Intro: Regrooving Skate Wheels Using a Metal Lathe
I have been participating in the sport of Jam Skating (fancy rollerskating) for the last 6 years at my local roller rink. Since the start I have been going through wheels, bearings, boots, and trucks/plates, not just because they broke but because they wore out. I have seen skate wheel regroovers before but I don't need need one if I have a metal lathe that is more precise any way.
So I set out to design a tool that skate wheels attach to and can be mounted on my lathe between centers.
**Before you attempt this project on the metal lathe you should be comfortable with turning cuts, facing cuts, and single point threading. You should also be familiar with feeds and speeds appropriate for your lathe.**
Step 1: Designing the Arbor
•Mount between centers
•Must be very accurate and repeatable
•Must regroove all skate wheels
My sketch shows the mounting arbor where the counter bores of the wheel seat, it also show the taper nut that centers the wheel on the arbor.
Step 2: Machining
Well, you will have to use your experience to machine this. It is constructed out of 1 inch dia 6061 - T round aluminum.
Imagine making a "fake skate wheel" that is adjustable for clamping a wheel.
Step 3: Regrooving!!
At this step you should have a use-able arbor that accepts a skate wheel and mounts to your lathe.
1. Clamp the arbor in the chuck of the lathe.
2. Mount a wheel on the arbor.
3. Make sure the cutting tool has HIGH positive rake and is on center.
4. Move the tail stock up.
5. Set the lead screw for 20-28 TPI.
Step 4: Making Threads
This is the final step for regrooving skate wheels. Now for some machining science!
Since the wheels are made of a soft rubber (urethane) the cutting tool of choice needs to be extremely sharp, be presented on center, and have a high positive rake. This allows for the wheel rubber to be "cut" versus "smashed" as with 0 rake tools. Also since the wheel is 62mm in diameter the surface feet per minute is quite high. This is needed because at low speeds the tool could "tare" the rubber. I would suggest 150-400 rpm.
Feeds and speeds
•20 degreese positive rake,
•.030-.060 depth of cut
Step 5: UPDATE: Tool Holder
This latest idea uses a tool holder that presents the tool at 30 deg of positive rake!
Aluminum is a great material for the tool holder, use 1/4-20 set screws.