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Technical lathe turn bolt heads (eliminate the markings)

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by atch, Dec 16, 2017.

  1. atch
    Joined: Sep 3, 2002
    Posts: 4,530

    atch
    Member

    I saved this pic

    [​IMG]

    many years ago from a H.A.M.B. post. Sorry I don't know who to give props to.

    This looks like a detail I'd like to replicate someday.

    I don't have a lathe and probably never will. Has anyone done something like this chucking the bolt into a drill press and using an angle grinder with a flapper wheel?

    Or, not wanting to stand on your head to do this, does it seem feasible to mount a hand held drill to a bench and chuck the bolt in it and then use the flapper wheel?

    Any thoughts/ideas appreciated.
     
  2. I have a lathe, yet I find it easier to remove the marks as you suggested. I clamp the drill in the vise and hit it with the hand held flapper wheel
     
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  3. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 13,761

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    Yes and yes.

    I had a brand new 18x80" lathe and found the same thing, seemed I always had something big setup and didn't want to dismantle, so yes, the drill press worked great.
    One suggestion though, I like to rough them in with a 2" x 36 grit roloc style disc on my 90 degree die grinder, then finish with something like a flap wheel, the flap wheel is a bit too flexable and distorts a little, especially when trying to make the chamfer on the head look like it was actually machined.
    Most small drill press chucks are limited to 1/2" capacity though.
     
  4. I've found you don't need to be that aggressive. I've prepped/polished lots of stainless bolts, and what worked best for me was using a drill motor with the bolt chucked in it, spin it up, then use a fine file followed by sandpaper to remove any markings. Then with the bolt still chucked in the drill (and while turning it), run it though the buffer. On smaller sizes, I chuck up a rod coupler of the right size to make changing bolts faster plus not having to worry about damaging the bolt threads. It does make a difference what buffing compound you use; a stainless compound for initial polish works best, follow with white rouge for a mirror finish.

    With the rod coupler, I can do a bolt every minute or so....

    I have a lathe also, but it takes way more time. I'll use that on large bolts sometimes (bigger than 1/2"), but not often...
     
    LTM75110, loudbang, bct and 2 others like this.

  5. upspirate
    Joined: Apr 15, 2012
    Posts: 2,211

    upspirate
    Member

    I just use drill press & sandpaper, then polish if you want a mirror finish
     
    loudbang and Hnstray like this.
  6. Mark T
    Joined: Feb 19, 2007
    Posts: 1,868

    Mark T
    Member

    I faintly remember the originally post from years ago, if I'm not mistaken they were done in a drill press using a file clamped to the drill press table.

    Looks like upspirate types faster then me.
     
    loudbang likes this.
  7. Happydaze
    Joined: Aug 21, 2009
    Posts: 986

    Happydaze
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Not sure about the flapper wheels etc as I've always used my lathe. However, the final finish as shown I've easily achieved with a piece of scotchbrite , being very careful of course with a spinning item :). I guess the same could be achieved with a drill press or similar.

    Chris
     
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  8. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 4,410

    BamaMav
    Member
    from Berry, AL

    X2. I've sanded the raised lettering off many bolts just by chucking them up in the drill press and pressing them against some good sandpaper. Start off with a coarse grit, then finish out with something like 400 or higher, depending on how smooth you want them.
     
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  9. upspirate
    Joined: Apr 15, 2012
    Posts: 2,211

    upspirate
    Member

    I was doing some stainless bolts to mount a sbc fuel pump and stopped at the point where they looked like engine turning....was going for full polished, but liked the turned look so I stopped there. No pics though
     
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  10. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,510

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I full and well understand the why but every time I look at a rig with plain head bolts I figure the guy used plain no name grade 2 or lower bolts be they steel or stainless.
     
  11. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 13,761

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    Butter bolts.
     
  12. Stainless bolts are exactlt 1 flea leg and 2 frog hairs stronger than grade 2 anyways.

     
    lowroller1 and belair like this.
  13. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,847

    squirrel
    Member

    I like using really old bolts that have the original type markings on them.

    One time, one guy noticed that the valve cover bolts on my 427 say TR.

    So, it's worth it!
     
    lowroller1, dos zetas and Stu D Baker like this.
  14. deathrowdave
    Joined: May 27, 2014
    Posts: 2,235

    deathrowdave
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from NKy

    I had to do near same years ago , but not for the same reason . My old Pan rear sprocket is driven by the rear drive chain attached to rear hub and brake drum with rivets . Strangest thing to be stooped in traffic , engage the clutch , 1st gear disengage the clutch , rear drive chain is turning but you are not moving . The only thing a passer by had was nails , I installed them bent them over and presto able to very easily ride home . I purchase some hardened bolts to replace the bend nail fix, the heads were too thick , so I chucked them up in the lathe and turned them to correct thickness . A few extras rattled around in the bags for years never needed . The lathe can give them a nice spiral look if need be also . They would make VonDutch proud of the effects !
     
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  15. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,793

    gnichols
    Member
    from Tampa, FL

    I don't get it. I want to know what the specs of the bolts are, especially if buying something I didn't work on myself. Why not fixate on some other facet of street-rod-itus instead? Gary
     
    clem likes this.
  16. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,990

    clem
    Member

    Over here we would be told to replace them with bolts with the correct markings on them, for anything structural.
    Which looks better to me anyway.
    polished bolts can look a bit ‘street rod’ to me.
     
  17. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 4,410

    BamaMav
    Member
    from Berry, AL

    The ones I did were stainless carriage head bolts. I used them to fill some holes, one where a mirror was mounted, the other where an emblem was, until I get ready to weld them shut. The smooth carriage heads looked better than the open holes in the body. If that's street-rod- itus, then so be it.....looked like it was done at the factory to me. I've seen a lot of vehicles that had smooth carriage head bolts in holes where something should mount, like on some pickup doors.
     
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  18. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 7,112

    jimmy six
    Member

    Stainless should only be used for "pretty" stuff.
     
  19. BTW folks, this may be like separating fly shit from pepper, but the OP didn't mention stainless. He was simply suggesting cleaning the stampings off of headbolts, if this is how he chooses to spend his time more power to him. I often polish and use stainless bolts and acorn nuts where I want "pretty".
     
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  20. atch
    Joined: Sep 3, 2002
    Posts: 4,530

    atch
    Member

    WOW. I go off to work on some honey-do's for a few hours and come back to 18 replies.

    Thanx guys.
     
    loudbang likes this.
  21. You could also chuck the bolts up in a drill press and pull the head down onto a flat file

    Sent from my SM-G955U using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  22. spanners
    Joined: Feb 24, 2009
    Posts: 977

    spanners
    Member

    Same deal over here Clem. If the engineer doing the sign off can't see the markings on the bolt heads he will make you change them. I prefer the industrial look of bolts with markings. Kind of says, "this car is as tough as the bolts holding it together".
     
    clem and 31Vicky with a hemi like this.
  23. upspirate
    Joined: Apr 15, 2012
    Posts: 2,211

    upspirate
    Member

    Nothing wrong with looking good, as long as it's shiny and not lavender or pink or something else along those lines. Back in the day, hot rodders wanted to look cool, just not too many had money for chrome etc
     
  24. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 4,410

    BamaMav
    Member
    from Berry, AL

    Or where you want a fastener that won't rust.
     
    gasser57! and upspirate like this.
  25. If you want a lot of extra work, try registering a rod here that has no markings on front end bolts..."no markee, no drivee".
     
  26. atch
    Joined: Sep 3, 2002
    Posts: 4,530

    atch
    Member

    Thanx guys. I understand every comment and viewpoint. It just looks to me like bolts done up this way show that the owner/builder cares enough to go an extra mile.
     
    a boner and Bandit Billy like this.
  27. THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER
    Joined: Jun 6, 2007
    Posts: 3,169

    THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER
    Member
    from FRENCHTOWN

    Yup.
    To me it seems like erasing the signature from a Monet or Rembrandt painting.
     
    Crusty Chevy likes this.
  28. Some steel bolts don't rust. Not sure what they are how they are treated or plated with but they don't rust. Most are some sort of special use bolt though.
     
  29. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 13,761

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    Supertanium maybe.
    I'm not kidding, that's what they are called.
    Google it.
     
  30. Speedwrench
    Joined: Nov 21, 2009
    Posts: 1,023

    Speedwrench
    Member

    Made by Premier Fasteners Co.

    They were the official fastener supplier to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for years. Everybody around Indy had bins full of them.

    I think they also made a bolt that was a grade down in strength called Tritanium.
     

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