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  1. #1
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    Apr 2008
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    Default Questions re home made BXA 250-202 quick change tool holders

    Hi All,

    I am interested in making some home made 250-202 QCTP tool holders. I would be looking to make 3 or 4 of them and was wondering:

    1) Where would I get steel to suit? I think I would need a piece 30mm thick by 90mm wide x 200mm long to make four. I would be able to mill the dovetail in one go with a piece like this.
    2) Could they be made out of aluminium? I could cast the bar required that way.
    3) would this be economically viable given they could be bought new for $45 each delivered? I imagine the steel off the shelf would be very expensive.

    Grateful for any thoughts or suggestions.

    Brendan

  2. #2
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    Apr 2018
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    Drouin Vic
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    Find a scrapped forklift tine, good source of thick flat material. I haven't been able to confirm absolutely but I believe they're 4140 or similar. Very hard to find steel of this sort of grade in other than round stock, which would result in a huge amount of waste, whereas a tine will yield a goodly number of toolholders. Economically viable? Depends what you charge yourself per hour.
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  3. #3
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    There is absolutely no way you could come out ahead financially, the only reasons to make them are if you find the quality of the import holders poor or you need some strange/special holder like anorak bobs special threading holders or a knurler. Cutting the dovetails is a fairly time consuming endeavor as the cutters are very fragile.

  4. #4
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    Oct 2011
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    Adelaide
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    Quote Originally Posted by 19brendan81 View Post
    I am interested in making some home made 250-202 QCTP tool holders. I would be looking to make 3 or 4 of them and was wondering:

    1) Where would I get steel to suit? I think I would need a piece 30mm thick by 90mm wide x 200mm long to make four. I would be able to mill the dovetail in one go with a piece like this.
    For home use almost anything would do. High end industrial units are sometimes ground and hardened but several of us have made holders out of standard black steel and they work well enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by 19brendan81 View Post
    2) Could they be made out of aluminium? I could cast the bar required that way.
    Yes, but unless you know precisely what the composition is and can add the right alloying elements, the cast Al will probably be a bit on the soft side. Drop one and it is likely to be bent. Steel is also lots stronger which if you take heavy cuts is a good thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by 19brendan81 View Post
    3) would this be economically viable given they could be bought new for $45 each delivered? I imagine the steel off the shelf would be very expensive.
    That really depends on what value you put on your time and what else you have on your list. I've bought some, I've made some. With the right set up making is not difficult (one reason I like the Aloris design). The steel would be less than $45 each, especially if you can find some scrap or offcuts at the right price

    If you do go down the homemade route I would suggest while you are set up making up extra dovetailed blanks. The rest is standard milling and having say 4 or 6 blanks sitting in the cupboard for a rainy day is not going to take that much space. I think the record here is someone made a batch of 50 holders. I have from memory 20 or so holders in my lathe cupboard; most have tools in them although I usually swap less common tools around (typically form ground HSS). Remember the whole idea behind a QCTP is that you don't spend time mucking around with adjusting tools, so having commonly used tools set up ready to go (even things like chamfer tools) is preferable.

    Michael

  5. #5
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    Oct 2004
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    Southern Highlands NSW
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    It's nice they are relatively easy to make, when you need a special type that isn't commercially available.

    Jordan

  6. #6
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    Apr 2008
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    "Find a scrapped forklift tine"

    Thanks PeteO - that's a great idea. Ill do some ringing around (are there such thing as forklift wreckers???) Did you make the one pictured out of a forklift tine?

    thanks for your thoughts too Michael - re economically viable - I should have explained better - I meant for me to beat the $45 purchase price, not for me to make profit out of them or anything. I'm only interested in doing this for personal consumption so my hourly rate doesn't matter...its all about learning and enjoying being in the shed.

  7. #7
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    Apr 2018
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    Drouin Vic
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    Quote Originally Posted by 19brendan81 View Post
    "Find a scrapped forklift tine"

    Thanks PeteO - that's a great idea. Ill do some ringing around (are there such thing as forklift wreckers???) Did you make the one pictured out of a forklift tine?

    The holder in the pic I posted is one of a batch I made from part of a forklift tine, they're my go-to source of steel. Tines are scrapped when the heel wears below a specified thickness (they spend a lot of their life dragging on concrete), my scrap metal bloke charges about $60 a pair and usually seems to have a pair or two in the yard.

  8. #8
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    Athelstone, SA 5076
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    I just bought 8 off 250-202's as i reckon it was almost as cheap. buying the set screws, the nuts, a decent dovetail cutter that may or may not last, and end mill to remove most of the stock for dovetail and tool slot, and then the steel to make..and I was only factoring in old black stuff not machining stuff...and then add my time...nah cheaper to buy and suck on a coldie til they arrive

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    Mackay North Qld
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    Quote Originally Posted by 19brendan81 View Post
    Hi All,

    I am interested in making some home made 250-202 QCTP tool holders. I would be looking to make 3 or 4 of them and was wondering:

    1) Where would I get steel to suit? I think I would need a piece 30mm thick by 90mm wide x 200mm long to make four. I would be able to mill the dovetail in one go with a piece like this.
    2) Could they be made out of aluminium? I could cast the bar required that way.
    3) would this be economically viable given they could be bought new for $45 each delivered? I imagine the steel off the shelf would be very expensive.

    Grateful for any thoughts or suggestions.

    Brendan
    I have the same size commercial QCT blocks on a 12" lathe. They are quite suitable for what I ask them to do.
    I must assume your lathe is around similar size. I wouldn't use aluminium QCTP's for a lathe of that size.

    I say go right ahead. Do it and get it out of your system. You won't be the first or the last of us who has spent $50 making a $10 item.

    We are all making assumptions based upon limited information you have provided so I wouldn't hurt to give us all an idea of the reasons why you want to opt for the DIY route. Is it financial,unavailabe blocks,or you just want a challenging project to do?

    It will be invaluable information for those thinking along similar lines.

    Grahame

  10. #10
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    Apr 2008
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    Canberra
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    Hi Graham,

    My lathe is a 14 x 40. I want to make them myself for the project, for the flexibility (I have a couple of bespoke designs in mind) and to hopefully save some money. If I can get onto used forks for as cheap as Pete O said I will definitely be able to make them cheaper than $45 each.

    Brendan

  11. #11
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    Oct 2011
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    Central Coast, NSW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete O View Post
    The holder in the pic I posted is one of a batch I made from part of a forklift tine, they're my go-to source of steel. Tines are scrapped when the heel wears below a specified thickness (they spend a lot of their life dragging on concrete), my scrap metal bloke charges about $60 a pair and usually seems to have a pair or two in the yard.
    We bent a fork tine at work last week (not me - one of the other drivers) which has to be replaced, I might try and get it (or both - I guess they come in pairs?).

    Ben

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