Starting the Beam Engine Cylinder

I have been having a really hard time getting off my duff and down to the shop so I actually started the beam engine cylinder block about a week ago, got called away and took this long to get back to it. But back to it I got where I finished turning the bit on the bottom that goes into a hole on the base and got set up in the mill to put in the holes for the piston aka the cylinder proper and, in this design, a parallel hole for the valve as well as a couple of screw holes to hole on the cylinder head.

This is the first real use of the lathe DRO and I am getting the hang of it. It is also my first real use of high speed steel lathe tooling. I had been getting by on carbide insert tools but the ML7’s top speed is only about 1100 RPM and that is low for brass and HSS, nevermind carbide. Also of note is my fancy aluminum shim stock(aka Coke can) protecting the brass hex bar from the chuck jaws.

Here is a dry fit shot of the progress to date.

I put the vise back on the mill table, got it squared up and the cylinder set up in the vise. I left it there because I am thinking that doing the head first would be better since I could use the holes in the head to place the valve and screw holes. A bit of thought prior may save me some aggravation later. I have learned that it is possible to machine a part into a state where you have no good way to do the next operation.

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