Homebuilt Wood Lathe

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http://home.woh.rr.com/wrought/woodlathe.htm
As much an inspiration as anything, but good info.
JOAT It's not hard, if you get your mind right. - Granny Weatherwax
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Or you can go to the other extreme. http://turningaround.org/4_axis_mill.htm
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Art Ransom
Lancaster , Texas
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On Fri, 20 Oct 2006 05:29:45 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

This is the part I like:
"Recent additions to the lathe include a Super Nova Chuck, a set of HSS Robert Sorby turning tools, new Woodcraft toolrests and a steady rest."
Guess he took that money he saved and spent it all as quick as he could after the lathe was up and running...
Always looked like a fun project to me, though.
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On Fri, 20 Oct 2006 05:29:45 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

Looking at this guy's site, I ran across his handmade metalworking lathe and mill.
http://home.woh.rr.com/wrought/gingery_lathe1.htm
Built from plans found here
http://www.lindsaybks.com/dgjp /
Which was kind of more interesting to me than the wooden wood lathe (I already own two.) Evidently, the suckers are made out of scrap aluminum melted down and recast in a 5 gallon bucket full of sand. As a guy who works right next to 50-gal drums of aluminum, steel, and stainless steel punch slugs all day, that caught my attention. I have no doubts my employer would be happy to sell scrap to me at the going rate, or just let me have a bucketful.
Now it sounds like a lot of work, but it might be interesting to try out one day, perhaps just to make the tools to machine a real engine lathe and mill. But I have to wonder if aluminum is *ever* up to that kind of use. Anyone on here have any tools with aluminum castings? (I don't, which is why I ask) If so, are they useful for anything at all? My biggest concern would be stress cracking under the inevitable vibration of a handmade tool when the thing is running. If it doesn't do that, it may just be a working idea.
Obviously, some homemade toy made from recycled popcans isn't going to be comparable to an industrial mill, but if's useable at all, a guy could learn a lot from the project- and use it as startup tooling for fabricating his own, better equipment. It's a prospect that gets more and more appealing to me every year (with extra bonus appeal added each time I'm forced to call a customer service line for a replacement part.)
Oh yeah- to keep it on-topic, along with the plans for the mill and the engine lathe, there is also one for a shaper.
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Years ago, when starting a machine shop, it was standard practice to begin with a blacksmiths shop where the castings and forgings could be made to produce a lathe. Once the lathe was built, other machines could be made. The techniques in the Gingery books will produce very usable machines. The only problems with aluminum castings is durability and lack of weight. Heavy is good in a machine tool. The techniques that Gingery relies on to make these machines are the same techniques that were used to build the machines that ultimately produced the high speed, computer controlled machine tools we have today. BTW, a metal shaper is nothing like a wood shaper.

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CW wrote:

made. The

only
these
a bit OT:
I'm toying with the idea of making a "Gingery" lathe using glass reinforced concrete to make the main castings, with cold rolled steel for the slides and bushes, and wood for the bearing blocks and pulleys.
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Hack to size. Hammer to fit. Weld to join. Grind to shape. Paint to cover.
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Should work. Be aware though that his books are written as a series. Each one references to techniques explained in the previous. The lathe book is number two. The shaper being one, I believe.

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CW wrote:

I've got the full set:
1. Foundry 2. The Lathe 3. The Shaper (This is sort of a automatic granny tooth plane for metal, not a big router table) 4. The Mill (which is a horizontal type, like a thickness planer with a tilting bed and takes profiled blades.) 5. The Drill Press 6. The Dividing Index & other accessories
I've fixed several machines with home-cast accessories based on the designs in the books - seem to work OK
This new project will be four foot between centres for woodworking, should be much easier to do in concrete, I'm not particularly keen on pouring such a big casting in hot metal, anyway.
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wrote:

That's a new one on me- how much does glass reinforce concrete? I've done lots of wood-based construction work, and a ton of steel work, but very little masonry. Do you powder it and mix with the cement, or does it require something like glass rods?
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They mix fiberglass directly into the mix, not glass. Adds a lot to the shear strength.
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On Mon, 23 Oct 2006 05:36:10 -0700, Ralph E Lindberg

Thanks for the info.
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Prometheus wrote:

Fibre glass matting, as used to repair car bumpers (fenders?)
I think you're supposed to pull into individual fibres and add to the cement mixer.
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Sort of the idea I had in mind. I work with machine tools all day, and have always wanted to see how I could do if I started at the beginning and use what I've learned to keep upgrading the technology as far as I was able to. Easier now, of course, when there are existing high-tech tools to study- but still a daunting task. Lots of guys can run the machines these days, but are at a loss to explain the hows & whys of thier workings. Never hurts to know that stuff, too.
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Congratulations on taking an interest. It is becoming quite rare these days. Time was when a machinist built machines. He understood how they worked and could design and manufacture a machine or the parts to fix an existing one. Now, it is getting difficult to find someone that can set up and run the current crop of robots, let alone understand how they work. The majority of guys that I've worked with over the years building and repairing machines are retired and nobody is replacing them. A good friend of mine, one who I worked with for some years before he retired, always said that the way things were going, everyone was going to freeze to death in the dark.
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Well, some people can freeze to death in the dark- I'll try to avoid that, myself. The big thing that started to push me in this direction was just a crowning conversation at my current job. The guy that was training me in on the Amada laser cutter has been running that exact machine for over seven years. When it came time to run my first stainless steel job on the thing he looked crestfallen, and told me that stainless was tough, and he had a hard time with it. I asked him what exactly was needed to get the stuff to cut correctly- and he told me that changing the focus was all a person could do. For some reason, he didn't appear to know (or care) that feed rate, focus, gas pressure and lens alignment all made a difference as well. Took a little thinking and tinkering, but I got it running like a top.
I switched it back to a carbon steel for another guy to babysit it for a couple of hours between our shifts, and when I came back in the next day, I learned that the machine had been down for over 9 hours because he and the engineer couldn't get the job I had run all night to work at all. Took five minutes to readjust and get it back to work.
In my overall working life, it's been the same story each time. It seems most folks only have room for one variable or adjustment in their toolbox, and then wonder why "that damn machine" is always letting them down. You'd think in a computerized culture, GIGO would be a basic concept for everyone.
With my somewhat limited skills and knowledge being able to do that by reading the manual that came with the machine, I can only imagine the amount of stuff that can be figured out by going through the process of developing the machine itself. Might be able to make some nice woodworking machines I can't otherwise afford, to boot.
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Mon, Oct 23, 2006, 1:58pm (EDT-1) snipped-for-privacy@business.org (Prometheus) doth sayeth: <snip> In my overall working life, it's been the same story each time. <snip>
I've had similar experience, not with mechanical work tho. Spent most of my working life with people telling me I can't do something. Finally figured out that they usually meant "they" couldn't do it, and either thought they were smarter than me, so I certainly couldn't do it; or, they didn't want me to do it and show them up, because they didn't know how to do it. None of it was rocket science, and I don't think I ever ran across anything I couldn't figure out. Also had some of those people later taking credit for work I'd done.
JOAT It's not hard, if you get your mind right. - Granny Weatherwax
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Prometheus (in snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com) said:
| <snip> I can only | imagine the amount of stuff that can be figured out by going | through the process of developing the machine itself. Might be | able to make some nice woodworking machines I can't otherwise | afford, to boot.
YES! There's no "might be" about it.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto
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Sun, Oct 22, 2006, 4:47am (EDT-1) snipped-for-privacy@business.org (Prometheus) doth posteth: <snip> Built from plans found here http://www.lindsaybks.com/dgjp/ <snip>
The only problem with Lindsay Books is, every time I get one of their catalogs I want to buy almost every book in it. For you guys that aren't familiar with them, loads of old reprinted books. I always find it best to get a catalog, then circle everything I want to buy. then gradually work it down to just one or two books. Good reading, even if you don't make anything from them.
JOAT It's not hard, if you get your mind right. - Granny Weatherwax
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On Sun, 22 Oct 2006 13:14:02 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

You're not kidding, there. I spent a couple of hours just looking through the site. Even if you never got around to doing it, it's still a pretty entertaining retrospective on late 19th century style. Ironically, that was what worried me a bit- the style of the site really evokes "Snake oil" and "crackpot."
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Yeah. It's important to note that many of the techniques described in these books are DANGEROUS. Maybe you have to be a little crazy to try them...
On the plus side, shipping is cheap!
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