Catches on a powerful lathe - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 Old 07-14-2008, 06:38 AM Thread Starter
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Catches on a powerful lathe

I'm currently using a Record DML24X - a dinky little lathe of about 1/2 hp. I mainly do spindles of up to 3" in diameter so Im generally turning at around 2000rpm. Like all woodturners I sometimes "catch" the tool, e.g. when I cut too deep with a parting tool and it binds or when one of the wings of a gouge catches in a cove. Sometimes this results in an ugly spiral groove in the workpiece and sometimes it just brings the lathe to a halt quickly. It never pulls the piece free of the chuck though. All of these things are unpleasant and a bit scary but not really a huge threat to life and limb.

However I'm now thinking of getting a Jet 1642 (yes, I know a Jet 1642 is total overkill for 3" spindles), a 1.5HP beastie with a 3-phase motor which has lots of torque. So my question to those of you with similarly powerful lathes is, if I get a catch on this machine, is it likely to fling the tool across the room or snap it in half or smash the workpiece into a mass of splintery missiles? If I kill myself woodturning my girlfriend will, er, kill me :-)

Thanks for your help!
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post #2 of 11 Old 07-14-2008, 09:35 AM
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It is possible to get a catch that can pull the tool out of your hand but usually on a machine that has a lot of power it will simply tear a chunk out of the wood. If your leary simply run the belt with less tension. Then it will stall the wood, not the motor and you will be the same
You will really like the smoothness of that lathe. The mass of the machine makes a lot of difference even though the Record is a good machine it's just as heavy.
By the way, I run a Powermatic 3520A which has even more power. I just never get catches so it's not a problem. :) Wanta buy a bridge.
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post #3 of 11 Old 07-14-2008, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john lucas View Post
It is possible to get a catch that can pull the tool out of your hand but usually on a machine that has a lot of power it will simply tear a chunk out of the wood. If your leary simply run the belt with less tension. Then it will stall the wood, not the motor and you will be the same
You will really like the smoothness of that lathe. The mass of the machine makes a lot of difference even though the Record is a good machine it's just as heavy.
By the way, I run a Powermatic 3520A which has even more power. I just never get catches so it's not a problem. :) Wanta buy a bridge.
Swap you your bridge for this lovely plot of land on the moon... ;-)

Great idea about the belt, thanks for the suggestion. I had a couple of nasty catches at the weekend and have been worrying that if I get on the wrong side of a proper lathe it'll tear me a new one.

Perhaps you're thinking of a different Record lathe - the one I'm currently using is nowhere near as heavy as the Jet. I's about 40kg and has steel tube bed bars, is bench mounted and is really only suitable for very small work. Roughing 3x3 ebony on it is a real chore. And when you tighten up the tailstock ram you can see the headstock flexing under the load.
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post #4 of 11 Old 07-14-2008, 12:07 PM
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I was thinking about that record lathe. they are solid and run smooth but nearly the mass of the Jet.
I had a good friend who got the big Powermatic and the first day he was using it and got a catch with a parting tool. There is a hole in the wall 6 feet from the lathe where the tool stuck.
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post #5 of 11 Old 07-14-2008, 10:43 PM
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bigger lathes...

Bernie,
I started with and still have a Jet 1024. Earlier this year I bought a Jet 1642. It does have a lot more power. I have had an occasional catch. It just tears a bigger chunk of wood out and makes bigger spirals. If you are holding your tools against your side and use your tool rest properly and don't have an abundance of tool overhang, it shouldn't be a problem. May I recommend using sorby's steb centers on both ends. If you aren't familiar with them, they have a spring loaded centerpoint, with a bunch of little pointy teeth in a circle around the center that grip the workpiece. It allows the piece to slip when a catch occurs. The piece will normally stop turning without incurring alot of damage. They also don't have a tendacy to split smaller size spindles like regular spur centers do sometimes. I really like the bigger lathe and especially the variable speed.
Mike Hawkins
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post #6 of 11 Old 07-15-2008, 05:53 AM
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catches on the lathe

i would suggest that you invest some money in getting professional tuition in woodturning before you buy a bigger lathe. i did and it was the best investment i have made it opens up a whole new world.
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post #7 of 11 Old 07-16-2008, 10:57 PM
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big lathe

Good suggestion Woodshavings.
I always suggest to people to see if there is a woodturning club in their area. Most clubs put on classes along with their monthly meetings. Also a ton of good info from amongst the members. Turning small spindle projects are one thing. Bernie, if you haven't turned any large diameter projects or any bowls at all, if would be a good idea to have someone show you. There are some definite do's and don'ts.
Mike Hawkins
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post #8 of 11 Old 07-17-2008, 04:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodshavings View Post
i would suggest that you invest some money in getting professional tuition in woodturning before you buy a bigger lathe. i did and it was the best investment i have made it opens up a whole new world.
I think you are missing the thread, this guy does not need tuition, from what i remember he turns quite nice stuff.
Hi guys bit biz of late...Bryney if you turn the speed as the utube vid your going to get catches LB
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post #9 of 11 Old 07-17-2008, 05:40 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by littlebuddha View Post
I think you are missing the thread, this guy does not need tuition, from what i remember he turns quite nice stuff.
Hi guys bit biz of late...Bryney if you turn the speed as the utube vid your going to get catches LB
Thanks buddha :-) I wouldn't call myself a beginner but the other guys have a point in that I'm 100% self-taught, so there are probably a few "golden rules" that I'm unaware of as regards safety and best practice.

I plonked down 1.5G's this morning and the 1642 is turning up 1 week from today. I'm like a kid a week before Christmas.

Actually I did get a couple of nasty catches making that YouTube vid, but because it's sped up so much you can't see them
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post #10 of 11 Old 07-17-2008, 09:12 PM
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catches

Byrnie,
We don't call them 'catches', we call them 'redesigns'. Sounds more like you planned it that way.
Mike Hawkins
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post #11 of 11 Old 07-17-2008, 11:04 PM
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Jet lathe

I own that Jet lathe you are talking about. I really enjoy it. I am somewhat of a beginner but I have turned bowls up to 6". I did get a few catches in the beginning until someone taught me how to use a bowl gouge. Don't be afraid, be cautious and have a great time. Keepsake boxes are also fun to turn.

Keep the chips flying

Brian
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