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Lathe Bit Key to Good Surface Finish by Ron Henningsen Undercar Digest Technical Editor ASE Master Technician - Brake Lathe Bits

Figure #1 Figure 2

You may have seen articles in the past few months describing methods for achieving a better surface finish or "Ra" value on turned rotors. Perhaps one of the easiest ways, provided your lathe is in good shape, is to use a good quality brake bit. Figure 1 shows a new bit that is producing better results on lathes to which it is applicable. In a properly operating lathe, it allows you to use a higher rate of speed to turn rotors and achieve a smoother finish.

Figure 2 shows a magnified view of average rough and smooth finishes on brake-rotor surfaces. Something as simple as changing the lathe bit will greatly reduce the time spent on a brake job by enabling you to achieve a smoother rotor finish at a higher spindle speed. In fact, when properly set up and used, bits such as the one shown and some other designs allow you to achieve a finish so smooth that a non-directional finish is not needed after turning. You simply wash the rotor and reinstall it. Time studies have shown that you can save half an hour on each job.

Cut Rotors Five Times Faster! Round Carbide Bits Save Time & Money. Carbide Technology 1-800-522-8111.
  Reprinted with permission from the September 1997 issue of Undercar Digest exclusively for Carbide Technology