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Thread: Wanna Buy a Lathe?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Wanna Buy a Lathe?

    Some weekends it just doesn't pay to go out into the shop.

    After waiting a week to get the replacement belt for my Sears lathe, it showed up Saturday, so the weekend started out on a positive note.
    Then it went downhill from there. I installed the new belt, buttoned up the headstock, and mounted a roughly 10" x 5" chunk of red eucalyptus. As I was roughing it out, I thought I could hear the new (toothed) drive belt slipping a little bit. I stopped, opened things back up again, and made sure I had as much slack adjusted out of the belt as possible. I went back to turning, and for a little while the adjustment seemed to have helped, but before long it was slipping again. In the meantime, I got the red eucalyptus hollow form roughed out, plus a nice spalted hackberry HF.

    Next, I decided to try out my newly-finished Longworth chuck to revise the bottom of one of my earlier bowls. One quick catch later, the bowl was launched, minus a big chunk from the rim. OK, says I, it'll just be a shorter bowl. I managed to reshape the bottom and cut a tenon, then re-turned the inside of the bowl. As I'm sanding the bowl, I'm hearing more and more belt slipping. I opened up the headstock again and tried more adjustment. No real improvement, and I quit for now on the bowl, because I didn't feel like sanding out the few deep tearouts inside the bowl, and the more I tried to clean them up with sharp chisels, the worse they got.

    Monday comes along. I had the day off, so I decided to limp the lathe along enough to finish turning a 9" walnut bowl that's been drying. Despite a few catches and more tearout than I'd like to admit, I got it sanded nice and smooth, and flipped it around to cut the tenon off. (All along the drive belt was getting worse and worse.) Dummy me, I ended up making my first funnel. It's made of beautifully figured walnut, but it's a funnel nonetheless. Then when it launched from the Longworth chuck as I tried to trim up the hole in the bottom, it whanged me in the forehead as a parting shot. Fortunately, it was spinning relatively slowly, so no blood, no foul. You don't have to beat me on the head more than once or twice for me to take a hint. I decided I was done for the day.

    Bad words were said. Repeatedly. All weekend. Culminating in this:

    Attachment 4947 Attachment 4948

    I'm seriously trying to figure out the quickest way to pay for a better lathe. (And also how to convince LOML that I should spend that much money.) I'm tired of spending more time messing with belts than turning. In the meantime I'll try to get in touch with the guy at Palmgren that Bernie recommended last week and see if he has any suggestions for how to keep my lathe from eating belts. I bought the lathe used, so I have no warranty, but hopefully he can steer me in the right direction.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Vaughn, don't mind me if I laugh "WITH" you, because, as funnels go, that is spectacular!

    My lovely wife just saw it and she said it was a "Lamp Shade" not a stupid funnel

    Now just go and turn a nice lamp base, and you will have a nice little lamp there!

    I did one today too, but I was not trying to make anything nice, I had one piece of junk Keyaki sitting here, so I tried to go as thin as I could, this stuff is wet wood, I got down to just about 3mm or less....... then it went POOF and a chunk of the rim came off....

    Oh well, now I know I can get this stuff REAL thin.

    For an upgrade, how about that new Nova lathe, with a stand and the G# chuck $999...... not a bad deal!!

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

  3. #3
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    Charlotte, NC
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    Looks like a really nice vessel sink! Sorry to hear of the bad weekend. Hope you figure out the belt problems.

    Good Luck!

  4. #4
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    The Heart of Dixie
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    Vaughn, if your lathe is eating belts there it obviously something wrong. But you knew that didn't you. First thing that comes to my mind and you maybe discussed this and missed it. Are the pulleys smooth? Any roughness at all on the faces?

    Next thought is where and what brand belts are you buying? Have you tired to find another brand? If it is not the pulleys they I would suspect the belts are badly made.

    Just tossing out ideas here.

    Nice lamp shade BTW.

    Jeff
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  5. #5
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    Here you go Vaughn, just to be fair...........


    Attachment 4951
    Here is the inside of my lampshade.......

    Attachment 4952
    The outside, you can see I got the bottom a little too thin

    Attachment 4953
    And you can see the chunk that went missing.....

    No bonk on the head for me, the Triton Orange Monster did it's job

    No belts on the DVR either

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

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    Some weekends it just doesn't pay to go out into the shop.
    I'm seriously trying to figure out the quickest way to pay for a better lathe. (And also how to convince LOML that I should spend that much money.) .
    Vaughn,

    VERY sad about your lamp shade.

    VERY happy to hear that bonk on the head was not serious.

    HOWEVER........a little hemoglobin dripping down the forehead may have been just the thing to convince the LOYL that a new lathe was a 'justifiable' expense.
    “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

  7. #7
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    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
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    Vaughn,
    I agree with Jeff about something being wrong, My first thoughts would be alignment. If the pullies are not aligned that will eat belts. As I recall this is the drive belt not the reeves drive but the one that powers the reeves drive. Maybe when you replaced the reeves drive belt you somehow got these pulleys out of alignment. Take a streight edge and check the alignment.

    Nice looking funnel BTW..
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia
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    103

    Wink

    .... "Bad words were said. Repeatedly. All weekend." Well put, I had to laugh at that. Nice way of putting it .
    .... Without hands on, the best I can do is what has already been suggested so far. Yes, new ones are expensive but if you go that route, be sure it is really the one you want and not pay so much attention to the price if at all possible.

    .... Best I can do for now, wish you the best.

    .

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    Some weekends it just doesn't pay to go out into the shop.

    After waiting a week to get the replacement belt for my Sears lathe, it showed up Saturday, so the weekend started out on a positive note.
    Then it went downhill from there. I installed the new belt, buttoned up the headstock, and mounted a roughly 10" x 5" chunk of red eucalyptus. As I was roughing it out, I thought I could hear the new (toothed) drive belt slipping a little bit. I stopped, opened things back up again, and made sure I had as much slack adjusted out of the belt as possible. I went back to turning, and for a little while the adjustment seemed to have helped, but before long it was slipping again. In the meantime, I got the red eucalyptus hollow form roughed out, plus a nice spalted hackberry HF.

    Next, I decided to try out my newly-finished Longworth chuck to revise the bottom of one of my earlier bowls. One quick catch later, the bowl was launched, minus a big chunk from the rim. OK, says I, it'll just be a shorter bowl. I managed to reshape the bottom and cut a tenon, then re-turned the inside of the bowl. As I'm sanding the bowl, I'm hearing more and more belt slipping. I opened up the headstock again and tried more adjustment. No real improvement, and I quit for now on the bowl, because I didn't feel like sanding out the few deep tearouts inside the bowl, and the more I tried to clean them up with sharp chisels, the worse they got.

    Monday comes along. I had the day off, so I decided to limp the lathe along enough to finish turning a 9" walnut bowl that's been drying. Despite a few catches and more tearout than I'd like to admit, I got it sanded nice and smooth, and flipped it around to cut the tenon off. (All along the drive belt was getting worse and worse.) Dummy me, I ended up making my first funnel. It's made of beautifully figured walnut, but it's a funnel nonetheless. Then when it launched from the Longworth chuck as I tried to trim up the hole in the bottom, it whanged me in the forehead as a parting shot. Fortunately, it was spinning relatively slowly, so no blood, no foul. You don't have to beat me on the head more than once or twice for me to take a hint. I decided I was done for the day.

    Bad words were said. Repeatedly. All weekend. Culminating in this:

    Attachment 4947 Attachment 4948

    I'm seriously trying to figure out the quickest way to pay for a better lathe. (And also how to convince LOML that I should spend that much money.) I'm tired of spending more time messing with belts than turning. In the meantime I'll try to get in touch with the guy at Palmgren that Bernie recommended last week and see if he has any suggestions for how to keep my lathe from eating belts. I bought the lathe used, so I have no warranty, but hopefully he can steer me in the right direction.
    Thinking about a project without ACTION is just DAY DREAMING .

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
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    29,083
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Horton View Post
    Vaughn, if your lathe is eating belts there it obviously something wrong. But you knew that didn't you. First thing that comes to my mind and you maybe discussed this and missed it. Are the pulleys smooth? Any roughness at all on the faces?
    The faces are toothed to match the belt, but no rough surfaces that I can find.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Horton View Post
    Next thought is where and what brand belts are you buying? Have you tired to find another brand? If it is not the pulleys they I would suspect the belts are badly made...
    The only source I've been able to find for these belts is Sears Parts. It's a specialty belt and so far I've not found anyone else who carries one like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Baer
    If the pullies are not aligned that will eat belts. As I recall this is the drive belt not the reeves drive but the one that powers the reeves drive. Maybe when you replaced the reeves drive belt you somehow got these pulleys out of alignment. Take a streight edge and check the alignment.
    The two wheels are coplanar and in alignment as far as I can measure. There really is no adjustment side-to-side, and only a little bit up and down.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett
    For an upgrade, how about that new Nova lathe, with a stand and the G# chuck $999...... not a bad deal!!
    Nope, my next lathe will have variable speed as opposed to step pulleys, and it won't be a Reeves drive, either. As much as I'd like to just get it over with and buy the PM 3520B, I'm leaning heavily towards the DVR XP. First, it runs on 110v power, which is a key factor for me. (Getting 220v to the shop would cost me more than the DVR.) Second, it has no belts.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    ABQ NM
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    Matt, I think those two occasions are the only time I've ever launched something completely off the lathe before. But then again, I'm still a beginner. I've still got plenty of time for more launches. I did learn the value of wearing facial protection. (Or more accurately, the problem with not wearing it.) I generally wear a face mask when using the chisels, then take it off while sanding. When I got whacked, I was not wearing the mask, thinking it was a quick, light cut, and not thinking about the bowl jumping out of the chuck.

    BTW, I've run across another interesting 110v lathe that's in my price range. The General 25-650 looks like a serious contender. (Plus, I believe Eagle Machinery in Glendale sells that lathe, so I could purchase it locally.) Gary DeWitt has one and he lives in my neck of the woods. I think I'll see if I can get his impression of 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

    workingwoods.com

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