I need to turn a piece of wood thats 4m (12') long by 50cm (20") wide
(diameter). Would a piece of wood this size be suitable for turning on a
lathe, if I was to make one especially for this purpose?
The item I'll be turning will be a (model) submarine hull.
Does anyone have any better suggestions?
I'd suggest that you tell us a bit more about what exactly you're
Is there a particular reason the sub can't be built up in sections?
Will the hull be hollowed out?
Will it be painted?
What's the intended purpose?
wow......Is it going into water or just a show item? For a show item I
think I'd make an interior frame and skin it with veneer. Or if you can
find a 24" lathe (check woodturning forums for somebody with a big One Way),
turn it in sections and connect the sections..
Gary (scratching head....)
Even if previously hollowed out, you'd need a monster lathe to turn it.
I recall that FWW once had an article on a poor man's router lathe,
basically a plywood box into the ends of which the workpiece was
mounted, as if between centers. A router with a dish cutting bit rode
the length of the box's sides. The workpiece was turned with a crank
mounted on one end. Tapers would be cut by raising or lowering the
mounting at one end.
I'm sure this would be slow with much wear and tear on the router. But
without specialized super heavy duty lathe equipment I don't know how
else you'd do this safely in the average generalist's woodshop.
Then again, since you're building a "boat", consider the classic
boatbuilder's techniques of "tortured plywood" or "cove and bead" plank
on frame construction. You might then be able to carry, row or float
your sub to wherever you want to display it.
The last part makes no sense. All wood is useful. It is the tool
that needs to be useful for the job, and I'm betting you cant afford
that size of a lathe. I saw one once in an Otis Elevator production
plant. Perhaps you can tell us how you are going to make a [safe]
lathe that size to support that weight of wood, and have it cheap
enough for a single job. I have an idea for the last part as I type.
Also since when are submarine hulls round? I'm not sure of the exact
profile, but it tapers a bit towards the top I thought.
A lathe turns things between two points. You can take the ubiquitous old
Delta 12" shop lathe, use the outboard thread and faceplate, mount the
tailstock on a table screwed to the floor the appropriate distance away, and
countershaft the beast to desired speed. As long as you have the two points
fixed in line, you're good.
A long 2x6 "tool rest" and hand planes on the columns I worked with, though
router jigs and such would also work. Keep the heel of the plane on the
rest, skew and go.
:> I need to turn a piece of wood thats 4m (12') long by 50cm (20") wide :> (diameter). Would a piece of wood this size be suitable for turning on a :> lathe, if I was to make one especially for this purpose?
:> The item I'll be turning will be a (model) submarine hull.
:> Does anyone have any better suggestions?
: A lathe turns things between two points. You can take the ubiquitous old
: Delta 12" shop lathe, use the outboard thread and faceplate, mount the
: tailstock on a table screwed to the floor the appropriate distance away, and
: countershaft the beast to desired speed. As long as you have the two points
: fixed in line, you're good.
A cylinder of the size he's considering turning is going to end up being
close to 30 cubic feet. Suppose it was something light,
like poplar, which is around 40 lbs/cf. That's 1200 pounds of wood.
Now imagine it before it gets turned, with it not being
perfectly balanced. You would need one gigantic lathe for that --
You'd destroy the Delta 12", and everything within about fifteen feet as it
walks across the floor and comes apart.
Stave construction seems a much better bet to me.
-- Andy Barss
Me too, but if he can find a log of proper dimension, more power to him.
Having done both staved 9' and solid at 6'6" in the past on an old cast iron
delta, I assure you it works if you just say yes instead of no.
Jack up an old Chevy pickup, take one of the back wheels off, and use
the hub as your faceplate.
Oh, and don't forget to wear your safety glasses. ;-)
(remove all letters after y in the alphabet)
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