I needed some extra toolholders for my Boxford CNC lathe, and the following photos show some of the steps in making them on a vertical mill with a horizontal attachment.
The toolpost holder is a Dickson, beautifully made, precise. And it came with 6 tool holders. 6 should be adequate you think? Not so. You really need one holder for every tool that you might use, because with CNC, you want to do the CNC settings in the computer only once. And the Dickson holders are expensive, so I made the extras.
The material for the tool holders is cast iron bar from a house wreckers yard. The bar was 3 foot lengths of iron window counterweights from very old double hung windows. Very cheap $5 each. A bit porous in places, but enough good stuff to get useable 300mm lengths.
Roughly cut to length in foreground, machined square behind, original holder bottom right.
The holders had been dimensioned and drawn up by my expert friend Stuart Tankard.
This is the original horizontal machining set up. I made each holder separately.
For the next batch, I got smarter, and milled 300mm lengths of the bar, and cut them up later. You might also note that I painted the horizontal milling attachment, using Por 15 paint. For the actual milling I also used copious lubricant fluid.
Using a drop bandsaw to cut off the milled blocks. Less than 1mm clearance.
I made about 30 altogether. Some for centre drills, ER collets, various left right and centre insert bit cutters, and quite a few spares for the future.
You might say a cornucopia of toolholders.
The height setting knobs were turned on the Boxford 125 TCL CNC lathe, again designed and G coded by Stuart Tankard. The knurls were cut by Stuart on his 4 axis CNC mill.
Very nice. I once tried using cast iron window weights from round here, probably made around 1870. It was completely unmachinable.
I tried to machine some castings from an electric heat bank. Also incredibly hard to machine.