Making Solid Washers

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This article was originally posted by cako72[1]

Another member asked me how to do washers, so I thought I'd share it to all of you out there.

I realize that this is not for everyone since not all of you are in possession of a metal lathe, but that's life!

Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for any form of damage, may it be physical, mental, material or any other form that is the result of following this tutorial. Wear proper protections (including safety glasses, hearing protection, rubber boots, condom, and space suit)!!!!

Step 1 - High speed steel for lathing.[edit | edit source]

I use a high speed steel that I grind with two things in mind: The shape of the washer and cutting off the washer from the rod.

So, first I grind the left side of the steel to a shape that is a mirror of the washers profile, in this case a concave domed washer. Be mindful of the angel, about 5 degrees let off everywhere!

Keep in mind the cutting off! You have to have enough steel in the front end to grind the edge for cutting of the washer later!

Now for the "cutting off" edge: You probably want it quite thin, to save material and to minimize cutting force. Also I like to slant it a little bit, so the point that cuts first is on the right side. This makes a better cut. MakingSolidWasher 001.jpg

Step 2 - Decide the washer diameter[edit | edit source]

Decide the diameter of the washer and get a rod that has that diameter! It saves some work if you don't have to lathe it to the preferred diameter!

In this case I have a 4 mm brass rod lying along with the cutting steel.

Here you see that I have also ground chip breakers on the steel, making it cut more easily. MakingSolidWasher 002.jpg

Step 3 - Lathing the washers profile[edit | edit source]

When you put the rod in the chuck, make sure you have enough length to make at least four washers (washer thickness plus width of cutoff four times)

First thing is to lathe of a tiny bit of the end of the rod, making it perpendicular to the axis. In the same operation just continue feeding the x axis until jou have the washer profile as you wish it to be. Here, set both the z and the x axis to zero. This is the spot showing on the picture.

Take back the steel, making room for drilling, the next step! MakingSolidWasher 003.jpg

Step 4 - Drilling[edit | edit source]

Now I drill the hole, this is a centering drill with 1,6 mm point and 30 degres shoulders.

Drill deep enough to get about 0,5 mm taper on the hole if you want to file the pin flush with the washer later, otherwise just drill to the washers thickness. MakingSolidWasher 004.jpg

Step 5 - Cutting off the washer[edit | edit source]

Now, before you cut it off you might want to polish it, I leave that for you to decide!

Remember the "zero z axis" thing? Now, move the steel to cut of the washer at wanted thickness and remember how much you move it!

Cut of the washer and be mindful of where it falls down, these tiny things has a gift of dissapearing when not kept an eye on! In the same operation just keep feeding the x axis to it's zero point. (remember, you set that on step three)

There you go, you are already at step four of the second washer and you can keep going as long as the rod has enoung length outside the chuck. MakingSolidWasher 005.jpg

References[edit | edit source]