One Piece Spool

For some time, I have been plotting how to make a one piece spool. My spools so far have been assemblies. The difficulty is the limited power and size of my Sherline lathe and mill. Recently I am developing a design for a very small reel, and this seemed like a good place try the first one piece spool. Here is my procedure.

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Starting with a section of round rod, face both ends. Drill and bore a through hole so that the material can be clamped to a faceplate (on the lathe) or to the rotary table (mill). Cut the OD at both ends and add any recess details.

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With the work clamped to the rotary table and the table in a vertical position, remove as much material as possible with a roughing end mill.

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Switch to a ball end mill and continue removing material from the center. Leave some material for finish turning.

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When using a square end mill, offset the spindle from the rotary table axis. A ball end mill can be run on center.

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Finish turn the flat areas of the ends with a carbide insert tool. I can find no way to get an HSS cutter into this space.

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The deepest turning is done with this custom tool post. It uses a 3/8 inch diameter carbide insert.

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Here is the finished spool (not yet ported or anodized). This was less difficult that I anticipated.

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The raw material weighed 5.6 oz, and the spool (not yet ported) weighs 0.85 oz. So 85% of the material was turned into chips.

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