Lathe for turning wheels

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Patio
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Re: Lathe for turning wheels

Post by Patio » Thu Nov 21, 2019 6:50 pm

Did you draw this up in a CAD program first to work out the details, as it seems you have a plan?
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rkcarguy
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Re: Lathe for turning wheels

Post by rkcarguy » Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:17 pm

Yes I did, drew it all up in Autocad. It's mainly heavy tube steel and plate. Plates are laser cut parts, some cut oversize to leave meat for machining as needed. The parts actually got laser cut today, and I've been working on the head at home. Just need to drill the clearance hole for the spindle and notch it out at the top, and then the baseplate and gussets can be welded to the square tube.
My cell phone died today, so not going to have any pictures until I can procure a new one.

rkcarguy
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Re: Lathe for turning wheels

Post by rkcarguy » Fri Nov 22, 2019 4:40 pm

Hey, I have a question for you guys. Should I lay some bearing bronze sheet (or even some aluminum) under the carriage as a way bearing material or just give it a "fish scale" finish to hold oil and run it steel on steel?

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Re: Lathe for turning wheels

Post by LIALLEGHENY » Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:52 pm

How are you constructing the ways? Flat bed design, or V? Regardless of the design you would want to start with a ground finish or equivalent on both surfaces. Any surface roughness will chew up the other, whether it's steel , bronze or what have you. The smoother the better. Stay away from aluminum, unless it's aluminum/bronze.

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rkcarguy
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Re: Lathe for turning wheels

Post by rkcarguy » Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:09 pm

It's a simple yet beefy square way design from 3/4" plate. I'm planning to mill it after it's attached to the tube and then smooth it with a stone/oil. I usually have to do some test cuts and play with speed and feeds a little, but can get a nice enough finish that it doesn't take much to clean it up.

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Greg_Lewis
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Re: Lathe for turning wheels

Post by Greg_Lewis » Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:16 pm

Say, you might want to dig up a copy of Build Your Own Metal Working Shop from Scrap: The Metal Lathe, by Dave Gingery. While this is for a smaller machine that what you are doing, you might get some ideas from there. I built one back in the 1980s and it works. I see copies of the book on eBay for $10 or less. He also has books on making a dividing head, drill press, shaper, horizontal mill, bandsaw, brake and foundry. I made up a furnace according to his plans and melted some aluminum with it. Of course, making all those machines is a whole 'nother hobby, but there are ideas in there that might be worth appropriating for our use.
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rkcarguy
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Re: Lathe for turning wheels

Post by rkcarguy » Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:40 am

Greg, before I started drawing my lathe I viewed a lot of other home made lathes online and many "Gingery" lathes came up in my search. Now I understand why lol. My design is quite similar, but I'm not being afraid of weight and am using steel for most everything. Cast aluminum just isn't stout enough and should be reserved for wood working tools. One of the lathe build blogs had a bunch of pictures and modifications the builder had made as time went on. It was funny because I looked at the original pictures and didn't think it had enough bolts holding the large "flat bar" ways to the bed, and about halfway down the builder noted it was flexing and added a bunch more bolts. I'm using 2 rows of 1/2" bolts on 3-1/2" centers to the secure the 3/4" plate "ways" to the 6x4x3/8 tube.
I do have a lot of ideas for improvement, like adding dividing head disks onto the end of the spindle and making a tool holder drill attachment so I can lock up the spindle and drill hole patterns in the face of parts.

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Greg_Lewis
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Re: Lathe for turning wheels

Post by Greg_Lewis » Mon Nov 25, 2019 2:29 pm

RK:
Glad you found those pix. But I think the idea behind the al. castings is that they could be poured in a backyard foundry. Dave's furnace was to be fired with charcoal which wouldn't get hot enough for iron. I extended the bed of mine and used a flat bar of steel for that rather than the al. casting. I also fabbed some of the other small castings as it seemed to me easier to fab than to make a pattern and casting. It will cut a 6-inch bar between centers to ±.001, so I guess his plan works. We're looking forward to some pix of your progress. Here's a snappie of mine:
glathe.jpg
Greg Lewis, Prop.
Eyeball Engineering — Home of the dull toolbit.
Our motto: "That looks about right."
Celebrating 30 years of turning perfectly good metal into bits of useless scrap.

rkcarguy
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Re: Lathe for turning wheels

Post by rkcarguy » Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:14 am

The compound slide arrived today seemingly un-damaged by what looks like a heck of a journey by the remains of the box it was in. It has some end play in the crank handle, but the screw itself is nice and tight in the nut and moves smoothly so I'm guessing this is simple enough to adjust or shim? Also got my new cell phone, so I'll be back in the picture business shortly.
One thing that led me to the "Gingery" lathe was that in google image searches several of the builds have the center of the ways offset from the spindle, which I am doing as well. I figure I'll get a more solid machine by having the forces placed on the carriage closer to the bed when turning larger diameter items....like 1/6th scale train wheels. :D

rkcarguy
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Re: Lathe for turning wheels

Post by rkcarguy » Tue Nov 26, 2019 12:39 pm

Here's some pictures:
compound rest.JPG
latheparts.JPG

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Greg_Lewis
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Re: Lathe for turning wheels

Post by Greg_Lewis » Tue Nov 26, 2019 5:21 pm

That looks like the jumbo economy size compound!
Greg Lewis, Prop.
Eyeball Engineering — Home of the dull toolbit.
Our motto: "That looks about right."
Celebrating 30 years of turning perfectly good metal into bits of useless scrap.

rkcarguy
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Re: Lathe for turning wheels

Post by rkcarguy » Tue Nov 26, 2019 5:58 pm

I want the capability to HOG metal, so I'm making it stout. Being the compound is going to be doing most of the finish work cutting the various angles on the wheels there was no sense in having an undersized one. It has a nice degree "wheel" stamped around it's base and the screw is .100" per revolution, I think its going to work great. If anything its going to look big under my tool post as I went with the "medium" sized quick change, but oh well. No idea what make/model of machine the compound was from.

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