|Forum topic by LeChuck||posted 03-11-2013 05:30 PM||1335 views||0 times favorited||17 replies|
03-11-2013 05:30 PM
OK, so I have a small Harbor Freight lathe, the smallest one with the electronic variable speed control.
I used it recently to turn the end caps for my workbench handle. That wood was hard. It was my first time ever using a lathe. Anyway, the knobs turned out acceptable in terms of turning despite this not being a fun experience at all, but I did have trouble with one thing and wanted to see if it’s something I was doing wrong, a common issue, a problem with the equipment etc…just to understand how this is supposed to work.
I was using a PSI Barracuda jaw on the lathe to hold the knobs, and I had installed a drill chuck in the tail (also bought from PSI). I wanted to drill a hole into each of the knobs at the center, to receive the tenons from the handle.
In the drill chuck, I installed a 1/2 inch brad point bit. The lathe was going (I tried several different speeds) and I was moving the drill bit in slowly by turning the tail knob by hand, backing out a bit, then going back in.
What would happen is that the wooden knob would actually grab the drill bit and freeze it (motor would stop) and as it was doing that, it would force the screw on the tail stock and actually have enough force to force push the tail back on the cast iron bed even though it was clamped tight and I had to quickly switch the lathe off.
I tried many times at different speeds with similar results. In the end, I had to go to the drill press to drill those holes, which ended up not being totally in the center, and even quite a bit off.
Was I doing it wrong? Was the drill bit too large and I was being too ambitious? Was brad point the wrong type of drill to use? The wood was some African mahogany and it was really hard. Perhaps a super slow speed would have been best as I was getting a lot of burning as well, but I’m not sure that’s the entire issue.
Thanks for any pointers if you have experience with this.
-- David - Tucson, AZ