|Project by Owlcroft||posted 05-08-2014 04:41 PM||3997 views||3 times favorited||10 comments|
I was visiting a friend to get some wood for turning from a couple trees that had come down in a recent ice storm. While I was there he showed me his shop. One of the things that really caught my eye was a Tailstock Swing he used to move his tailstock out of the way when he was turning bowls. I had not seen one before so I had him show me how it worked. Long story short it immediately became a must have addition for my lathe.
I did some research on the net and figured out there were two types. Those that swing the tailstock to the side (most common) and those that swing it down at a 45 degree angle. I check with a couple other members of the club and sure enough there were those with both types. After trying both types I decided I wanted one that swing down. Next I took a look online to see how much it was going to cost. Long story short, I quickly decided the cost was more than I wanted to pay. So I decided to build my own.
First step was to figure what I needed to make one. I have had no experience working with metal so my 1st thought was to make everything out of wood with a heavy duty ball bearing hinge. After some thought, and considering the weight of the tailstock, I decided the plates had to be aluminum plate. I did some research on the net and decided I needed 3/8” 6061 aluminum plate for the hinged parts and 2” aluminum plate for the bed extension. I have a lot of scrape red oak form other projects so I decided to make the base of the swing out of laminated red oak.
Next I made a pattern for the hinged parts out of 1/2” plywood and an old hinge to be sure it would work. Good thing I did. My 1st pattern swing the tailstock out of the way at a 45 degree angle. It did not swing free of my 18” extension on the end of my lathe. Easy fix, I tossed that one and made another at a 60 degree angle. It worked perfectly.
Now I was set to cut the aluminum plate on my bandsaw and mount the hinges. Once I cut the plate drilled the mounting holes for the lathe and hinge I assembled the swing and mounted it to the lathe. It worked perfectly.
To build the base I made three laminated Oak sections. one for each side and one for the middle. Once the glue dried I used my planer to resize them so that when the fit together there was no need to have to cut out the center section. Once the glue dried I slanted bottom of the base to reduce the weight and give it some style.
Next I mounted the base to the swing and installed the draw catch that holds it in place. Now all I needed to do was cut the 2” rails that would hold the tailstock in place as it swing out of the way. Mounting them was a piece of cake, all I had to do was clamp them in place and mount them with wood screws.
I could not be happier with the results. I have a custom made Tailstock Swing that works perfectly on my lathe for under $75. Well worth the 2 or 3 days it took to build it.