Cutting Tool Engineering
June 2012 / Volume 64 / Issue 6

Tool for faster service

By CTE Staff

Fox Valley Metrology Ltd. provides measuring instrument calibration services and repairs instruments, such as micrometers, calipers and bore gages.

FVM’s policy is to provide high-quality service with minimal economic impact on customers. This includes fast turnaround time, affordable prices, personalized service and even training customers to service their own instruments.

“All hand-held instruments are subject to wear and tear,” said Lucas Stuhr, manager of hand tools at FVM, Oshkosh, Wis. “If any of them develop an imperfection, such as a burr or scratch in a crevice or cylinder, we want to have the right tool available to correct that imperfection.”

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In addition to resurfacing sleeves, Fox Valley Metrology uses the Diamond Flex-Hone for honing indicator housings. Image courtesy Fox Valley Metrology.

To provide faster service, Stuhr decided to try a new honing technology he discovered on the Internet—the Diamond Flex-Hone from Brush Research Manufacturing Co. Inc., Los Angeles. The tool looked promising for resurfacing sleeves used in the cylindrical bores of hand gages.

To remove scratches, burrs and other protrusions, FVM typically used flux and a small diamond anvil turned against a sleeve. Use of the anvil tool often required taking the gage back to FVM’s shop because it didn’t fit in a hand-held drill motor, which meant the gage could be out of service for days.

The Diamond Flex-Hone is a brush-type tool that has diamond crystals bonded to flexible nylon filaments. It imparts finishes as fine as 0.5µm Ra on hard materials.

Stuhr said the Diamond Flex-Hone can handle “any material we throw at it.” His department uses the tool to resurface hardened steel and carbide and sometimes brass sleeves.

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The Diamond Flex-Hone from Brush Research has diamond crystals bonded to flexible nylon filaments that impart surface finishes as fine as 0.5µm Ra on hard materials. Image courtesy Brush Research Manufacturing.

Removing burrs and high spots from cylindrical surfaces now takes only seconds.

The standard Diamond Flex-Hone can be applied with hand-held drill motors, drill presses or other spindles to finish or repair imperfections in cylinders from 4mm to 38mm in diameter (custom sizes can be ordered). Various diamond grit sizes are available, which can be used in combination for progressive finishing operations.

Using the Diamond Flex-Hone, FVM technicians are now quickly rehoning on-site. “This is a much cheaper and quicker process than using a high-end machine tool that can cost as much as $10,000 to $15,000 per unit,” Stuhr said. “We can usually do the work at the customer’s site. Plus, the Diamond Flex-Hone sometimes enables us to extend the service life of the sleeves we service. That is extremely valuable to customers because replacement parts often come from Asia and Europe, and it usually takes weeks to get them.”

Stuhr added that the Diamond Flex-Hone’s low cost and ease of use enables his technicians to train customers how to use it for deburring and other resurfacing operations, saving customers additional time and money.

The flexible hone technology is used for a variety of finishing applications, such as deburring, edge blending and surface finishing, throughout the industry. Parts such as carbide bushings, bore sleeves, and hydraulic and pneumatic cylinders, as well as cylindrical cavities, can be surface- finished on the production line or resurfaced in the field using a relatively inexpensive tool that requires very little setup time.

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