Thursday , February 22 2018
Home > Lathe Projects > New Project: Plans for a MT3 Die Holder (for 1″ and 1.5″ Dies)

New Project: Plans for a MT3 Die Holder (for 1″ and 1.5″ Dies)

Here’s a set of plans for a handy Die Holder that fits any lathe with a #3 Morse Taper tailstock.

The aluminum body of the die holder holds the die perpendicular to the axis of the spindle rotation and rotates freely around a steel shaft firmly inserted into the tailstock. This ensures that your part is threaded perfectly.

Here’s a picture of the Die Holder with a 1.5″ die inserted:

Here’s a picture of the Die Holder flipped 180 degrees with a 1″ die inserted:

I got the idea from Steve Bedair’s Die Holder and I adapted it to look similar to a smaller die holder sold here by LittleMachineShop.com.

I created the plans myself using Autodesk Inventor. It was my first attempt using the software, and my first time drawing up plans for the machine trade – so if there are any errors please let me know and I’ll do my best to fix them.

Here are the plans (in PDF format):

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About Tyler

Tyler is a hobby machinist and 3D printing aficionado. He teaches computer programming and web development at Highline College near Seattle. Tyler founded Projects In Metal in 2008 because he was frustrated by the lack of free plans available for hobby machinists.

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21 comments

  1. Tyler Tyler he's our man, if he can't do it no one can GoooooooooooooTyler!

    OK, I need Inventor from Autodesk. Your drawings look mahvelous. Um, if I come and measure your die holder will I see a bunch of +.001/-0.000 measurements? I don't think so. Those tolerances are way too tight, this is a die holder not a Lasik machine. Save the precision for stuff that matters. 

    Really really nice effort Tyler.

    Barry

  2. … Um, if I come and measure your die holder will I see a bunch of +.001/-0.000 measurements? I don't think so. Those tolerances are way too tight, this is a die holder not a Lasik machine. Save the precision for stuff that matters. 


    Embarassed I assume you're talking about the dimensions of the shaft. I was trying to make it clear that you needed to make the hole in the body of the die holder at least .001 larger than the diameter of the shaft, any smaller and it wouldn't fit (hence the “-0000). I really need to read up on dimensioning and tolerances – I tend to over-complicate things. Please don't come over armed with an arsenal of high precision measuring equipment … my die holder won't hold up to the scrutiny. My hole actually ended up being about .004 oversized, which was disappointing to the perfectionist in me, but perfectly suitable to lazy part of me (aka the voice of reason) that kept me from scrapping the part just because it wasn't as snug a fit as I was trying for. Even at .004 over, the tool functions perfectly.

    But yes, you're absolutely right. I need to learn what's important and what's not when it comes to drawing up my projects. I think I'll revisit my copy of Blueprint Reading for the Machine Trades that you gave me!

  3. Hello

    Can you actually turn the holder when cutting the treads with only the knurl as grip? I am soon gonna make one of these(smaller scale) and was wondering how you use it?

                                     Johnny

  4. Hi Johnny,

    I've found the grip to be adequate even on very large threads, but that's partly because the barrel is a large diameter so it's easy to grab. If you decide to make a smaller version it might not be as easy to use by hand (although it might, since you'll likely be making smaller threads and using smaller dies). Some designs have a hole drilled in them for a “tommy bar” to provide extra leverage. I've never needed one so I didn't put that in my design. 

  5. Cool! I was thinking a tommy bar adition would do it. Thanks

  6. Tyler,

    Nice design. I just found a dimension i thought you had omitted. I guess i should be more observant!

  7. @Zoomie, I'm glad you found the dimension. I get an email message on my phone whenever someone posts to the site, but if I'm out of town I really can't follow up until I get home. I just got home and logged in to check the plans to see if they were indeed missing the dimension you mentioned, but I saw that you'd edited your post (I don't get an email when posts are edited, only when someone posts new posts).

    Anyway, I'm glad you found the plans to be complete. In the future please feel free to bring any descrepancies to my attention. I make a lot of mistakes, so the more people point them out the more I learn. Laugh

  8. Hi Tyler couuld you please tell me about the Autodesk Inventor i would like to purchase it.

  9. Hello & welcome, What do you want Inventor for?

    There are a number of alternatives you could try, Autodesk Inventor is not cheap.

    Try doing a search for Rhino3d, Vectorworks, Varicad, and Solidedge, these are the cheaper end of the market.

    Inventor, Solidworks, and Solidedge are the mid range of the market (solidedge has offerings for both bottom & middle markets)

    If you want to do 3D design then any of the above will do the job very well, unless you've got a bottomless money pit don't even bother to look at NX or Catia.

    However if you just want to do 2D drawings, then I will recommend Draftsight, I use it for all of my 2D stuff and the best of all it's FREE, and it's made be the same people who make Solidworks & Catia.

    I hope this helps 

    Lokii

  10. Good work thanks for all that info.

  11. Your welcome.

    If you have any more questions just ask, either start a thread or PM me

    Lokii

  12. OK guys, I need to make one of these holders now that I have a couple of 2″ dies that I need to use and don’t have a holder for them:)

     

    Im going to start off with 3″ dia Ally or stainless (whichever the local merchant has in stock), that will leave 1/2″ for the die securing grub screws. I had planned to make it 4.72″ long as per Tyler’s plans so my stock will need to be about 6″ long (4.72″ + enough for jaws to grab onto and leave space for the parting tool).

     

    Bearing in mind my little experience, how should I set about making the die holder?  I don’t have a fixed steady and can only get 1″ dia down the headstock.

    Im thinking that I should do the outer work first using a live centre to support the end, then drill and bore out the inside but Im concerned that there is a lot of material to remove (0.998″ DIA and my largest drill is a 16mm) over quite a long distance (4.72″) with only the jaws to hold things in place.

     

    Any thoughts or words of wisdom?

     

    Thx

    J

     

  13. Jon, I hope some of the smarter guys pipe in here but I think you’re on the right track. For what its worth, I have read that you can have about 2 1/2 times the diameter out of the chuck before needing to support it. If that is true you could have the 4.72″ out okay.(3″ diameter X 2.5 = 7.5) Drilling will be a bit tricky as I presume your5/8 drill isn’t 152.4mm long. (See how I can convert from mm to inches?)Wink What you might try is to drill the hole before doing the outer work. You could drill as far as you can, turn the work around in the chuck and drill from the other side. Then as you do the outer work and boring everything will true up. Remember, if you remove the work, due to run out of the chuck when you put it back it probably will not be true. (I am presuming you are not using a 4 jaw chuck. If you are then you can just re-true the work.)

    One thing I have done with my 3 jaw chuck is mark my work and one of the jaws with a sharpie and I can get it pretty close.

    Like I said, I hope some of the smarter guys chime in but this should give you something to mull over.

    Sammy

  14. I would chuck the raw material by not bottoming it in the chuck if it has a raw cut end.  I like to get it “sliding tight” and then push it in with w/ live center, turning a bit to find  the best natural-true OD and crank it down.  Face the small end, center drill and finish sizing the OD back the the die boss.  Flip it, drill center and size the large end OD, ID and bore depth.  It’s the most important fit right now and if you miss it, you may want to start over and not continue with this piece. At this point you also need to stop and knurl it while you have a true chucking surface and a live center hole.

    I would then drill a center hole with the longest, largest diameter bit that would make it through, starting with about 3/8″ and finishing with preferably an .875″. Next I would  finish the through-bore with a 5/8″ boring bar to hit your 1.001″ dimension.  The chuck will hold it OK if you take small passes (.020 – .030″). 

  15. Thanks Sammy for your input. As always, greatly appreciated.

    Fabrickator said
    …Flip it, drill center and size the large end OD, ID and bore depth.  It’s the most important fit right now and if you miss it, you may want to start over and not continue with this piece. At this point you also need to stop and knurl it while you have a true chucking surface and a live center hole… 

    Fabrikator,

    Thanks for your input also.  Im not real clear in my mind on the above bit though – particularly the bit that talks about sizing the ID and bore depth and then mentions knurling.  I assume you mean face the 2nd end, centre drill for tailstock then size the large OD, then knurl, and then bore the inner ID to accommodate the larger die and thereafter put the drill right through the middle.

     

     

    Also, how important is it to knurl the outer surface?  Can sufficient hand grip be gained without the knurling? I don’t have a knurling tool yet so may need to leave that step out and rely on putting a few holes in it to accept a tommy bar.  If it is important, as a get me by, I think I will turn down a 4″ DIA 3″ long bit of 1045 steel I have lying around until I get a knurling tool.

     

    Jon

  16. My thought was, why bother with the knurling and boring until you know you have a usable part. I was talking about finishing all the die end dimensions before you bother knurling.  If you don’t have a knurling tool, a Tommy bar will work fine.  The last thing I would do would be to drill and then bore.  If you plan on knurling, you usually use a live center to prevent chatter and if you bore it, you would need to use a bull center. 

     

     

  17. Fabrickator said
    My thought was, why bother with the knurling and boring until you know you have a usable part. I was talking about finishing all the die end dimensions before you bother knurling.  If you don’t have a knurling tool, a Tommy bar will work fine.  The last thing I would do would be to drill and then bore.  If you plan on knurling, you usually use a live center to prevent chatter and if you bore it, you would need to use a bull center. 

     

     

    Thanks Fabrickator,

    Makes perfect sense…

    I do lik the idea of knurling the final tool though and being able to get a good hand grip on it.  I think I may have a go on the bit of 1045 I have lying around, I think I should be able to get a holder out of it if I use a tommy bar.

     

    Thx

    J

  18. I had some time today to play in the garage:) I like the idea of knurling the handle so decided to put the bit of stainless I got back on the shelf until I get a knurling tool and make a “get me by” die holder so that I can finish the could of jobs I need to do… Also gave me some machining practice!

    This is what I ended up with – the lathe work was good practice and made me think about the order in which I did things, but easy enough.  I put a 20mm bore through the centre so that I can machine a spindle that the die holder can spin on, this will be either chuck mounted or I may buy a MT2 blank that I can machine a suitable end on.

    The overall length is governed by nothing more than the length of stock I had – I wanted it to be as long as possible to give it as much bearing as possible on its spindle.  The 2″ end holds a 15mm thick die and then has sufficient space to put holes for an 8mm tommy bar behind. 

    The scribe mark on the last picture is the centre-line of where I need to drill the allen bolt holes, its not a machining mistake mark:)

     

    Question though… whats the best way to set out and drill the holes for the allen bolts?  To end up looking like the attached pdf model?

     

    I don’t have a dividing head or any means of drilling at 90 degrees to the lathe bed.  I do have a drill press but that only has a small 2″ vice I can use on it (at the moment).  I also have a 5″ Dawn vice and a battery drill!  I had thought that if my little vice is big enough then I could probably mark it out and then drill on the drill press but Id welcome anyones thoughts.

     

    Thx

    Jon

    25-50mm-Die-Holder-1045-Steel-3.JPGImage Enlarger

    25-50mm-Die-Holder-1045-Steel-2.JPGImage Enlarger

    25-50mm-Die-Holder-1045-Steel-1.JPGImage Enlarger

     

  19. Sure, just layout the holes on the part, center punch, set it up in the vice on it’s side and use the drill press. Be careful lining up your mark(s) and finding center so it will drill straight.  Use a center drill to start the hole(s) and go for it.

    To find center, I use one of these all the time and they work pretty darn good.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Center…..1034176895

  20. Ok, so the temporary die holder is now finished… Apart from replacing the bolts I have to hand with some 20mm long Allan / cap head bolts.

     

    I used M5 bolts to hold the 1″ dies in place as they are only 10mm thick.  The 2″ dies are 15mm thick so I used M6 for those – all need to be 20mm long.

     

    The main holders are made from 1045 and the spindle to hold in the chuck is regular mild steel.

     

    In this pic you can see the spindle, main holder and the add-on holder to accommodate the snap-on die’s that I have (28.5mm dia):

    https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3943/15721175561_ede18f23a8_o.jpgImage Enlarger

    Die Holder #1 by Jon_Kelly, on Flickr

     

    This Pic shows the full assembly:

    https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7492/15103146124_0acf429e8a_o.jpgImage Enlarger

    Die Holder #2 by Jon_Kelly, on Flickr

     

    This one shows the 2″ die arrangement:

    https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7470/15103719613_50e331f4e8_o.jpgImage Enlarger

    Die Holder #3 by Jon_Kelly, on Flickr

     

    This on shows the 1″ arrangement:

    https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7462/15699384036_ae8120b2d9_o.jpgImage Enlarger

    Die Holder #4 by Jon_Kelly, on Flickr

     

    Ive used it a few times now on all of my 3 die sizes and whilst it works really well, it would be better with an MT2 shaft that I can put straight into the tailstock rather than a 13mm shaft that is chuck mounted.  I would also make the spindle element an inch or so longer.

    It works so well that I don’t think I’ll bother making the longer version that has the knurled section.

     

    R

    Jon

     

  21. Slightly annoyed this morning… My 1″ dies are admittedly cheap Chinese ones but its seems that a few of them have different OD’s, i.e. not all exactly 1″.

     

    About half of them are up to a good 0.4mm smaller than the 25.4 that they should be.  Whilst it doesn’t sound a lot, when they are in the holder they are not quite on centre – seems OK in soft metals, but I had to cut an M6 thread on 316 stainless and getting it started was a PITA.

     

    By contrast, the Snap-on ones and 2″ ones I have are all spot.