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Forum topic by Mark Shymanski posted 09-09-2013 04:09 AM 1094 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mark Shymanski

5113 posts in 2399 days


09-09-2013 04:09 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question lathe turning

A while back I had a bit of a tool gloat about a very old hobbyist lathe that I got at a very good price http://lumberjocks.com/topics/52338 . Now I’ve only ever seen a lathe operating once but I have read about and watched YouTube videos so I have a pretty good idea of how much I don’t know :-) What I am wondering, and it seems as the calendar pages keep falling off it also seems harder to learn about this stuff, is how would I create a wood lathe essentially around the motor I acquired as part of this old lathe.

I am thinking about getting modern head stock and tail stock and create a wooden frame (I no longer have a welder, and welding has never been my strong suit). Where my head is stuck at is how to mount the respective head and tail stocks. My plan is to get a short shaft with pulleys on one end and the head stock on the other, probably resting on a set of bearings proximal to each end of the shaft. This will allow me to get larger diameter projects to turn as well as get rid of the ancient babbets that while they do work they get really hot pretty quickly. That and they squeal; not surprising considering how old they must be. Can I just thread the axle rod the same thread as the head stock mounting threads? Will this work, is it safe? In a similar fashion I thought I’d mount the tail stock. Again I am wondering how this component is mounted. I’ve seen where many of these use morse tapers to mount them. I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around just how a Morse taper would work in my context. I have a buddy who may be able to help me assemble the thing, I’s just like to have a better understanding of the things to look out for.

Mark

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2


16 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2335 days


#1 posted 09-09-2013 05:08 AM

when you say “head stock” do you mean a chuck? the headstock is actually referring to the entire casting which holds the spindle (the shaft) in usually 2 roller bearing (tapered or straight bearings depending on the lathe). the spindle on a simple lathe has the pulleys on one end which are connected to the motor with belts, and is threaded and bored to a taper (MT2/MT3/other) on the other end to accept chucks and other tools (like a dead center, or a drills for example).

the tailstock is the opposite component which is usually a casting and runs freely on the ways of the lathe to be able to adjust the length of the part to be turned and can be locked down to the ways for steady work, it also has a spindle which is bored to a taper (Morse Taper 2, or MT3 depending on the lathe) and can be adjusted to lock parts to be turned tight and/or to drill parts on center.

depending on how complex/simple you are planning to make your lathe you can simplify the headstock and tailstock, but the above is a reference to what and how they operate to some degree. I would recommend getting a lathe operating book or search online for “how to run a lathe” which might give you more insight on the parts and how they might relate to what you are trying to do.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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Mark Shymanski

5113 posts in 2399 days


#2 posted 09-09-2013 06:01 AM

Yes I meant the chuck. Seeing a operating manual would certainly be a good idea, I should probably find a lathe somewhere and take a close look at how its put together also.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

1094 posts in 821 days


#3 posted 09-09-2013 10:37 AM

You might find some help in one of these articles’
http://www.woodturningonline.com/Turning/Turning_articles.php?catid=14

-- Bill

View REO's profile

REO

626 posts in 761 days


#4 posted 09-09-2013 12:43 PM

Although very possible to build a lathe without a welder or metal machining equipment, you may find that looking further on CL is a better solution. The hours and expense mount surprisingly quickly!

View stefang's profile

stefang

13265 posts in 2021 days


#5 posted 09-09-2013 12:46 PM

Mark I have seen some wood lathes constructed of 4X4 material. I have some photos of them (or it) in some of my old American Woodturner mags. I am busy with a project today, but I will have a look for it this evening. I will scan it in to my computer and post it here for you. As I remember it was a pretty easy and straightforward construction.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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Karson

34891 posts in 3087 days


#6 posted 09-09-2013 01:53 PM

Mark Babbit bearings need lubrication as they run. If they are getting hot you probably are not getting enough lubrication.

The older equipment had a pot on top of the oil hole and a little lever and you’d open the leaver and a small amount of oil would run down to the bearing. When you were done you would shut the leaver to keep the oil from contuining to flow.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

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stefang

13265 posts in 2021 days


#7 posted 09-10-2013 05:41 PM

Sorry I’m late with this Mark. I forgot. I guess it’s old age creeping up on me. Here is the picture I promised you. There is no plan with it, but at least you can get an idea how this might be done.The motor rests on a hinged platform so it can be raise to change the belt to other pulleys, otherwise the weight of the motor holds the drive belt taut. I hope you find this helpful.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5113 posts in 2399 days


#8 posted 09-11-2013 12:14 AM

Thanks Wildwood for the links. REO, Ken Richardson from the links Wildwood provided agrees with you on looking for a used lathe, even though he build his own. He says it is a lot of work and certainly not a way to save money!

Hello Karson, yes babbets should be lubricated with eithe oil or grease, these have no holes or reservoirs to hold grease or oil. They seem to be one piece with a bolt on one edge to squeeze the ‘mount’ to hold the shaft. No obvious place to put lubricant in. I’ve been dripping oil into any open area I see and it marginally helps but not enough to make this a tool I could use for a long single stretch.

Thanks for the scanned image. That was the kind of construction I had in mind. I’ve been talking with a buddy of mine and he agrees that looking for a used lathe is probably the best avenue to pursue, but here in Brandon used large good quality tools are few and far between and beside where’s the challenge in buying one when I could spend hours and tons of money making one LOL! Don’t worry about being’late’ I’ve been busier than a one armed paper hanger here lately…haven’t even got out to the shop for much of the week (Saturday was the last time I was in there to work!)

I wonder why the nuts are to the outside where they could catch the inattentive wood worker’s ankles? I’d put the heads to the outside.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View REO's profile

REO

626 posts in 761 days


#9 posted 09-11-2013 12:30 AM

If you are really set on building your own, determine what you want to accomplish with the lathe as design will vary greatly from one product to another. I have a few lathe builds under my belt, several modifications and specialty WW equipment builds. I would be happy to help.

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5113 posts in 2399 days


#10 posted 09-11-2013 02:45 AM

I appreciate that REO. I’d like to turn bowls and plates mainly; maybe some tool handles. At least on this first build, in the back of my head I have a crazy plan to build a lathe long enough to turn spars and maybe even shorter masts (d like to start with the bowls and plates and small stuff on that order.

The biggest mental block I am having is making the connection between the drive shaft and the chuck or the axle and the live centre? I just came back from our local Princess Auto, a general store sort of place for people who build things (Google them they have a pretty good selection of different things :-). I watched a video several years back where a fellow (with tons of experience) built a very long lathe for turning out of wood. So I am pretty sure it is possible, that and many of these pole lathes you see or the lathes of long ago were built from wood so I think I am at least not charting unknown waters.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View REO's profile

REO

626 posts in 761 days


#11 posted 09-11-2013 06:05 AM

you will have to pick a chuck and faceplate thread. There are several choices. There is no need for a MT in the headstock. The tailstock could also be done without if you wish. for turnng bowls and platters. A couple pillow blocks for spindle bearings two diferent sized bores will make it easier to make the spindle with less machining involved. match the diameter of the larger bearing to the ground and polished shafting and turn a step on the outboard end to fit the smaller diameter bearing this gives you a thrust surface so you dont rely on the set screws to keep it in place as you turn. a shaft collar will do the job for the other direction. if you get the same thread on both inboard and out board ends of the spindle you can put the chuck on the outboard and turn things from floor to ceiling in dameter. Even on the larger turnings you will have sufficient power with a two horse power drive and a reduction drive. I run a two speed pulley arrangement. the upper speed range is with a 1-1 ratio from the motor to the spindle the lower range is with a reduction of 4-1 and then to a chain drive 2-1 from the back gear to the spindle. at slow speeds the tension will snap many belt drives and if you belt it beefy enough the drive will be noisy in the upper range. In my case the chain is removed for high range. I also run a vfd for virtualy infinite speed control. One has to determine when to swap ranges for more torque. you could get by with a wood bed entirely or use a bolted framework as well. some 4” or if you wish 6” car channel would work well both for the column and the bed. this way you could adjust for the diameter of the work as well as the depth. you could also articulate your banjo on another set of car channels. The largest single staved turning i have done was 2’x 16’ My dad and I also did several 3 peice turnings 16” x 24 feet. That lathe ran for over thirty years with only a 1 hp motor.
Here is a video of the last lathe I built kind of a special edition lol it now has a little brother on the way for for smaller stuff. I did some beefy stuff with a blank at about 70 pounds and some small stuff like 12” tapered dowels 12” long it worked well. Of course this is not built for making bowls specifically. http://youtu.be/3GBvyQd4sb8

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Knothead62

2364 posts in 1648 days


#12 posted 09-11-2013 10:20 AM

It would be a good project. Personally, there are too many lathes under $400 that are precision machines. Me? I got a Rikon on sale for $306 including shipping.
Be aware that you will have a lot more in accessories than the lathe itself.

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

2118 posts in 1248 days


#13 posted 09-20-2013 06:32 PM

Roy Underhill has a DVD where he is making a wooden Lathe. I am pretty sure it is the 6th seasson the 3rd one.
It was very nicely done and made me wonder if I could make one but out of a 10 or 18 speed bike parts.

Arlin

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5113 posts in 2399 days


#14 posted 09-29-2013 12:48 AM

Was in Winnipeg recently and went to Canadian Woodworker and to Lee Valley and spoke with to knowledgeable fellows from those stores. I have a much better of idea how to approach this project. I’ve a handfull of pressing projects to clear and then I will have to sit down and figure out what the process will be to build this.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

2860 posts in 1930 days


#15 posted 09-29-2013 07:48 PM

It is possible, but I feel you will end up it costing you more than buying a new lathe. Take a look at the Conover lathe. it has wood ways, is massive and regarded as a high quality lathe. Check out this website http://www.lathes.co.uk/conover/. There are very good illustrations on how thet are put together. You can check Grizzly and Jet for replacement parts for their machines, like arbors, bearings, etc.

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