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Lathe Riser blocks or outboard turning tool rest

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Forum topic by PhillipRCW posted 07-26-2018 07:07 PM 721 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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PhillipRCW

508 posts in 1438 days


07-26-2018 07:07 PM

I have a large Harbor Freight lathe, but I’m still finding myself limited to the 12” or less. Has anyone on here used riser blocks to raise up the capacity on the lathe itself? It comes with an outboard turning tool rest, but it’s not the safest feeling tool rest. Any recommendations for an aftermarket one or plans to build one? I was thinking possibly a piece of black pipe secured in a bucket of concrete.

-- Phillip- Measure twice, cut onc.... Hey look, it's rustic.


10 replies so far

View John Smith's profile (online now)

John Smith

1436 posts in 336 days


#1 posted 07-26-2018 07:24 PM

when I was making round dimensional signs, the majority of the lathe work
was with the head turned to the end.
I got a small boat trailer tire, filled it with cement, put a metal pipe centered
plumb and straight. then a slip coupling with a threaded hole for a “T” wrench
to hold the tool rest tightly in place. crude but worked for me.
you don’t have to use a tire, you can use a bucket or concrete half block for the base.
my lathe was bolted to the concrete slab floor. if your lathe is not bolted to the floor,
I strongly suggest you bolt the feet to a sheet of 3/4” plywood and put bags of play sand
or something heavy to keep your lathe from dancing around or worse, tipping over.
as for riser blocks to accept a wider piece and still use the tail stock, I can not provide
any information on that.

.

-- I started out with nothing in life ~ and still have most of it left.

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

2448 posts in 2308 days


#2 posted 07-26-2018 08:00 PM

If want to turn bigger buy or build a bigger lathe.

Might consider 11” bowls will fit in majority of kitchen cabinets, when get over 12’s” storage could be a problem for some folks. Last salad mixing bowl turned was just shy of 14” inches & serving bowls only 5”.

Understand that out board rest that comes with your lathe is shaky but so will a tire cement rest even when rotating the head stock. If use a riser block to increase turning height may not be able to rotate headstock any more. Thus your new tool rest going to be shaky too!

JMHO, this style could be shaky too but might look at building one of these. Little better maneuverability.

https://www.amazon.com/Powermatic-6294732-Heavy-Duty-Outboard-Turning/dp/B0009H5888

Good luck with it, hope find info you need.

-- Bill

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LesB

1838 posts in 3616 days


#3 posted 07-27-2018 06:32 PM

I have used the tire/cement type rest for years. It a 13” tire with 2” steel pipe stepped down at the top for the tool rest. It is heavy and very stable. I also use it to hold the dust hood for my dust collector while sanding on the lathe.

When you say you are limited to 12”s are you saying that you only have 6” from the center over the bed? That would not be considered a “large” lathe. If you had 12” over the bed you could turn a 23 1/2 inch bowl.
I just looked up Harbor Freight (wood) lathes and there were two a 10” and a 12” which means they can turn a 19+ and a 23+” bowl. Do you possibly have a metal lathe with only 6” over the bed?

-- Les B, Oregon

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RobHannon

165 posts in 704 days


#4 posted 07-27-2018 06:49 PM

If you have the same HF lathe I do, the 12×36 one, doing big turnings will be scary because of the faster low end speed. Lowest it goes without modification is 600 rpm.

John is right, get it bolted to something heavy and solid or it will walk around on you.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

7004 posts in 2372 days


#5 posted 07-27-2018 06:50 PM

I just looked up Harbor Freight (wood) lathes and there were two a 10” and a 12” which means they can turn a 19+ and a 23+” bowl.
- LesB

I think if you go back and read the description, you will find those to be the swing dimensions – or the maximum diameter that can be turned over the bed (10” and 12” diameter max).

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View PhillipRCW's profile

PhillipRCW

508 posts in 1438 days


#6 posted 07-27-2018 07:19 PM



If you have the same HF lathe I do, the 12×36 one, doing big turnings will be scary because of the faster low end speed. Lowest it goes without modification is 600 rpm.

John is right, get it bolted to something heavy and solid or it will walk around on you.

- RobHannon

I do agree on the speed being too high for larger pieces. I’m looking into a speed and motor modification. I would with Baldor motors on the daily along with speed controllers, so I should be able to work something out for it.

-- Phillip- Measure twice, cut onc.... Hey look, it's rustic.

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

1414 posts in 1903 days


#7 posted 07-28-2018 01:26 AM

Would it be too much for you to post a model number with specs for us to give you an educated answer. What makes you think your tool rest is ”not the safest feeling tool rest”. To me, that’s not very descriptive of what you have. How are you using it? Any more details you have might just help us solve your issues without giving answers into a dark room not knowing what your issues really are. .................. Jerry (in Tucson)

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

View PhillipRCW's profile

PhillipRCW

508 posts in 1438 days


#8 posted 07-28-2018 01:57 AM

https://m.harborfreight.com/12-inch-x-33-3-8-eighth-inch-wood-lathe-with-reversible-head-34706.html

The outboard turning tool rest is a light weight swing arm. It bounces while turning. As stated earlier, the low end speed is still pretty high too. 600-700rpm I believe.

-- Phillip- Measure twice, cut onc.... Hey look, it's rustic.

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1924 posts in 2163 days


#9 posted 07-28-2018 05:07 AM

I have the same lathe and turn up to ~14” dia platters and bowls using the oem tool rest extension. The lowest speed of ~650 limits me to that size. While the extension is not the most stable it will work. The motor limits taking a heavy cut. Interrupted cuts can be done, they just have to be light cuts.

View BobAnderton's profile

BobAnderton

283 posts in 2963 days


#10 posted 07-28-2018 06:08 PM

Hey Phillip, have you watched this? I think it’ll get you going. Also, I think the lathe you have is the same as the Jet 1236. When you turn the headstock so that it points 90 degrees to the bed then the tool rest can go on that little stub of bedway to the left of the headstock. Maybe you just want a leg that supports that outboard tool rest to the ground to stiffen it up. You know, not a complete independent new tool rest.

-- Bob Anderton - Austin, TX - Nova 3000 lathe, Alaskan Mark III mill, Husqavarna Saw

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