out of the saddle so I’m wondering if there isn’t something going on between the rack gear and the apron gears. Possibly some misalignment maybe.

Sum Ting Stiow Wong there but it’ll give me something to do trying to find out what’s fucked up with the fucking thing now.

I thought I had all that shit straightened out.

Apparently not.

6 thoughts on “Learning The Hard Way, My Preferred Method

  1. Gotta keep practicing! Practice makes perfect, just think of all the patients I stuck with a needle or a pic line to draw blood until I got it down pat… you were lucky you never came to my hospital. when I worked as a nurse. Lucky for most I never wanted to be a MD, imagine me doing a colonoscopy? Which hole do I put it in? Actually that sound pornographic.


  2. “screw machine length” drill bits are shorter.
    Consider Morse #3 (aka “MT3” aka “3MT”) collets to hold clean, new drill rod more concentrically than the chuck, and without scarring the surface.
    https://littlemachineshop.com is sometimes a smidgen more expensive, but they are great about replacing the occasional defective mis-manufactured item.


  3. Lousy cut one way might be more of the clearance grind on the tool rather than the lathe. Also check the height of the tool relative to the center of your stock.


    • This is a good place to start checking, especially if you are using cemented carbide tool bits. The flat top of the soldered insert doesn’t like to make a good chip. There is a reason all the new carbide inserts have all that fancy geometry.


  4. I think you did just about everything right. Mistakes are for learning from, and who cares if you leave marks on a tool holder?


Pansies, Trolls and Liberals are urged to flee this place.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s