Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Router lathe: making real parts

cutting flutes on a big spindle (5" dia, 22" long)

 First "real" parts -- the big bolt was fun, but just a test, and a bit of a joke. This is the first "real" part -- a base for a round table (I think). I turned the spindle by hand on the manual wood lathe, and modified the thread code to cut a series of flutes. It worked pretty well, in spite of a couple of errors in the code:

1. I intended to climb cut (feed with the cutter so the bit pulls with the direction of travel. Makes a cleaner cut across grain). This code runs the cutter against the direction of travel (conventional cut), which is more prone to splitting when cutting across the grain.

2. I rotate the part by one degree between the forward and reverse cut in order to make a slightly wider cut. But I didn't account for that when spinning between flutes, so each cut advances one degree around the spindle. I actually like the way it looks, so I didn't fix it, but it was a (happy) mistake.

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