Adapting my old lathe for newer chucks - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 02-09-2011, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Adapting my old lathe for newer chucks

Hi all,
Brand spanking new to turning. Don't even own any tools yet, but I do have a lathe. Another hobby of mine is restoring and using antique tools, and I've seen a lot of posts here from people whose grandfather gave them a lathe or something, and I'm hoping you can help me out.

I have a late 1940s Powr-Kraft 28" benchtop lathe that I got with a bunch of other tools out of a barn. I took it apart and went through everything and now I'm looking to actually put a piece of wood in it.

It has a 1/2" dead center tailstock (non-removable) and a 1/2"-20 threaded headstock, whcih also came with a 4-spur drive.

As I understand it, I can use this just fine as-is, with a few compromises.

However, to make the machine more versatile I'm searching around trying to adapt other chucks to it.

For the headstock, I should be able to put a threaded bushing to adapt the 1/2-20 thread up to 3/4 or 1"-8 and basically use any available drive accessory, no? Anyone ever seen a 1/2-20x1-8 theraded bushing?

For the non-removable dead center tailstock, I know what I'd like to do but can't figure out if something's out there. I figure to adapt a live center or even a drill chuck to this, I should be able to have a collar with a set screw that slides over the dead center and the set screw locks it in place. A bearing would be pressed on to this collar, and the live center point pressed over the bearing. Fairly simple to do but unfortunately everything I find is Morse tapered. To run a chuck I shouldn't even need the bearing, just a threaded collar to mount the chuck on with a set screw for the tailstock. Anyone ever seen pieces like this?

Thanks a lot,
Darel
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post #2 of 7 Old 02-09-2011, 11:10 PM
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I haven't seen that size personally. I looked pretty extensively for my Grizzly which has an odd 1 x 12" and I got that adapter from Penn State. You may try emailinig Penn State, Oneway, Packard Woodturning and see if any of them know of a location for one. Could a machine shop make one for you? Any machinists out there that might know?
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post #3 of 7 Old 02-09-2011, 11:23 PM
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I havn't bought or looked for new turning tools or gadgets for a while. Last i checked there was a good variety of headstock adaptors available. If you still cant find what you looking for try getting a quote from a local machine shop.
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post #4 of 7 Old 02-10-2011, 12:23 AM
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Send me a drawing with exact dimensions, and I could most likely make it.

Harrison, at your service!
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post #5 of 7 Old 02-10-2011, 07:39 AM Thread Starter
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I actually did find a couple of 3" 3-jaw chucks for the 1/2-20 thread but they seem to be geared to metal lathes. Is there a difference between chucks for wood and metal? Different teeth so they don't mar wood, maybe?
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post #6 of 7 Old 02-10-2011, 09:13 AM
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The three-jaw chuck is for metal work, as you suspected (no way to grab a square piece of wood). It can probably be used if the item is already round and small. The jaws are not very big so there is little holding power with wood. You may also be able to have a small (2-1/2 to 3") faceplate made that would give you many more options.
Im not a metal worker but If you could have and adapter made to go from the " spindle to a 1 X 8 tpi then you can get anything you will need. Seems there should be enough meat there to thread it inside and out?
Another place you may try for info is OWWM.com (old wood working machines); they were in the process of changing their name to Vintage Machinery. They do have a forum there and lots of expertise in bringing back to life older machines.
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post #7 of 7 Old 02-10-2011, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darel View Post
Is there a difference between chucks for wood and metal? Different teeth so they don't mar wood, maybe?

The main difference is weight and craftsmanship. Done right, you can grip wood and metal in a 3 jaw. A square or rectangular piece won't be centered, is all.

On your lathe, you will be OK turning smaller Dia. workpieces. You don't want to chuck up a 60 lb. chunk of oak, and turn a bowl, using a 1/2" spindle.

Nowadays, there are chucks for about every application. The woodworking trades are borrowing technology from metalworking trades, such as the carbide turning tools, better chucks. etc.

Even at work, sometimes I had to throw a chunk of wood in a lathe and make things for fixtures, jigs, pipe plugs.

A lathe is the most versatile machine ever made, the only machine that can duplicate itself. Use the lathe to make another lathe.

Those old machines are cool as hell, learn it's limitations, and be safe.

Harrison, at your service!
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