MT-2 care and feeding?

Discussion in 'Newbie' started by Regis Galbach, Jul 1, 2017.

  1. Regis Galbach

    Regis Galbach

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    Had 2 different problems today on my lathe.
    First , I had spur stuck in the headstock. Took some significant hammering with large mallet and rod to drive it out. Previously just had to tap out with rod, no mallet.
    Second, I was drilling end grain and the chuck in tailstock slipped and 5/8" bit stuck in the wood about 4" deep. Very difficult to get out

    Therefore: what is the right way to treat the MT2 tapers (male & female) on my lathe? Clean, grease, wax, etc?

    Appreciate some tips about maintaining these.
    Regis
     
  2. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    You most likely had some debris on the spur shank that locked it into the taper.
    It is a good practice to clean the taper surface each time you insert or remove the tool.
    Even just inserting your finger into the hole and wiping any dust or debris is a quick and
    easy habit to get into. If you have compressed air in your work space you can quickly
    blow any dust and dirt out of the spindle bore. A soft bristle brush is a good tool to use
    for this task if you have one. There are taper reamers available that you can use to clean
    up a taper bore that is damaged if needed.
     
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  3. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    When drilling Morse tapers in the tailstock tend to come loose.
    The # 3 tapers don't come loose nearly as often as the #2 tapers.

    I frequently use twist drills with a #3 M T. Once in a while they come loose. I stop the lathe tighten the tailstock to grip the taper and then back it out. I have always been able to get the drill bit to lock onto the taper tighter than it was locked into the wood.

    When I use a Jacobs chuck I hold it with one hand when backing it out.
    Also when drilling I back out to clear the shavings every 1/2-1 inch.
     
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  4. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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  5. Regis Galbach

    Regis Galbach

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    Appreciate all the info.....now to clean the wax out of my morse tapers (lol)

    Jamie, That link was definitely thorough and I have extra shotgun brushes and swabs.

    Thanks to all,
    Regis
     
  6. Barry Crowder

    Barry Crowder

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    My understanding is that clean and dry is the best thing for MT.

    I think it's common for the drill chuck to slip a bit, and like others I will hold the drill chuck in the tailstock while using it. Also a 5/8" bit is large enough that if I were using a regular drill bit I'd step drill (i.e. start with a smaller bit, then go up to the 5/8" bit) to avoid overheating. I'd probably use a forstner bit, though for anything over 1/2". You have to reverse to clear the chips frequently, of course, and it helps to keep the bit cool.

    The times that my arbor got stuck was when I didn't keep it clean. My understanding is that the compressible fibers (dust) got jammed between the arbor and the taper. I blow air into the taper to remove dust each time I insert a new arbor, but sometimes I need to manually remove the debris.

    I made my own taper cleaner. I cut a square spindle (1"x1"x6" or so) from a medium soft wood, then I cut a line down the middle of each face (lengthwise) on the table saw to make clearance grooves. Finally, I put it on the lathe and turned it to the MT2 shape. It mimics the spiral tool that you can buy, but it cost me only a few minutes of time.
     
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  7. Regis Galbach

    Regis Galbach

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    Barry,
    I should have know to step drill that. I actually started with a 2" Forstner bit. That caused LOTS of over heating so I dropped back to 5/8". Should have gone smaller first.
    I "think" that I've learned my lesson and will keep everything cleaner.

    Thanks,
    Regis
     
  8. Barry Crowder

    Barry Crowder

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    Regis,

    You can step drill with forstner bits, if you do it in the right order. I do this by starting with the largest bit, then forming an initial cut about 1/8" deep or so, to form the outer shoulder of the hole. Then I step down to a bit about 1/2" smaller diameter and repeat. The second (and third, etc., depending on the size of the hole) forstner bit will track the center point of the previous (larger) bit. Once I get to final depth (or a little bit shy), then I reverse the process going back to the larger bits. When stepping up to the larger forstner bits, they stay centered based on the OD, not the center point. In the end, I end up with the same size hole, properly placed, but without the heat.

    It's a bit more work to change the bits, but I think it's just as fast because each bit is cutting less wood and is therefore faster. And you don't end up with burned wood fibers. I hope this makes sense.
     
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  9. john lucas

    john lucas

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    Also when drilling with forestner style bits reduce the speed a lot. You should be getting nice curls out. Advance the bit, pull it back out, and then advance some more. If you try to drill a deep hole all in one pass the bit will be much more likely to jam in place and you may not get it out without destroying the piece your drilling. Everything else above is good advice.
     
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  10. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    I do what John has suggested and in addition for large boring I use a Colt maxicut which does not need to be backed out as often. Another solution I have used as late is to use air directly into the bore hole while advancing the quill and then rarely have a need to back out a forstner bit.
     
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  11. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Morse tapers and all other types of machine tool tapers are high precision parts that need to be treated as such. Keep them free of any contamination of anything. No oil, wax, metal protector, polish or anything. They hold by molecular bonding forces so anything that interferes with a perfect fit will prevent the connection from having the necessary holding forces and also will interfere with perfect alignment.

    Minor damage to Morse taper sockets can be repaired with a Morse taper hand reamer followed by polishing with a SpinLMate tool. It's not nearly as easy to repair damaged shanks and even though it's painful to toss away tools, it's better than sticking it back into the repaired socket.

    Beating on a knockout bar isn't doing any favors to the bearings and is very likely to brinell the raceway.
     
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  12. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    Here's one other thought about your seriously stuck MT. Early in the use of my used lathe, I began having the same problem and discovered that there was galling inside the spindle (and on the drive center MT) which is something I knew nothing about and still am not an expert. The galling has proved a vexing problem, which will require the services of a good machinist, if I can find a reliable one. Take a good look at the MT shafts to make sure they are 100% smooth and intact, and take a peek and run your finger carefully inside the spindle, too. If there's any irregularity or defect, you've got a bigger problem than mentioned above.
     

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