Grinding a machine taper with an angle grinder

Grinding a machine taper with an angle grinder

Kuldeep sent me this really nice
keyless drill press chuck. Unfortunately, the taper
on it is too large for my small drill presses, and too small for
my big drill press. The way these chucks are
mounted on the drill press is they fit on a conical
taper on here. and just by pushing
them on there firmly, that gets them stuck, and
in the act of drilling, you push on it way more than
rotation, so the tricky part is actually not getting it
on, but getting it off. So, I was thinking I could
adapt this chuck to be used on my lathe, and for that
I’ve got an extra piece of 16 millimeter shaft, which is
the same size I’ve got in here. And, this shaft is large enough
to get stuck in the taper, but it’s not quite thick enough
for the end of the taper. So, I have to pad
that up a little bit. So, I’ve taken some very careful
measurements of the inside of the taper and I figure I’ll just
weld some beads onto here to try to bring it up to thickness,
and then grind it down. The other problem is, I have
to use the end with the flat part on it, because
this shaft is just barely long enough to go into
my head stock here. Got my welding bench set
up, and I’ve set up this hose to blow the
smoke through this fan outside. I think you can appreciate
why I don’t make any “How to weld” videos. I put a
block of wood on this shaft to protect it from welding
splatter, but that was only partially effective. Now I just need to precision
grind that into the taper using and angle grinder, and I’ll
try to do that on my lathe. Just gotta fix that
wobble by adjusting the four jaw chuck. Well, I guess that fifty cent
nut driver was only worth fifty cents. I think
that’s centered enough. So, there’s still quite
a bit of run-out here. It’s still got a bit
of wiggle room. And, I keep checking with the
dial indicator where the center of the rocking
appears to be. It appears to be right
about here, which suggests that, that’s where
it’s getting hung up, which should be right here. Because it’s very difficult
to get that whole cone right with an angle grinder, I
figured I’d just have 2 rings that would make contact, one
on the outside, and one on the inside, and so that
would be much easier. And, I’d worked out the
slope of this, so I knew what diameter it should be
in here and I ground it to that diameter, and
that diameter, but what I kept getting is it was actually
always wiggling here or about this point, it seemed
it was never making contact here, so I built up the bead
again, and screwed up again, and built up the bead again,
and it was getting very frustrating, and it turns out
the taper isn’t continuously going down like this, it’s
actually a partial taper and then it goes to cylindrical,
and what I was trying to hit at the bottom of this taper,
that didn’t actually exist. And, so I made the
rings closer together, and that worked much better. Well, this is as good as it’s
gonna get, so one thing I’ve resorted to, is to put
a paper shim in here, because I ground
it down too far. It’s on there pretty good,
despite the paper shim. Good enough for a lathe.
Being able to mount this chuck on the shaft, is
actually something that would make building a homemade
drill press feasible. And, this is what my dreadful
handiwork looks like. Despite all the frustrations,
I think this technique has potential, just this
application is a very demanding one. So, with a drill chuck on
here, I can use the lathe to make lots of little
drawer knobs, like this. But, this chuck is actually
not quite optimal. If you try this sort of thing,
I’d recommend actually using a keyed chuck, not a keyless
one, because this one tightens itself as
torque is applied, so it tightens too much on the
wood, and it’s also quite long, a shorter keyed chuck would
be much more stable. Also, a Jacob’s chuck like this
is not ideal for side loads and I’ve had this one actually
fall of the shaft on me once so far.

100 thoughts on “Grinding a machine taper with an angle grinder

  1. Next video, Mattias makes his own wooden keyed chuck, and shortly afterwards, a wooden angle grinder, meanwhile, over on the welding channels, they're making metal tree's and steel rose's. Ah life. 🙂

  2. I was just asking you last week about making a self centering chuck! Like always, you find ways around any problem 🙂

  3. Hi,
    How much could a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?, seriously, i'm dying to know.


  4. Don't ever weld stainless without proper respiratory protection. Heating chrome alloyed steel that high produces hexavalent chromium, a carcinogen.

  5. Beautiful video, Matthias.
    You could try again on the wave which welding and sanding with the angle grinder and or with the flat file. If you take the angle then hold him not with the grinding wheel off, but that is the grinding wheel to the shaft.

  6. wat you can do to see where the thickest part of the taper is is to colour the taper with some sharpy slide the drilhead on carefully and twist it over the taper , the high parts will have the ink rubbed off

  7. Matthias! I'm a welder by trade and I love watching you create all your amazing projects. You are always so precise and build things so well. I have to say I smiled seeing you do something that you are not quite so good at. Keep up the great videos!

  8. I chess set would be an interesting lathe experiment, to see templates in order to get the pieces similar enough

  9. Mathias, I think you should stick to woodwork… Your attempt to at making a machine taper for your woodworking lathe chuck left me scratching my head! I enjoy your videos though particularly building various woodworking machinery and other bits. I also enjoyed reading some of the comments below…

  10. What a waste of a good keyless Chuck. It fell off of the shaft because your taper is shit. You do a good job with what you have, but this is something you can not make without a real metal lathe or a mill.

  11. I'm a huge fan of your homemade lathe videos, and I love your ingenuity with all the things DIY. One thing I haven't found any info on, though, is making bowl blanks from chunky tree parts like crotch pieces round without a bandsaw.. I was curious about finding a way to slowly turn a mounted log half and making it round with a chainsaw before taking gouges to it for making a bowl. similar to using a router for duplicating purposes. Just trying to cut them round with a chainsaw can be difficult. any thoughts?

  12. A very good effort with such a crude machine as an angle grinder. But through out history it has taken steps to go from crude to accurate tooling. Good on you for making the effort in a shop that does not have a metal lathe etc. Your lathe has come a very long way from a motor with a turning shaft to something that can actually turn out something equitable for use. It is nice to see someone going through the steps to actually make something with such value. (As most of your efforts seem to produce)

  13. I love watching your videos, they are so inspirational to me as a beginning woodworker. You constantly do things that are unique and awesome and at the same time insanely useful. I hope someday I can be as awesome as you in my wood working. For now, I am just going to practice the basics. Keep up the awesome videos because I am gonna watch them all. Oh, and that Pantarouter? THAT IS AMAZING AND I MUST MAKE ONE MYSELF ONE DAY!!!!!

  14. +Matthias Wandel
    in previous videos you have stated that you get free lumber out of the trash, where exactly do you get it lumberyard or your local hardware store. Thanks.

  15. I've been a machinist for many years and I'm alternately appalled and dazzled by your approach to problems calling for precision metalwork. Free hand grinding that #4 (I think) Jacobs taper then shimming it with paper gave me the shivers but you got the chuck running true and it works for you.

    You do in wood and home center hardware what I'd do in twice the time in my very well equipped machine shop and what you do works very well. My hat's off to you.

    On another note, I've been playing with your gear generator program. It's very nice, very flexible and convenient to use software. I'm impressed.

    A local Luddite clockmaker has need of wood gear templates for a large clock and your software seems just the ticket – as soon as John decides on the scale and tooth counts. Anyway, I have a few suggestions for your next Rev. How could I get them to you? I'm at OperaBass at aol dot com.

  16. Aww. So you are not going to make a self centering 3 jaw chuck out of wood? Just a few gears and a scroll plate…

  17. Freud, Freud, Freud, help me Jesus, I see phallic symbols everywhere. Like you made those templates for fun. And wood. It has to be about wood.

  18. Specs are available for the various taper standards. It would have been easier to get the specs, setup a mitre-gauge on your bench grinder, and handled it that way. Or take it to a machinist to be done properly.

  19. I really enjoy your videos and watching how you overcome any problems you encounter. Your lathe is a really usefull addition to your workshop but please please please don't work with it while you have your shirt cuffs undone. I'm not a health and safety nazi but I'm just concerned for your safety, I have been there , done that and got the tee shirt, as we say in the UK and it hurt.Keep the vidoes coming.

  20. Maybe it would work better to use the chuck from a hand drill. Most of them are held on by a screw. Another thought would be to find a cheap junk drill press at a yard sale and just use the chuck and shaft from the drill press. You may even be able to use the pulleys that come with the drill.

  21. i thought i was the only one resorting to that level of ghetto engineering. man i bet you swore when you found the taper wasn't constant

  22. +Matthias Wandel usually your projects are cool and well thought out. This one… well… 😉

    I think this one was pretty much a situation where you sort of succeeded by not knowing what you didn't know and just plain persistence (I've done a lot of that also). If you think the technique has potential (I'm reading you may try this again) I'd suggest trying a mill file, it will let you get a better, flatter finish with less fussy work. As far a using a drill chuck like that on a lathe (coming from someone that has used a drill press as a lathe and mill quite a bit), that's just a disaster waiting to happen when the taper gets knocked loose. Holding the work with a center in the tailstock will help, but really the right way is to mount the chuck in the tailstock and use it for drilling.

  23. Dude, I really like your videos. You get great angles of every step, your voice-over (while not oozing charisma, lol) is really affable and calm. Hope you keep it up and continue to grow!

  24. Did you consider drilling the chuck out to accept the straight shaft?  If you didn't have the means or a hard enough drill a machine shop could have bored it fairly reasonably.

  25. Cone fittings must fit precisely in order to work perfectly well. You could get a fitting match from an outranged press drill.

  26. Very good work, Matthias! Just curious why didn't you mount the 4jaw chuck on the faceplate, and detach it when you want to use the faceplate, rather than undoing the bearing each time you want to swap over? If I'm not mistaken that's how metalworking lathes are set up? Or even the other way around, i.e. mount the faceplate using the chuck. Also, I know you like a challenge, but surely it would have been easier (and safer) to source a morse taper to fit your drill chuck? Best wishes, David.

  27. Under the chuck or to side they mark the taper B16 probably for your chuck and you could just buy strait arbor for that, one side would be B16 taper and other end would be straight rod. And you can easily get them under $10. But you probably ruined the taper inside the chuck and $10 is 10 dollars more than you made your thing-a-ma-bob.

  28. looks like a whole lot of work for a tool that kinda sorta works sometimes. how much would it have you to simply buy the correct chuck or the correct shaft?

  29. Do you realize that with the chuck mounted on your homemade lathe, it looks just like your horizontal boring machine?

  30. I applaud your never say die attitude towards figuring stuff out. I'd just like to say that they make lathes out of metal now, and they work really well. You can also pick up a copy of Machinery's handbook, which has all the specification you could hope for. For things like standard tapers.

  31. Perhaps to get a perfect taper you could use a sheet of sand paper on a flat surface and mount it to your rest, then use that to get the right angle? Using a grinder just seems like you're leaving a lot of room for human error D:

  32. You must have a mate with a lathe who could machine you a proper shaft? In addition, using sand paper glued to flat metal plates would have given you a better finish. Since the coefficient of friction is what holds the chuck on surface area is the important part of good lock up.

  33. I got to applaud your "stick to itiveness" Aside note: 50-60 years ago, hot rodders used to weld the rod journals on crankshafts so they could offset grind them to make a "stroker" crankshaft. They would also throw weld into the combustion chambers of cylinder heads to raise the compression ratio. Crude, but it worked.

  34. I find your vids most interesting. Pay no attention to those that choose to make negative comments. Keep them coming!

  35. used to be called a morse taper when I was at school you should really turn it up on a metal lathe…. here are some useful spec's I found

  36. I think your welding smoke sucker exhaust system was sucking away all your sheild gas which made you weld look like bird shit…(no offense, it happens to everyone)…

  37. That Chuck has a Standard Morse Taper shank, You could just Google the angle, Then set up a follower cam on your lathe, You can use your indicator to indicate the follower, before you cut the shank.. it should come out perfect.. You should be able to find a China

  38. One thing I have never understood about wood lathes is the general lack of any sort of collet system for the spindles. If one wanted an excellent heavy duty lathe for small work a plain turning tool makers lathe or a second operation/turret lathe such as an older Hardinge or Elgin would far out shine any wood lathe in the same size range. Speeds up to 3000 rpm. Precision angular contact bearings. Plus they are usualy set up for using 5C collets in the spindle. Obsolete in the metal working world they often go at auctions for a song

  39. have very mixed feelings about this video, as a machinist its hard to watch ( brand new chuck slammed into jagged nasty weld) , but its still interesting, i would flip the chuck over and clamp it on the shaft, then using the indicator set your fence to the angle of the taper (sweep inside of the chuck taper bore), after that you could make shift a guide to slide on the fence and grind the angle or just use it as a visual to see how close you are when you grind the angle

  40. What I'm wondering is how you measured the diameter at the bottom of the taper because your calipers probably wouldn't fit.

  41. On the toollpost of my cheap Chinese metal lathe, I made a holder for my angle grinder, and can get down to some amazing tenths of thou grinding. I thought that would have done the trick for your taper.

  42. You've already gone down the welding road, get yourself a nice 9" bench lathe already, you deserve it. I am immensely appreciative of extreme dyi, but no need to reinvent the wheel.

  43. would it be feasible to pour alginate or some other inert molding material with a release agent into such a chuck, in order to duplicate the taper on your pantolathe? edit: that's been suggested already, but i bet nobody suggested using your pantolathe 🙂

  44. Be very wary of the 'two lands' approach. Whilst you can undoubtedly make it run true, there may not be enough friction to safely hold the chuck onto the taper if used in a vertical position. Jacobs tapers are very short anyway, unlike the Morse taper, so please be careful!

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