Reply by Dan Krager

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Posted on Fox Super Shop

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Dan Krager

4529 posts in 2874 days

#1 posted 03-14-2017 11:46 PM

I didn’t notice the missing cover. The original Fox Supershop is a very strong machine I’d say comparable to most midrange 17” (its official rating) lathes. The maximum diameter over the carriage is 12”. It was (and is) used extensively for metal work, lathe and milling, so yes it’s very strong. I have a milling table, a 6” three jaw and an 8” 4 jaw metal working chucks. I watched a mechanic machine one head of a big block V8 using a Supershop. Tony Fox used them to expand his own manufacturing capabilities. The two pipes upon which the headstock rides have a 3/8” wall thickness, so there is no flexing and the spindle has four large ball bearings two in the quill and two in the splined driving quill. The idler shaft has two ball bearings. The quill has the longest extension of any homeowner type drill press at a full 6”. The base machine weighs in at something like 600 lbs if I remember correctly. I know it is all I could do in my younger days to lift one end with all the stuff removed and the head at the other end. The head by itself (with motor) is more than one wants to comfortably lift, so that is why there is an enormously powerful coil spring to counterbalance that weight. The casters retract, but I’ve never had one “walk” away from me even on the casters. In my demos, I would balance a USD quarter on edge with the machine at idle and run the RPM from 0 to 3600 and the quarter might spin a little, but never fell over or walked away. Any information to the contrary is from a knockoff where shortcuts may have been taken. 2 HP (zener diode controlled DC motor) is a little weak for professional turners doing large stock stuff. But by using the lowest of 3 ranges (max 900 RPM) there is sufficient power to get the job done. As the stock becomes balanced, the mid range (1000-3600) can be used effectively. It’s a solid mid-range lathe, but if you’re a professional, spend the money for a professional lathe. This multipurpose machine is designed for the serious hobbyist with limited shop space. Don’t expect to haul steel with a VW!
Almost all the parts are available off the shelf in US industrial suppliers. The ones that aren’t are readily made in a machine shop. I have replaced my lathe tool rest (which I snapped) with a Delta cam operated tool rest and I like it much better. I have a custom tail stock that I really like, and have rigged my router to be carried by the slotted carriage so I can do flutes, tapered flutes, template following and the like. Using parts from another Supershop, I can extend my lathe to 96” between centers with no middle supports.
It’s a great lathe for learning to turn because of the speed control and power combination. One can learn the skew cut at 32- 50 rpm and if the tool catches, the lathe momentarily stops preventing a serious accident. And so on, so on, so on, so forth.

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL All my life I've wanted to be someone. I see now I should have been more specific.

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