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Thread: Project - Build a lathe

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Project - Build a lathe

    I was sitting around one morning and came across the website of Dale Winburn (Winburn.com) and looked closely at how he fabricated a bowl lathe. I found it to be interesting thing to play around with the possibilty of making one and thought i would be a fun project. I have written to him to ask a few questions about the sizes of things he used when he built it.
    There is less than $100 in steel and would use box beam for the main upright
    Dealerselectric.com - has motor/VSD packages $400 - thinking of 5 hp

    I post this on AAW also but im reaching out to others that may not see it or belong to AAW

    My question is really to communicate with others that have done the same - I have questions about the height - spindle with taper - motor size - variable speed hook up etc..........
    Below is a picture form Dales website showing the one he made............................

    Yell if you a interest in this area and thank you ahead of time for any help
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails BowlLathe_90.JPG  
    First you have to learn the rules - Beginner
    Then you have to learn advanced rules - Professional
    Then you disregard the rules - This takes you to the master level................

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Looks like an interesting project. However, the rear support bolt strikes me as a bit less than should be. And, I'm sure you know that tool rest has to be honkin' sturdy. Keep us up to date with progress pics.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  3. #3
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    Nov 2006
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    Oak Harbor Washington on Whidbey Island
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    He did a great job of making his lathe I read about it some time ago. At one time I was thinking about making one. Several wood turners pointed out that there are times when you may need to mount the blank between centers to make it safe to turn. So having a regular lathe has it's advantages.

    Have you considered purchasing a lathe? I know your looking at cost but your time is worth at least $20-$30 an hour. It doesn't take long for those hours to add up.

    I am planning on purchasing one of the Grizzly lathes either the G0733 or the G0766. I have 5 Grizzly machines & have received good service from them.
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

  4. #4
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    Jul 2008
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    Frank - Yes I agree the tool rest would be very strong

    Bart - I have a Jet 1642 with 2hp now which meets all my needs really - this is just going to be a fun project and will take time to complete - I can pick up the parts and metal cheap enough between local shops and Ebay which have parts available also - I am going to make it so i can use a tail stock so it will be able to be held between centers if needed and its part of the planning - I have thought before about selling mine and buying another one with a larger swing but decided that I would probably not be turning anything that large very often - So what I thought was to build it and at the same time I would be able to make ti to my own specifications - Justt seems like a fun project once I get my plans down a bit better ................thanks for the comments
    First you have to learn the rules - Beginner
    Then you have to learn advanced rules - Professional
    Then you disregard the rules - This takes you to the master level................

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Reno, Nv
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    I like the idea Dan. 5hp may be monster overkill. 3hp feels like a great number in overall weight of the lathe and ability to turn anything up to and including moon rocks.
    Your Respiratory Therapist wears Combat boots

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    ABQ NM
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    Looks like a fun project. Looking forward to watching.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    ...However, the rear support bolt strikes me as a bit less than should be...
    Structurally, that rear bolt has very little stress on it. All the real work is being done by the "foot" in the front, since the vast majority of the lathe's stresses are sideways, not front to back.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Why not turn the motor around with a shroud over the top so it runs cool and is out of your way?
    A U shaped bracket over and under the bowl with a center for the other end could be fabricated easy enough and then "drop" out of the way for the finishing of a balanced bowl.

    Interesting, have some students that are in woods and welding both. Had a boy graduate this spring that has the skills and ability to build this as well as would have been very interested. Will have to print this and save it for the future. Thanks for the information!
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

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  8. #8
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    Jim - I agree 3 hp is probably plenty - there are sites (Ebay included) that sell motors and controlers and the price is not bad at all

    Vaughn - as soon as i have my plan/drawings together with specs ill post it - I want to get everyones opinions prior to starting the acutal fabrication / build - that way I can make modifications

    Jonathan - I got lost in your idea and not sure what you actually meant - the shroud i would build either way for safety - the U bracket - did you mean above and below the bowl as a safety shield like ?
    or maybe i just am misunderstanding

    Where im stuck at right now is on the headstock part of things - assuming i use 5 x 5 x 1/4 box steel tube for the vertical upright and 1/2" plate on top - stuck at that point now - thinking of having the spindle made from 3" round - length unknown at the moment - not sure on headstock assembly - arbor, bearings, housing, mounts - threads etc ( I will need a machine shop for this - have a friend that family has one so he will help if i supply what i want) - Pulleys sizes etc - then I can put the drawings together - Pillar blocks should be easy to get ..................................any ideas on these issues ?

    Thanks Dan
    Last edited by Dan Mosley; 07-26-2015 at 02:35 AM.
    First you have to learn the rules - Beginner
    Then you have to learn advanced rules - Professional
    Then you disregard the rules - This takes you to the master level................

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    North West Indiana
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    The motor I would turn end for end and have it sticking out to the left of the frame with a "shroud or roof" over the top of it.

    Think of a gear puller, ie: a U shape with a bolt in the middle, that bolt could become the other center. So you would extend the square tubing above the pillow block/axle of the lathe so two connection points are created, one above and one below the bowl blank with the center able to "pinch" the bowl until it is deemed safe enough to turn from the chuck.

    The motor upon further review, not an issue as long as a roof with ventilation space is provided, location is fine.
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
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    The part it seems most folks get stuck on is the spindle, looks like Dale had access to a metal lathe to make his, otherwise either a replacement part or salvage would be the way to go I think from a cost perspective unless your friends machine shop is working gratis.

    Personally I'd add more angular bracing to the lathe base although it may well not be needed, I think it would help dampen vibration some. I'd probably also fill the pillar with granite and epoxy or cement mix for the same reason. Very likely overkill, but overkill of often the way to go

    Will be interested to see how you do the tail stock assembly....

    Personally if I was building one I'd probably make the tool rest on a gate leg swing way assembly so you could turn pretty much all the way to the floor. Does the idea of turning something that big terrify me? Yes! But there are a few crazy projects it would make possible (and yes I'm aware of the outboard stand from jet and pm but.. there's that properly terrified bit .

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