The home shop if full of neat things that you can make. My primary tools are a 5×13 South Bend Lathe, shipped to the Reynolds Machinery Company on December 31st, 1947 and a Bridgeport mill from the late 50s

The rule of thumb for any hobby is that you will spend more on tooling than you do on the primary machines.

My F5 camera body cost about $2000. I then proceeded to spend $3000+ dollars on lens, film scanner, color charts. Speed lights and so forth.

My lathe, mill, horizontal bandsaw, milling vise, three chucks, a handful of tooling cost me $1500. The delivery charge was another $200.

Since that time, I’ve spent much more than that on tooling. Quick Change tool post, quick change toolholders, indexable tooling, measuring equipment. Well, you get the idea.

The thing is, that as you go through the shop making things that accomplish real goals, there is a never ending need to make tools for making tools.

BlondiHacks is doing a series on a tool holding tool to help you grind bits. I want to make it.

I have an indexing head that I made that is about 80% complete. That includes casting all the parts that needed castings. I’ve got a shaper started, but I was having trouble casting a couple of parts and went on to other things.

One of the weird things that has happened, is that things that were not available 5 years ago are now being made and are available. This has led me in a long circle where I want to make a backing plate for an ER-40 collet chuck.

Before I spend anything on that project, I intend to make my “casinator”. I have drawings that are “good enough” to get started. But here’s the deal, I need to make a couple of counter bores.

These counter bores have to be to 0.0005 inches in size. If they are too big, the bearing will fall out. If they are too small, the bearing won’t go in. If they are just a little too small, the bearings might not function correctly. I have to get those bores nearly perfect.

The tool used for this is either the lathe, a pain for a rectangular piece of plate, or a boring head.

I actually have two boring heads. One for micro boring bars and one for large bores.

To use a boring head, you create a hole. It can be a through hole or a partial hole. The hole needs to be large enough for your boring head to fit.

The boring head is already positioned correctly because you have not moved it since you put the clearance hole in place.

You then adjust the position of the boring bar, You adjust the depth it will go. Then you start the mill to make a cut with an automatic down feed.

When the quill reaches the correct depth, it stops, and you can retract the boring head/boring bar. Carefully measure the size of the hole, adjust the boring bare, cut again.

This up and down motion will make the bore the correct diameter. You can hold very tight tolerances with quality boring heads. Which I have.

The problem, is the base of the hole doesn’t look good. As I write this, I realize it doesn’t matter. As long as the bearing seats fully, the surface finish doesn’t matter.

Now, the point of all of this, is that I wanted to upgrade to a “boring/facing head”.

This piece of magic allows you to advance the boring bar as it is rotating. Instead of cutting a larger and larger diameter bore, moving down through the material, you put the boring bar at the correct depth and cut outward, “facing” the bottom of the hole smooth.

I’m not going to pay north of $500 for one of these things. And I’m not willing to purchase unknown items from E-bay.

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By awa

Only one rule: Don't be a dick.

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