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New Lathe Tooling

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Terry Kirkup16/11/2018 22:35:41
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46 forum posts
32 photos

Hi folks, and thanks for having me. I hope this isn't considered too far off topic and don't mind a rollicking if there's a direct answer to someone else on here somewhere. The last time I used a lathe was as an apprentice in 1967, and I wasn't allowed on it alone. All I remember about that machine was that the chuck was the size of a ship's wheel and it dwarfed wee Archie, its operator. I manage to lighten a few Ford flywheels on it before being moved out of the workshop.

I've just ordered a Warco 290 on a whim really but I do have plans to make bicycle and car tools and the odd piece of art. I'd appreciate some advice on what tooling I should start off with after reading as much as I could for the last 2 months but ending up little wiser. I've bought a dial guage and stand but nothing else yet. I'd also appreciate advice on the best place to find raw materials in small quantities. Thanks in anticipation.

Edited By JasonB on 17/11/2018 06:55:31

Chris Evans 617/11/2018 10:04:49
1417 forum posts

Welcome Terry, this is a subject that will give you as many questions as answers ! As a time served toolmaker I go for things like quick change tool post and carbide insert cutters. All over the top for occasional use so just get some HSS blanks and use the four way tool post for a year or two whilst you learn.

Do invest in some measuring equipment a 0 to 25 Micrometer or 0 to 1" if you use old money. An Aldi digital caliper will be just fine for a while and less than £10. Ask away for any queries. Chris.

PS what county/city are you based in ?

larry phelan 117/11/2018 10:23:24
421 forum posts
11 photos

Hi Terry,

Bit of a change from your previous experience !!

As Chris says,you dont need a huge amount of gear,a few pieces of HSS blanks will give you all the cutters you need. A good Micrometer and an Aldi caliper plus a 6" rule,and you,re away on a hack !

However,Beware,this is only the beginning,and there is no going back !!!!! How do I know? Ask me !

But still,it,s worth it and you will not want for help,just ask,someone out there has the answer.

Enjoy .

Mick B117/11/2018 12:22:43
1033 forum posts
58 photos

You'll need a bench grinder to make those HSS blanks into cutting tools. A cheap Chinese 15cm/6" one with coarse and fine wheels is quite adequate, along with a medium/fine hand stone for a smooth finished edge where it's useful.

As your skill with the cheap grinder increases, so your need for anything better will decline! I've found I throw 'em away every 10 years or so, 'cos the cost and effort of finding, buying and truing up a replacement wheel isn't justified against the price of a new cheapie!

Neil Wyatt17/11/2018 13:42:56
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Moderator
15982 forum posts
674 photos
73 articles

Welcome to the forum Terry.

Neil

Thor17/11/2018 15:33:35
1071 forum posts
28 photos

Hi Terry,

Welcome to the forum and congratulations with your 290. I have a similar lathe - different paint scheme - and so far the lathe has not given me any problems. A dial gauge is very handy when centering stock in the 4-jaw. Start with some HSS tools as adviced, and some free-cutting mild steel. There are several UK suppliers of materials for model engineers, a few links:

***Link***

***Link***

***Link***

Thor

ega17/11/2018 15:48:00
1159 forum posts
95 photos

Terry Kirkup:

As a life-long cyclist I would be interested to know what bicycle tools you plan to make.

I have made a few things myself over the years - wheel-building jig, dishing gauge, etc - interesting to make and satisfying to use.

Terry Kirkup17/11/2018 16:13:42
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46 forum posts
32 photos

Wow, thank you all so much for the welcome and much appreciated advice. I'm in Newcastle upon Tyne Chris. Larry/Chris I have a cheapo digital vernier caliper but it is mainly plastic and chews batteries like I eat Maltesers so may seek a half decent one, and a micrometer too.

And ega, I'm thinking nice cylindrical things to start with, hopefully to ease me in gently, concentrating on bearing removers and installers for myself and mates who all run full suspension mountain bikes. I also have a top secret idea for a front fork retention system!

Mick, I bought a cheapo 6" grinder a few years back from a general dealer local to me. It's only 150 watts and stops if it hits a finger as well as shaking the place to bits, so I'll invest in a decent one. Should I buy a diamond wheel for it?

Thanks a bunch for the links Thor, spot on. And Neil, ta much for the welcome and adding me in. I'll heed all this advice but if it all goes belly up I won't come back here and admit it, especially after spending the wife's pension on a failed fad!

Mick B117/11/2018 16:42:03
1033 forum posts
58 photos
Posted by Terry Kirkup on 17/11/2018 16:13:42:

...

Mick, I bought a cheapo 6" grinder a few years back from a general dealer local to me. It's only 150 watts and stops if it hits a finger as well as shaking the place to bits, so I'll invest in a decent one. Should I buy a diamond wheel for it?

...

I use 1/4" square HSS tools in my WM250V, and I find 150W quite adequate - to the point where I've simply not wanted more. But your lathe is bigger and you could well want larger tools.

The shaking is much more of a problem than the low power - the wheels must be out of balance, and to correct that you want a single-point diamond dressing tool - there are plenty around for a fiver or two, though you might want to put them on the end of a steel rod 'cos some are very short. You use them like a wood-lathe tool to turn your grinding wheel true with light cuts, making sure you've a steady rest so that you dress-off the eccentricity rather than just follow it.

I've never wanted a diamond wheel, and the only one I have is a small thing on a Lidl drill sharpener that doesn't really work any better than I can manage offhand on my cheapie grinder.

Spending time and effort developing offhand skill on the bench grinder has the potential to save you a great deal of money!

Terry Kirkup18/11/2018 10:34:11
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46 forum posts
32 photos

Thanks Mick. You're dead right about the balance, weird thing is that when it's static no matter where I pull and twist I can't find any slack! May just try changing the wheels. The problem I have with such a low powered thing is when cleaning up my snotty Mig welds, it just sighs and slows to a crawl. I'm at the stage where a bit of a spend can be (almost) justified to get set up properly but after I revert to more normal circumstances I will most definitely be looking to save money where I can.

Mick B118/11/2018 14:02:12
1033 forum posts
58 photos
Posted by Terry Kirkup on 18/11/2018 10:34:11:

Thanks Mick. You're dead right about the balance, weird thing is that when it's static no matter where I pull and twist I can't find any slack!

...

There doesn't have to be any slack - the bearing could still be quite sound, but the wheel(s) worn unevenly so that it shakes as the heavier arc of the wheel goes round.

It's >just< possible you might slacken off the wheel securing nuts and reposition the wheel slightly to recentralise the weight, but that's extremely chancy unless you do some very detailed measurement.

It's easier to try dressing it off with a diamond till it runs true.

If you're grinding off weld spatter, that does really introduce a rather more severe field of use than just making HSS turning tools... surprise

Terry Kirkup19/11/2018 16:23:59
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46 forum posts
32 photos

Thanks again Mick. I'll probably try what you suggest and just use my angle grinder for future weld tidy-ups.

Frances IoM19/11/2018 16:40:23
601 forum posts
22 photos
a common problem with the cheap grinders from B+Q etc (at least on two I bought) is that the metal flanges are badly pressed and don't fit onto the locating shoulder on the shaft and though firm, present the wheel at an angle which causes out of balance - merely removing the burrs off these flanges made the wheel run very smoothly after which using a dresser becomes worthwhile

Edited By Frances IoM on 19/11/2018 16:40:49

Howard Lewis19/11/2018 17:21:03
1947 forum posts
2 photos

Welcome!

You may find it useful to find drawings for a Tangential Tool Holder. There are at least two sets of drawings around.

One involves compound angles while the other makes the tool shank trapezoidal. Both do the same job, and work well.

(You can buy if you happen to have about £70 to spare)

They use HSS toolbits and once you have the simple grinding jig, only one face needs to be ground, so sharpening is quick and easy. The tool can be used for facing or turning without change.
With a suitably ground toolbit can be used for external screwcutting.

Off to put my one of hobbyhorses back in it's stable!

Howard

.

Edited By Howard Lewis on 19/11/2018 17:21:41

Terry Kirkup19/11/2018 19:07:31
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46 forum posts
32 photos

Francis/Howard thank you very much for your input. I knew I'd come to the right place! I will have a go at wheel adjustment on the grinder but I still fancy one with a bit more oomph. Even drill sharpening (very inaccurate but workable) slows the thing to a crawl.

I've looked at Eccentric's diamond tool holder and read many googleised comments on it, all seem very positive so I may start saving for one of those, hopefully before Brexit jacks the price up.

An old pal dropped in a few chunks of mild steel today to get me started - now where is that slow boat from China?

Can anyone say if four beefy bodies will be able to carry a 290V through my garage and up the garden path to its new home?

Thor19/11/2018 19:45:23
1071 forum posts
28 photos

Hi Terry,

When I got my 290 lathe I had the help of two strong lads, I placed a shaft with a 200mm dia. wheel at each end under one end of the crate and a sack truck at the other end. We used a few bits of ply on the lawn and we had no problem moving the lathe. It is easy to remove the chuck, topslide and tailstock first. I used a chain hoist and a helper to get the lathe up on its stand. So the four of you shouldn't have much problem.

Thor

SillyOldDuffer19/11/2018 20:22:02
4317 forum posts
944 photos

Posted by Terry Kirkup on 19/11/2018 19:07:31:

...

Can anyone say if four beefy bodies will be able to carry a 290V through my garage and up the garden path to its new home?

That's pushing your luck. The lathe weighs 230kg, which is 57.5kg each (about 127lbs or 9stone). Roughly that's 4 men lifting 4 women. Do-able, but well over a comfortable lift that could be kept going for long. More is better if there's space - being an elderly weed, I had trouble lifting a 40kg mini-lathe on my own, my daughter and I lifted it easily.

One problem is that everyone has to lift and put down together so you don't accidentally overload one person or drop the lathe on someone's foot. Another is avoiding twisting, for example going up steps, through doorways, or past obstacles. Lathes are top-heavy so be prepared it might roll over. Try and keep it close to the ground and avoid bending to pick it up - rope slings or straps perhaps.

But 4 blokes should manage OK if you minimise the lifting and take your time. It will be much easier if you can roll the lathe on lengths of pipe most of the way rather than carrying it. Wooden blocks and levers can help if there are any awkward spots. A rehearsal might be in order to make sure everyone knows what to do.

Lifting the lathe on to its stand, or bench might be separate challenge. The extra height might be too much for 4 especially if space is cramped. Blocking it up and sliding might work, but be careful the stand and/or lathe don't tip over. I bought an engine crane to lift my 210kg WM280. It provided a lot more control and breathing space and made it easy to align the mounting bolts. Keep a close eye on the breaking strain of any rope you use rather than a properly rated strap. Putting a knot in a rope halves its strength, and old rope is much weaker than new. If lifting with a crane, find the balance point and make sure the loop can't slip. The balance point is usually near the front edge of the headstock, but don't lift the lathe by the spindle!

Have fun and let us know how it goes.

Dave

Nicholas Wheeler 119/11/2018 21:47:31
240 forum posts
13 photos
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 19/11/2018 20:22:02:

Posted by Terry Kirkup on 19/11/2018 19:07:31:

...

Can anyone say if four beefy bodies will be able to carry a 290V through my garage and up the garden path to its new home?

That's pushing your luck. The lathe weighs 230kg, which is 57.5kg each (about 127lbs or 9stone). Roughly that's 4 men lifting 4 women. Do-able, but well over a comfortable lift that could be kept going for long. More is better if there's space - being an elderly weed, I had trouble lifting a 40kg mini-lathe on my own, my daughter and I lifted it easily.

Wow that's twice as much as the only slightly smaller 250V! And my mini-lathe was no where near 40kg either.....

When I bought my 250V I had it delivered to work, where it was unloaded with the forklift. I broke it out of the crate, and removed the tailstock, steadies, chuck and topslide. ! wound the carriage to the end of the bed to balance the weight.

Two of us then lifted it into the boot of my car.

I drove home.

Then, a friend and I lifted the lathe out of the car, carried it across the road, down the cellar steps, through the obstacle course and lifted it onto the bench. While that wasn't fun, it's not difficult or dangerous either. If I'd bought it ten years earlier when I worked in a warehouse, neither of us would have raised a sweat doing it. I don't have the space to use an engine crane to lift it onto the bench, and think it would be more work than lifting it on by hand.

not done it yet19/11/2018 22:13:58
2931 forum posts
11 photos

The weight quoted on the Warco site will include the stand, which is standard supply with the lathe, so is not an accessory?

Terry Kirkup20/11/2018 09:09:51
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46 forum posts
32 photos

Once again Gentlemen I thank you all for the input. Looks like a bit of fun coming with the transport. I think I'll keep it as low as possible, using two scaffold poles on shoulders and slings around each end after stripping the heavy lumps off it. If the stand is included that takes away some kilos which should help a lot. My helpers are stout lads. Sounds like the real job will be hoisting it up on the stand. I can't use a mobile hoist as it would go straight through the shed floor. I'm currently finishing off the wall insulation at that end of the shed, plywood lining going on today and then I can stick the electrics in the right place.

One other question if I may - how much space should I leave behind it, and why?

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