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Tool Post Material

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WALLACE14/05/2014 00:49:31
304 forum posts
17 photos
I'm thinking of making ip a single Dickson type tool post to go on a Union cutter grinder - it's mostly laziness so I can regrind tools without removing them from their holders !

Any reason why a chunk of cast iron wouldn't be ok instead of steel as per the original ?



Saxalby14/05/2014 00:56:39
176 forum posts
26 photos

Hi Wallace,

I have made one for a friend who had the holders but not the toolpost. I made that out of cast iron. Filthy stuff, but easier to cut . Just used steel for the clamp (EN 8). Been working ok for many years.

Regards Barry

Jo14/05/2014 07:56:24
198 forum posts

On the Union lathe tools are ground by mounting them in the holder that fits to the universal head.

Have you thought how you are going to mount this tool post, to give you all the necessary angles, if you make one?


WALLACE14/05/2014 09:23:13
304 forum posts
17 photos
Hi Barry.

Cast iron it is then - as I have a lump already lying around..

Hi Jo.

I do have some' of the Union tool holder - the graduated base and collet holder for end mills - and made up a slightly oversized holder that will take lathe tools etc.

But it's slightly awkward for parting off tools - I can't clamp them with the direction of grinding along the front of the blade

So I thought a single tool post that bolts onto the graduated base would present the blade at the right angle - and take other tools already in hoders.

It will be a bit quicker too - a simple swap to put a better edge on a tool rather than having to remove it ftom it's tool holder.

I shall get dirty with the cast iron !

Thanks guys !

Ady114/05/2014 10:49:47
5071 forum posts
734 photos

If you machine cast iron like steel it's amazingly messy and flies all over the shop

If your lathe is stiff enough you can use a rear toolpost with a carbide tool and run the lathe on the backgear

This produces a neat pile of iron filings at the back of the lathe which can be sooked up by a vacuum in seconds

Ian S C14/05/2014 11:12:01
7468 forum posts
230 photos

Ady1, and if you use a vacuum cleaner with a bag that leaks, it will be quite spectacular as the cast iron dust goes through the motor, just like when a mates grandson vacuumed up the filings from the bandsaw, and they went through the bag, motor, and BANG. Ian S C

Tony Ray14/05/2014 12:32:59
185 forum posts
46 photos

Wallace, I can see why you would want to grind tools in their holders especially when touching up an edge during a job but it seems overkill to use a T&C grinder unless you only want to do this for eg threading tools. I could be back machining way before having used my off hand grinder. It sounds like a nice project to make a block and for your application mild steel is perfectly adequate..

WALLACE14/05/2014 12:36:38
304 forum posts
17 photos
Alas, it's going to be a milling job. ..friend next door with a shaper moved house and unfortunately took said shaper with him !

Modern vacum motors appear to have plastic commutators - not mica ones - and it doesn't take much to carbonise them and burn them out....

I know !!

Nigel McBurney 114/05/2014 15:06:54
999 forum posts
3 photos

big problem ,if you grind holder plus tool,then replace it on lathe what happens to the grinding dust that will get behind the tool and on the threads of the screws of the toolholder. The dust will get onto your lathe slides and will soon wear out your lathe. When grinding your toolbits by hand always wipe any cutting oil of toolbit and then after the tool is sharpened wipe off any dust before replacing in the lathe.

WALLACE14/05/2014 15:41:01
304 forum posts
17 photos
Hi Nigel.

This is true - although I've switched to diamond wheels to try and keep the dust down...

It would possibly make a bit more sense to have another go at my 'universal' tool holder to take a partong off blade at the right angle.. or even a holder just for them.

Milling out a complete Dickson type is startingto look like overkill - esespecially if the grinding dust problem is added...

Thanks for the thoughts !

Clive Foster14/05/2014 17:07:31
3105 forum posts
107 photos


Considered same sort of thing myself some time back and agree that making a whole Dickson is way overkill. Before kicking the whole idea into the "life's too short" bin I concluded that for such light duties an angle plate with a Dickson adapter on the face would do just fine.

My back of envelope reckons this way is practical. Screw two bars onto a suitably thick steel backplate, screw heads to rear. Machine bars to profile and spacing to fit Dickson holder. Screw plate to vertical side of angle bracket and drill both for Tee bolt. Make Tee bolt to fit Dickson holder with suitably coarse thread so around 1/3 rd turn covers range from dead tight to loose for removal / fitting. Finally arrange or make fittings to hold bracket on grinder, probably best if position and alignment is repeatable, and job done.


Howard Lewis16/05/2014 20:50:59
6040 forum posts
14 photos

To reduce/minimise the amount of cast Iron dust, (can't do much about the graphite) put a magnet as near as is safe to the point of cut, and cover with newspaper, or plastic sheet.

Most of the Ferrite will be attracted to the magnet. Afterwards, remove sheet and magnet, and hold over the scrap bin. Remove magnet, and most of the rubbish will fall off. Brush off the rest with an old / cheap paint brush, (I use a cheap pastry brush) This does help to keep the place cleaner.

At ALL costs, avoid getting the dust on the pot magnet. If you are lucky, you may be able to remove nearly all of it with some BluTack, which can then be thrown away.


WALLACE16/05/2014 21:37:46
304 forum posts
17 photos
Last time I did cast iron, I saved a large jam jar of the stuff... Dad was talking about making a wireless cohera ( that's not in the spell check ! )

I rather like the thought of making a firework by adding naughty ingredients but that's probably not a good idea. ...

Neil Wyatt16/05/2014 21:45:10
18994 forum posts
734 photos
80 articles

Or chuck the magnet in the garden and let the filings rust, after which they can be brushed off.


Edited By Neil Wyatt on 16/05/2014 21:45:29

Clive Foster16/05/2014 21:51:55
3105 forum posts
107 photos

I just stick the magnet in a plastic bag and turn the thing inside out to remove the magnet leaving the dust nicely bagged.


Ian S C17/05/2014 11:30:23
7468 forum posts
230 photos

Wallace, it's Coherer, and the was an article about them in the very first model Engineer and Amateur Electrician, Vol., 1, No., 1 Jan 1898. Ian S C

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