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Old 08-12-2017, 10:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Jul 2016
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Default Drilling Holes in Blanks

Could've thrown this in the generic "Pen Turning" forum but it's "tools" we're talking about....

I have a pen blank vise and a bench top drill press but the throw on the press is only a couple of inches...and quite honestly, it's a bit of a pain to set up.

I also have the required chucks to drill on my lathe, HOWEVER, the jacobs chuck on the tail stock is not perfectly still when it's running, therefore it drill a "wobbly" hole and makes it VERY difficult to properly secure the tube in the blank.

Any suggestions on what to do or get??
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Old 08-12-2017, 10:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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When you say it is not perfectly still in the tailstock do you mean that it is not securely seated in the morse taper? If that is the case crank the ram out an inch or so and the Jacobs chuck will seat securely and should not wobble.
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Tighten the handle to prevent the quill in the tailstock moving forwards/backwards. Can you wobble the drill chuck now?

YES => the drill chuck is not seated properly or it is defective

NO => everything is fine, loosen the quill lock just enough to allow you to turn the handle that advances the quill. Nearly all quills rattle around a bit when they that handle is fully loosened.
Duncan Suss
website: FruitOfTheLathe | facebook: FruitOfTheLathe

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Old 08-12-2017, 12:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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A sharp well ground drill bit really really wants to center on a rotating object. For small bits and not very deep holes a hand held handle with a drill bit drills centered holes very nicely.

As size increases and depth increases the torque to hand hold becomes excessive and mechanical aid of the tailstock comes into play. The bit still wants to center, and the trick becomes one of getting the tailstock rams and drill bit holder lined up with center of rotation. (Note that physical center of the blank and center of rotation are often not quite the same.)

It helps a lot if the drill bit is close to parallel or right on the centerline of rotation.

One of my lathes does not hit center nor stay aligned with center line of roation unless I carefully push the tailstock against the back of the bed.

Crud in morse tapers, dings on arbor tapers, etc helps get the alignment off.

I test by using "unph" to push the loose tailstock forward to make light contact with the blank and drill bit (blank turning at low speed) to see if self centering is happening.

Bit first be sure you have a really sharp drill bit and have marked the center of rotation.
Ken Vaughan
Old Apprentice Machinist - learning a new knee in Tucson
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Old 08-12-2017, 02:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Your drill chuck arbor may be long for your lathe, extend the quill about 1" before seating the drill chuck. Then back it up until you feel resistance.
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Old 08-12-2017, 06:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Some Tailstocks have an eject feature, where as mentioned above, if the quill is far enough enough, it will push any MT2 item out of the quill. Extend your quill.

Also, wipe off the chuck taper, and blow out and wipe out the quill. If you get small debris in the taper, it won't seat properly, and will rattle free.

Check both the male and female tapers for defects, if there is some, it might be affecting the alignment or not letting it seat properly.
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