Nylon Gears for my Metal Lathe

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rherrell

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Aug 22, 2006
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6,127
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Pilot Mountain, NC
I wanted to quiet down my lathe a little so I searched for some nylon gears that would fit. No luck, my gears are a Module 1.25mm and nobody had any.
So, I decided to make my own and after waiting 3 weeks for the cutter to arrive I got to work.

First thing to do was to make two mandrels, one to hold the nylon and the other for the gear cutter...

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Next step was turning the nylon to size...

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Stringy stuff!!!

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Next step, cutting the gear teeth...

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Next I parted the blank into four pieces...

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Then I modified one of my expanding mandrels so I could clean up the outside of all four gears..

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Now it was time to broach the keyway slot, I used my mill as a press and since this was nylon it worked well. Not something I would do on a steel gear...
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Here are the four nylon gears along with the steel ones they replaced. I'm keeping two for spares...

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And finally, here they are installed on my lathe...

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The big main gear remains steel.

I'm REALLY happy with the outcome, it made a SIGNIFICANT difference in the loudness of my lathe!!!

Thanks for looking!
 
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duncsuss

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Jun 29, 2012
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1,900
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Wilmington, MA
Most excellent!

I read there's another potential benefit of having a nylon gear - not that you'd let this happen, but if the carriage does bottom out against the headstock it will strip the nylon teeth before anything else gets damaged, a kind of mechanical circuit breaker.
 

Woodchipper

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Mar 15, 2017
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Cleveland, TN
Nylon will dry out and get brittle over time. I have a fishing reel that has nylon gears. After a while, the teeth stripped off. Fortunately, I found a shop that had the gears in stock. I put in the new gears and put the reel on the shelf. Not confident that I can find them again as the reel is over 45 years old. Fishing reels have a habit of becoming obsolete and parts become nonexistent.
 

egnald

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Jun 9, 2017
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Location
Columbus, Nebraska, USA
Hi Rick - that is pretty cool. I think it is hard for most people to understand the self gratification that comes from doing a project like that. Congratulations - Dave
 

rherrell

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Aug 22, 2006
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6,127
Location
Pilot Mountain, NC
Nylon will dry out and get brittle over time. I have a fishing reel that has nylon gears. After a while, the teeth stripped off. Fortunately, I found a shop that had the gears in stock. I put in the new gears and put the reel on the shelf. Not confident that I can find them again as the reel is over 45 years old. Fishing reels have a habit of becoming obsolete and parts become nonexistent.
I don't have 45 years left on this planet so I'm not worried. :):):)
 

Bryguy

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Joined
Jun 9, 2013
Messages
848
Location
New Hampshire
Impressive work Rick! I'm at the very beginning of the learning curve for my machining skills. This blows me away.
 
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