Harold Hall

Workshop Projects

Next make fixture 3 as follows. Cut a length of 1-1/2” diameter steel (or larger) , place it in the four jaw chuck and face both ends. Then, with the part still in the chuck set it 3/8” off centre. That is, 3/4” total indicator reading, or use a 3/4” thick test piece using the method suggested for the eccentric sheave. With that done drill through 19/64” diameter.



When setting a part off centre in the four jaw it would seem logical to use  a pair of opposing jaws to achieve the offset required and the other pair positioned equally just to secure the part. However, if you are using a small lathe with a nominal 3” chuck you will find that one jaw is too far out of the body. The amount of eccentricity can though be increased by making the point of maximum throw between two adjacent jaws. If you have a large chuck then either method can be adopted.


Drill and tap for the grub screws and drill and fit the pins using a suitable adhesive. File the inside faces of the pins to achieve a close fit on the Crankshaft webs.

Stuart 10V steam engine machining
Stuart 10V steam engine machining








Cut out the waste, assisted by the hole already drilled in the crankshaft, leaving just a little to machine away. Fit the Crankshaft into the fixture and secure firmly using the grub screws. Place the assembly into the four jaw and set the fixture to run true and machine the Crank pin, Photograph 65. If you have a large enough three jaw then this can be used but in either case use the standard and not the reverse jaws as you need to achieve the best grip and accuracy.


Using the rear tool post parting tool, very carefully plunge it in leaving the left crankshaft flange just a little over on its width and stopping when you arrive at a complete circle being turned. Leave in the fixture and repeat for the right hand flange. There will still be a portion in the middle to be removed but do not do this by plunging the parting tool but by traversing it left and right gradually reducing the diameter until you are down to the diameters already produced. Now continue to reduce the diameter by this method to achieve the 9/32” diameter required followed by skimming  the two flanges to open up the space to 5/16”, at the same time ensuring the the flanges are the same width, say within a few thou

If you do not have a rear mounted parting tool, do attempt to remove as much as is possible by other means,such as sawing, filing, drilling small holes, etc. before finalising the process using a top slide mounted parting tool and traversing it left and right as mentioned above.


Having opened up the space between the two shafts it is possible that  internal stresses in the material, now being relieved,  will have resulted in the shafts being very slightly out of line. Therefore, return the part to the lathe, mounting it between centres, and reduce the first shaft to 9/32”. Remove, rotate, refit and turn the other shaft similarly.


If though you have made the part longer and now wish to remove the drilled centres use the three jaw to hold one shaft whilst the other is machined to remove the drilled centre.


Do wind a piece of soft copper strip around the shaft being gripped to avoid it being damaged. Photograph 66 shows the two completed crankshafts together with fixture 3.


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