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Member postings for Steve355

Here is a list of all the postings Steve355 has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Cutting my first gear
08/05/2022 12:26:52

Exactly Howard, this was a nice little thing to try with bits of scrap lying about, It didn’t cost a penny, unlike pretty much everything else I seem to do!

07/05/2022 15:53:55
Posted by Hopper on 14/04/2022 10:17:26:

Here's a few pics of the spring loaded plunger on my VDH. It's just a stepped spindle with a spring inside that body that screws into the pice of flat bar bolted to the existing index plate holding bracket.Easy to make without drawings.



I made this non-standard right-angle mounting for the plunger so it can engage with the outside teeth on the 60T gear, which allows you to index more numbers, including fives and tens etc.

I did what you said…. Not perfect, but works!



16/04/2022 11:59:42

Well, it turned out the chuck had come loose, so I’m not feeling quite so stupid. I guess it’s a very vibration intensive operation, and the chuck doesn’t have the natural turning forces of a lathe to keep it tight. Also the rear T nut holding the dividing head had come loose.

so a learning experience, it’s a throw away workpiece…. Luckily.

16/04/2022 09:51:05

Oh no, test gear 2, I got a tooth wrong! I must have given it an extra turn. How upsetting. Ruined my morning 😞😠🥺


Thread: Acme internal threading
15/04/2022 13:34:36

Hi Paul, I know, but I want to make one for “fun” to learn all the machining techniques needed. No cheating if possible.


15/04/2022 11:26:11
Posted by Hopper on 14/04/2022 10:24:57:

YOu can buy boring bars that are a round shank held in a slotted square holder. The end of the round bar has a cross-ways square hole for a piece of 1/8" or 3/16" etc square HSS, which is held in place by a small grub screw coming in from the end. You then just grind the piece of HSS to the shape of your Acme profile. Put it in the boring bar and cut off the long unused tail of HSS sticking out. Easy peasy. Just be sure to grind plenty of clearance angle on the leading face to allow for the helix of the thread, which can be quite a bit on small acme threads.

You can, but those bars are 3/8” diameter and the DOC is 1/8” for a 5/8” acme thread. That has to fit into a 1/2” hole as a poster mentioned earlier - impossible. I have a piece of 1/4” tool steel I could try as a boring bar, but realistically it’s still too close.

A tap is a possibility.

Or make it bigger. I am only trying to make a tail vice for my woodworking bench as a fun project. I don’t think it really matters what size the acme thread is, within reason. Looks like the ID for a 1” 8 TPI thread is 0.881.

Thread: Cutting my first gear
14/04/2022 10:54:07
Posted by Hopper on 14/04/2022 10:17:26:

Here's a few pics of the spring loaded plunger on my VDH. It's just a stepped spindle with a spring inside that body that screws into the pice of flat bar bolted to the existing index plate holding bracket.Easy to make without drawings.

Yes, you are right, that’s straightforward. I should be able to knock one up pretty easily.

I’ve been using a Myford chuck for mine, but is there a way to convert it for a collet (ideally mt2)?

Thread: Acme internal threading
14/04/2022 09:55:13
Posted by Mike Hurley on 14/04/2022 09:37:15:

Have a look at 'Old Tony's ' video on the subject. Quirky style but full of very good advice. Enjoy


Perfect, thanks Mike, I’d not seen that one. I will have a go with that technique.


14/04/2022 09:26:01

Hi again

A few days back I cut myself an Acme thread as a test piece, 5/8” x 8 TPI. It went pretty well. To do it I made an Acme cutter (see pic).

Next step is to practice making an Acme internal thread to fit. I need a suitable internal Acme cutter. I made a “boring bar” a while ago (also see pic), which I’m quite proud of because looks a bit like the Loch Ness monster. It works however. I want something similar but with an acme cutter on the end. The reason for it’s strange shape was there was so much grinding I did the coarse grinding with an angle grinder and a flap disc.

Surely there is a better way to create an Acme internal threading cutter?



Thread: Cutting my first gear
13/04/2022 21:38:02

No, the depth of cut in the pic is full depth. The reason it looks wrong is that it’s a different cutter, with a smaller tooth size, but I continued with the 13.7x  degrees I was using on the dividing head. Obviously it’ll never work as a gear, but I was just learning how to do it today. I will cut a new blank tomorrow, recalculates for this second cutter and try to cut a better gear.

I’ll get a diamond hone also.

it looks like there’s quite a lot of deburring to do. Is there a trick to that?

Edited By Steve355 on 13/04/2022 21:38:28

13/04/2022 21:04:10

No Jason, even I know which way the cutter should run

Unfortunately that’s the slowest it will go Andrew, I thought about changing the motor for a VFD a while back, but couldn’t justify the cost really. Originally the mill had a geared motor, but that’s long gone. Whoever replaced it replaced it with a motor that runs too fast.

But …. Success… I was about to give up for the night, but thought I’d try another cutter that I have. I didn’t bother recalculating the tooth spacing, I had already failed with that blank. It went through it not quite like butter, but quite easily. So it seems simply that the first cutter was blunt. Is it possible to sharpen them? Can’t imagine it’s easy.

looks a bit like a gear…smiley

Thanks for the advice all.


13/04/2022 19:47:13

Well, I’m not currently having much success.

The cutter is c. 2” with 13 teeth I think. Spindle speed is 250rpm, which I think is about right for mild steel @ 120 sfm. My calculator says the feed rate should be around 10 IPM.

But it’s not really making chips, more rubbing.

What would be a suitable depth of cut?


Thread: Anyone recommend any machines
13/04/2022 16:43:02
Posted by not done it yet on 13/04/2022 14:04:02:
Posted by Steve355 on 13/04/2022 12:16:05:

What age are your motorcycles? Are they metric or imperial? What threads do they use etc.? I’d have thought that would be the main consideration in the beginning. You’ll have a miserable time with an old imperial machine trying to make parts for a metric bike and vice versa.

Be aware that if you buy older machines you’ll spend a lot of time fixing and maintaining them. Which is fun and interesting, but may not be the core mission.


I just wonder whether you have actually bought an older machine? I wonder (I now know you did) whether you purchased carefully, being able to recognise the faults you were buying.🙂 A home-built machine may have been produced by a good machinist or one of much lesser capability.

Virtually all my machines are old. But they will work perfectly well whether using metric or imperial units.

You may need to spend a lot of time fixing and maintaining them. Depends on what you buy, I suppose.

I consider size a far more important metric to consider - not which threads they will or will not cut. My lathe is imperial but will easily cut metric threads from 0.5mm to 5mm pitch. I expect that range will suffice for most motorcycle parts?

Converting from imperial measurements to metric (and vice versa) does not involve being miserable at all, IMO - if one is able to use a simple calculator! Additionally, DROs can simplify this for those that either cannot, or don’t want to, make the conversions off the machine.

I just looked at your first posting on the forum, less than 7 months ago. I can fully understand how/why you might have posted the above. But I don’t agree with it.

Fair enough, I’m probably wrong, and I’m new to this game. But it’s not just screw cutting, it’s drill bits, reamers, DTIs, micrometers, milling cutters, taps and dies, collets… the list goes on…. And across the last year or so I’ve had to accumulate them all, I went imperial, and if I wanted to suddenly go metric it would be a considerable expense.

IMHO if one was working on vintage motorcycles which were entirely imperial, and every single time a measurement was used in the shop it had to be converted, for me it would be a right pain. Or vice versa with metric.

I didn’t know what I was doing when I bought my first machines, but I was doing it for fun, so sorting them out was expected and has been a very enjoyable challenge, although I really didn’t anticipate how much time and effort (and cost) it would take.

It’s also true that buying modern doesn’t mean no problems, I bought a modern bandsaw recently and immediately regretted it due to the flimsy build quality. It hasn’t broken yet but it won’t be long. Should have bought vintage!

Thread: Cutting my first gear
13/04/2022 12:51:20
Posted by Hopper on 13/04/2022 12:30:54:

2.8 - 2.36 = .440 gives you the total tooth depth, on both sides. Depth of cut is half that. So .220" would be spot on the money for how deep to cut each tooth.

Do it the handy dandy way with this online calculator: **LINK**

Nice looking VDH you got there. It's worth getting GH Thomas's book on how to use the secondary adjuster dial to cut gears of all odd sizes such as 127 teeth etc. Also on mine I drilled the 60 tooth spindle gear with 24 holes to use it as a spin indexer for cutting hexagons etc without using the index plates.

Ivan Law's book Gears and Gear Cutting is a must have too. One of the Workshop Practice Series so cheaply available.

Edited By Hopper on 13/04/2022 12:33:07

Ahhhhh … I was reading Andrew’s post and desperately trying to work out where I’d gone wrong with my calculation but in fact I hadn’t really. Thank heavens I asked. That’s straightforward then.

On the VDH, it wasn’t well made really, the original builder had not really managed to drill the holes correctly on the far side, so I put some new dowel pins in to align it properly. It has holes drilled in the spindle gear for use as a spindexer, but it doesn’t have the plunger for that. I was thinking of getting the book you mentioned for the drawings somIncan make one.

Next challenge will be, I want to make some bevel gears, but obviously it needs an angle facility for that.


Thread: Anyone recommend any machines
13/04/2022 12:16:05

What age are your motorcycles? Are they metric or imperial? What threads do they use etc.? I’d have thought that would be the main consideration in the beginning. You’ll have a miserable time with an old imperial machine trying to make parts for a metric bike and vice versa.

Be aware that if you buy older machines you’ll spend a lot of time fixing and maintaining them. Which is fun and interesting, but may not be the core mission.


Thread: Cutting my first gear
13/04/2022 11:59:35

Hi all

Asking for help from someone experienced to check my calculations…

I eventually got a VDH dividing head - good thing I asked on here before diving in and buying a bigger one, because anything bigger would not fit on my horizontal mill. After lots of fixing and fiddling I have it on the mill and aligned.

I want to cut a gear as a test piece, to prove I can do it. I have a 26-35 14.5PA 10DP gear cutter than came with the mill so I thought I’d have a go with that, and try to cut a 26 tooth gear. I made a mandrel, broached keyways etc. See pic at the bottom for the setup.

Next step was to consult Machinery’s Handbook for the numbers. See the calcs on the pic below.

For a 26 tooth gear I think I need a 2.8 inch OD blank (Do)

The dedendum seems to work out at 0.12”, which gives a root depth Dr of 2.36”

So the cut depth is 2.8-2.36 = 0.44”. This seems a lot! Is this correct? Before I start cutting, even though it’s a throwaway piece, I might as well get it right.

Any thoughts appreciated.






Edited By JasonB on 13/04/2022 16:18:00

Thread: Zyto lathe problem
13/04/2022 11:41:31

I use the lead screw handwheel for all manual feeding on my Zyto. The rack handwheel is far too aggressive and lacks the ability to be precise.

I would say this is the least annoying problem, way down the list after :

1) change gears take ages to reconfigure (often 1/2 hr plus of swearing and getting covered in oil)

2) cross slide and compound handwheels clashing (got around this by turning the compound to face the other way entirely)

3) not a great selection of rpms (on mine anyway)

4) no carriage lock


other than that it’s a nice little lathe once it’s been set up properly.


Thread: Chuck & backplate problem
02/04/2022 15:47:02

Thanks for the advice all.

Howard, unfortunately I don’t have a 3 jaw chuck (well, I have 2, but none with a Zyto backplate).

In the end I lashed up a “rotary table” from the VDH dividing head I picked up a while ago, but not got working properly yet. Dialled in a 120 degrees twice and it seemed to work.

Problem is, I’m getting about .002 runout on the chuck body. The spindle is Ok, as is the backplate, less than .001. But .002 at the chuck body. I have cleaned it up and it’s still there. It is there whether the screws are screwed in or not, so I don’t think it’s my new holes.

Being a 4 jaw independent chuck, am I right in thinking this doesn’t matter, as I will be indicating in workpieces?




Edited By Steve355 on 02/04/2022 15:48:24

Edited By Steve355 on 02/04/2022 15:50:20

30/03/2022 11:33:19

Hi all

Back again after a month or two messing with dark side woodwork things…

I have a problem in that my chuck for my Zyto is broken. One of the operating screws is stripped, it seems. I would have a go at making another one, however, without a serviceable Chuck, that is pretty difficult.

so I bought another one, but guess what, it had a different number of backplate fixing holes (three instead of four). Other than this, the backplate is a good fit.

getting backplates for a Zyto is really hard, it is a 7/8 inch 9 TPI thread. So I can’t easily get a new one. So I’m faced with a choice, drill the chuck to accept the old back plate, or drill the back plate to match the holes in the chuck.

If I drill the chuck I can locate the position of the holes quite easily using the backplate and a centre punch. But I don’t want to drill holes in a brand-new chuck really, and it is probably hardened and so will be difficult to do. Also they will need tapping.

I would much prefer to drill some new holes in the back plate. However, I can’t see how I would locate the holes for the drilling. Possibly on the vertical mill I suppose, if I can get accurate enough measurements. But I’m not really sure how to do that.

Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome. See pic below.




Thread: Adjusting the horizontal mill
23/01/2022 22:47:41

Ok, finding one that is rated for full power at 750rpm makes sense.

I found this one that says it runs at up to 1400 rpm, albeit with less torque.


Would this be a suitable VFD?



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