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Thread: Make Square Holes with a Square Bit

  1. #1
    Crusty's Avatar
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    Make Square Holes with a Square Bit

    I find that I sometimes need to make knobs which can exert more torque than that of a hand gripped knob so I made a rotary broach to "drill" " square holes in them to accept any " square drive tool.

    Make Square Holes with a Square Bit-new-broaching-bit.jpg

    I made this rotary broach starting with an adjustable tool holder and then machined a bronze cup bearing and a steel tool carrier. The cap half of the tool holder has been machined so that its flange is 1 off of perpendicular and then installed pushed all the way to one end of its travel.

    If a rod is inserted into its axis and the assembly rotated in a lathe chuck, the rod will appear to make an X shape as it rotates, and I make my broach bits so that they are the exact length as the crossover of the X and so don't trace a circle when rotated against a workpiece. Due to the geometry one corner point is closer to the work than the rest and it pushes the chisel point a small amount into each corner of the hole in succession removing a bit more metal as it does each time.

    This broach bit is made from a lathe tool with the end dished out for rake using a Dremel with a cutting disc and mounted on center in my tool post, and then each flat side is ground with a slight relief angle.

    The bit cuts much like a woodworking mortising bit except that the bulk drilling and corner chiseling are done in two separate operations. The thrust force is high so lots of lube is required but the corner cutting actually goes surprisingly fast and when I look down into the hole afterwards the waste appears like a four petal flower whose petals are turned inward instead of outward and they break out easily with a scriber. I've tested a square socket in aluminum and I can put as much torque on it as is possible with a ratchet handle of that size with no damage to the socket.
    If you can't make it precise make it adjustable.

  2. The Following 10 Users Say Thank You to Crusty For This Useful Post:

    Altair (06-24-2019), baja (06-25-2019), DIYSwede (06-25-2019), Gromet (06-29-2019), Jon (06-23-2019), olderdan (06-24-2019), old_toolmaker (06-25-2019), Seedtick (06-24-2019), that_other_guy (06-25-2019), threesixesinarow (06-25-2019)

  3. #2
    Content Editor Altair's Avatar
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    Thanks Crusty! We've added your Rotary Broach to our Machining category,
    as well as to your builder page: Crusty's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:




  4. #3
    old_toolmaker's Avatar
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    Crusty,

    Very interesting project! It appears as though I will have to place this project on my "to do" list.
    Nice job and thanks for sharing!
    Dick


    Links to some of my plans:

    http://www.homemadetools.net/forum/f...6068#post65876 OFF-SET TAILSTOCK CENTER PLANS
    http://www.homemadetools.net/forum/s...995#post112113 SMALL TURRET TOOL POST PLANS
    http://www.homemadetools.net/forum/l...994#post112111 LARGE TURRET TOOL POST PLANS
    http://www.homemadetools.net/forum/m...383#post110340 MINI-LATHE CARRIAGE LOCK PLANS
    http://www.homemadetools.net/forum/s...191#post106483 SMALL QC TOOL POST PLANS
    http://www.homemadetools.net/forum/q...849#post119345 QUICK CHANGE LATHE TURRET
    http://www.homemadetools.net/forum/m...949#post119893 MINI LATHE COMPOUND PIVOT MODIFICATION

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    Crusty's Avatar
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    Thanks, and BTW the broaches can be any shape that you can grind a cutting edge into, hex, octagonal, etc. I used square because I already had a ready made blank to start with and that shape does the job I needed it to. For a hex broach you might be able to start with an Allen wrench if you can harden it. You can find used adjustable tool holders on Ebay for not too much and they save a lot of time in construction.

    One thing I would do differently is to capture the bit so that it can be withdrawn using the lathe or mill that it's mounted in because the simple way that I made mine means that I have to use vise grips to get the bit out of the work afterwards.

    A couple of more details: Drill your bulk removal hole diameter 100-103% of the distance from flat to opposite flat and countersink it a bit before broaching. Run the lathe or mill at a relatively high rpm.
    Last edited by Crusty; 06-30-2019 at 09:39 AM.
    If you can't make it precise make it adjustable.

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    DIYSwede (06-25-2019)

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    Need more details and pictures, nice job, Thank You.

    Ralph

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    Carpenter & blacksmith Philip Davies's Avatar
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    Make Square Holes with a Square Bit-image.jpg
    I thought that you might find this interesting. I haven’t tried it myself. But the book it is in has been a tremendous asset for over 40 years. It is “The Modern Blacksmith” by Alexander Weygers. He wrote and illustrated 3 books, now available in a single volume.


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