Author Topic: My Cowells ME lathe  (Read 19110 times)

Offline andyf

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Re: My Cowells ME lathe
« Reply #25 on: December 31, 2012, 09:10:33 PM »
Right, Don, here are the pics. Hope they work OK, because it's 02.00am on 1/1/2013 here in the UK, and I cannot guarantee my sobriety.







A Happy New Year to all  :beer:

Don suggests you might be viewing this 40 years on, in 2053. If so, did your Dad reminisce about the good old days, when things were done by cranking handles on machines to make things out of metal?

Andy
(from beyond his grave)
Sale, Cheshire
I've cut the end off it twice, but it's still too short

Offline raynerd

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My Cowells ME lathe
« Reply #26 on: January 01, 2013, 01:02:42 AM »
Many thanks for the pictures. So the ball bearing pushed up by the little washer spring generates enough pressure and friction to carry the collar around with the hand wheel?
« Last Edit: January 01, 2013, 01:41:39 PM by dsquire »
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Offline andyf

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Re: My Cowells ME lathe
« Reply #27 on: January 01, 2013, 06:28:48 AM »
Hi Chris,

Not quite sure what you mean by "washer". In one photo, an arrow from the ball points to a hole, which contains a spring to push the ball against the interior of the dial collar hard enough to stop the dial moving.

Yesterday, I forgot to dismantle the thing inside a bag of some sort to stop the ball being propelled across the room when I pulled the collar off.

The ball is about 2.5mm diameter. It needn't be a ball, of course; you could use something like a shortened tiny panel pin with a head around 2.5mm in diameter, and its shank dropped down inside the spring.

Andy
Sale, Cheshire
I've cut the end off it twice, but it's still too short

Offline Pete.

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Re: My Cowells ME lathe
« Reply #28 on: January 01, 2013, 08:33:41 AM »
I prefer the method used on my Herbert Mill. A knurled bolt down the centre of the leadscrew has a point machined on the end, and when you tighten the bolt gently it presses a brass pin outwards onto the dial to hold it in place. Quarter of a turn between having the dial loose and locked.

Offline BillTodd

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Re: My Cowells ME lathe
« Reply #29 on: January 01, 2013, 09:22:57 AM »
Neat mod Andy :)

I may have to  pinch that for my Cadet. :dremel:

Bill

Bill

Offline andyf

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Re: My Cowells ME lathe
« Reply #30 on: January 01, 2013, 10:07:15 AM »
For me, it hasn't been a mod, Bill; those dials on the leadscrew and slides are the originals on my Perris. Its a shame that Cowells used fixed dials for a while when they first took over the lathe, and made the one Chris now owns, but he should be able to mod his to get a similar result.

Pete, that's sophisticated, but I don't think it could be done on these midget handwheels and dials, first because they so small and secondly because of the central screws which adjust the endfloat on the feedscrews.

Andy
Sale, Cheshire
I've cut the end off it twice, but it's still too short

Offline Pete.

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Re: My Cowells ME lathe
« Reply #31 on: January 01, 2013, 10:30:25 AM »
Aah yes, if they already have a screw down the middle you could not use that method. Shame because it works so wonderfully well.

Offline raynerd

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Re: My Cowells ME lathe
« Reply #32 on: January 01, 2013, 10:31:56 AM »
Not read all the replies yet but I just wanted to immediately correct   washer  =   spring!!! Please blame it on a lack of sleep with my little one.
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Offline John Stevenson

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Re: My Cowells ME lathe
« Reply #33 on: January 01, 2013, 01:09:38 PM »
I have a machine here with a resettable dial and all it consists of is a graduated dial that spins on the keyed centre and all that retains it from spinning is an 'O' ring set in the eyed centre part.

The interference fit is enough to make it not spin but can easily be moved to reset it.

John S.
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Offline andyf

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Re: My Cowells ME lathe
« Reply #34 on: January 01, 2013, 01:37:25 PM »
Same here, John. The nice big (3.5") dials on my Dore Westbury are like that, and I used an O-ring on the handwheel and dial I made for my lathe's leadscrew. The DW did need replacement  O-rings, but the old ones had been there around 40 years.

Andy
Sale, Cheshire
I've cut the end off it twice, but it's still too short

Offline raynerd

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My Cowells ME lathe
« Reply #35 on: January 01, 2013, 04:39:30 PM »
Think I may go for the o ring method as in theory it requires no mod to my existing standard parts. I guess if it works ok, I could cut the groove on the hand wheel to stop the axial movement if I think it would help. Next job is making some "nice" graduated collars- for me, much easier said than done! Thanks for the information. I have a few other jobs and bits to finish but this is definitely high on my to do list.
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Offline andyf

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Re: My Cowells ME lathe
« Reply #36 on: January 01, 2013, 06:23:36 PM »
Chris, you can cut clock gears, so you won't have a problem scratching graduations on dial collars. And they are so shallow that you can skim them off and start again if you make a mistake.

Good guide here, apart from whacking the numbers into a dial held in the chuck, unless you are confident that the chuck and spindle bearings will take it:
http://www.neme-s.org/images/PDF_Files/Making_Graduated_Collars1.pdf

And my simple  way to get even length lines for units, fives and tens is on the bottom third of this page:
http://andysmachines.weebly.com/miscellaneous.html

Andy



 
Sale, Cheshire
I've cut the end off it twice, but it's still too short

Offline raynerd

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My Cowells ME lathe
« Reply #37 on: January 01, 2013, 07:01:12 PM »
Andy, fantastic link! I'd have to scribe my lines on the mill using my dividing fixture as dividing on the lathe would just complicate things since I already have my RT setup for this. No problem though, I can see it working the same way. Your washer depth stop method is smart but I think my dro would make a good job at this.

I'd definitely need to stamp off the rotary table! Like you, i still wouldnt do it in the lathe if i had the opportunity. Do you by any chance have pictures of the mdf jig you mentioned?
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Offline andyf

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Re: My Cowells ME lathe
« Reply #38 on: January 01, 2013, 07:18:38 PM »
You're in luck, Chris. I did a sketch and stuck it on P'bucket for some other forum. It shows a thick-walled collar, though the one I stamped with it was only about 2mm thick.



Andy
Sale, Cheshire
I've cut the end off it twice, but it's still too short

Offline raynerd

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Re: My Cowells ME lathe
« Reply #39 on: January 02, 2013, 07:30:52 AM »
Cheers Andy, so you have the markers, but you just align/ devide by eye?
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Offline andyf

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Re: My Cowells ME lathe
« Reply #40 on: January 02, 2013, 07:52:20 AM »
Hi Chris,

Yes, the numbering was done by eye. The dial I mentioned earlier was re-engraved with 40 lines representing thousandths, and needed numbering 0, 10, 20, 30 against the four long "tens" lines. Once in the jig, I couldn't see those lines properly, so I used a felt-tip on the edge of the dial to help with alignment. The 0 was easy, but each double digit was done with fingers crossed that the two numbers e.g. "1" and "0" would be spaced nicely. I recall using a bit of carbon paper and finger pressure on the number punch to check; because of the curved surface, that only left a mark at the top and bottom of each digit, but it helped.
That dial was steel, but ally is easier to engrave and stamp. 

Andy
Sale, Cheshire
I've cut the end off it twice, but it's still too short

Offline raynerd

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Re: My Cowells ME lathe
« Reply #41 on: May 21, 2014, 07:29:17 PM »
Just a bit of a random post here but over the last month I've got right back into using the cowells and I now love it BUT the price of the attachments is getting me down. The milling attachment/vertical slide is 230!! For that sort of money, I could buy a full peatol/taig lathe assembled!

I'm considering selling and buying a peatol again but I don't know if I can bring myself to do it! 10 years ago I dreamed of owning a cowells lathe!
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Offline vtsteam

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Re: My Cowells ME lathe
« Reply #42 on: May 21, 2014, 10:08:14 PM »
Chris, are you interested in possibly making one? I did and it's not hard -- if you check out my Gingery lathe building thread, there's one detailed toward the end there. You wouldn't have to cast it if you don't do that stuff -- you could probably weld or braze up the basic parts from channel iron and some plate and just machine them. You basically need an upright that bolts to the carriage, and then bolt a ways on that that fits your top slide or a new one. All the machining can be done on a lathe, as I did, or of course a milling machine if you have one.
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
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Offline twizseven

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Re: My Cowells ME lathe
« Reply #43 on: June 16, 2014, 04:32:52 PM »
Chris,
 I have a Cowells Me90 and am regularly checking Ebay for bits.  There is milling slide and m/c vice on at the moment, item #141318094884.  It has 3days 20hrs to go and is currently 31.

Best Regards,

Colin

Offline ticker

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Re: My Cowells ME lathe
« Reply #44 on: June 26, 2014, 06:47:55 AM »
Chris,
 I have a Cowells Me90 and am regularly checking Ebay for bits.  There is milling slide and m/c vice on at the moment, item #141318094884.  It has 3days 20hrs to go and is currently 31.

Best Regards,

Colin

Out of interest I checked today to see how much the Cowells vertical slide and vice sold for, the final price was 175.05

Everything thats sold for these lathes always appears to fetch a good price

Offline raynerd

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Re: My Cowells ME lathe
« Reply #45 on: June 24, 2018, 05:49:51 AM »
Well it took another 4 years but I eventually found the Cowells I've always wanted! 



I'm just making a spindle indexer/divider so I can use the wheel cutter!
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Offline Joules

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Re: My Cowells ME lathe
« Reply #46 on: June 24, 2018, 06:16:49 AM »
LOL, a very giddy kipper then....
Just get doing and make swarf, you can decide what its going to be later.   :thumbup:

Offline raynerd

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Re: My Cowells ME lathe
« Reply #47 on: June 24, 2018, 11:19:38 AM »
Haha, I am indeed. It was like Christmas!
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Offline Joules

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Re: My Cowells ME lathe
« Reply #48 on: June 24, 2018, 12:39:44 PM »
Well, keep a tight hold of this one Chris.  I still have the second lathe I ever bought, my Taig.  I should do some of the many mods for it, and actually make better use of it.  Look forward to more articles on the Cowells Chris.
Just get doing and make swarf, you can decide what its going to be later.   :thumbup:

Offline vtsteam

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Re: My Cowells ME lathe
« Reply #49 on: June 24, 2018, 11:21:05 PM »
What a little beauty! Very exciting to have all of those accessories, and everything in such good condition. I enjoyed the earlier posts in this thread as well.  :beer:
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
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