New Lathe

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Blog entry by Ted78 posted 11-11-2016 09:56 PM 1130 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Picked up what people on Lumberjocks here like to call a ‘starter lathe’ but they clearly come from a very different economic background than I do. Yes that pile of zinc die cast doo dads was an upgrade itself from the previous cobbled up bits of scrap 2×4 and stove bolts.

My question is the tailstock is difficult to move, it workes and I can move it, but in my mind I should be able to loosen the nut and it should glide back and forth, instead it ’s more like moving a refrigerator with pokey feet across a vinyl floor. The tool rest arm has a spring and the tail stock does not, so maybe it’s missing a spring, although the tool rest is a pain to move as well. There was also a little rectangular piece of sheet metal with a hole drilled through the middle that does not look at all original somewhere in the mix of bolt and washer and the little cast iron square the engages with the bottom of the lathe bed that I just removed. I don’t know why it was there or what it’s purpose might have been.

Is it just less than an ideal design or am I missing something?

-- Ted

4 comments so far

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5545 days

#1 posted 11-11-2016 10:28 PM

Sounds like you need a little lubrication here n there to me…

Have fun… once you get her cleaned up… and oiled… :)

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 3500 days

#2 posted 11-12-2016 12:04 AM

Cleaning up the bed-ways helps too. That’s the 2 flat surfaces the tool rest and the tailstock slide back and forth on.
Use very fine (like 400 or 600grit) wet&dry sandpaper and a wood block first to clean them up. I use WD40 as a lubricant for a sanding job like that.

Then polish the living daylights out of them with your favorite automotive polish. They’ll be slick as wet cat poop after that.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Ted78's profile


415 posts in 3493 days

#3 posted 11-12-2016 07:25 AM

I cleaned and polished and shined and waxed and lubed the bed ways till the cows came home (I’m no stranger to cleaning up old cast iron beds). and…..minimal improvement. Well it did smooth up the sliding action on the far end as i would expect it too but that wasn’t the problem to start with. It was sticky on the half closest to the head stock.
Feeling along the underside of the bed there were a couple rough spots in the casting, thought maybe those were catching something. Knocked those down with a bastard file. No improvement. I got a bit more aggressive and rounded over the entire length of the bottom inside edges of the bed way just a bit and this maybe helped a bit. Finally it became apparent to me the rails were not parallel to each other and curved in a bit about a foot from the head stock and it was pinching the tail stock. I don’t know if it had always been this way or if the iron warped a bit over the years, but a few passes with the file on either side where it was pinching and things slide much better now. I could probably file just a bit more as it still catches just a bit, but don’t want to overdo it and create any more slop than necessary.

-- Ted

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5545 days

#4 posted 11-14-2016 05:02 AM

Ted, glad to see you’re making progress… and getting it fixed… COOL!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

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