Small turnings

I have a customer who wants me to make some Christmas ornaments in quantities of around 1000+ units. Each ornament would require five spindle turnings the smallest being about 5/16 "dia to 1/4" dia and about 2 inches long. I can cut these by hand with no problem, when I tried a duplicator all I got was fancy fire wood. Since I don't want to even think about turning all of them by hand, and the cost would be outasight, I contacted some commercial turning concerns and they turned me down. Size is two small for thier equipment. Also contacted WPMA and they told me "Good Luck" but had no one they knew of. Any one out there have any ideas.
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Gotta be turned? I'm thinking dowels.
nb
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wrote:

Gotta be turned, tapers and beads and coves, dowels will not work. I wish they would.
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Make several from 1 stick of wood and then cut them a part when done
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">

Now why didn't I think of That! Actualy I did try it and with more then 3 to a "stick" they break apart in the worst possible place and you have pertty kinkeling.

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sweet sawdust wrote:

Yeah, that small a diameter, I'd be surprised if you could do two. I've seen video of a dude who puts supports on the back side the a long, thin piece to keep it from pushing out. They were nothing more than a piece of wood, softer than what was being cut. Yeah, it rubs and there is friction and heat, but not enough to worry about. It actually acted to buff out the piece where it was rubbing.
I don't know what your margin is, but it might be possible the have a tool shop grind the entire profile on one tool or bottom half on one and top half on another.
You could crank them out pretty quick, like that, just working your way down a long piece of stock.
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Problem with any type of scraping is that it seems to be too much drag and breaks the wood, actually twists it apart. The support you mentioned is something I haven't tried but will give it a go and see what happens.
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"sweet sawdust" wrote:

<snip>
Have you thought about a turret lathe?
Probably have to play with the speeds and feeds, but based on your description and quantity needed, a turret lathe would be a natural.
Lew
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Ouch! you just hit my wallet bone and it hurts! I don't know if that woud be worth the cost, but it would probably work.

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"sweet sawdust" wrote:

There have got to be a ton of turret lathes just sitting around colleting dust.
Time to farm the job out or start checking the used machinery dealers.
Since Warner & Swasey is long gone from Cleveland, should be able to cut a deal.
Lew
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Found company to make turnings and can get turnings and do finished item for 7.00 each first 1000 and 5.50 for 2nd 1000. Now to see if he takes it.
Thanks to all for you assistance

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