I'm almost positive this has been brought up as a subject,but I'm too lazy to look it up if it is in here.Basically,I'm asking if stainless 302,304 and/or 316 bearings are hard enough for ball/socket armetures?They are RC 25-36 and you can still machine them.The other S.S bearings I've found are too damn hard to drill or do anything with.You need an EDM machine them or a grinder to make holes in them.

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O1 tool steel - I've recently been using that, particularly for small things.  Thin 1018 plates bend more than is acceptable, and with everyone fixated on Burtonesque skinny joints these days that's something to consider.  Tom Brierton was a long-time user of 2024, but recently did an armature where the animator requested O1, and Tom said he was very pleased with the results.  It was much easier to tighten the joints.

The nephew kid mentions cost; while O1 is definitely pricier than 1018, in the amounts we use that's not much of a factor. You can always use cheaper materials for bulk and structure. Kind of like sticker shock for silver solder - a 30' spool can be $50 or more, but it lasts for a very long time over many armatures.

Has anyone used "drill rod/stock" and/or phosphorous bronze in their armatures?

In my puppet heads I use the bronze/aluminum stock for the neck and I plan on doing some of the joints in the same material

Hmmm...I've been considering the use of phosphorous bronze in combination with joints for a ling time.Phophorous bronze has excellent wear charateristics and unless it is a particularly very *hard* bronze(which I don't think it is),it machines very well with just HSS tooling and you don't need a cutting fluid to machine or drill it.I don't know what the cost might be(could be pricey),or what varaiety the stock comes in,or if you only get in in round and bar stock in one size.If that's the case,there's allot of waste involved in that and that's like throwing money away.

 

You have to get phosphor bronze in sheet form (http://www.mcmaster.com/#standard-bronze-alloy-510-sheets/=ldndaq), and find someone with a heavy duty table saw to cut them into strips.  You can shear it as well, but it'll leave a bevel down the side of each strip, which makes me grumpy.  Certainly not the cheapest as stock goes, but I feel it is worth every penny.

John Polacchi said:

Hmmm...I've been considering the use of phosphorous bronze in combination with joints for a ling time.Phophorous bronze has excellent wear charateristics and unless it is a particularly very *hard* bronze(which I don't think it is),it machines very well with just HSS tooling and you don't need a cutting fluid to machine or drill it.I don't know what the cost might be(could be pricey),or what varaiety the stock comes in,or if you only get in in round and bar stock in one size.If that's the case,there's allot of waste involved in that and that's like throwing money away.

 

Well,I think I'm more interested in geting round or square stock to be machined into joints or as parts of joints. Whether I do it or if I have to have it done,it definately has  good characteristics that would serve well in armature fabrication.I'm without a vertical mill or lathe,so I'm sort of "dead" in the water.I've been looking into getting a Hardinge TM/UM mill,but it is proving to be troublesome and frustrating.

 

the 954 bronze I have will some day go to a guy to see if he can water cut it into rough sizes for me

Just FYI,

I only use the bronze for bearing plates (it is pricey stuff after all).  Support structures, rod receivers, hard points, etc. I use brass or other cheap, easy machining/soldering material (but I prefer brass).

Never had the plate cut by water jet; should be fine though (less kerf waste to be sure)  May try that myself next time.  Fortunately, I still have quite a hoard of cut stock from the old days... :)

We use 304 and have never had any complaints - biggest problem is drilling them. 

Good luck!

Wes

How much harder is 304 stainless compared to 302? Will carbide tooling be better to machine and/or drill it?That's all I was really looking to use the phsophorous bronze for,the sandwich plate(s) for a ball&socket,of the mating ends of a hinge joint or the main components to a collet joint.I had a sneaking suspicion that it is pricey,so it was something I was intending using sparingly.I also think it is quite a bit heavier than tool steel,so no point in making the entire armature out of the stuff.

Cool thread guys

I found the hardest thing about drilling stainless balls, is holding the ball while drilling. It used to be pot luck for me. I had 3 containers for the balls a, b and c grade .....there was always a heap in the c grade container cause the drill would go off to the side....using a  lathe it makes it a dream....even a baby micro lathe works great....borrowing  a mates is the beat way

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