The following is an excerpt from the January/February 2009 issue of The Home Shop Machinist
Tangential Toolholder for Sherline Lathe
I have recently acquired a copy of The Shop Wisdom of Rudy Kouhoupt, Volume Three. Despite the richness of Rudy's projects and ideas, what really caught my eye was a chapter titled "Using the Diamond Toolholder," also known as a tangential toolholder. I had already seen the toolholder advertised in the magazine, but never really paid any attention to it, mostly due to a lack of understanding of how the tool and toolholder work together. Rudy clearly explained how the toolholder was used, how the bit was sharpened, and some other advantages, such as, for instance, the fact that you can make both facing and turning operations without moving the toolholder or changing the bit. Rudy also stated that the tangential toolholder could be used in a Sherline lathe, which is a main concern for me since it is the only lathe I have. Rudy finally stated that he was very satisfied with the toolholder, as can be seen everywhere else in the book by means of several photos showing the toolholder in use over and over again.
In fact, Rudy seemed to be so fond of his tangential toolholder that he convinced me to give it a try. (I must confess that the laziness of being able to leave the toolholder in one position while turning and facing is also very appealing!) However, at the same time I decided to give the toolholder a try, some thoughts crossed my mind:
A) A dreadful thought: the advertised toolholder is quite out of my budget and I would have some problems explaining to my wife that I need another toolholder that "holds those small metal pieces just like the others you already have."
B) A worrisome thought: something I dislike about the advertised toolholder is that it is clamped in the Sherline tool post as if it was a tool bit. This leaves the tangential tool bit hanging almost an inch away from the lathe tool post. The bottom line (in my mind, anyway) is that you put too much lever strain in the cross-slide of a small lathe such as the Sherline.
C) A bothersome thought: this is also a personal complaint about almost every tool post I have seen so far, but the final assemblage of the tangential toolholder in the Sherline tool post looks quite massive over the cross-slide, and the fact that the workpiece sometimes looks hidden behind the tool post bothers me.
The simple answer to all those problems was to build my own tangential toolholder, and this is the project I want to share with you now.
"Tangential Toolholder for a Sherline Lathe" appears in the upcoming January/February 2009 issue of The Home Shop Machinist. If you are a subscriber, stay tuned! The issue will be in the mail soon!
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