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Using Router on Lathe

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Forum topic by Raymond posted 03-18-2010 03:57 PM 4895 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Raymond

676 posts in 2481 days


03-18-2010 03:57 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jig

I need to turn some 2” dowle, I want to use my router and guide to cut the stock as the lathe turns. Anyone ever do this before. I was thinking of building something to hold my router, a box for lack of a better word and mounting my router to this box. then slide it along the bed of lathe while the lathe is turning. I’d use my metal lathe but it took me forever to get the chips out of the feed screw the last time I used it for wood.

Any thoughts on this?

-- Ray


19 replies so far

View ElmoSr's profile

ElmoSr

240 posts in 1780 days


#1 posted 03-18-2010 04:22 PM

never heard or seen this but it might be fun to attempt,,you would probably have too mount router on top side of lathe…find something that would glide along the rails of the lathe with out tool post on lathe,,,why dont you want to use knives to do this?

anyway keep posting and take pictures with progress

-- ElmoSr,Ga. Life is Hard by the Yard,,,But a Cinch by the Inch

View Raymond's profile

Raymond

676 posts in 2481 days


#2 posted 03-18-2010 04:30 PM

I need the dowel to be exactly 2” and I need about 100 of them, all 24” long. I figured this would be the quickest way.

-- Ray

View ElmoSr's profile

ElmoSr

240 posts in 1780 days


#3 posted 03-18-2010 05:12 PM

yes with that many you would need a quick simple process. this still will be fun to work on. are you going to turn them from a square or from a larger dowel?

-- ElmoSr,Ga. Life is Hard by the Yard,,,But a Cinch by the Inch

View Michael Murphy's profile

Michael Murphy

448 posts in 1759 days


#4 posted 03-18-2010 05:27 PM

I did something similar once when I needed to duplicate some small spindles in redwood for an outdoor porch rail, mine had larger round beads of various sizes but were really pretty simple.

Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures, but I just used a plunge base router with a guide bushing in the base to follow a pattern suspended over the top of the lathe. All you need is a straight line parallel to the centerline of the spindle so that on your finished cut the center of the bit is over the center of the spindle at the right distance.

Make light cuts at first, slower speed on the lathe, move the router slowly. It should not be too hard to do. By the time you have done 5 you will know all the tricks.

Plan on makeing a few extra, on those redwood things the bit tended to knock chunks off the beads unless the feed was real slow. You might want to knock the corners off on the table saw to make octagons instead of squares to start from. Lots less wood turned to dust.

-- Michael Murphy, Woodland, CA.

View Chuck Shellem's profile

Chuck Shellem

36 posts in 1747 days


#5 posted 03-18-2010 05:54 PM

I know my father did this many years ago. I was off in the service at the time, so I don’t know the details. He used it to create spiral newel post. Built a jig to mount the router and used a Teleflex type steering cable and rack to guide the router down the spirals. I don’t recall how the router was suspended though. I do know that he ended up with a beautiful mahogany stairway.

-- -- Chuck S.

View Roper's profile

Roper

1363 posts in 2467 days


#6 posted 03-18-2010 06:38 PM

if you need that many to be the same size you might want to look into getting a duplicater for your lathe.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust- www.roperwoodturning.com

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4525 posts in 1829 days


#7 posted 03-18-2010 07:01 PM

From my perspective, a running router on top of a spinning lathe seems scary. It sounds like an accident waiting to happen.

I’m not a big fan of lathe duplicators, but in this situation I think they would work well. I would take the blanks down to a diameter of just over 2” with conventional lathe tools and finish the job with the duplicator. You may even be able to rig up your own duplicator for an application like this.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Raymond's profile

Raymond

676 posts in 2481 days


#8 posted 03-18-2010 07:35 PM

Thanks for the posts, I agree that using a router on a spinning lathe could be dangerous. My plan was to turn them from square stock. I am thinking of someway to us a power feed to push and pull my router back and forth taking fine cuts. I will post pictures of what I come up with. I’m thinking of something like a tool post grinder on a metal lathe.

-- Ray

View 1yeldud1's profile

1yeldud1

298 posts in 1796 days


#9 posted 03-18-2010 08:19 PM

That shouldnt be too much of a problem – just make a “ski” system that would ride on the bed of your lathe – please note that not only will the router have to travel on the top of the bed but also the router must travel parallel to the bed of the lathe – any variance in these datum surfaces will make the workpiece tapered. I would suggest rigging up a “dead man switch” to run the router. That way if you had any problems when you lifted up your foot the router would come to an instant stop. keep us posted as to how this works out

View rwyoung's profile

rwyoung

369 posts in 2226 days


#10 posted 03-18-2010 08:25 PM

Why even bother using the lathe? Make a “lathe box” instead. A long box, 5 sides, top is open. The stock is placed in the box and the router (possibly with a custom base plate) rides along the tops of the long sides. You set the depth of the stock and the height of the router to get your 2” diameter. The stock is pinched at the ends and rotated just a little bit between passes by the router with a straight bit.

Before electric routers, a lathe box would have been used with hand planes and chisels.

-- Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

View Raymond's profile

Raymond

676 posts in 2481 days


#11 posted 03-24-2010 10:01 PM

Well I built a box with an indexing key in the bottom 1.5 inchs wide to slide in the track on the lathe bed. I mounted my router installed a streight cutting bit and set the depth. I started the router up off of the piece of stock that I had mounted between the centers on my lathe. Slowly moved the router down the lathe bed about 1/4 inch. I turned the stock in the lathe by hand to make sure that I was cutting it the correct size. Once I was sure the size was correct I stated the lathe at about 1000rpm, and pushed my router slowly down the lathe bed towards the drive end. Much to my suprise the cut was smooth, and the router did not want to jump around at all. Although I was taking a very small cut. Would I do this again? Well i’m going to have to I have tons of these things to make. It’s kind of unnerving having two machines that can bite you spinning at the same time. I am going to explor a power feed option for the router as well as someway to make things alittle more adjustable. With a power feed I could do a twisting cut, also with an indixer I could do flutting. I will get some pictures when I can.

-- Ray

View Michael Murphy's profile

Michael Murphy

448 posts in 1759 days


#12 posted 03-24-2010 11:15 PM

Did you start from 2” square stock or did you lop the corners off first?

-- Michael Murphy, Woodland, CA.

View bill merritt's profile

bill merritt

203 posts in 2043 days


#13 posted 03-25-2010 09:59 AM

As far as turning with your router I saw some very large bowles turned on the lathe using a large router. I mean they were like 20 to 24 inches across. Good luck with your project.

-- Bill Merritt -Augusta Ga. woodworker

View Raymond's profile

Raymond

676 posts in 2481 days


#14 posted 03-25-2010 04:22 PM

Hi i started with square stock and roughed the shape on the lathe and then finished it up with the router.

-- Ray

View Moron's profile

Moron

4725 posts in 2647 days


#15 posted 03-25-2010 05:17 PM

Ive done it…..............piece a cake. Box on top, slot for router and guide bushing…...nice and slow

if I had to make 100 of them…...............I would buy them already done.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

showing 1 through 15 of 19 replies

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