Home Forums General Discussion Forum lathe turning help newbie

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      I have a moseley 8mm lathe, and as in the video tried to make a brass tool for the tail stock. I tried turning the brass rod with my graver and it was not peeling off the brass as in the clock course. I tried sharpening the tool, but could not get it to peel off. Finally I tried to angle the top edge of the tool into the brass stock and then rake it back… the result was putting fine grooves in the brass rod, almost like putting threads on it. I tried several tools, all high speed steel. Any ideas for my second try ?

      Bob Tascione

        Welcome to the forum John,
        There are a few things that can cause this problem. Getting the T-Rest height correct is of course very important and can take a little practice. If your graver is sharpened to a very fine tip it can easily cut grooves into the stock if your tool post is too far off center. One thing that may help is to grind a small radius onto your graver as shown in the illustration above. Also when cutting try leaning the back end of the graver toward the head stock and “pull” rather than “push” the graver. For soft materials like brass a higher surface speed is needed for a good finish than that required for harder materials like steel. If using a foot pedal control remember to change the rpm according to diameter of stock you are using. You will need to increase the rpm as the stock diameter gets smaller in order to maintain a reasonable surface speed. After practicing for a while this will all come as second nature to you At first though it takes a bit of concentration to get it right. Sort of like driving a car. Kind of.
        Please let us know if this helped John. If not we can cover gravers a bit deeper.



          Thank you for the quick reply. I will give that a try sometime this week and let you know… thanks again.


            Bob, I did all that you suggested…T post height, grinding the edge, increased lathe speed, and tried pulling rather than pushing… Putting this all together it worked. Poof no more grooves in the tooled piece. Thank you so much ! The only thing I have left is to practice as you suggested. I am still not taking a lot of stock off in one pass but it is working so that is what I needed. I have to practice how much effort to grind into the piece as I think I was pushing too lightly. I will practice some more.. thanks for the help in getting me out of the bad habit I was starting…

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