Tapermate? Really? Tell the truth now

Discussion in 'Newbie' started by Jamie Straw, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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    So how many of you who turn day-in and day-out clean the Morse taper on your machine regularly? I see the Tapermate recommended now and again, but am really wondering (a) if turners actually use it and (b) if there isn't an old-fashioned (read: cheaper, low-tech) way of cleaning without scratching the inside of the taper.
     
  2. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    I am probably a poor person to emulate. I basically never clean the inside of the taper.
    I blow it out with compressed air before using the vacuum Chuck. That is about it.
     
  3. odie

    odie

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    I have one of the tapermates, but seldom use it. Usually just blow out the MT prior to using it. It does come in handy for those rare times that compressed air doesn't do the trick. Is it a worthwhile investment?......Like any special tool, it is nice to have when you need it, but it'll spend a lot of time in the drawer between times it's needed.

    ko
     
  4. Fred Belknap

    Fred Belknap

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    I have one of the "green weines" but seldom use it.
     
  5. john lucas

    john lucas

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    I have had many lathes including a metal lathe. The only time I clean the morse taper is during regular clean and lube sessions. Then I just use a paper towel and the same WD-40 that I clean the bed and banjo with. I just us my little finger and reach in as far as I can. On rare occasions I've used a small dowel to push the towel in further. 99% of the time I just either blow it out before inserting a taper or stick my little finger in there and wipe out any shavings. I bought a morse taper reamer at the flea mkt to fix a really old lathe that had minor rust in the quill but that's the only time I've ever used that.
     
  6. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Well, it only needs to be cleaned if you are inserting a chuck or drive with a Morse taper shank. Usually, I will fold a paper shop towel into a triangle shape twist it and dunk it into my gallon can of DNA and then put it in the spindle socket while turning the handwheel a few turns. That will generally take care of all dust and other gunk. If the MT socket is really dirty, I might first insert my SpinLMate I don't apply anything that leaves a residue on the surface, but if you use a rust protector, I think that it would be best to clean it off before inserting a drive.
     
  7. John K Jordan

    John K Jordan

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    I have the green spiral thing and I clean that tapers "occasionally". I clean the MT centers and mandrels more often than the socket.

    I used it yesterday when I noticed some play in some brand new MT mandrels from Rubber Chucky. It didn't help. After careful measurements with a surface plate and my best Starrett instruments it appears the new mandrels have been machined incorrectly causing the wobble.

    JKJ
     
  8. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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    What model lathe do you have, John?
     
  9. John K Jordan

    John K Jordan

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    Jamie,

    I have a couple of Jet 1642s, some Jet minis, and a couple of metal lathes. I use these for playing and teaching.

    As for the Rubber Chuckie aluminum mandrels, I tried them in three Jet lathes and in the MT2 tailstock of my metal-cutting lathe. The aluminum mandrels did not fit correctly in any lathe. I measured the aluminum mandrels and found the taper off by 0.008" in one inch (they all measure 0.058" per inch instead of the required 0.04995" per inch). As a comparison I tested some of my steel MT2 accessories and a hardened/precision ground MT2-1 adapter made for machining - all these were a perfect fit with zero play. I'm convinced the Rubber Chucky MT2 mandrels were not machined to the accepted standard. No big problem since I can fix them.

    JKJ
     
  10. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Have you contacted Don Doyle at Rubber Chucky?
    It seems you may have gotten on that was not machined properly.

    I have a few of his morse taper mandrels. They have fit every lathe I have tried them in.
    It has been my experience that the Rubber chuckle products work.
    Also Don is Good guy and a friend.
    Be interested to hear what Don Says.

    Al
     
  11. hu lowery

    hu lowery

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    the reminder


    Jamie,

    The reminder to clean your tapers before sticking them together is often a horrible screech of steel slipping on steel. Left too long the sound will go away, once the two pieces have galled or welded into one unit!

    I clean my headstock and tailstock tapers every time I clean the machine and I clean them and whatever is going in them every time I put morse tapers together. The tapers are designed to work with a perfect fit. Anything else is asking for grief.

    Gotta be kidding about buying a special toy to clean a taper though! A wooden dowel, tapered a bit or not, a piece of paper towel wrapped around it, and most anything resembling a solvent. After being satisfied things are clean then use a dry paper towel on the dowel to dry things. Make sure the dowel and paper towel fit loosely enough to run the lathe at low speeds cleaning the headstock spindle if you are as lazy as I am. Be sure you are holding something you can turn loose of if it grabs or leave the lathe off. That also means be sure the lathe rotation is towards your fingers, not your wrist! The only thing worse than getting wrapped up in machinery at high RPM is getting wrapped up in machinery at low RPM. Heard it happen in the next room once.

    Hu
     
  12. John K Jordan

    John K Jordan

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    Kidding? The procedure you describe vs 5 seconds with a MT cleaning tool?

    I think I'll stick with the toy. It works very well.

    JKJ
     
  13. Shotgun Brush

    A 10/12 gauge bronze bore shotgun cleaning brush works great. Check it out at http://www.gandermountain.com/modpe...-Bronze-Bore-Shotgun-Brush-410-Gauge&i=785015. - John
     
  14. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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  15. John K Jordan

    John K Jordan

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    Oh yes, I called Don. I thought anyone would really like to know in case he was unknowingly sending out a bad run of parts.

    However, he seemed quite defensive. He was insistent that all his parts are perfectly machined on a CNC machine and I must be confused about the nature of Morse tapers. But he lost me when he said I must not know much about machining if I didn't know that all Morse tapers from all manufacturers must be seated with a mallet to make them hold. Say what??

    (At first he said to whack them with a wooden mallet. He changed this to a rubber mallet after he read his own printed instructions. Which yes, say you have to "seat" them with a mallet.)

    Sorry, but this is not the way tapers work, either Morse, JT, or R8. Tapers rely on complete and perfect contact over the entire surface. The tapers on his mandrels only touch at the spindle opening.

    OK, so I tried his suggestion and whacked one of the mandrels into the headstock with a mallet. This did take out the slop. However, after removing the mandrel and reinserting by hand, the play is still there. To use this method the mandrel would have to be pounded into the headstock for every use. No. A taper should seat every time when inserted with the fingers.

    After inserting one a time or two and twisting to test, look at the horrible galling in the aluminum on the single band of contact. There is zero contact down the rest of the 1-3/8" that fits into the spindle. Again, this is not the way a taper is supposed to work:

    taper_gall_2.jpg

    taper_gall_2b.jpg

    Taper_gall_1.jpg

    As a sanity check, I checked my lathe spindles by inserting several other drive centers, live centers, precision ground and hardened MT2-MT1 adapter, taper drills, and Jacobs chucks. ALL worked perfectly and as expected in four different lathes, seating with the fingers. I applied Dykem blue to his tapers and others - this is a standard way to test tapers. His tapers show NO contact except at the point of galling shown above. An expert machinist confirmed my findings.

    I checked the Rubber Chucky aluminum mandrels on three wood lathes and one metal-cutting lathe. I also tried inserting them into a precision hardened and ground MT3-MT2 adapter. His mandrels are absolutely wobbly in all cases. Measuring with my surface plate and good Starrett instruments revealed the taper is 0.058" per inch, way off specification of 0.04995" per inch, way too small at the small end. What is worse, the sides of each taper are not even flat - holding them against a (Starrett) straight edge revealed a slight bulge in the middle of the taper. I can actually feel the bulge with my calibrated fingers. Sorry, Don, ain't no way these are going to seat as delivered!

    When I told him that I saw 0.006" play at 2.2" from the headstock spindle he said that is nothing when working in wood. However, this translates in to a LOT of play at the end of the long mandrel! Of course, under compression of the tailstock the run-out might be high but there might not be any wobble. I gave up trying to explain what I found. It is easier to just fix them myself and get back to playing with the lathe.

    Here's what I think - his parts may have been fine for run after run. Now there is a small error in the machining, perhaps from some setup error or wear in the machine or who knows. Since the previous runs have been perfect, he is so sure that these are perfect that he sees no need to check them. He said I could send them back but since they are all the same I would get back the same thing. (Maybe I shouldn't expect all that much for a mere $300.) I'm not about to tell this guy how to run his business but I hope after my call that he at least checks the machining on his latest batch.

    JKJ
     
  16. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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    Normally, I'd probably agree but I recently used up 3 months worth of tool money when a local turner was liquidating his shop. Want to keep the new spindle spiffy-clean, but will use the time-consuming technique for now.:rolleyes:
     
  17. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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    Wow, not good! Contrast with my Beall experience. Their 3-wheel buffing mandrel didn't seat totally in my lathe, so I called and talked to Mr. Beall. Quick decision to just send me a new mandrel. (Turns out the problem is in the spindle, not the Beall part) Sounds like Don isn't aware of how expensive it is to replace a dissatisfied customer compared to keeping that customer happy.:p
     
  18. John K Jordan

    John K Jordan

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    Oh, just to be clear neither the bad mandrels the phone discussion don't make me a dissatisfied customer. Even his loud opinion of my ability to measure and diagnose the problem didn't insult me - the gentleman certainly doesn't know me. I'm sure he simply didn't understand just how bad they are. If they were bad and I COULDN'T fix them, yes, I would not be mellow about it!

    As it is, I feel more concerned about him than me. The product is good, the engineering and plastic materials seem fine. I've been making various custom supports for years as needed and usually can't reuse them. The Rubber Chucky system is about as close to a universal "custom" turning support as I can imagine.

    After I fix the mandrels I expect to get a great deal of use from the system. But if others in the past got good mandrels, either I'm the only one who got three sizes of mandrels with identically bad tapers (very unlikely), or he has a batch of bad mandrels (highly likely)!

    Perhaps he will discover what went wrong and correct it before a bunch of them go out. If he can fix the problem, I would certainly recommend them to others. Until then, all I can do is document the problem and alert others.

    JKJ
     
  19. Owen Lowe

    Owen Lowe

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    John,
    As an armchair machinist (OK, i do use a metal lathe for some projects but am not expert by any means), I wonder how well aluminum holds up as a taper. It seems there is a woodturning cottage industry of faceplates, tapers, etc. using aluminum because it’s very easy to work and is inexpensive. There must be a reason aluminum tapers are not used in the machinist community… I’d guess it has to do with a combination of accuracy, grinding, and wear characteristics.

    Oh, I just thought about using a knock-out bar on an aluminum taper — I’d think it would mushroom pretty quickly and even distort if the taper is seated really well.
     
  20. odie

    odie

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    I don't think I could be as forgiving JKJ........

    Money is very tight, and I can't afford to waste it. I'd request a refund, or a replacement that's machined right.

    You might also invite Don to participate in this thread........

    ko
     

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