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Post  Cribbs74 on Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:25 pm

Wood lathes as metal lathes. Can this be done for small parts? I realize I will need to change the chuck. I am most concerned about ruining the motor or belts. 80’s craftsman unit.

I don’t do much woodwork apart from building small pieces for farm work.my Wife received a lathe from her father but it resides in my shop so I want to make it useful.

Ron


Last edited by Cribbs74 on Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:14 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Post  coxaddict on Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:10 pm

I tried using a wood lathe to turn parts by installing a 3 jaw chuck. It would be expensive to outfit it with a tool holder and cross slide. Only could use it using files, sandpaper and a grinding wheel. No real precision work.
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Post  Slick049 on Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:14 pm

Not claiming expertise as a machinist, but, the short answer is no.  Not without considerable conversion and accepting something like 1/4" tolerance, at best.  Right tool for the right job rule applies.

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Post  Mike1484 on Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:29 pm

Delta made a compound for their wood lathes back in the days . I started as an app. wood model maker at Lewis Research Center ( NASA ) back in the late 60's and we had 2 Deltas and a South Bend lathe . Even with a 3 or 4 jaw chuck it was possible to hold .005+- tolerance on the Deltas . I sold my own South Bend lathe but I have an old wood lathe with a three jaw chuck and can still turn small parts with hand tools to +- .015 . The old Delta compounds still can be found in stores that sell used metal and wood working tools and garage sales .

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Post  Jason_WI on Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:36 pm

You are going to want a small metal lathe for small metal parts. Using a wood lathe is not an option. Tool height and angles are critical for metal work. Sell the wood lathe to fund a metal lathe.

I have a Harbor Freight 7x10 mini lathe. Bought it in ‘99. It does have limitations with size and power. Also the cross slide needed to be hand lapped to work smooth. Accessories and tooling cost more than the lathe.

I also have a Rockwell 14”x40” lathe for big work. Also have a Jet 9”X40” vertical mill. Not every one needs tools this size but I have saved thousands in parts by making my own for the farm.

South bend made smaller 9” lathes. The thing with older lathes is they can be wore out. If it takes two turns on the cross slide to notice movement it’s going to need work. The bed ways can be wore out too especially by the headstock. The other thing with older lathes is parts availability. My Rockwell lathe is from the 70s but it’s orphaned on parts availability.
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Post  Mike1484 on Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:30 pm

Jason ,

Does your Rockwell have the cone speed control or is it geared ? My South Bend was a 13" model , I even had a collet bar and collets for it . Wish I still had it .

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Post  Jason_WI on Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:13 pm

It’s variable speed reeves drive and has 2 ranges in the headstock gearbox. I have a Buck 3 jaw Tru(ely a pain in the a$$ to)Adjust chuck, 4 jaw chuck, face plate with dogs, steady rest and follower rest. It has a LOO spindle taper. It was 3 phase but swapped the motor out for a 3 HP large shaft single phase 220V motor.

Looks like this.

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Post  Mike1484 on Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:34 pm

We had one of those in or shop also .Brings back a few memories . Thanks for the picture , I just could not remember what they called that drive system .

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