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An Alternative Parting Method

by Scott Strampe

This is a testament to my laziness. I had been planning for years to build a Myford-style, upside-down, behind the part cut-off tool. I never got around to it.

I recently was faced with a job that required parting off piece after piece. I could manage an occasional cut-off with a conventional tool, but doing a deep cut on a production basis was out of the question.

The light bulb came on in that dusty area between my ears. Why not flip the tool over in my Aloris-style toolholder and run the lathe in reverse?

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I tried it, using a block of aluminum to raise the tool to centerline. It works like a champ!

Three caveats! 1) Most obvious, your lathe must reverse. 2) Do not attempt unless you have an Aloris-style WEDGING toolpost (no piston-style). 3) Your chuck must not be a thread-on type or the tool will unscrew the chuck from the spindle nose and possibly hurt you or your machine very badly.

In case you don’t recognize it, I have a 14-1/2” South Bend with a threaded spindle. I made a clamping collar to secure the chuck, originally so I could reverse the spindle for rapid braking.

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