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Dieselchanic

Hole saws-What's a good one?

8 posts in this topic

I'm wanting to build a fixture for my lathe to use it as a tube notcher.. For this to work good I need a decent holesaw. The ones I've used from Lowes (Lenox I think?) aren't very precise. For instance, I bought a 7/8" saw and straight out if the box it wobbled so bad it chewed a 1 1/8" hole.. Where can I buy a good one for a decent price?

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If you are doing it in the lathe then you might try a boring head instead of hole saws. You would be able to do any size and keep it at much closer tolerance than a hole saw. With a rigid setup, it would be a bit faster too.

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Now we're talking. Where's a good place to buy? (I haven't found a good place to buy machine tools yet)

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Now we're talking. Where's a good place to buy? (I haven't found a good place to buy machine tools yet)

What kind of lathe are you using?

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Grizzly G4000. 9x19 chinese... I did a quick search and found a bunch of 2" boring heads. I guess these take a boring bar? I have a set if boring bars that take triangular carbide bits. I haven't been able to find a place that sells the bits yet though. Littlemachineshop doesn't seem to carry them...

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Marvel and Starrett are the old standards. I use Starretts in my notching fixture.

Dusty

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Looks like that lathe has a Morse taper #3 spindle. A lot of Chinese mill/drills use MT3 tooling so you should be able to find a boring head that will plug right into your spindle. You could also buy one with a straight shank and hold it in the chuck but it will be more rigid and secure if you use the Morse taper.

You do use boring bars in the boring head. The insert type bars are nice but you may need to cut them shorter when used in a boring head. The bar should only be long enough to go through the work. The longer it is, the less rigid it will be. When using a boring bar in the cross slide you can simple "choke up" on it to reduce the reach. But a boring head usually won't have space to slide the bar back so it needs to be cut shorter. This can make the insert type tools a spendy proposition if several lengths are needed.

Ebay is a good source for inserts.

A cheaper approach is to use the brazed carbide boring bars. They usually come in a set with various lengths and sizes so you can just grab a short one instead of having to cut one down. I've had pretty good luck with the cheap Chinese sets but they usually require some work. They must be sharpened before use and often need the proper relief ground in them. If you don't have a carbide grinder then don't bother with the cheap brazed carbide boring bars.

The boring bars that hold hand-ground square high speed steel tools are a good way to go. It takes a little practice but with a HSS blank and bench grinder you can grind a cutter for just about any job.

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I've got a full set of boring bars. All different lengths. I did find the triangular carbide bits on eBay.. Guess I'll be ordering a boring head and some bits for my bars. Should set me up.

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