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  1. #1
    Dell's Avatar
    Lives in Moreton-in-Marsh, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 2 Hours Ago Has been a member for 0-1 years. Has a total post count of 9.
    Hi all my first project with my second hand direct from Warco lathe. I want to make a clock spring winder, and it entails turning some stainless steel is it possible with a mini lathe and if so what grade of stainless steel should I use ?
    The reason for stainless steel rather than mild steel is it will be going through aluminium.
    Thanks in advance Dell
    Last edited by Dell; 1 Week Ago at 10:50 PM. Reason: Missing word

  2. #2
    m_c's Avatar
    Lives in East Lothian, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 4 Hours Ago Forum Superstar, has done so much to help others, they deserve a medal. Has been a member for 9-10 years. Has a total post count of 2,343. Received thanks 263 times, giving thanks to others 6 times.
    You'll still get galvanic corrosion with stainless in aluminium. It's just the stainless won't corrode, and the aluminium will. The same can be said for common steels, it's just the steel will also oxidise due to moisture, as well as the aluminium due to galvanic corrosion.

    303 is the easiest common grade to machine, however you still need to be able to take reasonable cuts. The moment you stop cutting and start rubbing, you risk work hardening. You really need to be able to get the required dimension first time, as trying to take a skim to get on diameter is a recipe for problems.
    Avoiding the rubbish customer service from AluminiumWarehouse since July '13.

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  4. #3
    Dell's Avatar
    Lives in Moreton-in-Marsh, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 2 Hours Ago Has been a member for 0-1 years. Has a total post count of 9.
    Thanks m_c
    I didn’t know that it would still corrode with stainless steel there is no point in using it then so I need to find a way to keep them apart then, perhaps using some sort of bushing any idea what I could use that would not wear and could be made on a lathe.
    Sorry if the question is very basic but I am a vehicle body and paint man and not had much to do with lathe work for about 50 years and even then it was only basic turning.
    Thanks Dell

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by m_c View Post
    You'll still get galvanic corrosion with stainless in aluminium..
    Only if it's a submerged clock or it's used in a very humid environment without oil.
    I have Aluminium parts with Stainless pivot pins on guns I built 10 years ago and more with no issues ;-)
    You think that's too expensive? You're not a Model Engineer are you? :D

  6. #5
    Neale's Avatar
    Lives in Plymouth, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 5 Hours Ago Has been a member for 6-7 years. Has a total post count of 1,279. Received thanks 243 times, giving thanks to others 5 times.
    If you are really being paranoid you could use simple brass bushings, but as previous post says, you don't normally use spring winders in sea water!

    More importantly, with a mini lathe and a somewhat rusty starting position, I would suggest avoiding what is often a difficult material to machine (stainless) and use something like free-cutting mild steel - EN1A or equivalent, or even a leaded FCMS if you can find it easily. There are enough variables already with speeds, feeds, depth of cut, tool sharpness and angle, etc, so using something which is easy to machine to a good finish means you have removed one problem area. Whatever you do, stay away from odd bits of steel, old bolts, and so on of unknown origin as some of this stuff is really difficult to get to a good finish. And FCMS will be quite strong enough for your job, I suspect. Good luck!

  7. #6
    m_c's Avatar
    Lives in East Lothian, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 4 Hours Ago Forum Superstar, has done so much to help others, they deserve a medal. Has been a member for 9-10 years. Has a total post count of 2,343. Received thanks 263 times, giving thanks to others 6 times.
    Quote Originally Posted by magicniner View Post
    Only if it's a submerged clock or it's used in a very humid environment without oil.
    I have Aluminium parts with Stainless pivot pins on guns I built 10 years ago and more with no issues ;-)
    That is very true, however corrosion was the only reason for not using a mild steel, and I was highlighting that there is more to material selection than obvious corrosion.


    As for answering the OP's material selection question, it all depends on speed.
    I'm guessing a clock spring winder isn't going to be running that fast, or see that much use, so I'd just use whatever I had lying around.
    Avoiding the rubbish customer service from AluminiumWarehouse since July '13.

  8. #7
    Dell's Avatar
    Lives in Moreton-in-Marsh, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 2 Hours Ago Has been a member for 0-1 years. Has a total post count of 9.
    ]Thanks for the replies
    I was thinking of using V slot 2060 aluminium linear extrusion as the bed, linear shaft support for the sliding tail stock and linear sliding bearing shaft for the fixed head stock using 20mm bore so I can turn some 20mm polypropylene or delrin as bushing,unless anyone has any alternative suggestions.
    This is a picture of a clock spring winder.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thanks in advance Dell
    Old man but still learning

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