Reply by BigJon

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Posted on Building a Lathe, need some ideas.

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52 posts in 3289 days

#1 posted 05-23-2017 11:40 AM

internal bracing may be inadequate even with the ways spread further apart. Ship and car channel would be a better choice. add a support of the 6” tube under the ways with spacers to the way channels to allow blowing the sawdust out between to stiffen the ways. Buy a tailstock from ebay and make a riser block. double up on the headstock vertical. make the spindle 1 1/2” -8 a common spindle thread as well. I know you will have to make bearing plates but it is worth it to run a bigger bearing (2”)Even with a 5 hp vfd to get slow woth power you will want mechanical reduction (jack shaft) and for running in the basement speeds use a chain drive for a final drive that wont slip. then design for running direct with a belt for higher speeds.

The doubling on this is for a different purpose. yours would need to extend at least 3/4 the way to the floor to help stabilize the column. The cog drive on the front is for an oval turning attachment it is bolted in place and doesn t turn. the bearing is mounted inside the tube in this case. 8” square tube.


Excellent points. Doubling up on the head stock length is a good idea. I am going to give the 1 7/16” bearings a shot. As they are labeled heavy duty on Applied’s website. Since what i have is free i will run them until they let go and search for some larger stuff in the mean time. i probably will get away from the flange bearings when i replace them and reconfigure for 2” pillow blocks.

Unfortunately I do not have enough “6 to put under my channel, right now. Looks like you have angle scabbed on the side? Whats the swing on that lathe?

I have considered making the lathe 2 speed and cutting the Spindle RPM in half using pulleys. My VFD and motor are both constant torque. With a 1800 RPM motor and 1:1 i should be able to run 35RPM at full torque….My calculations could be off but my Electrical Engineer in the family says its will work. I am skeptical.

For the most part I am going to continue the way I am going. Get it up and running and see what happens. The experience and knowledge i gain starting off a little light may help me in the future.

-- Im bleeding, go get my super glue and roll of black tape....

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