A CNC Vertical Lathe is a great tool for any lathe operator. It allows you to precisely move the ends of a metal shaft, which is very convenient if you want to cut the end off a shaft of different diameters.
Before your CNC lathe set can perform its job, it first needs a base. So you might as well buy one, as they are relatively inexpensive and are very portable. The base should also have a beveled or flat surface, otherwise the shaft will slip into it, making it much harder to work on. Make sure that the flat or beveled surface is actually flat and that it doesn’t extend beyond the whole perimeter of the set.
Another problem with a circularly cut set of cutters is that, even though the ends of the cut shaft may still be able to fit around them, they will not be parallel. This prevents you from using only straight cuts and will make the machine difficult to use. You can buy a guide that will allow you to make straight cuts without having to worry about this.
Your base should also have a guide of the same material that you will use for the shaft, such as a Tokyo or Rome Roller Curve, or the Reamer’s Curve. The way in which the shaft fits around the guide depends on whether it is a beveled or flat surface.
On many CNC machines, a manual pitch gauge is provided, which is generally mounted at the bottom of the base. To make sure that the tube remains parallel, the adjuster should be in the middle of the cut. It is up to you to check the pitch of the tube on the CNC Vertical Lathe to ensure that it is level and straight.
Before you start on the horizontal cuts, it is important to make sure that the machine is properly leveled and that the shaft is parallel. With the inner guide all the way to the back, turn the inner guide until the inner cone slides in and out easily. The next thing to do is to use the outer guide to gently draw the curve, and only once it is drawn in should you release the inner cone.
When working on curved surfaces, make sure that you move the beveled surface towards the center of the tube instead of taking it out. In order to make sure that the curve is straight, you can then make two or three horizontal cuts, taking care not to make any right angles. This will ensure that the tube is properly aligned and that you get a straight cut every time.
The process of making curved pieces will take some practice before you can achieve accuracy and smoothness, so don’t be discouraged if you are unable to do it in one or two tries. Try to practice different cutting angles and worksheets of different lengths until you are able to accurately produce straight cuts.