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Member postings for JAMES HUGGINS

Here is a list of all the postings JAMES HUGGINS has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Hello from West Sussex, looking for ID for my first lathe
11/07/2020 21:15:25
Posted by not done it yet on 11/07/2020 16:55:03:

Rough and ready, perhaps, but not machined for the registration on the spindle and is it 3/4 by 10 or 12 (you seem to have changed your mind on that)?

You should really have faced the nut and cut the register before welding on the plate. It would have been fairly easy doing it first.

Doing it this way, I was concerned the weld heat would move things. So I welded it then faced it. And regarding facing the nut, there was barely any measurable runout once I had ground it, probably less than what adding the steel plate added. It all seems pretty good.


I put a 200mm precision ground round bar in the chuck and adjusted the headstock (there are bolts believe it or not to do this), and with an indicator I now have 0.02mm over the 200mm so 0.02mm taper.


This lathe is a bit laughable really. Fingers crossed those welds hold 😆


Sorry yes it's 3/4 10 

Edited By JAMES HUGGINS on 11/07/2020 21:18:33

11/07/2020 13:04:31


11/07/2020 12:46:14

A quick update if anyone was interested.

Bought a used 4 jaw prat Bernard 4" chuck and turned a face plate for it. I had some hurdles on the way and still need to fettle the electrics slightly but is working OK. Very crude motor mount for the time being just until I get it turning and decide if its a venture worth continuing. So far not bad...

i bought some 12mm steel to make a back plate from, welded a 3/4" 12 nut on the back which I had ground parallel on the diamond plates. Managed to get it to run 0.01mm on the spindle with not much problem, these nuts come pretty true it seems. How did I get it central you may ask? Well I drilled a 3/4" hole in the center of the plate which allowed the threads of a 3/4 12 bolt through but stopped at the shank, then wound the nut up to the plate and tack welded the nut on, kept the heat to a minimum and all was good.

The plate had been plasma cut and the edges were as hard as granite which I learnt after having destroyed a freshly ground tool! So I'm going to grind the final shape down a bit more yet but manage to turn a good recess in the face for the chuck with about a 0.05mm (10thou) gap between chuck inner face and the plate, I've read you want a slight gap there with 4jaws, not sure if that's right?

Lastly I drilled the bolt pattern and bobs your uncle! Chuck runs nice and true, within 0.05mm. I've still got to dial a few things in, like checking the bed for twist etc but I'm no tool maker and I don't need anything crazy accurate. Should make for a nice learning lathe.

I forgot to mention, whilst trying to turn the recess on the plate, the cross slide lead screw nut gave way, no threads left! So I bought a new screw and nut and cobbled it together to get the lathe working to finish the chuck. So my first jobs is probably to get the cross slide working properly again 😆 all good fun though.

I'll post some pics shortly.

01/06/2020 19:41:48

OK well that all sounds good to me. I'll get my father in law to help turn the recess in the back plate when I get one if I don't manage to find one that is matched to a specific chuck. It's just what to search for chuck wise really to begin with. Oh and also a small pulley to fit my motor. I will get some round belt for the 7mm pulleys but I will also need a small pulley, any recommendations of where to buy?

01/06/2020 18:34:36
Posted by old mart on 01/06/2020 18:12:05:

It's a shame about the lockdown, there is a little faceplate about 5" diameter lying in some junk at the museum, and the thread is small, but I can't get in there to look at it.

Thanks for the kind thought though 😊

01/06/2020 18:34:02
Posted by Andy Carlson on 01/06/2020 17:29:02:

Not sure which RDG chuck you mean... they have 'economy' ones, HBM and Pratt Burnerd ones. The latter are a very well regarded brand (and cost more). I can't speak for the other two but others may have some experience.

The snag from your perspective is that all of them will need a backplate and the backplate needs to fit both your lathe spindle and the specific chuck.

This page explains a lot about backplates

If you look at one of the RDG listings you will see it tells you the 'locating recess diameter' - this is the diameter of a step that needs to be turned on the front face of the backplate. This step should be a close fit for the chuck recess because it keeps the chuck concentric with your spindle.

The listing will also tell you the 'PCD' or pitch circle diameter. Your backplate will need holes to accept the screws which will hold the chuck onto the backplate. The centres of these holes must be exactly half of the PCD away from the centre of the spindle. A 3 jaw chuck will need three holes equally spaced around the circle. A 4 jaw chuck will need four.

Backplates can be machined from blanks but it's not an ideal job if you are learning... plus you need a working lathe.

When you say exactly, are you talking scribed and centre punched by hand and drilled in a pillar drill? Because that isnt out of my capability or are you talking via a milling machine? My father in law has a large functioning lathe and I know people who have access to industrial machinery at a heritage railway so if its not something I can do in my workshop, I can get it done elsewhere.

01/06/2020 15:50:36

So from the middle of the spindle to the casting below is 4 5/16", point of tail stock to bed is 3 1/2". Does anyone have any dealings with RDGTools? Seems cheap but would might be OK as a starter chuck, don't want to break the bank on a chuck if the lathe ends up being a chocolate tea pot

01/06/2020 05:55:43

I'll take some measurents later and let you know. When you say drummond round bed is that the one with the big tubular radial arm looking bed?

31/05/2020 22:23:22
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 31/05/2020 19:20:01:
Posted by JAMES HUGGINS on 31/05/2020 17:17:59:
Posted by Redsetter on 31/05/2020 13:19:11:

On Lathes UK, "Small Unknown British Lathe no 99" is very similar, though the bed is different.


Oh wow that's extremely close! ...


Extremely close ... but not quite there

Note the comment about #99 not having bearings split on only one side.


Right yes I see that, I only have single split bearings. Is there a rule of thumb for tightness with that style bearing or just measure the heat?

@old mart

would you suggest a decent second hand chuck in that size of which I could get a mounting plate for with 3/4x10 thread?


Speeds are something I'll need to learn about first. I mean turning down small diameter steel bar would probably be my main use and possibly boring thicker diameter to make tube. I've no idea what speeds Ill be needing but my thinking was I could if needed have a speed controller set up with a DC motor.

31/05/2020 17:17:59
Posted by Redsetter on 31/05/2020 13:19:11:

On Lathes UK, "Small Unknown British Lathe no 99" is very similar, though the bed is different.

It looks a nice old machine, but don't expect too much from it. It will be difficult and probably uneconomic to restore fully. As your first lathe, if it is not too badly worn, it is worth setting it up with a motor and a countershaft, and you will learn a lot.

You don't need an auto feed to start with, but you will need a chuck, or chucks, so the first thing is to find out what thread is used on the mandrel nose and try and source a suitable backplate.

Oh wow that's extremely close! Just seeing the dogging clutch mechanism for the auto feed will help as I can make all that up from scratch

31/05/2020 16:34:18

You can see on this pic here hopefully; the slotted drive fitting in the feed screw and also off the back of the drive spindle where gears would have been. It would be nice to cut threads one day. The dovetail bed has adjustment in, although the tailstock does seem a bit worn, I can probably shim that though np.

The spindle thread is 3/4x10. When I Google that all that comes up are adaptors 😆 I assume from that, people use more common chucks with a different thread.


What size chuck would you suggest for such a small lathe? Do you want some measurements?


I have a 350W ac motor I was going to try to begin with. They are V pulleys, tiny... 7mm.


Edited By JAMES HUGGINS on 31/05/2020 16:34:40

31/05/2020 11:31:59

The nearest to it I've seen style wise on is a Drummond but nothing identical

31/05/2020 10:08:41

Thanks for the warm welcome, I assume tabby cats sleep a lot 😆 it was a late post I will admit. I didn't intend for the pictures to be all over the place like that. I'll get the hang of it!

30/05/2020 21:40:21

img_20200513_171405.jpgscreenshot_20200510_162638_com.facebook.katana.jpgHello my name is Jim and I'm from West Sussex.

I recently bought my first lathe. It looked like a little gem when I saw the listing and for £120 (not complete however) I thought bargain. Look really well made.

I went for a small lathe as I don't need anything too big and I thought it would be easier to learn with.

I can't find out any information about this lathe or who it's made by even, the only marking is U32 in the leg casting. I need to source some compatible parts and ideally the auto feed parts as they are missing.

Any info would be a massive help, thanks.screenshot_20200510_164156_com.facebook.katana.jpg

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