Simple Lathe & Spindle Tools
© Frank Ford 2009; Photos by FF

I have a little rack with simple tools that are handy around the lathe:

There are two smooth cut files, just for deburring.


The three long tools on the left are really handy for working with collets:

One is a 1/2" fiberglass rod stuck into a nice turned chisel handle:

With this rod, I can easily push a piece of larger diameter stock down the spindle and through the collet if needed as I use it up.


It's hard to hit the end of a small diameter rod with that 1/2" tool, so I made a second one of PVC pipe with a cap on the end:

This one easily hits the end of small stock to push it out as I cut off pieces.

By far the most useful of the three tools is this bottle brush, mounted on the end of a 1/2" hardwood dowel.

It shoves swarf right out the end, and if I rotate the brush as I push it through, it does a dandy job of cleaning the collet closer threads, too:


This is one of those commercial chip pickup tools - it's a flat steel piece with a nice hook in the end. It's good for fishing out big wads of stringy chips from on, under and around the lathe bed:

This would be a mighty dangerous tool to use while the spindle is running, although it's tempting to try to direct the flow of stringy chips with it.


Since it is so obviously usafe to do that with a hooked tool, I made up one that, with some care, can actually divert chips on the running lathe. I'ts an old kitchen meat slicing knife, with the sharp edge ground off and polished:

I use it on occasion to push stringy chips away from the work while the lathe is cutting. Because it's hard, polished and tapered, it doesn't catch on the chips.:


I like to keep a hemostat hanging there as well. It's a good safe way to pick those sharp strings out of areas where other pickup tools won't work:




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