If you are someone that has just acquired a camshaft grinder, you might be thinking about what to do next. I will leave it up to you how to run the business end. After that part is figured out, making a camshaft usually comes next.
I will use a small one-person shop with a manually operated Berco or Van Norman camshaft grinder for my example. I will also assume there are no finished master plates with the latest cam profiles. It does not take long to realize that your camshaft grinder is a nice conversation piece, but has no ability to make a camshaft.
Making some master plates is the first priority. Copying profiles from other camshafts is one route to take. Having your own cam profile designs is a better and more professional choice. I would guess that every cam grinder has copied other cam profiles at some point. It is the easiest way to get started grinding camshafts. After awhile you will want to have your own designs.
Unless you just want to design cam profiles, paying someone else for this service will be more practical. Cam design software is not cheap and neither is your time. After buying the software, you will need to spend time learning how to use it. It will also take years to become proficient with it. Being able to talk with someone that can design cam profiles and then actually having some designed at a decent price can be frustrating. I am probably one of the most affordable and easiest to deal with, of the designers out there.
Once you have a cam profile design, the next step is to make a master plate. There are a couple of options here. You can send the necessary design data to someone with a CNC cam grinder and have them make the master for you. This usually produces the best quality master and is also the most expensive. Having just a few masters made can add up quickly. The other option is to make your masters with your own camshaft grinder. To do this will require that you make a cam profile model first. The model can be made in a vertical milling machine with a horizontal rotary indexing table. Using a CNC milling machine is the best way, but a manual machine works fine also. A used CNC mill is very affordable today and can be useful in making index plates, which you are also going to need. The lift table from the cam profile design data is used to whittle out the model. The cam profile model is then put into the camshaft grinding machine and the master is made in the same way as if you were copying another camshaft. This was the best method available before CNC cam grinders came along. It is still a viable method for those on a small shop budget. There is some more information about this in previous posts, so be sure to read all of them. I have generated many models and master plates and will be glad to give you more detail about this method or anything about camshaft grinding, just ask. Good luck on your new adventure.
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