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Thread: Anybody Turn Delrin or Nylon

  1. #1
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    Anybody Turn Delrin or Nylon

    I need to make couple of rollers out of subject material. Wondering if anyone has experience turning this. Speed? Tools? Can it be polished?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Goetzke View Post
    I need to make couple of rollers out of subject material. Wondering if anyone has experience turning this. Speed? Tools? Can it be polished?

    Thanks
    Mike,

    I've turned delrin, nylon, teflon, acrylic, HDPE, and a few other non-wood things. Delrin and nylon are easy and clean to turn. I haven't tried polishing them but I got a clean surface from the tools - I think I used some fine sandpaper on some. (I turned a number of small nylon tips for throwing tops.) When I turn acrylic it polishes easily to a reflective glass-like surface but acrylic (cast, not extruded) is not soft as the others.

    I have no idea of the speeds I used. I remember mostly using sharp spindle gouges, skews, and a Hunter Hercules tool.

    With some materials the biggest problem is the long, continuous strings of "shavings" that come off the tool and wrap around the work. I had to repeatedly stop the lathe to cut and pull away the bird's nests. I found a solution with acrylic, at least: if I ran the dust collector with a pickup nozzle just behind the work it would pick up the end of a strand and pull the entire length into the nozzle, keeping it from wrapping around the work.

    JKJ

  3. #3
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    I have turned Delrin, Nylon and HDPE, treat it about the same as wood and you will be okay. Polishing is not easy, none seem to polish like the resins or acrylics, I sand through the grits using ATF as a lubricant, then buff. Do not buff aggressively, or you can buff flat spots. I have used a torch to polish Delrin, that will get you a nice matte looking surface. I won't try to explain that, search videos for polishing acrylic with a torch.

  4. #4
    I have worked with HDPE on a metal turning lathe and on woodworking tools other than a lathe. It works pretty easily. It takes some care to avoid raising a sort of ragged edge where some material kind of hangs on and rolls over when sanding, but a light touch and fresh abrasives avoid that. I have sawed and turned it at pretty high speeds with no issues.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the suggestions. I have a fancy Italian tile cutter that needs the sliding arm tension rollers (bearing) replaced. This morning I found McMaster has a tube that may work for less than $5. I still may need to cut some chamfers and part it off on the lathe.

    Mike

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