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Stanley Blade Lathe Finishing Tool

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Graham Stoppani26/12/2019 09:27:44
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126 forum posts
26 photos

While researching using form tools on brass I came across this video. At 50 seconds the machinist starts using a stanley knife blade held in his bare hands to finish shaping a piece in the lathe. My first thoughts were that it looked very dangerous. Is this a technique anyone else has ever used?

roy entwistle26/12/2019 10:10:12
1552 forum posts

A spanner lying on the cross slide doesn't look too health& safety either

Roy

Edited By roy entwistle on 26/12/2019 10:11:08

Bob Stevenson26/12/2019 10:11:02
579 forum posts
7 photos

Yes, I used to do this a lot when making brass instrument mouthpieces as turning the inside of the 'cup' is tricky for the beginner. I have used it when making clock pillars but have moved on now to a collection of steel washers with different edge modifications and sizes...this is a trick I gleaned from a visit to Boosey & Hawkes when they were still around and making brass instruments...

I love the vid, by the way! Not thrilled by the use of the knurling tool decoration but that man knows exactly what he's doing and the results speak for themselves.

Mike Poole26/12/2019 10:11:39
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Moderator
3383 forum posts
77 photos

His hands seem to have a full set of fingers unless he is from Norfolk. The file without a handle caused another clench but he seems a very skilled guy with an interesting technique. Might not be something for the nervous to emulate. He is probably well passed the days when the blade disappeared across the workshop or kicked back and cut his fingers. Very skilled people do things that on the face of it look dangerous, look at chefs with razor sharp knives millimetres from their fingers.

Mike

magpie26/12/2019 10:26:02
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498 forum posts
98 photos

Many times I have tried to coordinate saddle and cross slide to turn curves, all have ended in failure. After watching the video, it occurred to me that it might be possible to remove the cross slide leadscrew and move the slide by hand.

I am probably talking rubbish here but I may just try it sometime to see what results I get. I believe our A&E dept are not too busy.

Derek.

Graham Stoppani26/12/2019 10:30:01
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126 forum posts
26 photos
Posted by Bob Stevenson on 26/12/2019 10:11:02:

Yes, I used to do this a lot when making brass instrument mouthpieces as turning the inside of the 'cup' is tricky for the beginner. I have used it when making clock pillars but have moved on now to a collection of steel washers with different edge modifications and sizes...this is a trick I gleaned from a visit to Boosey & Hawkes when they were still around and making brass instruments...

I love the vid, by the way! Not thrilled by the use of the knurling tool decoration but that man knows exactly what he's doing and the results speak for themselves.

Couldn't resits a picture of me with one of messrs B & H's instruments when I was a young lad (second bass from the right).

admiral.jpg

John Haine26/12/2019 10:30:53
4718 forum posts
273 photos

Ideal application for the Turnado?

SillyOldDuffer26/12/2019 10:39:15
Moderator
8906 forum posts
1999 photos

Dangerous to conclude anything found on the Internet must be safe!

As a general rule, using hand tools on lathes is discouraged because machines using half a horse or more cutting metal have no trouble whatever mangling body parts. Emery cloth and paper are notorious for pulling arms into the chuck, and many have been spiked through the palm by files. Saws grab, blades shatter, and knives slip.

I'm not dead against getting the job done though, but there's a world of difference between an inexperienced operator ignorantly copying and a battle-scarred practitioner who knows exactly what he's doing. If it looks dodgy it probably is! Proceed with caution.

The good news about Model Engineering is most of the hazards are bleeding obvious and most of the people involved are keen to understand tools and techniques. As hobbies go, it's pretty safe. A&E is far more likely to see DIY victims than Model Engineers, even on a bad day.

Dave

Brian Wood26/12/2019 11:00:17
2579 forum posts
39 photos

I agree with Dave S.O.D

Work like this in the hands of someone who knows just what they are doing is much safer than it looks and it exploits all the control and manual dexterity that is impossible to reproduce mechanically.

The spanner was I suspect an oversight, a moments inattention in cross slide approach distance and it could get flipped into play. Other than that, working like this is really no more dangerous in my view than using bowl turning tools freehand on a wood turning lathe. Some of that work looks scary with 24 inch diameter lumps whirling round and very little between you and it

Brian

Andrew Johnston26/12/2019 11:25:13
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6678 forum posts
701 photos

There's one problem with saying it's ok for experienced people who know what they are doing to use such techniques. How do they get experienced in the first place without taking risks? Personally I wouldn't use the technique, or at least I'd make the tool from thin gauge plate so there isn't a sharp edge.

It's strange that he winds the handle like crazy on the dividing head to engage the appropriate slot on the indexing plate. On my similar dividing head you can disengage the worm and simply rotate the chuck, much quicker.

Andrew

Bazyle26/12/2019 11:40:25
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6386 forum posts
222 photos

Have you noticed how many videos he has with over a million views? He must have a 5 figure income from it. I have seen several of his woodwork videos following links off other forums.

ega26/12/2019 11:47:47
2567 forum posts
203 photos
Posted by Brian Wood on 26/12/2019 11:00:17:

...
The spanner was I suspect an oversight, a moments inattention in cross slide approach distance and it could get flipped into play.

...

When I saw the spanner I thought he was using it as a gauge, an old woodturner's trick.

Are we sure it was a Stanley knife blade? Again, woodturners use a hand-applied scraper safely enough.

Brian Oldford26/12/2019 11:49:32
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686 forum posts
18 photos

Interesting use of the bandsaw as a power-file towards the end of the video when he was making the knight.

Mick B127/12/2019 09:42:07
2226 forum posts
125 photos

The bit with the Stanley blade looked to me like a variant of skew-chisel woodturning, at least in similarity of edge-profile and presentation to the work surface - and the absence of a tool-handle would seem to exacerbate the risks of an already risk-prone technique.

Like Andrew, I can't really see how the user acquired the skill without serious injury to his fingers - but hey, the method of acquisition is often part of the mystery of such a skill...

surprisesmiley

Michael Gilligan27/12/2019 10:26:02
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20289 forum posts
1064 photos

Posted by ega on 26/12/2019 11:47:47:

.

Are we sure it was a Stanley knife blade?

.

Have a look at about 53 seconds in

MichaelG.

Mick B127/12/2019 10:35:52
2226 forum posts
125 photos

I forgot to say I was disappointed to see that the metal chesspieces were only patterns for what turned out to be a pretty ordinary cast-resin set.

I've sometimes thought of making a metal chess set out of bronze and blued titanium, but don't have sufficient enthusiasm - or capability - for chess to carry it through.

Anyway, even if you had a gold-and-diamond chess set, would that make you a GrandMaster? Or would a real one still beat you using pieces scribbled on torn bits of card, on a board scratched in the dirt with a stick?

laugh

ega27/12/2019 10:41:56
2567 forum posts
203 photos
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 27/12/2019 10:26:02:

Posted by ega on 26/12/2019 11:47:47:

.

Are we sure it was a Stanley knife blade?

.

Have a look at about 53 seconds in

MichaelG.

Ah, yes - thank you.

Mark B28/12/2019 17:20:56
71 forum posts
36 photos

I've never seen a freehand tool like this used on a lathe before. The end results of his work are however impressive even if the approach is unconventional.

I do however regularly use freehand tools for turning - a graver! You however use it against a t-rest which is close to your workpiece. You also hold your workpiece in a collet. Freehand turning with a 3 jaw chuck can hurt is you get your fingers too close.

However it's something I tend to use for turning very small components. I've just completed a watch balance staff where the pivots were around 0.1mm thick.

John Reese29/12/2019 20:29:06
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1038 forum posts

I think carving the knight using the band saw has a lot more potential for injury than scraping with a knife blade.

Mick B130/12/2019 16:33:11
2226 forum posts
125 photos
Posted by John Reese on 29/12/2019 20:29:06:

I think carving the knight using the band saw has a lot more potential for injury than scraping with a knife blade.

Especially as it was shown at fast-forward speed so it was difficult to plot how the cuts were made. I think I'd try a dividing head with standard and - maybe - ballnosed cutters.

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