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Suggestions for lathe-only projects?

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peak427/11/2020 15:07:11
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Posted by Michael Gilligan on 27/11/2020 14:05:39:
Posted by William Ayerst on 27/11/2020 12:03:47:

[…]

I’ve not heard of using pads on the tailstock and drills in the chuck as an option.


**LINK**

https://www.myford.co.uk/acatalog/DRILL-PAD--PLAIN--WITH-HOLLOW-CENTRE-2125.html

They are [or were] also available with a useful vee-groove

MichaelG.

In finest Blue Peter fashion; here's one I prepared earlier.
I bought it from an exhibition or autojumble years ago; I looks all home made from solid bar stock on an integral MT2 taper.
If I was going to make one myself, I'd use a separate arbor, to save time and metal, but make the head much larger to accommodate a bigger workpiece. ¾" is about the limit on this one.
The photo was just a quick lash-up to illustrate the item for this thread, but the workpiece is actually genuine(ish).
Lathe is a Warco 720 (Myford Super 7B copy from the '70s)
It was the old piston for my trolley jack, which was scored and had damaged the seal.
I made a new one, now fitted and working, out of some EN8 and drilled the cross hole using this jig.

tailstock drilling jig.jpg

Bill

IanT27/11/2020 15:12:28
1750 forum posts
164 photos
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 27/11/2020 14:05:39:
Posted by William Ayerst on 27/11/2020 12:03:47:

https://www.myford.co.uk/acatalog/DRILL-PAD--PLAIN--WITH-HOLLOW-CENTRE-2125.html

They are [or were] also available with a useful vee-groove

MichaelG.

Well, if you want a project William - buy a blank MT2 arbor (>£5) and find some scrap steel plate (or an old backplate casting) and attach it to the arbor. You will save yourself £22 and can add tapped holes to take clamps etc. But think about it's practical use first.

Smaller items that you can 'swing' - can often be done in your 3/4 jaw or on the faceplate. Problems arise when you need to drill a hole in one end of something that's over about 90mm long - because it will stick-out and foul the bed. The tailstock pad avoids this issue but can be unwieldy (it has a relatively small 'clamping' area) for large items.

If you are thinking of getting a vertical slide eventually - then I'd put this £27 towards it. It won't be quite as convenient for one-off drillings as the tailstock pad but it will be vastly more versatile.

Regards,

IanT

 

Edited By IanT on 27/11/2020 15:14:19

William Ayerst27/11/2020 15:13:39
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80 forum posts

Interesting stuff! I guess buying the drill pad from Myford isn't a complete loss because I'll end up with an MT2 arbor to mount something like the above to, potentially?

I've seen a few hand drill presses with 2-speeds that look like they might fit the part. Just to be clear, those vertical drill presses are going to be good for things where absolute positioning is already worked out via punch marks - so no good for drilling two holes that are X" apart from first principles, but perfectly fine to drill those holes if they're already marked? I'm also assuming there's approximately zero percent chance of a slot drill working in those unless I'm just shaving the very smallest amount out of the bottom of a hole? Basically - just want to be sure that I'm not about to spend a bunch of time and cash restoring something that ends up being used all of once!

IanT27/11/2020 15:56:38
1750 forum posts
164 photos

The drill stands are OK for smaller holes William (where great precision isn't really needed) and one will generally be easier to manage than a tailstock pad. The stand/drill combination won't handle slot drills - the drill will be too fast and the stand not man enough.

But you already have a lathe and that can be your 'precision' drill when required - or provide a much more rigid set-up than a drill stand can ever do. Here is my favourite 'V' angle-block being set-up on the cross-slide.

Sentinel slot drill setup - 230115.jpg

Here I've just used a 10mm (ish?) slot drill to cut a hole in a pair of frames for a small Sentinel engine I built a while back. Note the use of the Clarkson collet chuck (I do use an ER32 one too) to hold the slot drill and also the aluminium sacrificial plate behind the work. The plates were superglued together for this job and marked out for drilling. The holes were simply positioned by lining up the punch marks with a centre in the headstock. The work was then moved and re-clamped. Absolute precision was not required - provided the two sets of holes aligned with each other (which being both sets being drilled at the same time) - they did.

I will admit this was my second attempt - I used a 10mm drill the first time around and it snatched (thin material) and moved the work, resulting in an oblong hole. The slot drill solved this on the second attempt.

Sentinel frames #3 c - 230115.jpg

Regards,

IanT

 

Edited By IanT on 27/11/2020 16:27:22

Mick B127/11/2020 16:11:08
1805 forum posts
91 photos
Posted by DMB on 25/11/2020 23:04:00:

In my younger days and lack of knowledge and experience, followed Martin Evans' advice on using an endmill in the 3jaw to mill work on the vertical slide. (Not the current Editor of the same name. What's the chances of two editors of the same mag having the same names?) Well anyway, 3jaws useless at holding endmills, they just wind out of the chuck and cause a smash up. Vertical slide not rigid enough for serious work. Forget it.

I don't know about a Myford 7, but for both the Speed 10 I ran from 2000 to 2015 and the Warco WM250V I've been using since, that is simply not true. I've done lots of slot drilling, end milling and flycutting of all sorts in both machines.

IanT27/11/2020 16:22:49
1750 forum posts
164 photos

And to just complete this story of "lathe-only work" William (since I've suggested to you that a vertical slide is perfectly useable for small scale work).

Here is my set-up for tidying up two pairs of frames for a Gauge 3 (Bo-Bo) engine I was working on at the time - using my heavy Chinese vertical slide and an end mill (this time held in my ER32 chuck). The four frames are bolted together in this instance.

Note how the vertical slide hangs over the edge of the cross-slide (often required I find to give enough vertical travel) - and that the vertical 'swivel' function provided is therefore normally pretty useless. I later made a purpose 'adaptor' plate to replace the original (swivelling) base - that had four corner bolting points to the cross-slide and a socket and bolt-holes match for the vertical slide. This set-up then gives a pretty solid base for its use on the lathe.

Milling machines are very nice and can certainly make life much easier - but (if you are working in the smaller scales) it's not the end of the world if you don't have one.

Regards,

IanT

Milling NS Frames 1 - mar11.jpg

Edited By IanT on 27/11/2020 16:39:13

peak427/11/2020 16:55:40
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1328 forum posts
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Posted by William Ayerst on 27/11/2020 15:13:39:

Interesting stuff! I guess buying the drill pad from Myford isn't a complete loss because I'll end up with an MT2 arbor to mount something like the above to, potentially?

I've seen a few hand drill presses with 2-speeds that look like they might fit the part. J..............

To address both points, those drill presses do work OK, and of course used to be used before everyone had powered bench drills, (or even drill presses for hand electric drills.
I'm sure they aren't as accurate as a Pollard or Meddings for general use, but I got the impression you don't have any sort of a bench drill at all, so better than nothing and cheap if sourced with care. i.e. don't spend ages searching for one, but keep an eye out.
As mentioned, it can always be used to hold a tap vertically, and mine almost permanently has a countersink bit in it, to save swapping things on one of the bench drills. Probably only worth doing if you drop on one at the right price; I think I only paid a fiver, though it was many years ago.

re. The tailstock arbor thingy. There's much cheaper ways of buying a blank MT2 arbor, See ArcEurotrade as an example.
When I first wanted a couple of MT2 arbors, I made them myself with an offset top slide, and a bar in the 3 jaw. The finish wasn't brilliant, as the operator as well as the gib strip/dovetails was a bit dodgy.
When I needed some more, I'd already obtained a boring head, so used that in the tailstock, to provide an off-set centre if you see what I mean.
That allows you to turn a bar between centres with a taper on each end; cut the bar in half and finish up with a matched pair of blank arbors, (with a nicer finish having used power feed).
I do appreciate though that you were looking for projects that didn't involve building more tooling.

Bill

William Ayerst27/11/2020 18:10:35
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80 forum posts

quick thought while I parse those responses - I've got a battery-driven Makita - would it be better to just get one of those bench-drill brackets for it rather than a hand drill?

IanT27/11/2020 20:31:39
1750 forum posts
164 photos

I've been referring to an electric hand-drill mounted in a simple drill stand William.

I have two (mains) Bosch drills that have lasted many years with no problems. I also have an old Wolf drill stand that let's me use them to drill 'vertically' when I'm away from my 'workshop' drills. They are noisy (and reliable) but will do the job when required.

So use whatever drill you have - in a "stand" (it's better than using it freehand) when you need to do so - until you can afford something better. It might not always be ideal - but it will serve most needs in the short term.

IanT

Simon Collier28/11/2020 00:15:10
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395 forum posts
58 photos

Is it Mogens Kilde in the magazines who does amazing things will a small-looking lathe? Great inspiration for the mill- challenged. A lot of the early loco designs assumed only a lathe, vertical slide and drilling machine.

Hopper28/11/2020 06:16:45
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5084 forum posts
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Secondhand drill presses/pillar drills are so common and so cheap you are mad if you don't buy one. I guess you might have to wait until lockdowns etc ease off though. I have bought secondhand small drill presses at garage sales for $25 -- 12 quid to you. They are perfect size for small model work. Its really not worth faffing about with lathe tailstock pads or pistol drill stands and the like at that price. Take a look on eBay or Gum Tree etc and you might be surprised too.

A 6" bench grinder for sharpening drills and lathe tools is pretty much essential too and available used for similar prices.

You can always make your own veritical slide for milling too. I think there is an article on this site somewhere about it. Certainly has been in ME over the years.

Edited By Hopper on 28/11/2020 06:23:17

William Ayerst28/11/2020 11:15:09
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80 forum posts

So I've bought the tools and materials to make the simple oscillating lathe-only engine linked by David George - I think the only challenge will be drilling the engine frame holes true...

I can't find ANY affordable second hand drill presses within about 50mi of my location either manual or electric, but I'll keep a look out. Additionally, it seems the Myford fixed vertical slides are going for reasonable prices, but relatively rare (i.e. now there's only one listed on eBay - for £150 when the going price seems to be about £75-90) so I'll keep an eye out for that too.

With regard to vices and angle plates, do I need a specific size or configuration, or can I assume that it'll bold to a myford/RDG fixed vertical slide and/or the ML7 cross-slide? Right now I've not got any faceplate/slide clamping equipment, just got the t-nuts that come with the topslide. It seems a bit of a minefield!

Edited By William Ayerst on 28/11/2020 11:45:51

Mike Hurley28/11/2020 13:00:03
55 forum posts
38 photos

Someone correct me if i'm wrong but didn't they always used to say that the lathe was the only machine on which you could make another lathe, implying that all machine operations you ever need could be accomplished (apart from casting I suppose) on one. Probably not quite so true these days with some of those whizzo CNC machining centers!

But yes, you can manage pretty well anything just with a lathe, sometimes takes a bit of head scratching and lateral thinking though.

What about hot-air engines? From dead simple to quite advanced, these can be a good 'project' usually not involving complex castings etc, but will give you good practice with precision fitting which will hold in good stead for your eventual loco-building goal. Plenty of books / stuff on the web for more info.

Good look - and enjoy whatever projects you decide on. Regards Mike

IanT28/11/2020 13:02:45
1750 forum posts
164 photos

"Myford" accessories tend to come with a higher price tag William - with perfectly usable alternatives that are often a third to half the price. The difference is often just the spacing of the mounting holes. So "Non-Myford" parts will usually either need an adaptor made for them or some new holes drilled (or enlarged) to match the machine you are mounting them on.

Of course, if you can find a well priced accessory that will directly fit your Myford slots - then go for it. I just looked for "Myford" vertical slides - and found this one on eBay for £77 (inc postage) which sounds like it could be a good deal. (usual caveats!)

Myford Vertical Slide

It doesn't have any "swivel" but as you may have gathered, I prefer a rock-solid slide to the "flexibility" offered by the swivelling versions. I've never owned one but I have sometimes wondered if they are why some folk are adverse to using vertical slides. There's usually a way to mount things (at angular settings) when you need to, be that by packing or some other form of fixture.

Regards,

IanT

PS You will need clamps, bolts and T-nuts. You can buy clamping sets (but if so get a smaller set first) or just make them yourself. Simple clamps can be faced and drilled in your 4-jaw - but T-Nuts are cheaper to buy than make. I use mostly (6mm I think) Chinese metric ones on my Myford S7 that I've "thinned" a little to fit the slot. Myford slots are not very robust so you do need to be careful with them but that's another story.

Edited By IanT on 28/11/2020 13:06:50

Mike Hurley28/11/2020 13:05:02
55 forum posts
38 photos

Someone correct me if i'm wrong but didn't they always used to say that the lathe was the only machine on which you could make another lathe, implying that all machine operations you ever need could be accomplished (apart from casting I suppose) on one. Probably not quite so true these days with some of those whizzo CNC machining centers!

But yes, you can manage pretty well anything just with a lathe, sometimes takes a bit of head scratching and lateral thinking though.

What about hot-air (Stirling cycle) engines? From dead simple to quite advanced, these can be a good 'project' often not involving complex castings etc, but will give you good practice with precision machining & fitting which will hold in good stead for your eventual loco-building goal. Plenty of books / free stuff on the web for more info.

Good look - and enjoy whatever projects you decide on. Regards Mike

not done it yet28/11/2020 13:51:34
5428 forum posts
20 photos

That engine David linked is mainly turned cylinders and a bit if un-machined flat bar. A good one to start with.

If you have an independent 4 jaw chuck, that is the same as using a milling attachment as far as squaring parts is concerned (size of parts would be a limited to the chuck jaw opening).

Most lathes cut a slightly concave surface when facing - no different, really, to when using a milling attachment - so some slight adjustment may be needed for some surfaces which need to be perfectly flat.

The number of lathe-only projects is vastly increased once you master squaring workpieces on the lathe without using a milling attachment. The milling attachment then increase your options by several fold.

Machining flat surfaces on ‘flat’ bar is fairly easy, within the limits of the 4 jaw chuck. Converting round bar to flat is likewise possible. Some you tube videos omit the use of a couple of parallels, to get the rear faces, of such machining, parallel to the chuck face.

Cold rolled steel is often well dimensioned but will almost certainly bend with machining on one side; hot rolled is cheaper and does not bend when machined. Try it out. You may be surprised at the extra opportunities after doing a few ‘round-bar-only’ jobs.

Mick B128/11/2020 14:12:39
1805 forum posts
91 photos

Uses of a vertical swivel slide:

Cutting a mating inside radius on a ring-gear reinforce for a Hypocycloidal engine:-

boring reinforce.jpg

Drilling a wing mirror support casting for a classic car at a funny angle:

img_20200508_124909.jpg

So long as I'm not greedy on depth of cut or workpiece size, there's quite a lot of flexibility of use the thing gives, and it's not that lacking in solidity.

Don't knock 'em till you've tried 'em.

William Ayerst28/11/2020 15:33:20
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80 forum posts

I spent a bit of time in the workshop and made myself a T-bolt from an M8-coach bolt with the mushroom head turned down with two flats, and the top flattened out - it's given me the confidence that I can at least do that bit if I get a slide or a vice which doesn't have nuts or bolts included.

Essentially, there is a double swivel + vice on eBay for only a few pounds more than a non-Myford non-swivelling slide and vice.  I'd rather buy once than buy something not up to par and then have to do it again...

Edited By William Ayerst on 28/11/2020 15:33:55

Andy_G28/11/2020 18:17:25
83 forum posts

I'd honestly buy a cheap pillar drill before the milling slide.

This was made just using a lathe and a cheap pillar drill. I could have done without the pillar drill, but wouldn't want to. (Apologies for blowing my own trumpet, but one can make an awful lot of things on a lathe, and many, many people have - one is only limited by one's imagination.)

 


 

(OK, I bought the gears and the sparkplug!)

 

Edited By Andy Gray 3 on 28/11/2020 18:21:27

Edited By Andy Gray 3 on 28/11/2020 18:22:32

Edited By Andy Gray 3 on 28/11/2020 18:24:41

Nicholas Wheeler 128/11/2020 18:27:08
457 forum posts
25 photos
Posted by William Ayerst on 28/11/2020 15:33:20:

I spent a bit of time in the workshop and made myself a T-bolt from an M8-coach bolt with the mushroom head turned down with two flats, and the top flattened out - it's given me the confidence that I can at least do that bit if I get a slide or a vice which doesn't have nuts or bolts included.

A few T-nuts can be made easily and quickly with a hacksaw and file. If you want more than that, then turn as many top-hats as you need and file on the flats for the bigger slot.

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