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Thread: Tru-Trace Lathe Tracing Attachment

  1. #1
    Founder Nels's Avatar
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    Tru-Trace Lathe Tracing Attachment

    What is this lathe attachment used for and what is the plusses and minuses of having one?

    http://cgi.ebay.com/TRU-TRACE-LATHE-...item2c5e5ba775

    [attach=1]

    Thanks,


    Nelson
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    Last edited by Starlight Tools; 11-19-11 at 04:43 PM.
    My toys: South Bend Heavy 10L Lathe (1978), Burke #4 Milling Machine (1946), Van Norman #12 Milling Machine (1942), South Bend 14" Drill Press.

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    Administrator Tony Wells's Avatar
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    Re: Tru-Trace Lathe Tracing Attachment

    They are used on lathes to cut profiles and contours that would be difficult or near impossible manually. A flat template is created that mounts on it and contact is maintained on the template by a tracer pin that is connected to a hydraulic valve. The hydraulics control the X axis of the lathe, so that when you engage the Z axis feed, the cutting tool makes a cut that matches the template. The templates are a little tricky to make, as you have to allow for the contact pin diameter.

    I imagine that they aren't all that popular nowadays, with CNC all over the place, but at one time, production shops used them extensively. I ran one on an American Pacemaker for a while. Kind of boring after a few days of watching it. They don't thread, but turning and boring work they do pretty good.
    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer. A man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman. A man who works with his hands, his brain and his heart is an artist."

    -Louis Nizer

  3. #3
    Global Moderator george wilson's Avatar
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    Re: Tru-Trace Lathe Tracing Attachment

    I have a little Lehigh(sp?) mechanical tracing attachment I've used for many years. It just is a hardened steel block with a built in linear bearing that moves the tool in and out. A follower stylus moves against a template you make from 1/8" steel flat stock.

    It has always worked just fine.


  4. #4
    packrat 4gsr's Avatar
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    Re: Tru-Trace Lathe Tracing Attachment

    I don't claim to be an expert at this stuff, but that one on ebone has a missing piece to it. it's missing the template holder that holds your template.
    I threw away two tracer valves when I cleaned out my Dad's old shop when we sold the old homestead. :crying: years back.

    Ken
    Ken

    A 1954 20" Lodge & Shipley Model X gap bed lathe, A 1957 13" Sheldon Sebastian lathe, A 1949 9" South Bend lathe, 645 Wells Index mill, Brown & Sharpe 612 Valuemaster surface grinder and other misc junk (my gold mines to me).

  5. #5
    Aluminum
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    Re: Tru-Trace Lathe Tracing Attachment

    Quote Originally Posted by george wilson View Post
    I have a little Lehigh(sp?) mechanical tracing attachment I've used for many years. It just is a hardened steel block with a built in linear bearing that moves the tool in and out. A follower stylus moves against a template you make from 1/8" steel flat stock.

    It has always worked just fine.
    Can we get a few photos of that unit?

  6. #6
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    Re: Tru-Trace Lathe Tracing Attachment

    I believe this is the same attachment that Keith Fenner is using on his big lathe.
    He has quite a few videos on how it works and shows.

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