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Anyone ever seen any method of resplining axles other then a gear shaper, gear hob, or cold rolling? i.e. some way of using a mill or lathe to cut the splines? Do they make the inverse of a broach that could be pushed over a shaft to product the splines like a die cuts threads?

~Kirk
 

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any end mill can cut a 45* spline. You just have to do the math to figure out where the cutter goes in relation to the axle centerline.

or you can get a "little hogger end mill" from J&L Industrial. pn CHM-13450C
 

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I'm just a hobby machinist working with machines that a modern machine shop would consider to be outdated, but I managed to cut my first splines yesterday. I used the DD machine spline cutter. No red star, but I'll link to the photos.

The splines:

http://members.tcq.net/jnutter/splines1.jpg http://members.tcq.net/jnutter/splines2.jpg

The fit is really nice. I had to go around more than once becuase it was too tight on the first pass, but after a couple adjustments it fit great. It's about the same as a stock Dana spline, or maybe just a hair tighter. I've got my depth of cut down now. Future splines will be easier.

Here's my setup:
http://members.tcq.net/jnutter/setup.jpg

That's an old horizontal mill that I paid $95 for. The 50 NMTB to R8 adapter was $100, the R8 collet was about $7 and the indxer was about $200 with shipping from a guy on e-bay. You can check out the vendors section for info on the cutter. I've also got a small Bridgeport, but the horizontal is a lot more rigid and I think it's easier to set up for this job too.

In addition to the mill, you need a big rigid lathe and a tool holder with a carbide insert to cut the major diameter for the splines and the sealing surface. My lathe was built around 1950, with an actual swing of 19 1/2". It probably weighs over 4000 lb. A lathe that 4 guys can lift into the back of a pickup won't do the job here. Carbide needs rigidity, and some serious mass doesn't hurt either. I used an MCLNr tool with a one inch shank and a CNMG422 insert for all the turning. .019" for roughing and .003" for the sealing surface. The good news is that the big old lathes tend to be cheaper becuase shops aren't interested in them becuase of their age and most hobby people would rather pay $1200 for a tiny Southbend that they can move themselves, vs $900 for a good sized lathe and $300 for someone to move it.

I also made my own 30 slot plate for the indexer:
http://members.tcq.net/jnutter/indxplt.jpg

The index plate was a part of an XJ rotor in it's former life. I used my M-head Bridgeport (some people call them the Baby Bridgeport) with a 3/8" end mill and a horizontal rotary table to index and cut the slots. The rotay table was graduated in mintes on the dial (60 minutes to a degree), and the plate seems to be plenty accurate.

Like I said at the top, I'm just a hobby guy. This is something I've wanted to since I narrowed my first Dana 44 front housing in... 1997 or 1998, it's been a while. I didn't do this to go into business, and I don't have the time or desire to do work for other people. I certainly didn't think I'd save any money or time. I'd have to go through a lot of shafts before I broke even versus sending the shafts to Dutchman. I just did it becuase I wanted to learn more about maching and becuase I wanted to see if I could do it. And becuase I like old machine shop machines.
 

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very nice work john I like your thinkin I am a 12 year machinist by trade and I do what i can at my home shop also.
 

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Very good creativity John!! Glad you got your depth right...must have been extra carefull.
 

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This is great John. Good job. I have been asking Duffy for pics of an axle setup for months and he still has not posted them (in the spline cutter thread).

Thanks for sharing.
 

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John,

That's one of the most impressive pieces of home work I have EVER seen. WOW!

Nice!!

John's setup:



Index Plate



The amazing results:



 

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Thanks Bill! Thanks for stopping by and looking.

Thanks for the nice words Hotwheels. I'm very happy to hear that the first is the toughest.
 

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Very nice.
Hope to build something like it someday. Thanks for posting
 
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