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Mini Lathe Owners - how do you fix your lathe? Or not?

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Neil Wyatt23/01/2015 11:42:49
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Good point, Michael.

I wonder if the ideal for an 'instrument; lathe is for the bed to be flexible enough to allow it to be twisted for fine adjustment!

Neil

Martin Kyte23/01/2015 12:06:51
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This has all got me thinking. I suspect there are two issue at play when mounting machine tools setting aside the basic one of not skidding across the workshop.

1. Increase in stability by mounting to rigid frameworks in such a way that the lathe ways sit true. One must assume this is the unstressed condition.

2. Increasing the essential mass of the machine do dampen out vibration and therefore get a better cut.

I would be interested in what you think Neil

regards Martin

Neil Wyatt23/01/2015 13:02:35
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Hi Martin,

Solid mounting on anything that isn't more rigid than the lathe though is pointless, if you fit the lathe to something that can distort, it will may affect the lathe. I think the ideal with any lathe the idea is (1) a big rigid bench and careful setting up, but that's probably overkill for a lathe you can just about lift with one hand.

The idea of secure mounting at the headstock end to a decent bench and achieve (2) while leaving the tailstock free to minimise distortion seems the best compromise for a small lathe.

Those who prefer the lathe unsecured need to work carefully and avoid running it unbalanced, but experience shows that the fundamental accuracy is good enough to get away with this.

Many older lathes up to this sort of size had a single mounting foot and could not be trued up by deliberate twisting of the bed, in which case on (2) would apply anyway.

Neil

Martin Kyte23/01/2015 13:48:29
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That sound like fair comments Niel. If you think logically, any mounting must/should replicate the conditions that existed when the lathe was finished ground and hopefully preserve that state through variations of temperature and humidity. Mounting should not impart stresses to the machine. I do tend to the idea that if you have to twist the bed to true it up the machine must have acquired some sort of distortion during it's life.

We use quite a number of optical tables which always sit on air pillars. This ensures that the tables are evenly supported at the mounting plates and therefor remain as flat as when the where manufactured. (they also ensure anti vibration mounting from floor to table but that's a different issue). Not very practical I know but you should be able to air mount a lathe in good condition and expect it to turn true.

Martin

Danny M2Z26/01/2015 03:47:51
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Posted by Neil Wyatt on 22/01/2015 16:00:17:

I'd like to ask mini-lathe owners whether or not they fix their lathes to the workbench or not, and if they do, how do they do it.

Neil

I took a few photos. The commercial lathe stand was obtained for $50 during a 're-location' sale. Bolts go through stand top.

Also included how I mounted my X2 mill - A pre-loved filing cabinet (which is of heavier gauge construction than the lathe stand) has a 1" MDF top and all bolted through. Even with the drawers open and full of vices and tools it will not rock forward. (I was careful to check this). In operation, the drawers are closed of course. Cost of filing cabinet another $50 at a second hand shop.

* Danny M *

mini-lathe & x2 mill on filing cabinet 2.jpgmini-lathe on stand 2.jpg

Martin Kyte26/01/2015 09:30:13
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John

I would suggest that composite materials such as work surface are probably more stable than like for like solid wood structures. Wood is inherently dimensionally unstable with humidity. If you do use solid timber it really needs to be sealed well on all surfaces.

My comments on air mounts were more of a thought experiment than suggestions for a practical mounting solution.

regards Martin

Eric Cox26/01/2015 09:41:10
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Two questions

1) By how much would a mini lathe bed twist or distort

2) How big would a work piece have to be before the effect of this was noticeable.

Russell Eberhardt26/01/2015 09:50:59
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Posted by Bogstandard2 on 26/01/2015 08:57:38:

If you read early machine manuals, almost all of them advocate bolting the lathe down to a 3" or 4" thick plank of hardwood. It would cost the price of a new lathe to do that nowadays, but work surface boarding is almost as good for it's stability.

Might that not have more to do with strength and vibration rather than adding to the dimensional stability?

Timber, both hard and soft, varies in length along the grain by about 0.05% between 40% and 75% relative humidity. So for say 20" between mounting points for a mini lathe that would give 0.01" movement.

Russell.

Vic26/01/2015 10:54:56
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My 8 x 14" is bolted directly to my bench. It didn't come with any rubber feet. The bench top is two pieces of 18mm ply screwed together. My mill is just sitting on the floor, but needs a couple of screws through the base at some point!

Gordon W26/01/2015 11:11:31
2011 forum posts

How do the makers of lathes test them? I suspect that the hobby lathe is tested just by putting it on a bench and running a few measurements.If that is the case bolting them down could make them worse. My 8" lathe is bolted at the head and just nipped at the tailstock end, just to stop it wandering about.

Jens Eirik Skogstad26/01/2015 11:25:47
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Never had problem with minilathe. not bolted on bench. Stand on wood plate. Precision work comes from skilled hands and not from lathe.

brian goldsmith08/02/2015 21:15:40
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Neil,
when I was aligning my mini lathe i found I could get the spindle set up parallel to the bed but it would not stay parallel for long. I bought it second hand and it was bolted to a 1.5 inch thick piece of mdf which I thought would give it some rigidity but I found that pushing down on opposite corners of the mdf base would result in the dti showing 0.005 to 0.010 inch deviations. Something more rigid was needed. I made a steel frame to mount it on, and now while aligning the lathe it can be lifted at one corner with no movement on the dti. in use it doesn't move on the bench.

I have three photos but need to find out how to put them in. When I put them in my post is 3000000 characters to long.

Brian.

brian goldsmith08/02/2015 21:43:33
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Neil,

I have put the photos in an album,

It is made from 12mm plate, 20mm electrical conduit, 21mm X 41mm unistrut. The feet are from a washing machine and are threaded into short bits of 40mm round bar. The studding is M12.

Brian.

Edited By brian goldsmith on 08/02/2015 21:45:56

Neil Wyatt10/02/2015 12:04:52
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Thanks Brian,

That's useful to know.

One they are in an album you can insert them with the black camera icon .

If you paste them into the text you smash through the character limit on postings!

You can paste tiny images in though:

Bozo member

Neil

Edited By Neil Wyatt on 10/02/2015 12:18:26

Michael Gilligan10/02/2015 16:44:13
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Posted by Neil Wyatt on 10/02/2015 12:04:52:

You can paste tiny images in though:

Bozo member

.

Sorry for drifting off-topic, but; on the subject of tiny images

... have a look at this regarding Samsung & EE.

MichaelG.

Neil Wyatt10/02/2015 20:54:35
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> ... have a look at this regarding Samsung & EE.

£1000 worth of texts at 40p each? I make that over 80 texts a day.

Ah... a hairdresser...

Neil

Edited By Neil Wyatt on 10/02/2015 20:55:34

fizzy10/02/2015 21:14:30
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surprisesurprisesurprise......cheap at twice the price !!

Michael Gilligan10/02/2015 21:21:50
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Posted by Neil Wyatt on 10/02/2015 20:54:35:

£1000 worth of texts at 40p each? I make that over 80 texts a day.

.

Neil,

The point of the story is that the Samsung 'phone converted each and every one of the silly emoticon things into a seperate MMS message. She didn't compose lots of messages, she just included lots of those stupid smiley things.

MichaelG.

Neil Wyatt10/02/2015 22:08:23
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Hi Michael,

I understood that, ordinary texts were free but picture texts were 40p. She still had to send 2,500 texts to run up a £1000 bill.

Neil

Michael Gilligan10/02/2015 22:14:35
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20182 forum posts
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Posted by Neil Wyatt on 10/02/2015 22:08:23:

Hi Michael,

I understood that, ordinary texts were free but picture texts were 40p. She still had to send 2,500 texts to run up a £1000 bill.

Neil

.

... or, more likely [for example] 250 free SMS each containing 10 emoticons

MichaelG.

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