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Forum topic by Dan posted 01-15-2013 02:38 AM 1806 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dan

159 posts in 704 days


01-15-2013 02:38 AM

Topic tags/keywords: lathe chuck help

The lathe I have is from the 1920’s. It works well, but I have been having issues trying to use it. Below are some photos to help explain my issue:

This is the stationary end that holds pressure.

As you can see here, the spike is tiny. (Can of soda for size reference)

Because the spike is so small, I find that to keep enough pressure the spike ends up completely in the wood, with the metal rod it’s on contacting the wood. If left this way the rod will burn the wood and has even sunk into the wood by as much as 1/8” or so.

The rotating end.

Rotating end with claws (not sure what actually called) removed. (Its basically just a nut with little claws on it)

I also have this attachment. (Currently has a 5” wooden disc screwed to it to use as sanding wheel)

Basically what I want to figure out is what I can do to make this lathe more usable. Either something I can do to make a chuck assembly out of the above attachment, or just tips or tricks to better use a lathe with such a small support spike. Any help would be appreciated as it seems if I try to turn anything harder than pine, I have nothing but issues.

-- Dan - Wooden Treasures CT - http://woodentreasuresct.etsy.com http://www.youtube.com/woodentreasuresct


15 replies so far

View Dan Krager's profile

Dan Krager

1726 posts in 979 days


#1 posted 01-15-2013 03:13 AM

Thanks for all the pics. That helps debugging a LOT!
First, the tail stock. What you have seems to be an incomplete “dead” center. It’s “dead” because it is stationary and doesn’t rotate on a bearing. If it rotated freely it would be a “live” center. Now either type center will work if properly formed, but yours is deformed or incomplete. The cone center should have a “cup” around it which prevents it from boring into the wood and splitting it.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/WOOD-LATHE-MEDIUM-DUTY-TAILSTOCK-LIVE-BEARING-CUP-CENTER-w-MT1-ARBOR-NEW-/290835699219?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43b7289613
This is a picture of a live center formed like the dead center should be. What you have should be replaced. You can tap it out using a rod from outboard through the hollow against the base of the center. It should pop loose because, if standard, will be a #2 MT.
Second, the spur. It almost looks like your spur is home made. Spurs and tail centers are used for spindle turning. What you have should work fine for heavy spindles. Smaller spindles, smaller spur, which would most likely be an attachment you buy to screw on the threads.
Third. Your most useful attachment will be a chuck for wood turning. Find a medium sized one that fits your headstock threads and you should be good for most any kind of turning.
Fourth. The wooden sanding wheel covers the face plate, which is another way to hold bowl blanks or plates. Remove the sanding plate and screw your turning blank right to the plate using SHORT screws. Alternatively, use a 3/4” blank screwed to the faceplate and glue (with paper between) your turning blank to the wood faceplate. The paper makes it easy to split off the finished turning without damage.
Next stop, lathe chisels.
DanK

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL http://www.kragerwoodworking.weebly.com

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Dan

159 posts in 704 days


#2 posted 01-15-2013 03:25 AM

Wow… Thank you Dan. This answer is more helpful than I could even have hoped for. I will take a look at my tail stock to figure out removal, and will look into replacing it. I would love to get a chuck attachment, but am assuming they would be out of my price range right now. For now I think I will try your idea of screwing the blank to the plate attachment I have.

-- Dan - Wooden Treasures CT - http://woodentreasuresct.etsy.com http://www.youtube.com/woodentreasuresct

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Dan

159 posts in 704 days


#3 posted 01-15-2013 03:38 AM

I took a few more photos, as well as removing my tail stock.

-- Dan - Wooden Treasures CT - http://woodentreasuresct.etsy.com http://www.youtube.com/woodentreasuresct

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Dan Krager

1726 posts in 979 days


#4 posted 01-15-2013 04:02 AM

You’ve GOT to be kidding. I’ve never seen a tail stock like that! You won’t find replacement centers for that. However, you’re not completely dead in the water.
1. See if you can borrow a #2 MT (morse taper) device of any sort and see how it fits in the inboard end of tail stock. I.E. you’re looking to see if there is a MT inside the tail stock. If it is snug and doesn’t wobble, you’re home free. Just get a live center with MT and chuck it in there!
2. If there isn’t a MT inside the tail stock, take it to a machine shop and see if they can make a replacement rod like what you have but with a #2 MT socket cut in the inboard end. It will be a longer piece than you have, but it opens up possibilities.
3. You could also buy a live center that has been threaded on the back and have the machine shop make a rod to match or put threads on existing rod.
4. You could use the center as is but place a metal washer to fit nicely over the cone and offer a broader base so it won’t sink into the wood. Grease it well. This also shortens the cone to make splitting less likely.
DanK

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL http://www.kragerwoodworking.weebly.com

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Dan

159 posts in 704 days


#5 posted 01-15-2013 04:11 AM

Ugh… I read the words “machine shop” and hear cha-ching ringing endlessly in my mind…

Ill have to see if I can find anyone that’ll lemme borrow a #2 MT, I dont actually know anyone else that owns a lathe, so may have to buy one and return it if need be.

Im not positive on the whole MT thing, though googled it and think I get the basic idea. If it helps at all with your thinking, the rod I pulled out is not tapered at all and has no wobble, leading me to believe the receiver it goes in is not tapered. Does that mean anything to you?

-- Dan - Wooden Treasures CT - http://woodentreasuresct.etsy.com http://www.youtube.com/woodentreasuresct

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1285 posts in 1742 days


#6 posted 01-15-2013 04:59 AM

The spur center (the claws on the headstock) is actually not bad. I don’t know that you could get a chuck to fit the spindle but you do have a faceplate. That can be used for many things like bowls (well, small ones. It is not that big of a lathe.) The tailstock is more of a problem. That does not appear to be a removable center. It looks very worn. There are some things you could do to improve it but without a lot of resources at your disposal (metal working) you are pretty limited.

Options:

Free: Use it as is and always make your workpieces longer to compensate for the damage on tail end. Use grease to lubricate.

Cheapest: thread the end of the tailstock, mount a coupling on it and sharpen a bolt with a drill on a grinder to make a dead center that screws into the coupling.

Cheap: Find someone with a metal lathe to turn down the center to form a new dead center.

Better: $20 (plus shipping) + machining. Have someone with a metal lathe turn it down and make a socket for a live center like this: http://littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID=2948&category=1963256895

Best: Have a new tailstock spindle made to fit with a standard taper for attachments (morse 0 most likely by the size of it – Easy to get Sherline stuff to fit.) Would probably cost more than replacement.

Most interesting: You could build a new tailstock. Build up a block of wood with a tenon that will fill the slot in the bed and add a bolt to tighten it. Bring up all the way to the headstock to mark the center with the spindle. Drill a hole (22 mm) and mount a pair of 608 skate bearings and make a live center with a sharpened 8mm bolt that is bolted through the bearings.

Unless you are getting the machining done for free or enjoy tinkering, you would be better off moving on to a new lathe that will accept modern attachments than investing in improvements.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

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Dan

159 posts in 704 days


#7 posted 01-15-2013 05:11 AM

Love the way you broke down that response. Some good pointers. A buddy of mine is a fabricator/welder. Would a new spindle be up someone like thats alley? (i of course can ask him myself tomorrow, just too late to call him tonight)

As for your “Most Interesting” solution, I follow what your saying until I reach the skate bearings, as I’ve no real lathe experience, and until this post didnt even know what a live center was… could you elaborate on that part? If your feeling froggy maybe draw a simple diagram, take a pic, and post it? (not asking for full plans, just a simple idea of what to do bearings-wise, I can make plans for the tailstock)

-- Dan - Wooden Treasures CT - http://woodentreasuresct.etsy.com http://www.youtube.com/woodentreasuresct

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Dan

159 posts in 704 days


#8 posted 01-15-2013 05:13 AM

Also, if you think a fabricator could make me a new spindle, what should the pin end of a proper “dead” center need to look like? I’m not sure what to throw into google for that one lol. Perhaps you can either locate a decent image, or simply clue me in as to proper search terms to try?

-- Dan - Wooden Treasures CT - http://woodentreasuresct.etsy.com http://www.youtube.com/woodentreasuresct

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

12327 posts in 1850 days


#9 posted 01-15-2013 05:23 AM

Hi Dan. I’m sorry but I could not see the photos. I have been working on an old lathe at our museum to fit it for an adapter so they can put a chuck on it. I made one with a 1”- 8 thread and one with a Morse #2 taper so they can use a standard drive center. If I could measure what you have, I might be able to fix you up with what you need…......Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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Dan

159 posts in 704 days


#10 posted 01-15-2013 05:30 AM

Jim, not sure why you wouldnt see the photos, but if you have an email address, I can take pictures with a ruler next to the item? Also, which part would you need measurements on? The spindle itself? (and therefore measurement being overall length, length of threaded section, etc?)

-- Dan - Wooden Treasures CT - http://woodentreasuresct.etsy.com http://www.youtube.com/woodentreasuresct

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1285 posts in 1742 days


#11 posted 01-15-2013 05:53 AM

Dead centers are usually a 60 degree point.

Imagine this but instead of the bearings in a tube they would be in a block of wood, with the bolt sharpened to a point and coming out to hold the wood:

Someone that is into fabrication will either have the resources or know someone who does.

I wouldn’t mess with going all the way to a new spindle. Honestly, I would cap any investment in that lathe below $50.

One other point. That center should hold fairly well as is. Are you pre-drilling and just leaving the tailstock fairly snug just to where the wood doesn’t move or are you tightening it down and driving it into the wood? Best to drill with a center drill the same size as the center and have just snug enough to hold the wood. Do you have a center drill? If not, run down to Harbor Freight or equivalent and pick up a set of them. $7 shouldn’t break the bank. Everybody should have a set of them anyway.

http://www.harborfreight.com/5-piece-center-drill-countersink-set-with-60-angled-tip-42280.html

They make a 60 degree hole for the center to ride in. They look like this:

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

View Dan's profile

Dan

159 posts in 704 days


#12 posted 01-15-2013 06:01 AM

Also David…

”Unless you are getting the machining done for free or enjoy tinkering, you would be better off moving on to a new lathe that will accept modern attachments than investing in improvements.”

I would LOVE to, and will as soon as someone buys one for me ;-) waaay outta my budget right now lol

-- Dan - Wooden Treasures CT - http://woodentreasuresct.etsy.com http://www.youtube.com/woodentreasuresct

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Dan

159 posts in 704 days


#13 posted 01-15-2013 06:05 AM

I see what your saying with the bearings. I have an old pair of rollerblades I dont need, could i steal the bearings from the wheels? And I havnt been predrilling, the cone just ends up making its own hole, though at the same time I do not overtighten it if I can help it.

-- Dan - Wooden Treasures CT - http://woodentreasuresct.etsy.com http://www.youtube.com/woodentreasuresct

View rum's profile

rum

148 posts in 1330 days


#14 posted 01-15-2013 06:52 AM

+1 for a cool old lathe.

I believe that the little capped thing on the top of your headstock is an oiler where you should put in a few drops of oil every time you use it. Don’t use an oil that has PTFE or Teflon. TriFlo is one example that is good. 3 in 1 should be ok as well. It MIGHT be a ball bearing lathe but comparing the pictures I don’t think so, and believe its a bronze bushing.

Blue star was apparently a retail arm of Heston & Anderson. The 1941 catalog here: http://www.vintagemachinery.org/mfgIndex/detail.aspx?id=110&tab=3 has a machine that seems to match yours fairly closely (page 24 – the second lathe) although with some differences (there are also some Heston & Anderson machines/catalogs there but they don’t seem to match quite as close at least the couple I looked at). Looks like it was originally $11, definitely still worth at least that :D

There is definitely no hope of adding a moris taper live center (or dead center or anything like that) on that one :D I’d say that you should just use it as is and maybe add a dollop of something to lube it (canning wax or even beef tallow would work pretty well, grease is messier and interestingly beef or sheep fat doesn’t seem to mess up wood finishes as bad as wax or synthetic oils – I don’t have an explanation). Having it sink in isn’t really hurting anything unless its causing the wood to split. Just leave your workpiece a smidge long and part it ~mostly off then finish cutting it with a small hand saw.

It appears there was a chuck available for it, not sure what the thread pitch is, there might be a modern one to match or might not. The original is sure to be as rare as hens teeth.

View Dan's profile

Dan

159 posts in 704 days


#15 posted 01-15-2013 07:31 AM

wow rum, kudos on finding that link! Thats awesome! Saved that to my hard drive for later lol.

I use 3-in-1 to lube the machine and motor. There are 4 lube holes altogether, 2 on the headstock and 2 on the motor.

Tomorrow I’m going to call a buddy of mine whos a fabricator, I know he has threaded rods before, so Im hoping he may be able to fabricate a whole new spindle for me. If not I think I’m going to try Davids “Most interesting” idea, and make a whole new tailstock.

-- Dan - Wooden Treasures CT - http://woodentreasuresct.etsy.com http://www.youtube.com/woodentreasuresct

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