Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Making a Knurling Tool

Making a straight knurling tool

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

I was in need of a straight knurling tool for my Okuma Lathe Phenol Replacement Gear project and didn't have time to order one online. I also refused to pay $40 bucks or more for something so simple so I decided to make my own.

The process was fairly straight forward: take some O1 tool steel, cut 60 grooves in the outside, drill, part and harden it. Then cut a 8mm slot into a square piece of mild steel, drill a hole through it and pop in the hardened knurling wheel.


The piece of O1 tool steel ready for cutting groves into the outside
The piece of O1 tool steel mounted in my dividing head

Side view of the cutter used to cut the grooves in the ouside 
About half-way there
Getting ready to part off the wheels
The finished knurling wheels
Getting ready to drill the knurling tool holder
Cutting off a 1" piece on the metal band saw
Using a slitting saw to cut the slot into the knurling tool holder
Milling the ends of the knurling tool holder nice and flat
Another view
Close-up of the slotting action
Another view
I ended up switching to a larger diameter HSS slitting saw
Getting ready to knurl the 2" brass
Looking pretty good so far considering a home-made knurling tool
There were some spots where I had stopped in the middle that didn't look so pretty
Another view
Metal lathe & accessories
Metal band saw
Dividing head

2" of 3/4" O1 tool steel
4" of 3/4" square mild steel


3 hrs


The home-made knurling wheel did not leave a very nice finish so I ended up ordering a knurling wheel online for future jobs that require a nicer finish, but $5.00 for the wheels is still better than $40 bucks for the whole tool.


Low Down Buzz said...

If the knurlizing is for a press fit, then looks aren't paramount to the product. On the other hand, if it's for eye appeal, then there's that to consider too.

I'd say it's purposeful and successful. Good on you for the job you needed at the moment.

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