Moulding knives vs. duplicator

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Forum topic by Matt Michaud posted 07-25-2015 03:38 PM 738 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Matt Michaud

35 posts in 2482 days

07-25-2015 03:38 PM

Has anyone ever tried using a moulding knife mounted to a crossfeed in order to quickly turn identical shapes? I am looking at a project that requires turning lots of 14” long spindle shapes which need to be made quickly and accurately. Obviously a duplicator could do this, but the moulding knife setup seems quicker in my head.

-- "Strength in Composites"

4 replies so far

View helluvawreck's profile


22669 posts in 2283 days

#1 posted 07-25-2015 03:58 PM

I have no idea what kind of quantity you want or what diameter that the spindles are but I have seen backknife lathes operation that might work for you.

We used as many as 10000 legs per week at one time. We thought about making our own legs but never ended up doing it.

The people who made our legs used Mattison lathes.

The type of mattison lathe that I am referring to had a set of centers that held the blank and revolved around the centers. There was a set of knifes mounted in a cutter head that moved into the wood blank. The knifes were ground to the profile of the leg. The finished leg was ejected and a new blank was fed into a locator where the centers would tighten up automatically and start revolving. These lathes would make a lot of legs in a days production.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View shipwright's profile


7080 posts in 2215 days

#2 posted 07-26-2015 03:40 AM

I’ve used shaper cutters on the lathe for a smaller job. ....... worked well.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View pjones46's profile


986 posts in 2060 days

#3 posted 07-27-2015 01:38 PM

Most high production shops now use CNC equipped machines to turn spindles and legs. +1 to Paul M. but be careful as the tool sizes increases pressure needed to hold it as well as if the turning grabs the tool due to a wood flaw it can do alot of damage.

-- Respectfully, Paul

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Matt Michaud

35 posts in 2482 days

#4 posted 08-07-2015 01:36 AM

Thanks for all the input! While Paul proved it on a smaller-size blade, I am afraid pjones may be right about the danger of a longer tool’s cutting edge. Helluva, while your backknife lathe sounds ideal, its probably out of the budger. A tracer may be a middle-ground solution that we can rig up with equipment we have. Thanks again.

-- "Strength in Composites"

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