Friday, April 29, 2011

working for a magazine

man let me tell you, working for a magazine isn't as fun as it looks. like don't get me wrong, its awesome, but theres alot of shit. dealing with other people, deadlines, ideas, content, proofreading, layout/design, money, etc. fuck the list goes on and on. so just for all you followers and supporters, i hope you know that we are always working hard, mostly at the last minute, to bring you the highest quality magazine possible.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Come see us here on Saturday!!

Last ones for internal thread and some for external thread

Few more....

More threading reference pics

I can only upload 5 pics at a time so use the following pics for more reference with the "Single Point threading on a Lathe" post With the number in the top left corner coressponding to where they apply.

Single point Threading on a Lathe

Here we go.

As you can see from my set-up the barrel is bigger than the bore of the lathe, so a steady rest is in order. To set-up the steady I dial the outside of the barrel to 0 then bring up the rollers of the steady as I roll the chuck in neutral, that way they come in contact with the barrel in motion which is how they will work when threading.
The key to a good set-up is rigidity which means putting the support as close to the end to be machined as possible. In my set-up I placed the steady as close to the welded on port as I felt comfortable to keep deflection and vibration to the absolute minimum.
Alright, now to start off you have to make the bore the right size to have proper depth to the root of your thread and also the proper height of the crest. This is along the same lines as drilling a hole to the right size in order to tap a certain size thread into it. The only difference is that the tap drill size when drilling is based around the factor of a 75% thread depth where single point threading is 100% thread depth right down to the .001” for different “fits” of the male and female pieces. To do this you use a formula which is
.6495 x 1/the pitch of the thread is you are going to cut. This formula is for a class 2 fit which is a standard General Purpose thread.
The pitch being how many full threads there is over the span of 1”. The answer will be the approximate SINGLE sided thread depth. To find what the overall depth will be just multiply what you get by 2. Now this is just an APPROXIMATE to put you in the general ballpark of the final depth. The end result on the piece may be over or below by tenths or even thousandths depending on how precise you bored your hole. I like to go .003-.005” bigger on my bore when making my hole so I don’t have to do any sanding on the threads in case the hole is too small. Just as when turning a piece to thread externally I go .003-.005” SMALLER that the nominal OD to achieve the same result which is no sanding.
K here’s what I was threading at work, it is a Buttress thread which is a self sealing/self holding thread with a completely different thread for than a standard V thread, but the same principles still apply. I had to make this gland with the mating outside thread
Fit into the end of this barrel by making the proper mating inside threads.
I had to make a 3 ¾”-12TPI thread inside the hydraulic cylinder barrels. So I punched .6495 x 1/12 (the TPI of the thread) into my calculator which gave me an answer of .054”. So that means that the SINGLE sided thread depth is .054”. Multiply that by 2 and I get .108” which means the overall thread depth I’m working with is the .108”. So now that I have that answer I can figure out what size I need to make the hole by subtracting the .108” from the 3 3/4” nominal diameter I need to hit. My answer is 3.642” (plus the extra .005” I like to go over to prevent having to sand, so it is actually 3.647”) so now I know what size to make my hole in order to achieve the proper thread depth.

Ok now that all the brain work is done it’s time to make the hands do what they need to do. First off we need to get our boring bar set-up to start making hole.
Then I start boring to the proper depth and length of what we need for fitment.
I tapered off the end of the thread so there won’t be a sharp edge that would rip seals on the piston when I assemble the cylinder.
Once i have my depth you will need to make an undercut for the thread to run out properly and not hit the shoulder ive made so I take a radius insert and make a groove at the end of the bore approx .010-.015” deeper than the depth of the thread so it will have a clean run out. I use a radius because it’s a stronger shape than a square which has sharp corners that could be a breaking point under stress.
Now comes the fun part, setting up and cutting the thread. Like I said the thread I was cutting is a Buttress thread which has a specific form with a 45 degree leading edge and a 7 degree backside edge. So the insert looks like this
The mating threads have a cross section that looks like this
Once I have my tool squared to the barrel I touch off the insert to the bore of the barrel and set my ZERO. I then set the gears on the lathe to cut the right TPI I need in this case it’s 12 using the chart on the lathe for the different levers. Once that is all set I fire up the lathe and start to focus on the thread chasing dial usually down and to the right of the carriage which will usually look like this

3 4


. With different pitches of thread, the lever should be engaged at certain numbers being the same number everytime you engage it to keep the pitch constant. If the TPI of the thread you’re cutting is a multiple of the TPI of the leadscrew on the lathe you’re using you can engage it anywhere on the dial over and over, a different spot everytime. My lathe’s leadscrew has TPI of 4 and the thread I’m cutting is 12 so I can engage it anywhere, anytime because 4 is a multiple of 12.
For my first pass I just want to scratch the surface so I can check that I have the right TPI set. I do this with a thread pitch guage, I set it to 12 TPI and compare it to my scratch.
Once I check it and it’s good, I start taking my cuts. Once i get about .015” away from my .108” approx depth I start taking small cuts of .001” and check my mating guage in the case the threaded gland I’m using, to come to the proper depth slowly so I don’t go too deep and have a really loose thread.
The thread is gonna look ragged during the threading process so don’t worry, you will have to condition it at the end to make everything smooth.
Getting closer. Now I have to start taking passes at my last depth to take the deflection out of the threading tool because it gets pushed out gradually as the insert moves through the piece. Doing the “spring” passes the tool pressure decreases which straightens out the thread making it even from front to back.
To the final product which is the gland threading all the way to the shoulder of the barrel.

So remember when I said that formula gives you an “approximate” depth and you’d have to tweek it to suit? Well I had to go .003” deeper then my formula told me to in order to make a proper fit to it’s mate.

Some things I use to condition a thread at the end of the process’ are:
A pointed file run with the point in the root of the thread while the lathe is running because the thread will move the file along as it turns helping to clean out and burrs or sharp edges that would affect the pieces from mating together.
A deburring blade to fix the lead of the thread from sharp edges or burrs.

And lastly, a 120 grit emery cloth to clean or sand down the crest of the thread.

SO that’s how you set up and cut an internal thread. To cut an outside thread you use the same formula and principles mostly but different tooling.

Here's a quick rundown on some external threads. Like o said a lot of the principles apply from internal threading. The .6495 formula is still used to determine depth, but you don't need it to find the diameter to machine to because this time you turn the od to aboot .005" under the nominal diameter shown in the thread designation.

Ex. I needed to put an 1 7/8" - 12 you thread on this smaller hyd cylinder barrel.

So I turn it to 1.870" with the same type of radius undercut relief as the internal.


Touch off with the threading tool to find 0 and take a scratch pass to check your tpi settings with a thread pitch gauge.

Once your sure you can start threading. Once you get close to your calculated depth you can start conditioning the thread and checking with a calibrated gauge.
That's all for now folks.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Writing/Photographing 101 For Bikers & Gear Heads

Lowside Mag is a great place to share our rides, expertise, and adventures. We have been given a unique opportunity to communicate with like minded folks all over the world. For some of us it’s a difficult transition from having beer lubricated conversations to putting it down in words and photos. Here is some help to get your thoughts down on paper, and folks to appreciate what you have to say.

When writing an article keep it short and sweet, 500 words or less. Cover all the points with as few words as possible. At the same time make it personal and entertaining. Start with a compelling introduction why or how this story came about. This is where you grab people’s attention. Next what your story is all about. Rap up your article with how this can benefit the reader, along with resources for more information. Use your spell check, read it out load to yourself, get others to read it, and give you feed back.

Now for the photos. All photos need to be high quality, and high resolution JPG files (8x10 at 300dpi). WTF? Not to worry, set your camera to the highest resolution JPG possible. Just read your cameras manual. If you don’t have a manual, then Google the make and model, chances are it’s on the internet. Or, get a friend to help.

Take photos from as many different angles as possible that illustrate what you want to say. Try to be objective, and make sure that which is in your photos has meaning or purpose. Keep the background and foreground simple, and uncluttered. In other words, do you really want that garbage can in the background? Does the 2011 lime green Toyota Prius really belong in your photo with the Shovelhead.

Focus on what is important. Try using the close-up or portrait settings on your camera to direct attention to details. When photographing motorcycles, you may want to move the bike as far away from the background as possible. This will help throw the background out of focus so the bikes details will stand out. If by chance your camera can not focus close-up on small items, then move back just enough to ensure a sharp image. If you are using a high resolution setting, then you or the designer can crop in.

Lighting is everything, and there is no good or bad. That is except for on camera flashes. Generally on camera flashes are flat, without character, and unappealing. So, try different lighting depending on what you are photographing. If you are shooting in a low light situation, use a tripod and set up some lights. Have fun experimenting to see what works best. Be sure to set your camera for auto white balance, and no flash. There will be exceptions to the rules, like photographing drunken bikers in a dark bar. Then use your cameras flash to capture the moment.

Here is hoping this helps you find a creative way to share what is important in your life. Remember, we want folks to take time to appreciate what you are putting down. It is our job to create crafted pieces that will capture their interest. Have fun, experiment, analyze other folk’s work you like, and incorporate it into your own creations.
Long May You Ride,

Thursday, April 14, 2011

In The Works.

Here is a sneak preview of 3 photo shoots for upcoming issues of Lowside Magazine.
Tammy’s Sporty
Jebby Shack
Sean Sweeney Xs Speed
Got something that you want photographed, then drop me a line.
Looking to submit photos and stories? We are all about that also.
Long May You Ride,
Q-Ball AKA Doug Barber

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Whatchu Talkin' bout, Willis?

Hey now, I figured I'd chime in too. Some of you know me but for those who don't, I'm Sean Sweeney and write under the name XsSpeed. Up until last month, I wrote for The Horse Backstreet Choppers magazine for 10 years. I have been building bikes part-time since 1996. I'm not from a gearhead family - I just got interested in fabrication and learned on my own (and took some classes). I grew up skateboarding and although skating was my life from 5th grade on, I was never all that good. Here I am in 1983 on my 1/4 pipe.

Luckily, my 12 year old has gotten into skating, so at 45, I got a board and started skating again. I also play bass, sing backup vocals, and write songs for my grunge/punk band Soulful Aggression. We're playing this thursday at the Recher Theater in Towson and the Sidebar in Baltimore May 12th. Come check us out. I hope to contribute some cool stuff to the magazine and this blog. Thanks to Rich and everybody for asking me to be a part of something new, fresh, and pure. Stay Cool, Sean

Friday, April 8, 2011


Hey lads and lasses, I am extremely fortunate to have been brought on board with Lowside to do whatever I can to add to the super RAD things that the Syndicate has been bustin out. Little background ABOOT me, 32 years old from Alberta Canaduh, Red Seal Journeyman Manual Machinist, Welder, designer, fab guy, etc. Been wrenchin on 2 and 4 wheels since I was a wee shit with my Pops. Anyway, I'm really STOKED to be a part of such a killer group like this, thank you Rich you are a ruler and I hope I can keep up with all the rest of the creative peeps with Lowside Syndicate. Peace, NoShame Blair

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I know thas right!

im all up on this shit now! oh yeah, qball took this picture. click the picture for a link to his page.

Friday, April 1, 2011


Come down to Kundratic's and get some good stuff. Gotta get there early if you want some good scores on used parts. Stop by the Lowside booth and say hi! See ya there
We promised a new look in 2011, but we are also taking the mag in a new direction....
Check out what we have planned for Issue 5! It's going to be dope!