Lathe work

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  • #49576
    stevefitzwater
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    • Topics Started: 48
    • Total Posts: 385

    so I am ready to start playing with the lathe, I started to look online for stock, and well..

    Brass- going for 1/4 is stock to turn down, maybe even make a few balance staffs out of it, I know it is simple practice on a softer metal

    Steel- whoa. they offer so many types and not being familiar with it, I am unsure type to get for balance staffs

    recommendations?

    #62710
    david pierce
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 90
    • Total Posts: 1360

    Steve,
    There was a lot of discussion about this in some of the older posts. If you hunt back you should be able to find a lot of good information on this topic (types of steel, what diameter to buy, how to heat treat it, where to buy it etc.).
    david

    #62711
    digitaltripper
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 17
    • Total Posts: 102

    I actually think this is a GREAT topic !! I was watching youtube the other day and came across models of tourbillion’s that watch students had made and I actually thought of turning a balance staff as well !! I have some staff’s laying around ( ok their in a container..) and what I was going to do is take my caliper (Digital, of course) and measure all the parts of the teeny tiny staff, then scale it up, say fifty or a hundred times and make as EXACT as I can (may take several tries) a large (inch or so…) replica and then frame the teeny tiny staff with the model and hang it on the wall.

    I get lotsa practice at my lathe and get to make a cool conversation piece as well !!

    I’d probably use brass or aluminum for the model.

    Then I try to replicate the actual staff, still using brass or aluminum, which I am sure will take many tries but would be very well worth it!!

    As the ol saying goes: “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?? Practice, Practice, Practice”

    BTW some of the pages here on the forum discussing lathe work and metals:

    Here’s a tweezer part being made:
    http://www.clockrepairtips.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1660&p=13606&hilit=turning+a+balance+staff#p13606

    Here someone got a Favorite#5 lathe….Hey David your all over in this topic….Hm….
    http://www.clockrepairtips.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1628&hilit=turning+a+balance+staff

    Hardness of steel….
    http://www.clockrepairtips.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=812

    Re-pivot help…(One of mine..)
    http://www.clockrepairtips.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=553

    Last but not least…Don’t give up….Ok it is not steel or lathe work but I’d forgotten this one and how it saved me from giving in…
    http://www.clockrepairtips.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=336

    I hope these help….There are more but searching this forum can be daunting and not easy to do as there is so much great stuff here that the search engine turns down alot of searches like “lathe” or “arbor” etc as they are so common.

    Jim

    #62712
    stevefitzwater
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 48
    • Total Posts: 385

    Well my issue was and still is, I am a total rookie on a lathe, I am doing some research and to get things going I decided to buy some brass to practice on, but since I am placing an order, I figured I might as well get some steel to make some balance staffs with when I get proficient with the lathe, so I get online and the brass was not an issue, but there are as more types of steel as their are days in the year, maybe even decade…

    Yeah, I did some searches on the forum, there was a good discussion about S7 and a project Bob was working on, but my question was not answered in my opinion.. so I asked here, remember I know NOTHING about steel for this lathe, and what it abilities are, so the answer might be right in front of me and I would not know it….

    Thanks for you help Jim!

    #62713
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
    • Total Posts: 1536

    Hi Steve, for turning balance staffs you should use blued pivot steel. You can usually buy assortments of it from watch and clock supply houses.
    Paul.

    #62714
    bernie weishapl
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 58
    • Total Posts: 1218

    I use the same blue stem steel from Timesavers. Good stuff and works well.

    #62715
    stevefitzwater
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 48
    • Total Posts: 385

    Thanks both Paul and Bernie!!!!

    sorry if I am getting a bit terse at times, been a bad couple of weeks and the constant pain is wearing on me,

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