Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Cup Chuck For Bag Pipe Manufacturing

Making a cup chuck for a local bag pipe business

Difficulty Level (Easy, Medium, Hard, Insane):

I got a call from a local bag pipe shop wanting me to finish a project he had started a year ago. He had bought a chunk of aluminum and started turning it but his lathe wasn't suited to finish the job so he asked me to finish it for him.

He wanted me to cut a taper into the piece of aluminum, called a "cup chuck" which I didn't even know existed. Essentially the way it works, is that you take a piece of round wood, jam it into the tapered cup chuck with the tail stock which then self-centers and locks the piece so it can be turned on the wood lathe to make parts for a bag pipe.

After I had mounted the piece of aluminum in the chuck, I faced the end and turned the outside diameter to make it concentric to my lathe. Then I had to counter-sink the 4 mounting holes in the face plate so that I could bolt the chunk of aluminum to it and properly re-chuck it in my lathe.

Then started the arduous and time-consuming task of boring the internal taper. The cup chuck was 4.400" long with a diameter of 2.500". However, because the small end of the taper was only 0.500" I had to use a fairly small boring bar. This led to quite a bit of flex in the tool necessitating small shallow cuts.

After everything was said and done, and about 7hrs later, I had made a tool which I didn't even know existed the day before. Pretty cool...


Facing and turning the chunk of aluminum
Counter-sinking the face plate
Drilling out the center of the cup chuck
Turning it to size
Smoking up the shop
Getting ready to bore
Starting to form a taper
Another view
All done
Another view
Yet another view
And another one
And the last one

Lathe & accessories

5" of 3" diameter aluminum

7 hrs

I just heard from the owner of the bag pipe shop that there's a slight wobble in the cup chuck so I might have to do some more fine tuning...


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