View Full Version : newbie question about hobbing

02-26-2005, 04:10 PM
Hi everybody. My name is sam. I was referred to this site from a friend. That same friend helped teach me cutting a gear with an indexer. I did some more research on gears and found out that they use the hobbing method. What exactly is that method?

thanks and I am happy to be a new member

02-26-2005, 06:06 PM
Hobbing is a method of cutting gears with a cutter that is similar to a worm (helical threaded screw). Naturally, the worm thread of the hob is cut parallel to the helix axis with gashes to create cutting tooth faces. These teeth are also relieved (given a few degrees of clearance) behind the cutting face, so that indeed, it can penetrate the work and make a cut.

A hobbing machine is a specially constructed machine which can utilize this type of tool.

Hobs can generate worm wheel teeth, spur gear teeth and helical gear teeth. The hob "pulls" itself along the gear OD, just as a worm pulls itself along a worm gear. The external gearing ensures that the hob and workpiece rotate at the correct rate so that only whole numbers of gear teeth are generated on the new gear.

The hobbing machine permits the hob to be run at various angles to the axis of the new gear. Because of this, the hob can generate worm wheel teeth if it is run at 90 degrees to the new gear, or it can cut spur gear teeth if it is run at an angle equivalent to its own helix angle, neutralizing it, in effect. It can also be run at other angles to generate helical gear teeth.

For spur and helical gear cutting, the gear blank is also feed axially along its own axis, so the the hob cuts across the entire face of the tooth. For worm wheel cutting, the hob remains stationary over the center of the wormwheel blank. This creates the unique shape of the worm wheel tooth, which is non-interchangeable with another worm wheel. Worm wheels and worms run in paired sets only.

That's it in a nutshell.

02-26-2005, 06:37 PM
So you need a special machine huh? Can't do it with a mill?

02-26-2005, 06:41 PM
Is there any books I could get about this?

Lewis Riley
02-26-2005, 07:09 PM
Great recap HU Flung Dung. That was interesting, Must be a machinist ? Thanks Lew

02-26-2005, 07:10 PM
I don't actually know of any books in particular. The Gleason Co may have some info. I guess its a fairly basic metal cutting operation once you have correctly determined the gear size, and have practised a bit of gear cutting setup on a universal horizontal mill.

A mill could be used to finish hob a worm wheel if the teeth have already been roughed nearly to finish with another tool. The problem with a milling machine, is that it does not have a convenient means of driving the workpiece in step with the spindle rotation. This does not mean that it is impossible to create this mechanical link, but, AFAIK, a standard mill is never factory built for hobbing. The hobbing machine is a special version of the milling machine, I guess you could say.

02-26-2005, 07:16 PM
Great recap HU Flung Dung. That was interesting, Must be a machinist ? Thanks Lew

You bet, Lew. Over 25 years, I've had sufficient time to experiment with many kinds of machining operations, but some I've only read about, not having actual access to some of the more obscure machinery. There's just something about gears that turns my crank, though :D

02-26-2005, 09:31 PM
thanks HuFlungDung I pmed you up.