Bolt Hobbing Tool for Metal Lathe

by Landru, published

Bolt Hobbing Tool for Metal Lathe by Landru Jul 26, 2011
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This is a simple printable tool for hobbing bolts.

Designed to use (2) R6zz ball bearings from vxb.com to hob a 3/8in bolt

Can also be used to hob 8mm bolts with 608zz bearings with some minor modification, though a small amount of tape is required to make the bearings fit snugly.

The tool assumes 1/2in from tool bottom to lathe center on a 8x16 lathe.


Print the hobbing tool at very high infill with support enabled (there is only a small amount of support required)

Remove support, press in the R6zz bearings. Insert the bolt through the bearings with any necessary spacers.

Tighten a nut on the bottom of the bolt. It should be snug, but still allow the bolt to rotate easily.

Put in lathe tool holder and begin hobbing.

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Bolt Hobbing Tool for Metal Lathe by Landru is licensed under the GNU - GPL license.

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Could you perhaps post a video of the process? Could it be done with a drill press?

Here was my simple setup to do a gear:


the axle is just a conveniently sized punch.

Not sure how well it would work on a drill press. A special jig for that in particular would be better.

I'll try and post a video of the process when I do some hobbing next time.

yes it can be done with a drill press only, but you might want another tool that you can hold and support easily on the drill press table. just let your tap run att slow speed in the drill and push your bolt against it so that it will turn slowly. go slowly and you will get there.

If you have a lathe though, a better method might be to get a knurling tool and knurl straight over the treads. That is what works best on the latest batch Ultimakers. In general, a larger radius (more contact surface) will work better.

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