The Tools

Taig Lathe
This is a 30 - 35 year old Taig lathe with an 11 inch bed.  I used this lathe to make end pieces, indentation wheels, and some simple fixtures.  The largest diameter piece that will clear the cross slide is slightly less than 2.5".

Here are two wheels used for making crimps.  The one on the left was made from scratch and was used for fabricating the first tank.  After buying raw stock, machining it, heat treating it, and carefully making spacers to position it precisely in the tubing cutter in place of the cutting wheel, I realized I could just modify a spare cutting wheel to make the same tool. That's the wheel on the right.

The profiles are a little different.  It was hard to precisely grind the profile with the large hand grinder I used (second photo down), but it didn't take long to make it compared with the "from scratch" tool.  Test grooves made using this tool are slightly wider than those made with the first tool.  I don't know if that's good or bad.  Otherwise it works about the same.

Above is the "after" photo, below is the "before".  Not visible is the fixture that's holding it in the lathe.  It was made from a piece of .250" diameter 316 SS tubing.  I threaded the ID for a 10-32 screw then turned down the tube OD for a close fit to the wheel ID.  The fixture was needed to machine the first wheel.  It worked perfectly for holding the spare cutting wheel for grinding (shown in the second photo).

Wheel closeup