Compression Strut End Fittings on Lathe

The wing compression strut end fittings, per the plans, need to be machined on a lathe.  Either you can farm out the job to your local machinist, or you can take the insane route and decide to learn a completely new skill from scratch and then invest money in the required equipment to do the job.  That way you can be sure to invest several hundred dollars at least for a bunch of parts that should cost a buck or so each.  Needless to say, this approach was overwhelmingly compelling for me, and is, of course, what I did.

I did a lot of web-surfing to determine what bench-top lathe would be a decent compromise in quality, cost, and flexibility for Skyotë-related tasks as well as general utility.  I ended up purchasing a 7 x 14 lathe from Micro-Mark, although equally good versions are available from Grizzly or Little Machine Shop; all of these lathes are made in the same factory in China and are simply re-branded at varying levels of quality control by these distributors, as well as many others.

The photos below depict the process of chucking up the bar stock in the lathe, turning it down to the specified diameter and creating the shoulder for the flange, cutting the fitting free from the bar stock, facing the cut end smooth and to correct thickness, and then boring the center hole to dimension.

Raw stock in collet chuck, prior to being turned down.
Turning the fitting to diameter_1020537
The fitting is then cut from the bar stock
Resulting in this
Once all the fittings are turned down, they get re-chucked to be faced, removing the saw marks and getting the flange to correct thickness.


Then the center is bored out per the drawing.
Leaving the finished compression strut end fittings.