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Old 05-17-2014, 08:47 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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I use to have the same problem, I had excess play in the tailstock, with the colt long 7mm in the drill chuck, I had about 1/2" movement. I drilled and tapped for small bolts and adjusted them so that it was on centre.
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Old 05-17-2014, 09:18 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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There is no need for a metal lathe for precision drilling. A properly set up good quality wood lathe is all you need.
It would be helpful if you provided some more information.
What lathe are you using?
How are your blanks held?
What type drill bits are you using?
Are they sharp?
The more information that you can provide the better the answers you will get.
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Old 05-17-2014, 09:30 AM   #13 (permalink)
 
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I should have been more informative earlier.
This image shows a round nose scraper that I use to start the 'dimple' for the drill bit. I should also say here that I turn all of my blanks round first and get then the same diameter all along the length. This seems to help with alignment in the scroll chuck.
The 4 blanks shown have been turned round after drilling them with a center drill and turning them between centers. I typically bore from the cut end so I need to align it in the chuck prior to drilling.
With the cut end out when held in the chuck I clean up the end with a flat square scraper and then start the hole with the round scraper.
When everything is centered using a dial indicator the hole stays on target.
If I feel any vibration at all then something is out of whack and the hole may never be centered and true.
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Old 05-17-2014, 09:35 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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I pretty much follow Dale's example (less the scraper) but I do use the Nova Pen Plus Jaws. Since switching to the Pen Plus Jaws, my drilling accuracy has been spot on.
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Old 05-17-2014, 10:31 AM   #15 (permalink)
 
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I am using a Jet1014 lathe. I have checked the accuracy of the centers meeting, and it is very accurate. I use a collet chuck to hold the piece I am working on. When the tail stock is locked down, there is no chatter. It only starts to vibrate when I have a long drill in the chuck and I loosen the quill.

If I were drilling for tubes it would be no issue. The problem happens when I am step drilling, or trying to make small, precise holes, as in a fountain pen section.
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Old 05-17-2014, 10:47 AM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whaler View Post
What lathe are you using?
How are your blanks held?
What type drill bits are you using?
Are they sharp?
The more information that you can provide the better the answers you will get.
The lathe is a Jet 1014.
Alumilite blanks are rounded between centers, then a short piece is held in a collet chuck.
Standard length drills, all sharp.

I center drill a small hole first. This helps with the first drilling. But often times I need to drill a second or third size. If the drill wobbles even 1 mm, then the end result is not acceptable for following with a tap or die.
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Old 05-17-2014, 12:26 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penfetish View Post
I am using a Jet1014 lathe. I have checked the accuracy of the centers meeting, and it is very accurate.
Have you tested the accuracy with the quill at full extension?

(Just because the points meet with the quill retracted doesn't mean they'll meet when it's extended.)

Try this further test:

- put a thin (1/8" or less) drill bit in your Jacobs chuck, and put that in the tailstock;

- put a spur drive or dead center in the headstock

- with the quill racked all the way back (just before it auto-ejects the Jacobs chuck) bring the tailstock up and check that the tip of the drill meets the point of the spur drive

- slightly loosen the Jacobs chuck in the tailstock, rotate 180 degrees, and tighten up again ... still aligned?

- loosen the tailstock and draw it back a couple of inches, then clamp it again

- rack the quill forwards till the tip of the drill bit meets the spur drive ... still aligned?

- rotate the Jacobs chuck 180 degrees again ... still aligned?

- spin the headstock 180 degrees ... still aligned?

These tests verify that the head and tailstock are on the same axis (the axis of rotation of the lathe).
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Old 05-17-2014, 12:27 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Well, it looks like you are doing things very similar to what many here do.
One other step that I did not mention because many here would not think it necessary.
When I have the blank in the chuck and before doing anything else to it, I use a dial indicator to be sure it is turning as near to perfect that I can get it. By putting the indicator on the outside of the blank and turning the chuck by hand you can see if the blank is running dead center. For me, this is probably the most important step and it usually takes me some time to get it right by moving the blank in different positions within the chuck.
One other aspect that is much more difficult to determine is if the centerline of the chuck is straight with the centerline of the tailstock. Just making sure the points of the centers meet does not necessarily make that true.
One last thing to check is the runout on the spindle. I deal with a .002" runout on my HF lathe and never could get rid of it, so when I check a drilled blank and the wall thickness is within .002" measured in 3 places, I know that is as good as it gets for my setup.
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Old 05-17-2014, 12:57 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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One piece of debris in the tailstock morse taper makes all the other steps to achieve precision worth very little. It causesvibration too.
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Old 05-17-2014, 12:59 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Threads like this make me really love my drill press.
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