LumberJocks

Duplicator Lathe - recommendation please

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Ivan posted 04-30-2013 04:38 PM 1746 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Ivan 's profile

Ivan

183 posts in 2126 days


04-30-2013 04:38 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I am looking for a faster less time intense way to make turned items, especially duplicates like table legs, pens, etc…

I have seen the Vega duplicator, are there any others out there? Any automated duplicator lathes?

-- "Do it right the first time, you'll just kick yourself later..."


20 replies so far

View DS's profile

DS

2132 posts in 1169 days


#1 posted 04-30-2013 04:42 PM

I’ve used the Vega. It does the job it advertises to do. Had it mounted on a Jet 1642EVS. Made legs for a new piano bench for my wife.

If you’re looking for automated lathes, I think Centauro is the go-to manufacturer.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View DS's profile

DS

2132 posts in 1169 days


#2 posted 04-30-2013 05:03 PM

Complete with batch-fed loaders

Fully automatic. Very impressive.
Those Italianos are a clever lot.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View Ivan 's profile

Ivan

183 posts in 2126 days


#3 posted 04-30-2013 05:39 PM

The Centuaro looks nice but at 24k it’s weaaay out of my budget. Anything closer to 8k?

-- "Do it right the first time, you'll just kick yourself later..."

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3982 posts in 2411 days


#4 posted 04-30-2013 06:00 PM

Ivan … A buddy of mine is a professional turner and cabinet maker. He made the mistake of buying one of the lower cost duplicators (can’t remember which one, but it cost around $600) and hated it. It took a couple of hours to set up and tweak for a job, then only did about 80% of the work. He still had to hand-tool the details. Eventually he bought a second lathe off CL, and set the duplicator up on it. Having it on a dedicated lathe saves time in setting up for the job, but he still has to finish the work by hand.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View DS's profile

DS

2132 posts in 1169 days


#5 posted 04-30-2013 06:01 PM

The last guy I knew that bought a Centauro lathe ended up producing $3M a year with it. (That one, and the other 2 he later bought.) He’d tell you it was money well spent.

Since I have no idea what you have in mind to produce and in what quantities, I wouldn’t know where to direct you.

They do have semi-automatic versions as well which may cost less. And then, there is always the used market to consider.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View DS's profile

DS

2132 posts in 1169 days


#6 posted 04-30-2013 06:18 PM

I’d actually expect a fully-automatic lathe to cost between $60K and $80K… just sayin’.

There’s not a lot of middle ground when computers get involved in production. Anything CNC in the $8K range is considered a hobby machine.

Your best bet for serious production might be to find a used machine in your price range. Still, it will cost more to get it rigged and running. (Good software can run upwards to $20K by itself.)

Short of buying a Centauro, you might consider buying your turnings from someone who has an automated lathe. All the benefits and minimal cost to you. (Usually better quality too.)

I used to pay a $75 programming fee for any custom turning I wanted, but, could get a 4X4X36 turning from it in the $40 price range, including material. (Alder, Maple, Oak, Cherry)

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View Ivan 's profile

Ivan

183 posts in 2126 days


#7 posted 04-30-2013 06:22 PM

I guess I would be looking at something that would mount to my existing lathe. Personally I am a necessity turner in that I turn when I have to, I’m not really great at it and it is not something I really enjoy.

I don;t want to buy another lathe and my demand isn’t enough to justify spending 10K.

The Vega runs about $700 from what I have seen, but it’s manual which means I have to baby sit it. I’d love to hit a button and walk away while the duplicator does it’s thing.

-- "Do it right the first time, you'll just kick yourself later..."

View Ivan 's profile

Ivan

183 posts in 2126 days


#8 posted 04-30-2013 06:23 PM

what ‘hobby’ lathes are available in the $8k price range?

-- "Do it right the first time, you'll just kick yourself later..."

View DS's profile

DS

2132 posts in 1169 days


#9 posted 04-30-2013 06:31 PM

By “hobby” I was referring to the DIY homebrew CNC forums and clubs that are out there.

I myself am building a 4 axis CNC machine which will do turnings and carvings, but it is definately a hobby machine. I expect to spend about $5K doing it myself.

You could add a 3 axis retro fit CNC kit to your existing duplicator and lathe for about $2500. Then its a simple matter of programming (SMOP) About another $500 for basic software. (Mach 3, etc)

EDIT: Oh yeah, you’ll need a computer for it too.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View DS's profile

DS

2132 posts in 1169 days


#10 posted 04-30-2013 06:38 PM

I was able to produce a 3” diam, 26” leg in about 10 minutes with the Vega. YMMV, but this didn’t seem like a lot when your quantities are as limited as you say.

It did take about 30 minutes to dial it in on the lathe but that wasn’t very difficult at all.
About 2 hours for 4 legs including loading, unloading and broom time.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View Ivan 's profile

Ivan

183 posts in 2126 days


#11 posted 04-30-2013 06:53 PM

Hmmm, i’m not a CNC programmer, is there nothing semi-automatic that can copy an existing profile???

-- "Do it right the first time, you'll just kick yourself later..."

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

1242 posts in 883 days


#12 posted 04-30-2013 06:53 PM

Since have no idea what lathe you own hard to recommend a duplicating system. Lathe size matters when choosing a duplicating system.

For pens PSI has two models for mini lathes that should work great for pens. Vega also makes a duplicator for mini lathes.

Finding a used Vega lathe with duplicator from an individual about best can recommend. General also made pretty good duplicating system. Of course if shop around can find used duplicators for less than new one.

If do a search for wood lathe copy attachment will see a lot less expensive duplicator systems out there. Definiteely not a set & forget proposition.

If shop used woodworking equipment sales/auction sites may find a set it & forget it system that does everything but blow your nose.

-- Bill

View Ivan 's profile

Ivan

183 posts in 2126 days


#13 posted 04-30-2013 06:53 PM

When you way it took you 30 minutes to dial it in, what did you have to do?

-- "Do it right the first time, you'll just kick yourself later..."

View DS's profile

DS

2132 posts in 1169 days


#14 posted 04-30-2013 07:57 PM

This is from a local CL ad for a Delta duplicator ($250 FYI)

First you have to mount the thing to the bed of the lathe with two large bolts.
Then you set the course depth at the head and tail stock.
Then you mount your template or pattern turning in the front of the duplicator and fine tune the depth settings on the template.
Then its time to test it out and spot check a couple points on the turning to ensure it is set correctly.
Then make short high to low cuts along the template pattern until it is turned.
Rinse, repeat.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View Ivan 's profile

Ivan

183 posts in 2126 days


#15 posted 04-30-2013 08:27 PM

Hmmm, I’ve seen something similar online, looks like a very simple roughing tool.

Can you tell me if you had issues with the quality of cut?

-- "Do it right the first time, you'll just kick yourself later..."

showing 1 through 15 of 20 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase