Brake Rotors

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Not a hell of a lot to say here, but it is kind of slick and it does fall into the shop category. One of the reasons I/we (communalish shop) got a lathe with a 13″ swing is so that we could do some of the larger scale projects that go along with owning cars & bikes. So Jon’s brake rotors are having a tough time of it and at that stage where they need turned down or replaced. So tonight was a first attempt at doing our own rotors, see it seems easy in your head (and it technically is) but we’ve never had a lathe big enough to spin them before.

As luck has it the rotors from Jon’s truck do in fact fit in the lathe… barely.

^ He left the wheel hubs on the rotors which is what we used as a grabbing point. Had to flip around the jaws on the 3-Jaw which are actually mounted in a neat way. On all chucks we had in our shop when I was growing up have teeth that you wind out using the same key/system that you use to loosen & tighten them. On this 3-Jaw that came with the lathe there are two allen head bolts holding each tooth on so you remove them – flip the jaw – replace them. Its neat.

As you can see the rotor just clears the bed, shown better from this angle

There was also an incredibly tight (and perfectly acceptable) clearance with the cross slide.

It did kill the plan for machining the back side of the rotor but I came up with an idea that might work instead – but we never made it that far.

Not long into the machining of the front side did we realize that the tool bits I’d bought for easier things, like castings and motorcycle bits made from brass and aluminum, just weren’t cutting it. Heh that works as a pun, didn’t notice when I was writing it. They did clean up the face but there is still a a slope in the rotor that you can feel. As the bit got duller it began to try to set the rotor and my basement on fire showering fiery sparks down into the chip tray (where oily rags do collect but no excitement).

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