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  1. #1
    Frank S's Avatar
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    A different style boring head

    No argument when it comes to boring heads the way to go is with a dovetailed slide with index-able adjustment screw.
    But not everyone can afford to buy a good one or simply do not want to have to drive to the machinist supply store. So they make their own and several here on HMT.net have made some really great ones.
    I am working on a project that is going to require 2 holes bored in 1 inch steel plate these holes will need to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 3.5" or just under 90 mm. SO I started digging around for some scrap pieces to make a boring head out of I found a cutout slug from a piece of ASTM 514 or T1 steel, about 1 1/2" thick and roughly 3 3/4" diameter perfect for the main body then I located a piece of cut off mystery round bar 3 inches long and 2 3/4" diameter.I'm pretty sure it was left over from some excavator pins I made but don't remember if I even knew what steel it was. anyway it was the only piece I had, this would work perfect for the sliding cutter holder.
    I'm all set but there is only 1 little problem my dovetail cutters are packed away over 200 miles away. I called the nearest supply house that might have one about 85 miles away but they would have to order one if I could wait 2 weeks for it there would be no freight but if I needed it in 3 days or less it would cost me an additional $30.00 shipping. Forget that I said I could direct order one and have it in 3 or 4 days myself with no shipping charges.
    But I'm not going to do that either. I'm going to make a boring head that doesn't need a slide dove tail T slot or other. I'm going to make a double eccentric and I'm going to make one that anyone can make who has a lathe and a drill press but little other specialized tooling.
    to start off I cleaned up the slug to make it round with reasonably parallel ends. then I chucked it off center in my 3 jaw my reason for doing this was on my lathe it is a drama extreme to change from 3 to 4 jaw chucks then back again this can take an hour and a half due to the spindle nose on my Leblond lathe. Additionally I thought a lot of guys may not even have a 4 jaw chuck . To be honest after I had machined the eccentric bore I thought about I could have simply welded a short piece of shafting on the back of the cleaned up slug set off center where I wanted or needed it to be do the machining then saw it off LOL Hind sight always improves after the fact.
    Next I recenter the part and machined a .500" groove for the tool holder lock.
    Once that was done I cross drilled a 1/2" hole for the set screw I needed a 17/32" drill for the 5/8-11 thread but I don't have one, so I did the next best thing after drilling the 1/2" HOLE I ran a tapered reamer down it the reamer starts at .375 and ends at /625 I ran it in a little over half way then there was no problem tapping with a tapered starting tap
    Next I chucked my tool holder block again off centered After machining it I noticed I had missed the offset by a few.000" and did not get a full round clean up I was going to leave it until I also noticed that I had transposed the distance of the locking grove which meant I had the groove in the wrong place by .125" which would mean my crescent shaped lock piece was going to be a problem.
    New problem no more stock of this size so either have a sloppy under width lock crescent or weld up the surface and re machine it this would mean I could correct the previous offset mistake as well.
    welded up and re machined now to bore the tooling holes Since I needed to offset even further I could not use a space block under one of the jaws so I clocked #3 4 turns of the scroll #3 is the best jaw to clock since when removing them for cleaning #3 is the first one that comes off and the last one to be put back on.
    Next I tried to mill 2 flats for the set screws to secure the cutter tooling. the only end mills I had were 20 pc a set that was given to me last Christmas unfortunately they are better suited for milling soft air than actually having to cut steel. I had used a couple of the 2 fluted ones on aluminum nut had never tried to mill steel other than what I knew to be mild steel or 1018 cold rolled On this stuff though even with coolant the HSS end mill only managed to make 1 cut before becoming so dull it wouldn't do anything. SO I put a short carbide tipped boring bar in a collet then finished making my flats then drilled the 4 holes with a 5/16" cobalt drill bit. Tapping to 3/8 16 was an adventure but I managed without breaking a tap
    Next was to make the crescent lock piece . this was made from a piece of cylinder I found laying around that had roughly the correct inside diameter I cut a segment then ground the outside to shape
    Finally the assembly and a mock up test to check the cutting range. it turns out that in the outer most hole the range is from about 2.5 to 4.25"
    I'm happy and will be really happy when I see it bore the parts I need.
    A different style boring head-20170817_131015a.jpg A different style boring head-20170817_155130a.jpg A different style boring head-20170818_114341a.jpg A different style boring head-20170818_121151a.jpg A different style boring head-20170818_131732a.jpg A different style boring head-20170818_131745a.jpg A different style boring head-20170818_164625a.jpg A different style boring head-20170818_165921a.jpg A different style boring head-20170818_185301a.jpg A different style boring head-20170818_185343a.jpg A different style boring head-20170818_185417a.jpg A different style boring head-20170818_193148a.jpg A different style boring head-20170818_193240a.jpgA different style boring head-20170818_193754a.jpg
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/

  2. The Following 9 Users Say Thank You to Frank S For This Useful Post:

    Cascao (08-29-2017), darkoford (08-25-2017), Jon (08-19-2017), LMMasterMariner (08-19-2017), NickP (08-20-2017), olderdan (08-19-2017), Paul Jones (08-28-2017), rossbotics (08-19-2017), Seedtick (08-20-2017)

  3. #2
    Content Editor DIYer's Avatar
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    Thanks Frank S! We've added your Boring Bar to our Machining category,
    as well as to your builder page: Frank S's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:




  4. #3
    olderdan's Avatar
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    Nice original approach Frank, I would not have thought of that.
    Is desperation the mother of invention perhaps?.

  5. #4
    Frank S's Avatar
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    olderdan, to coin a phrase a mans got to do what a mans got to do. While it may not be as user friendly as a more conventional dovetailed slide it is very stable due largely to both eccentrics having a close fit and the crescent lock fits snugly in both the head body and the tool holder groves pressure from the set bolt which I will be changing out for a regular set screw the next time I manage to go to a good hardware store only needs light pressure to securely lock the 2 parts together.
    I figured out that later should I decide to do so I can mark indexing lines around the tool holder and place a single mark on the head which will make it easier to see how much to rotate the holder for a given bore diameter.
    I can put a real short carbide tool in it and use it as a single point surface or tramming mill head so I am more than pleased with the outcome even if it does look hoggy I wasn't tying to win a beauty contest with it
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/

  6. #5
    marksbug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank S View Post
    olderdan, to coin a phrase a mans got to do what a mans got to do. While it may not be as user friendly as a more conventional dovetailed slide it is very stable due largely to both eccentrics having a close fit and the crescent lock fits snugly in both the head body and the tool holder groves pressure from the set bolt which I will be changing out for a regular set screw the next time I manage to go to a good hardware store only needs light pressure to securely lock the 2 parts together.
    I figured out that later should I decide to do so I can mark indexing lines around the tool holder and place a single mark on the head which will make it easier to see how much to rotate the holder for a given bore diameter.
    I can put a real short carbide tool in it and use it as a single point surface or tramming mill head so I am more than pleased with the outcome even if it does look hoggy I wasn't tying to win a beauty contest with it
    nice work,I ma ke most of my tooling. I would however drill through the center and use a resesed allen head locking bolt to pull the assy up to the main body firmly witch should take out any deflection/movement& possiably chatter. I suppose the key & groove could also of been tapered to help lock it down firmly not just size wize ( kinda like a lock down anglock vice) over all very nice work.I hate when you have to weld up stuff from a goof. I try to make prints and work it all out ahead of time, but that never works out 100% either. And there are always upgrades that come up during manufacturing when the brain kicks in to high gear.....or forgets important stuff.

  7. #6
    Frank S's Avatar
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    marksburg the head works fine the lock key seems to hold it tight enough one problem I have with it is the Mill itself does not have a slow enough spindle speed for using a boring head in a torched cut hole. So to prevent knocking any more tops off of my boring bars I am going to have to pull the plates off the mill then run a cob grinder through them to remove the heat effected layer the steel plates are made out of ASTM 514 so it is hard and tough to begin with. I really need something in the 85 to 150 RPM range for making the first rough cuts instead of the 560RPM bottom speed of this mill. interrupted cuts are murder on cutters and couple that with a torch hardened surface of the inside of the holes it only gets worse from there.
    I may wind up and do a set up on my lathe with the boring bar I made for it to bore these plates I already know that works on hard tough steel such as this.
    I did a cad model of the boring head in Solidworks I looked at trying to use a bolt to lock the 2 parts of the head together but with a double eccentric there is no common center-line so the crescent lock key was about the only solution tapering it would not have improved it but placing 2 spaced 120° apart would have done some and if I see there is an issue later on I may add another groove and a 2nd lock as the head is figgley to make fine adjustments
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/

  8. #7
    marksbug's Avatar
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    only one center line needed to lock togeather. you can thread the body offset hole in the center of it.and go through the center of the smaller round bit/cutter/boring bar holding peice, to hold it. or go through the top if it's offset far enough to clear the shank and tap the smaller bit holding portion. I suppose a second holding lock key could be positioned a third of the way for added support if the through bolt dosent have enough room due to the amount of offset & bar hole size. 2 keys is like a chuck it givs 3 places to hold to keep any vibration or cocking down to a min,thats also why I like a tapered lock down key to help keep it planted.there is a lot of stress and vibration as you see with it killing the cutters on flame cut material, that may be helped some Im not sure, remember only 1 holding key can make a pivot point fir the assy to"rock" in the main body as it contacts the material. I love your idea & work. lately Ive been buying some of the china made cutter heads with multiple indexable incerts(witch are also super cheep coming out of china), there cheep and well made and can be modifyed eazely too. if you had a size that you normaly flame cut then used the boring head one of those close to that size and possiably use it to knock out the flame cut then final size with your boring head. I hate buying china but at 1/8" the cost......I aint no big corporation. and even finding what I need from the normal suppliers ...iffy at best.and most of the time unafordable... ebay & bangood.com is my friend.....and many are free shipping. $6.00 box of 10 incerts with free shipping....and as of yes Ive had no issues with the incerts.Ive probably bought 15 or more boxes of various incerts this year already along with cutter heads,boring bars, tool holders for the lathe, end mills etc, all with various change able inserts. and many of the inserts are name brands,or using Mitsubishi materials& coated else where. keep up the great work!!!

  9. #8
    marksbug's Avatar
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    just an option.

    also with the indexable inserts&bars there are somany different grades, you might just find one that will cut without dystroying it. rough cut, rotate insert,final finish cut.
    as for the mill speed, look at building a jack shaft& extra pully&belt to get the speeds you want, you have the brains&capability to do so!!! I too need a slower speed on my BP....well BP clone, 1979 millport 9x42 ,I did have a small auxzillary motor off the side of my small 1975 enco mill for slow speed stuff.But thats sitting un powered and in the way....along with a lot of stuff in the way.
    Last edited by marksbug; 08-20-2017 at 11:12 AM. Reason: left out somethen

  10. #9
    Frank S's Avatar
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    the jpegs of my drawings may help to see how the assembly is put together
    You are correct if I were to drill through the main body on the center line of the bore for the tool head there may be just enough room to place a socket head bolt and drill / tap the tool head on that center-line as well
    Thanks sometimes we don't see the forest while standing under a tree
    A different style boring head-boring-head.jpg A different style boring head-boring-head2.jpg
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/

  11. #10
    Frank S's Avatar
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    the tool head toes not have the tooling locations drilled all the way through so it is possible to add the set bolt

    A different style boring head-tool-body2.jpg
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/

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