Small turning

I have a customer who wants me to make some Christmas ornaments in
quantities of around 1000+ units. Each ornament would require five spindle
turnings the smallest being about 5/16 "dia to 1/4" dia and about 2 inches
long. I can cut these by hand with no problem, when I tried a duplicator
all I got was fancy fire wood. Since I don't want to even think about
turning all of them by hand, and the cost would be outasight, I contacted
some commercial turning concerns and they turned me down. Size is two small
for thier equipment. Also contacted WPMA and they told me "Good Luck" but
had no one they knew of. Any one out there have any ideas.
Reply to
sweet sawdust
In article ,
Charge more. Bulk discounts don't apply when bulk does not equal less cost per unit to make.
You could try a router duplicator rather than a dead-chisel duplicator, unless that's revealing some deep dark secret that the cabal doesn't wan ^%^!%#@^&!%$!$^%...
Reply to
Ecnerwal
Well, at 5 spindles per piece, and 1000 pieces, you would be really fast by the time you got done. You could start with a long dowel, and stick it all the way through the headstock, and through your chuck, and do them in series, parting off as each is done. Using a router jig could work, depending on how much detail there is in each one. robo hippy
Reply to
robo hippy
Well, at 5 spindles per piece, and 1000 pieces, you would be really fast by the time you got done. You could start with a long dowel, and stick it all the way through the headstock, and through your chuck, and do them in series, parting off as each is done. Using a router jig could work, depending on how much detail there is in each one. robo hippy
Don't think the router would work, one othe places I contacted said no to the idea.
Don't own a chuck so didn't even consider it for this. It could shorten the turning time by quite a bit and may make it doable. I will have to look into that and maybe buy one. I know if I go ahead with this I will be getting some smaller chisels for detail work!
Reply to
sweet sawdust
If you're thinking "chuck" a collet chuck might be a better choice, assuming you can feed it through the back. Or pre-machine the tenons on the dowels, and collet chuck those.
Also, see:
formatting link
That might help speed things up if you're a plan-follower.
Reply to
DJ Delorie
In message , sweet sawdust writes
Not sure if this idea will work, but its one I have considered in the past , just not got around to trying
Take a number of pieces of HSS of suitable width, and profile them to the shape you require,
Then turn in stages, using the home made tool as a scraper. You could even set a depth stop to speed the process
Failing that get some latex and make a mould from a turned master, then fill the mould with all your sawdust suitably bonded :)
Reply to
John
I'm presuming the customer also want the Impossible Three - cheap, quick and good. You can have any two, but never all three. At $30 each, in batches of 1,000, you might find a CNC shop that could figure out how to do it. And in Ones and Twos, $20 a piece might be ok - if you like doing small spindle turning - for a while. But I'm willing to bet the customer has a price point at or under $5 each. If you have a high tolerance for boredom, and don't mind working for 50 cents an hour, turning a few might be interesting - just for fun.
Have the customer provide a 3D cad file of the parts and maybe get bids from machine shops.
Personally, I'd pass on this one. Not that interesting nor challenging.
charlie b
Reply to
charlieb
My suggestion would be, "If you enjoy wood turning, and want to continue to do so, turn the job down."
Reply to
Nova
"> My suggestion would be, "If you enjoy wood turning, and want to continue
Right now I got it down to $8 each, price to go up quickly I fear. But I agreed to give him a prototype of my work and a quote for the product, so we shall see what we see. This job is no more boring then some of the others I get into and money is money.
Reply to
sweet sawdust
Yes the customer wants all three and wants them hand made so he may be willing to pay. I talked to some wood turning shops and they said NO!! so it will have to be hand turned. I don't expect to get it I believe my price will be too high for him. It would be cheaper to do China Plastic. The next one he wants is asymmetrical and will require a split turning and a jointed turning, wait tell he sees what that will cost
Reply to
sweet sawdust
if these little spindles are all identical, then just profile a grinding wheel to the desired profile, then running the lathe at 3000 RPM, bring the grinder to the spindle - should take about 20 seconds each, cost for the wheel would be the usual $15 for a wheel plus a diamond tool you use to cut the profile - you can probably cut all of the 5,000 spindles with one shaping of the wheel if you keep the speeds up and don't let the wheel load up
Reply to
Bill Noble

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