Sunday, August 29, 2010

My attempt in making tool holders for A2Z QCTP - Dovetail cutter

Ever since I signed up with, I've always wanted to make myself some tool holders to use with my QCTP from A2ZCNC. But I've also worried about not being able to cut out the dovetail right. It was not till a kind gentleman and a good friend from Ireland, Hamilton, bought for me a 4mm boring bar that set me in action. The 4mm boring bar is so tiny that none of what I've on hand can be used to hold it. And so I promised myself (among the many time I promised myself to do...) to really get to work this time. But action only started a couple of months after...

I picked up a block of aluminium I bought a while back and started to make plans of what I need to do from the few posts I found online. I ordered a 60 degree dovetail cutter from Sherline through their trusty distributor in Singapore but was told that it will take around 2 weeks to reach me. And so I went around shops asking if they've one available that I can use. I need one that has a shank of not more than 10mm and the width of the dovetail not more than 3/4" (19.05mm). All I found was minimum shank size of 12mm with dovetail width of 25.4mm. A kind gentleman from pointed me to a shop in Singapore that sells Dormer's products. I picked up one dovetail cutter with 12mm shank (that's the smallest they have) and 3/4" dovetail. While I was there, I also bought countersink cutters of 2 different sizes.

When I got back, I mounted the dovetail cutter between centres and started turning down the shank from 12mm to 10mm. The entire operation was successful with no foul up. I was glad, very glad...

Some pics of the process:

Believe or not.  This is my first time using the surface plate with the dog.
Turned a little too much than the target 10mm.
Test fit in the ER16 10mm collet.  The grip seems tight enough with no visible run-out.
That's all for now.  My next post will be on the preparation of the stock for the holder.  I've some aluminium blocks 25mm thick.

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