LumberJocks

Building lathes #1: New bowl lathe

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by bowlturner posted 02-20-2020 02:54 PM 471 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Building lathes series no next part

Recently I converted an abandoned K&T horizontal mill into a bowl lathe. The machine has an enormous shaft supported by 3 roller bearings. The front one is gigantic to resist high impact coming from metal cutting. After removing all the gears and power transmission mechanisms inside, I installed a pulley on the shaft and 3 hp-3 ph baldor motor, and VFD. The special feature of the lathe is that the bed (actually knee of the mill) moves vertically. When lowered maximally, you can turn 50 inch wide pieces. Therefore I named the lathe DK-50 (DK stands for David Koh, my name). When raised to the top limit, a 12-inch lathe can be installed on the bed for spindle turning using the tool rest and tailstock of the lathe.

The lumber piece turned for a test was 47 inches long. This new lathe weighs about 1,700 pounds, I guess, and therefore quite stable when turning out-of-balance bowl blanks. The last picture shows that DK-50 is way bigger than the green VB-36, one of the biggest commercial lathes.



6 comments so far

View Phil32's profile

Phil32

1057 posts in 636 days


#1 posted 02-20-2020 04:14 PM

This is quite interesting, certainly the ultimate in bowl turning capability, but it’s way more than I would devote to my bowl turning interests.

-- Phil Allin - There are mountain climbers and people who talk about climbing mountains. The climbers have "selfies" at the summit!

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

13514 posts in 1871 days


#2 posted 02-20-2020 04:42 PM

The woodworker in me is smiling. The machinist in me is crying a little bit…

That’ll make some massive bowls though!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View bowlturner's profile

bowlturner

19 posts in 114 days


#3 posted 02-20-2020 08:49 PM



This is quite interesting, certainly the ultimate in bowl turning capability, but it s way more than I would devote to my bowl turning interests.

- Phil32


The new lathe has different features compared to other top notch commercial lathes. In terms of convenience of use and stability, it can not match the capacity of VB36. Thanks for the comment.

View bowlturner's profile

bowlturner

19 posts in 114 days


#4 posted 02-20-2020 08:53 PM


The woodworker in me is smiling. The machinist in me is crying a little bit…

That ll make some massive bowls though!

- HokieKen


As a test, I turned a 19 inch bowl which was OK. Since this lathe has one step pulley, it would struggle if the blank was unbalanced. Please respond to the machinist’s drive. I enjoyed the modification of this lathe.

View 55woodbutcher's profile

55woodbutcher

54 posts in 559 days


#5 posted 02-22-2020 02:35 PM

Best conversion ever!

View bowlturner's profile

bowlturner

19 posts in 114 days


#6 posted 02-22-2020 09:22 PM



Best conversion ever!

- 55woodbutcher


Thank you. I am testing the lathe in terms of capacity and stability.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com