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Old 02-13-2012, 08:25 PM   #1
kyrbz
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Default Turning Corian on the lathe

Awhile back I made a set of replacement knobs for my BMW Isetta. The original ivory knobs were cracked and falling apart. I chose a bone colored Corian (acrylic solid surface material) to make the new knobs out of. Corian turns and taps great. Fun little project.

http://bzisettas.blogspot.com/2010/08/isetta-knobs.html
http://bzisettas.blogspot.com/2010/0...ater-knob.html
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File Type: jpg k1.jpg (152.1 KB, 204 views)
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: Turning Corian on the lathe

It sure does. That stuff is a dream to machine, and there's no wonder it's a favorite of many pen turners.
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Old 02-15-2012, 03:23 PM   #3
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Default Re: Turning Corian on the lathe

Great work on the knobs and even better work on the Isetta! I just read every post on the car restoration that is in progress. Your attention to detail is insane - in a good way. I can't wait to see the body mated to that impeccably restored frame!
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:00 PM   #4
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Default Re: Turning Corian on the lathe

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Originally Posted by smschriefer View Post
Great work on the knobs and even better work on the Isetta! I just read every post on the car restoration that is in progress. Your attention to detail is insane - in a good way. I can't wait to see the body mated to that impeccably restored frame!
Thanks for the compliment!
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: Turning Corian on the lathe

Is the tool just brazed carbide or is a PCD tip on there as well? They look rather good by the way.
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:13 PM   #6
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Default Re: Turning Corian on the lathe

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Originally Posted by Trucky View Post
Is the tool just brazed carbide or is a PCD tip on there as well? They look rather good by the way.
It's a carbide insert that is mounted upside down in the tool holder of the lathe duplicator. I have the duplicator installed on the backside of my wood lathe so that I can turn freehand normally from the front.

The carbide insert leaves a little bit of a grooved surface in the Corian, so after the using the duplicator I would go back and do a little final shaping and smoothing with a skew chisel by hand before sanding and polishing.
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:52 PM   #7
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Default Re: Turning Corian on the lathe

The restoration of the chassis looks real good. I can't wait to see it with the body on it.
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:31 AM   #8
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Default Re: Turning Corian on the lathe

kyrbz - great job on the Corian turnings and nice web site, as well.

I would like to see an overall photo of your lathe, if possible.
- looks like you have a nice setup
- is it a wood lathe with a 3 jaw chuck & variable speed DC motor, or a metal lathe ?

Last edited by Beaumont67; 02-16-2012 at 12:33 AM.
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Old 02-16-2012, 11:58 AM   #9
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Default Re: Turning Corian on the lathe

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Originally Posted by kyrbz View Post
Thanks for the compliment!
I've provided a link to your Isetta blog on Red Leader's, 1950 Craftsman Garage page regarding electroless nickel plating. Your work is truly impressive.
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Old 02-16-2012, 02:22 PM   #10
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Default Re: Turning Corian on the lathe

that was quite interesting and entertaining to read through your whole blog. I didn't have time to read all of the BMW literature you had posted, but I may have to when I have more time.

My twin brother wants to find an Isetta to restore some day.

Nice work!
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Old 02-16-2012, 04:07 PM   #11
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Default Re: Turning Corian on the lathe

Thats what I need to do to my 56 F100. Those corian knobs are sweet.
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:58 PM   #12
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Default Re: Turning Corian on the lathe

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Originally Posted by Beaumont67 View Post
kyrbz - great job on the Corian turnings and nice web site, as well.

I would like to see an overall photo of your lathe, if possible.
- looks like you have a nice setup
- is it a wood lathe with a 3 jaw chuck & variable speed DC motor, or a metal lathe ?
My wood lathe is a Vega 1446 with a Vega lathe duplicator that I purchased around 14 years ago. It has a variable speed Reeves pulley mounted on a Baldor motor. I have a Oneway Stronghold 4-jaw chuck and Oneway live center mounted on it. One of the things I didn't like about it was there was no spindle lock or indexing. The close up photo I attached is of a spindle lock and indexing modification I made for it. The tail stock was also a little chintzy so I did some improvements like adding bronze bushings on the locking mechanism and machining a few pieces that are a little more robust with tighter tolerances than what came on the lathe.
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File Type: jpg lathe2.jpg (80.2 KB, 42 views)
File Type: jpg lathe3.jpg (74.8 KB, 36 views)
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:13 PM   #13
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Default Re: Turning Corian on the lathe

Nice setup and work kyrbz!
What do you use the idexing for, may I ask?
BTW, you may get even better results on plastic using tool steel. You can get a sharper edge than on carbide and you can even shape it to your liking.
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Old 02-17-2012, 07:38 AM   #14
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Default Re: Turning Corian on the lathe

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Originally Posted by NASTYZEN View Post
Nice setup and work kyrbz!
What do you use the idexing for, may I ask?
BTW, you may get even better results on plastic using tool steel. You can get a sharper edge than on carbide and you can even shape it to your liking.
Fluting or making cuts along the length of a turned piece.
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