Monday, December 13, 2010
First lathe experiments
I finally got a few days off, so this morning I began to do things with my new lathe.
My initial motive in getting the lathe was to have the capacity to make my own extruder hot ends. Given my total lack of experience with lathes, I decided to see if I could try sinking an 1/8 bore in a piece of aluminum round stock using a fixed drill bit in a chuck inserted into the tailstock. An idea of what I did can be seen here.
After a considerable time, I was able to sink a 50 mm hole into the centre of the round stock. The steady rest that you see supporting the end of the aluminum round stock nearest the drill bit reduces vibration and misalignment.
When I worked with Tommelise 1.0, I used a 5/32 inch braised copper tube (1/8 inch ID) hot end several inches long with its top only heated using nichrome wire. I was able to get well past the whole issue of having filament melt in the PTFE thermal break with that approach. These days, I hope to do something similar using aluminum.
Here you see the drilled round stock after I've trimmed it down to 12 mm outside diameter and trued up the end. It takes a nice finish.