SUBTITLE: Not elliptical orbits, but the 'orbiting' of things elliptical
Stu's new Escoulen eccentric chuck and the recent discussion about ferrous metals (cast iron vs steel) have somehow "spun" me off on a couple of converging tangents. My brain took in "eccentric", chewed on it for a bit, and eventually spat out "elliptic"...
... which reminded me of a neat-o section in David Springett's 1994/95 book called [Adventures in Woodturning]. My copy has a price sticker of $24.95 on the back, but according to the link it is now available at the low, low price of anywhere from $61 to $390!
The last section of the book deals with Elliptical Turning. Mr. Springett dedicates an entire 16-page chapter (pp. 181-196) to the construction of an "oval chuck" and its mounting to a regular lathe:
The "Slide" spins in place, centered on a "boss" that's turned with a Morse taper and held tight to the spindle with threaded rod that passes through the headstock. The "runners" ride on the "cam", which can be offset by different amounts to vary the "oval-ness" of the cuts made in the spinning project (which is attached to the "faceplate").
The remaining 28 pages of the book are dedicated to several projects that can be made with such a chuck:
Pretty cool stuff!
Before I get around to my questions, I need to note a couple things:
1) The "bed" of the lathe pictured in the book is a single round tube, as opposed to the parallel, flat ways on most of the lathes I've seen.
2) The "headstock housing" shown in the diagram above is just that ... a wooden box that is built up around the headstock (such that it "hugs" it firmly) and anchored to the lathe stand with clamps.
Now for my questions:
A) On a "normal" lathe with flat ways, could the wooden headstock housing be replaced by a stiff piece of L-iron (or similar) ... firmly fastened between the ways, up against the headstock?
B) Would it be reasonable to replace the threaded rod & drilled boss arrangement with a threaded boss ... made with one of Lee Valley's [Lathe Spindle Taps]??
C) Do any of the oval chuck parts seem like they would be better executed in metal than in wood?
(And would Travis or Randy be willing to machine them for a fee?
D) Would I be better off just looking for a manufactured oval chuck setup? Does anyone make such a thing?