The two cranks on the right end are connected to the end of the left/right lead screw and the end of a keyed shaft which is drives the in/out lead screw via a pair of gears that move with the table. When operating it manually I find that I'm standing in front of the work with my right arm reaching down to the end of the machine. The stretch is not as long when milling as the mill spindle is about mid machine. However, I rarely operate the machine manually. I do not have CNC on my machine but if you look at the pictures you will see two levers sort of in front of and lower than the lathe chuck. They each have three positions, forward, disconnected and reverse and they, via gearing, attach the drive power to the two lead screws. I find I use power drive moves for almost all operations and I typically leave the threading gearing set up for typical feed rates rather than particular threading rates. (There is a third lever which changes the total gearing ratio by about a factor of two so it is convenient, if you are not cutting threads, to cut at one speed, back out the tool and then go back to the start of the cut at the faster speed.)Glenn Wegman wrote:What operates the X axis when used as a lathe?
Just trying to figure out how you would operate it!
I have thought about how to add a front plate and front mounted motion cranks. Adding the in/out crank would be easy because a lead screw could be milled that stuck out further. To add a front side left/right crank would require a second keyed shaft plus some gears and timing belts. It would involve a bit of engineering and if I ever have the time I'll do it just to see how it would work.
(I'm not the original poster but I have the same machine and have used it extensively. I've used both this machine and standalone lathes so I though I might be able to directly address your question, whereas someone who had not used both would miss the target. Its actually a pretty good unit and it does minimize the effort required to change from turning to milling.)