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Building A Taper Attachment For Sheldon Lathe?

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BobSchu

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#1
Anyone here built a taper attachment for an older Sheldon Lathe? Is it worth the trouble and how did you do it? I have an older 11" Sheldon that didn't come with a taper attachment and I want to do some rifle barrel work on it. Without a taper attachment I'm thinking I'm pretty much going to be out of luck- but them I'm pretty much an amateur at this so I'm pretty much just learning this stuff on the fly anyway..... :)

Some ideas on how to proceed would be greatly appreciated.

TIA,
Bob
 

Kernbigo

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#2
this is what i use to cut a taper, put it in the tail stock 101_0601.jpg
 

JR49

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#3
this is what i use to cut a taper, put it in the tail stock 68728-eafdba38b3a6851654b5161a17c9fe94.jpg
I've been thinking about making something like that Kernbigo, but, one question, when you slide the male taper into your tailstock quill, how do you make sure that the sliding dovetail, holding the adjustable center is perfectly perpendicular to the lathe bed so that when you adjust it laterally, the center stays vertically in line with the headstock center ? BobSchu, question for you, why do you need a taper attachment for rifle barrel work ? Thanks, JR49
 

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wa5cab

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#4
JR,

Think of the geometry involved. Assuming that the ways are not worn more in one part than another and that the cutter is properly on center, it can only move in a straight line in the horizontal plane of the lathe axis and parallel to the axis. Raising or lowering the cutter without changing the infeed decreases the DOC (Depth Of Cut). However, the change is not linear. If you have a tailstock that is too high or too low , and turn a part between centers, it will cut a taper but not a linear taper. So with an adjustable offset center as pictured, the movable center must be in front of or behind the lathe axis, not above or below it. The movable center accomplishes the same thing as offsetting the tailstock, but takes a little less setup time and a lot less teardown time.

However, your point is well taken but should be phrased as follows:

How do you ensure that the movable center starts off being and remains exactly in the plane of the horizontal axis of the lathe? I have always wondered about that ever since the first time that I saw a photograph of an MT mounted offset center.

On your other question, I also wondered why you would need a taper attachment for working on an existing rifle barrel.
 

Kernbigo

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#5
put a level on it so it is horizontal, and it you want some radical taper you turn between centers, and use a ball bearing center in the headstock end and drive it off a face plate
 

wa5cab

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#6
Well, you have more trust in the stability of tanged morse tapers than I have learned to have. :apologize:
 

JR49

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#7
Wa5cab, thanks, you phrased my question much better than I did. Kernbigo, using a level would be absolutely right except for 1 thing, my lathe is lower toward the back, so that cutting oil and coolant flow to the drain hole. But I assure you the bed ways are not twisted (lets not get into a "the lathe must be level discussion again). So, I will have to figure out another solution. BUT HEY, we have gotten off the original topic (my fault, I apologize Bobschu). So how about it guys, who can help Bobschu out with taper attachment info ? I know I've read threads about guys making T.A.'s many times. But, the one that stuck in my mind was, some one asked who had T.A.'s, and who used them. Most of the replies were guys saying they had one for many years but never used it. That's why I decided to make an adjustable tailstock like what Kernbigo pictured. Happy machining, JR49
 

wa5cab

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#8
JR,

It wouldn't matter if the lathe is low at the tailstock end so long as it is still level front to back.

It's a little late to do now but the common solution to the coolant drain problem is to set up the cabinet or more correctly the pan more or less level front to back and down by the tailstock end. Then level the lathe. And whether it matters or not, no one will have any excuse to question your method. ;)
 

BobSchu

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#9
I've been thinking about making something like that Kernbigo, but, one question, when you slide the male taper into your tailstock quill, how do you make sure that the sliding dovetail, holding the adjustable center is perfectly perpendicular to the lathe bed so that when you adjust it laterally, the center stays vertically in line with the headstock center ? BobSchu, question for you, why do you need a taper attachment for rifle barrel work ? Thanks, JR49
Rifle barrels often come in larger diameters than the desired taper and I have several stock rifle barrels I would prefer to turn down from target weight barrels to more of a sporter contour.

That centering tool looks like just what I need. Did you make all of this unit or did you buy some of the parts (like the sliding dovetail) and build the rest or???????

Thanks,
Bob
 

Kernbigo

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#10
you put a level on the center after you put it in the tail stock horizontally
 

Fabrickator

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#11
I have a tailstock offset center similar to this and level it using my digital, magnetic base height gauge off of the bed ways. Once it's set it doesn't move.
 

kd4gij

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#12
An import boring head is the easiest way to make a center like Kernbigo posted.
upload_2015-9-26_21-50-19.png
 
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#13
I picked up a taper attachment from a 10L SBL I intend mounting on my R13 Sheldon lathe. It's not quite the right size but I'll make it work. Making an telescopic screw to replace the standard cross feed screw, no problem. I've done a couple over the years, too! On some of the Sheldon lathes, the telescopic portion of the cross feed screw is already there. They just pin the screw to the piece with the gear cut on it.
 

Kernbigo

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#14
The center is marked (taper-tail) got it from a shop i used to work for, and rebuilt it, also made a center for the head stock with a ball bearing in it so you can cut some radical tapers between centers ,enco also makes one but only .010 adjustment 101_0684.jpg
 

JR49

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#15
also made a center for the head stock with a ball bearing in it
Here I go, switching topics again (sorry BobSchu), but Kernbigo, I would love to see just a hand drawn sketch of the inside of that live center you made. I'm planning on using a boring head, like kd4gij mentioned, because I have one, but no mill yet. I was going to buy a cheap live ctr. with MT-1 shank, and turn shank down to fit the 1/2" hole that accepts boring bars. With your help, (or anyone who has made there own live ctr.) I could make my own. I won't deny that I AM cheap, but I also get a lot of satisfaction from making my own tools. Thanks, JR49
 

Kernbigo

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#16
the center is not live it is dead, just use anti-seize
 

JR49

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#17
the center is not live it is dead, just use anti-seize
Not sure I understand. If it 's a dead ctr., what is the ball bearing for? Thanks, JR49
 

Kernbigo

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#18
the one with the ball bearing goes in the head stock, the adjustable one goes in the tail stock, the tail stock one is dead
 

wa5cab

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#19
Kernbigo,

Please confirm that when you say use a ball bearing at the headstock end, you mean a ball nose dead center, regardless of how the ball nose is actually realized (could be an actual single ball but doesn't have to be). In which case, why wouldn't you do the same thing on the tailstock end?
 

JR49

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#20
Kernbigo, I got your PM, and thanks for the offer to help me on the phone. I would be happy to have a phone conversation with you, but doing so would make me a hypocrite, and here is why. Not sure this has ever happened on this great forum, but sometimes on machinist and airgun (my other hobby) forums, I will be following a thread with great interest because the OP asked questions that I too need answers to. Then, some one who has the answers, finally posts, but says that he will send a pic or an E-mail with the solution. When this happens, I, and anyone else who was following that thread, is out of luck. I am positive that there are many other beginners, and probably some experienced guys who would like to see how you made your LIVE center (I want to put a live ctr. in the adjustable tailstock). Any info you can post would be much appreciated. JR49
 

wa5cab

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#21
JR,

I assume that the reason that all of these offsetting centers I've seen either drawings of or photos of (If I recall correctly, there was in DOWNLOADS a probably 1940's magazine article on making one, but I've no idea what the file name was) use dead centers is that at least for 2MT and 3MT, the ball bearing head on a live center tends to make the live center about an inch longer than the same size dead center. The offsetting center is already longer than a dead center. And if you add a live center to it, it will be longer yet. something like two or three inches of the gadget hanging out in front of the tailstock ram. Which might not be desirable.
 

Kernbigo

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#22
You are correct the head stock center is the ball nose center so you can pivot a radical angle if you need to. The adjustable tail stock is not live it is dead, check out the pictures 101_0684.jpg 101_0600.jpg 101_0601.jpg the center next to the ball nose one is a Enco one but only has .010 adjustment, the other adjustable one, has a tremendous amount of adjustment
 

JR49

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#23
The offsetting center is already longer than a dead center. And if you add a live center to it, it will be longer
Point taken, wa5cab, although my Logan has plenty of ctr. to ctr. room I see that the extra length could introduce accuracy and rigidity issues. Will have to rethink this live ctr. decision. Thanks, JR49
 

wa5cab

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#24
Right. I wasn't really thinking about loss of work space but rather of rigidity at the tailstock end.
 

BobSchu

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#25
Now I just have to round up the pieces and put it together. Should work perfectly for what I need at the moment. I don't suppose anyone would have an old import boring head and 3MT shaft they would like to get rid of?
Thanks, Bob
 

todd774

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#26
Anyone here built a taper attachment for an older Sheldon Lathe? Is it worth the trouble and how did you do it? I have an older 11" Sheldon that didn't come with a taper attachment and I want to do some rifle barrel work on it. Without a taper attachment I'm thinking I'm pretty much going to be out of luck- but them I'm pretty much an amateur at this so I'm pretty much just learning this stuff on the fly anyway..... :)

Some ideas on how to proceed would be greatly appreciated.

TIA,
Bob
Hi Bob. Try this website http://kinzers.com/don/MachineTools/taper_att/ It's plans for a southbend 9", but you might be able to modify
the plans to suit your lathe. I thought about building this one day so I saved the website.
Good luck
Todd K.
 

Fabrickator

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#27
I found some pics of mine. I got the plans off of an old master machinist, Frank Harth, that uses a small four jaw chuck, so it's a multi-purpose jig. I found a new, Unimat independent 4-jawon Ebay for about $35. It mounts on the tailstock/MT3 (LMS, I think) & uses a live center. As I said, I use my height gauge to level it off the bed ways. If I remember right, I think it has about a 1/2" range.

IMG_0675.JPG IMG_0668.JPG
 

BobSchu

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#28
Great ideas and links guys. Now I have to figure out which one will work best for my projects. I checked my tailstock last night and realized it isn't a MT3 taper, it is actually a MT2. Digging around in the bucket full of attachments, reamers, and accessories I got with the lathe I found a couple small 4 jaw independent chucks, a couple drill type chucks, at least 3 dead centers and a huge live center that is too large for consideration for this project, and a number of other parts and pieces that will help me out. If I have time in the next few days, I will see if the 4 jaw can be converted to a taper shaft for mounting in the tailstock. I've located a few places that have the import boring head with MT2 shaft, including Shars and a couple others- including fleabay and Amazon.
Building the full fledged Taper attachment as per the link sent by Todd would be my first choice, but much more labor intensive and won't probably happen until I have the time to tackle it sometime in the future.

Great ideas all gentlemen. I hope I'm not the only one benefitting from all of the help on this thread. I'm learning more every day on this site. Thanks a bunch for that. As a relative newbie to this I need all the help I can get.

Bob
 

jsh

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#29
Bob, did you ever come up with anything on this subject?
I finally found and bought a lathe, not even home and in place yet and I am chasing stuff around,lol.
Jeff
 

woodchucker

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#30
Well, you have more trust in the stability of tanged morse tapers than I have learned to have. :apologize:
you can always drill and tap your ts quill for set screws to lock the tangs from rotating. So the solution is acually simple and allows an alternative to a full blown taper attachment.
 
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