The question poped up on me the other day when I was talking with a friend at work about lathe capacities. In particular he was wondering if he bought a older lathe with say 14-16"swiing capacity if it could be modified to accept larger diameter wood to turn - making larger vessels and bowls etc -. I told him im sure it could be but I had never thought about it.
Well it got me thinking about it, and I decided to look into it further. I have a Jet 1642 vairiable speed myself (he is looking to buy) so his question got me thinking more about the possibilities of doing such a modification.
So i stopped by to see a friend of mine that runs a machine shop and asked him the same question. His response was yes it can be by what he called blocking it up and making a custom tool rest to withstand the additional force - it would not be difficult at all to do - However, he mentioned that there would be some concerns above the modifications - such as making sure you have a good strong base which shouldnt be a problem with most well built lathes - suggested using counter weights if necessary (sand bags etc- if needed) - 2hp variable speed would probably be ok but if you have to purchase one to get a 3hp variable speed.
Or another alternative would be is to simply build one to the specifications that I/we wanted and he would help us out with the fabrication. This is the one that has got me thinking about how much fun it could be to have one built.
Soooooo...............anyone out here ever tackled this kind of project ?? ...........blocking yours up ? or building a lathe ???