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Thread: The Robust is here!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Kutztown PA

    The Robust is here!

    Greetings all

    I figured I would put this in the new tools section instead of one of the turning sections. After all, it is a new tool. Yesterday was a big day in a couple of ways, not the least of which was the long awaited delivery of the Robust. The lathe arrived about 3:00 PM, and all went very smoothly indeed. The truck driver was a very friendly guy who was willing to help us get the thing into the shop. Getting it off the lift gate was a little exciting, since it barely fit, especially with three guys (one of them me!) also trying to stand on the lift gate to move it around. Including the crate, it checked in at 920 lbs.

    Once we got it on the ground, we removed the excess crating - i.e. everything but the skid, and prepared to get it into the shop. My shop is at ground level, but not quite. There is a lip of concrete about 1 1/2" high which we had to surmount. We got the thing onto the pallet jack, took a running start, and got it most of the way in on the first try. It took two more tries to get in all the way, but it went relatively fast.

    After signing papers and sending the driver on his way, I had this in the shop.

    It was very well wrapped in what looked like a giant garbage bag and that foam stuff that electronics come in. It only took a couple of minutes to get all that off, and then the real grunt work began. After getting the bolts holding it to the skid out of the feet, we prepared for the heavy lifting. The headstock, banjo, and tailstock were all moved to one end of the lathe, and boards were placed at the other end so that we could slide it along the skid. We dragged the "light" end off the skid and set it on the floor. Then, we moved all the stuff on top back to that end, and prepared to get the second end on the floor. We did that by padding a long crowbar with some of the foam, sliding it under the ways, and lifting from two sides while my daughter removed the boards. Now it was sitting firmly on the floor with the skid wrapped around it. No problem, that is what reciprocating saws are for! In very little time there was a pile of scrap two bys laying out in the parking space, and we were at work getting the lathe up on its wheels.

    The wheel kit is an option, and comes with a jack, which also serves to lift the lathe to adjust the leg height. Most people will probably use something like this once or twice, but I think it is going to be real handy when students of less than normal height (6' 2") come to use it. It will also be a plus if I want to do demos, or need to make full use of the bed (more on that in a minute). I got it as far as you see in the picture above last night before it was time for bed. I had to run some errands as well, so I was not able to devote my undivided attention to the machine.

    Here is a shot with the tailstock pivoted. This is a huge advantage for me in a couple of ways. While most people will like it because it gets the tailstock out of the way for turning at the end of the lathe or using a captured hollowing rig, I have the added advantage of it enhancing my flatwork capabilities. With the lower bed ways and the tailstock out of the way, the slider on my Mini Max combo machine will sail right past it, with sheet goods passing over the ways. That adds a minimum of 30" of space to the other end of the shop, all the way across, effectively opening up about 30-45 square feet or better. And because of the wheel kit, the lathe does not need to be out in the middle of the floor all the time. I don't need the 58" between centers all the time, and since the headstock slides, I can condense it down to a smaller profile for most of my turning, and if I need to stretch it out for a longer piece, it will be a simple matter to put the wheels on, and move it out to where I can use its full length.

    Today's chores are to get the leveling feet on it, get it into its mostly permanent place, and get a table leg turned. I have a customer waiting for that, and then it is on to bowls - some big ones too! I am sure there will be another picture or two coming eventually.

    Bill Grumbine

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Charlotte, NC
    Congrats Bill! Looks like a nice toy....uh, I mean TOOL!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    Whoo Hoo!

    Sure is an American Beauty

    I imagine you will get some work out of that bad boy.

    Look forward to your review after you get some time on it.

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    DSM, IA
    Wow!! Can't wait to see it covered in a pile of curlies, congrats again.
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
    My Website

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Mighty impressive. Not being in that category, I had the Robust confused in my poor excuse for a mind with the VB. Another very 'robust' hunk of equipment. Do send updates, with pictures. And, do enjoy for many-many years.
    "Folks is funny critters."

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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Central (upstate) NY
    Wow! I'm glad it arrived safely and was assembled safely - unless one of your "errands" was actually a trip to the ER for an emergency hernia operation!

    Now we all will need to remember that Bill isn't talking about his truck when he talks about his half-ton.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Lakeport NY and/or the nearest hotel
    I'm betting he went out to pick up a detailing kit to put his mark on it, something subtle... like ghost flames on a hot rod.

    Bill, looks great, and I'm glad i'm above the line of demarcation for height, at 6' 3"!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Mason Michigan
    Sounds like the perfect machine for you!


  9. #9
    Sweet! I'm sure you're going to have a ball wilth that bad boy. And let's see, you're a pro and in business so it is deductible as well! (not qualified to give tax advice, just thinking out loud )


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Oh great .... now I'm really going to have an inferiority complex. I don't have a Robust, I'm not 6'2" and I can't seem to grow a turning muscle ..... what sort of a life is this I'm stuck with....?

    Just kidding - looks GREAT Bill !! I hope you have a LOT of fun with it

    cheers eh?

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