Up until now I have relied on the goodness of others to complete my frame builds. I have passed this final step on to friends and local shops. Naturally I would like to do this step myself but Park Tool’s frame finishing tools are just out of my price range for now. They do however make the best tools in the business! I’d be buying local as they are made just over the river in St Paul, Minnesota. I am psyched to be able to design my version of their tool around their cutters! Park Tools have always been great to me so I will continue to support Park Tool where I can as well.
Sure I could have gotten the Ice Toolz kit for less than half the price but even if the quality is there, they are made in China and having the taps and facers resharpened is probably not a service they offer. Made in the USA is the way to go anyways!
Enter the “Vark Tool” BB Chase and Face tool!
I ordered the taps and facing tool and took to Fusion 360 to design myself the handles.
…..then waited. Waited for the right “scrap” material to show up at work. I wanted to use 303 stainless because its, well, stainless and it’s nice to machine. I also waited for the machine I wanted to use to be in between jobs on a weekend. My day job has this EXTREMELY sweet Nakamura Turning Center. It’s amazingly accurate and smooth. Below is a screen shot from Fusion 360’s Turning CAM.
I wanted the OD of the tool to be bigger than the major diameter of the taps so that when I set the tool down I’m setting it down on the body of the tool and not the tap.
This pin goes between the two ends of the tool in order to keep the two taps centered during the chasing process.
Next i drilled and reamed handle holes and tapped a set screw on the back to hold the handles in place. Then a couple 3/16″ dowel pins for driving the taps and facer.
Here is how the facing tool looks on there. I got the Park Tool # 690XL so I could use it to face 46mm head tubes when the time comes. Obviously some more tooling will need to be made for that to happen.
Perfect fit in my Grandpa’s old toolbox!
I am nearly (more like FINALLY) ready to use this on the All Road frame that I’m building for my Dad so I’m really excited to use this for the first time! I’ll certainly let you know how that goes!
Until then…. support Park Tool! They made this project worth doing! Now, let summer BEGIN and let’s have some friggin fun!!!! Enjoy every moment because it only happens once and we aren’t getting any younger!!!!
2 thoughts on ““Vark Tool” BB Chase and Facer”
Excellent work. I’ve been looking at altering/improving the two BB tap sets that I have (T4 and BSA). The Cyclus has about 0.4 slop in the location pin, my old VAR set is pushing 1mm, so there’s no way I can be sure of either the threads or faces ending up coaxial/parallel.
Hello Dan! Wow! That seems like a LOT!!! Mine have .001-.002″ of “slop”.