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Old 06-14-2021, 10:59 AM   #1
rockfla
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Default Lathe set up help for my shop

Any machinist oriented Barner's have any tips on setting up a lathe in your shop. What is the longest items (on average) that you turn OR how long is a V8 Axle??? as that would "potentially" be the longest thing I could imagine chucking in my lathe. Because one spot I would like to put it limits the amount of room I would have on the business end of the lathe. ALSO....the two spots I can put my lathe, one is about 7" or so "taller" than the other SO any advice/experience on working height and possibly having it on a little taller work surface?? ANY other advice/experience welcomed. It's a 10 X 24. 1-1/8" diam. bore
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Old 06-14-2021, 11:19 AM   #2
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Default Re: Lathe set up help for my shop

Canít help you but maybe Mart will chime in, he does a lot of lathe work on YouTube
https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/member.php?u=3659
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Old 06-14-2021, 11:30 AM   #3
rockfla
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Default Re: Lathe set up help for my shop

I did some more looking AND the lower work bench is better suited for my height SO......NOW my only real concern will be just how far away from the corner and wall it will sit on my bench????
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Old 06-14-2021, 11:30 AM   #4
19Fordy
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Default Re: Lathe set up help for my shop

Make sure you allow enough room to feed bar stock thru the headstock and into the chuck.
What kind lathe do you have (Southbend)? I sure miss the lathes I had when I was teaching high school metal shop. Having a lathe is "heavenly".

I would not recommend having your lathe on a little taller work surface as it will be more tiring and difficult to change chucks and do machining work like turning between centers, using boring bars, making intricate cuts, cutting tool mounting, using the taper adjustment and adjustment, etc.. Keep it at floor level for easy access , adjustment and cleaning. You want your head and neck to be comfortable. Looking down is better than looking up.

Also, you want to be able to tighten and open the chuck easily and safely.

It is nice to have a rubber mat on the floor for your feet comfort.

Enjoy your new machine tool. It's solid gold.

Last edited by 19Fordy; 06-14-2021 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 06-14-2021, 11:48 AM   #5
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Default Re: Lathe set up help for my shop

congrats ! every growing boy should have a lathe. If its a benchtop, make sure its very strong, no movement at all. set up dead level, keep room to clean around it, have fun
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Old 06-14-2021, 11:59 AM   #6
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Default Re: Lathe set up help for my shop

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Originally Posted by 19Fordy View Post
Make sure you allow enough room to feed bar stock thru the headstock and into the chuck.
What kind lathe do you have (Southbend)? I sure miss the lathes I had when I was teaching high school metal shop. Having a lathe is "heavenly".

I would not recommend having your lathe on a little taller work surface as it will be more tiring and difficult to change chucks and do machining work like turning between centers, using boring bars, making intricate cuts, cutting tool mounting, using the taper adjustment and adjustment, etc.. Keep it at floor level for easy access , adjustment and cleaning. You want your head and neck to be comfortable. Looking down is better than looking up.

Also, you want to be able to tighten and open the chuck easily and safely.

It is nice to have a rubber mat on the floor for your feet comfort.

Enjoy your new machine tool. It's solid gold.

Its a Jet 10 X 24 bench top lathe. That's my only issue now is the room/access to the head stock. NOT sure how much I "should" allow but where it will have to go based on the height (which I figured out the lower of the two is much better for my height) I will be "pretty" limited as the bench is just off a corner SO I will have to measure tonight and see just how much room I will have. Keep you posted!!!!
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Old 06-14-2021, 12:21 PM   #7
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Default Re: Lathe set up help for my shop

I don't really know how to advise on this. It's not big enough for skimming drums. It's not big enough to hold an axle shaft. So in reality you won't be holding anything "big". So I don't imagine there are many things that you would want to have sticking all the way through the headstock.
Ideally you ought to have clear access in line with the spindle bore. But if not it just limits the length of bar you can hold. You should also have enough room at the tail end to be able to slide the tailstock off if necessary. If you have a steady you could have a long item hanging off the tailstock end.
I use my lathe most days, for all sorts of things.
99 times out of100 it is small items.

Mart.
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Old 06-14-2021, 01:27 PM   #8
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Default Re: Lathe set up help for my shop

I learned a very long time ago when I was interested in getting a Lath. A wise older gentlemen told me a large lath can always be made small. A small lath can never be made big. That being said I have had excellent results with my lath a Southbend 16 inch swing by 6 foot length. Not only can an axle fit in this size I can also fit early Ford axle housings between the chuck and the tail stock. Plus with a slight modification of the bed in the area of the chuck wheels can also be mounted. The Jet brand lath is OK but it is an off shore product. So there is something to keep in mind if in the future any parts are needed would they be available?
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Old 06-14-2021, 04:45 PM   #9
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Default Re: Lathe set up help for my shop

You need to determine what height is best for you, by trial. The easiest way for this is put a creeper on the floor with wood cribbing or boxes as needed to support the lathe. Stand in front of it and work the handles. Adjust the height till it is comfortable, then build a bench that height. Make the bench plenty heavy so it doesn't want to "walk".
We have a lathe at both of our shops. I have a 16 inch and we have an 18 inch at our other shop. The 16 will handle most automotive stuff and the 18 will handle driveshafts with ease.
We also have access to a lathe used to turn railroad car wheels. We have used this several times to turn the bell housing off of flathead 59a and Ford 60 blocks for race car use.

Be sure your lathe has adequate wire capacity to the motor. If you are adding a new circuit for the lathe make the wire a couple sizes bigger than needed for future expansion.
Lathes are a lot like yachts, eventually you decide you need a bigger one.

Oh, you can run the headstock close to a wall as long as the other side of the wall is clear. If you have to turn something really long, you make a hole in the wall in line with the spindle hole, with a cover for when not in use.
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Old 06-14-2021, 04:46 PM   #10
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Default Re: Lathe set up help for my shop

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Old 06-14-2021, 05:01 PM   #11
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Default Re: Lathe set up help for my shop

Never thought of making a hole in the wall. Unique idea.
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Old 06-14-2021, 06:00 PM   #12
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Default Re: Lathe set up help for my shop

I just have a old Clausing 12" X 36" lathe but it has enough weight to keep it solid and it has a 1.5" bore through the spindle. A lot of parts are still around for them. I don't turn anything as large as an axle but do use it for making small parts and tools. I take the big stuff to a friend that has larger machines when I have a need. I can cut thread per inch but it's not set up for metric due to it's age. This is something else to think about when purchasing a lathe.

The bigger the lathe, the larger the footprint and the more difficulty in moving it when needed. Most folks find a place to set it up and leave it there until something major comes up to require it to be moved again. I don't have 3-phase power so I had to build up a phase motor to run the 3rd leg for 220-volt. I can still move it with a pallet jack so at least it's doable. Any larger a machine and it would take a larger fork lift to move it.
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Old 06-14-2021, 06:57 PM   #13
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Default Re: Lathe set up help for my shop

We cut a hole in a rollup door for a twenty foot bar feeder for a cnc lathe. Lathe in warm shop, bar feeder outside in the weather. Never found out if he could hold tolerances.

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Old 06-15-2021, 07:06 AM   #14
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Default Re: Lathe set up help for my shop

Thanks for all the suggestive post. For now, as a home mechanic, this lathe should do me quite well. I have three customers who are ALL machine shops/machinist.......One of them went with me to check out the lathe and gave me thumbs up before I plunked down the $600.oo.........Anything to big, long OR critical I have them to fall back on. One has two CNC's as well as the usual hand machines, the second is an "old time" machinist/semi retired who will be coming over and teaching me "stuff" and the third is a ship fitting machinist who has a lathe with a 6 or 8 foot diameter head and some 30 feet long he turns prop shafts for ships and tugs with SO I'm covered "IF" need be!!! BEFORE anyone post here after, the tail stock I have at the house along with tooling, the live center, a couple of 1/2 chucks, the wrenches and a few other little doodad's SO I know its missing in this photo...But here she is!!!!!
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Old 06-15-2021, 07:38 AM   #15
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Default Re: Lathe set up help for my shop

That appears to be an older model. Some of the stuff made back in the 80s was pretty decent. They kept changing colors over the years. Blue to green and finally white on a lot of the small ones.

The main thing is that it was cared for and not worn to where it is loose in certain positions. That one doesn't appear to have been abused. Looks pretty good in a photo.
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Old 06-15-2021, 08:39 AM   #16
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Default Re: Lathe set up help for my shop

Quote:
Originally Posted by rotorwrench View Post
That appears to be an older model. Some of the stuff made back in the 80s was pretty decent. They kept changing colors over the years. Blue to green and finally white on a lot of the small ones.

The main thing is that it was cared for and not worn to where it is loose in certain positions. That one doesn't appear to have been abused. Looks pretty good in a photo.
Thanks

It's a nice tight machine, not abused.....needs some cleaning and the one feed screw and nut replaced, the rest of the machine is as tight as new......My good friend and old school machinist just left from looking at it for me too, He is coming over this weekend and gonna pull the screw and nut and take it to his shop and make me a new one SO hopefully by next weekend I'll be "turning" nice and tight!!!! As I said my "other" machinist friend went with me and checked it out, ran it and gave me the "thumbs up" SO.......here we go!!!!
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Old 06-15-2021, 09:20 AM   #17
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Default Re: Lathe set up help for my shop

You're in good hands. Plenty of experienced friends to steer you right.
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Old 06-15-2021, 09:34 AM   #18
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Default Re: Lathe set up help for my shop

rockfla: Looks good. be sure to check the run out of the spindle with a dial indicator to make sure it is "tight" and will hold the chuck and stock "on center". You are fortunate to have such reliable and talented friends. It's exciting to have a lathe. I used to have the chuck key on a short chain attached to the headstock just in case I ever forgot to remove the chuck key. Safety first.

Keep you eyes peeled for a nice set of collets with drawbar.

Here's a site you will be interested in.
https://www.yuriystoys.com/2013/01/m...024-lathe.html

Last edited by 19Fordy; 06-15-2021 at 09:51 AM.
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Old 06-15-2021, 10:22 AM   #19
rockfla
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Default Re: Lathe set up help for my shop

Thanks Mart....I am very fortunate to "actually" have 6 machinist friend's/customers. I forgot to mention 2 more that I have. One of the two makes all the blower restraints for ALL the Top Fuel, Funny Car, Top Alcohol, Pro Mod etc etc for NHRA.



A huge thanks 19Forty.....especially for the link!!!!!



Once again, thanks all for the advice and encouragement.
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Old 06-15-2021, 01:04 PM   #20
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Default Re: Lathe set up help for my shop

Okay 19FOrty



Collets and drawbar??? Educate me on the use and need???
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