By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by Allendale Jan 24th

Best choice of material

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Robert Bowen-Cattry09/06/2021 13:35:09
20 forum posts
2 photos

Good afternoon all,

I am toying with the idea of removing the taper slide on my lathe and replacing it with a solid block to mount the tool post too.

There are a couple of reason for this, partly to improve rigidity (particularly as I don't think I will often use the taper attachment), but mainly to aid in the replacement of the 4 way toolpost for a QCTP.

I was thinking of using mild steel for this, but it occurred to me that maybe I could get away with using aluminium, or maybe I should be using something tougher like stainless.

What are peoples opinons on this?



Dave Halford09/06/2021 14:20:49
1506 forum posts
16 photos

I use my top slide (your taper slide) because on facing or edge cuts on thin work by locking the saddle just out of range of the jaws and with max cut with the top slide hard on the stop. Then I can take a cut to within 1 thou of the jaws without watching a DRO and without crashing anything.

Plus unlike yours my lathe does not have a graduated hand apron wheel. smiley

Oily Rag09/06/2021 14:29:57
416 forum posts
147 photos

A good point is raised by Dave there, the ability to accurately put on a cut towards the headstock. What is the accuracy (in terms of resolution) of the carriage handwheel?

For a toolpost Mild steel would be acceptable, but cast iron would probably be better from a vibration damping ability.



Journeyman09/06/2021 14:39:34
984 forum posts
182 photos

I used mild steel when I made a toolpost for my WM250 see ** HERE ** for details.


Robert Bowen-Cattry09/06/2021 15:30:02
20 forum posts
2 photos

Thanks for the replies gents.

Martin, going by the DRO the carriage handwheel moes in 0.02mm increments.

John, thanks for the link, that's extremely helpful.

Howard Lewis10/06/2021 16:12:38
4859 forum posts
12 photos

Retaining the Top Slide allows trimming up dead centres, or turning chamfers.. Can be use as means of putting on TINY cuts, and the way, advised by many, to screwcut.

Handy, for turning to a specific length, a particular taper.

(bought a drill chuck at a show. Good quality but not a Jacobs taper. Found it was a Jarno taper. Carefully offset Top Slide, and jammy devil, got the 2*15' taper right first time..

Personally, I would not dispense with it.

But your shop, your choice.


Andrew Tinsley10/06/2021 17:34:52
1417 forum posts

I think it depends on the lathe. I refurbished a 920 lathe for a disabled friend. The design is poor and there is a lot of potential tool movement because of an inadequate base. Even doing one of the standard mods to overcome this, still doesn't give a really firm tool. I took off the topslide and made a "Gibralter" tool mount. That made a huge difference. You can still remove this and reinstate the topslide for the odd time it is needed,

Maybe your lathe is sturdier than the 920, but even so your idea is to be recommended. I very rarely have need to use the topslide anyway.


old mart10/06/2021 20:05:06
3062 forum posts
194 photos

_igp2771.jpgI happened to get hold of a NOS 4 way toolpost which is bigger than the standard size for the lathe (Smart & Brown model A), and I decided to use it mounted on the cross slide at the same height as the other ones for the lathe. Because it is bigger, 25mm boring bars can be fitted and their increased rigidity plus the rigidity of leaving out the top slide would be an advantage. To partially make up for the loss of being able to make fine adjustments on the top slide, it helps to have an adjustable saddle stop and a box of slip gauges. The block of cast iron which the toolpost sits on helps somewhat with damping, but mild steel would work ok too. That boring bar in the picture is a 16mm with carbide shank which could enter a 20mm hole and bore 96mm deep.



Edited By old mart on 10/06/2021 20:08:25

Robert Bowen-Cattry11/06/2021 09:10:52
20 forum posts
2 photos

Thanks for the replies gents.

To clarify, I'm not getting rid of the top slide, it will be kept and stored when not in use. The main reason for my plan is to allow easier fitment of the QCTP. The Warco WM180 has a raised boss on the top of the cross slide which would either have to be removed, or the QCTP bored out to accommodate it.

Not iishing to modify either part this seemed like the best option, with the added bonus of improving rigidity.

The top slide can always be reinstated with the 4 way tool post as and when needed, its only two bolts. .

Edited By Robert Bowen-Cattry on 11/06/2021 09:11:36

old mart11/06/2021 19:05:40
3062 forum posts
194 photos

Top slides are useful for most jobs and should always be ready for refitting. The lathe in the pictures has a choice of two different top slides, one is brand new even though it is 70 years old. Having the option makes for greater versatility. I also have a rear toolpost which bolts directly to the cross slide for when a particular parting off would be a challenge. That might be another mod you could consider.





Edited By old mart on 11/06/2021 19:07:20

Tony Pratt 111/06/2021 19:21:07
1544 forum posts
8 photos

I made a solid block to replace my topslide on a new Warco 290V & really didn't get on with it so I completely re-machined the existing top slide, with a slightly thicker gib strip which was doweled in position. The lathe will now handle any cut I can safely take with no problem.


Nicholas Wheeler 111/06/2021 20:14:48
601 forum posts
44 photos

I replaced the weedy clamp that holds the topslide to the cross slide on my WM250. It's made of 15mm thick steel plate and is attached with four bolts. It's a lot more stable - the flex in the original was really visible - and capable of taking much bigger cuts.

I did machine off the boss for the toolpost when I fitted the QCTP

Robin Dufton11/06/2021 23:46:39
26 forum posts
8 photos

I've never understood this idea that top slides lack rigidity. There will be a screw to lock it against the gib strip. Take it out and replace it with a handle.

Howard Lewis12/06/2021 08:13:09
4859 forum posts
12 photos

If you have room, make and fit a Rear Toolpost. It will make parting off, with the tool inverted, so much easier.

I had enough room, so made a Four Way, to match the front post. It carries Front, and Back chamfering tools, as well as the parting tool. (HSS given to me when I bought my first lathe, back in the late 70s, and still not worn out! )

Admittedly, my lathe is larger than most, 1.5 hp VFD, 6" centre height, with 3" square toolposts, but have never taken more than 0.15" cuts. Not seen any problems with rigidity. But depends upon the design of the particular machine.


All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Support Our Partners
Eccentric July 5 2018
JD Metals
Eccentric Engineering
Subscription Offer

Latest "For Sale" Ads
Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest