I have a Shopmaster Bridgemill and have also posted this inquiry on that forum. I am new to the world of metal working. By trade I am a ceramic designer and ceramic artist for 38 years, designing and manufacturing for the tabletop, giftware, and ceramic art industries. I have worked extensively with Ren Shape and plaster, as well as all ceramic materials.
I use Ashlar Vellum drawing and modeling software and would like to turn some aluminum parts for a new line of espresso service pieces used in conjunction with my ceramic pieces. The tool holder on my Bridgemill accepts many different sizes (it is a four sided device) and I have no idea of a basic set of cutting tools that I might need. I have been accumulating books but they really don't provide me with the information I need, just yet. I am at the beginning of a journey, so to speak, and while I understand about grinding tools from HSS steel and such, my thinking tells me at this point that some carbide tipped tools might be a good way to start. I need to do some boring and shaping of very simple shapes in aluminum.
I look forward to your sage advice. Thanks in advance!
I have a 3 in 1 machine (http://www.shoptask.com/) called a Bridgemill. It is fine for my purposes and what I need to know is what would be a selecton of cutting tools that would get me started to turn some work. The machine is a combination lathe and mill. The tool holder can hole 4 tools of varying dimensions.
I believe he is talking about a 4 sided quick index lathe toolpost :-).
Jonathan you need to examine the shapes you want to turn, and purchase tools that will allow you to cut that shape. Most commonly used lathe tool is probably an 80 degree diamond...altho the Trigons are now a better deal I think....the basics of the deal are figuiring out how many cutting edges an insert gives you for the $$ it costs. The 80 degree diamond or a Trigon will allow you to turn towards the chuck...and face the end of the part, as well as machine tapers using the compound or other methods. The opposite hand of tool is needed to turn towards the tailstock. They make pointier diamond shapes that are not as strong but are used when necessary to machine a profile the 80 dgree diamond or trigon will not machine. There are also tools to machine grooves and threads. It is very common to end up spending as much or more on cutting tools and tool holders as the machine costs :-)