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Thread: Lathe height and clean up

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Kea'au Hawaii. Just down the road from Hilo town!

    Lathe height and clean up

    One of the projects I've been working on lately is cleaning up my old Rockwell 46-111 lathe. Broke it all down to clean and paint and broke it! Well kinda maybe..... I had what sounded like a bearing making a noise on high speed so I figured I'd install some new ones while it was apart. Found out the pulley had two set screws. One loose and one missing. It had allowed the pulley to get messed up and I couldn't get it off the shaft but did succeed in rounding the incorporated nut on the end of the step pulley. Well step in Tony B. to the rescue! He had me box it up and ship it over to Honolulu to have a look see. Got the head stock fixed up in no time a shipped back over to the big island. Today I finally got it all back together and not only looks mighty purdy but runs smooth and quiet! Big Mahalo to you Tony!!

    I do have one question. How do you go about setting the height of the machine for good working comfort? I thought I heard something about where your elbow is in relation to the center of the headstock, but don't remember.

    I'll try to get the photos posted tonight when I get through our here in the shop.

    What goes around, comes around.

  2. #2
    Can't wait to see the pictures Royall. From everything I have read you are right about the center of the headstock being at elbow height. I still need to raise mine about 4" to make it more comfortableand that would put it at my elbow height.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    Good to hear you island boys are playing well together

    The height of the lathe, well, that will depend on a lot of things, you are correct, the "Usual" height recommended is about at your elbow, but, some like it higher or lower, depending if you are doing a lot of little detailed pieces, spindle work, or a bunch of BIG bowls.

    What I did was stand comfortably, and stick my right hand out like I was going to shake someone's hand, and that was the basic height I started at, in the end, I moved this up about 2", but it might be different for you.

    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Kea'au Hawaii. Just down the road from Hilo town!
    Thanks guys for the guidance. I measured my elbow and then the headstock. Looks like I'll have to raise it up about 3" for a starting point.

    Also, here is the link to the before and after photos of the clean up of my Rockwell lathe. I can't find some of the before shot I took while taking the lathe apart. but that's the way it goes sometimes

    What goes around, comes around.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Hardinsburg, KY
    Doesn't hardly look like the same lathe. Great job. Now get to work and get it dirty. They don't run just right until they have shavings and finish all over them.
    Working flat so I can play round,
    Doug Miller

    Repentance Is The
    Prerequisite For
    Gods Forgiveness

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    C'mon Royall...tell the truth. You swapped out the old lathe for a newer one, right?

    Great job on the rehab. Like Doug says, it'll run even better with chips and stuff on it.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Honolulu, Hawaii

    Lathe height and clean up

    Yes Vaughn, He sure did a nice job on that lathe. Nice pictures too.

    Looks real good Royall. And, thanks for the compliment. Just trying to help out a friend. (Now, if we could just figure out how to get Larry into spinny stuff. )

    I'll be waiting to see what you turn on it. Should be pretty seeing as you are right in the middle of some of the finest tropical wood sourcs and wood turners.

    Enjoy and the best of luck with your new toy (I mean tool. )

    Aloha, Tony
    "You got to learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make them all yourself". (Author unknown)

    "Time flies like..... an arrow,,,Fruit flies like..... a banana." Groucho Marx

    Ah,,,to live in Paradise!

    Registered voting member

    Fighting for all I am worth, and praying every day.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Wow Royall had a look at the pictures and man you did a fine job. I also thought you had swopped it out. I love to see this happening to an old machine. Kudos to you. Really looks neat with the new chuck.
    Enjoy Enjoy Enjoy.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    I've looked at the pics and I must admit that when I see and old tool or machine restores it makes me feel good.

    I'm pretty sure that now you feel much better when you're using it, in a way that's the way machines and tools reward us, if we treat them well they perform well in exchange, I still can't understand how there are some people who do not believe that.

    Great job!
    Best regards,

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
    web site:
    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Goodland, Kansas
    Great looking lathe Royall. You did a great job on it. My lathe also had to come up 2" but I put a 4 X 4 under both ends and the additional 2" works great. Don't have to bend over as much now.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

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