need to turn down tube w/out lathe
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Thread: need to turn down tube w/out lathe

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    Gunco Member oldjarheadfart's Avatar
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    Default need to turn down tube w/out lathe

    Wondering if it's possible to turn down a 4130 grade steel tube (4") from a diameter of .625 to a dia. of approx .590, the thickness is .125. Oh yeah, not on a lathe, but on a drill press. Could I use a file? emery paper? what?
    2nd question- I want to turn this down to make it a slip fit into another steel tube, which has an opening dia. of approx. .590, then I will spot weld the 2 together. How much difference in dia. does there need to be to get a snug slip fit.
    Thanx for your help guys!

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    Gunco Member nadZ's Avatar
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    boy, tough situation

    i would say a 'good' DP would do it, depending on how strong/sturdy the quill was...do you have a chuck to hold the workpiece? it would definatly take some doing...

    no advice, just encouragement


    -nadz

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    Master Endmill Breaker Rhino_66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldjarheadfart
    Wondering if it's possible to turn down a 4130 grade steel tube (4") from a diameter of .625 to a dia. of approx .590, the thickness is .125. Oh yeah, not on a lathe, but on a drill press. Could I use a file? emery paper? what?
    2nd question- I want to turn this down to make it a slip fit into another steel tube, which has an opening dia. of approx. .590, then I will spot weld the 2 together. How much difference in dia. does there need to be to get a snug slip fit.
    Thanx for your help guys!

    You might be better off taking a piece of tubing and cutting a strip out of the side. That will allow you to squeeze the ends together to slip it into the tube. Spot weld it and drill the opening diameter you need.

    You could probably do it on a drill press with a file, but you are going to have a helluva time doing a 4" long piece and keeping it uniform. If you make a center support for the end of your piece, you could help keep it from deflecting when working farther away from the chuck. You're only taking 0.018" off of the radius, but the long tube will deflect some when you push on it with a file.


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    Gunco Regular acmech's Avatar
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    Rhino has the best idea I can think of, I have a lathe and can tell you, it would take several years to reduce it the small amount you need using emory paper.

    You don't live in Atlanta do you? If you did you could drop by and I'd throw in on the lathe for ya.

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    Gunco Member oldjarheadfart's Avatar
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    The actual length that I need is really only about 1.5" long. I figured on putting a long bolt thru a wood block, turning that down to the inside dia. of my project piece, slip on the project piece, slip a washer and nut on the end of the bolt, then chuck it into the drill press.
    Thanks for the offer ACMECH, wish I did live in Atlanta. I Live out on the windy plains of Kansas.

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    Gunco Regular acmech's Avatar
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    Well if you don't have any luck, with a file and a drill press, you could mail it to me if you could wait.

    Well look at the time, off to work!

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    You can do it, but you have to be carefull and it will take some time. With longer pieces, you have to somehow support the other end with some kind of live center. Here is a picture of a Uzi barrel, I "turned" on my floor drill press.

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    Death Ray Operator vulcan762's Avatar
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    hmmmmm
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    No Hope For Me 1biggun's Avatar
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    You could use a small grinder to take off the majority of it then a file to fine tune it. When I was about 10 years old I turned a 8 horse briggs & straton engine output shaft from 3/4" to 5/8 or some thing like that by running the engine and holding the old mans 4 1/2" grinder with a new wheel on it until I got my go kart clutch to fit from the old motor. (man was he [email protected]# when he went to use the rototiller) the flat wheel would help you keep it uniform. the grinder would take less pressure as well so the tube may not deflect.Good luck

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    Happy Camper hcpookie's Avatar
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    I used to do the drill press method for making center support tubes and trimming down rivets, but I have a lathe now so I don't bother any more.

    Search the web for "drill press lathe" and "drill press" "mini lathe" and you should find some hits where the concept of converting a press into lathe service is discussed.

    IN GENERAL, it is a bad idea due to:
    - the lack of precision in a normal drill press
    - drill press motor bearings wearn't designed for the lateral forces and will therefore wear faster than normal
    - cost involved with reinforcing the motor and spindle mounts.
    - extra time involved since you won't have the tool mounting post upon which to mount your cutting tool. A file takes a *long* time to smooth down in this fashion...

    THAT SAID, you can do it if you accept the lack of precision this 4" piece will suffer. It may be faster/easier/cheaper and cause you less heartache to buy a pre-made barrel attachment, which is what I presume you're making based on those dimensions. For about $100 you can get a "complete" barrel attachment (aka fake silencer).

    HTH,
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