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Building a Lathe, need some ideas.

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Forum topic by BigJon posted 05-22-2017 01:58 PM 1617 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BigJon

49 posts in 1846 days


05-22-2017 01:58 PM

Been turning on a 12” HF lathe the past few years and finally smoked the motor. I have been wanting to upgrade for awhile but it just hasn’t been in the budget, nor can i find anything that really suites me. So, being a shade tree machinist and fabricator I have decided to build my own. Basic specs are, 38” swing, 30” working between centers, 5hp 3 phase motor, single to 3 phase VFD inverter, 1 7/16” spindle- threaded for 1.25×8tpi with 2MT and vacuum. Banjo will accommodate robust tool rests. Basics are squared away.

The problem is building a tail stock from scratch. Searching the web hasn’t been much help. My thoughts are to by a new TS from Grizzly for the 0766 lathe and add a few inches to the bottom but i hate instantly hacking up $200. I haven’t found A TS off a old metal lathe for cheap either. Any thoughts, options im not thinking about.

I can face plate turn for a long time, but i do some spindle work too, and don’t really want to buy a small lathe to do just spindle work on.

-- Im bleeding, go get my super glue and roll of black tape....


29 replies so far

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Nubsnstubs

1207 posts in 1567 days


#1 posted 05-22-2017 02:37 PM

I was going to build a 32” lathe just 2 years ago, but fell into a 20” Powermatic. So, my plan went out the window.

I would guess the material is all 6×6 tubing for the legs and headstock, and 8”channel for the ways. If it is 6×6, it doesn’t look like you have enough spread between bears to support the load you will encounter for the capacity you’re going for.

Where is REO when he’s needed? He’s much better at this than me…....... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson) www.woodturnerstools.com

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SignWave

440 posts in 2872 days


#2 posted 05-22-2017 03:07 PM

Some thoughts in no particular order, some of which are addressing your question and some of which are not…

If you could salvage a treadmill motor, you could get the HF lathe working again but with added variable speed drive. You seem to have the skill to make the mounting brackets for mounting one. Although the lathe is limited size for bowl diameter, it would work well for spindle work.

Have you looked inside the tailstock on your HF lathe? I just took mine apart, and it’s a pretty simple design. The only thing that I’d have an issue with is the female MT2, but other than that, it’s pretty straightforward. Should be pretty easy to duplicate the design, but larger. I’d probably buy (or salvage) the part with the taper and use steel tubing to hold it.

Having said all that, I suspect that spindle turning on a lathe with a 38” swing will be disappointing. That large a diameter puts the tool rest, headstock, and tailstock very far from the base support. You’d really have to over-engineer the base to be able to hold everything without getting vibrations and chatter that will be hard to remove from the workpiece. Anything is possible, but leverage is not on your side.

If you’re determined to make this work, then you should probably rethink the design of the base a bit. The way you show it in the photo, torsional stability may be an issue in the base. If you weld the rails to a pipe, like Robust and OneWay do, then it will resist torsional stress better. I don’t mean to say that you’ll have trouble holding the piece, but rather that vibrations may show up in your workpiece as chatter.

I look forward to watching your progress. I’d really like to see how this works out for you.

-- Barry, http://BarrysWorkshop.com/

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BigJon

49 posts in 1846 days


#3 posted 05-22-2017 03:33 PM

Thanks! All genuine concerns that im working through. Correct on the steel sizes. The ways will be spaced further apart and bridged internally.

All the tubing will be capped and filled with sand for a little more dampening.

Agreed it will not be spindle work friendly. Most likely will become a bowl lathe.

I don’t really have the space for another lathe and I am seriously thinking about fixing the HF and attaching to the big one as a swing away setup:) lol

Odds of me turning alot of 36 or so inch stuff is probably slim, mostly 18 to 12 I expect…but minus the VFD and odd and ends I will have no cost other than my welding rods and time. That said I have never touched a tool to anything over 24 and truly loved turning on that big hunk of wood.

Stay tuned as I venture into this for I am determined.

-- Im bleeding, go get my super glue and roll of black tape....

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BigJon

49 posts in 1846 days


#4 posted 05-22-2017 03:48 PM

As for the feet spacing. The 6×6 running adjacent from the ways is 36” wide. Feet will be 34”centered.

-- Im bleeding, go get my super glue and roll of black tape....

View Rick_M's profile

Rick_M

10630 posts in 2217 days


#5 posted 05-22-2017 04:09 PM

Rather then buy a lathe and chop it up, just buy the parts from Grizzly. Their parts are cheap and I’ve known of people who bought spindles or arbors from them for homemade machines.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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Wildwood

2186 posts in 1972 days


#6 posted 05-22-2017 08:12 PM

Hard to find people to buy bowls much bigger than 12 to 14 inches. All about storing when not in use. So unless going to be turning tree stumps not sure need that much swing. You will need heavy lift capability just to mount the really big stuff.

James R. Johnson, turned pieces up to 48” in diameter on his home made lathe. That piece weight over 850 pounds. Ed Moulthrop also turned some pretty big pieces before he died, now his son and grandson turn on his homemade lathe. Think will find their pieces sell for lots of money.

http://dailytimes.com/image_5014953e-1ca8-11e3-adac-0019bb2963f4.html

http://moulthropstudios.com/ed_works.html

Ed Moulthrop’s grandson, now he’s grown and married!

https://www.google.com/search?site=&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1097&bih=550&q=jamesr.+johnson%27s+woodturnings&oq=jamesr.+johnson%27s+woodturnings&gs_l=img.3...3742.19479.0.19919.34.30.2.0.0.0.507.4581.0j16j2j1j1j1.21.0....0...1.1.64.img..11.6.1183...0j0i10k1.JBUVTmf--P4#tbm=isch&q=extra+large+wood+turnings+by+ed+moulthrop&imgrc=Eo-6yy6djTYK7M:&spf=1495483227771

-- Bill

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REO

923 posts in 1911 days


#7 posted 05-22-2017 09:28 PM

internal bracing may be inadequate even with the ways spread further apart. Ship and car channel would be a better choice. add a support of the 6” tube under the ways with spacers to the way channels to allow blowing the sawdust out between to stiffen the ways. Buy a tailstock from ebay and make a riser block. double up on the headstock vertical. make the spindle 1 1/2” -8 a common spindle thread as well. I know you will have to make bearing plates but it is worth it to run a bigger bearing (2”)Even with a 5 hp vfd to get slow woth power you will want mechanical reduction (jack shaft) and for running in the basement speeds use a chain drive for a final drive that wont slip. then design for running direct with a belt for higher speeds.

The doubling on this is for a different purpose. yours would need to extend at least 3/4 the way to the floor to help stabilize the column. The cog drive on the front is for an oval turning attachment it is bolted in place and doesn’t turn. the bearing is mounted inside the tube in this case. 8” square tube.

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

1207 posts in 1567 days


#8 posted 05-23-2017 12:14 AM


I was going to build a 32” lathe just 2 years ago, but fell into a 20” Powermatic. So, my plan went out the window.

I would guess the material is all 6×6 tubing for the legs and headstock, and 8”channel for the ways. If it is 6×6, it doesn t look like you have enough spread between bears to support the load you will encounter for the capacity you re going for.

Where is REO when he s needed? He s much better at this than me…....... Jerry (in Tucson)

- Nubsnstubs

Damn, I spent about 30 minutes typing and editing what you see above to make me sound intelligent, but after 10 1/2 hours, I go back and read the replies. Doesn’t look like I looked too intelligent. . I hope all you guys here are smart enough to be able to tell the difference between bears and bearings. Sorry about that.

Hey REO, I see you made it. Good advice. ........... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson) www.woodturnerstools.com

View Jack Lewis's profile

Jack Lewis

208 posts in 915 days


#9 posted 05-23-2017 12:49 AM

I have and would suggest rethinking the Grizzly g0766 tail stock. Mine is difficult when trying to remove the live center and only has about 1 3/4 inch of travel because the MT doesn;t seat until the tail is out 1/4 to 1/2inch. It is also tight turning at the beginning and end of travel. Perhaps the g0800 tail stock is better. Consider turning outboard on something that big to reduce the requirements needed for spindle turning. Just MHO

-- "Now we are getting no where, thanks to me"

View BigJon's profile

BigJon

49 posts in 1846 days


#10 posted 05-23-2017 11:40 AM



internal bracing may be inadequate even with the ways spread further apart. Ship and car channel would be a better choice. add a support of the 6” tube under the ways with spacers to the way channels to allow blowing the sawdust out between to stiffen the ways. Buy a tailstock from ebay and make a riser block. double up on the headstock vertical. make the spindle 1 1/2” -8 a common spindle thread as well. I know you will have to make bearing plates but it is worth it to run a bigger bearing (2”)Even with a 5 hp vfd to get slow woth power you will want mechanical reduction (jack shaft) and for running in the basement speeds use a chain drive for a final drive that wont slip. then design for running direct with a belt for higher speeds.

The doubling on this is for a different purpose. yours would need to extend at least 3/4 the way to the floor to help stabilize the column. The cog drive on the front is for an oval turning attachment it is bolted in place and doesn t turn. the bearing is mounted inside the tube in this case. 8” square tube.

- REO

Excellent points. Doubling up on the head stock length is a good idea. I am going to give the 1 7/16” bearings a shot. As they are labeled heavy duty on Applied’s website. Since what i have is free i will run them until they let go and search for some larger stuff in the mean time. i probably will get away from the flange bearings when i replace them and reconfigure for 2” pillow blocks.

Unfortunately I do not have enough “6 to put under my channel, right now. Looks like you have angle scabbed on the side? Whats the swing on that lathe?

I have considered making the lathe 2 speed and cutting the Spindle RPM in half using pulleys. My VFD and motor are both constant torque. With a 1800 RPM motor and 1:1 i should be able to run 35RPM at full torque….My calculations could be off but my Electrical Engineer in the family says its will work. I am skeptical.

For the most part I am going to continue the way I am going. Get it up and running and see what happens. The experience and knowledge i gain starting off a little light may help me in the future.

-- Im bleeding, go get my super glue and roll of black tape....

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REO

923 posts in 1911 days


#11 posted 05-23-2017 11:01 PM

That’s an 8” w beam for the front way and a 4” w beam in the rear. They are tied together in between. Here is a you tube vid on it.

Itll do stuff like this.

Inboard its 22” swing over the cross slide plate. out board ? depends on what I need.

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REO

923 posts in 1911 days


#12 posted 05-24-2017 02:34 AM

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Rick_M

10630 posts in 2217 days


#13 posted 05-24-2017 04:56 AM

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REO

923 posts in 1911 days


#14 posted 05-24-2017 10:58 AM

Thanks Rick

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BigJon

49 posts in 1846 days


#15 posted 06-01-2017 04:41 PM

While waiting on odds and ends to arrive i went ahead and made my Banjo today. Base is 2 pieces of 2”X1” solid stock. Post is solid 2” with a 3.5” deep 1” diameter hole for the tool rest. I welded the 2 pieces of bar stock together and then machined them dead flat on both sides. Its beefy to say the least, however its well polished and glides easily across the bed of my mill. I wasn’t sure how tall to make to make it compared to spindle height, so i guessed and made it 3” below center. I will probably will end up making my own rests anyways so no biggie if the store bought ones wont work out… Off to a good start i think.

-- Im bleeding, go get my super glue and roll of black tape....

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