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Make Your Own Transfer Screws

Transfer Screws and Transfer Punches are hugely useful around the shop. I own commeically made transfer screws in a number of small sizes, but it's so easy to make larger ones that I don't bother buying expensive premade transfer screws for the larger sizes.

Recently, I needed to make a cover plate for my IH mill to mount an oil pump and generally make it look nicer. To do that, I needed to put 4 holes in an aluminum plate that would line up properly with the holes in the column casting:

How to locate those 4 holes on my aluminum plate?

I could fuss around with calipers trying to get the hole locations right, but what a pain. Transfer screws make it easy. So let's make a set of M8 transfer screws for this job!

Start with 4 M8 bolts and nuts....

I Loctite the nuts in place so they won't come loose...

Set your lathe compound over for cutting a 60 degree angle. Feed each pass with the compound, and set the depth of cut with the other dial. As you get close, ease of the depth of cut!

Here's one finished!

Pretty soon you have a set...

Put them in the 4 holes, hold the plate up, give it a tap, and you've located where to drill...

Like my funky Kant-Twist table clamp? Handy as heck. In this case, I avoided dragging out the big vise by clamping atop my little one...

It's just that easy and just that fast...

Still need to countersink the mounting bolts and make a set of holes for the pump!


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