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Small filing machine

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deverett

deverett
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A while ago I saw a small filing machine for sale on eBay. There were quite a few pics of it - enough for me to make a copy. One of the pics gave a partial view of the original design from the book 'Practical Benchwork for Horologists' and this gave a starting point with regard to size.

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Filer9.jpg

I've recently finished my version and given it a test. It uses needle files.
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Usually, filing machines work with the cutting done on the down stroke but with this one the files cut on the up stroke. Using needle files there is not a lot of cutting force and so the job doesn't get lifted off the table. Another deviation from the traditional filing machine is that instead of a Scotch yoke system, this one uses an ordinary crankshaft and connecting rod. With the sliding members out of the way of the hole in the table, there shouldn't be too much filing dust dropping onto them.
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The pillars are rods from an old printer and the sliding bearings are from a piece of phosphor bronze drilled and bored to give a slightly free clearance. I didn't want any binding and there will be no lubrication of the sliding parts.

Dave
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MRA

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I really like that. I have some knackered bronze valve guides out of a bike engine which I saved for no reason in particular, which could be made to serve for this. How did you choose the length for the con rod? It looks pretty short compared to the crank throw - I would guess it would have an easier life the longer it was?
 

deverett

deverett
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I really like that. I have some knackered bronze valve guides out of a bike engine which I saved for no reason in particular, which could be made to serve for this. How did you choose the length for the con rod? It looks pretty short compared to the crank throw - I would guess it would have an easier life the longer it was?
If the con rod was longer, the angular displacement would have been less, for sure. I was trying to keep the overall height down. Looking at the original design, the con rod was longer. The pillars for this one are 3-3/4" high. The stroke is 1-1/8", as is the con rod. Everything was from the re-purposing pile, and the con rod was a suitable piece of bronze.

Dave
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John Antliff

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I could use one of those for when I'm filing square holes which are difficult to position and correctly dimension if one does not have a suitable broach not to mention the loss of life time by doing it manually!
 

Wizard69

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Pretty neat! I would imagine that a design for needle files doesn't need a lot of power. I'm thinking sewing machine class performance motors maybe even the associated foot pedal. Which brings up the question what RPM do you normally run this at?

I think I have enough scrap to pull this off without having to buy too much. Making it self powered / contained would be nice too.
 

deverett

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The original design was for securing the attachment to the lathe bed. My lathe is a Myford S7, quite a bit bigger than originally designed for (I would imagine).
In order to keep the overall height down, I shortened the con rod from ideal proportions. I'm not sure what speed the lathe was running at during my tests because I use a VFD and just wound up the pot. until I felt uncomfortable with the speed.
Geared down with different size pulleys, I would imagine a sewing machine motor might be OK.

Dave
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stackerjack

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Has anyone ever used a filing rest on their lathe?
I'm thinking of making one which will fit onto my vertical slide, then, with the use of suitable indexing of the chuck, file up a camshaft. Any ideas please? Jack
 

Steamchick

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I have a hand-held jig saw I can probably modify to do this.... just need to make a suitable file holder, and mount (or use a vice). I often mount the jigsaw in the B & D workmate then manipulate the workpiece around the blade. - Seems more stable than waving a shaking tool at the job. So this will adapt quite easily.
Thanks for the idea!
K2
 

methuselah1

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Hello Chaps! Filing rests- start by looking at L.H.Sparey's design, which appears in his book "A Man and His Lathe". For a solid cast iron (would survive a nuclear strike) cranked filing attachment, Hemingway Kits in the UK sell castings to E.T.Westbury's design. For a really serious stand alone kit, well, there's a firm in America that sells castings, and that really is a massive bugger, scotch yoke and all. If anyone wants to know more, I'll do some digging and try to find the name of the company. Myself? I went for the Westbury, although "Duplex" (a writing duo that published designs in the British Model Engineer mag in the 50s and 60s) robbed Peter to pay Paul and used their lathe's topslide to form the major part of a slotting attachment. Stick a file in the top and make a table, that's a filing machine...
 
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danallen

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You might be thinking of Martin Models on the west coast. They sell a set of castings to build a filling machine.
 

methuselah1

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No, although that is a very pretty piece of kit, and wouldn't stick out in my workshop at all! The one I was thinking of was the Andy Lofquist design; type "MLA-18" into google, and you'll find it straight away. Now that's a real man's machine! Much as I'd love to have made one, I just didn't have the bench space, and shipping to the UK would have been astronomically expensive.
 

Wizard69

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Harold has one nice web site full of great ideas and I might add well written. However it is worth pointing out that there are many DIY variants of a die filler around. I even came across one recently optimized for needle files for very small work. I forgot where I saw that die filler build at, it might have been youtube. The point is there are lots of approaches that all do the same thing

Some of these die filler designs are pretty simple and are nothing more than a crank driving a rod up and down. A model engine builder should have no problem with a crank based filler.

Nice work
Harold Hall also has one on his site
 

xj35s

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I have an old White Family Rotary sewing machine I want to convert. filling, sawing, and sanding using different attachments that'll tighten to the needle shaft.
 
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