Monday, October 24, 2011

Pimp My Drill!

My first project on the lathe is complete! I've created three knobs for the end of the feed handles on my pillar drill. They're not very complex, which is why I thought they would be a good first project to get used to the lathe!

I started off by cutting a length of 2cm diameter aluminium bar into three 5cm sections. I then faced both ends of each piece and worked them until they were all within 1/10th of a mm and then I centre drilled and tapped each piece. After a quick tool change, I turned each piece just to clean then up a bit, before putting a slight bevel on the tops to loose the sharp edge.

I then set the thing up to do some tapering. The Unimat has a really neat headstock that can be twisted. That puts the work at an angle and allows tapered pieces to be created really easily. After making a couple of passes to neaten it up I was done!

This is the drill as purchased - with nasty black plastic knobs.

The freshly turned aluminium replacements!

I think they look pretty good! They aren't perfect but I am very impressed with the finish on them. I still have a few things to learn before I make a few bits up for the car though! If anyone knows a good tip for stopping the chuck marking a previously worked surface I want to hear it - it'll save me a fair bit of polishing next time!


mikeyb said...


congrats on your lathe resto - looks really good.

I too have just bought a lathe - and a book to go with it that has reminded me just how much of my engineering apprenticeship I have forgotten!

If I recall, thin brass shim clamped between the chuck jaws and the work will reduce marking

best regards


William Columbine said...

Cheers Mike - I'll give that a go!

I wish I had an engineering apprenticeship to fall back on. Sadly, metalwork had become 'design technology' by the time I went to school so now I've got quite the learning curve to climb!