Step 6: Finishing the bores

Now we'll get to use that beautiful boring tool we made! You can use power feed for this, and just face off by hand (power feed Z axis, hand feed X axis).  The dial indicator will tell you when you are getting close, and you can finish off the last ~0.030 by hand on the Z axis.  0.005 per revolution is a good feed to use in aluminium.

Note: X axis is for facing cuts, Z axis is for turning/longitudinal cuts.

1) Put the tool in the tool holder, and set it to the proper height (centre)

2) Using the carriage hand wheel, move the tool right near the face of the cube (don't touch it yet!  Just get close)

3) Place a piece of paper on the cube face, and use the compound rest to inch (to thousandth of an inch, actually) closer, until the tool tip is barely touching the paper, and it (the tool) holds it (the paper) to the cube face.  Now you know that the tool tip is the width of a piece of paper (about 0.003) away from the cube face. (Picture #1)

4) Move the tool to the side, so you don't crash into the cube or the jaws when you move in ( Picture #2)

5) Place the dial indicator with a magnetic back on the ways of the lathe, and set it to 0.  (Picture #3)

6) Move the carriage in about 0.618 (watch the dial indicator).  We're roughing the depth of the bore, and the bore should be 0.625. Leave about 0.010 for the undercutting tool, so if your bore is different, make this cut 0.010 less then the depth of bore you calculated. Don't forget to compensate for the 0.003 that is the paper width! (Picture #4)

7) Don't move the carriage now! Remove the dial indicator, and set it to 10 when it's not touching anything  (neutral).  (Picture #5)

8) Press the indicator against the carriage, until the needle reaches 0.  Make sure it makes  less then 1 rotation, so you should be moving it approximately 0.090.  Now, you may move the carriage away.  When you move the carriage back, you'll hit the dial indicator, and the needle will show you when you reach your depth of 0.615 (or whatever you set it to) as it approaches 0.  You'll have a 0.090 countdown (should be at 10 when it hits, then travel around until it hits 0), and remember to use the carriage hand wheel (turn off the power feed) for the last ~0.030.

9) Now bring your tool back to the face of the cube, and begin roughing the deepest and innermost bore.  Focus on depth first, get it to within 0.010 of the final size (90 on the dial indicator) then make one little (0.010) cut to clean up the sides.  Now you can cut  the sides, and get them to size (0.750).  When you are making your final cut on the sides, go to full depth on the dial indicator (cut off that last 0.010, get to 0!) and face off the back.  Now your first bore is complete! (Picture #6)

10) Do the same thing for the next bore.  Touch the tool off on paper, reset the dial indicator to the next bore depth (0.313 - 0.010 = 0.303) , rough the depth to within 0.010 (90 on dial indicator), finish the width (1.500), then finish the depth with your last width cut. (Picture #7)

<p>i want to download the attached file i don't want to go with pro registration any way to get it????</p>
<p>This is great reading! I don't have a lathe but if I did, I'd certainly be spinning up some aluminum in short order. There's another YouTube video out there somewhere in which the machinist filled the first five bores and undercuts with hot glue. You can see the care he used, as the metal certainly absorbed a good bit of the heat, making the cube a bit more challenging to handle while he filled the remaining bores. It allowed him to perform normal speed cuts on the sixth side.</p>
Hello. It is very inspiring work. but i dont have any talent for it. Can i order a turners cube from you to turkey? :)
<p>Really Nice instructable, can you please explain what a PLANAR Bar is , I haven't heard of it before.</p><p>thanks.</p>
Planar bar is basicallt a round bar with one edge ground flat.<br><br>The flat end rests on the vice, the round end touches your piece, and makes sure that there is only one point of contact, forcing the other side of your work to be parallel with the other side of the vice
You can also make a set of step-cylinders which nest into the bores. These hold everything in place as you do the final undercuts, and generally reduce the risk of damage from clamping forces.
You can make a sphere in a cube... Using an inverse ball endmill plunged from all six sides.
I was wondering how to do that... We saw an example of that, but it was made on a CNC. I imagined it was just a small endmill (&lt;1/4 in) and some fancy programming to get the angles required for the circle. But inverse ball endmill would be perfect! <br> <br>It would still be a bit tricky though, because you'd have to make the hole smaller the the diameter of the ball, and that would make it tricky to get the endmill in. <br> <br>I may be getting some more time in a machine shop.... Perhaps I should try it to see how it works out.
The endmill dictates the hole diameter.<br><br>When I was in machining school (Warren Occupational/Technical Center in Lakewood, CO), we learned to grind the radius into the endmill. The trick, for this part, is to cut a larger radius than the cutter. The resulting ball will be larger than the hole when plunged through from six sides. But will remain attached to small support surfaces at the corners.... This is serendipitous, as you wouldn't want the aluminum ball coming free and bouncing into your fragile cutter anyway.<br><br>Once the manual machining is complete, Go back in with a jeweler's saw and free the ball.
Ahhh.... But then you'd have rough saw marks on the ball... <br> <br>If you did plunge in fully on 5 of the sides, on side 6 you could stop, and do similar to what I did in Step 7, for the final side. Just stop the mill, and turn it by hand, so the ball falls off nicely and you dont have to deal with it spinning at upwards of 1000 RPMs :D
If you plunged it completely on 5 sides, you'd have a sphere that isn't very spherical.<br><br>You clean the jewelry saw marks up by hand with your trusty needle files and maybe sandpaper. A machinist worth his salt can turn file marks into replica machine-tool marks. I do it often... And polishing the whole assembly to a bright finish is even easier.
VERRY GOOD! <br>i use to do this by hand in Wood.
Do you have and pictures of wooden ones you could share?
these are my Uncles. My mother has mine <br>i have done copies of all of these Except the 3-interlocking rings on the left <br> <br>
Pretty wicked! Should try making some of these out of metal
it MAY be possible. I'd love to see it if it is. <br> <br>however, the wooden models are only possible because of the ability to use a knife and the sheering properties of woodgrain. <br> <br>One whittles down most of the joint, SNAPS the remaining web, then uses the knife and sandpaper to smooth out the roughness. <br> <br>To achieve the same results in a machine operation, using metal, would probably require an EXTREMELY delicate bit, a very high rpm machine spindle, and a 5-6 axis machine. The very fine, fiddly work your hands do naturally with a knife blade are impossible to replicate in a 4 axis machine. And nearly impossible in a 6-axis. <br> <br>Check out the 5:30 mark on this youtube video for the sort of fiddly maneuvers needed by a machine tool to replicate a fairly simple hand-tool woodworking process. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GU32Q6QXtWQ <br> <br> <br> <br> <br>You COULD replicate these in metal, fairly easily, but it would involve casting, not machining.
here are some better photos of the plier joints
Looking at this actually makes me giddy. I love it.
This is really cool, I took a manual lathe class as a pre-req for a bunch of engineering classes a few months ago, I think I'll try this.
Do it!
now I know what I'm making when I gain access to the lathe at my college (and learn to use it). I remember the first time I saw one of these, I just thought and thought and thought until I figured out how it was made. it's shockingly simple, you just need good spatial sense.
Most things are a lot simpler then we think they are. Just take it one step at a time, and before you know it, you're done!
Little typo: &quot;Male it Real&quot; challenge. Thought that I was reading Cosmopolitan for a minute...
Oh my! Thank's for pointing that out. Fixed!
WONDERFUL!<br><br>You beat me to it, but glad to finally see a REAL turners cube!<br>Not saying the &quot;attached nested cubes&quot; aren't fun to look at, but this requires a great deal more skill. And make better playthings for when you have grandkids.<br>Also glad to see you did the double nested version(so much more impressive than a one-in-one)<br><br><br>As I understand it, this was an apprentice job way back in the day.<br>And it was done entirely on a lathe(this being WELL before computers, heck most shops at the time didn't even have electricity!)<br>It was a testament to the young man's skill, to be able to make the 6 facing cuts, to get a cube. Ok, it was a REQUIRED BASIC SKILL. :-)<br><br><br>Step 11, on the final side cutting... that's an interesting technique!<br> Sure would have been quicker than how I did it.<br> I ended up making 5 stepped plugs, with 1-2 thou clearance.(4 jaw chuck, plus a backing plug). Obviously, all 5 plugs were turned on the same lathe.<br>The main advantage to having plugs is, you can have the machine running the whole time. You don't have to turn the chuck by hand for the last bit. Also eliminated the need for using your shims :-)<br>
I'm just finishing up my final project at school, then I'm going to make the &quot;attached nested cubes&quot; (4 cubes) and a free floating one like this, but with 5 cubes instead of 3 :D I'll be sure to add them to this Instructable!
@Xyver; tweeted! Love the arcane vocabulary (is not a miller) Cheers! : ) Site
Thanks for sharing a very detailed and well presented instructable. though it's rarely done now, it certainly USED to be a very common way for a turner to show his skills. When you talk about using a &quot;manual&quot; machine you are of course only adjusting the machine manually,consider doing the same kind of thing with a &quot;Pole Lathe&quot; or &quot;Treadle Lathe&quot;, it HAS been done, but not my me.
I'm mainly talking about manual vs CNC, where we control the machine as opposed to robots controlling the machine.<br><br>I can only imagine how tiring a treadle lathe could be.....
you might be surprised how NOT tiring it can be ;-)
I made one of these when I was training. They are quite impressive and I'm still pretty proud of it :) <br>Thanks for sharing, I hope it inspires people to make one.
Nice and detailed instructable, thanks for sharing.
Glad you liked it :D

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Bio: I like working with all mediums, but so far my speciality is machining and electronics. I try to make all my Instructables from a "design ... More »
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