Ways

All discussion about lathes including but not limited to: South Bend, Hardinge, Logan, Monarch, Clausing and other HSM lathes, including imports

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Mr Ron
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Ways

Post by Mr Ron » Mon Mar 21, 2016 1:44 pm

South Bend is the only maker that I know of that used 3 VEE ways and Atlas used flat ways. Every other lathe I have seen uses only 2 VEE ways. My question is; does the type of way make a big difference in respect to accuracy or rigidity?
Mr.Ron from South Mississippi

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wsippola
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Re: Ways

Post by wsippola » Mon Mar 21, 2016 5:58 pm

American Tool Works used 4 V ways. They claimed increased accuracy, less wear due to swarf less likely to stay on the V etc. I doubt it really matters that much in the end - proper lubrication is probably the MOST important thing, and it seems that few lathes actually put lube on the ways - just rely on the operator to.

Then there are lathes with different angles to the ways, very wide on the front face of the V etc. I still think having lube pumped to the ways would outdo every other bright idea!

Wayne

LIALLEGHENY
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Re: Ways

Post by LIALLEGHENY » Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:20 pm

I used to own a 1943 Lodge & Shipley Model 16/20. It had a cam actuated pump in the carriage that pumped way lube every time the hand wheel went around one time. Wish my Leblond had that setup.

Nyle

pete
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Re: Ways

Post by pete » Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:24 pm

With all else being equal (bed weight, cross section thickness etc.) then I'd have to say the added third way would add a fractional amount of stiffness. But if you look at the casting and finished weights of various lathes it's not hard to see there were some huge differences in how different classes of lathes were built. A Monarch EE has only a couple of inches more swing and a bit less distance between centres that a heavy 10 would have. Those EE's are listed on Tony's site as weighing 3250 lbs. No that's not an apples to apples comparison since they were two completely different classes of machine with vast price differences to match. But in my opinion there's simply no substitute for mass in a machine tool.

But even knowing that I then looked for and bought the lightest 11" swing lathe I could find that still had a separate feed shaft and power cross feed simply because my shop floor can't take the weight of anything much heavier. Without that restriction my choice would have been much different. I'd more than love to have a properly restored to brand new condition DS&G, Holbrook, or EE. My largest lathe only tips the scales at around 450 lbs. So for a 11" x 27" rated lathe it's far from rigid. I have seriously considered stripping it down to a bare bed and then machining the bottom of the beds centre area and bolting in a third foot. I'm sure that would do a great deal to help stiffen it up. Design wise I think the factory should have maybe added that just due to the light weight castings it's built with. And I can't really see where the manufacturing costs or weight would have increased that much either. Years ago I bolted my little 45 lb emco 5" swing lathe to a 1" thick 95 lb steel plate and then bolted that to the bench top. That made an unbelievable difference in it's accuracy and abilities.

During WW II South Bend and the government came up with a design for a concrete bench top that was supposed to have made a massive difference in there light bench lathes accuracy as well for the people doing at home contract war work at the time. I think there's some threads over on the PM site about that.

And I sure have to agree with Wayne's point about proper lube as well. I've mentioned it a few times here before, but prior to reading that Machine Tool Reconditioning book my lube and cleaning habits for any machine tool was more than a bit lax. That $80 book was the best money I've ever spent on my shop. Slide and way cleanliness along with ample lube is far more important than most of us think. Keeping everything as clean as you can and lots of that way oil is the cheapest PM you can possibly do. His idea of a pumped system would extend any machines accurate life span multiple times. Probably a great deal of work to add on tho. Stealing the design for South Bends dirt simple pump they used on there shapers would easily do it for the pump side for anything up to maybe a 12" swing lathe.

earlgo
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Re: Ways

Post by earlgo » Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:52 am

I believe the Atlas/Craftsman flat way lathe bed is why SteveM facetiously suggests it was made by Flexible Flyer. The short bed version has got to be less flexible than the long bed version. Makes an acceptable hobby lathe, though.

--earlgo
Before you do anything, you must do something else first. - Washington's principle.

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SteveM
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Re: Ways

Post by SteveM » Tue Mar 22, 2016 9:11 am

earlgo wrote:I believe the Atlas/Craftsman flat way lathe bed is why SteveM facetiously suggests it was made by Flexible Flyer. The short bed version has got to be less flexible than the long bed version. Makes an acceptable hobby lathe, though.
I'm certain you are correct about short vs long. I have actually SEEN my bed flex under heavy tool pressure - e.g. knurling with a bump knurler rather than a scissors knurler. Getting a scissors knurl was one of the best investments I have made.

The later (1958 and later, IIRC) Atlas lathes had ways that were 50% thicker, so I image a substantial increase in stiffness.

Back on topic, the 3 v-ways is a LOT more expensive to manufacture, since, instead of having a way that just needs to be level with the opposing V, it needs to be level with it on two sides and both sides of the second V need to be parallel with the first one.

One of the benefits is that the surface area on those V's is a LOT larger than the actual wear surface on the Atlas's flat ways. You might think that it contacts a wide area on the flat way, but it's only the edge and a small amount on the top.

Steve

Mr Ron
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Re: Ways

Post by Mr Ron » Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:15 am

Some interesting info. I ask merely out of curiosity. I love machines and like to know as much about them as I can. They are so important to the development of this country and people have little comprehension about them. Everything we have and enjoy today was made possible by machine tools and is still an important part of our world. You may marvel at all the electronic and digital technology we have today, but the reality is; it would not be possible without machines like the lathe, mill and many other machines.
Mr.Ron from South Mississippi

Carm
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Re: Ways

Post by Carm » Tue Mar 22, 2016 2:22 pm

Mr.Ron

"Everything we have and enjoy today was made possible by machine tools and is still an important part of our world."

There is no doubt civilization progressed greatly with machine tools. I'm a fan!
But it's a bit of chicken or the egg?
There was a fellow, Samuel Yellin, who claimed, "By the hammer and the hand, all the arts do stand".
You may find him interesting.

pete
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Re: Ways

Post by pete » Tue Mar 22, 2016 3:25 pm

A bit off the thread topic. But funny/maybe not so funny considering Ron is 100% correct about everything we have today in regards to technology can at some point be directly traced back to a machine tool of some type. When I finally found a Canadian dealer for my lathe they were in Quebec, I'm in B.C. and had to arrange my own shipping. I decided to use the same shipping company I once worked for Quik-X Transport as I could get the lathe right from the Quebec loading dock and delivered to my front door. While setting it up they asked me what was being shipped. Answer, a metal working lathe. Next question was "What is a lathe and what does it do"? I still don't know if they really understood the explanation. :-( Even tougher was trying to explain to a couple of bored Canadian Customs agents late one night exactly what a metal shaper was and did and why anyone would even want one when I was bringing my little South Bend across at the Abbotsford crossing. And after more than a bit of hunting they couldn't find shapers listed anywhere in there machine tool section to see if there was any duty owed.

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Richard_W
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Re: Ways

Post by Richard_W » Sat Mar 26, 2016 11:57 pm

Mr Ron wrote:South Bend is the only maker that I know of that used 3 V ways and Atlas used flat ways. Every other lathe I have seen uses only 2 V ways. My question is; does the type of way make a big difference in respect to accuracy or rigidity?
It makes a difference in accuracy over the long term. 2 V way last about 7 to 10 years in a shop being run every day. 3 V way may go 20 plus years in a shop environment. The thing is that the flat way on the back of the carriage wears faster then the V way. So as the machine gets used over time that when you cut near the head stock the flat way being lower allow the tool to move in an arc causing the lathe to cut under size near the chuck. If all you do is short fits then the lathe is still usable, but longer parts require bumping the tool in and out to maintain a straight turn.

With 2 V ways the wear is even so the tool only drops below center as it get near the chuck. Rather than dropping below center as well as diving the tool into the work, like a single V way on the carriage. I have seen Martin lathe made in Germany that was in use for over 30 years and would still bore a 10" long hole with in .0015" taper. The wear on the tail stock made it below center by a little over .090".

I have seen quite a few 3 V way lathes over the years. Jet sold a 3 V way belt drive lathe back in the 1980's. Every once in awhile you will find one with very little use for sale on Craig's list. Don't see one right now on CL.

Here is a Jet 14" X 30 gear head with 3 V ways from the 80's.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Jet-1430-Lathe- ... SwCypWpt4z

Mr Ron
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Re: Ways

Post by Mr Ron » Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:51 am

Thank you. There should be a forum where machine tools can be discussed in regard to the merits of different designs. Increasing the knowledge base for machinery would be a positive step in furthering a person's education. Right now, the only place to go is Wikipedia, but the information presented is basic. Being able to discuss machines with guys like Harold and Glenn who have experience with the topic is a big PLUS.

There are people today that haven't a clue what a lathe or mill or shaper is nor do they really care. I am a firm believer in knowledge; not just about computers or the current "rage", but about everything. It can be considered "trivia" and one self learns by putting together random bits of information; instead of always asking a question, one can find out by doing a little research. Usually when I ask a question, I already know the answer; I just want to verify by others that I am correct in my thinking.

HAPPY EASTER
Mr.Ron from South Mississippi

redneckalbertan
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Re: Ways

Post by redneckalbertan » Mon Mar 28, 2016 9:49 pm

Along those lines I think there is about to be a lot of information lost with older gentleman dieing off. Those who farmed with horses are on the decline, those who worked with manual machines, again in a similar category. Mechanics don't exist any more, they have been replaced by part replacement technicians. Very few people have anything fixed anymore it is simply replaced with a model that will last an even shorter length of time, an even smaller number of people know how to troubleshoot and fix things... HEY FORGET THAT STUFF, A NEW X BOX GAME CAME OUT!!!

I do appreciate the time that people take to share their knowledge with me, both here on the board and in other ways.

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