Sunday , November 23 2014
Recent Articles
Home > Forum

Forum

A A A

Please consider registering
guest

Log In Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search:

— Forum Scope —



— Match —



— Forum Options —




Wildcard usage:
*  matches any number of characters    %  matches exactly one character

Minimum search word length is 4 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

Topic RSS
Different metals and how they turn
March 24, 2013
1:57 AM
symesy
New Member
Forum Posts: 11
Member Since:
March 14, 2013
Offline
1
0

Hey guys, 

 

Again sorry for my beginner questions. 

 

I went to the scrap yard the other day to get some aluminium for a job, found a crappy looking old piece of 39mm round stock which was perfect. After getting it home and putting it on the lathe I was absolutely amazed at how well it turned, couldnt make a bad cut. Then I had a piece of 10mm steel bar in there and its horrible to turn, very grabby and binding a lot. 

 

So I was wondering what metals are good to turn and which are bad? I want to make my jobs look good with out filing and sanding all the time.

 

Thanks in advance, 

Symesy

March 24, 2013
9:56 PM
ironring1
Vancouver, BC
Member
Forum Posts: 537
Member Since:
July 23, 2010
Offline
2
0

Hi, Symesy.  As you progress, you'll find that "aluminum" or "steel" just aren't descriptive enough to tell you how well it machines.  You need to know what alloy you are working with.  Some aluminum turns beautifully, whereas other alloys are gummy and can form a crust on your cutting tool.  6061 and 6063 are not supposed to machine terribly well, but end up machining well enough.  Alloys with more silicone in them, which are used for castings machines really, really well. 

As for steel, I would go so far as to say that no other metal varies in its machinability as much as it (jump and correct me if I'm wrong here, guys ;) ).  Not only do you have to worry about which alloy you have, you need to know if it is hardened or not, how much it's been hardened, etc.  When I was starting out, I made the mistake of grabbing a bar of scrap from the local dealer, thinking that it would be perfect for practicing on.  In my ignorance, I grabbed a piece of structural steel!  The stuff was so tough that it just tore through my tool bits rather than the other way around!  Of course, I bet that I could machine the stuff a little better today, but it probably would be hard-going nonetheless.  Another thing to avoid is ground shaft (very high surface hardness).  The best machining steel that I have ever worked with is 12L14, which has a little lead in it that makes if cut super smoothly.  1018 is a good all-round alloy, I fined.  If you google.  Finally, if you have a tool bit that is ground properly, brass can be a joy to turn, but can get a little pricy for "practice work" :)

 

The last thing that I will say is to watch your speeds and feeds.  Each material has cutting speeds specified for it, and if you follow those guidelines, you will find that your cuts will be much nicer and your tool bits will last longer!

 

-Chris

March 30, 2013
11:14 PM
Tyler
Seattle, WA
Admin
Forum Posts: 2177
Member Since:
January 9, 2009
Offline
3
0

Never apologize for beginner questions. There are plenty of forums out there that get snippy with beginners. This (proudly) isn't one of them. This site was started for amateurs by an amateur (me). I still learn from beginner questions. So keep asking them!

I can second Chris's recommendation on 12L14. I just turned my first piece a few days ago and it wasn't gummy at all.

OnlineMetals.com has a metal buying guide that talks about different alloys and their machinability. They also sell bar stock sets in different diameters for aluminum and steel in 3' lengths. It's a relatively inexpensive way to get a variety of sizes of the same material.

NOTE: I'm a single dad working two full-time jobs as a web developer and college instructor.  So if it takes me a few days to respond please don't take it personally. If it's urgent please send me a Private Message.

TIPS:

  • Remember to subscribe to your posts so that you'll receive an e-mail update whenever a member replies.
  • If you are having trouble posting pictures, be sure to visit the FAQ section of the forum for instructions.
  • If you are having trouble viewing the forum posts, consider trying a different browser like Firefox or Chrome.
Forum Timezone: America/Vancouver

Most Users Ever Online: 93

Currently Online:
18 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Top Posters:

ironring1: 537

norman: 496

Alexander m: 468

Mtw fdu: 408

GarethBell: 394

Titaniumboy: 376

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 6

Members: 23342

Moderators: 4

Admins: 2

Forum Stats:

Groups: 6

Forums: 20

Topics: 1578

Posts: 12768

Newest Members: StuC, cvarrin, TorontoBuilder, ACME ANVIL CO., beerian2014, milo777, jsmoore749, TheLefty, idahojim, Ranger, brahma, Unloaded, joeelite, Ryan, our_man, Rozenkruetz, rogeretp, dhd, JEstes, romulas13

Moderators: snigit (1), madreptillian (99), Jerry (590), rleete (176)

Administrators: Tyler (2177), Mr Papa (0)

[adrotate group="4"]