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[4]

My HF 8x14 Mini Lathe Mods

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darkzero

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#1
Well I don't have it any more but it's still in the family, I gave it to my brother. I only had the lathe for 8 months before I out grew it but I did learn a lot with it. It turned out to be a great lathe with the mods I did to it. Figure I might as well share for those who have one.

They used to go on sale for $449 & I got it with 20% off, came out to $385 out the door. Now they are listed for $1000!

As you may know, HF calls it an 8x12 but it is actually an 8x14. The Lathemaster CQ6120X320 is the same lathe, made in the same factory.


Here it is in it's final days in my garage.
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First thing I did was add some thumbscrews for the gearbox & spindle covers since these would be opened quite often.
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These do not come with a back splash as they picture it & when I called to order one I was told they were no longer available. I called Lathemaster & was able to get one for $35. Test fitted perfect, then painted black.
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The belt that came with mine was a O-710 but the manual called for a O-720. Belt changes were not easy as the belt seemed a bit short. So I used a Fenner Power Twist belt. Stock belt is 3/8" wide so I used size 3L. The entire geabox assy was disassembled, deburred as needed, cleaned, & readjusted for proper gear mesh. This made a big difference in noise reduction. At the bottom of the gear assy is a SHCS that you can loosen to disengage the gears from the spindle when the leadscrew is not in use, this also makes a big difference in noise reduction, virtually quiet.
Img_9002.jpg


If you cut threads often, the speed reduction pulley from LM is well worth it. There are planetary gears inside it used to reduce speeds & reverses direction so remember to switch the spindle in reverse in order for the spindle to turn CCW. These are the speeds I measured with a Monarch Pocket-Tach 100.
[TABLE="width: 128"]
[TR]
[TD]RPM
[/TD]
[TD][/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]Projected
[/TD]
[TD]Actual
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]2000
[/TD]
[TD]2459
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]1000
[/TD]
[TD]1269
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]620
[/TD]
[TD]840
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]420
[/TD]
[TD]205 (RP)
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]210
[/TD]
[TD]103 (RP)
[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]125
[/TD]
[TD]60 (RP)
[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]


The two most common QCTPs for these are the A2Z & the Aloris type AXA. Both offer 1/2" tool shank max capacity. I did not like the idea of an aluminum tool post & holders so I choose to go with LM's modified AXA QCTP.

The LM QCTP is a standard AXA size that comes with hardware so it bolts right on with no modifications to the compound slide needed. However, you need to use their modified tool holders in order to use 1/2" shank tools. They are just standard AXA holders that have their mottoms milled so they sit lower on the TP.

However in my case, I found that they were not milled down enough & I still could not low enough to reach the center of the spindle.
Img_9030.jpg


I had my holders milled an additional 30-40 thou in order to reach center line.
Left: stock LM holder, Right: milled LM holder
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I purchased an AXA parting blade holder, it also does not sit low enough to be used properly. Initially I had to use the blade upside down with the spinlde in reverse.
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I had the parting blade holder milled to take care of that issue so the blades could be used "correctly".
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However, the parting blade holder must be used with the compound slide parallel with the spindle.
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An alternative to having to have your holders milled everytime you get a new one, Little Machine Shop used to offer a milled down version of the compound slide which allows the AXA QCTP to be used as is. You could have you compound milled down where the TP would sit or purchase a replacement from LMS & have it milled.


A bit off topic, here's a DTM QCTP that was going to go on the lathe. DTM is no longer in business but it was said that they had improved on Aloris' design. The story is that a number of workers left Aloris to form their own company called DTM who were also located in Clifton NJ. That TP was very nice, smooth, & had great lock up, I wish I got the chance to use it.

IMG_5417.jpg


Here it is next to the LM AXA clone. You can see the wedge guides which is one of the "design improvements".
IMG_5422.jpg

IMG_5429.jpg

IMG_5407.jpg



With 14" between centers, I often ran out of room. One way to get the most out of it possible was to shorten the drill chuck arbor to get more TS travel. I also made a MT "plug" to keep chips out of the TS ram when not in use. I also replaced the set screws for the half nuts levers with shorter ones & shortened down the spacer for the thread dial to gain a tad bit more carriage travel. Or you can remove the thread dial entirely to get even more travel.
IMG_5026.jpg


It was only a matter of a few weekends before I stripped the cheap compound studs. I replaced them using nuts inside the crosslide & used metric SHCS instead. I found it much more convienent to use a hex key for the compound which was the same size for the carriage lock.
Img_6838.jpg


I started out using a drip pan from the local auto parts store as a chip pan.
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Later I replaced it with a pan made for a pet cage.
Img_1978.jpg


Here's where I mounted the work lamp.
Img_6325.jpg


Some threading....
Img_6119.jpg

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darkzero

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#2
IMO, 5" is the largest chuck this lathe can handle. I was very happy with a 5" 3-jaw until I came across a used 5" Bison 6-jaw Set-Tru for a great price. You don't come across these too often.

Of course Bison does not offer an adapter to be fitted to this type of spindle. I originally planned to use my current adapter that I have for my 5" 3-jaw since the mounting holes lined up perfectly but it wouldn't make use of the Set-Tru feature though. So I decided to try & make one, it was my first time.

To make the job easier I drove down to LMS & picked up a 5" threaded adapter with no holes. Of course my spindle is not threaded but I thought of an idea to use this adapter "backwards".

Img_0589.jpg

Img_0579.jpg


I wanted to use the front side of the adapter where the chuck would normaly sit with the raised boss as the backside to bolt onto my spindle. I needed to machine the raised part off but I had couldn't chuck the adapter nicely in the chuck. First I had to machine the other side a bit.
Img_0599.jpg


Now I was able to get a good grip on it. I proceeded to remove the raised part.
Img_0601.jpg


Then I machined the face then chamfered the edge.
Img_0604.jpg

Img_0605.jpg


Next I bored the counterbore to fit my spindle. My current adapter for the 3-jaw fits very loose so I wanted to make this one as tight as I could. The register on my spindle measures 2.832". Bored it out to 2.833" for a tight press on fit.
Img_0612.jpg

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Next I had to make the holes to bolt onto the spindle. I originally planned on removing the spindle from the headstock so I could use a transfer punch. Well I couldn't get the spindle out of the headstock & didn't want to risk it screwing it up.

The screw holes on the spindle are bigger than the screws so there was plenty of wiggle room. Since I got the adapter to fit the spindle pretty tight I didn't think making the screw holes perfect was a big deal.

I applied some double sided mounting tape then tapped the adapter against the spindle to make impressions of the holes. Then I eyeballed it & center punched them.
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Tapped some blind holes.
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Next I bolted the adapter onto the spindle & faced it. Then I made the final through hole bore to match the chuck.
Img_0667.jpg

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Then I turned down the end which I would be using for the boss for the Set-Tru feature. I wanted this to be a nice fit so the chuck is centered so I can transfer punch the mounting holes for the chuck onto the adapter, then turn down after. Slid the chuck onto the adapter & transfer punched for the holes.
Img_0670.jpg

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Drilled all the way through, chamfered, & threaded. Adapter is all done & it fit great.
Img_0693.jpg

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Img_1254.jpg



Hope this thread wasn't a complete waste of time & can help someone someday. But at least it brough back great memories for me.
 

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Tony Wells

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#3
Looks like some good modifications, Will. I appreciate you sharing them with the group.
 

darkzero

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#7
If you cut threads often, the speed reduction pulley from LM is well worth it. There are planetary gears inside it used to reduce speeds & reverses direction so remember to switch the spindle in reverse in order for the spindle to turn CCW. These are the speeds I measured with a Monarch Pocket-Tach 100.
The speed table did not convert over to XF & I am not able to edit my post because of a max photo limit so reposting it here:

HF8x14_spindle.jpg
 

brav65

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#8
Thanks Will! I am setting up my HF 7x12 right now, and am completing a number of mods while I get everything cleaned and adjusted. I am replacing the spindle bearings with angular contact bearing, replacing the spindle with one that is pre drilled to accept a 3" and 4" chuck with no adapter, adding a tachometer (Machtach), adding a cam lock to the tail stock, adding a carriage lock, replacing all the cheap hardware and handles with better quality, adding tapered brass gibs, adding an access opening to be able to lubricate the headstock gear box, extended cross slide mod (I tipped the lathe over and broke the tip off the cross slide lead screw and handle), adding a 2 axis DRO (Yuri's toys design), and whatever else I can get done while I have it apart to clean.
 

Dan_S

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#9
About the reduction pulley, I emailed Lathmasters about getting the reduction pulley back in December and got this back in response.

Hi Dan,
I don’t know when I will get more in stock.
The factory has suspended production for a while.

Thanks,
Robert Bertrand
I just checked, and it's not listed on the website anymore.
 

brav65

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About the reduction pulley, I emailed Lathmasters about getting the reduction pulley back in December and got this back in response.



I just checked, and it's not listed on the website anymore.
I just got a reduction pulley and belt kit on eBay for $71.00 you can buy it now for $105. I also got the metal gear set from LMS. I will probably leave on drive gear in plastic as a safety precaution as I am a noob and don't want to mess up the motor. With all the money I have spent on upgrades I should have gotten a bigger lathe, but I only paid $249 for the lathe. There was a glitch on the site and when I went to pay they only charged me $249 + $6 for shipping.
 

darkzero

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#11
Actually, the speed reduction pulley for the 8x14 is different than the 7x lathes. The reduction pulley for the 8x lathes have planetary gears inside to reduce the speed & because of which the motor has to be ran in reverse for the spindle to run CCW. Parts for the 7x lathes don't interchange with the 8x lathes, they are different machines.
 
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