Making a cutter to make a part to finish something…

Sometimes while making a bunch of parts you realise things could be done differently. Today while making additional end of module track supports I took stock of everything and decided to make a cutter and see if it wasn’t possible to mill all of the gullets in the code55 rail. I got started by mounting some .125″ W1 Drill rod (water hardening tool steel) in my trusty Taig lathe. The photo below shows the beginnings of an end mill mounted up in my four jaw. I turned the rod down to .072″ which just so happens to be the same amount as the space between ties on the mainline.

IMG_8912 While I was rummaging around for my torch I found a cutter similar to what I had in mind that was already filed down in thickness and with all of the cutting edges backed off. It was hardened to boot so I stopped looking for the torch.  These cutters work very nicely in brass and I wanted to see how they would perform in nicklesilver which while soft requires a very keen edge,  keener even than for brass.  This particular double edged (can’t really say it has flutes…) cutter was a little larger than the one in the chuck at .082″ IMG_8915 copy

It worked! My setup wasn’t all that rigid and the rail’s unique profile didn’t help matters but it DID cut. I think I’ll finish the other cutter and when I do I’ll maybe mill it to give it less rake rather than just filing it in the vice. Still for a quickie cutter it saves time.

IMG_8919 copy