[02.24.2018]Turning a Steel Pulley: Custom Steel Pulley

Description of Project

This project had a simple goal, create a custom steel pulley for my friends Barber Colman no. 3 gear-hobbing machine.

Processes Applied:



This project aims to create a custom pulley out of steel for my friend's 'new' Barber Coleman No. 3 gear-hobbing machine. Below is a summary of the general machining operations involved:

  1. (Face-off both sides) - This operation cleans up the workpiece before proceeding with other operations. The workpiece intentionally remains the wrong length.
  2. (Drill an initial hole) - This step creates a hole to allow the use of a live-center tailstock for additional support, reducing potential chatter during subsequent turning operations.
  3. (Turn the outside diameter) - This operation achieves the proper final outside diameter of the pulley.
  4. (Drill and Bore the Hole) - A 1" diameter hole, 3" deep, is drilled and bored at the back end of the stock.
  5. (Face-off to right length) - This operation brings the workpiece to the proper length dimension.
  6. (Re-clamp workpiece closer to the work area)
  7. (Precisely turn the center of the grooves) - This operation, using a carbide insert cutoff tool, experiences the most chattering due to plunging the tool into the material.
  8. (Turn the slopes of each pulley groove, Right side slopes first of each groove, then left.) - Adjusting the angle of the compound slide is necessary for this operation.
  9. (Use high grit sandpaper and sand out any imperfections or roughness in the piece) - Ensures the workpiece won't damage the V belts over time due to surface imperfections, while avoiding a mirror finish in the grooves.
  10. (Optional - Buff the finished working surface) - Buffing the non-grooved parts can enhance reflectivity, but was skipped since the pulley will be positioned where it won't be frequently seen.

Project Photos