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What is the ideal setup for milling a long fluted rod?

BT Fabrication

Stainless
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Believe it or not I wish to make a fluted door handle, hence the material and lack of need for precision.
View attachment 371834
Similar to this one, but of a more elaborate nature.
interesting project.
ideally is a barrel between centers will work. manual milling machine can do it all with a radius cutter and an indexable positioner. or cnc access on a 4th if you need many of them.
possible with a ball end mill also but positioning might be harder to do and get a good finish if it was clamped down to a table at the ends.
 

Ries

Diamond
Joined
Mar 15, 2004
Location
Edison Washington USA
I have done a lot of this exact kind of thing- ornamental fluting in stainless. Sometimes I forge em- clapper dies in the power hammer, the straighten on the hossfeld. Other times I use a vertical rotary table and tailstock on the bridgeport, but that only works up to about a 40” / 100 mm size. I do have a jig i made with 4 vee blocks, bolted to a long piece of 1/2” x 4” flat bar, which I clamp on the milling machine table. This allows machining a portion of the slot, then reindexing and milling the rest. But unlike with the rotary table, you have to manually index where the slots go on the circumference. I have some pics on my office compute, will post them later. I usually use ball end mills, the rounded bottom slots read better visually.
 

Ries

Diamond
Joined
Mar 15, 2004
Location
Edison Washington USA
Here is a picture of the V block jig- as you can see, you can easily slide a long piece left or right so you can mill the length of you mill bed, then move it and mill again. Manual indexing, which means scribing a line for aligning.
The second pic is a shorter piece, using the rotab, with a chuck, and a tailstock. Works great for pieces that fit in its work envelope, and much more precise indexing.
 

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Ries

Diamond
Joined
Mar 15, 2004
Location
Edison Washington USA
Here are a couple of stainless door pulls. Probably about 18" to 24" long. So much smaller than what you are thinking, and, obviously, with more detail. Machined first, then hot twisted and forged, then electropolished.
 

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Mr Steel

Plastic
Joined
May 22, 2022
Here are a couple of stainless door pulls. Probably about 18" to 24" long. So much smaller than what you are thinking, and, obviously, with more detail. Machined first, then hot twisted and forged, then electropolished.
I was about to ask how you got a decent finish on those.
 

majohnson

Cast Iron
Joined
Jan 3, 2013
Location
Erie, CO
Look at a spin indexer that comes with the end piece. They are slow if you do odd numbers. You can block the piece to prevent it from smiling. A lot of my parts are fluted, but I started out with a spin indexer that uses 5C collets, they even have 3 and 4 jaw chucks for the 5C that work. I used a 4 jaw without any issues on mine. Just don’t get to heavy with the cuts because things can slip some. Good luck!
 








 
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