This section is from the book "Lathe Design, Construction And Operation, With Practical Examples Of The Lathe Work", by Oscar E. Perrigo. Also available from Amazon: Lathe Design: Construction And Operation.
Knurling is very easily accomplished on any lathe if the right tools are available. The illustration, Fig. 328-A, shows a piece of steel with three different grades of knurling. The knurling tool for doing the work is shown at B and is intended to be held in the tool post in the same manner as a cutting tool. The piece to be knurled is driven slowly on centers or held in the chuck and the tool is forced slowly into the revolving work. This revolves the knurling wheels and produces the desired effect. The knurling wheels are hardened and it is necessary to use oil plentifully during the operation. The tool shown at C is a novel one and is very easily made by any machinist. A pair of cheap pliers with soft jaws are purchased and milled for the knurling wheels. While a pair of parallel jar pliers are best, the ordinary forms will do very well. The pressure for knurling is produced by a wing nut as indicated. A tool of this nature will be found valuable in knurling small work where the tool shown at B cannot be used on account of the spring of the stock.
Fig. 327. - Lathe Milling Attachment with Independent Motor Drive.