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My Big (Big for me) Lathe is To Small

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Robert LaLonde

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#1
No kidding. I bought the 14x40 thinking I would never have a use for anything bigger. Well, now I need to cut down a hydraulic cylinder that is to long for it. I picked up a piece of equipment recently for next to nothing that has a big hydraulic ram, double spool valve, and a pump. Pulled all the good stuff off and I am in the process of turning it into a nice hydraulic press so I can retired or sell the old bottle jack presses.

I resigned myself to tearing it down when I ran some air in the forward side and felt air coming out the return side of the ram. I needed to tear it down anyway, because I want to weld a big flange on it. Well its got an internal lock ring that looks like somehow was installed in reverse. Yes, tightening the cap backed out the ring... most of the way. It didn't move at all until penetrating oil sat on the threads for several days. The cap would never move in the direction to remove it. Even with judicious use of a 4lb hammer and various helper tools. It's certainly galled badly for that to happen.

Anyway, the cylinder is really about twice as long as I need for a press. This also makes it a bit to long for my lathe. I could cut it down to the length I want ok after I modify my steady rest to hold it. It fits in the ring, but the fingers do not retract far enough. The problem is I want to try to cut the tube where the lock ring is to try and save the cap/plug instead of making a new one....

DOH! Nevermind. I just figured it out. Cut it down, then remount the piece I cut off to try to save the cap.

I need to remember rule one in problem solving. Clearly define the problem.

Thanks for letting me think out loud guys. Before anybody says, "but you wrote it you didn't say it Bob," you have never heard me type.

So anyway, dang-it. I still do not have a good excuse to upgrade to that 16x60. LOL.
 

RandyM

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#2
We now want to see what you are working on. :encourage:
 

papa-roe

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#3
I, for one, am glad we could be here for you. I'm sorry that you lost your justification for a larger lathe. I'm sure that another issue will arise that will REALLY require a larger lathe. Perhaps, you should draw out your plans, move some stuff around and be ready when the time comes.....Just in case!
 

Downwindtracker2

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#4
Early in my career I worked in machine shop as a millwright/helper. One of the jobs I was given was rebuilding a hydraulic cylinder and the ram stuck, not like the air cylinders I had done. So the boss said clamp it to that bench outside and point it to the field behind the shop, then use air. It went off like a cannon, half way across the boneyard.
 

Tim9

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#5
Early in my career I worked in machine shop as a millwright/helper. One of the jobs I was given was rebuilding a hydraulic cylinder and the ram stuck, not like the air cylinders I had done. So the boss said clamp it to that bench outside and point it to the field behind the shop, then use air. It went off like a cannon, half way across the boneyard.
Yep...When working on cars and rebuilding much smaller hydraulics like brake calipers...Standard procedure for me was to stick a piece a wood in the caliper and use air to pop the piston out. Whenever doing larger items..same sort of procedure...Just be prepared to stay clear of the flying piston. That said...No, I've never done anything the size of what you described. My stuff was usually smaller and would just fly a ways and hit a brick wall.
 

kd4gij

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#6
As I always say. No matter how big of a lathe one has, You will always run across project you wish your lathe was bigger.

At work we have a 26"x 120" gap bed lathe with a 5" through spindle. A customer needed a 6" x 140" shaft made.
 

NortonDommi

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#7
Just a point, a lot of the end caps on newer hydraulic cylinders are put on TIGHT. About a month ago while visiting someone I came across the person I went to see and eight mates trying to get a ram off the boom of his digger apart, this was day two! I took it to a local hydraulic shop where it was put in a purpose made fixture, clamped at 8 ton and a hydraulic wrench used to remove the cap. I took it back to them later after fitting new seals to replace the cap. Total cost for the service was $10. There was no way this was ever coming off in a vice loosely bolted to a wooden bench in a farm shack.
 

tq60

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#8
The end where the ram comes out needs to be finished well...The other end not so much.

So consider cutting the other end off then re welding it back together at shorter length.
 

Robert LaLonde

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#9
To late. I cut it in half and found that there were two very deep gouges in the cylinder wall. Not repairable. (not easily) I might have 6 inches in the top that is unscored. I could make a very short cylinder out of it, and I might but more likely it will go on my scrap metal pile with the cylinder becoming a pedestal stand for something, and the piston rod becoming the linear rod on a power hammer. A new cylinder is not all that expensive compared to the time I would have to put into this one. I don't mind the time so far as it was a great learning experience.
 

Robert LaLonde

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#10
I have no issue with threading and finishing the end. I do need a better steady rest though. I had to modify the fingers in mine and it still barely fit.
 
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