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Wood lathe build

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benmychree

John York
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I am building a wood lathe, 12" swing and about 5 ft center to center; I made patterns for the head and tailstocks and had the cast in iron, I am presently laying them out for machining, as the pictures will show. I had made the headstock some time back to use on an Oliver patternmaker's lathe, hence many of the parts are already made for the headstock, My original design for the headstock was faulty, as the lack of the tie bar on top of the original headstock was not rigid enough, which made the bearings run rough and noisy. I added the tie bar to the existing pattern, and made a new pattern for the tailstock. The step cone pulleys came off a small hand screw machine made by the Frieden Calculator Co. of SF Cal. during WW-2, and are cast iron. The two aluminum pulleys provide for two speed ranges so that large faceplate work could be done. The bed will be about 2X8 oak with cold rolled flat screwed on the top; legs will likely be oak also.

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Boswell

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this looks like a great project. Looking forward to seeing your progress.
 

GoceKU

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Impressive work John, having anything cast in iron is not easy especially one off stuff, i'm intrigued, first why and how are you planning to make the bed out of wood and flat steel, most of DIY lathes i've seen use C chanel or I beem for the bed.
 

benmychree

John York
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Here you are! Progress of the day; I set the head and tailstocks up on my #2 B&S mill, first I set up the castings on three planer jacks and leveled them with my surface gage to the layout lines, then I inserted tight fitting parallels in the tee slot, and set the vertical layout lines on the ends to the edge of the parallels, then clamped the castings to the table, and rechecked the leveling and centerlines; I then milled a cleanup cut on the backside of the head and tailstocks to be used as a reference surface for milling the bottoms of the castings. I clamped each casting to the table at the extreme back edge, 1/8" overhanging the table and leveled the castings to their centerlines, clamped them to the table and milled the key portion with a carbide face mill, then milled the seating part that will sit on the lathe ways with a HSS shell mill. First I milled all the surfaces, leaving about 1/32" stock, then went back and finished each surface to the layout lines and the key width with a mike.
Impressive work John, having anything cast in iron is not easy especially one off stuff, i'm intrigued, first why and how are you planning to make the bed out of wood and flat steel, most of DIY lathes i've seen use C chanel or I beem for the bed.
I'm using wood for the bed because I already have it!

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benmychree

John York
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Here is the next installment, consisting of facing off the ends of the bearing housings, preparatory to boring the holes for the spindle bearings:
001 setup to drill & ream index plunger bore
002 finding center lines for plunger bore
003finfing bore center
004 mill off face of boss for plunger hole
005 drill hole
006 ream hole
007 mill end of spindle housing
008 mill w/ 6" shell mill
010 face inner face of spindle housing with sweep tool in boring bar
011 ditto
014 ditto far end
015 chips
016 more chips!
017 centering spindle to set up parallels with dial indicator
018 setting spindle center to setup parallels vertically using wiggler and height gage
019 setting height for spindle bore from base line of parallels.
I note that there may be some confusion as to the numbering of pictures posted due to some pics having the same numbers from my previous posts.

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Bob Korves

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I like your use of the wiggler, height gage, and other choices of tooling for quickly setting up work. I am horribly slow at many setups and so I am paying close attention... That looks like nice iron that cuts with real chips. What alloy is it, John?
 

benmychree

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I think it is class 30 iron; I do not know what the source of iron is, but assume it is scrap; we could ask Jake, since he has been there. I have to use the methods for setting height and location as I have done, since my machines have no DRO or verniers, so I use the height gage and whatever, including a planer gage and size blocks and step gages, all "old school" methods, I do have a Travadial on my 19" lathe, 'tho.
 

benmychree

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Here is the next chapter: boring the headstock for the bearings. I am using angular contact bearings in this project, and fit them so that they can be tapped in, with very slight clearance. I checked my centering where the casting fits snugly between the parallels, to closer than .001", and also, then reset the center height with the height gage and wiggler; I then bored the holes, turning the casting around to reach each end in turn. I could have line bored both holes in one setting, but precision measurement is problematic with the boring bar in place.wood lathe 4 001.JPGwood lathe 4 002.JPGwood lathe 4 003.JPG and quite time consuming, and I feel that concentricity between the ends is likely to be quite close.
 

benmychree

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This chapter is about line boring the tailstock; I borrowed the two cast iron box parallels from my old shop ( I made them many years ago), and set them up on the mill table accurately, set the tailstock between them snugly, then indicated to set the spindle centered between the parallels, then set the center height with the wiggler and height gage and clamped the tailstock in place, I then made a boring bar of 13/16 drill rod that was on the shelf, and made a plug with bronze bushing to fit the headstock bore and clamped its flange to the headstock and clamped the headstock down, and started boring, I got one rough cut all the way through; tomorrow is another day! Also there are pics at the beginning of milling the ends of the barrel off.

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Boswell

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thanks for all the pictures. It is fascinating to see your setups and process.
 

Bob Korves

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Great use of the headstock bearing bores as a fixture to set up for boring the tailstock bore. No measuring, little chance of making an error. Smart thinking, John.
 

benmychree

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I could have simply taken my castings to my old shop and used the horizontal boring mill to do the work, but thought that the "thrill of the chase" would be in making do with what machinery was at hand, as they would have done in days passed; the milling machine was stretched to its limits so far as movements of the axes are concerned, that bore is nearly 9" long, the feed movement is not much more than that. Thinking further about it, I could have used the universal spindle and aligned it with the table's movement; the attachment is mostly used as a vertical attachment, but swivels in two axes in 360 degrees, I used it that way once so far to cut a spiral gear that exceeded the swivel capability of the table.
 

benmychree

John York
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Great use of the headstock bearing bores as a fixture to set up for boring the tailstock bore. No measuring, little chance of making an error. Smart thinking, John.
Today, I completed boring out of the tailstock; I found that with the setup shown, I got a taper in the bore; line boring is done with the "tail end" of the bar supported with a bearing that does not move along with the work, unlike what I have illustrated, that accounted for the taper; I finally moved the tail end bearing about 5" further than the pics show, that is, away from the casting being bored, this eliminated nearly all the taper, and I finished to size with an adjustable reamer.
 

benmychree

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Here is the next installment, the continued finishing of the tailstock casting; this was delayed a couple of weeks by having to help my carpenter tear off part of my house's roof and do some fairly extensive rot repair, replacing several rafters and sheathing, then covering with plywood; re roofing remains!
1- setting up to mill backside of the base
2- milling the backside
3- setting up to drill the hole for the hold down bolt
4- setting up to slit the quill clamp
5- slitting the quill clamp, first cut
5- complete quill cut
6- setup on drill press to drill and tap for quill clamp
7-finding center of layout with wiggler
8-9-10- drilling and tapping for the binding clamp
11-12-13-14 - setup and drilling of the clampdown bolt hole in the tailstock base
15-16- boss on top of tailstock base showing hole drilled previously through the bottom, showing the back spot facing tool
17-18 showing back spot facing tool and finished boss

This completes the tailstock work other than smoothing up the castings for paint and making the clamp and the quill and screw, etc.

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benmychree

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Here is the last operation on the headstock, I'm drilling holes for the bearing retaining cover bolts, I'm using the covers as a drill jig to locate the holes.

wood lathe  drilling 001.JPG
 

benmychree

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Here is another last operation on the headstock! I'm drilling and tapping the bolt holes in the bottom of the headstock that will hold it down to the ways, of course, drilling and tapping is a pretty simple operation, but I show these pictures mostly to show the setup, and the use of planer jacks to support the free end and keep it level under the force of drilling. I show the use of a countersink to chamfer the holes before tapping, something that should always be done for tapped holes; the more experienced know this, but newbies may not. Fact is most any hole should be chamfered to remove burrs, saving many cut fingers----

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benmychree

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In this installment, I am cutting a key slot in the tailstock bore to key the quill so that it does not rotate, as is common on nearly all types of lathes. I am doing the job on my #2 B&S mill with the slotting attachment; preparatory to doing this operation, I drilled a hole from the bottom of the barrel of the casting for the tool to run out into, the keyway is about 2" long. The setup is with two parallels driven into the table slots and the casting is clamped to them with the barrel resting on the table and clamped down to it with the strap clamps.

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benmychree

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Here are some pics of threading the back end bore of the tailstock for the end cap, I turned down a piece of steel for an arbor to swing it in the lathe; I used the steady rest because I did not want to cut the piece of material any shorter; note that I used the tailstock quill clamp to secure the casting on the arbor and used a lathe dog to ensure that it did not slip on the arbor. I cut the thread by feeding straight in, not the best practice, but due to interferences, I was unable to swing the compound to 30 degrees (No, not 29.5 I was not taught that, and am not a member of that club!) because the taper attachment slide ran into a structural post of the building; on cast iron this is not a problem, as the chips do not much interfere with each other. I first made a thread gage, 1 3/8"-14 to fit the thread, as shown. I did the threading in reverse, and cut a recess to start the tool in, and backed out of the hole with the threading tool.

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benmychree

John York
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Here are the finished (except for smoothening castings and painting) head and tailstocks sitting on what will be the bed, the quarter sawn oak is about 2 1/2 X 8" and they are 7 ft long; CR steel strips will be screwed to the top to keep the stocks in alignment, the strips overhang the wood by 1/2" on the inside of the bed for clamping surfaces.

wood lathe bed 002.JPG
 

Bob Korves

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Looking good, John. I don't know that much about wood lathes, but I have not seen one made the way you are making yours. Still, it looks like it will work just fine. Is this an unconventional design, or just a style I have not seen?
 

benmychree

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Wood lathes with wood beds and iron stocks are common in history; we have parts of several of them at Sturgeon's mill. It makes sense that the use of wood beds, that you can buy the iron parts and make the bed any length that you want or need. Those that I have seen do not have steel way strips on top of the wood, perhaps unnecessary, but I thought of the possibility of maybe wanting to use a router for longnitudical (sp?) details on turnings.
 

Bob Korves

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How do you envision the "longitudinal" steel strips interacting with the router?
 

benmychree

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I could make a "sled" to run on the rails. I have no need to do so at this time, but who knows?
 

benmychree

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More progress! Made a trip to David Bassing's shop and he jointed four pieces of 2" oak for me for the legs to fit in slots cut on an angle in the bed stringers, and then I cut the curve in them like old machine legs were made, I used my 21" drill in the machine shop and drilled through about 9" of bed and the blocks the separate the bed stringers, then inserted each leg on one side and drilled from the other side to drill the legs, then did the same from the other side; I then made a flat counterbore to cut into the leg to cut the angle to match the through hole for the nuts and washers that hold the bed together and hold the legs on. I then fastened the steel strips on with #14 flat head wood screws.
Next comes the drive arrangement -----

wood lathe progress 001.JPG
 
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