Author Topic: Building a New Lathe  (Read 76919 times)

Offline vtsteam

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Building a New Lathe
« on: March 09, 2015, 01:12:32 PM »
I keep thinking I wish I had a new lathe. I have the Gingery lathe that fits in my tiny shop, but it lacks screw cutting capability, and has design limited stifness.

And I have the Craftsman 12" x 36" (5' overall length) lathe that doesn't fit in the tiny shop, does have a complete set of change gears.

I'd really like something somewhere between the two -- a benchtop lathe that had say 9" by 18" capacity, to fit in the tiny shop and one which would have easy quick change screw cutting.

I don't know whether to sell the Craftsman and buy one of the Asian lathes, or think about building a new lathe. I've even considered shortening the Craftsman bed 18" so it will fit in the small shop. (I know that's a travesty!) and adding a stepper on the leadscrew for NC thread cutting.

Then there's the used lathe market. But almost nothing in used machinery is local within 200 miles, and I don't want to deal with renovation of hidden problems at this point. If it was known good to go, and I could see it and try it, and I could afford it, I suppose. But I don't want a several month lathe rebuild project. I want to build engines on a lathe.

Well, I wouldn't mind building a new lathe from scratch as a project, that could be interesting, but otherwise, I guess ideally, if tomorrow I could just sell some machinery  (lathe and Atlas horizontal mill) and get a well suited new lathe for what I want, I'd probably go for it.

I don't know how stiff those Sieg 9x20's are compared to the Craftsman. I did notice that a lot of the travel specs for things like cross slide, and tailstock are less, and the chuck looks pretty small by comparison. I don't want a less stiff machine -- I'd say the Craftsman is minimal, as is. I've had it tuck under when parting twice

Any suggestions, thoughts?
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
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Offline bertie_bassett

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Re: Building a New Lathe
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2015, 01:33:11 PM »
if time scale isn't important and you want another project, id say build one

either up scale the gingery lathe, or copy a design that's the right size. a boxford or denford sounds like the size you want.
 the denford website has pd'sf with almost all the component details ( gears, shafts etc) which could be used as a reference.?

not sure how youd go about making the bed, but perhaps linear rails could be used?
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Offline RobWilson

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Re: Building a New Lathe
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2015, 01:42:02 PM »
BUGGER !!!  :palm:

Dam shame there is a dirty great ocean between us Steve , I have a lathe going spare a Boxford AUD  , I would have done a trade for the we HZ mill .


Rob


Offline vtsteam

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Re: Building a New Lathe
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2015, 09:41:49 PM »
Ah well Rob, I think that would have been a happy trade -- the mill is in great shape and lots of new tooling to go with it, and I've admired the Boxfords.

I see Grizzly has the 9" x 19"  G4000 on sale for $1000 or so delivered -- that's 9" x 19"  which would probably fit the requirements. And has the QC gearbox. But never having seen or used one, I have no idea how much I'd like it.

http://www.grizzly.com/products/9-x-19-Bench-Lathe/G4000

Any G4000 owners out there?

Bertie, It is intriguing to think about building one. I would probably want do my own design rather than an enlarged Gingery, and I Imagine a lot of fabricated rather than cast parts this time around.

But certainly everything I've learned I liked about my first lathe (and the Craftsman, too) would go into it. Plus some other things. I'm not worried about the bed at all. I've got all kinds of heavy steel shapes here, Including rails from a auto lift, and anything I decide to use is likely to be heavier and stiffer than what I have now in the little aluminum castings topped with a 1/4" x 3" cold rolled slab ways of the Gingery.

I used a machined 4 foot carpenter's level to hand scrape the Gingery. But now I have a real cast iron straight edge, and surface plate I bought at an auction about 8 years ago, and unused since..

I don't think I'd mess with change gears or a gearbox at all, and handle screw cutting electronically, and the same for speed control.  I don't know if I'd go full CNC, probably not, or at least not right way. This is still a small benchtop lathe  for the tiny shop, and I still enjoying turning cranks. But for screw cutting you don't turn cranks anyway, and it would be nice to just set it and go.

I dunno. That Grizzzly is tempting, and I think I could sell enough stuff to pay for it. It would be nice to just start turning right away.
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
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Offline Brass_Machine

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Re: Building a New Lathe
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2015, 12:27:16 AM »
I dunno Steve. I have heard better things about the 10x22 Lathe. I think if I was in the position to buy a new lathe, that would be the one I would get.

Eric
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Offline John Rudd

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Re: Building a New Lathe
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2015, 03:29:03 AM »

Any G4000 owners out there?


Yup I have the Chester equivalent the 9*20.....Great machine for the size....Modded mine by fitting a 3 ph motor and vfd.... :zap:
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Offline PekkaNF

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Re: Building a New Lathe
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2015, 04:12:49 AM »
Ouch. Lathe blues...I have three lathes now and 1-3 of them has to go. I wish I could replace least two of them with Boxford AUD size lathe, but I really need proper metric machine. I don't care changing belt and such to change the speed, but to change gears and mess with feeds/screw cutting is getting into me.

I almost bought AUD from UK. Even after shipping that might be an option. Once in 1-2 years comes really nice Weiler or something like that on the market, but it gets snatched in nanoseconds. I have decided to save a little money and act fast when next one comes in couple of years.

Good new ones are expensive and they are not made in china. If you buy old or chinese you buy a project, it is just a fact of life. Ergometricly old western stuff seems to be better in every aspect. I have one chinese lathe and it is very hard to see at first anything wrong with it, but every control in apron is shaky, you can't get main slide close enough of the spindle if you use face plate instead of chuck, tail stock feed is advertized 50 mm (in reality it is 30 mm), stuff that should lock doesnt and stuff that should not lock seizes, screws are bad, belts needs immediate replacement, handwheels wobbles, most part cast iron is pretty bad. In paper capacity was better than in reality. You just can't trust numbers. I'm not saying it is useless, but that it's usefulness is unnecessary limited, even considering the price. At that time I had no space for anything bigger and no patience to wait for anything better.

I have passed some old ones because they are totally shot. But for VT a klunker might be just the right one. It would donote bed and other bigger parts. Not everything is worth restoration or rebuild.

Pekka

Offline hanermo

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Re: Building a New Lathe
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2015, 05:16:34 AM »
I have an excellent Chester Craftsman, 12x24 - in rigidity, power and overall results, apart from fit and finish.
This is the heavy model.
Most chinese lathes are available in light and heavty versions.

Thus-
A 9x24", same length, is available in about 120-200 kg versions.
The Craftsman is 350 kg, and thus makes a huge, huge difference.

I only work with steel, and make stuff / have made up to 12" in diameter.

I suggest you would be very disappointed in a 9x lathe - they are the weakest in the bunch.

Offline vtsteam

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Re: Building a New Lathe
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2015, 11:18:31 AM »
Well, the spec here is a benchtop lathe to replace a 7" x 12" Gingery in a tiny 6'x8' shop, and fit on an existing benchtop, so really big or heavy machines, while better for sure, don't fit the requirements. Within the range of 7 to 9 inch lathes, and 12 to 20 between centers, a 9x20 like the Grizzly at over 250 lbs is probably even pushing it.

The existing Gingery lathe is probably about 60 lbs with a 28" overall length. I suppose I could come down to even another 7 x 12, but then it would really have to be better than what I have now -- stiffness to part off surely, or do reasonable size profile cuts without chatter, and quick change gearbox (or NC thread cutting) would be the attractions, otherwise, I'm fond of the little lathe I built, and certainly can deal with the "spares" issue -- I have patterns for everything and a furnace!

John R. as an owner of that specific 9x20 model, sounds good and I trust your judgement.

I do know that what Pekka says is also true in general, since I own, and have tuned up/modded where necessary Asian machines (bandsaw, round column mill drill, 50" slip roll, tractor mounted wood chipper, listeroid diesel genset) so I'd be going in with my eyes open. I wouldn't expect everything to be the way I wanted it. But I would expect lots of cast iron for a benchtop lathe, straight hardened ways, a good size hollow spindle with taper and low runout, and a working quick change gear system.. Those are what I miss most in the Gingery at present.

I have read up about what the complaints are for the 9x20 specifically: needs additional bolts to fasten carriage (published mod), lacks tumbler reverse, slowest speed is 150 rpm, no back gear, quick change gearbox only accomodates 8 speeds without manual gear changes. Mods exist to solve most of these, and I actually have a treadmill motor and controller (a common mod), which can solve the speed and reversing issues.

On the other hand, I keep thinking about what I'd do in building my own lathe. I think about it a lot. Doing things exactly the way I'd want them. You'd know it fit the space, You'd set the specs you liked. And it would probably cost less than a new one and yet have good size and quality purchased chucks, etc. I think about, what if I do end up modding an Asian lathe -- how much time will that save over starting from scratch, and will the result be equvalent? There's also the pride in something you made yourself. That, even now, makes it hard to think about replacing the Gingery lathe.
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
www.sredmond.com

Offline vtsteam

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Re: Building a New Lathe
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2015, 11:32:15 AM »
I guess if I were to build a new lathe, I wouldn't have to make the spindle. You can probably buy a ground and tapered and keyed spare and bearings to fit in the size range we're talking about here for one of the mini-lathes. That would greatly simplify building the lathe. That would also give a common fit for chucks and collets, etc. and obviously, replacement spares would be available if needed in  the future.
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
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Offline Joules

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Re: Building a New Lathe
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2015, 11:43:33 AM »
Or just look at it as the tool for the job.  Not all of us are blessed with the skill nor the patience to make our own machine.  Mini lathe is a good start.  You can have something that works, then slowly replace it like the old broom in the corner.

     
Just get doing and make swarf, you can decide what its going to be later.   :thumbup:

Offline mattinker

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Re: Building a New Lathe
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2015, 12:20:27 PM »
An interesting alternative is the Emco compact 8, the grand father of the 9 x 20 series at 8 x 18 it has many advantages like a more rigid cross slide. These lathes can only be found second hand now, but are well worth looking for. I got really lucky, I was given one that was virtually brand new, missing the motor. It is a nice tight basic little machine, thread cutting and feeds with change gears is a bit of a draw back, but it is still very capable!

Regards, Matthew.

Offline JonIndigoman

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Re: Building a New Lathe
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2015, 01:19:33 PM »
Hi Steve,

This may be just the ticket for you http://www.lathes.co.uk/stepperhead/

There are also Woking videos on YouTube.

I have often considered it myself. Perhaps one day when my abilities catch up with my dreams.

Jon

Offline Brass_Machine

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Re: Building a New Lathe
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2015, 01:36:26 PM »
If the 9x19 is pushing it, have you considered the 8x16? Grizzly has a version as does little machine shop. the LMS Lathe is more money but has added features ie bigger motor, power cross feed.

OFC, I think you are itching to build on deep down.  :beer:
« Last Edit: March 10, 2015, 08:05:19 PM by Brass_Machine »
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Offline vtsteam

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Re: Building a New Lathe
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2015, 03:42:40 PM »
Matt, thanks, that would be one more to consider, though that would get into used machines, and with it being very unlikely to turn up in this area, would be hard to check out. I guess with a new machine bought unseen, at least wear and hidden damage are eliminated, and with a responsible dealer like Grizzly or LMS, a damaged or defective part would be replaced.

Jonindigoman, Holy Cow that is REALLY close to what I was thinking about. I have been interested in David Urwick's round column traingular gib machine ever since I saw it in old issues of ME. And I was wondering if I could add some of those features to a lathe if I built one. I was just thinking about that this morning as a matter of fact.

I also was thinking of a rectangular double beam ways -- similar to the Craftsman I have.

That's a beautifully finished machine. I do wonder if the stiffness is what I hope it will be. The proportions of the elevating head makes me wonder about how chatter resistant the lathe is. Also the cantilevered overarm supporting the tailstock is round section -- Urwick's was a sort of T bar cross section. I don't know what the comparative modulus of those sections is or the section size, but I have a feeling Urwick's design might have been stiffer.

I often look at proportions of things by eye, again, and kinda feel in my imagination what it's like with the forces involved. I'm thinking that doesn't have the stiffness I'm looking for. Maybe I'm wrong. Well, anyway, the overhead supported tailstock is one of those things that didn't appeal to me in the original design. Maybe I'm just stuck in a too traditional view.

But anyway, That's a beauty, and really close to what I was imagining. Great to see it like that, and how nicely it can be done! Thank you for letting me see that.

Yes Eric, I kinda do want to build a lathe. I do keep thinking it sure would be nice just to place an order and have a crate show up here with a lathe in it that I could just plug in and go.

But then I spend another hour daydreaming about what I'd do if I were to build one. How I'd do everrything on it.

I checked and a finished mini-lathe spindle from Little Machine Shop is around $40+. Hard to imagine not going that route if I built a lathe.

I wonder if the 8x16 and 9x20 use different spindles, or do they use the same, since the other specs look similar...?
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
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Offline RobWilson

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Re: Building a New Lathe
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2015, 04:14:26 PM »
Hi Steve,

This may be just the ticket for you http://www.lathes.co.uk/stepperhead/

There are also Woking videos on YouTube.

I have often considered it myself. Perhaps one day when my abilities catch up with my dreams.

Jon

Oh Why did I click the link  :doh: now thats nice Jon


Do it Steve  you no you want to :poke: double dare you  :lol:

Quote
I have been interested in David Urwick's round column traingular gib machine ever since I saw it in old issues of ME

Do you have an issues number for that Steve ?

Rob

Offline vtsteam

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Re: Building a New Lathe
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2015, 04:24:50 PM »
3480 Rob.

edit:

also 3639, 3656, 3684

brilliant guy, also did some real interesting stuff with mesh displacers in stirling engines, and super long connections between displacer cylinder and power cylinder, with huge deadspace. Very very interesting. I go back to his stuff maybe once a year and re-read it.
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
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Offline RobWilson

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Re: Building a New Lathe
« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2015, 04:33:07 PM »
Interesting design  Steve

Rob

Offline RobWilson

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Re: Building a New Lathe
« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2015, 04:34:37 PM »

Offline vtsteam

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Re: Building a New Lathe
« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2015, 04:36:59 PM »
He patented the triangular gib key at one point, though it never panned out for him (expired). But you'd think with all the round column mill drills out there (including mine), somebody would pick up on it.
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
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Offline RobWilson

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Re: Building a New Lathe
« Reply #20 on: March 10, 2015, 04:40:19 PM »
I did think about doing it to my drill/mill 

Just found this Steve    http://www.model-engineer.co.uk/sites/7/documents/metalmaster.pdf   :dremel:


Rob

Offline vtsteam

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Re: Building a New Lathe
« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2015, 04:51:49 PM »
....... Also the cantilevered overarm supporting the tailstock is round section -- Urwick's was a sort of T bar cross section. I don't know what the comparative modulus of those sections is or the section size, but I have a feeling Urwick's design might have been stiffer......

Ooops, just saw in another view that the overarm is not cantilevered, but has a support block down on the bed at the far end. Okay it makes a lot more sense to me now. I should have known, anything this well built has the issues figured out. In that case, it does look an exemplary machine.

If I do build something, it will be, uh, a little more shall we say, "workman-like" in appearance and construction. That's a monster of beauty.
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
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Offline mattinker

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Re: Building a New Lathe
« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2015, 05:48:28 PM »
There is an Urwick metalmaster group on yahoo. I've been a member for a very long time, there isn't much activity, none for years! There are CAD drawings and lots of interesting stuff.

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/URWICK_METALMASTER/info

Have fun! regards, Matthew.

Offline vtsteam

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Re: Building a New Lathe
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2015, 10:27:40 PM »
I uh, well, this doesn't mean anything....... uh impulse ordered a 7 x 14 mini lathe spindle. Just to see what it's like. Doesn't mean I'm going to build a lathe. It just seemed like something I ought to have for fifty bucks. I'm sure you all know how that is.......



I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
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Offline awemawson

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Re: Building a New Lathe
« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2015, 03:35:07 AM »
What's this Steve? The Johnny Cash approach to lathe building, one bit at a time  :lol:
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex