1. Welcome to our site! Electro Tech is an online community (with over 170,000 members) who enjoy talking about and building electronic circuits, projects and gadgets. To participate you need to register. Registration is free. Click here to register now.
    Dismiss Notice

Need a machinist

Discussion in 'Robotics & Mechatronics' started by Iawia, Jun 28, 2017.

  1. Iawia

    Iawia Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Messages:
    128
    Likes:
    1
    Location:
    San Diego, California US
    Hi we have a project which requires the lathing of a fairly large aluminum 6061-T6 cylinder and I just wanted to see if anyone here knows of someone who has this capability.

    The tube length is 58.7" long with an OD of 13.6". The tube will need two step features cut into each end that's all for an endcap.

    From what I gather this type of lathe is not easy to find. We are willing to ship out of California to get it done!
     
  2. shortbus=

    shortbus= Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Messages:
    1,227
    Likes:
    77
    Location:
    youngstown, oh
    Can't believe it's that hard to find a lathe like that in Calif. Are these end caps going to be welded on? How about making the caps go inside the tube instead of outside of it? Then no turning of the tube just a simple plate turned to fit the tube ID. Just guessing on this, since there isn't much info given. Was a machinist/die maker my whole working life.
     
  3. Iawia

    Iawia Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Messages:
    128
    Likes:
    1
    Location:
    San Diego, California US
    Hi Shortbus,

    You have the right idea, the only thing is that the tubes are not perfectly round when we receive them, so piece of round stock would not be able to properly seal without putting a decent step feature at the end of the tube. Secondly, the surface roughness must be 32 RMS max, which can be easily obtained by any turning. As you have mentioned, lathes are a dime a dozen here, only thing is that the tube length is too long for standard lathes. To fit a ~60" length tube into a lathe, you must have a tail stock which would add an additional 2-3 feet to the bed. I don't know, I feel like I am spinning. We have a line on two individuals who say they can do it but we have been down this road before. People say they can do it and then when we show them the work that it is actually almost 60" long they renig. Do you know anyone in Ohio who can do this? I know they have a lot of metal work out there. It is actually being rolled from sheet and welded up in Toledo.
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 1997
    Messages:
    -
    Likes:
    0


     
  5. jpanhalt

    jpanhalt Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2006
    Messages:
    5,983
    Likes:
    511
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH, USA
    ONLINE

    Try a ship yard machinist.
     
  6. Les Jones

    Les Jones Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2015
    Messages:
    1,451
    Likes:
    189
    Location:
    Lancashire UK
    There is an alternative approach that you could try. You could use a large boring head mounted in the spindle and mount the tube on the cross slide. I have done this to machine some thin wall tube that could not be mounted in the chuck and supported with a fixed steady. You would first mount a large block of wood on the cross slide and bore a hole through it the outside diameter of the tube using the boring head. The block would actually be two pieces of wood with the join at the centre height. The lower half would be bolted to the cross slide and the top half bolted to the bottom half so it could be removed to clamp the tube without moving the bottom half. (You first need to lock the cross slide so it can't move.) You would also need to remove the tailstock so the tube could overhang the end of the lathe and make a support to support the tube near the tailstock end. Boring heads are normally used in a vertical milling machine. They allow fine adjustment of the tool position. It is a slower process than normal turning as the lathe has to be stopped to move the tool out a small amount to take the next cut. When I did this it was on a smaller scale. The tube was only about 3" diameter. My lathe will only take up to 10" diameter over the bed.

    Les.
     
  7. shortbus=

    shortbus= Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Messages:
    1,227
    Likes:
    77
    Location:
    youngstown, oh
    I know there are places in Calif that make drive shafts. Their lathes would be long enough. Did you ask the place that's rolling the tubes? I thought these were standard tubing, didn't know they're fabricated. Many new shops aren't equipped for this kind of thing today, but any small mom and pop shop usually has old equipment that is bigger. Don't know any places any more though, most have gone out of business.

    Have you tried "ThomasNet"? It's the modern version of the old 'Thomas Registry', it should give you many places to contact in your area. Good luck with your project. http://www.thomasnet.com/
     
  8. JimB

    JimB Super Moderator Most Helpful Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2004
    Messages:
    6,353
    Likes:
    586
    Location:
    Peterhead, Scotland
    ONLINE
    That pipe is a bit big for my little lathe, which is also a few thousand miles away from you.

    However, I suggest that you have a look at this site:

    http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/activity.php

    which is dedicated to machining, you are more likely to get help from there, rather than here on ETO.

    JimB
     
  9. Iawia

    Iawia Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2011
    Messages:
    128
    Likes:
    1
    Location:
    San Diego, California US
    Thanks Jim for the link.

    Shortbus, we did end up finding a place who has looked at the work and are still claiming we are good to go. It is a VERY old school shop, no CNCs at all and they do all automotive type work. Hope we can keep a good relation with them boys, old schoolers are hard to find these days.
     
  10. shortbus=

    shortbus= Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Messages:
    1,227
    Likes:
    77
    Location:
    youngstown, oh
    That's the kind of place I served my apprenticeship at. We took on jobs that many of the other shops refused because their new equipment couldn't handle it. And we did some pretty intricate stuff with just minimal tools. Learned a lot there on thinking outside the box.
     
  11. KeepItSimpleStupid

    KeepItSimpleStupid Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    Messages:
    9,936
    Likes:
    1,099

Share This Page