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Boring Time in the Shop (Read 5,272 times)
 
Vaughn McMillan
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Boring Time in the Shop
Mar 23rd, 2009 at 2:51am
 
I had a boring weekend in the shop. Boring bars, that is.

I really like the 3/4" stainless steel boring bars that came with my Monster hollowing rig. However, I wanted to be able to go though smaller openings. Over a year ago, I bought a set of Don Pencil "Stinger" 7/16" boring bars. They were a nice size, but I never did like the round bar cutting tips that came with them. Plus, the set screws to hold the cutters were tiny, and they stripped out way too easily (or my hex wrenches twisted because they were so thin).

After reading about several guys recently making their own boring bars and Oland tools, I figured I should give it a shot myself. I wanted 1/2" bars that were capable of holding the 1/4" cutters that I already had for the Monster rig.

Saturday, I picked up a 3' piece of 1/2" cold rolled steel bar and a few set screws at the local hardware store. The first three bars went so well, I went out Sunday and bought another 3' piece of steel and made a few more. Here are a few progress pics...

First, I had to figure out how to drill a hole in the end of a 1/2" steel bar. I took a wooden screw clamp, and drilled a 7/16" hole between the two halves of the clamp.

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That allowed me to hold the bar vertically and drill a pilot hole...

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And then the final hole. (I don't know what size it is...I just experimented around until I found a hole size the 1/4" square HSS bits would fit in.)

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Then, to hold the cutting tip in place, I needed a tapped hole for the setscrew. I ended up using a 10-24 screw, so the pilot hole was a #25 bit...

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I also wanted to make a bar with an angled cutter, so I ground an angled flat spot on the end of a bar and drilled a hole to fit the cutting tip...

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The angled bar also got a setscrew, but I didn't get any pics of that operation.

I also made three different bent bars (with a little help from my propane torch), but didn't take any pics of the bending process.

And here are the results...

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Here are the three bent bars. I'll probably make more after I see how these perform...

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And here are the three straight bars. One is truly straight, one has an angled bit, and I ground one of them down to accept a scraper bit from the Monster gear.

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Here's a detail shot of the angled bit...

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And the scraper bit...

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And as an added bonus, all of them (except the scraper bar) will accept my Hunter carbide insert...

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All told, including steel bar material and setscrews, I spent under $20 to make these. I need to stop by the hardware store and pick up some shorter setscrews, and I'll probably grab a bit more steel just to have on hand in the event I get a bright idea for another one.

Given my choice, I would have preferred to buy them from Randy at Monster Tools (assuming I could talk him into making 1/2" bars for me). Randy uses much better steel, and his tools are machined instead of hacked and ground. Unfortunately, being laid off, my tool fund ain't what it used to be, so these will have to do until I can afford to buy some better ones.

I'll post some action pics when I get a chance to use the new bars.
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« Last Edit: Mar 24th, 2009 at 7:55am by Ron Sardo »  
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Leo Frilot
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Re: Boring Time in the Shop
Reply #1 - Mar 23rd, 2009 at 3:28am
 
Very good job.  And quite economical.
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Chuck Beland
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Re: Boring Time in the Shop
Reply #2 - Mar 23rd, 2009 at 3:41am
 
Vaughn,
Excellent job on the bars. That steel was cheap. for my steel snake a 1" square x 12" long piece of mild steel cost me $20 for a total of $60 for the dang steel.  Sad
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Re: Boring Time in the Shop
Reply #3 - Mar 23rd, 2009 at 8:19am
 
Way Cool... very innovative!!! You did a great job Vaughn and I can't wait to see then in action!

You Da Man!
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Ken Ward
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Re: Boring Time in the Shop
Reply #4 - Mar 23rd, 2009 at 8:34am
 
WTG very nice work,I used 5/8 stainless round stock that was 8 bucks a ft,but well worth it  smiley=thumbsup.gif
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Re: Boring Time in the Shop
Reply #5 - Mar 23rd, 2009 at 8:35am
 
Great job.  Smiley
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Bill Neff
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Re: Boring Time in the Shop
Reply #6 - Mar 23rd, 2009 at 9:22am
 
Great job on the tools.  I've been thinking about trying my hand at making tools like this & was wondering if the carbide tipped metal lathe bits from Harbor Freight would work.  Multimedia File Viewing and Clickable Links are available for Registered Members only!!  You need to Login or Register

Thanks

Bill

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Re: Boring Time in the Shop
Reply #7 - Mar 23rd, 2009 at 12:05pm
 
Fantastic posting Vaughn! I hope one of the admin's here put this in the tutorial section. Clear, concise and easy to follow. There is usually a posting somewhere here asking for directions or help in making tools of this sort and yours is perfect. Hope to see some shots of your bending operation if you do another. Love your tools. I need to make a few swan necks myself and I think you just inspired me to get off my butt before winter is really over and I am outside with little shop time. Thank you for a great post...Bill..
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Jeff Bower
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Re: Boring Time in the Shop
Reply #8 - Mar 23rd, 2009 at 1:02pm
 
Bill Neff wrote on Mar 23rd, 2009 at 9:22am:
Great job on the tools.  I've been thinking about trying my hand at making tools like this & was wondering if the carbide tipped metal lathe bits from Harbor Freight would work.  Multimedia File Viewing and Clickable Links are available for Registered Members only!!  You need to Login or Register

Thanks

Bill



Bill, I've found that Multimedia File Viewing and Clickable Links are available for Registered Members only!!  You need to Login or Registerworks great! Different sizes and cheap too! Also enco.com and mcnaughten (sp?) sells HSS cutters cheap.
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Vaughn McMillan
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Re: Boring Time in the Shop
Reply #9 - Mar 23rd, 2009 at 2:20pm
 
Thanks for the compliments, guys.

Bill Neff wrote on Mar 23rd, 2009 at 9:22am:
Great job on the tools.  I've been thinking about trying my hand at making tools like this & was wondering if the carbide tipped metal lathe bits from Harbor Freight would work.  Multimedia File Viewing and Clickable Links are available for Registered Members only!!  You need to Login or Register

Thanks

Bill



I'll have to see if my local HF has those in stock. They look like they would work just fine, but it probably depends on how sharp they are, or if they can be sharpened with a diamond lapping tool.

The HSS bits like Jeff linked to are a breeze to sharpen, I use the same grinding angle as a scraper, and the tool rest on that side of my grinder is always set at that angle already, so it just takes a second to resharpen it.
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Re: Boring Time in the Shop
Reply #10 - Mar 23rd, 2009 at 2:52pm
 
Hate to go against the grain fellas,but I would be carefull about those from HF as its not how sharp the tool is,but how well the tips are brazed on.I have seen many of there router bits fly apart because of the poor quality of the brazing.I would go with enco.
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Re: Boring Time in the Shop
Reply #11 - Mar 23rd, 2009 at 2:58pm
 
Excellent Vaughn
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Re: Boring Time in the Shop
Reply #12 - Mar 23rd, 2009 at 5:21pm
 
great info.  i guess this means that i might have to get into steel work after all.
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Re: Boring Time in the Shop
Reply #13 - Mar 23rd, 2009 at 6:34pm
 
Bill,
I definitely agree this should be a TUT.
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Re: Boring Time in the Shop
Reply #14 - Mar 25th, 2009 at 1:05pm
 
Vaughn,
Excellent job on those.

Please let us know how they perform.

I used 5/8 CR steel on a straight one, with the same set screw. It works pretty well, except I need to make a better, longer handle. I've got some Black Locust I'm saving for the job... I have not made the bent one yet. I just haven't gotten my "round tuit" out of the drawer yet... Wink
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