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Thread: Mini ball lathe tool

  1. #1
    Christophe Mineau's Avatar
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    Jul 2014
    France, Brittany !
    Thanked 1,143 Times in 398 Posts

    Christophe Mineau's Tools

    Mini ball lathe tool

    Here is a fine little tool that allows to turn relatively easily some small balls on the lathe.
    The initial purpose of these balls is to make woodwind instrument ball shape posts for supporting keys.

    This idea comes from a Youtube channel owned by the user "slausonm", many thanks to him !

    The tool is very simple, it's formed with an HSS bar drilled with a hole at the end.

    Here are the photos :

    Drilling the HSS bar with a carbide glass drill bit. Works like a charm !

    Beveling, making a cutting edge with my high speed motor on the tool post.

    Here I am making a square tool holder, I didn't have one yet ...

    Here is the tool in its support.

    Two different diameters on both ends.

    And here is how it is used.
    First , starting by a cylinder, the same diameter as the hole in the bar, it will be the diameter of the ball.
    Here I am using the caliper depth gauge in order to setup my parting tool.

    Making a small groove at the base of the ball.

    Now the compound is set at a 30 angle.
    The tool is installed, and it is set so that the right inner edge is aligned with the tip of the workpiece
    (see the red dash line)

    Start machining the ball using first the cross slide, until the ball is half formed. (Red arrow)

    And then, use the compound slide to finish the ball, in the 30 direction (Red Arrow)

    Here is the ball !
    There is always a small point at the tip ...

    Which is cleaned up with a file.

    Here this is just a detail of how the base can be turned down and threaded with a die.

    And here is a sample ball post.

    This is something not so common on the Web, I thank again Mathew Slausonm for having showed the method !
    Cheers !
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  2. The Following 7 Users Say Thank You to Christophe Mineau For This Useful Post:

    Jon (03-19-2018), PJs (03-19-2018), Seedtick (03-19-2018), that_other_guy (01-07-2019), thehomeengineer (03-19-2018), Toolmaker51 (03-19-2018), tooly (03-19-2018)

  3. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Thanked 11 Times in 7 Posts

    Topos's Tools
    Incredibly brilliant execution, stellar presentation, and most generous in detail showing.
    Your technique will be used immediately for a long dormant project. Please
    accept admiration and gratitude.

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to Topos For This Useful Post:

    Christophe Mineau (03-20-2018)

  5. #3
    Kneil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    That's neat. Never saw it done that way before.

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to Kneil For This Useful Post:

    Christophe Mineau (03-20-2018)

  7. #4
    Toolmaker51's Avatar
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    Feb 2016
    Midwest USA
    Thanked 1,620 Times in 984 Posts

    Toolmaker51's Tools
    Quote Originally Posted by Christophe Mineau View Post
    Hi, Here is a fine little tool that allows to turn relatively easily some small balls on the lathe.
    The initial purpose of these balls is to make woodwind instrument ball shape posts for supporting keys.
    Far more efficient than generating a radius on a wheel to grind a common form tool. Not to mention in this small diameter. We Thank You Christophe in both finding and relaying to us collectively. Makes me want to experiment with elongated shapes. I have a project awaiting a socket and ball [teardrop, actually] arrangement.
    ...we'll learn more by wandering than searching...

  8. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Toolmaker51 For This Useful Post:

    Aussie48 (03-20-2018), Christophe Mineau (03-20-2018), PJs (03-20-2018)

  9. #5
    Content Editor DIYer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Thanked 934 Times in 860 Posts

    Thanks Christophe Mineau! We've added your Mini Ball Lathe Tool to our Machining category,
    as well as to your builder page: Christophe Mineau's Homemade Tools. Your receipt:

  10. #6
    ncollar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Thanked 165 Times in 120 Posts
    I see how you did it and I must say very inelegant and beautifully done.
    Thanks for sharing

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