Making Copper Soft Jaws from Scrap Copper Pipe for the CJ0618 Lathe – TipBlitz19


Welcome to Adventures with a Very Small Lathe For tips blitz 2019 I’m going to try and
make a set of soft jaws out of this scrap copper pipe. It’s ordinary water pipe that I found
under the kitchen floor when I was doing some household repairs, but it looks
about the right size. The first step is to mark out the right length
of pipe needed to make one jaw. As an extra challenge, the floor repairs mean
that I don’t have a proper bench to fix my vice to right now, so I’m going to have
to hold it still by hand. I’m cutting just over the edge of the line,
to make sure the length of pipe is a little shorter than the jaw. Bonus tip: Always make sure your vice is securely
bolted to the bench. For the next cut I need to grip the tube along
its length, and cut across the diameter, so it makes sense to turn the vice sideways. The cut will line up with the first step on
the outside of the jaw, so I mark at this point, dividing the tube into two sections
of different lengths. I then cut into the pipe at this point, but
only cut to about half way through the diameter. The next cut will be along the tube. It’s
currently very low in the vice, so I need to raise it up to keep the saw blade clear
of the vice jaws. The cut splits the side of the tube along
its length, making sure to completely part the longer section, leaving the short section
partly intact for the moment. I then use a pair of pliers to bend the sides
of the longer section until they are roughly straight and parallel. I can now finish the saw cut, fully parting
the sides of the shorter section. The first soft jaw is now about the right
shape to fit into place on the check. I just need two more the same. It turns out not to be important to cut along
the longer section of the tube first. It’s straightforward to bend the sides straight
without bending the short section. The soft jaws are about the right size to fit over the steel jaws, but not nearly the final
shape yet. To do the first rough shaping I tighten the
chuck as hard as it can go, bending the copper tube into place around the gripping surfaces
of the jaws. I can now bend the tabs on the short section
of the tube around the back of the jaw, so the soft jaw stays in place on its own when
the chuck is open. Finally I use pliers to tighten up the shape
of the soft jaws, so they sit snugly in place. I can now use the soft jaws to hold parts
when I want to reduce the risk of the jaws marking a part. Once I’m done with them, they’re easy
to remove and kept to hand for another time. Oh, and one free extra tip. Never leave your
chuck key in the chuck. Check out the #tipsblitz19 hashtag to find
lots more tips videos, all published today by makers and machinists all over YouTube.

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