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Popular Mechanics - DIY Fly Cutter

Popular Mechanics - DIY Fly Cutter

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Published by sonofsilas

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Published by: sonofsilas on Jan 30, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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LY-CUTTING is usually carried out with asingle-pointtool mounted in a holder forgripping in the lathe mandrel chuck, or the toolmay be carried in an arbor running between thelathe centres, or, again, a cutter frame attached tothe lathe saddle may be used for this purpose.Although the fly-cutting tool is not primarilyintended for removing large amounts of metal, ithas, nevertheless, the advantages that it is easilyand cheaply made of high-speed steel to anyrequired shape, and when blunted it can bereadily resharpened by straightforward grindingand oilstoning.Milling cutters, on the other hand, are relativelycostly and need special grinding equipment forresharpening. Again, by using a fly-cutter,sharpened on an oilstone, a very tine, chatter-free finish can without difficulty be given to thework, whereas in light lathes a good finish is notalways obtained with the ordinary milling cutter,especially when the teeth have become slightly
Making a Fly-Cutter
A simple form of fly-cutter head for mountingin the self-centring chuck is illustrated in Fig.
 . An easily made fly-cutter with two tool  positions
steel.Two tool housings are provided
theaxial mounting of the tool will serve for allordinary facing work, but when cutting against anoverhanging shoulder the tool is mountedobliquely in the second tool housing.This obliquely-placed hole is best drilled atthe outset and before the bar is cut to the
length. If the work is set at an angle of
deg.for drilling this hole, the drill will be deflectedblunted. and the drilling will be out of line even if thedrill does not break in the process. To giveguidance to the drill point at starting, a hole of1/4 in. diameter at its mouth is first drilled at theback of the part with a centre drill and with thework held horizontally in the machine
vice. Next, a drilling guide, made ofmild-steel 1/8 in. in thickness, isclamped to the work, as shown in theillustration. The guide is positionedwith its 1/4in. diameter guide holeexactly over the centre hole alreadydrilled in the work. When the workhas been set in the vice to an angleof
deg., a letter D drill is put rightthrough, and the drilled hole is thenfinished to size with a 1/4 in. diameterreamer. Work the reamer in care-fully, turning it always in a forwarddirection and at the same time apply-ing plenty of cutting oil. The second
 Fig. 2. Showing the details of the fly-cutter parts
or axial tool housing can now bedrilled and reamed, and the centralhole for mounting the shank isThe self-centring chuck can be used for thisdrilled with a letter
or a
in. diameter
as with a single-point tool there is, ofdrill and then tapped 1/8 in. B.S.F.course, no need for the holder to be truly centred ;The shank fitted to the cutter head is shownbut if a milling cutter does not run truly, cuttingmade from a piece of 1/4 in. Whitworth nut-sizewill be intermittent and the bulk of the work willhexagon bar, as this gives the finished tool afall on a few teeth only ; in fact, an eccentricallysecure mounting in the three-jaw chuck. Ifmounted milling cutter will behave rather like apreferred, a round shank can be used, and afly-cutter, but has none of its advantages.tommy hole is drilled across for screwing the headThe head illustrated was made from a shortinto place ; in addition, the backward projectinglength of 5/8 in. x 1 in. mild-steel and is intendedend of the cutter-bit then abuts against one of theto carry cutter-bits of 1/4 in. diameter high-speedchuck jaws and so prevents slipping. When
hexagonal material is used, the shoulderformed on the shank should be machined sothat the head, when screwed firmly home,lies with the tool housings in line with theflats of the hexagon ; this allows the toolshanks to pass between the chuck jaws whenthe fly-cutter is in use. The curved surfacesat the two ends of the head are machinedby gripping the shank in the chuck and
DECEMBER 20, 1951
Showing the method of using the drillguide to form the oblique tool housing
then using a knife tool to take light cuts until aneven finish is obtained. To complete the work,the Allen grub-screws for securing the tools areput in and, after the front and back faces of thehead have been finish turned, the side surfaces ofthe head and the shank are filed to a good finish.It should be noted that the clamp-screws are
The fly-cutter head attached to
lathedriver plate
Fig. 5.
 A fly-cutting attachment for large work 
fitted so that the cutting pressure forces the toolagainst its housing and not against the screwsthemselves.The tool just described,
mounted in the self-centring chuck, will cut on afixed radius of about 5/8 in., but to machine a largerarea the head is unscrewed from the shank andthen attached either to the lathe driver-plate or tothe faceplate with a single clamp-bolt, as isshown in Fig. 4.Other
Forms of Fly-Cutters
Another way of mounting a tool to machine onan extended radius is to use a device like thatillustrated in Fig.
Here, a cast base with a
Fig. 6.Constructional details of the large
T-slot at back and front is bolted to the lathefaceplate, and the toolholder can then be set in thefront T-slot to any radius required, providedthat there is space enough in the lathe bed gap.A square tool is fitted and, as it is a difficultmatter to
a square hole with its sides flat, agrub-screw is inserted at the far end of thehousing so that the tool can obtain an evenbearing and will not tend to rock when securedby the clamping-screws.

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