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Knurling Wheel Comparison / Supplier ?

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Paul Kennedy05/02/2019 22:28:19
45 forum posts
122 photos

Hey guys,

Its been a while since my last post and longer since i did any knurling ! I remember using a 3 head tool with 6 wheels as an apprentice. It might have been moore and wright or eclipse or similair. Anyway if memory serves it had fine, medium and course knurls on the wheels and the wheels themselves were possiabaly ground HSS. Quality anyway ! Now I've been looking and all i can find is cheepo chinesium rubbish. Can anyone comment on there quality or availabilty of a quality home brand ?

Much appreciated as always,

Paul

Still looking for origional bench mounted Zyto Countershaft btw

Tony Pratt 106/02/2019 06:54:19
882 forum posts
2 photos

I doubt if a quality home brand exists, all or most of our tooling is manufactured in the far east & re-badged or not even rebadged.

I would suggest going for a clamp/scissor type knurling tool but if you really want a push type Cutwel do a decent one but at a price of nearly £300 maybe not?smiley

Tony

JasonB06/02/2019 07:04:16
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15992 forum posts
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Did you learn on a big lathe as the 6-wheel type will put rather a lot of load on your Zyto as will a two wheel push type, better to get a clamp type.

But you could probably pick up a second hand one and fit some knew wheels to it, decent wheels £25-50 a pair. If you want a better quality put possibly still made in the far east then MSC have clamp and 6 wheel ones at around £300

I'm surprised that all you can find is "cheap Chinese"  a quick google throws up several good quality ones in the first couple of pages - Quick-cut, Form, Ifanger, etc. Or do you mean you can't find good ones at the price you want to pay or have you not been looking much?

 

 

Edited By JasonB on 06/02/2019 07:47:49

ega06/02/2019 11:13:49
1226 forum posts
103 photos

Posted by Paul Kennedy on 05/02/2019 22:28:19:

... the wheels themselves were possiabaly ground HSS ...

Jones & Shipman were one of the leading suppliers, I believe, and their 1976 catalogue refers to them being "Manufactured from the highest quality steels" and " Precision hobbed ..."

SillyOldDuffer06/02/2019 11:52:06
4587 forum posts
980 photos

Enjoy this Dorian Catalogue. Prices start at about $900...

Paul's not the first to discover:

  1. In your youth nice tools at work were paid for by the employer. Trust me, they were expensive. Ignorance is bliss!
  2. No-one in the West makes cheap tools any more. There's little profit in it.
  3. Today, as then, quality tools ARE available BUT they cost big money! More than most hobbyists would want to pay.

Good news though, 'Chinesium Rubbish' should be fine on your Zyto. The main problem is cheaper wheels wear faster than expensive ones. As it's unlikely you'll be doing lots of knurling on a Zyto they might last you out anyway. If not, when the Chinese tool wears out, replace the wheels or buy a new one. Whatever you do, don't blow a £1000 on a high-end knurling tool for an elderly hobby lathe! By a cheap Far Eastern clamp type knurler and get on with it...

Dave

 

Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 06/02/2019 11:52:30

ian j06/02/2019 14:10:57
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268 forum posts
232 photos

Here's a UK manufacturer:=

**LINK**

ega06/02/2019 14:37:26
1226 forum posts
103 photos
Posted by ian j on 06/02/2019 14:10:57:

Here's a UK manufacturer:=

**LINK**

Interesting link and good to know such people still exist.

Neil Wyatt06/02/2019 16:23:34
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How do you know the 'cheap chinese' knurls are rubbish?

Mick B106/02/2019 17:15:56
1145 forum posts
63 photos
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 06/02/2019 16:23:34:

How do you know the 'cheap chinese' knurls are rubbish?

I don't think they are. They work well enough.img_2123.jpg

bronze titanium acorns 2.jpg

I think this one was £9.99 or suchlike. Every so often I have to squeeze the cheekpieces lightly in the vice as the pressure forces them apart, but it'd only be worth replacing it with something better and dearer if I was doing it a lot.

Edited By Mick B1 on 06/02/2019 17:16:44

Edited By Mick B1 on 06/02/2019 17:19:01

Steve Crow06/02/2019 18:04:07
147 forum posts
32 photos

I bought a cheap "mini" scissor type for my Sherline. Utter rubbish. Slack and play everywhere and just not worth trying to fix.

The bigger ones might be better though.

Gas_mantle.06/02/2019 18:29:28
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359 forum posts
269 photos

My cheapo Chinesium knurling tool gives good results for the money - only £15 with 2 sets of wheels.

dsc_0002.jpg

SillyOldDuffer06/02/2019 18:41:15
4587 forum posts
980 photos
Posted by Steve Crow on 06/02/2019 18:04:07:

I bought a cheap "mini" scissor type for my Sherline. Utter rubbish. Slack and play everywhere and just not worth trying to fix.

The bigger ones might be better though.

Did you try it Steve? The small clamp type I bought for my mini-lathe didn't look promising due to play but it worked OK. True the wheels visibly twisted when it was working but the knurl it made was OK.

Once the knurl gets started I think the wheels are steered by it from then on. In consequence quite a lot of slack in the tool doesn't matter? Knurling isn't exactly precision work.

Who knows, I might be getting good results from a rubbish tool by pure good luck!

Dave

Steve Crow06/02/2019 18:44:25
147 forum posts
32 photos
Posted by Gas_mantle. on 06/02/2019 18:29:28:

My cheapo Chinesium knurling tool gives good results for the money - only £15 with 2 sets of wheels.

dsc_0002.jpg

It looks the same as mine - I'll have to check. Price was the same anyway.

I might have just got a bad one. I've noticed this with cheap imports before. I think that quality control is so low that although most things are at least serviceable, a high percentage of shoddy goods slip through the net.

S.D.L.07/02/2019 08:36:27
168 forum posts
Posted by Steve Crow on 06/02/2019 18:44:25:
Posted by Gas_mantle. on 06/02/2019 18:29:28:

My cheapo Chinesium knurling tool gives good results for the money - only £15 with 2 sets of wheels.

dsc_0002.jpg

It looks the same as mine - I'll have to check. Price was the same anyway.

I might have just got a bad one. I've noticed this with cheap imports before. I think that quality control is so low that although most things are at least serviceable, a high percentage of shoddy goods slip through the net.

The quality control is with the customer, Thats why its cheaper.

Steve

JasonB07/02/2019 10:35:13
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15992 forum posts
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Posted by Steve Crow on 06/02/2019 18:44:25:

I might have just got a bad one. I've noticed this with cheap imports before. I think that quality control is so low that although most things are at least serviceable, a high percentage of shoddy goods slip through the net.

More likely the very cheap stuff has not passed QC for a more reputable supplier so it is just disposed of by someone further down the quality chain.

larry phelan 107/02/2019 13:13:39
481 forum posts
11 photos

I made a simple clamp type unit for my lathe [not very pretty,but it works ] As I remember,I bought the wheels from Chronos and have never had any trouble with them. For the amount of knurling we need to do,I think such wheels are good enough and are cheap enough to replace. Different story if you are knurling every day,but who is ?cheeky

XD 35107/02/2019 15:49:45
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1309 forum posts
111 photos

I bought a QCTP kit that came with a knurling tool in one end a tool holder ,and when i saw this i thought thats handy ! A while later i decided to try this knurling / toolholder combo and found one of the rollers had a lot of runout - at a guess I would say ten thou or more so it was shelved . I later bought the same kit for another lathe and i think they are ok but i may salvage the good rollers and try to get a working unit . I also have two scissor type units - one the same as pictured above and a bigger unit that does up to 2 inch dia , both work ok although the little one does have a lot of play in the arms so one day when i have nothing better to do i might sort it out .

Howard Lewis07/02/2019 16:23:14
2207 forum posts
2 photos

My preference, is wherever possible, to use a clamp type knurling tool, as this produces a reduced load on the bearings of the lathe, and to a lesser extent the rollers, compared to the "push in" types.

Such a tool will be available from suppliers such as ARC (who do sell extra wheels if you want to produce different pitches of knurl) Warco, Chester, RDG, etc; and Hemingway do a kit. There will also be drawings available, somewhere, if you want to make one more or less from scratch.

Howard

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