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My Faircut Lathe

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Andy Carlson19/08/2019 12:26:12
77 forum posts
41 photos

Thanks for the pics - very nice.

I found the manual online. I wasn't expecting that.

Very informative - and refreshingly free of Chinglish.

Sandgrounder19/08/2019 15:18:58
173 forum posts
5 photos

Thanks for the manual, although I hope I'll never need it for my motor.

Andy Carlson19/08/2019 23:02:52
77 forum posts
41 photos
Posted by Sandgrounder on 19/08/2019 15:18:58:

Thanks for the manual, although I hope I'll never need it for my motor.

It does tell you how to change things around if you want to mount it sideways up so if I am understanding your pic correctly then it might be worth a read.

The screws on mine came undone without too much assertiveness - just a proper big screwdriver to fit the big slots but the chap in a vid on YouTube had to use an impact driver so YMMV as they say in the.US.

Sandgrounder20/08/2019 06:52:33
173 forum posts
5 photos
Posted by Andy Carlson on 19/08/2019 23:02:52:
Posted by Sandgrounder on 19/08/2019 15:18:58:

Thanks for the manual, although I hope I'll never need it for my motor.

It does tell you how to change things around if you want to mount it sideways up so if I am understanding your pic correctly then it might be worth a read.

The screws on mine came undone without too much assertiveness - just a proper big screwdriver to fit the big slots but the chap in a vid on YouTube had to use an impact driver so YMMV as they say in the.US.

Thanks for that Andy,

I'd downloaded the manual and had a quick read but the bit about sideways mounting hadn't registered, I'll look into doing it.


Andy Carlson28/08/2019 22:19:52
77 forum posts
41 photos

A bit of a digression from getting the lathe installed and running... my thoughts are also turning to tooling. The lathe came with some very useful items but there are a few obvious gaps.

The smaller bits of tooling came in a nice wooden box. Some have had a bath in citric acid to get the rust off but there are plenty more to do.


I'm guessing the black tools are carbon steel?

How to hold 1/4 inch or so tools in the old school tool holder on the lathe is another question to resolve.

There were some drills and centre drills loosely mounted in morse taper arbors. This puzzles me... how would they stay put when used?

This was the only drill chuck...


It may find a use but it's not the best so my thoughts turned to a box full of rusty tools that we found when clearing out my late father in law's garage. It probably belonged to his father. In there was a Jacobs No 32 chuck on an MT2 arbor. It has clearly seen a lot of action but the jaws don't look too bad. I managed to persuade it off the arbor (someone else had already drilled through the body) and have sourced an MT1 arbor, so hopefully this will be more suitable


Perko729/08/2019 13:01:04
278 forum posts
23 photos

Just came across this thread, saw the photos of the motor arrangement, its a bit like the arrangement on my Ideal lathe except that I assembled the motor and layshaft into a sub-unit that hinged at the bottom and used the weight of the motor and layshaft to tension the flat belt. Works pretty well with enough 'grip' for decent depth of cut and feed rate without overstressing an old machine, but if I get too ambitious (or something goes wrong) the belt just slips.lathe set up 001-rc.jpg

Andy Carlson29/08/2019 17:21:16
77 forum posts
41 photos

I like your countershaft pedastals - very 'in keeping' with the lathe. My setup at the moment is just a small change from the previous owner's setup (using the same parts) which lacked any means of adjusting the flat belt tension and the vee belt can only be adjusted by moving the plumber block bearings up or down the slots in the angle iron. 'In keeping' it aint!

The previous owner never really used the lathe so I expect that my setup will prove unsatisfactory in real use but at the moment I want the lathe up and running and will worry about making a better setup later on. It has at least managed an easy test cut with the belt tensioned just by friction with the not inconsiderable weight of the motor and lathe keeping things in place.

I completely agree that slipping belts are a good thing - it's good to have some sort of 'safety valve' because things DO go wrong.

Andy Carlson29/08/2019 22:02:05
77 forum posts
41 photos

A little progress update on the installation. Over the bank holiday I got the bench braced, the lathe bolted down and some electrics installed. Plenty more to do yet, hence the absence of the motor and tailstock from the photo.


Andy Carlson11/09/2019 12:42:25
77 forum posts
41 photos

Another update on the Faircut...

On the face of it there is not much to show for several weeks of effort since I started this thread but hopefully the machine is now in a better state and ready for some real work.

The biggest job has been improving the insulation on the 90 year old Century Electric motor. The drive has been rearranged to move the motor further towards the headstock end but it's still not out of range of swarf. I've added a plastic cover to keep swarf out of the many holes in the ornate end casing of the motor. It's not pretty, being a cut down horse feed additives bucket but it does the job for now. Likewise my oiler covers are tin foil... definitely another job for the 'to do' list.

Most but not all of the bits have been off the lathe. The headstock has been dismantled and some minor galling on the spindle cleaned up. Surprisingly the spindle bearing bolts were just finger tight. I have snugged these down but they are probably still on the loose side because there is always the worry of going too far and breaking the casting. I've seen some suggestions to put shims in the gap. To the best of my knowledge this is not the right thing to do when the bearing housing is only split on one side but it would be good to know if my knowledge is correct here.

All of the gibs were quite sloppy so all of the screws have been out, freed of crud and refitted. Actually, all bar one... One of the screws on the compound slide is different from the others and won't budge. My guess is that its threads are cut a bit shallow. I've tried WD40 and clamping the head in an ER16 collet to get plenty of torque on it but so far no joy. It's not causing an immediate issue so I have decided to apply a further coat of thinking to this screw.

The first real job is an aluminium handwheel cup for my MF70 CNC conversion. The first operations are to face off my horrid hacksawing and then turn down the end to make a stub to engage in the shaft coupler. I'm using the big ESC tool bit for that but found it was maybe 0.5mm above centre which was tricky since it was clamped to the top of the compound and there was nothing I could remove to make it lower. After rummaging around the immediate area in the shed I found a bit of plant pot label and used this to shim the tool underneath just the rear clamp screw. Not pretty but it got the tool onto the centre height. Other than using a less agricultural material I can't think of a better answer just now because the top face of the tool has obviously been profiled during manufacture and I would be very reluctant to lose this.

The next operation will be boring out a blind hole for the handwheel on the other side. This may prove tricky - I have an Arc Euro 6mm boring tool that could quite happily to do this on my Cowells lathe but I really want to try to do it on the Faircut. Whether I can mount the small tool on the Faircut or else find another way remains to be seen.

There is plenty more cleaning to do but this is mostly cosmetic or else related to bits of tooling that I don't need to use on day 1.



Steve King 511/09/2019 17:51:52
54 forum posts
76 photos

Looking good mate

This is the sort of thread I was planning on doing with my faircut lathe before I came across the damaged headstock. Very interesting reading so far keep the progress updates coming. I still need to sort out the bits it's that you need as soon as I get five minutes in the garage I'll photograph what I've got an email them to you.



Andy Carlson11/09/2019 22:57:06
77 forum posts
41 photos

Cheers Steve. Good to hear from you and thanks for the feedback. Will look forward to some photos when you have chance.

Regards, Andy

Andy Carlson15/09/2019 19:59:35
77 forum posts
41 photos

I've been doing some more cleaning of the Faircut over the past couple of days.

First job was the leadscrew - having a brown lead screw was really annoying me and having found while turning the handwheel cup for my MF70 CNC conversion that the leadscrew was stiff to turn at some parts of its rotation. I didn't need much more of an excuse to pull the thing out for cleaning. I'd describe the previous finish as polished rust and it proved quite resistant to being shifted using my usual recipe of citric acid. After several applications and scrubbing with a brass brush and a plastic kitchen scourer I ran out of time. It's a lot better but it still has 'freckles' and I will probably need to have another go.



The leadscrew nut was also off for the first time since I got the lathe. If one of the bolts looks like it is kinked then that's because it is. I wonder what happened here - there seems to be no corresponding indentation in the hole in the nut. Very odd! I'm now in the market for a 1/4 BSF screw with a pre-war size of hex head. So far I have not found a source selling screws with the pre-war head size. Any ideas?


The headstock taper is causing some puzzlement - I have tried several 1MT tools and they just grip on the thick end. They also stick out more that I would expect (same applies to the tailstock). As far as I know the taper is clean enough so I wonder if it really is 1MT. I'm not sure how to measure an internal taper with the tools at my disposal - the main one being a 1 inch external mike.

In better news I finally shifted the stuck gib screw out of the compound slide. After several days of trying WD40 I bought a can of an American product 'PPB Blaster' from eBay. After about 12 hours with this stuff the screw finally yielded. I think it's the correct thread but the thread peaks feel very rough. It's going in the bin and I will make a new one... which also means I'm in the market for a 3/16 BSW lock nut with the pre-war hex size.

Having relieved the compound casting of all of its fittings, I treated that to some citric acid today. I was expecting another protracted struggle but the rust came off very easily compared to the leadscrew.


I bought some more tools from eBay. When they arrived I found some more names from the past. Interesting for me because my Dad worked as an external grinder at Herberts. Wickman is another famous Coventry name.


not done it yet15/09/2019 20:38:47
3246 forum posts
11 photos

Re the taper. I would measure accurately how far two different sized flat-ended (at least right angles at the circumference) circular rods will enter the socket. The distance between the two is calculated.

Now, knowing that distance between how far those two rods will go in and their diameters it is a simple mathematical calculation to find the tangent of the angle.

Andy Carlson15/09/2019 21:01:40
77 forum posts
41 photos

Thanks. I did wonder if I could do something along those lines but I didn't figure out how to measure how far the rods had gone in.

Thinking about it some more I suppose I could move the tailstock ram up to the other end of the rod and then measure the gap once it's in the taper. My verniers would have to suffice for that because I think they are the only things that have sufficient travel.

Having some dials on the leadscrew or tailstock might make things easier but the lathe only has a dial on the cross slide.

Establishing a consistent starting point for both rods is another thing to think about - probably put some packing across the spindle nose and butt up against that.

Looks like I need to do some rummaging to find some suitable sized rods... and probably face them to make sure their ends are square.

Andy Carlson15/09/2019 23:01:46
77 forum posts
41 photos

I tried a different approach which needed less preparation. The lathe came with several taper tools and I remembered that at least one of them did not stick out of the spindle so far. I tried this one again and it seems to grip the taper in a more convincing manner. Using some marker pen I found that the ink was rubbing off in places along the whole length of the taper.

I then took some external measurements on some of the tools. I used the vernier because then I could at least reasonably eyeball the how close to the end I was measuring but I doubt my results will be very accurate. It's also fair to say that the surface finish on these tools is not great.

For the best fitting centre I got a taper of 1:20.6 . For my Jacobs 1MT arbor I got 1:19.76 . A couple of others worked out at 1:19.19 and 1:19.98.

Conclusion... some of the tools that came with the lathe are in the right area for 1MT. If the internal taper really is somewhere around 1:20.6 then this would explain why the 1MT tools dont grip very well.

I was wondering if the taper was to a different standard but I cant find any standard taper that fits 1:20.6 so at the moment it looks like the spindle taper simply has a shallower angle than it should.

It would have been nice if I had got closer to the right answer (1:20.04) for the Jacobs arbor so maybe this is telling me that my measurements are not particularly accurate.

I need to do more checks before deciding what to do.

The thick ends vary between 12.05 and 12.30mm which is probably enough to explain the overhang - 0.25mm on diameter is 5mm extra on the overhang. I don't think this is telling me anything about whether the taper is right or wrong.

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