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post #1 of 7 Old 07-02-2015, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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AAW Conference

Back from Pittsburgh and had a really great time. Never been to one of these things so I didn't know what to expect. I'll go again.

As you would expect with an event this large, there were "Ebbs and Flows." But I'd give it high scores. Things happened that weren't planned and that was the good part. I got to meet with an engineer from Sorbey that explained in clear detail why most people can't use the spiral cutter. Now, I CAN! He gave me a 20 minute personal class in how to figure out what's going wrong with the cutter. That's priceless and totally appreciated.

Then I talked with the factory rep from Jet about the indexing process and watched in amazement as he, and his three helpers, just turned their heads and admitted it's trash. Love the lathe but that index process is the worst on the market, and they agreed. So, they recommended I find an external indexing plate and forget about using theirs. That's damning and commendable at the same time.

Anyway, I had a wonderful time and if the next one is close enough to allow me to drive to it, I'll be there.
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-02-2015, 01:56 PM
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Glad you had a good time. Wish I could have gone. In reality no lathe that I know of has really good indexing. At least not if you don't want to be limited to maybe 24 divisions. The best thing I've found is to buy one of the IronfireLLC index wheels. They are great and give you many many more division options.
www.ironfireLLC.com
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-02-2015, 03:45 PM
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y Robust American Beauty lathe has indexing, 48 positions IIRC. And the indexing really is robust.

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post #4 of 7 Old 07-02-2015, 09:04 PM
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Yeah, Robust drills 48 very accurate indexing holes in the spindle handwheel. But the indexing pin is slow to use as it must be screwed in and out for every hole. It can easily take more than 10 minutes to go all the way around and mark all 48 positions.
I often use the indexing to mark turned pieces as a guide for subsequent decorative work, so I modified mine so the locating pin can just be pushed into the indexing hole against the spring pressure.
It then pops out of the index hole the instant I let go of it, so, unlike the screw-in arrangement, you can't really forget that you left the index pin engaged if you get distracted and then try to start the lathe.
Much, much faster, and more convenient to boot.
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-03-2015, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
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Okay, so I've hit a sensitive subject. My experience in other areas is that some companies do some things really well and other things pretty poorly. I suspect that's what's going on with Jet's indexing. The lathe is superb, but that index process is terrible. Can't imagine they actually let that thing out on the unsuspecting public in that condition. Anyway, I don't use it that often. And an aftermarket index plate isn't that expensive. It was just a comment. I was amused at the number of people at the conference that got red in the face at my question. It's clear I'm not the only person that hates that index system.
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-03-2015, 05:58 PM
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I didn't even know that the Jet lathes had built-in indexing. I've only used the indexing on my Robust lathe twice even though I've had the lathe for four years.

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post #7 of 7 Old 07-03-2015, 07:28 PM
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I use indexing a lot on many of my projects so I'm more sensitive than most about how I want it to work. First of all I hate the screw in index pins. When your doing 36 indexes that takes a rediculous amount of time. Indexing should be very positive position wise but but very quick to engage and disengage. Also the location of the index pin can be a problem on many as it gets in the way of the working the handwheel or sometimes installing chucks.
Some day I intend to dissassemble my Powermatic and make an indexing wheel that I will build. It won't have as many indexes as the ironfire wheel but still would be faster to use if I do it right.
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